Grado is a well-known brand amongst audiophiles. They are mostly known for their retro-inspired open-back headphones that deliver a slightly polarizing sound signature. But we are not talking about their open-back headphones today. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the Grado GT 220 wireless earbuds, the brand’s first ever pair of true wireless earbuds. Are these earbuds worth buying? How do they compare against established TWS earbuds such as the AirPods Pro or the Sony WF-1000XM4? Are they worthy of the Grado name? Read on to find out.
Grado GT 220 vs AirPods Pro vs Sony WF-1000XM4 vs
Sennheiser Momentum 2 Comparison Chart
Grado’s GT 220 wireless earbuds offer nothing new when it comes to design and looks, but that’s not a bad thing.
The Grado GT 220 look like standard TWS earbuds. They have a similar design to the Jabra Elite earbuds, and there’s also some similarities with Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wireless earbuds. The buds are contoured to fit most ears, however, the nozzles are a bit long, so people with smaller ear canals might not find them to have the best fit. Fortunately, you can use most aftermarket ear tips with these earbuds since they don’t have a proprietary design. If the tips that come with the buds do not fit you as well as you’d like, you have the option of trying out different tips.
The build quality of the Grado GT 220 wireless earbuds is good. The shells are made of high-quality polymer material and the case is made of high-quality plastic. The high-quality plastic build makes them lightweight without sacrificing durability. These earbuds are rated IPX4, so they are water-resistant. The case is a bit on the bulky side. It is portable, but not as pocketable as something smaller like the AirPods Pro. The Grado GT 220 come in black color only.
Compared to most TWS earbuds in their price range, the Grado GT200 are lacking in features.
Features-wise, the Grado GT 220 are kind of disappointing considering their price. They have touch controls, they support aptX, SBC and AAC, and they have dual microphones with noise reduction for calls. But that’s all of their features. They don’t have active noise cancelling and ambient or transparency modes that are common with earbuds at their price range.
The touch controls are responsive and sensitive—some might even consider them too sensitive. The left earbud handles calls and voice controls while the right earbud is for music playback. You can lower or raise the volume by tapping and holding the left and right earbuds, respectively. Unfortunately, you can’t remap or customize the controls with these earbuds since they don’t have a companion app.
As for noise cancelling, these do not have ANC. They do have excellent passive noise isolation since the nozzles are longer so they can form a good seal around your ear canal. But not everyone will have the same level of seal due to the difference in ear shapes. As far as features go, the Grado GT 220 wireless earbuds offer only the basics.
The Grado GT 220 have a slightly warm V-shape sound.
Grado open-back headphones are popular for their distinct bright sound signature. However, with the GT 220 wireless earbuds, Grado decided to have a more consumer friendly tuning that emphasizes bass, but without sacrificing the mids treble forwardness. The result is a mild V-shape that provides plenty of thump and rumble in the low-end, while still having forward mids and detailed highs.
The bass is slightly boosted, but not to the level of other TWS earbuds such as those from Beats, Sony and others. There’s a mild boost in the mid-bass for a full-bodied low-end without bloat. The bass doesn’t bleed into the mids for a pleasant tonality.
The mids are forward, particularly, the upper mid-range. Male vocals are forward, but female vocals is where these TWS earbuds shine. As for the treble range, there’s an early drop-off, so these are not the airiest. They have detailed highs, but the overall sound signature is a bit on the warm side due to that early drop-off.
The Grado GT 220 battery life is good.
When it comes to battery life, the Grado GT 220 wireless earbuds offer good performance. They can last up to six hours on a full charge, and the case gives you five more additional charges for a total playback time of 36 hours. It would have been better if the earbuds themselves could last longer, but as they are, they are quite decent.
Charging can be done using the included USB-C cable or wirelessly. The case has four LEDs that light up as you charge. Each LED light represents 25% of the charge amount.
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The Grado GT 220 are expensive given that they don’t have many features.
Grado GT 220
The Grado GT 220 are decent TWS earbuds, but they are lacking in many areas, especially when compared to similarly priced earbuds such as the AirPods Pro and Sony WF-1000XM4. They don’t have features such as ANC, Transparency and many sound enhancements such as EQ settings, DSPs and more. If these features are a must-have for you, then the Grado GT 220 won’t satisfy you. However, if you don’t particularly care about those features and you want a pair of TWS earbuds with a warm sound signature, the Grado GT 220 are worth considering.
Sound signature is subjective, but when it comes to value, the
The Sony WF-1000XM4 are better than the Grado GT 220 in almost everything, except for sound quality since that is subjective.
No, they have an IPX4 rating, so they are water-resistant only.
If you have an Android device, you can EQ the Grado GT 220 using any of the system-wide EQ apps available on the Play Store. You can’t EQ the Grado GT 220 with Apple devices.