By any stretch of the imagination, winning countless awards for engineering products that both stun the 'cultured' consumer and audiophile communities is certainly not an easy task. Now considered as cottage industry royalty, Grado is the definitive brand that lulls consumers in with moorish boutique products that radiate exceptionally stunning sonic performance and signature characteristics. However, today at The Pro Audio Web Blog we shall go beyond the understated visual aesthetics and delve deep into the finely tuned guts of the tiny GR10's.
Just like the earphones themselves, the packaging of the GR10's is minimal. Arriving in a small brown box your beady eyes are immediately drawn to the pulsating mirage that is the packaging porthole as you fastidiously unwrap the polythene film, to swing open that magnetic door and reveal yes, those deceptively small little green GR10 birds eggs, comfortably laying in their nest. Moving away from pseudonyms, once carefully opened, Grado lovingly offer the user three sets of high-
In a rather different turn of events, the high-
Starting off, the design of the Gr10's is, well, typically Grado. With a painted smooth finish, and vintage colour of yesteryear, the exterior aluminium driver housing is physically flawless. Whilst the choice of colour is all down to preference, some may feel that the cable is thin so I now hope to enlighten you as to why this is the case. Starting off with the three strong, super high-
With the earbuds perfectly complimenting the soft skin of the inner ear, the GR10's nestle in their environment without you ever knowing that they are there. They quickly warm up to body temperature, and are so unobtrusive in comparison to some other, more invasive, designs out there. Now, you might say that the cable is too thin and should be thicker, but I disagree. Grado have reinforced their smooth cable with a kevlar interior and, with no thanks to gravity, if this cable was thicker its weight would both make you aware of their presence and cause strain on the housing. Clearly the design philosophy here is that the GR10's should not come in between you and the music, for which they earn an applause because this is exactly what they do.
By now everyone knows that Japan has become a great innovator in the consumer audio world, hell some people even choose to import portable music players from there as opposed to buying them in their native, and with this I come to discuss the weakest link in the design. Whilst the cable boasts a 99.9999% pure copper, known as 'oxygen free' copper, cable, the termination of the GR10's is a standard 3.5mm gold plated connector, with a run-
At this price-
Just saying that the GR10's sound great is simple, here at The Pro Audio Web Blog we have tested the GR10's on a wide variety of portable and stationary devices to be sure that the thirsty 32Ω rating (in terms of portable earphones), doesn't cause any issues. Notably, their performance was admirable across the board although the GR10's do sound better when used with a portable amp. They behave more lively, detailed, and the bass appears to be fuller. It's not the end of the world if you don't have one, just a small recommendation to gain up to 10% more performance.
Thanks to the construction of the cable, during everyday use there was no noticeable microphonics issues detected. With the nature of the GR10's are critical on both the file type used, and the quality of the playback device so if you are to use these plugged into a laptop or poor quality device the sound appears to become brittle. I can't say that I see this being a real issue on the target market, because I doubt many fan-
Regarding the sonic characteristics of the GR10's we can start by saying that there is some realism in the sound that you will be hearing, undoubtedly they are a very musical pair. Nuances are present, without being accentuated so you get those tiny little elements of sounds that makes them stop being sounds and transform into music. I couldn't really find a genre of music that sounded bad with this pair, but I loved the effortless true to life replication with playback of classical pieces. Most definitely this isn't a pair for 'bass-
The GR10's are possibly the best single balanced armature driver earphones that are available, their performance is engaging, their presence is striking, and now your wallet is burning... Yes, they aren't exactly cheap, but neither was your iPod... Reviewing this pair was a pleasure for so many reasons, but half a star knocked off for only a couple of minor reasons. The Pro Audio Web Blog awards the Grado GR10 single balanced armature earphones a very respectable 4.5 stars... and an applause (but you'll have to imagine that in your head).