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How A Small Brooklyn Company Took The Headphone World By Storm

by Nausheen Shaikh March 17, 2016 2 min read

How A Small Brooklyn Company Took The Headphone World By Storm

From the ashes of a very talented Sicilian watchmaker in the 1950s, comes an ambitious headphone maker called Grado that has taken the world by storm with their quality products. In this crowded marketplace for headphones filled with designs that often resemble one another, Grado brings a breath of fresh air with the retro styling of their products, that are reminiscent of their 80’s iconic design. The result is a set of products destined to attract eyeballs.

From high quality polycarbonate to finely machined metal and hand crafted leather, nothing has been compromised to achieve a set of products that are not only elegant to touch, but have also been built to last a lifetime. Grado believes that their products are an investment, a testament to their skilled workmanship of the highest order.

Most headphone makers have multiple manufacturing units or 3rd Party OEM tie-ups to manufacture at large volumes to keep the price competitive; this compromises with the overall consistency and quality of the end product, often failing to achieve a global standard. Grado took an unconventional approach.

Even today, every single one of their products, be it the entry level SR60 or the top of the line PS1000, are still designed, handmade and tested by their skilled workforce with utmost care and attention to detail. This is done in their sole plant, design studio and test lab in Brooklyn, NY, USA. 

They never rely on celebrity endorsements either. Their strategy is very simple, engineer quality products for a reasonable price. This seems to have greatly worked in their favour.

The company has formed a formidable fan base who'd swear by a Grado at any cost. In an interview, a Grado representative mentioned that this is what they are after, not sales volume or profit, but rather a strong reputation and credibility based on clear cut principles that represent the essence of the company.

Grado doesn't believe in unnecessary frills. Their products are packaged in a plain box with a simple presentation and limited extras or freebies. Irrespective of the headphones being an entry level model or their flagship.
Grado has earned quite a reputation for their mid forward and detailed audio quality. While most headphone makers try emphasizing the bass for a more consumer-centric sound, Grado takes a different approach by tuning their products towards a more studio-style sound with a neutral tonal balance. Delivering rich vocals and highly detailed sound has come to be a Grado trademark, a trademark further strengthened by their latest Prestige 'e' series of headphones.

The highest selling and arguably the most popular product from the Grado stable has to be the SR80i/SR80e. Raved by critics for its authentic sound and exceptional build backed by an unbeatable price tag, these multi-award winning headphones are a favorite the world over.

While mainly focusing on studio quality headphones, Grado has started to diversify and broaden their products catalog. From In-Ear Monitors to sports and wireless headphones etc. Grado plans to venture into more popular categories in the near future.

You can explore Grado's exquisite handmade headphone collection here!

Nausheen Shaikh
Nausheen Shaikh



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