If you truly want the very best money can buy, reviewers suggest the Grado PS1000 headphones, which are nearly tonally perfect in their eyes -- but carry a breathtaking price tag.
In a word, "astonishing." "They justify their price with a simply astonishing sound," write the editors of What Hi-Fi? magazine, and other reviewers agree. The Grado PS1000 achieves 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.
Mixed feedback. We found some very different takes on comfort. TechRadar.com found the Grado PS1000 to be uncomfortably heavy -- going so far as to describe it as "somewhat oppressive." Black writes: "For one thing, it's enough to make the headphones slide off if one tilts one's head forward or back and for another it makes the headband (always a Grado weakness in our experience) feel quite a burden after a while." CNET, on the other hand, says: "And while this is a rather heavy headphone, it didn't feel heavy on our ears." The site's Steve Guttenberg adds that the PS1000 was the most comfortable Grado headphones they had tested to date.
You pay for what you get. TrustedReviews.com's Andrew Williams sums up the Grado PS1000 this way: 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." Others are more willing to swallow the cost in light of the headphones' performance. "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." CNET says.
"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. 14, 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: Grado's £1,795 PS1000 Headphones Make High End Speakers Jealous, 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? magazine 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; the drawback is they leak sound. The site awards the PS1000s 5 out of 5 stars.
Review: Grado PS1000, Editors of What Hi-Fi?, Not Dated
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, April 2, 2014
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 PS1000 Professional Series Stereo Headphone, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2014