Compared to the Fords and Fiats most headphone models represent -- good values, but perhaps nothing you'll shine up to show off to your friends -- reviewers say the Grado PS1000 is like the Ferrari you always wanted to have idling at the curb. The model sports a breathtaking $1,700 price tag, they say, raising the bar for the most expensive current model on the market. But you get what you pay for, according to the Grado PS1000's reviews: tonal perfection, neutral in every way, with detail and depth that other headphones -- and most speakers -- "only dream of," writes Richard Black of TechRadar.com. For those with more modest budgets, the still-pricey Sennheiser HD 650 (*Est. $500) provide sound quality that falls short by only a small margin.
Most reviews are complimentary, and detailed write-ups are posted at CNET, AVGuide.com and at a host of U.K. sites, including TechRadar.com, What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision and TrustedReviews.com. User ratings of the PS1000 are slim because of the high price tag, but the five reviewers on Amazon.com all profess to be from sound or engineering backgrounds, making their reviews perhaps a touch more credible than most. While reviewers do not always agree on the overall value of these super-expensive headphones versus the price, they do agree that the Grado PS1000s are some of the best headphones you can buy.
"They may cost as much as a big-screen TV, but the PS1000s are simply the best-sounding, most comfortable, and best-looking Grado headphones we've ever tested," Steve Guttenberg writes in CNET's review of the Grado PS1000 headphones. He praises the best-in-class comfort, build quality and pure, sweet sound. He awards a final score of 4.5 out of 5 stars. The major drawback, not too surprisingly, is price -- the Grado PS1000s don't even come with a carrying case, he notes.
Review: Grado PS1000, Steve Guttenberg, Oct. 15, 2009
"These headphones have a sound quality that will make full size speakers weep with jealousy," says Richard Black in a review originally appearing in Hi-Fi Choice magazine and posted here. Black awards the Grado PS1000 5 out of 5 stars. His only complaint: the headband is hard, the headphones are heavy, and combined that can be uncomfortable in the long run.
Review: Grado PS1000 Review, Richard Black, Jan. 7, 2010
3. What Hi-Fi?
"They justify their price with a simply astonishing sound," write the editors of What Hi-Fi? in their review of the Grado PS1000s. "Headphones can't get much better than this." Pros include their power, dynamic sound, midrange detail and beautiful build quality; drawback is they do leak sound. The site awards the PS1000s 5 out of 5 stars.
Review: Grado PS1000, Editors of What Hi-Fi?
TrustedReviews.com gives a Recommended rating and 9 out of 10 score to the Grado PS1000 headphones. "Powerful bass, wonderfully subtle-but-intense levels of detail and an incredible soundstage make this pair an unbridled joy to listen to, no matter what musical genre you throw at it," Andrew Williams writes. Pros: "Jaw-dropping sound; they make you feel like a king." Cons: "Jaw-dropping price; they make you look like a bit of an idiot."
Review: Grado PS1000 Review, Andrew Williams, May 17, 2011
This detailed review compares the PS1000s to other top-end headphones, finding it to be very fine, but not perfect. It scores between 9 and 9.5 out of 10 on six ratings of sound, fit and value. "The Grado PS1000 comes as close as anything I've heard to getting the treble region right," Tom Martin writes.
Review: Grado PS1000 Headphones (Playback 25), Tom Martin, Nov. 18, 2009
Only a handful of user reviews are available for the Grado PS1000 headphones, which is to be expected for a model this expensive. Some reviewers claim to be audio professionals, and their reviews are informative and sometimes amusing -- poking a little fun at themselves for spending this much for a pair of headphones. Some are clearly written as a lark, poking fun at those who would spend this much for a set of headphones.
Review: Grado Professional Series PS1000 -- Headphones (ear-cup), Contributors to Amazon.com