If we showed you a pair of headphones from Grado Labs, those who don’t know the brand might think it’s just another low-end offering. However, audiophiles will recognize the signature design right away. The manufacturer has impeccable timing as the holidays are about to hit. Their recently unveiled Reference series would make excellent stocking stuffers for music lovers.

The new lineup features two models: The RS1x and RS2x. Although both share some similarities, there are also distinct differences buyers might want to consider. For starters, each uses a dynamic transducer with an open-air configuration.

In fact, most high-end brands like Grado Labs use the same setup. Notably, it delivers better sound quality and enhances user comfort. Thus, the Reference series is engineered for longer listening sessions. Nevertheless, here are details of what sets the duo apart.

The RS1x touts a housing crafted out of a combination of a maple sleeve, hemp core, and cocobolo outer ring. Within these are 50-mm X Drivers tuned accordingly to the material. Up next is the RS2x, which flaunts a hemp core with the sleeve and outer ring in maple. Also, the latter packs Grado Labs’ 44-mm X Drivers.

Grado Labs notes that the cables are now more durable than before. Furthermore, the super annealed copper improves acoustic clarity. You then have a black leather headband with white stitching.

If this is your first time listening to this type of design, just don’t be surprised to hear ambient noise mixed with your audio. Grado Labs certainly knows how to make the Reference series appealing for casual listeners and those who demand only the best.

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Images courtesy of Grado Labs