Grado GW100x review: wireless open-back headphones, you say?

It’s been a couple of months since I reviewed the open-back Grado SR325x, but now it’s time to look at another pair of Grado headphones – this time with wireless. The £228/$275 GW100x is the long-awaited upgrade to 2018’s GW100, bringing with it updated 44mm drivers, Bluetooth 5.2 with the aptX Adaptive codec and much improved battery life. The idea of wireless open-backs might seem like a novelty at first, but as we delve deeper you’ll see there’s much more to them than meets the eye.

Firstly, fitment and comfort. Well, the GW100x at 188g is immensely light, and makes a change from other headphones I’ve tested, which can be double the weight of these Grados. The clamping force they provide, much like with the SR325Xs, is determined by shaping the headband to the shape of your head and letting the headphones rest on your ears. This can take some getting used to, but get it right, and the GW100x makes for an immensely comfortable set of cans.

The trade-off for the lightweight design is a rather flimsy plastic construction, which doesn’t hold up well against alternatives in this price bracket from Sony and Bose like the NC700s. Of course, plastic is the material of choice for Grado cans in their Prestige line, such as the SR60s and SR80s, but these headphones also cost much less than the W100x do. There’s not even a case included in the box, so long-term durability is a concern.

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