These New Wooden Headphones Are a Treat for Your Ears

You can snag your own pair in Chestnut Hill.

Photograph courtesy of Jonathan Grado

When Dr. Dre released Beats in 2006, headphones became an instant status symbol. And the handmade versions put out by Brooklyn-based Grado Labs are at the top of the headphone hierarchy, thanks to the mash-up of silky-sounding audio and understated styling. Grado’s been at it for more than 60 years — Billy Joel and John Mayer are devout fans — but its just-released Black Label II series is set to be the most lauded yet; the music (or maybe podcast) experience they create can only be described as otherworldly. $1,549 at Chestnut Hill Audio, Chestnut Hill.

Wood Working
Every set of Grado Labs headphones has a wood element. The rich black oak used here is cured in a proprietary process to enhance the natural acoustics.

The open-backed speakers perform an engineering trick that lets music sound as if it’s coming from all directions — not just your headphones.

Each component is bonded together by hand to create a continuous structure, so there’s zero background distortion from vibrating parts.

Published as “Rock Steady” in the July 2018 issue of Philadelphia magazine.