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dalethorn

Grado GW-100 Bluetooth Headphone followup review

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I finally configured my best-guess EQ curve for the GW-100, based as usual on reducing peaks and recesses, toward achieving a real-world natural sound. This is a better result than what I got with the SR325e, and much better than my GH1 (although the wood for the GH1 naturally varies from sample to sample). The actual settings are in the HiFi Misc./EqAppReview document.

Although I haven't been able to determine the comparative fidelity vis-a-vis the other Grados (I don't have those on hand), I was able to get a pretty good handle on the deep bass quality after boosting 35 hz by 3 db. Playing the Kellogg Auditorium 16 hz sample organ pedal track, I was surprised at the amount of fundamental (including 32.7 hz doubling I'd guess) as well as the detail of the 16 hz 'beats'.

 

http://dalethorn.com/Photos/Audioforge/Grado_Gw100.jpg

Edited by dalethorn

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Tonight, 7-1/2 days after receiving the GW100, the factory battery charge finally ran out. While I did quite a bit of listening in wired mode at home (and the sound is excellent), I'd guess my Bluetooth use amounted to far more than the rated 15 hours during these 7-1/2 days. The first few days were pretty intense doing various tests, with lots of outdoor listening in areas with moderate to low noise levels. As best I remember, the low-power voice warnings started about 45 minutes before the "power off" notice occurred, as the headphone shut off -- out of power. The good news is there was no distortion or interruption (other than the voice warnings at ~5 min. intervals) to compromise the sound as the power wound down.

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I came across this interesting review on the 'MajorHiFi' site, and thought it would be worth highlighting here, because of the unique design of the GW100 as an open-back wireless headphone. Here are a few excerpts and a link:

"As an open-back wireless headphone, this model has almost no competitors."

"Compared to models from Audio Technica, Sony, Sennheiser, Marshall, Bowers and Wilkins, and Bose, nothing at this price point can even compete with the GW100 in terms of sheer sound quality."

"For those seeking isolation, choose any of the above and enjoy what you can.  For the rest of ya, this Grado is everything you could want in a headphone."

http://majorhifi.com/grado-gw100-review/

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A new question about the GW100's replacement earpads came up on a large headphone forum, and I thought the answer given was for the wrong earpads, so since these earpads are easy to lose when they fall off unexpectedly, I thought it would be good to post the correct replacements here and elsewhere.

Replacing any headphone's stock earpads with a different design is likely to make a major change in the sound, and the change is more likely to be negative than otherwise.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1434308-REG/grado_w_cush_replacement_foam_ear.html/?c3api=3679%2Cbing%2C81638766845622%2C4585238367528178&msclkid=790f7bcdba9d16cccb6a200730f9f6df

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Today, 13 November marks 42 days since I received my Grado GW-100 headphone. The third charge has finally been depleted (original factory charge plus two charges by me), so it appears I'm getting about 14 days per charge, using it in Bluetooth mode at least 2 hours per day. I remember something in the specification about volume levels affecting battery life, and since my usage is walking around in relatively noisy areas with light street traffic, my volume levels are about 5-6 db above where I listen at home. My home headphone use is at "audiophile volume levels", or just enough to hear very small details without blasting my ears on the loud parts.

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Two items today:

One, I leaned over the railing at my local pier today and watched one of my GW100 earpads tumble into the ocean. I've temporarily lost a GW100 earpad a few times already, but this time it was permanent. Fortunately I had a backup set on hand. They do fall off very easily.

The other item concerns my quandary regarding the benefits of a closed back design for portable and outdoor use, versus the sonic advantages of an open back design, albeit I have to find a low-noise place to enjoy those sonic advantages. I took one day away from the GW100 to use a good closed-back headphone for walkabouts, and went right back to the GW100. It seems to me that I never would have gotten to this point of preferring an open-back portable headphone, if I hadn't talked myself into going against instinct and giving it a 6-week tryout first. The trick is finding those low--noise listening places, if it's even possible for a lot of people.

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Last night the 4th charge for my GW100 ran out - 4 full charges (3 plus the original factory charge) powered me for 58 days, or about 2 weeks per charge. I'd guess I'm getting about 22-23 hours per charge at a little less than maximum volume. I let it run all the way down each time, since I carry the backup cord.

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Here's a fun album to test your Grado headphones with. Warning though -- very heavy bass. I got this tip from someone who experienced a real problem with their Grado GW100 - mine played the album nice and clean, but it's definitely a driver stresser.
 
Edited by dalethorn
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