Grado's best new headphones are aptly named: the Grado Statement Series makes a very clear statement, and that statement is "I have incredible headphones". These may well be Grado's best-sounding headphones yet, which is quite the statement in itself: the brand's audiophile headphones are frequent recipients of T3 Awards as well as regularly featuring in our best headphones guides for luxury listening.
I know it's hard to take your eyes away from the photo, but the most important thing here is the thing you can't see. Inside the Statement Series are Grado's most powerful drivers yet, the fourth generation of drivers in over 30 years of making high-end headphones. According to Grado, the flagship GS3000X is "the best sounding headphone Grado has released in their seven-decade history." And part of that is because significant bits of the new headphones are made of wood.
Why would you want headphones made of wood?
This isn't any ordinary wood. The Grado GS1000X combines mahogany and ipê wood, and the GS3000X puts its new 52mm driver in a metal enclosure surrounded by a single body of cocobolo wood. Grado says that cocobolo is "teeming with texture and emotion", and the metal enables Grado to control its rigidity to deliver the clarity and detail that Grado listeners demand. The wood is also absolutely beautiful to look at.
Wood isn't something Grado has suddenly embraced: it's been using mahogany in its headphones and phono cartridges for years, but the ipê used alongside it in the GS1000X is a new material for the company. In these headphones the mahogany is there for warmth and texture, with the firmer ipê adding rigidity.
Sadly for me, these gorgeous new headphones are somewhat out of my price range: the Statement GS1000X is £1,295/ $1,195 (£1,495 / $1,365 for the Balanced XLR version) and the GS3000X is £2,195 / $1,995 (£2,395 / $2,165 for balanced). But if you can afford them, they promise to be a revelation when they go on sale in September. And if you can't, we'd thoroughly recommend Grado's Prestige Series: that starts at a much more affordable £275/$295/AU$425.