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Grado Labs Unveils New Reference Series: Introducing Fourth Generation X Drivers in the RS1x and RS2x

Grado Labs is excited to announce the launch of the new Reference Series, featuring the fourth generation X Drivers in the RS1x and RS2x headphones.

The RS1x showcases a unique blend of maple, cocobolo, and hemp wood, while the RS2x combines maple and hemp wood for its housing. These cutting-edge speakers represent the latest evolution in Grado's driver technology, a journey that began with the company’s first headphone in 1991. In addition to superior sound quality, the RS1x and RS2x now feature new durable cables and redesigned headbands.


Leading the way with our fourth generation X Drivers, the RS1x integrates a 50mm driver with three distinct types of wood, creating an elegant and vibrant headphone. The housing consists of a maple sleeve, a hemp core, and a cocobolo outer ring. Grado's expertise in woodcraft is evident in the meticulous selection and balancing of these woods, chosen for their warm and embracing tonal qualities.



The result is the RS1x, which elevates Grado’s sound to new heights. Its counterpart, the RS2x, employs maple and hemp wood to maximize their acoustic potential, housing a 44mm driver. This marks the first instance of X Drivers being integrated into wooden housings, requiring precise tuning to optimize their performance. This combination enhances harmonic richness, vocal clarity, and the renowned Grado mid-range.


“In 1994, my dad (John Grado) went downstairs in the middle of the night to build our first RS1 headphone,” recalls Jonathan Grado. “It’s extraordinary that this midnight idea has evolved into an even greater headphone 27 years later.”


Over the past thirty years, Grado Labs has released only four generations of drivers, avoiding the trend of annual updates. Instead, Grado focuses on significant upgrades to ensure meaningful advancements in their headphones.


The X Drivers introduce a completely redesigned speaker, bringing new harmony to the RS1x and RS2x. Each driver is finely tuned to the specific wooden enclosure, increasing the speaker's magnetic power while reducing the effective mass of the voice coil. Combined with a reconfigured diaphragm, this creates a speaker that faithfully represents the original sound source.


Alongside the innovative X Drivers, the RS1x and RS2x now come equipped with new durable 8-conductor cables and white-stitched leather headbands, enhancing both performance and durability.



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