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Grado RS1i Reference Series Headphones (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

4.6 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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  • Tranducer type - Dynamic / Operating principle - Open Air / Frequency response - 12-30 kJZ / SPL 1mV - 98 / Normal impedance - 32ohms / Driver matched db -. 05
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Technical Details

  • DJ-Style

Product Description

Product DescriptionWhat does the i stand for in the new RS1i from Grado? Improved, that's what! Featuring a new species of handcrafted Mahogany earpieces made using an intricate curing process; Grado has been able to optimize the tonal quality. The RS1i uses new upgraded dynamic transducers and the new 8 conductor cable design all in an open-air configuration, the cups being open-backed. The result is a smooth, controlled and coherent sound with detailed dynamics. Frequency response ranges from 12-30 kHz and the drivers are matched to 0.05dB. Weighing 9oz, the headphones are an example of the wonder of Mother Nature with a gorgeous, dark-colored Mahogany look.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 1 x 1 x 1 inches
Item Weight 5 pounds
Shipping Weight 2.1 pounds
Manufacturer Grado
Item model number RS1i
Customer Reviews
4.6 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #2,536 in Electronics > Headphones > On-Ear Headphones
#70,743 in Electronics > Portable Audio & Video > MP3 & MP4 Players & Accessories > MP3 & MP4 Player Accessories
#75,559 in Electronics > Home Audio & Theater
Date first available at Amazon.com April 13, 2004

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I am extremely happy that Amazon.com started stocking Grado products.

To audiophiles, Grado is a very big name. Grado makes some of the world's best consumer turntable catridges, and makes some of the most notoriously fun, musical headphones out there.

The Grado RS-1 headphones are the second-most expensive Grado headphones on the market now. The PS-1 is a limited-edition headphone that is very seldom-made (but it is in production currently) that contains some of the best detail, fluidity, warmth, and excitement than any other headphone. However, the RS-1s are very close to the specifications of this headphone.

The Grado Reference Series 1 is, in my opinion, the true audiophile way to ENJOY your music. Others may say that they do not like the musicality, because it has a very colored sound. Audiophiles normally know that this is not good because it doesn't "faithfully" reproduce the information on your record/CD properly. However, I don't always want to sit there and listen to the minor details of my music. Sometimes I just want to rock out and enjoy myself as much as possible, which is where the Grado RS1 headphones take the responsibility of fulfilling this for me.

The RS1 headphones at first are going to look very cheap to those who are not familiar with them. The headband is leather, but it is thin. The earcups do not surround the ear at all, they just touch them. This is a very open headphone, so outside noise will come in, and your sound will leak.

But these are all very obvious and welcome shortcomings. This leads to a very good performing headphone. While they may not be as comfortable as the Senns, they are definitely faster, more enjoyable, and contain a much more fluid sound than the Sennheiser HD650s.
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All I can say is WOW! The changes in the drivers, cables and wood (there might be other physical changes that I am not aware of) result in the range being extended from lows to highs quite noticeably, and they are stunners.

As I told my daughter (a happy Grado SR60 owner and sharer of my RS1's since the age of 10 - she's 23 tomorrow -and currently enjoying HF1's) "These are NOT your fathers RS1's"!

Sort of... I'm still her Dad but the RS1i's themselves are not exactly what she grew up listening to. They are faster (resolving notes more quickly with zero smudging of sounds/tones together), with 'more bettter' bass (tighter, sweeter, more controlled and deeper), highs that are more transparent and do go on and on, the famous Grado midrange beautifully apparent (although perhaps a tiny TAD less coloured - though that may be simply be a function of their being heard in the context of the extended highs). And I guess it's a result of all that there is even more detail now to boot. Despite these changes there is no mistaking these for some other headphone, they are RS1(i)'s through and through. And all these delicious sounds are presented in a beautiful (to me perfect) balance.

These are amazing headphones, as were the originals. Noone who loves the traditional Grado "house sound" need shell out to those charging crasy high prices for the "vintage" Rs1's to get in on the mojo. THESE are the real deal(in fact even better than) and they sell for suggested retail (and a bit less used of course if you can find someone willing to let them go. hey, don't look at ME!).

I gave up a pair of Grado PS1's which I thought were the ultimate embodiment of the RS1 style Grado house sound.
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The Grado RS1i and Grado RS2i are fairly similar headphones; I would compare their likeness to the last generation Denon AH-D5000/D7000 lineup. The RS2is are warmer, with a strong low and mid section, while the RS1is offer stronger overall clarity while still being enjoyable to Grado fans.

There are some things about Grado headphones overall that I am not fond of, including, the Y-splitter in the headphone cable (can compromise integrity over time); the resilience of the grille paint; and general construction when compared with other comparable headphones. That said, Grado was one of the brands that turned me onto Head-Fi and I will always appreciate the unique sound that such an open headphone can deliver.

Good for people who prefer more of a neutral, balanced sound; not as great for people who really want a punchy signature.
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Grados are the only cans I've ever heard that seem like they are designed to make you forget you're wearing headphones. Everything else I've ever listened to has some sort of coloration in a way that sounds unnatural or reminds me that it's been digitally enhanced through bass boost or treble peak. My RS1s are a perfect example. First cans out of 50 or 60 that to me sound exactly like sitting in a jazz club. Positioning, timbre, separation, balance. It's all there.

Are Grados the most comfortable? No. Most aesthetically pleasing? No. Although the RS1s are damn sexy. But they do one thing really well which is to me, exactly what all headphone manufacturers should strive for: Reproducing real musical experience.

The RS1is present recordings in a way that doesn't sound like someone else's interpretation of what a given recording sounds like. They reproduce instruments in a way that makes me feel like that instrument is in the same room as I: no special effects or EQ. Just bass. And just guitar. And just drums. And just Norah Jones (for example).
If you need more information regarding the specifics of the bass, mids, and treble, read up on the other reviews. I listen to a lot of music, both in quantity and variety. I'm a classically trained multi-instrumental musician and I have played in several collegiate and professional groups ranging from jazz combos to string orchestras. I consider myself qualified to say that I know what musical instruments are supposed to sound like. The RS1is from Grado capture instruments just like the are - no extra fluff, padding, or color. Many thanks to Grado Labs for putting in the time and research to bring us these cans.
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