Anyone who’s ever heard the Grado name is probably also familiar with the old-school way this headphones manufacturer does business. The majority of Grado models are still made by hand at the company’s original home in Brooklyn, New York, and very little has changed about the materials, design, or sound of its products over the decades. That’s why it’s quite a momentous thing to learn that Grado is developing a wireless model, which is set to be released this year.
I came across this news while querying headphone companies about the rising tide of wireless headphone models, whose foamy crest was apparent for all to see at CES 2018. Grado was probably the one company I expected to hear denounce wireless as an unnecessary indulgence — and, indeed, VP of marketing Jonathan Grado told me that, “We believe the best performance still comes from wired headphones.” Even so, Grado obviously hasn’t been deaf to user demand, and now it intends to make the leap from making headphones with fixed cables to a pair with no cables at all.
The specs, release date, and even name of this new wireless Grado model are yet to be finalized, but it’s something definitely on the schedule for 2018. One final note of import is that these wireless headphones will remain open-back, as has been the Grado tradition. When I asked Jonathan Grado whether the company would build a closed-back pair — which would be more suitable for using outdoors because of its sound isolation between your music and the outside world — he (half-)jokingly replied, “Let’s see where we are in another 65 years.”