A new day. A new review. A new Grado headphone. Things don’t get much better than this, but how much better can the $1395 Grado GS2000e be compared to its competition?
Grado GS2000e Review
The GS2000e comes in the standard wide, flat white box that most high-end Grado headphones come in. There’s some generous amounts of foam, a thick, heavy duty stereo extension cable, a 1/4” to 3.5mm adapter, and the headphones proper.
With the supplied G-Cushions, the circumaural fit isn’t unlike that of the GS1000e, so if you’ve already made up your mind on whether you love or hate the Grado fit, these ones aren’t going to change your mind.
One particular point of interest in the design of these headphones is the inclusion of two different tone woods – an outer shell of mahogany wood, and an inner shaft of maple. This recipe (a first for Grado) should impart a slightly brighter sound (the maple), while keeping tone accurate (the mahogany).
Transducer Type: Dynamic
Operating Principle: Open Air
Frequency Response: 4 – 51,000 hz
SPL 1mW: 99.8 dB
Normal Impedance: 32 ohms
Driver Matched dB: .05 dB
Our specs show that this headphone offers an impressively wide frequency range and a low impedance – it’s going to sound just fine when paired with a low-power device like a phone or a portable music player. Volume isn’t as high as some models, but pretty standard for an open-back headphone.
The GS2000e is characterized by a deep and detailed low end. There is an excellent level of control, with no bleeding and excellent separation between low-frequency vocals and notes. Bass is deep but not overpowered – the perfect balance.
Mids are detailed and clean, with a great level of accuracy. The clarity and separation in the midrange leads to an exacting sound, making this headphone a good choice anywhere that detail is of key importance.
The high end of the GS2000e comes across as slightly bright, but not in a way that is too unpleasant. There’s some superb high-end detail in there – which can sometimes get a little bit piercing. This isn’t the end of the world, as it’s only apparent on the highest of the high notes, but it deserves mentioning.
Soundstage is always present with the GS2000e. Even on the most compressed tracks, there is still some semblance of space, placement, and depth. With particularly high-resolution audio sporting lots of layering, the soundstage is downright phenomenal.
GS2000e vs GS1000e
In comparison to the older Grado GS1000e, the GS2000e comes off sounding more relaxed or even. It’s not quite as dynamic-sounding, with less treble or bass, but perhaps more detail in the midrange. The impression of soundstage is largely the same between the two models, but with slightly better clarity and separation on this newer Grado. The GS1000e might have a tiny bit more detail in the high end – something the GS2000e seems a little more laid back about.
Overall, the Grado GS2000e is more that a capable addition to the Grado lineup. The novel design of maple-within-mahogany offers a good mids and highs while keeping tonal accuracy and downplaying the overly-bright edge that maple wood usually imparts to headphones.
That being said, this headphone really shines where intricacies can be brought to the floor – something I noticed with classical music and some hip-hop (where there’s intense layering or sampling).
Need separation and detail? Like open-back headphones? Have a soft spot for Grado? Buy these headphones and REGRET NOTHING. If you’re a basshead or you want a more dynamic sound, there may be better options out there for you (options that are less pricier, too). If you can, though, give these headphones a listening to. Sound profile aside, the level of detail is worth a listen – even if you’re the most anti-Grado Sennheiser-fanboy to ever post on r/headphones, meriting our highest award, the MajorHifi Gold Award.