It’s not unusual to log right into a WIRED Zoom and discover two or three pairs of Grado over-ear headphones staring again at you. We’ve referred to as them “ the best headphones in the world,” in any case. Not solely is the sound high quality top-tier, however they’re additionally stunning and have a storied historical past. Grado Labs is a family-run firm that has made all its headphones by hand in the identical Brooklyn manufacturing facility since 1953.
I used to be excited to check its first pair of wirefree buds, however somewhat nervous too. We’ve examined quite a bit of wi-fi earbuds, and typically, I’d say you largely choose these sorts of earbuds for his or her comfort slightly than sound high quality. They’re small and simple to lose, and the Bluetooth connection might be janky. There’s a purpose why our high choose is just round $100.
I shouldn’t have apprehensive. The Grado GT220 are costly—and for the worth, they could not have many of the options I’ve come to like about many wirefree buds. But they sound fantastic, are stunning, and really feel safer than any bud I’ve tried that doesn’t have an elective ear fin or wing included. If you like nice sound and have been typically upset by the wi-fi earbuds you’ve tried, these will most likely be just right for you.
The Eye of the Beholder
The very first thing you’ll be aware concerning the GT220 is the case. It’s fairly a bit taller and longer than the AirPods Pro or Samsung Galaxy Buds Live case, however it’s a wonderful, clean matte black that makes small, overly shiny circumstances look garish. Inside, the buds look pretty normal. They’re additionally matte black, flat, and don’t have any seen buttons—only a glowing Grado emblem that activates if you open the case.
Fitting earbuds is one thing of a chore. I’ve small, shallow ears, so I normally have to spend so much of time experimenting with totally different sizes and supplies of earbud tricks to discover one that can each really feel safe within the hole of my ear and likewise seal correctly towards my ear canal. And, of course, match can have an effect on sound high quality.
With the Grado GT220, the smallest earbud tip match completely. It prolonged farther down into my ear, and it sealed completely towards my ear canal after I gave it a remaining light twist. The buds may not have lively noise-canceling properties, however passive noise cancellation works fairly properly when the match is that good. A pair of foam earplugs doesn’t want any superior software program both. Noise canceling labored properly sufficient for a restore particular person to startle me as I used to be working (masked) at my desk.
I’ve additionally complained earlier than about needing a full guide and a day to memorize all of the other ways it’s a must to maintain and faucet buttons to control wirefree earbuds, such as you’re tapping out Morse code to speak with the producer. “Oh, it’s simple!” the directions all the time say. “Just hold and tap three times for transparency, double-tap for volume, hold to take the call!” I recite these to myself as I stroll round, together with a relentless litany of “No! Ack! Dammit, sorry I hung up on you!”