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Grado GT220: Is this the audiophile’s answer to the AirPods Pro?

Grado is a Brooklyn-based audio company that has made a name for itself as a go-to for audiophiles and premium audio over the last couple of decades, with its open-back headphones in the Prestige series particularly noteworthy. As the world (or at least, the mainstream market) gravitates towards wireless headphones, the company has just announced its first ever pair of TWS headphones: the Grado GT220.

Grado promises that the GT220 will still have the company’s signature sound, with a neutral and musical midrange response coupled with “definitive” bass. The company says that its first TWS earbuds have been in development for years, and despite its small size, the GT220 offers “vocality and depth”.

“No matter the size, we give all our drivers an equal amount of love. We spent as much time as needed tuning and fitting our signature mini-drivers for these TWS headphones.”

Battery life is impressive. Up to 36 hours of listening time is promised on a single charge, with the earbuds offering six hours on a single charge, and the charging case holding another five additional charges. The charging case can be charged via USB-C, or Qi-certified wireless charging.

Touch controls are available on each earbud, and you can also activate your smartphone’s built-in voice assistant (such as Google Assistant or Siri) and send voice commands to your device.

Meanwhile, a twist-to-lock mechanism will help create a tight seal in your ear to block out unwanted ambient noise.

However, the GT220 is missing one very important feature, one that is commonly seen on premium TWS headphones these days: noise cancellation. In fact, there isn’t even any mention of “digital” or “hybrid” noise cancellation, which are usually cheaper alternatives to Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) technology. This is somewhat disappointing, and noise cancelling is certainly a must-have for many users—particularly for headphones that cost this much.

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The Grado GT220 TWS earbuds are now available to pre-order, with shipping to begin on the 15th of October 2020. Official pricing is set at USD 259 (~RM1,075)—which is more or less the same price as Apple’s AirPods Pro. However, the GT220 headphones might just be the audiophile’s answer to mainstream TWS options like the AirPods Pro—if you can live without noise cancellation of any sort.

To find out more, click here.