Grado RS2e

Reference Series on-ear headphones

Item #: 786RS2E

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Natural, organic sound

If you crave rich detailed sound with natural warmth, lifelike vocals, and explosive dynamics, Grado's Reference Series RS2e headphones have your name on them. These headphones feature updates to Grado's previous RS2i headphones, including an improved driver design, better acoustic damping, and a new cable. These mahogany wood beauties immerse you in a listening experience so involving you'll want to re-explore every track in your music library. Each earcup is hand-crafted by Grado in Brooklyn, New York from a particular species of mahogany. The wood is carefully treated using Grado's improved curing process to take advantage of the wood's natural acoustic properties for optimum sound quality. These Grados can be driven using the headphone outputs on most home audio systems, or even a portable player or laptop. But they'll really sound their best with the addition of a headphone amplifier.

Old-school looks with up-to-the-minute technology

All Grado headphones use a vented "open-air" earcup design for powerful, extended low frequency response and a more spacious soundstage. Mahogany enclosures and air chambers give you smooth, relaxed highs, while ultra-high purity copper voice coils and a sturdy eight-conductor connecting cable deliver refined sound with a high degree of control and accuracy. The RS2e's extra-wide frequency range ensures you'll hear all your music. And the genuine leather headband can be adjusted for a comfortable fit.


From our review of the previous Grado Reference Series RS2i Headphones:

These headphones are designed for foreground listening, ideally when you have time to sit down and fully enjoy your music. Plugged into a nice audio system, the Grado RS2 headphones can deliver an engaging listening experience. And with those mahogany earcups, look good doing it, too.

— Ralph, Crutchfield Blog Editor and A/V Writer

Product Highlights:

  • open-back, on-the-ear design with replaceable ear cushions
  • 44mm dynamic drivers
  • vented diaphragms (open-air) for spacious, low-distortion sound and extended bass response
  • mahogany wood enclosures and air chambers provide natural sonic warmth and smoothness in a lighter weight design
  • special "de-stressed" diaphragms and an eight-conductor connecting cable enhance detail
  • large ear cushions and increased air flow through improved rear metal screens deliver a large soundstage free from coloration
  • adjustable leather headband for a custom fit
  • driver pairs matched to within 0.05 dB for better stereo imaging
  • ultra-high purity, long-crystal copper (UHPLC) voice coil wire
  • ultra-high purity 8-conductor headphone cable terminated with a 1/8" plug
  • 1/4" adapter included
  • optional 15-foot Grado headphone extension cable available
  • frequency response: 14-28,000 Hz
  • sound pressure level (at 1mW): 99.8 dB
  • impedance: 32 ohms
  • warranty: 1 year (does not include earpads)
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Over-ear headphones with attached 67" cable (3.5mm plug)
  • 1/4" Adapter
  • "Celebrating Over 60 Years of Tradition" sheet
  • Headphone/Warranty info (printed on inside of box)

Features and Specs

General
Fit Style Over-the-ear
Earcup Type Open
Noise-canceling No
Bluetooth No
Frequency Response 14-28k Hz
Sensitivity 99.8 dB
Impedance 32 Ohms
Weight 9.8 ounces
Cord Length 67"
Airline Adapter Included No
iPod Control No
Volume Control No
Built-in Microphone No
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research

Features

e series: The Grado e series represents the company's third generation of headphones. Every aspect of the headphones; the drivers, cable, plug, even the glue; has been upgraded for better sound quality and dynamics. As in the previous series, the e series headphones are all made by hand at the Grado Lab facility in Brooklyn, NY.

Reference Series: Grado's Reference Series of headphones feature real Mahogany wood, which undergoes a proprietary curing process to enhance its natural tone properties. Because wood is subject to variations in density, the curing process ensures consistency of the signature Grado sound. The Grado Labs use Rhodium, the most expensive precious metal on earth, to prevent corrosion on the connectors. The new driver cones and voice coil have been fine-tuned to be consistent throughout the frequency range.

RS2e: The Grado RS2e over-ear headphones have an open back design, and are hand-crafted from real Mahogany wood. The natural wood, and Grado Lab's advance damping treatments, help control and dissipate unwanted resonances. The headphones utilize UHPLC (Ultra-High Purity, Long Crystal) oxygen-free copper voice coil wire and state-of-the-art driver design. The 44mm drivers in the RS2e are matched to within 0.05dB for optimum stereo imaging. The headphones also have a genuine top-grain leather padded head strap.

8-Conductor Audio Cable: The RS2e has a high-quality 67" 8-conductor audio cable with a 3.5mm gold-plated plug. This new cable design exhibits greater control over the low and high frequencies, and lets Grado's world-famous midranges sing. The plug has a sturdy molded sleeve with ample stress relief. Included in the box is a gold-plated, snap-on 6.5mm (1/4") adapter that you can use with your home audio components.

Note: The size of the plug sleeve may cause interference with some smartphone cases.

Replaceable Cushions: The high-quality foam rubber circum-aural ear cushions can be removed for cleaning, if needed. If they show signs of wear, you can replace them with the Grado Replacement Cushion L.

Note: The headphone's ear cushions are not covered in the manufacturer's one-year warranty.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Grado RS2e Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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Ruined other headphones for me

Written By cperrey, Victoria, MN on Thursday, September 18, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

  • "Coolness Factor"
  • Build Quality
  • Comfort
  • Noise Reduction
  • Sound Quality

These are the best sounding headphones I've ever heard. They are amazing for strings and mid-tone instruments, really drawing them out. They have surprising bass kick but it is tight and not overpowering. Since getting them I find myself re-listening to music I own to see what really is there.

The build quality is good and there is a tactile quality with the wood that I haven't had with a set of headphones before. The cord is very thick and shows the quality of the product.

As for fit, these sit more or less over my ear but not enough to be considered "over the ear". I find them comfortable enough but not so much that I could wear them all day. I find myself adjusting them after an hour or so to alter the touch points.

They have no noise reduction, which is why I gave them 1/5.

Overall, if you are looking for a great set of headphones that will bring your music to life, these are a quality pick. Build quality is amazing and the sound astounding. Don't get them if you want to be satisfied with your old headphones.

Pros: Great sound, warmth and presence. Surprising bass.

Cons: Fit might not be for everyone. Heavy cord is not as flexible as some might like.

Great warm smooth detailed sound

Written By Mark A, New Hyde Park, NY on Friday, July 18, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

  • "Coolness Factor"
  • Build Quality
  • Comfort
  • Noise Reduction
  • Sound Quality

Cult following Grado's. Handmade in Brooklyn NY USA. Beautiful, detailed high resolution sound. Must be heard to be believed. Be sure to give them several hours to break in, as the sound will bloom and warm up with time. The mahogany on these phones adds a touch of elegance and contributes to their incredible warm and detailed sound.

Pros: The sound!

Cons: The cord is way too short - it's 6 feet long at best.

Get everything you’ll need to enjoy your new Grado RS2e

Get better sound from your headphones with a dedicated headphone amp.
Keep your headphones right where you want them without taking up shelf space. Replace lost or damaged earpads with new cushions.
Improve the sound from your digital audio sources.
Use an extension cable for more room to move while you listen. Add a Y-adapter to share the music with a friend.
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