Grado GR8 Earphones
NYC's famous Grado Labs now brings their famously expressive and articulate sound to in-ear headphones. Immediate and intense, the Grado GR8 have deep bass response and a lively musical presence that is superb for rock music and modern jazz. Known as the 'Grado Greats', the GR8's fit ergonomics and variously-sized silicone eartips deliver excellent noise-blocking isolation and good wearing comfort.
Grado products can only ship within USA due to manufacturer restrictions!
- Grado's signature clear sound finally available in an in-ear headphone.
- Offers excellent isolation / noise-blocking ability
- Includes three eartip sizes plus Grado cleaning cloth
What's In The Box:
- 3 sizes of silicone eartip sleeves - S/M/L
- Cleaning cloth
- Grado Labs warranty insert
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Grado Labs' heralded first foray into the competitive in-ear category offers the GR8 earphones. Listeners can expect the same kind of tonal signature that has made Grado headphones a household name worldwide: warm harmonic color, clear full-bodied vocal ranges, and ultra-detailed smooth upper treble extension. At 120 ohms, the GR8 mate perfectly with any quality portable headphone amp for maximized musical 'punch', fully extended frequency ranges high & low, and the very ultimate in true musical detail & recording resolution clarity.
The Grado GR8 earphones include replaceable eartip pairs in small / medium / large sizing. Try them all for best fit and sound quality. The GR8 earpiece housing is nicely compact and nestles into the ear without being overly deep or invasive. Their 'earplug'-type fit ensures very good ambient noise-blocking ability (isolation) and plenty of listening privacy even in the most noisy environment like airplanes and subways. And their compact in-ear design means no dreaded headphone "leakage" potentially disturbing your cubicle neighbors or airline seatmate when jamming in close quarters. A nifty feature is the raised dot on the GR8's left earphone earpiece which provides tactile indication of the channel and allows the earphones to be put on correctly -- even in the dark! The manufacturer's 1-year warranty remains standard with all Grado Labs products. Manufactured in Japan.
- Detachable Cable: No
- Connector Type: 1/8"
- Ear Coupler Type: IEM
- Impedance @ 1kHz: 120
- Wireless: No
- Noise Cancelling: No
- Headphone Type: In-Ear
- Coupler Size: Small
- Manufacturer Warranty: 1 Year
- Sensitivity: 118dB
- Warranty: 1 Year
- Isolation: -20dB
- Microphone: No
- Driver Type: Dynamic
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Posted by SarahV from Cambridge, MA on 2010-11-17
Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Extremely comfortable and easy to fit, great sound
Cons: Soundstage is on the small side
The sound signature is my favorite out of all the IEMs I've tried, as well. The imaging is very precise and the timbre is very natural. There is a really nice sense of air/space in the music that reminds me a bit of the on-ear Grados I own (although they do not have the aggressive treble and sparkle of the on-ears). There is a nice amount of detail. I especially like them for small jazz and chamber ensembles, but I haven't listened to anything on them that didn't work well. They seem like good IEMs for all-around listening.
If I had to nit-pick: they are a touch on the warm side of neutral; and the soundstage is on the small side for an IEM of this caliber.
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Posted by VinnieVidi from NYC on 2010-01-24
Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Sound, comfort
Cons: Lack of extras
They have a very forward sound and don't have an expansive soundstage (the Westones 3 and Sennheiser IE7 & IE8 have the largest in my opinion), but their sound quality is the best blend of highs/mids/lows that I've heard for IEMs.
After about 5 hours of use, I find that the GR8's are really nice if you appreciate the clarity of the Etymotic sound but have always wanted the Etys to have a bit more warmth. I go to the symphony and opera several times a year (probably 10-12 performances a season) and believe that these IEMs sound more like sitting at the Met than any of the other universal-fit IEMs that I've tried.
Musically, they are well balanced for rock listening.
> The kick and toms are solid and weighty (depending on the recording). The quick attack of the entire kit on Tool's Undertow album is pretty impressive.
> The guitar distortion retains its detail but doesn't sound artificial
> Vocals are upfront, but not artificially. In Pearl Jam's Vs. album, they intentionally mixed EV's vocals low in the mix. These IEMs don't bring them up where they shouldn't be, nor do they push them farther down.
> The bass didn't get confused during intricate fills, but remained tight and tuneful.
For classical music they have the transparency and shimmer of the ER4's but add more weight to the lower registers of the cello, piano and bass (even at low volumes). Symphonic music sounds more holistic and less processed or muddy than with other IEMs. I attribute this to the air that the Grados let expand around acoustic instruments--making them sound more natural.
For my ears they trump the Shure SE530, Sennheiser IE 7&8, and Westone 3 in low end clarity but not in slam. I found that those earphones-- the Westones in particular-- were heavier sounding (better for electronic music). Where this is obvious is in the sound crated when a kick drum is hit with its mallet in rock tracks or a timpani is hits in symphonic music. This airiness is muted in the Shure SE series phones and lacking completely with the Westones.
For movie watching they are very good, but not the greatest. I tested them with an episode of Band of Brothers and parts of Master & Commander and Saving Private Ryan. The dialogue is natural sounding (not boxy) but there is a weightiness that is missing during explosions and ambient background music and effects. For movies. I found the Sennheiser IE series to be the best.
Physically, they are extremely light and comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. Their silicone tips are soft but don't offer the level of isolation that the Shure, Westone, or Etymotic do by any stretch of the imagination. I would like to try them with a set of Comply tips to see if the added isolation adversely changes the sound.
So far the only downsides are as follows:
• They don't come with a carrying case
• They are not as isolating as any of the above mentioned earphones.
• May be too forward sounding for some people
• May be not the best choice for people who mainly listen to electronic or rap music. Though they are not bad--as mentioned above, they don't have the low end slam of the Westones or Sennheiser.
In conclusion, they may not be the Holy Grail of IEMs but they are a welcome addition to an increasingly crowded market. For Rock and Classical, they are the best for my ears. For Electronic and Rap I'd have to do more listening. I think they holdup well against the competition, but the Westone, Sennheiser, or Shure may have an advantage in those genres.
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