If you wished your headphones could stand out, Grado’s latest might just make the grade. Especially if you love hemp.
Over the years, we’ve seen some unusual materials used in headphone construction, some more unique than others. While the neodymium metal is typically found in headphones of today, you can every so often find organic fibres in some or titanium in others. That’s rare.
You might even find different materials used for headphone parts. You’ll see plastic regularly, but there might be aluminium, titanium, carbon fibre, or even wood. AudioQuest and Fostex have both dabbled in wood, and there are apparently other options, as well.
In fact one brand is dabbling in a combination of wood and something else, turning to a different material that could just make for one of the most unique pair of headphones around: hemp.
Not quite the drug you might associate it with, hemp is instead used in textiles, body care products, and food, among other things, Grado is now putting hemp to use in headphones, creating what a marketing department might call a “hempphone”, but that is basically a headphone when hemp woven into wood for the casing of the headphones.
Specifically, Grado’s Hemp Headphone uses the ingredient in the casing of the headphone cup, mixing maple and hemp together for a wooden pair of headphones that Grado says worked to “bring out the potential of the hemp”. It’s a sound that the company says produces a “fuller sound”, though these are a pair of audiophile-focused headphones, and that should largely be expected.
Frankly, we’re not entirely sure what the acoustic properties of hemp are, not having heard hemp in any pair of headphones prior, but it’s a pair Grado says delivers its signature sound, and is even hand-made.
A limited edition, they’ll miss a bit of what we can only assume is a punchline to the US pricing of $420, but you can thank the US to Australian dollar conversion for that. Locally, though, Australians can expect to find the Grado Hemp Headphones for $699 price locally, found at a very select few retailers when they arrive in August.