Grado headphones might not be for everyone: hand-made in Brooklyn and family-operated for the past sixty years, they are something of an oddity in the headphones world. The RS2e seems to embrace this, though, offering a unique-looking headphone that has more than earned its chops.
From the wooden ear cups to the comfortable leather headband, to that thick, no-nonsense cable that comes standard on all Grado headsets, the RS2e exudes an atmosphere of rugged but comfortable simplicity. Designed to last and to fit well, while offering a mesmerizing audio experience, these headphones are the boiled-down and pared-away wet dream of anyone who ever longed to hear music the way it really sounds.
Compared to Grado’s other headphones, it seems clearer with more room and space, notes arriving crisp and distinct, with clear endings and beginnings – fully articulated. Nothing is added, with the top end of the frequency range (some 14-28000 hz) coming off buttery smooth.
Separation of vocals and background is superb, with lyrics-heavy music definitely benefiting. So if you abhor muddy vocals, or vocals that seem to blend into the backing music to the point of obscurity, this may just be the headphone you’ve been dreaming about.
Are there reasons not to buy this headphone? Absolutely. Maybe you want some colored sound – some slightly-unrealistic highs, or maybe some deep bass. Maybe you want a more dynamic sound, or perhaps you want something neon or stupid to go with your backpack or your tee shirt or whatever, then yes, keep looking. If you’re looking for an even-keeled and full-bodied sound that plays out the way it was always meant to be played out, then look no further.
In short, if clarity and articulation is your game, the Grado RS2e headphones are just what the doctor ordered.