Grado are famous for their remarkable headphone and phono cartridge designs. Company founder, Joseph Grado is credited as the inventor of the stereo moving coil phono cartridge. He is responsible for more innovations in phono cartridge design than any other person in our lifetime and was inducted into the Audio Hall of Fame in 1982. John Grado has risen from sweeping the floors of the factory as a twelve year old, to President and Owner of Grado Laboratories. Following on from Joseph Grado‘s acclaimed designs, John has led the development of the Prestige Series and Reference Series of headphones and phono cartridges.
Archived page January 2016
– Check out the lovely new Pryma headphones from Sonus faber
The Grado Prestige headphone range is highly regarded and extensively reviewed. The first time we listened ourselves it was readily apparent that it was time to quickly sell off all our other brands. Since then Grado have gone from strength to strength with new versions across the board and the introduction of their Professional Series
And here's the best yet - the brand new Model PS 500. By extracting the DNA from the cost-no-object PS1000s, Grado have delivered a remarkable headphone that most of us can afford to stretch to. In the New Zealand context, we are looking for real value. We were never going to get the PS 500 in unless they actually proved to be appreciably better than other headphones. But it didn't take too much listening to work out that these are very special in every way.
Grado headphones never lack for character - the RS1i and 2i are defined by a sumptuous tubey richness. The SR60is and 80is are lively and articulate, making other mid priced headphones sound flat and dull. The SR325is are even more immediate and pack a slam that is more than capable shaking the grey matter around.
The PS500s somehow pull all these threads together, adding detail, refinement and all-round quality to the mix. There isn't one thing that any of the other models do better - they are at once more extended than the 325i, but also smoother and more balanced than the RS models. The obvious analogy is to look at conventional speaker systems - while the PS500s are about the same price as a basic but worthy Monitor Audio model, the sound they produce is directly comparable to Sonus fabers at ten times the price. In fact it feels very much like having a completely reconditioned head!
If the PS500s had been introduced several years ago, we might not even have considered them. But right now, with the highly favorable exchange rate (the Grados are actually made in the USA - not the east) and a sudden blossoming of components to listen to them with, the timing could not have been better. Even a year ago, we didn't have a weapon like the NuForce HDP (or in fact the new iDo which may be an even better option for many listeners). This would have restricted the Grado PS500s to a small handful of hardcore enthusiasts. Now you have the confluence of exceedingly high performance/low cost combined DACs and Headphone amplifiers, rapidly expanding and portable music libraries and the last piece of the puzzle, a headphone to truly do justice to them. Which means the PS500 will find a far wider audience than would otherwise have been the case - we hope that you'll be joining us!
Until you have the PS500s actually wrapped around your head, you're not going to realize just how good they are and any amount of descriptive flourish from us will be little more than ephemeral. But the moment you do - it's all going to become rather devastatingly clear. If at all possible, come into the store with some of your favorite music - and if you have it on iPod, don't hesitate to brings that in because with products like the iDo, you'll find it in no way compromised. If you're from out of town, call us and we'll get a set to you.
Like all Grados, the PS500s are low impedance - what this means is that they will work with anything from an iPod upwards. While the PS designation carries the clear indication they are physically robust, you're probably going to be taken aback by the tow rope that doubles as a connecting cable - but it's all about better sound. Yet the Grados are still comfortable - the combination construction of wood encased in allow with an open back is actually quite light in weight so they sit nicely on your head. The pads don't get sweaty either which is important as we suspect you might be logging up a few hours on these.
Grado PS 500 Professional Series Headphones NZ$850 including GST
Suffice to say, the reviews support our thoughts - Introduced to the market this September, Grado presents a pair of cans that are their newest and greatest sonic trump card to date: the PS 500. At a fraction of the price of the top of the Grado line, they retain a boatload of the benefits belonging to their expensive big brother. This is the ultimate in Grado trickle-down technology. The PS 500s are more neutral and linear than any headphone I know of under $1000, and will please the audiophile and recording enthusiast alike... Combined with great clarity and neutrality, the result is just plain stunning. If you are searching for cans in this price range, listen to these... I do not know of one brand's offering anywhere near this price that performs like the Grado PS 500s. As an audiophile friend of mine said when he heard the 500s compared to a mountain of other cans, "these are great headphones." Yes, my friends, the PS 500s are great headphones, and most highly recommended if you want the best bang for your buck and want Made in America, too!
Robert H. Levi - Positive Feedback ISSUE 57
And for iPod users we have two models of high performance in ear phones from Grado which redefine in ear technology. Grado headphones deliver better sound than anything else we can find, and these new models just further their lead.
Prestige, Reference & Statement series
From the SR60 up all models have a re-configured diaphragm designated as the 'i' version. The SR60, SR80, SR125 and SR225 have a new rear housing that resembles the SR325i, but in plastic. Models from the SR125 through the GS1000 have new cabling. You will notice the heavier cable but it is well worth its weight. The SR80 has a distressed diaphragm. Grado have also changed the species of wood used in the wooden models. Models SR60, SR80 and SR125 will be fitted with the comfortable 'S' cushion. On all models, the changes made give a noticeable sonic upgrade. Of course, all this achieved while keeping that world famous Grado sound. Read more on Grado’s site.
So why choose to buy Grado Headphones from Totally Wired?
First up, we really rate these headphones and don‘t mess around trying to sell you alternatives. If we thought there was something better, we’d tell you.
We have a real store and carry stock including spare pads and extension leads. You can come in and compare models within the range using your own music.
Even if you are outside of Dunedin, its reassuring to deal with people that you know will answer the phone when you call and will be around next year.
Totally Wired support the World Wide fund for Nature Your purchase will indirectly help the survival of New Zealand’s special Hector Dolphins. In all cases, we‘ll deliver for free to you.
The best selling models are -
iGi In Ear – NZ$ 140 a pair
iGrado 'portable' – NZ$ 125 a pair
SR 60i – NZ$ 130 a pair
SR 80i – NZ$ 165 a pair
SR 125i – NZ$ 220 a pair
SR 325i – NZ$ 415 a pair
RS 2i – NZ$ 650 a pair
PS 500 – NZ$ 845 a pair
RS 1i – NZ$ 915 a pair
GS 1000i – NZ$ 1,435 a pair
PS 1000i – NZ$ 2,320 a pair
Extension Cable, 6.3mmjack to 6.3mmplug, 450cm long – NZ$ 59
Mini Adapter Cable, 6.3mmjack to 3.5mmplug – NZ$ 39
Y Adapter Cable, for listening of two headphones from one output. 6.3mmjack to twin 6.3mmplug – NZ$ 39
Spare foam pads also available – 'i' $24, 'S' $37, 'L'$44, 'G' $97.
Now if you are particularly after a 'closed' set of headphones we recommend the HP800s by NuForce or for travel Tivoli has some lovely ones.
Our recommended headphone amplifiers are chosen because they do more than provide a functioning solution – you’ll hear a marked improvement in sound quality. To add further value choose from our range the one that suits your exact requirements. Of course we’re always happy to advise. The NuForce Icon range are the hot items. Choose from 'uDAC–2' (specification pdf), 'Icon–2' (specification pdf), and 'Icon HDP' (specification pdf). These are serious products but at affordable levels.
Totally Wired Limited
The Terrace Houses
217 Stuart Street
NZ Toll Free