Grado GW100x


Grado has knocked it out of the park with the GW100x, a terrific pair of wi-fi on-ears with an expressive audio efficiency, lengthy battery life and higher consolation than you may anticipate from an on-ear. If you need the best-sounding wi-fi on-ear efficiency, these are at the moment our high suggestion.


  • Extra comfy than you may anticipate
  • Energetic, full of life, and fascinating sound
  • Lengthy battery life
  • Superb name high quality


  • Not one of the best noise-isolation
  • Patchy wi-fi efficiency in busy areas

  • 4th Gen X driverRedesigned 44mm driver items

  • Battery life46 hours of battery life

  • BluetoothSBC, AAC, and aptX Adaptive codecs


I can’t assist however admire Grado’s persistence. Whereas noise-cancelling over-ears are vastly standard, the GW100x reveals the Brooklyn-based firm will not be one for chasing the mainstream route.

The Grado GW100x are neither the over-ears generally seen on commutes, neither is there any curiosity in supporting noise-cancelling (which might be laborious for an on-ear to do anyway). It doesn’t have a ‘Professional’ or ‘Max’ within the identify, simply an ‘x’, which hopefully signifies the X issue.

The GW100x aren’t essentially the most handy for outside use, however they do provide a terrific audio efficiency that warrants nearer inspection.


  • Design leaks noise in from the skin
  • Comfy to put on
  • Easy to make use of

Like the unique GW100, the Grado GW100x aren’t essentially the most sensible pair of headphones outdoors the house. They’re virtually antithetical to be used in public areas.

Why? Nicely, the GW100x have each an on-ear and open-backed design, each of which aren’t famend for his or her noise-isolating properties to filter sounds away if you’re within the midst of a music session.

Grado GW100X open back design
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The on-ear design means exterior noises filter by means of – when it will get actually loud on the Victoria and Jubilee line it turns into laborious to listen to something. On an overground prepare they’re nice, and strolling by means of London, they’re okay, however these headphones aren’t constructed to deal with loud environments.

The open-backed design (the perforated grille on the earcups) has the alternative impact of leaking the audio to the world outdoors. Nevertheless, Grado says they’ve taken steps to scale back the quantity of sound that escapes by as much as 60% in comparison with their wired headphones. A good thing about the open-back design is that it widens the soundstage, greater than you’d usually hear on a closed-back, over-ear design.

Grado GW100x WS cushion
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Simply to additional add to the dearth of practicality, there’s no carry case, so in case you’re taking these headphones on lengthy journeys, they’re both being stuffed in a bag or going across the neck.

Regardless of that, the Grado GW100x just about nail the opposite areas of the design temporary. They’re essentially the most comfy wi-fi on-ears I’ve worn in a while. The Grado’s WS Cushion (which could be swapped out and changed) does warmth my ears up however by no means to the purpose the place it turns into uncomfortable.

Whereas the clamping pressure is tight, it’s additionally to not the purpose the place the headphones pinch on the earlobes. It’s the proper stage of stress to maintain them affixed to the pinnacle, and at about 188g, they’re a light-weight pair.

Grado GW100x buttons earcup v2
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Onboard buttons are saved to the naked minimal: a multi-function button for energy, playback, and Bluetooth pairing, plus quantity buttons that additionally double up as observe skipping forwards and backwards (with a protracted press). The three.5mm jack is retained (cable included within the packaging), however the GW100’s micro-USB port receives a welcome improve to USB-C.


  • Lengthy battery life
  • aptX Adaptive Bluetooth assist
  • Clear voice high quality

Options aren’t normally quite a few for a pair of on-ears – the Sony WH-CH520 are essentially the most function packed I’ve come throughout with their EQ, Bluetooth multipoint, and different customisation potentialities. Nevertheless, what you see is what you get from the Grado GW100x.

Grado GW100x logo
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There’s no app to fiddle with, no firmware updates or battery stage to test until you’re wanting on the icon in your cellular machine. Bluetooth assist is model 5.2, and dropouts had been frequent at Victoria prepare station. That’s a shock contemplating the headphones assist Bluetooth codecs as much as aptX Adaptive, which is meant to offer a steady connection in busy sign areas. These with iOS units will solely have the ability to profit from AAC streaming.

The efficiency with calls was a extra optimistic shock in mild of its open-back design. Voices are intelligible and clear on each ends, and background noise is saved to a minimal in most conditions. It’s solely when it grew to become actually loud that it was tougher for my voice to penetrate by means of the noise.

Grado GW100x side view
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Stamina is great. These headphones really feel as if they’ll go on and on at default quantity (which, fortunately, is sort of loud). An 11-hour battery drain solely noticed them fall to 80%, so there ought to be at the very least 50 hours to get pleasure from earlier than a recharge is required.

Sound High quality

  • Energetic sense of dynamism
  • Agency bass, vibrant highs
  • Broad soundstage

In comparison with the unique GW100, the Grado GW100x play louder at comparable quantity ranges, and that instantly provides them extra impression. The tuning of the 4th Gen X Driver has had just a few adjustments too with the midrange barely crisper, and bass extra pronounced.

There’s extra power, dynamism, and drive to the GW100x’s efficiency, and its midrange readability has the superb impact of separating and isolating vocals from the remainder of a observe, giving them more room to breathe.

Grado GW100X laying flat
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The highest finish of the frequency vary is vibrant and there’s a level of heat to the low frequencies with an honest bass output for an on-ear pair. In comparison with the Grado GW100, the GW100x is clearer and extra outlined in the way it offers with bass.

There’s a propulsive move the Grados give to Porno Graffiti’s Melissa that captures the observe’s bouncy power. The percussive hits of the drum hit cleanly and punchily, and whereas there’s maybe not the utmost sense of element and definition to devices, the tone and character of every instrument is properly described.

Grado GW100x close up detail
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The width of the soundstage permits for music tracks to be unfold broad. With Keep Excessive (Infantile Gambino model), it’s a observe painted on a giant canvas, Gambino’s vocals planted within the centre with backing vocals out in direction of the perimeters. With a soundstage this large it feels as immersive as you may get with out listening to spatial audio tracks similar to Dolby Atmos and Sony’s 360 Actuality Audio.

That observe can also be a great instance of the GW100x’s attain by way of brightness with excessive frequency notes, presenting them with sufficient shine and readability to provide them impression, however to not the purpose they’re both grating or distorted.

Grado GW100x hanging
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There’s good variation in GoGo Penguin’s Raven that depicts every hit of the piano key properly, whereas with some headphones the piano keys can meld into one. That’s additional bolstered by a play of Andreas Ihlebæk’s Come Summer time, during which the Grado captures the number of keystrokes with a wealthy sense of brightness.

The tuning of the Grado GW100x ensures they’re an important pay attention throughout quite a lot of tracks, but when I needed to nit-pick, it’s that the heat of the GW100x’s presentation that doesn’t produce excessive ranges of element and constancy. It’s a nit-pick because the Grados are enormously gratifying, radiating power, dynamism, and energy for a full of life and fascinating pay attention.

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Must you purchase it?

You should purchase for the superb audio efficiency: I haven’t heard an on-ear that sounds pretty much as good because the Grado GW100x. They’re a terrifically expressive and dynamic performer.

You shouldn’t purchase in case you hate interruptions from the skin world: The Grado’s lack of safety from the skin world means it’s adequate for many commutes, though it gained’t survive the loudest components of the Underground.

Closing Ideas

The design carries its drawbacks, which doesn’t make the Grado GW100x most suited to outside use, however is that as large an obstacle? I see loads of commuters carrying on-ear and even open-eared headphones like AirPods and Shokz, so there are some greater than nice coping with some noise leakage.

If that describes you then the Grado GW100x are one of many best-sounding wi-fi on-ears round, an expressive pair of headphones with an expansive soundstage, agency bass and gratifying sense of power and dynamism. They’re a cracking pay attention.

The wi-fi efficiency may stand to be much less flaky in busy sign areas, particularly with its aptX Adaptive assist; however elsewhere they’re one of many extra comfy on-ears I’ve worn, name high quality is surprisingly good, and the battery life will hold these headphones going for days. Grado has knocked it out of the park with the GW100x. Take a look at our Finest Headphones checklist for much more choices.

How we check

We check each set of headphones we overview totally over an prolonged time period. We use trade normal checks to match options correctly. We’ll at all times inform you what we discover. We by no means, ever, settle for cash to overview a product.

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Examined for a number of months

Battery drain check carried out

Examined with actual world use


Do the Grado GW100x assist Bluetooth multipoint?

There’s no Bluetooth multipoint assist with these headphones, so you’ll be able to solely join them to at least one machine at a time.




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