Grado gives open-back wireless headphones a significant battery boost
When Grado Labs finally joined the wireless headphones party back in 2018, it opted to run with an open-backed design for a more spacious sound. Now the next generation has been released, with more than triple the battery life.
On the outside, nothing much appears to have changed. The GW100x headphones have the same Grado aesthetic as before, come with a padded headband and chunky foam earpads, and still cut sound leakage by as much as 60% compared to the company's wired flavors. Of course, the open-backed design doesn't allow for noise cancellation, so ambient noise may fight its way onto the soundstage.
The first big change inside is an 850-mAh battery that's reported good for up to 46 hours of per-charge listening – compared to just 15 hours in the GW100 model. If the powered circuitry does run out of juice, users can continue the listening session by plugging in the supplied 3.5-mm audio cable until they get a chance to treat the headphones to a two-hour top-up.
Next, the new open-backs rock Grado's fourth-generation X series 44-mm drivers featuring a voice coil with a decreased effective mass, a reconfigured diaphragm and a power boost for the magnetic circuit. All of which promises a much-improved sound performance, albeit across the same 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response as before, as well as reduced distortion.
Listeners can also look forward to improved low-latency connection stability thanks to the inclusion of Bluetooth 5.2, with support for aptX Adaptive as well as AAC and SBC codecs, while enhanced pairing makes for easier switching between two source devices. And finally, there's a built-in microphone for taking calls or video chatting.
The GW100x open-back wireless headphones are on sale now for US$275.
Product page: Grado GW100x