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 lovely 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 unit since 1953.
I used to be excited to check its first pair of wirefree buds, however somewhat nervous too. We’ve examined a whole lot of wi-fi earbuds, and typically, I’d say you largely choose these sorts of earbuds for his or her comfort reasonably than sound high quality. They’re small and straightforward to lose, and the Bluetooth connection will be janky. There’s a cause why our high choose is just round $100.
I shouldn’t have apprehensive. The Grado GT220 are costly—and for the value, they might not have most of the options I’ve come to like about many wirefree buds. But they sound fantastic, are lovely, and really feel safer than any bud I’ve tried that doesn’t have an optionally available ear fin or wing included. If you’re keen on nice sound and have been usually disenchanted by the wi-fi earbuds you’ve tried, these will in all probability be just right for you.
The Eye of the Beholder
The very first thing you’ll observe 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 ravishing, clean matte black that makes small, overly shiny instances look garish. Inside, the buds look pretty normal. They’re additionally matte black, flat, and haven’t any seen buttons—only a glowing Grado brand that activates while 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 completely different sizes and supplies of earbud tricks to discover one that can each really feel safe within the hole of my ear and in addition seal correctly in opposition to my ear canal. And, in fact, 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 in opposition to my ear canal once I gave it a last mild twist. The buds may not have energetic noise-canceling properties, however passive noise cancellation works fairly nicely when the match is that good. A pair of froth earplugs doesn’t want any superior software program both. Noise canceling labored nicely 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 handbook and a day to memorize all of the alternative 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 at all times 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 continuing litany of “No! Ack! Dammit, sorry I hung up on you!”