Grado RS2 Headphone Reviews

Manufacturer Grado Model RS2
Headphone Type Open Supraaural Headband Type Single
Weight (g) 225 Driver Type Dynamic
Enclosure Material Wood Isolation (dB) 0
Impedance (ohms) 32 Cable Length (cm) 200
Frequency Response (Hz) 14 - 28000  
Connector 6.5mm Street Price US$495
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Average reviewer scores
Bass Extension 6.0 Bass Impact 6.7
Bass Quality 7.0 Mids Quality 7.0
Highs Quality 6.7 Soundstage 6.0
Detail 5.7 Portability 1.0
Isolation 0.0 Comfort 5.0
Durability 4.0 Improvement With Amplification 5.7
Value for Money 5.7    
Overall Score 5.8 Total Reviews 3

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Reviews by our members

Review by Senior Member droopy1592 on 03 Sep 06  15:57
Individual review
Bass Extension6
Bass Impact7
Bass Quality7
Mids Quality8
Highs Quality7

While I have tried most of the Grado range, in some way or another I found many of the higher end models too fatiguing after hours of listening for one reason or another.

The best thing about the RS2s are the relaxed highs (relative to the RS-1s and SR-325s) and the just about perfect-for-my-money midrange. I can listen to these cans for hours on end and even found myself sleeping in a recliner with them on. The highs aren't well extended but for some that can be a good thing. The upper mids can be a tad colored, which again can be a good thing. I find the coloration gives these Grados more character than the rest and even though the highs are rolled of, I still find them quite detailed. They aren't as detailed as the RS1s or 325s but detailed enough without drilling your tympanic membranes into submission. I'd call it the detailed-enough-without-being-too-bright sound. The soundstage is excellent but not perfect. The bass is very punchy and tight, but doesn't extend as well as some of the other high end Grados.

If your recording is bad it will still sound bad through these phones.

Grado cans won't do you any favors in public places or areas with lots of noise as there can be too much leakage both ways, into and out of these phones. They ain't very portable either, especially since anyone that knows anything about Grados knows that the cables can be easily twisted and the mahogany these are created with can be easily scratched or damaged. They are very light, though! I gave it a 3 on comfort but that's really initial comfort as over time they get much more comfortable as the headband can be loosened and the pads soften from skin oils.

I don't know why these aren't as popular as the rest of the other Grados and at times seem to get a bad rap. They are currently my favorites and I have listened to just about everything ever created by Grado Labs in the last decade. They really are great headphones.

Review by Senior Member blumenco on 19 Jan 05  22:52
Individual review
Bass Extension6
Bass Impact5
Bass Quality7
Mids Quality6
Highs Quality5

I have owned these headphones for a year now, and enjoy them occationally, though much more at first. I have found out since that the sound really isn;t for me, however, I am not going to bash them. These are GREAT headphones. pretty good value for the money, but in my opinion not as good of a value for pure performance as the sennehiser hd 650/600/580 lineage. They are colored somewhat but not destructively. and I actually found that they tend to need a higher volume position from a headphone amp to give the same perceived volume as the 650 type. they give a smaller sound than the 650s, I later listened to the rs-1s and found there to be a noticable difference in sound quality. it is justified by the price difference and again, these are rocking headphones.
I have let alot of freinds listen to them and many prefer the sound above that of the circumnaural 650s. the thing about coloration is that if it is musical coloration and not coloration from shoddy construction or something is that it can be quite pleasing. I have since discovered that for my tastes it is better to color the electronic components than the transducers in order to acheive a certain sonic quality. these headphones were overall pretty neutral once your ears and mind adjusts to the joe grado presentation. nothing really stuck out to me (which is a good thing).

IMO the likelyhood of 1:1 ratioed playback being perfectly in tune to your ears is almost infinitely unlikely. therefore, one must tune ones own equipment to get YOUR best. not the corporate best. I found I liked the phones the best out of really clean solid state equipment. As I originally got them for portable use, they work great out of a modestly powered portable. They were good in that respect, but I found I was turning alot of heads in public settings (toting around 500 dollar headphones in the ghetto is not a good idea) and decided to stick with my trusty sr-60s for most portable headphones. these are great for pop, acoustical, rap, anything with a little recorded compression. for classical, which as a music history major I have been doing alot more of, I FAR prefer 650s as they don't mess with the harmonics of violins.

I will be selling them soon for those few reasons that mean they just aren't for me. I DEFINITELY reccommend giving them a try however.

oh yeah, that whole comfort thing, these were frequently more comfortable to me than the sennheisers becuase of the sennheiser clamping effect. I used the comfy pads.

Review by Senior Member acs236 on 02 Jan 05  16:53
Individual review
Bass Extension6
Bass Impact8
Bass Quality7
Mids Quality7
Highs Quality8

These are very fun headphones. Nice bass and highs, a smooth midrange. However, they lack the detail of other headphones in its price range. This makes them great for rock. The bass is tight, the presentation is forward -- these will get your toes tapping. These are warm and rich sounding. They don't get a lot of good words, but I think that's unfortunate. They really are my ultimate rock headphone.

Grado RS2
Grado RS2