Grado Hemp Review – High on Mt. Grado, but still Grados

With a name like the Hemp, you’d think these Grado cans would be very popular in Vancouver, BC. But do they resonate with …


  1. I occasionally use my RS1X with g-cushions for gaming – modmic stuck next to where cable attaches. While I tend to agree with Crin that it won't make me any better it is if nothing else an enjoyable experience.

  2. Comfort tip for the stock pads: bend the headband so the pads are hardly exerting any force on your ears. If they’re pushing on your ears they’re miserable. Don’t worry about the headband, you won’t hurt it and that’s how you make Grados fit. If they still hurt then yeah, get some bigger pads; I have both but I prefer the sound of the stock pads. Love these things!

  3. If Grado moved out of NY and moved to a more business friendly state and city they could sell their headphones for less and therefore sell a lot more of them and make more money.

  4. The hilarious thing about those pads is they're actually clones of grado's own GS1000 pads. So grado already has these pads, and yet they still don't ship them out as standard. Why, grado? Why?

  5. Got the hemp. Got ALL the pads imaginable. Yes, the soundstage gets ridiculous with the G Cush. But they also introduce sibilance, suck out the mids and remove body from the bass. The tonal balance on the stock pads is excellent to me. L Cush are a nice compromise I wish more reviewers would try out.

  6. It looks like it cost $4.20 in build quality, like HiFi man, which is a deal breaker for me, I'm a bit rough and tumble with 'phones and tend to leave 'em in unsavory areas, so I need high build quality.

  7. I purchased the Hemp back in December last year. You're right about the included pads (they're called F-cushions). They are thin and uncomfortable and destroy the soundstage. All you get is a wall of two-dimensional sound. As a side note, the recently-released X-driver series of the Prestige line has these thin pads as standard. I really don't understand that move at all.

    Like you, I did purchase the Geekria "G-cush" pads and they really do improve the sound quite substantially but to my ears, it really emphasizes the upper bass/lower midrange to the point that, depending on the track, muddies up the sound and subdues the highs more than I want (yeah, I'm a treble head).

    I then purchased the Geekria "L-cush" pads which were the standard pads for years on most of their offerings. It fits nicely between the wafer-thin F-cush and larger G-cush pads. They don't have the bass presence of the larger G-cush pads but they really bring back all of that glorious soundstage and clarity that makes Grados so addicting, assuming you like the Grado sound which could be considered an acquired taste.

    Also, another side note – I noticed that your sample has the white stitching on the headband. The ones I purchased late last year have black stitching. Not an issue really but since the new Prestige line has white stitching too (to denote its new drivers perhaps), I wonder if the drivers in the Hemp are updated. I'm sure they're not…but still.

  8. The brand new SR125X is the best headphone I've ever heard under $1500. And thats not even the 225X or the 325X. It's an absolute pleasure to listen to whatever tuning they did on these new drivers is great. They make any planar under the Arya or sound metallic and off. It destroys the 6XX and Sundara. Only the Audezes sound nice with their warmer sound. If youre gonna buy the 6XX, get a SR225X and those bowl pads or the TTVJ Flat Pad.

    You get a Hemp and LCD Classic and it's game over. End game. For what? $1200 total? End Game. Unless you want to spend $5000 or whatever on that Abyss.

  9. I personally love the hemps (with the geekria pads) far far more than the Sundaras, where the hemps really feels like a true hifi experience that's just a joy to listen to.

    It helps me ignore how garbage the undetachable cables are 🙂

  10. Grado recently announced a revision to their entire Prestige series and one of the changes is that they will all have the same flat pads as the Hemp. No more L pads. It would seem that a year of rave reviews/product of the year awards for the Hemp may have influenced that decision.

  11. I recently got the grado hemp. I cant really say why but I like them more than the 6xx, Sundara, Zeus, DT 1990 or 560s. But on the other hand I dont know if I would recommend them without hesitation. Its a headphone you have to try yourself to know if you will like it or not.

  12. I usually like your reviews, but reviewing headphones with low quality pads that ruins the sound…i don't get it. I agree that the stock pad gets painful on the ears but the G pad you're using are the worst thing you can do to the Hemp, it kills the sub bass and all the punchy sound the Hemp is now famous for. I prefer to suffer and enjoy a good sound.

  13. It's kind of a head scratcher that Grado has not yet partnered with a pad maker to make bigger and better pads for their headphones. The stock pads just flat out suck. Besides bad comfort… the non detachable cable is a dealbreaker with the Grado's

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