Small States Review: Grado’s GR10e in-ear headphones hit every note, $299 giveaway

Grado GR10e First Shoot

Update (3/28 12:15pm): @IAmTimBaker is our winner, thank you to everyone that entered our Grado giveaway!

Since Grado first announced its newest generation of in-ear headphones, we’ve spent sometime putting the GR10e’s through the paces. Starting at $299 for the GR8e’s and $399 for the 10e’s, these in-ear headphones come at a premium price in comparison to other options on the market. But the magic of the Brooklyn manufacturer is clearly evident in this latest iteration of in-ears.

Over the last four years, I’ve spent time with both generations of Grado’s SR80 and the flagship wooden model, the GS1000e. The open-back design allows for the sound to flow freely in and out of the headphones, offering a warm listening experience. I was very interested to see if the GR10e’s could offer that same signature sound in an in-ear package.

The Grado GR10e’s arrive in a nicely packaged box, with a single bud visible on the front. It opens to reveal the in-ears, as well as three different sized listening buds and documentation. The in-ears are smaller than I expected, with a bright green color highlighted by copper accents. From a visual standpoint, there is no mistaking that these are not your run-of-the-mill Apple EarPods. The slim cable and 3.5mm gold plated connector feel like a stronger build than cheaper headphones out there. For the price, these are all things that you’d expect, this was no surprise.

Including three different sized tips allowed me to get an exact fit, which allows for a good seal in the ear canal. As I quickly figured out, this is key to getting the most out of the Grado’s. Then it was time to see if the GR10e’s could match the wide range of sound from top to bottom that Grado’s other offerings provide. The short answer: yes.

The highs and lows are well represented, but if you’re looking for a deeper bass a slight EQ adjustment may be needed. Even then, the GR10e’s respond well, but keep in mind these are not designed for a Beats style listening experience. The official specs have a 20 -20,000 Hz frequency response and an impedance of 32 ohms. Grado’s newest offering is meant to be a complete representation of all frequencies, not just the bottom. Mids are strong, vocals really shine on tracks from artists like Eric Clapton and James Taylor.

Even when I pushed them harder with Kanye West’s I Am A God, the Grado’s responded with crisp vocals despite the electronic bass mix. No matter the volume or genre, I rarely experienced a strained note that the GR10e’s couldn’t hit.

Overall, if you are looking for an upgrade to a higher-quality in-ear listening experience than everyday buds, I’d highly recommend checking out Grado’s latest. The premium price is reflected both in the build quality and responsiveness of the headphones. Both models are available from Amazon, with the GR8e’s clocking in at $299 and the upgraded GR10e’s at $399.

Grado GR8e

This week, we are teaming with Grado to giveaway a pair for GR8e’s. To enter our giveaway, simply follow @9to5Toys on twitter and retweet our article or Like us on Facebook and share with your friends. We will choose a winner next Saturday.

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