Grado Headphones Racine WI

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Best Buy
2630 S Greenbay Rd
Racine, WI
Best Buy
7021 120Th Ave
Kenosha, WI
American TV
(920) 733-1000
4750 Grande Market Drive
Appleton, WI
University Audio
(608) 284-0001
402 South Park Street
Madison, WI
Best Buy
3800 Rib Mountain Dr
Wausau, WI
American TV
(414) 768-1000
9191 South 13Th Street
Oak Creek, WI
Custom Designed Lighting Sound and Video
(414) 744-0782
2273 S Howell Ave
Milwaukee, WI
Pro Audio, Lighting, Video, Design, Installation, Service, Rental, DJ Equipment

American TV
(414) 362-1000
6700 West Brown Deer
Milwaukee, WI
Best Buy
3270 Golf Rd
Delafield, WI
Silver Screen Home Theater & Audio Systems LLC
(608) 438-2696
754 Bear Claw Way
Madison, WI
Furnishings, Home Theater, Motorized Window Treatments / Home Theater Curtains, Multi-Room Audio, Multi-Room Video
Denon/Sonance/Panamax/Lutron/Universal Remote Control/Niles/Velodyne/Elan/Panasonic/Atlas Sound/Crown/iPort/Sanus/Salamander Designs/KEF
One or more employees at this company have achieved CEDIA Professional Certification status:- Adam Borseth, CEDIA Certified Professional EST II

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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