It's always welcome when a manufacturer improves on a five-star product. That's exactly what Grado has sought to do with the GW100x wireless headphones – they take the GW100 and add new drivers, better Bluetooth tech and a longer battery life. Colour us excited.
The GW100 were the first open-backed wireless headphones, and while their leaky nature wasn't for everyone, we gave them five stars for their awesome sound quality and foolproof operation.
And now the GW100x improve on them in multiple ways.
First up, the drivers. The fourth-generation X series drivers have a more powerful magnetic circuit, a voice coil with decreased effective mass, and a reconfigured diaphragm. Reconfiguring these components makes the 44mm drivers more efficient while reducing distortion.
The speaker housings and internals have also been redesigned, and now promise to reduce sound leakage by up to 60 per cent compared to Grado's wired headphones.
The GW100 were released in 2018 – technology has moved on since then, and thankfully so has Grado. The GW100x feature Bluetooth 5.2 for greater wireless range and a more robust connection. They also support aptX Adaptive, along with the standard AAC and SBC codecs. And they have a feature called "enhanced pairing" which "lets you switch between two devices more efficiently" – it's not quite multipoint as you can't pair devices simultaneously, but it does make it easier to switch between devices that have been previously paired.
Finally, the battery life is much improved. Considering the poor battery life was one of the few faults we found with the original GW100, this is very good news. The GW100 only lasted 15 hours, but the GW100x are good for 46 hours before needing a recharge. That's over three times the run time!
And if you do suffer a flat battery, you can always listen cabled using the 3.5mm headphone jack.
They also feature a mic for voice calls, on-earcup controls and the ability to control them from your mobile device.
The Grado GW100x are available now for £249 / $275 (about AU$440).
These are the best headphones around