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Aloha friend and Welcome aboard!!

Before we get into the Grado RS2i Review, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..

You’ve come to the right place!!

What I will bring you in this review

  1. Ratings/Price
  2. Specifications
  3. Summary
  4. Pros
  5. Cons
  6. Video Review
  7. Amp/DAC requirements
  8. Who these headphones benefit?
  9. Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
  10. Consensus/Conclusion
  11. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!

Grado RS2i



  • Type: Open back.
  • Fit: Supra Aural (On-Ear).
  • Impedance: 32 Ohm. What is Headphone Impedance?
  • Sensitivity: 99.8 dB/mW.
  • Frequency response: 14 Hz – 28kHz.
  • Material: Mahogany, Leather, Foam.
  • Color: Brown, Black.
  • Weight: 454g.


I’m not entirely sure why my local Audio Advice has the entire e series line absent the RS2e. They have:

  • Grado SR60e
  • Grado SR80e
  • Grado SR125e
  • Grado SR225e
  • Grado SR325e
  • Grado RS1e
  • Grado RS2i whoa whoa whoa wait, what?! Black sheep black sheep! I’m sorry I’m kind of in a weird mood today. 😛
  • Grado PS500e
  • Grado GS1000e
  • Grado PS1000e

Wow! That was quite a mouthful. Anywho, in terms of comfort and build the open back RS2i is pretty much identical to all the other models. Closed back vs. open back headphones?. This isn’t really a surprise considering all Grado headphones more or less look, feel, and sound the same. There are minor differences, but it takes awhile to really discern them. In my PS500e review, as well as my Grado SR325e review, I talk about the different pads and how they affect comfort.


The RS2i can be classified as a fast, analytical sound that provides plenty of detail but can become harsh/sibilant at times. What does sibilant mean?

The bass is there, but it’s not overpowering and muddy. It’s a very articulate, smooth, and detailed response.

That said, I found the sound to be significantly louder with a lot more sibilance than your average Grado. I had to turn them down quite a bit, and on Led Zeppelin’s “Over the Hills and Far Away” they didn’t do well at all. They came across as much harsher than other headphones I tried (The HE400i and LCD3).

That said, both of those headphones benefit more from a good Amp/DAC then the RS2i. Still, through the astonishing Bryston BHA-1, I wasn’t impressed with the RS2i at all even with good quality source files.

I realize that an amp like the Bryston isn’t really meant for the RS2i, but I should be able to plug them in and get a good sound, regardless of not having to turn up the volume very high. Yes, they are incredibly efficient and have a low impedance. That said, with a good amp and good files, they should sound good in theory. To me they just didn’t.

Stay tuned for future updates though. Because I have the luxury of going back to the store and revisiting, I like to make updates from time to time.


  • Detailed sound.
  • Good bass.


  • Comfort.
  • Build (specifically the cable).
  • Harsher than other Grado’s

Video Review!

Coming soon!

Amp/DAC requirements

Who these headphones benefit?

Endorsed for:

  • Classical
  • Jazz
  • Acoustic
  • Indie
  • Rock
  • Metal

Be aware that with Rock and Metal it’s hit and miss. Some tracks sound pretty good while others don’t.

Thoughts from Stu’s notepad

Here are my musings that I jotted down while listening.

  • Significantly louder.
  • More sibilant.
  • Had to turn them down.
  • Fast. Can handle dueling guitars with no problem.
  • Bass is there, but not overpowering.
  • Sibilant.
  • Didn’t do to well with over the hills. Way harsher.


The RS2i has a detailed sound and a good bass response, but suffers from lack of comfort and some build quality issues that plague nearly all Grado headphones.

Final Word

If you’re interested in the Grado house sound, the SR80e provides 95% of it at a fraction of the price. Interested in learning more?


Well that’s about it for today folks! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Grado RS2i Review.

What do you think about them?? Do you agree that they aren’t worth the asking price? What about the 80e? Let me know!!

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Let me know in the comments below or Contact me!! I would love to hear from you..

Until then, all the best and God bless..





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