Grado GW100 v2 Bluetooth headphone review: A wireless wonder

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In 1950, Joseph Grado began making phonograph cartridges at his kitchen desk in Brooklyn, NY. As soon as he exceeded the boundaries of that desk, he moved the operation to a extra skilled venue close by and based Grado Labs in 1953. Now, three generations later, the corporate continues to be household owned and run, persevering with to make extremely regarded phono cartridges in addition to headphones, which had been added to the product catalog in 1991, by hand at its Brooklyn location.

The GW100 is Grado’s first wi-fi Bluetooth headphone. It was first launched in 2018 and was just lately upgraded to model 2. The corporate reduce no corners and took its time to get the sound excellent, and the outcome was effectively definitely worth the effort.

This assessment is a part of TechHive’s protection of the perfect headphones, the place you’ll discover evaluations of the competitors’s choices, plus a purchaser’s information to the options you must contemplate when searching for the sort of product.

Options

The GW100 v2 is a light-weight, on-ear, open-back design with foam earpads and that particular, considerably retro Grado styling. It incorporates specifically designed 44mm dynamic drivers inside a finely tuned enclosure. As well as, the corporate claims to have decreased sound leakage from the open-back earpiece by 60 p.c with cautious placement of circuit boards and different inside parts.

grado gw100 with player Grado Labs

The Grado GW100 are an ideal companion for a high-end digital audio participant, however their open-back design will doubtless deter you from utilizing them whenever you’re out and about.

The frequency response is specified to increase from 20Hz to 20kHz (no tolerance given), and the drivers in every unit are matched to inside 0.1dB of one another. And so they can play a lot loud—as much as 99.8 dB SPL from 1mW.

That is the primary Bluetooth headphone I’ve encountered that doesn’t additionally supply lively noise cancellation (ANC). In accordance with Grado, ANC can degrade the sound high quality—which is definitely true with many however not all of the headphones I’ve examined—so the corporate determined to omit it altogether.

As an alternative, Grado centered on offering the very best Bluetooth expertise. The GW100 v2 implements Bluetooth model 5.0 (versus 4.2 within the unique GW100) with assist for the aptX, AAC, and SBC codecs. It could actually work as much as 10 meters (33 ft) away from the supply system because of an upgraded antenna.

The up to date 850mAh battery costs in two hours and gives as much as 40 hours of play time, which is predicated on a 50-percent quantity setting. Different upgrades embody a USB-C charging connection as a substitute of micro USB (good transfer!).

Along with omitting ANC, that is the one wi-fi headphone I’ve come throughout that doesn’t embody a hard-shell carrying case. You should purchase one from Grado for $39.95, which brings the associated fee to $288.95 for what you’d get with nearly each different comparable headphone.

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