CNET First Look
Grado In-Ear GR8The Grado GR8 headphones boast level resonance and audiophile-quality acoustics, but they're currently overpriced for the average listener.
Hi, I'm Justin Yu, associate editor for CNET.com. This is your First Look at the Grado GR8 In-Ear Headphones. So, Grado has a really long history of selling audiophilic on-ear headphones, and we're fans of their SR and PS lines, but, as more people have started listening to music on their smartphones, Grado has gotten pressure to produce an in-ear headphone that's easily transportable while maintaining the company's signature sound. So, the GR8s are the answer to that question, and while they definitely carry Grado's signature full-bodied sound, they're also really pricey at $300 which puts them out of reach for everyone but the most dedicated music lover. So if you don't belong to that group, however, you can get a similar level of quality in the $80 Editor's Choice winning Klipsch Image S4 earphones. Aesthetically, however, the GR8s have a subtle glittery blue finish with silver reinforced tips and a reinforced connector point that sits at an angle to fit the shape of your ear. They're also incredibly light at 9 grams per earbud with the tips installed, so they're really comfortable to wear during long listening sessions. Unlike the competition, however, the GR8s don't come with much in the box. You don't get a carrying case or an earwax removal tool like other $300 buds. Just 3 pairs of these silver silicone tips in small, medium, and large sizes, and this may sound kind of weird, but if you have larger than average ear canals, the small tip may not fit your ears. I normally wear medium but only the largest tips of the Grado GR8s fit me and gave me the best seal which is crucial to getting the highest resolution sound. With plenty of users listening to music on their smartphones, we're a little disappointed that the GR8s don't have an inline remote control to control your music while your player's in your pocket. The GR8s are as simple as you get and Grado chooses to focus on the aural profile rather than accessories, and while the single drivers inside definitely maintain Grado's natural sound, you can't really help but wonder why the average consumer would pay $300 for such a basic set. Now, that being said, if you are a diehard audiophile that already has a set of Grado cans but want something a little bit more portable, you won't be dissatisfied with the GR8s. On the other hand, if all you're looking for is a third-party earbud that sounds better than the one that came with your MP3 player, you can save $200 and get topnotch sound in the Klipsch S4s. You can read more details in our full review on CNET.com, but that's gonna do it for me. I'm Justin Yu, these are the Grado GR8 In-Ear Headphones and that sounds good to me.