Grado have finally stepped into the True Wireless arena with the all new GT220.
And what an entrance! Read on as I review the first pair of True Wireless IEMs to truly impress me…
Rich and John at Grado kindly sent the GT220 True Wireless IEMs my way for review.
I have not been paid or sponsored by Grado and the thoughts and views expressed in this publication are unbiased and my own.
The Grado GT220 True Wireless IEM retail at $259 at the time of this review.
You can pick some up by following the link below-
Grado GT220 True Wireless IEM.
Samsung Galaxy Note Ten+.
Qobuz Studio Premier.
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What’s in the box:
2x Grado GT220 True Wireless IEM.
1x Charging case.
1x USB Type C charging cable.
6x Multiple ear tips.
1x Instruction leaflet.
Battery Life: 36 hours
Headphone Battery: 6 hours; 50mAH
Case Battery: 5 full charges; 500mAH
Charging: USB-C, Wireless; 2 Hours
Codec: aptX, AAC, SBC
Frequency Response: 20Hz~20KHz
Nominal Impedance: 32ohms
Build and finish:
I’ve owned my fair share of Grado products over the years and their attention to detail and craftsmanship has always brought joy to my audiophile heart.
The GT220 are no different here. The IEMs and the case are well designed and have clearly been thought through thoroughly. Now there’s a tongue twister!
I digress. The case is subtly stylish and robust. The IEMs sit inside the charging ports firmly and will not budge when one tries to shake them out of an upside down case. That’s the first test passed! They are lightweight and pocketable and the case is no bigger than others I have reviewed. Grado get 5 stars for including wireless charging. See it’s not difficult folks. This is a most welcome feature! USB Type-C is still available around the rear of the case, as we all know we can’t always access a wireless charger so kudos there.
The lid is easy to open and stays shut when closed. I know you would think this would be an all too obvious feature, however I have struggled with other cases.
The IEMs themselves are a thing of beauty. Again Grado have opted for a subtle yet stylish design in a smooth satin black and it works so well. The Grado logos are backlit and indicate various functions of the GT220, however they don’t remain lit when inserted so don’t worry about losing any battery life.
I’ll get into more in the comfort section however I’ll add here that like the case, the GT220s are lightweight.
Battery life so far is bang on the money. I got 6 and a bit hours out of the first listen.
On my second charge now and I can confirm the 2 hour charge time.
Setup couldn’t be easier and Grado include a step by step guide in the instruction leaflet that a 5 year old could follow.
Pairing took seconds and the connection is stable with no glitches or drop outs.
Grado don’t have a control app for these IEMs and to be honest it really isn’t required.
There is no active noise cancelling which is frustrating, however it’s not a deal breaker.
It all depends on what you’re looking for in a True Wireless IEM. And as I will discuss in a moment they more than make up for the lack of ANC in other ways.
This is not however all that much of an issue when you consider that the 220s can be individually synced allowing just one side to be worn when you need to be aware of your surroundings.
The GT220 are one of the comfiest True Wireless IEMs I have had the pleasure to wear.
I got a good fit with the included ear tips and they provide excellent isolation.
They are lightweight as I mentioned before and this translates into being a very comfortable, non invasive experience.
Giving my head a good shake to the point I nearly triggered a migraine, I can confirm they are shake proof. These IEMs aren’t going anywhere in a hurry. In fact against the 5 True Wireless IEMs I have used prior to the GT220s I have them currently level pegging for top position in the “Head-shake” test. So that’s another In-use test well and truly passed.
I have been listening to these on and off for 6 hours today and I am not experiencing any discomfort or fatigue.
Grado have utilised a touch pad approach with the GT220s and it is implemented well.
The gestures work every time with no hick ups. I always prefer touch pads as you don’t get to experience having your ear stabbed with a pokey thing. Which is a thing. And I have had the misfortune of having to endure it. Thank you Grado for not subjecting users to needless pain when skipping tracks or activating their voice assistant of choice. More Kudos!
And here we come to the heart of the matter.
I have tried so hard to find fault here to ensure my readers of an unbiased review.
I will state for the record right now that so far, The GT220 are by far the best True Wireless IEM I have heard to date.
The moment I opened Qobuz and started on my playlists I was taken back by the bass.
Deep, Rich textured bass with an accuracy and impact I have not heard from a True Wireless to date. This applies to the various genres I threw at them.
Midrange is smooth and neutral with plenty of detail and air right through to the high mids.
Saxophone, Cello, Oboe and Trumpet are front and centre stage as are needle scratches and percussive pieces.
The high frequency range is spot on in its accuracy and definition. There is a natural sparkle that is a delight to hear. Cymbal hits and crashes, Guitar solos, Harp and Violin all sound sublime.
No EQ, No DSP, No tuning ports or cable swaps. They sound this good out of the box.
I say this as almost every True Wireless IEM I have tried so far has needed EQ’ing or tweaking of some form to get them to sound right. The GT220’s need no such wizardry.
The soundstage that the GT220 creates is big and spacious with headroom and depth to complement. Instrument separation is clear and concise even in busier parts of tracks.
And the imaging… I thought I understood how imaging works in IEMs, wired or wireless. Obviously I was either wrong in my assumption or I hadn’t heard anything that so far created a good enough image for me to get it. Close your eyes and play your favourite live performance and you’ll soon understand. I felt like I was in the performance not listening from the outside.
So ok, Grado decided to leave off the ANC, but great Scott they more than made up for it in the sound department!!!
I must add here as they do have a built in mic that call quality is excellent and the few folk that I test called confirmed they could hear me clearly and with no muffle or too much background noise.
Summery and recommendation:
At $259 I would say it’s a choice between active noise cancelling or superior sound quality.
If you want a pair of True Wireless IEMs that are as close to a far more expensive headphone with an astounding dynamic range then this is the one. Aside from the lack of ANC, Grado have knocked it out of the park and created what I would consider a great all rounder suiting most genres and a genuine audiophile True Wireless IEM.
I hereby award The Grado GT220 The Audiophile Cafe 5 star rating and a massive thumbs up for releasing what I consider a game changer.
If they have a model in the works with ANC you’ll be sure that I will ask to review a pair and let you know my thoughts as I predict they will be better again.
Finally, I find myself asking would I swap my other TW IEMs for these if given the chance?
In a heart beat!
I would like to thank John and Rich for allowing me this opportunity and will shortly be trying to sweet talk them into letting me keep these. I really don’t want to give them back!
Many thanks as always to my fantastic readers for your continuing support.
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Stay safe. All my best, Paul.