Grado’s GW100x open-back cans can be worn (almost) anywhere
60% less sound leakage than last Bluetooth effort
New York audio expert Grado is renowned for its extensive range of hand-built, open-back headphones – but open-back headphones are renowned for leaking sound. That meant you wore the firm’s last-gen Bluetooth cans at your peril, with everyone around you able to hear your tunes almost as well as you could. The new Grado GW100x promise to better keep leakage under control, while also stepping up quality thanks to fourth-gen drivers and Bluetooth 5.2.
They follow the recently announced Statement X Series on-ears, and opt for a 44mm version of Grado’s fourth generation X Drivers. More powerful magnets, a redesigned voice coil and reconfigured diaphragm all help cut distortion, while “preserving the harmonic integrity of your music”. More importantly for on-the-go listening, they also reduce the amount of escaping sound by as much as 60% compared to the firm’s wired headphones.
Naturally the GW100x keeps Grado’s trademark design, with metal grilles, foam ear cups and a leather headband. It also finds room for playback controls, a built-in microphone for making voice calls, and a USB-C port. Battery life should be enough for up to 46 hours of listening, or almost two days straight. Two hours on mains power should be enough for a complete top-up.
It supports the high quality aptX adaptive audio codec, as well as the more widely supported AAC and SBC, with Bluetooth 5.2 helping to use less power than the outgoing model. Switching between multiple devices should be less of a headache now than it was on the previous-gen pair. There’s also a 3.5mm cable included for plugging into older analogue kit, or gadgets that lack built-in Bluetooth.
The Grado GW100x is available to order right now, directly from the Grado website, with prices starting at £249/$275.