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Headphones

Grado RS 1i

Your Price: $695.00
MSRP $695.00 No Sales Tax
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The Grado RS1i brings a delicious layer of liquid goodness to the signature presence and fabulous musical clarity of John Grado's audiophile headphone line. Highly efficient at 32 Ohms and well-driven by portable audio players without a headphone amp required, these 'on-ear' reference cans have real mahogany wood earpieces, classic leather headband and proprietary Grado high-definition copper cabling. Also included with RS1 is a handy Grado Labs 15ft headphone extension cord and 1/4"-to-1/8" flex 'mini' plug adapter. Manufactured by hand in Brooklyn NY USA.

Sorry, Grado Labs products can only ship within USA due to manufacturer restrictions.


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Product Features:

  • Liquid, lush sound delivers classic Grado signature musical impact and presence
  • Efficient 32 Ohms impedance easily driven by portable players without the need for headphone amps
  • Excellent 15ft Grado headphone extension cord and 1/4" to 1/8" 'mini' plug adaptor included
  • Real mahogany wood shell earcup construction
  • Engineered & manufactured exclusively in Brooklyn USA

What's In The Box:

  • Grado 1/4"-to-1/8" 'mini' plug adapter
  • Grado 15 foot extension cable
  • Grado Labs warranty insert

Applications:

Perfectly perched at the top of the Grado 'RS' headphone series, the RS1i provide you with VIP escort right into the heart of the music. It's not often you get a headphone that is immediate and intensely detailed yet truly liquid-sounding as well, but the RS1 is indeed all those things. The price tag could be a tad steep given the slightly more technically "neutral" audio performance by the AKG K701, or the pricey Sennheiser HD800 and HiFiMAN HE500 full-size cans. However, the RS-1i are very musically involving headphones and offer tremendous emotionality and depth of musical detail rivaling any headphone anywhere. The warm-toned acoustic signature of the RS-1i headphone offers discrete, well-controlled, and truly exquisite resolution in the mids & highs plus a textural, tightly extended punchy low-end; the RS1i sound is nothing is not smooth and effortless. Another nice plus, the efficient 32 Ohm RS1i will sound fab directly out of portable players like iPod, iPad, MP3 devices, and laptop/PCs, but for a much more thrilling musical ride you should employ some type of dedicated headphone amp. A HeadRoom head-amp will provide a significantly deeper, richer soundstage image via our own world-famous HeadRoom crossfeed circuitry, improve timbral definition/ transparency and add 'quicker', more precise musical dynamics. The RS-1i rightfully remain a true world-class headphone intended for serious sound worshippers.

The RS-1i are well-constructed at Grado's Brooklyn, NY USA facility with the element drivers perfectly matched to .05dB and proprietary voice coils made of Grado Lab's renown ultra-high purity, long-crystal, oxygen-free [OFC] copper. The 8.5ft headphone connecting cord is straight type, attaches to both earpieces in a 'Y' design, and is also made of this high-end copper braiding. The RS-1i's earpieces are hand-machined from real mahogany wood for a unique, sophisticated look and will slightly vary in color from model to model. The wooden earcup shells seem to add a slightly burnished "woody" tonality to the RS-1i soundscape -- if that's even the word! The RS-1i has the traditional Grado flexible leather-covered headband and simple old-school metal height adjusters that connect the earpieces to the headband and allow up and down adjustment plus full 360 degree rotation. This feature is ideal for laying the headphones down flat for traveling or storage. The RS-1i 8.5-ft length cord comes terminated to a full-size 1/4" inch stereo plug.

Here's a BIG PLUS!: Guess what, Grado lovers...when you purchase the RS-1i, Grado Labs now throws in their superb Grado 1/4"-to-1/8" mini-plug adapter plus their 15-ft headphone extension cord for free. Yep, that's right--the highly sought-after adapter and extension cord are now included gratis! By the way, Grado Labs has removed the little RS-1 logo 'dots' from the earcup grille.

HeadRoom is now a fully authorized Grado headphone recable specialist! Please call us if interested in re-cabling your Grado headphones with our exclusive HeadRoom/Cardas 'Fat Pipe' upgraded headphone cord!

Specifications:

  • Sensitivity: 98 dB/mV
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 1 Year
  • Headphone Type: Earpad
  • Connector Type: 1/4
  • Weight: 8 oz
  • Isolation: 0
  • Impedance @ 1kHz: 32 Ohms
  • Detachable Cable: No
  • Cord Length: 7 ft. (2 m)
  • Cord Type: Straight Y
  • Ear Coupler Type: Earpad
  • Driver Type: Dynamic
  • Acoustic Seal: Open

Additional Resources:

Reviews At A Glance
3 Reviews
4 Reviews
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Average Rating 
(Showing 3 of 7 reviews)



for the love of music
Posted by Comrade Slow from Marina, CA on 2013-06-19

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: immersive sound that puts you on the stage
Cons: expensive and not the most comfortable

I had a bad case of upgraditis, and the RS-1i cured me. There is no need to go further. Somehow these cans manage to deliver incredible levels of detail yet not emphasize the shortcomings and imperfections found in most recordings. The best way to describe the soundstage is to say you feel like you're in the front row or on the stage. Natural instruments and percussion instruments sound unbelievable and even in dense recordings they stand out for how life-like they sound. These are definitely rock and roll headphones but I can't say I've ever listened to anything I didn't think they were well suited for. They are old school beautiful. Handcrafted, imperfect, and glorious in function. You will not look sexy wearing them, but you will make a statement, and only your ears will understand it. I've taken them to work with my Ultra Desktop rig and watched the looks on my coworkers faces as they experienced sonic euphoria for the first time. These cans sound decent connected directly to my Sansa Clip but a good DAC and headphone amp are what take these to the stratosphere.

As far as downsides to these headphones they are very expensive. You won't find a 'deal' anywhere on the net. There are valid arguments in favor of other choices for deeper bass, or crisper highs, or more accurate sound reproduction for less money. Also, the earpads are not the most comfortable. I would describe them as semi-abrasive low density foam. I'm good for about an hour, then my ears start to feel a little sweaty and overheated and off go the headphones for a few minutes. I have to believe there is a better material out there that won't kill manufacturing cost or performance.

I think about the shortcomings for a second, then I put them on, hit play, and the gripes just melt away.


Sound Quality
Comfort
Look & Feel
Durability

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?


Grado RS-1 Upgrade
Posted by NA Blur from Bozeman, MT on 2011-09-02

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Bass and Highs well extended
Cons: Bowl earpads are terribly uncomfortable, price

For a long time this was the headphone for audiophiles. I have listened to SR-60's, SR-80's, and 225i's and none compare to these. The RS-1i is so refined it puts all of the Grado's under it to shame.

In comparing the RS-1i to a pair of 225i's here are the main differences.

1.) Bass extends down to 12Hz whereas the 225i's go down to 20Hz
2.) Highs reach up to 30kHz whereas the 225i's stay at 22kHz
3.) The RS-1i is much more balanced due to the extended range
4.) The headband is thicker on the RS-1i making them more comfortable
5.) The Mahogany earcups on the RS-1i are amazing and beautiful compared to the plastic of the 225i.

Is it worth the price? To me the RS-1i is a bit overpriced. There is no doubt that you get a much better sound out of it compared to the 225, but it is not 3 times better. I own many great headphones and a great headphone amp and dac. I have tuned my listening preferences to various headphones and have learned that there are different headphones for different musical experiences. I own a pair of Denon AH-D2000's which are great closed cans, but dark and bass heavy. To offset the darkness I needed a pair of bright cans. This is why I initially went to the 225i. Going from a pleasant can, the AH-D2000, to a bright headphone was not the tonal balance I needed. The RS-1i is so much more pleasing and generous compared to the 225i. In order to get the type of enjoyment out of my music I wanted a forward sounded open can that compliments my AH-D2000's, which the RS-1i does perfectly. Through my amp the RS-1i seems a bit dry and lifeless.

To me the sound quality is a 5-star experience unamped. I have tried many very expensive headphones including the HD-650, HD-800, T1, T5, and LCD-2, and to me the RS-1i has the perfect upfront balance that I really enjoy. The bass is deep and impactful even with the stock bowl earcups, which is amazing in its own right. The mids are wonderful and warm like most other Grados. The highs are extended, but not bright due to the balance with the bass. The added extension in the highs really gives better detain for instruments like the bells and cymbals.

The comfort I rank at 2-stars because like so many people I find the bowl earcups painful. Did John Grado really listen to these more than an hour? Not with the bowl pads...there is just no way. The headband is thicker on the RS-1i so it really is not a problem. If you give the headphone a few days you may find a comfortable position for the earcups or you can install some comfy-style pads and not worry about it at all. Why Grado continues to produce such a hard surfaced headphone using bowl pads boggles the mind. The weight of the RS-1i is perfect and most of the time I forget that I am wearing them, when my ears stop hurting.

Mahogany resonators should sound really great right? When you go to Gradolabs.com and do some digging you find that Mahogany is not really an acoustic wood. It tends to drop off some of the bass and treble. My pair did not look spectacular. Wooden yes, but somewhat plain.

Part of the reason I wanted these was due to the looks. Wooden earcups and a "Made in USA" stamp rings really true to me. Grado has such a great pedigree with the home hi-fi sound. Honestly I like the wooden look, but my particular pair did nothing special for me. The LCD-2 on the other hand is just an amazing work of art.

To me it takes a gradual listening maturity to truly appreciate headphones such as the RS-1i. It was a gradual progression that lead me to respect the sound from them.

The Grado RS-1i promotes a truly wonderful listening experience at a steep price.

Update:

Amping the Grado RS-1i with a Grace m903 does not produce anything spectacular. In fact I thought the RS-1i sound better from my iPod.


Sound Quality
Comfort
Look & Feel
Durability

8 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you?


warm and lush but a little pricey
Posted by Doctor Detail from Northern New Jersey on 2010-02-03

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: sound, appearance, build
Cons: price

These phones are warm and lush in presentation. They are great looking - wood and leather combo is greate - and feel great in your hands. However, they are not as detailed as some newer higher-end phones (Bdynamic) and stubbornly sit at what I think is now not the best value-for-price point. Newbies to phones should also note that they terminate at 1/4 inch and you use the adaptor to bring them to 1/8 (for ipods and computers). Finally, note that when auditioning these in an A vs. B comparo they will sound "better" than their "competition" at first because their sensitivity allows them to sound louder than most competitors.


Sound Quality
Comfort
Look & Feel
Durability

8 out of 10 people found this review helpful. Did you?


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