Greetings friend and Welcome aboard!!
Before we get into the Grado GS1000e Review, grab a snack, sit back and relax because…
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this review
- Intro & Summary
- Pros & Cons
- Video Review
- Amp/DAC requirements
- Who benefits?
- Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
- Final Word
- Photo Gallery
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!
- Price: Amazon | Check eBay!
- Driver Type: Dynamic.
- Operating Principle: Open Air.
- Fit: Supra-aural (On-ear).
- Frequency Response: 8Hz – 35,000kHz.
- Driver Size: 50mm. What is a Headphone Driver?
- Sensitivity: 99.8 dB. What is Sensitivity in Headphones?
- Impedance: 32 ohms.
- Material: Leather, Mahogany, Foam.
The Grado GS1000e is a bit of a different bird, in that it’s really bulky, terminates in a 1/4″ jack, sports Grado’s G-cushions, is circumaural, and deviates from the normally bright, somewhat sibilant Grado sound.
I really do think they nailed it though with the sound signature.
You can crank the volume without them sounding too sibilant (although you’re still going to get some), and they really have a nice sense of instrument separation, clarity, and detail without becoming too overwhelming like some of their counterparts.
- Related: What does Sibilant mean?
I got a chance to demo them at my local Audio Advice, and I’m ready to report my findings.
Build & Style
The build is typical of a Grado; it’s not really good or bad, but sits somewhere in the middle.
They’re very lightweight, the cups are mahogany, the cable isn’t detachable, and it’s bulky.
Style-wise you kind of look like a giant nerd with these on, so I would advise staying indoors. Heh.
The pair that I demoed has been hanging on the shelf in Audio Advice for quite some time, so it’s been through a fair amount of wear and tear.
Because of that, they seem to have held up pretty well. I’m sure I wasn’t the first to demo them and I certainly won’t be the last.
I didn’t have to adjust them at all really, but the fit will be awkward for you at first.
It’s just really unique in that because they’re so light, they kind of feel like air. It’s hard to describe.
The cups clamp just enough to make you semi-aware that you’re even wearing anything, and the overall fit is good once you get used to how foreign it is.
Because they’re so lightweight, they remain comfortable over long periods and the G-cushions really work well, despite feeling kind of strange on your head.
They feel neither too loose nor too tight, but kind of sit in between and it just feels odd.
Of course, you’re getting that signature Grado sound, but just a tad more subdued which actually increases performance in my estimation.
I don’t get fatigued with these on, but rather I’m jamming out extremely hard with a huge smile on my face.
Out of all the Grado’s I’ve tried, I think the GS1000e nails it the best. It just feels right.
The bass is extremely articulate, detailed, accurate, and natural sounding.
These definitely remind me of an Audeze LCD-3 in that with some tracks it feels like I’m listening for the first time.
The music presents itself in such a raw, organic, and honest way, but I don’t feel like I’m laboring when I listen.
It’s very much an enjoyable experience because you’re discovering new textures and layers that you previously never knew were there.
While you won’t be able to decipher every single word, The GS1000e allows you to understand lyrics a whole heap better than your average headphone.
I found myself being able to finally make out more of what the artist was saying, and as a whole everything gets a chance to finally breathe.
What stood out to me most about the sound is its clarity.
Instruments on familiar tracks that used to sound subdued, covered over, hidden, or obscured took on new life.
Not only can you decipher them with greater accuracy, but their role in the song is now understood on a deeper level.
You can spotlight virtually any instrument and really distinguish how the sound operates in context.
This is something I was trying to convey in my video review but couldn’t. Lol.
With lesser headphones, there is no sense of purpose or direction.
You hear the main melody and some rhythm, but that’s it.
If I could sum it up,
the 1000e allows you a glimpse into the soul of music: Its personality, its being, and its true core. Why it does what it does.
- Detailed sound without being harsh.
- Great for most genres (EDM and very bass-heavy music may not apply).
- Great Soundstage and instrument separation.
- Articulate, snappy signature. Very revealing.
- Needs a 3.5mm adapter.
- Bulky, non-detachable cable.
- The 2kHz peak is still there and it’s still annoying.
My Video Review!
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You’re not going to need an amp with these though they should probably stay in the studio.
If you try to take this outside you’ll probably get some peculiar looks + you’re going to distract everyone around you given these are open back.
They’re not really meant for mobile devices given that 1/4″ adapter but are super easy to drive. Go figure.
Of course, you’ll love them with Rock, Metal, all things guitar, etc.
I would say they work well with most genres, but if you’re looking for a lot of bass slam with stuff like Rap, Hip-Hop, and EDM, I might look elsewhere.
Still, they will do good with these genres, but you’re not going to get the impact you desire.
Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
- With the adapter, you’re not going to be able to plug it into a phone with certain style Otter box cases. I have the Samsung Galaxy S5, and I have to take the case off. This may not apply to the newer style Otter Boxes, as I’m still stuck in 2014. 😛
Big sound. Clarity. Detail. Good Soundstage. What is Soundstage? Articulate. Bulky.
The need for an adapter for mobile devices is annoying, especially given its low impedance and high sensitivity.
- Related: What is Headphone Impedance?
So the million-dollar question: Is the GS1000e worth the price?
Unfortunately, I would say no, even being as good as they are. The trouble is that the law of diminishing returns is very apparent here.
What does that mean?
It means that the increase in price does not match the increase in quality. You can get roughly 90-95% of the Grado sound with the SR60/80e. No joke.
The 1000e is about 10x the cost of the SR80e. Does it provide a 10x better sound? That would be a negative.
So even despite the GS1000e providing what is perhaps the best sound out of the entire lineup, it’s still overpriced and the value isn’t there.
In other words,
I would never pay retail for these.
The SR60e is almost as good, for a fraction of the price. Interested?
Still interested in the 1000e?
Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Grado GS1000e Review.
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Looking for something else? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!
Do these tickle YOUR pickle? Would you invest the 1000e? What do you think of the 80e? I would love to hear from you. Until next time..
All the best and God bless,