There are a few companies that we’ve come across that really standout in our search for the best gear for our readers. One of those is Brooklyn-based headphone manufacturer Grado Labs. We’ve shared their story before, highlighting the attention to detail that goes into every pair of headphones in their handcrafted line of products.
Today Grado has announced a new a line of headphones that pay special attention to the family’s heritage from Brooklyn.
Jonathan Grado, the third generation involved in the business and Vice President, recently found out about a number of large trees from Sunset Park in Brooklyn that were being taken down, just up the road from their factory. Natural curiosity led them to consider building a new line of headphones from this sentimental supply of wood. The new Grado Heritage Series has been a long process in the making but now the first pair of GH1 headphones are ready to roll off the assembly line.
This isn’t Grado’s first foray into wooden headphones, they’ve been making beautiful examples out of mahogany for years but venturing into a new material, in this case maple, was a reason for pause. Jonathan explains:
“We weren’t sure how the headphone would sound before we got the tree. It’s maple, which isn’t something we’ve experimented with much. When we found a tree from Sunset Park though, it’s just something we had to take a risk on. We made one prototype from the wood and really liked the sound. If we hadn’t, we just wouldn’t have made the GH1.”
And thus, the new Heritage Series was born. In true Grado fashion, these headphones promise a top-of-the-line listening experience that include a special backstory. The GH1 will be a limited run that is primarily due to the limited amount of wood that could be harvested from the tree. Regardless of inventory, Jonathan and his father John are thrilled with the outcome.
“We also didn’t go into this thinking, ‘We need to make X amount of headphones.’ The quantity was solely based on the yield of the tree. If we could make 50, then it’d be 50. 200? 500? Well that’d work too. My dad and I couldn’t be happier with how well this homage to Brooklyn and our family’s heritage went. “