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PS1000
PS500
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GS1000i
Reference Series
RS1i
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In-Ear Series
GR10
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PS1000

PS1000

Photo by: Robert Williams

The manufacture of the PS1000 housing is a complicated and proprietary process that results in a sonic signature and voicing that is the Grado hallmark. An important step in this process is the metal housing being stressed and then cured resulting in a unique aesthetic finish. As with all Grado products the most important aspect is the sound. If you are interested in owning the finest headphone Grado has ever produced then the PS1000 is the choice that will satisfy the most critical music lovers.

More Reviews

PS1000 REVIEW

PS1000 Headphones
as reviewed by Robert H. Levi

Things to do. Fly to outer space. Own a Ferrari and drive a Bentley. Acquire the finest audio system in the world [getting close.] Listen to the finest headphones ever made on the ultimate headphone amp. Done and done. I have thoroughly auditioned the Grado PS 1000 Headphones on my E.A.R. HP 4 Headphone Amp and it was absolutely thrilling!

It's rare indeed for any company to invest over 50 years developing anything and not just rest on its laurels. Even rarer that this company is located in America. Grado, under the leadership of Joseph and now John, has utilized its vast experience in headphone RandD to create a masterpiece of engineering for the audiophile: The Grado PS 1000 Headphones. At $1695, they are the most expensive cans I know of. Unlike my closed-in reference Ultrasone Edition 8s, they are open baffle. Most headphones on the market are open baffle unless designed for noise reduction or the like. But unlike other open air types at any price, the PS 1000s are more detailed than even Stax or Koss electrostats and more comfortable than ear buds. Offering a bit more overall definition than the Edition 8s, the PS 1000s deliver a supremely neutral balance, a magnificently open soundstage, startling realism, voluptuous dynamics, and a fatigue free presentation.

Built to last a lifetime, Grado uses a unique mahogany and metal sandwich to assure vibration free performance.

Grado designed an exotic new cable for the PS 1000 with eight-conductors! Utilizing UHPLC (ultra-high purity, long crystal) copper which improves control and stability of the total range of the frequency spectrum. The PS 1000 also utilizes a newly re-configured voice coil and diaphragm design. The cushion design beautifully creates the correct balance between the driver and housing resulting in truly realistic musical nuance.

After reviewing the E.A.R. HP 4 with headphones from all over, models and brands too numerous to list, I still found my old Grado RS 1s competitive. With the Beyer, Sennheiser, and AKG models still ringing in my ears, I tried the new PS 1000s. Ice cold right out of the box, they were contenders! Run in for 100 hours, they were unsurpassed. Audiophiles from all over L.A. came by to hear the various combinations and went away stunned by the Grados. Was this unexpected? Actually, yes. I figured any headphones made of Ethiopian lamb skin, Mu metal, and titanium drivers would just trounce anything around. I was wrong. The Grado PS 1000s are superb. End of story.

I truly enjoyed tube rolling with the HP 4 and heard even the minutest changes in tonality and definition with the PS 1000s. Just replacing one tube out of four with another brand yielded very noticeable changes with the Grados. I thought my Stax were revealing. Forget about it.

I found the Grado battery powered headphone amp a very pleasing combination with the PS 1000s. I bet you didn't know Sid Smith of Marantz fame worked on this head amp design. This cutie powered the big Grados beautifully giving up apparent definition and drive, but was satisfying nevertheless. The Grados still had that lovely neutrality with the Grado head amp.

I first heard the PS 1000s at a live jazz recording session with Bluport Records hosted by the world famous Jim Merod. I picked up the PS 1000s and plugged them into the board. I was mightily impressed then and now. He had six other brands on the table just in case he wanted a different perspective. We fought over the PS 1000s all night.

Quibbles

They are big with big cushions. While very comfortable, they are not subtle in any way. So what. Otherwise, the PS 1000s are as perfect a pair of cans as an audiophile or recording enthusiast could want.

In conclusion

With super comfortable ergonomics, definition to die for, supreme neutrality, and ultra linear frequency response, the top of the line Grado PS 1000 headphones are the best I have heard to date. Grado spent 50 years developing them and I spent 50 years searching for the ultimate cans and here they are! At 32 ohms, they are efficient enough to plug in about anywhere, but will yield amazing performance on the very finest head amps. Built to last and a masterpiece of engineering, they are the first conventional driver headphones to outperform Stax electrostats across the board. What an accomplishment! Plus, it was achieved right here in the USA! The new Grado PS 1000 Headphones deserve my highest recommendation. Look no further if only the very best in the world will do.

Robert H. Levi

Positive Feedback ISSUE 51 september/october 2010
PS1000

Features:

Vented diaphragm

Hybrid air chamber

UHPLC copper voice coil wire

UHPLC copper connecting cord


Buy Grado Direct from 4OurEars.net
Tranducer type
dynamic
Operating principle
open air
Frequency Response
5-50
SPL 1mW
98
Normal Impedance
32ohms
Driver matched db
.05

Grado is proud to introduce the new flagship of their headphone line, the PS1000. This hybrid design has an inner sleeve of a selected species of hand-crafted mahogany made by using an intricate curing process. Its outer housing of metal machined from a special non-resonant, very hard metal alloy utilizes a special processing and casting method to increase the porosity of the alloy. This combination of wood and metal insures that the earphone chamber has no "ringing" which might obscure detail or add coloration. The way the wood and metal housing moves air and reacts to sound vibrations is now virtually unaffected by transient distortions. Grado has also designed a new cable for the PS1000. The new eight-conductor cable design, utilizing UHPLC (ultra-high purity, long crystal) copper, improves control and stability of the total range of the frequency spectrum. The PS1000 also utilizes a newly re-configured voice coil and diaphragm design, resulting in unsurpassed speed and accuracy response. The cushion design creates the correct balance between the driver and hybrid housing to give the resulting musicality desired. The cushion design also makes the PS1000 one of the most comfortable to wear headphones in the world. Grado has taken all their knowledge and years of experience in controlling resonances and eliminating distortions and this has culminated in the development of their finest headphone ever, the PS1000.

Listen, enjoy and agree.

"Brilliant resolution; cohesive; rhythmic; strong dynamics; impressive bass insight. The PS1000s are undoubtedly one of the finest headphones money can buy."
— What HiFi/ England
"The PS1000's are finally, the first set of headphones that would motivate me to sell all the rest, because these PS1000s do it all and do it as flawlessly as I've yet experienced. The PS1000's are the very best Grado headphone ever made."
— Jason Morin, aka Zanth on head-fi.org
"I've been listening to Grado headphones for over 15 years, and I have to say that the PS1000 is the greatest headphone theyve ever made."
— Mark Rivera, long time member of the Billy Joel Band & Musical Director for Ringo Star
"...we think the PS1000 is the best-looking and best-sounding headphone we've tested from the company. That also makes it one of the best pair of headphones we've ever heard."
— Steve Guttenberg/CNET
"Built to last and a masterpiece of engineering, they are the first conventional driver headphones to outperform Stax electrostats across the board. What an accomplishment!"
— Positive Feedback Online / Robert H. Levi
"In any type of music, at any level, this is music reproduction of the highest order which convinces both instinctively and analytically. Hats off to Grado!"
— Hi Fi Choice magazine / Richard Black
"The Grado model PS-1000 is like a statistical anomaly that comes up once in a great while, like a great ballplayer that comes along once in a generation or two. The PS-1000 retrieves all the data sent it, with delicacy, or power (as the music demands), without smearing or masking. I think they are the Willie Mays, Derek Jeter or Peyton Manning of Grado headphones."
— Positive Feedback Online / Max Dudious
"For a sense of the instrumental separation that the PS1000s can deliver, go no farther than Rodrigo Y Gabriela's version of "Stairway to Heaven". As a bridge out of the slow intro gets going, there is a lot of fast chord work happening on acoustic guitars and you can hear every string clearly. The sound on this track was amazing enough that I had to play it twice."
— AVguide / Tom Martin
"...the PS1000s are simply the best-sounding, most comfortable, and best-looking Grado headphones we've ever tested."
— Cnet reviews / Steve Guttenberg