Joseph Grado established the audio business Grado in 1953, and it is situated in Brooklyn. The business, which has been around for than 70 years, specializes in high-fidelity dynamic open-air and supra-aural headphones and cartridges. Most of their products are hand-built and as niche as it gets. They put sound above everything else and continue to maintain its distinctive, vintage aesthetics today.
Pricing and accessibility
The Grado GT220 earbuds can be purchased for $259 from the company website, which links to 4ourears.com, or you can get them in the UK for £229 directly from grado.co.uk (although we have seen them go as low as £179 on Amazon), which is a discount from the original £250 retail price. There is only a black color option, and a charging case, USB-C charging cable, numerous silicon tips, and an owner’s manual are all included.
both style and comfort
The Grado earbuds have a subtle appearance and resemble the Sennheiser CX True Wireless earphones, which are currently selling for $128. The GT220’s matte black polycarbonate housing is nicely finished, but it lacks visual detail aside from the ‘G’ logo on the surface that faces outward and glows in various colors to show connectivity status.
The GT220 true wireless is a completely covert model, in contrast to some of Grado’s full-size headphone designs, and I appreciate that it lacks an odd attention-getting stem like the AirPods Pro. One 8mm PET (polyethylene terephthalate) driver is used within the GT220s. Each earbud is 0.2 ounces in weight and has a distinct left and right marking to prevent any confusion during fitting. Three sets of silicon ear tips are offered to help create the greatest acoustical seal, and I choose to use the larger-sized ear tips since they are good at isolating background noise from outside. The contoured design fits well in my ears.
After mastering the “twist to lock” fitting procedure, comfort levels are high and there is no sense of irritation or discomfort, even after prolonged listening sessions. In its debut pair of wireless earbuds, Grado has amazed me with how skillfully it has balanced comfort with a sense of a solid fit. You can feel somewhat comfortable wearing the GT220s out and about with to their IPX2 water and sweat resistance certification, but I’d hunt for a higher rated model as a good exercise partner.
As the “twist to lock” motion Grado suggests isn’t particularly intuitive, it can take a bit longer than you anticipate to have the GT220 installed the way you want it. But continue because these are among of the best-sounding true wireless in-ears you can purchase. There isn’t a single facet of music production where the GT220 doesn’t excel.
The Grados only need to listen to Turn Your Lights Down Low by Bob Marley & The Wailers on a MQA-powered Tidal Masters file to demonstrate their broad credentials. From the lowest, most intricately textured frequencies to the highest, which are sharply assaulting, the tonal balance is masterfully judged. The vocal has plenty of breathing room to express itself in the midrange toward the front of the soundstage.
The GT220 pays forensic attention to the attack and decay of individual sounds throughout, so much so that the sound of Marley’s mouth as he completes one note and gets ready for the next is audible. You understand that I didn’t overstate anything; I simply observed and said.
The I-Threes may be seen doing background vocals from distinct spots on the stage due to the abundance of open space. In actuality, each component of the recording exists in its own pocket of space, safely cut off from the other components even as the Grados combine them together.
It’s challenging to keep a song as pleasantly languorous as this going without coming off as hurried, but the Grados execute it with complete confidence. The GT220 describes the song’s languid cadence and little jagged rhythm with utter enthusiasm.
Although this recording doesn’t have a lot of “quiet/LOUD/quiet” dynamics, the Grados manage the smaller-scale, second-stage dynamics of harmonic variation with the same assurance that they manage every other aspect of detail-retrieval. If it’s insight into a recording you desire, a proper comprehension of every single aspect as well as an overview of the way they all hang together, the GT220 will delight you.
You can listen to any other genre of music with the same attitude of nearly casual but perfect fidelity. From Come On You Slags! by Aphex Twin to No Church by Princess Chelsea The Grados are unfazed on Sunday, playing everything from Mos Def’s Ms. Fat Booty to Duke Ellington’s rendition of Rhapsody in Blue. They provide the specifics without being analytical, they highlight different parts of a recording without ever sounding less than cohesive, they have the scope to handle even the largest ensemble pieces without raising red flags, and they could give a damn about the genre of music you enjoy.
App and features
The Grado does not feature active noise-cancellation (ANC), similar to the aforementioned Sennheiser CX True Wireless, letting the business to concentrate its efforts on the audio technology created to produce simple, beautiful sound. Although the absence of ANC might be considered a drawback given the price, the secure fit and strong seal provided by the ear tips provide acceptable levels of passive isolation from noisy environments.
Grado advertises a battery life of up to 6 hours of moderate volume playback. Based on completely charged earbuds (6 hours) and a fully charged case, which can recharge the headphones five times, the total battery life is 36 hours. It only takes two hours to recharge.
The true wireless GT220 earphones from Grado are one of the greatest sounding designs I’ve ever heard. They are well suited for both casual listening at home and more in-depth listening on the go thanks to their long battery life and quick recharging times.
Although they are designed for audiophiles who value superior audio quality above all else and want to experience Grado’s renowned sound in a genuine wireless product, the absence of active noise-cancellation and control app features shouldn’t be viewed as a deal-breaker given the price.