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Grado GS1000i Statement Series Headphones Review

The Grado GS1000i’s are an incredible piece of engineering. They look retro and old fashioned, you almost feel like a World War Two radio operator wearing them, but under the dramatic ‘love it or hate it’ exterior lies a product with such transparency and detail that you can’t help but fall in love with them. They do need a long time to bed in, and they are still improving as I write this.

The GS1000i’s aren’t ugly, but there is no doubting they will divide opinion. The mahogany earpiece appeals to me, but other people thought that they looked as if they were designed in a previous era.

Technically there is little to fault, and while music is subjective to each person, I felt that the GS1000i’s are pretty much as good as it gets. They are easily the best headphones I have heard, significantly better than the excellent RS1’s and Sennheiser HD800’s. Not an an easy task.

The detail they can extract from well recorded music feels authentic and yet at times unreal. I was listening to recordings I thought I knew inside out, only to be hearing subtle ambient tones I didn’t even know where there in the first place.

While it all sounds like a technical showcase, this is only part of the picture. Music may be detailed, but nothing is forced or harsh and with the right recordings the soundstaging is simply breathtaking.

Of course when the price is weighed in, people will argue that no headphone is worth £1000, and that is certainly an opinion I won’t argue with. What I can say however is that the system I used today costs just over £2,000 and it was outperforming my audiophile speaker based system which cost six times as much. In this regard I actually think it is a bargain.

Pros:

  • Incredible dynamics
  • Soundstaging is immense
  • little colouration
  • custom crafted mahogany wood finish is lovely
  • quite easy to drive
  • exceptionally well balanced

Cons:

  • expensive
  • looks might not appeal to everyone
  • need serious partnering equipment
  • packaging is rubbish
  • need a long time to bed in for optimum quality.

KitGuru says: The fact that Grado make an even more expensive set of Headphones – the PS1000 (£1,700) means there is possibly room for even higher levels of output quality. Right now I find that hard to believe.

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Rating: 9.5.

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