Performance Build Quality Comfort Value PRICE $695 AT A GLANCE Plus Hand-crafted in Brooklyn! Lightweight design Incredibly open soundstage Minus Cable isn’t user-replaceable THE VERDICT The Grado RS1e is lightweight and has a big-as-all-outdoors soundstage and clarity that are unbeatable in its price class. Grado Labs is located in a nondescript four-story building in the Sunset Park neighborhood in Brooklyn, where Joe Grado started manufacturing phono cartridges in the early 1950s. John Grado (Joe’s nephew) took over day-to-day operations in 1978, and in 1989 Grado Labs jumped into the headphone market. John and Joe hand-built all of the company’s first-generation headphones—the HP-1, HP-2, and HP-3—and those ’phones now fetch anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 on eBay! Grado Labs is still a family-owned business, and John’s son Jonathan came aboard in 2014.