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On-the-go headphones
Chicago Tribune
Kevin Hunt

Despite their name, the earpuds that come with your iPod are not exactly friendly to your ears.

Cheap earpuds almost guarantee the same tin-can-on-a-string fidelity as when Alexander Graham Bell started the MP3 era with the words, "Watson, come here—I want you to hear this Gnarls Barkley download.

Hold the calls. In previous dispatches about alternatives to stock iPod' buds, I invariably invoked comparisons to the Grado SR60 – best-in-its-class headphones but obviously too bulky, and dorky, for extensive mobile use. But now Grado, a family-owed operation from Brooklyn, NY, that has been producing headphones and phono cartridges (still!) for more than 50 years, has come up with a mobile version of the SR60 called the iGrado.

You can tell by the letter preceding the family name where this is headed. With the iGrado, it's no longer a fashion faux pas to lug around the signature Grado sound on the train, subway or downtown stroll. The iGrado are still headphones, not earpuds, but they're sufficiently discreet for the street. These are open-air, over-the-ear headphones anchored behind the neck with semi flexible plastic.

The earpads are spongy black foam, backed by silver plastic grilles. The iGrado, available in iPod-matching white and black, is lightweight (3 ounces). A 40 inch cord allows ample movement, if needed, away from your iPod.

The iGrado's sound? Pure Grado, though there are some differences from the SR60's, likely because of the latter's more substantial earcups, thicker wiring and better build quality. On KT Turnstall's "Silent Sea" for instance, the iGrado accentuated the midrange, pushing Turnstall's vocals up front, creating an enjoyable immediacy through me Nano.

The SR60 presented more balance: a little more body, more relaxed, with slightly better lows, more extended highs and greater depth. Yet the headphones were obviously from the same family. Comparable sound from earbuds would likely cost twice as much as the Grado.

The iGrado delivers superior sound while being more fashion-friendly and mobile.

At its price, the iGrado hits a mobile-music sweet spot.



Vented diaphragm

UHPLC copper voice coil wire

UHPLC copper connecting cord

Behind the neck headband

Weight 3oz

Cord Length 40inches

Buy Grado Direct from
Tranducer type
Operating principle
open air
Frequency Response
Normal Impedance
Driver matched db

Grado Labs is pleased to announce the introduction of our newest product, the "iGrado" street style headphone. Designed specifically for the portable electronics market, it was our goal to design a street style headphone that will sonically outperform anything currently available in the low-end portable market. This we have accomplished. The new "iGrado" is functionally stylish, lightweight and comfortable. By incorporating the same drivers used in our highly regarded SR60 headphones, we can proudly state that we are indeed "the high end choice in the low end market." The "iGrado" features a behind the neck headband that is comfortable and stylish. We have indeed kept the highly praised Grado "sound" at a price point that is within reach of all. Truly, Musical Reality For The iWorld!

"...sounds like a "big" Grado; awesome resolution of fine musical detail, very clear and neutral."
— Audio magazine / Germany
"Big sound and bigger quality: Grado has packed a high-quality sound system into a portable package you can use with your MP3 player."
— HGTV / I Want That! Tech Toys
"those, having heard the Grado one time, will be in no hurry to take them off. Out of this acoustic ear muff comes such a crystal-clear and uncolored sound, that people suddenly will sense all the weak-points of data-compressed music."
— Audio magazine / Germany
"The iGrado puts out a warm, heavy bass sound in over-ear phones. Take heed: Going back to your standard iPod buds after listening to the Grado models will make your old music sound tinny, and a little irritating."
— Michael Booth /
"...the iGrado exhibited much detailed information, yet remained relaxed during loud musical passages, while at the same time portraying a very natural musical finesse. Grado continues their success story with this new Stereoplay Highlight (Editors Choice). Sound is topclass with a performance ratio considered outstanding."
— Stereoplay magazine / Germany
"Comparable sound from earbuds would likely cost twice as much as the Grado. At its price, the iGrado hits a mobile-music sweet spot."
— Kevin Hunt / Chicago Tribune
"The iGrado reproduces important midrange frequencies that are free of any discoloration and compression, with high frequencies sounding very decent and delicate. As a result there is indeed a tonal balance and characteristic which can hardly be topped in the portable world."
— HOME Electronics Magazine/Switzerland
"This price is ridiculous for the quality of sound you get, and when you compare them to other brands in that range (believe me, I've tested just about everything out there)."
— Music Forte