Two words? Headphone heaven. Two more? Read further. The first time I came across these headphones was about five years ago. I was browsing the web for G-d knows what and accidentally ended up at the Grado RS1 product page. The page design was outdated (and hasn't changed since!), the headphones looked weird, and I most likely ended up sending a link to one of my friends commenting on their preposterous price (which hasn't changed since, either). Well, about two and a half years ago I got me a pair of Grado SR80. At $95, these headphones are the second cheapest in the Grado offering, but they've made me an instant fan of the brand. The first night I brought them home, I ended up doing nothing but laying on the couch listening to two cd's back to back. Who does that anymore? With all the cable channels, the internet, and the video games, nobody just listens to music anymore. Sober, anyway. Yes, the SR80's are that good. At $95 they simply can not be beat, the tight bass, the clarity of the mids and the treble, and just the ability to hear each instrument separately was new to me. Needless to say, when I decided it was time for a headphone upgrade, I knew I wouldn't be buying anything other then a set from Grado. Grado GS1000 looked very appealing, but who has $995 to spend on a pair of headphones? So, the RS1 it was. Having put about 15 hours on them, I am still not done breaking them in, but they have already impressed me a great deal. Way clearer then the RS80's and a much wider sound stage. The mp3's encoded at 192k/s don't cut it anymore. To get the fullest out of them you probably need LP's and CD's, but even listening to mp3's encoded at 320k/s gave me goosebumps. Listening to Digicult's Icarus One brought back (ahem!) some college memories and made me grind my teeth. Listening to Enya's Winter Came album lowered my blood pressure dangerously low. And they did a damn good job conveying Collie Budz' disdain for fawkin' hataz. In all seriousness, you simply have to check out the way the guitar sounds on Collie Budz' Moving On with the RS1's. To conclude - money well spent!
Here's my test setup - the RS1's with my Cowon S9. These two are great paired together, as the S9 can easily drive them at half volume - I usually have it on volume 20-25 out of 40. Also, I highly recommend exploring the BBE equalizers available on that player.
I'll be testing the RS1's with my hometheater set up shortly. I am sure t