With the office door locked, my phone turned off, and my death faked, I can finally turn my attention to the new Grado White Headphone. Inspired by the landmark Beatles album, this limited edition gem from Grado retails for a not-so-terrible $795. Now it’s hooked up to an amp and a solid music source. But how will it sound?
Grado White Headphone Review
The White Headphone comes in a special swanky box. It holds the headphones, a 1/4 inch stereo adapter, and a sheet of paper that tells the story of the Grado family.
Once you pull these babies from their cardboard prison, you’ll find a headphone that looks stereotypically Grado, but with a flourish. Two white earcups dominate the sides of the headphone, crafted from maple and painted a gorgeous, immaculate white.
Attached to both earcups, the fixed cable measures a solid 6 ft (1.8 m).
Personally, I have no issue with Grado earcups, but they do constitute a love-or-hate feature on this headphone. That being said, even if you have larger tea-saucer ears like me, you’ll still get a comfortable fit with the Grado cushions.
The White Headphone feels slightly deep, but with a natural sense of warmth. Not overly emphasized or crazy when it comes to the low end, there’s still enough energy to keep things fun and engaging. There’s also plenty of detail on display here – unhampered by any bleed or lack of control when it comes to bass.
The bass particularly feels tight and precise, landing with emphasis. And this articulate bass easily compliments the organic warm lows. Rest assured, bass and drums never sounded so fun and intoxicating, and the White Headphone turns every listening session into a mesmerizing timesink.
Like most Grado headphones, the White Headphone abounds with clarity and separation. This allows the midrange to really shine with vocals, but the mids still don’t sound too forward as a whole. Instead, vocals seem layered over instrumentation in a way that allows a listener to pick apart the sound in greater detail. The resultant sound makes just about any test track sound more detailed and hi-def than it does on another pair of headphones.
If there’s one thing people consistently knock Grado for, it’s a bright high end. And, as the White Headphone features maple driver housings, I was prepared for the worst. Surprisingly, though, the Grado White Headphone feels just a little rolled off at the top – at least, when compared to the GH1, Grado’s last experiment involving maple tonewood.
But don’t get me wrong. At the very uppermost limits of the frequency range, you can definitely feel the White Headphone get just a teeny bit harsh when strings or female vocals reach their absolute zenith. But that climb to the top, with brazen horns or sultry lounge singers won’t mislead you: the Grado White Headphone packs some real mojo when it comes to highs. And it’s the marriage of these immaculate highs with the mids and lows that gives the white it’s incomparable flavor.
You could measure the White Headphone’s soundstage in miles and you’d still come up short. There’s space and depth aplenty here, with real definition to the sound that will put you in the midst of your favorite recordings. Every insturment and vocalist has their own finite point of origin, with minimal overlap or confusion. All in all, this is a sound as clean as it is articulate.
If you’re in the market for a limited edition Grado with gorgeous handmade craftsmanship and a fun and exciting sound signature, you can’t go wrong with the White Headphone. It’s great for pretty much anything you could listen to, but definitely excels where massive amounts of detail and crystal-clear imaging are a must.
Its not exactly easy to compare this headphone to other options out there. For one thing, the Grado White Headphone does an admirable job of sounding unique. But Grado’s own offerings around this price seem to pale in comparison, as well.
Personally, I think the White Headphone offers some impressive performance for its price. At $795, it sounds more engaging than the hallowed RS1e, though it may not be as accurate. When stacked up against the likes of the $995 GS1000e, it mops the floor with the older and more expensive headphone. Even the higher end GS2000E at $1695 only offers some extra detail and a little more accuracy – but still can’t touch the White Headphone’s unique sound profile.
With its bespoke construction and tailored sound, the Grado White Headphone provides a unique look and listening experience you won’t find anywhere else. Fun and engaging, but detailed and lifelike as well, the White Headphones execute a surreal balancing act that challenges the notion of what a pair of headphones can do. At $795, the entry fee to limited edition Grado headphones (at least of this caliber) has never been lower. Our thoughts? Snap up one of these babies before they go the way of every other limited edition Grado.
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