Grado RS2e is one of the most musical-sounding headphones within its price range and is highly praised by many. If you are a Grado fan currently using an entry-level model, the Grado RS2e is certainly a potential headphone upgrade and it is sanely priced as well. Like all high-quality headphones, they will need a matching amp to go with them.
If you are in search of a good headphone amp to match your Grado RS2e then look no further. We are planning to work out a list of the best headphone amplifiers which you can choose and partner with the RS2e. We will share with you the list after learning more about its sonic performances and characteristics.
Sound Characteristics of Grado RS2e Headphones
The retro theme and the mahogany wood of the Grado RS2e make it look elegant and high-end. It is the type of headphones that will look good when displayed in your listening room using a wooden headphone stand. The open-back design of the RS2e does deter us from using them in an outdoor environment though. As it won’t be able to isolate the environmental noises thus interrupting your music listening session. Not to mention, the Grado RS2e will leak out sound and may annoy the people around you.
As it is an open-back design headphone, we are looking forward to finding out how spacious the soundstage can be. The Grado RS2e has a frequency response of 14Hz-28kHz which is okay for the price. It has a really low impedance of only 32 Ohms and a sensitivity of 99.8db, both of these indicate how easy the Grado RS2e headphones can be driven. This also means we have a lot of potential amp choices. The price points of these headphone amplifiers would be taken into consideration when preparing the list.
You will notice how energetic the Grado RS2e sounds and this immediately pulls you into the music. The lively musical performance of the open-back RS2e allows us to simply enjoy our favorite tunes as we lean back onto our chairs. Vocal reproductions are rich and intimate, some of the musical instruments are more enjoyable to listen to as well. The expressive and forward-sounding midrange of the Grado RS2e headphones is exceptional. It may not be as accurate and is rather colored too but it still sounds right and more importantly, you will like what you are hearing.
The energetic performance of the RS2e is partly due to how agile and fast this headphone can be. There is control and the music handling is amazing, even though it is fast the Grado RS2e does not go all over the place. And as expected with the bass response, it has a tight delivery and doesn’t have a strong impact. If you are looking for a pair of headphones with articulate bass performance, the Grado RS2e will definitely be one of the top choices. You may want to check out G-Cush if you want to add more weight to the RS2e subsonic bass reproductions.
Grado RS2e stereo imaging is impressive as well and the highs don’t sound cringe when you crank up the volume. The Grado house sound is present and it is not neutral. The warm and smooth sound quality of the Grado headphones is easy on the ears, you will hardly feel any fatigue after listening to them for hours. Grado RS2e may not be as neutral as other open-back headphones in the same price range but it sure is entertaining to listen to. You can check out the best matching headphone amps for your Grado RS2e below.
Grado RS2e Specifications
- Wearing Style: Headband (Leather)
- Transducer Principle: Open-Back, Dynamic
- Frequency Response: 14Hz-28kHz
- Sensitivity: 99.8dB
- Impedance: 32 Ohms
- Weight: 259g (0.57lbs)
Best Headphone Amplifiers to match with Grado RS2e
The Little Dot I+ is one of the best headphone amplifiers to partner with the Grado RS2e, especially for listeners who want to add more warmth and smoothness to the overall sound reproduction. This hybrid amplifier also expands the soundstage further which complements the spacious sound reproduction of the RS2e really well. Allowing us to be enveloped by the music, and does help us to get more engrossed in live music playbacks. You can also choose tube rolling to further alter the sonic characteristics of the Little Dot I+ amp.
Chord Mojo will be an outstanding headphone amp to go for as it has the enthusiasm to keep up with the Grado RS2e’s energetic performance. The Chord Mojo is an award-winning portable headphone amplifier and has an in-built D/A converter, providing even more value to its users. It is so compact, you can easily slot the Mojo into your pocket. This headphone amp has the ability to dig out plenty of music details while organizing the information and delivers them out with cohesion. The Chord Mojo enthusiastic and high-resolution music presentation will fit nicely with the Grado RS2e.
The Schiit Audio Valhalla 2 is another excellent tube headphone amp that will match really well with the Grado RS2e. The impeccable stereo imaging of the amp will add more definition to each singer and instrument on a wide spacious soundstage, complementing the RS2e very well. It tightens the bass delivery of the headphone and brings out the midrange a little more. The very low noise background of the Schiit Audio Valhalla 2 also helps to bring out the music even more. Tube rolling is an option but it is not necessary.
Drop + THX AAA 789 is an ideal headphone amplifier for listeners who prefer a neutral-sounding amp. The neutral and clean sound quality of the Drop + THX AAA 789 will allow the Grado RS2e to shine through, showing off their lively musical performance without any further colorations from the headphone amp. This is also a powerful headphone amp with a modest price tag and it does its job well which will be driving your Grado RS2e headphones efficiently. It will be worth your time to audition them together.
DarkVoice 336SE is a solid OTL headphone amp and will match well with your Grado RS2e headphones. The midrange performance of the 336SE will complement the RS2e and its smooth music delivery is pleasing to the ears. Vocals are focused and clear, they sounded beautiful at almost all volume levels. The DarkVoice 336SE has a sweet sound quality and a modest price point. Tube rolling is an option and you can alter the tube amp sound signatures to make it match even better with your Grado RS2e.
For listeners with a tighter budget, the Schiit Audio Magni Heresy will be a good and affordable choice for you. This is also great for listeners who want to add a bit more leanness into the sound quality without sacrificing the speedy transients and agility. It is also capable of adding resolution and details into the music delivery, allowing us to hear a bit more subtleties when using the Grado RS2e. The stereo separation of the Schiit Audio Magni Heresy will work well together with RS2e and at this price point, we have nothing to nitpick about this headphone amplifier.
Auditioning the Headphone Amps
It is wise to audition the headphone amps first before making your final decision. You can shortlist the headphone amplifiers listed here based on their price points. Bring along your favorite music and you should use your own Grado RS2e headphones during the auditioning of the amps. Do allow some time for the tube headphone amps to warm up first before starting the audition and also check with the store if the stock tubes being used are not worn out yet.