Grado Headphones La Quinta CA

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Radio Active Inc.
(760) 777-1787
46805 Dune Palms Road
La Quinta, CA
Home Audio, Design & Installation

Hargate Theatre Vision
(760) 321-4733
72-680 Dinah Shore
Palm Desert, CA
Hi 5 Stereo
(562) 691-4434
841 E. Whittier Blvd. Ste C
Indio, CA
Sound Company
(619) 224-2844
3750 Sports Arena Blvd. Suite 6
Indio, CA
Acoustic Evolution
(858) 673-1675
774 Turtle Point Way
Indio, CA
Best Buy
44449 Town Center Way
Palm Desert, CA
Ideabox Media Group
(702) 332-3156
8820 W. Russell Rd., Ste 150
Indio, CA
(760) 347-8033
42660 Aegean St.
Indio, CA
New Wave Home Audio & Video
(760) 347-2899
83615 Lumley Ave
Indio, CA
Audio / Video, Home Theater, Lighting Control, Multi-Room Audio, Security / Access Control / Surveillance / Gate Access
Denon, Pioneer, Harmon Kardon, JBL, Proficient, Angstrom, Boston Acoustics, LG, Pioneer, Panasonic, Middle Atlantic, Monster, Liberty Wire, Omni Mount, Chief, Colorado V-Net & Directv
One or more employees at this company have achieved CEDIA Professional Certification status:- Kevin Amidei, CEDIA Certified Professional ESPA C-EST- Jason Hitt, CEDIA Certified Professional ESPA C-EST

Pacific Sales Kitchen & Bath
(760) 770-6400
34295 Monterey Ave.
Rancho Mirage, CA

RS-2 headphones


grado labs

RS-2 headphones

as reviewed by Carlo Flores and John Brazier


one.jpg (6551 bytes)Audio is an expensive hobby, so it’s nice when the money invested yields a product with an attractive exterior. The Grado RS (Reference Series) 2 headphones are absolutely gorgeous. After opening the box and seeing their rounded mahogany chambers and soft leather headband, I sought out the closest mirror. I wear headphones in public, and these made me look like a cross between a mod kid and a 40s-era radio operator. They make women look like Princess Leia. A big thumbs up on aesthetics. 

Grados aren’t for everyone when it comes to comfort. The RS-2s have foam pads that are hard for the first week or two of use, but they do soften and conform to the ears. They fit comfortably, but pressure on the ears, even after shaping the headband, annoys after an hour—a good excuse for a coffee refill or smoke break. A few minutes are enough of a break for the next album. The over-the-ear design of the pads leaves much to be desired, but placement of the drivers is critical to the sound, and is a tradeoff I’m willing to make.

Grado’s house sound is all over these headphones—fat and bloomy, with something groovy in the bass lines. Grado’s Signature line of headphones corresponds to the sound of their Prestige cartridges, with the RS-2s echoing the Grado Platinum. Having a woodsy coloration isn’t necessarily negative. While these headphones are advertised as one of the best without amplification (only stepping aside for the megabuck RS-1s, according to Grado), their performance rises significantly with some milli-watts behind them. Separation increases, and there’s more slam with any of my amps when compared to my Sony portable or the AH! Njoe Tjoeb’s headphone jack. However, none of the amps I had on hand complemented the RS-2’s coloration and character, either leading to a bloated bass response or, when driven by tubes, an excessively thick midrange. The closest to success was a CHA-47 amp built by a moderator ( ) of the internet’s leading headphone message board ( ) and designed by Chu Moy and others at Headwize ( ), though I always had the feeling that the headphones were holding something back. A follow-up with the RA-1 amp designed for the Grado Reference Series may be in order. I switched between the Arcam Alpha 9 and my vinyl rig for sources when indoors and the Sony dej-220 portable when on the go.

Give the RS-2s a sweet, simple Fender guitar (a la Jonathan Richman’s solo works) or a bass line from Sly and The Family Stone, and they sound refreshingly organic and rich, with believable decay and roundness. Push Wes Montgomery through them, and they convey a sense of nuance that leads to jaw-dropping involvement at times. These headphones, when they found the tune, force...

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