The Grado Heritage Series GH1: Brooklyn Tree Headphones [Updated]

Tapping into our roots

Note: This is photo heavy

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Grado Labs has been hand building products in Brooklyn for over sixty years. Our family’s Brooklyn heritage goes back to 1911, when John Grado’s grandfather came from Sicily and made his home here. He then opened his fruit store in 1918, and continued till 1952. In 1953, that store became Grado Laboratories. Fast forward sixty-two years, and we’re celebrating our heritage with the GH1. The GH1 is the first headphone to ever be built from a Brooklyn tree, and marks the beginning of our Grado Heritage Series. What makes this mean even more to us is that the tree is from our hometown of Sunset Park.

A few months ago, John and Jonathan Grado found out there are trees that need to be taken down or that fall down on their own, but are then at risk of becoming waste. Fortunately, there are fellow Brooklynites who save trees from this fate. From them, the Grado family bought a Sunset Park tree.


Grado Heritage Series GH1 Brooklyn Maple Wood Pieces
Grado Heritage Series GH1 Brooklyn Maple Wood Pieces

The GH1

The quantity of the GH1 was completely dependent on the yield of the tree. This is our first time using maple, and the sound is something we are really proud of. The performance is dynamic, the bass frequencies are authoritative, the midrange is true, and the high frequencies are immaculate. We’ve also included a signed letter in each box (Jonathan’s hand is still feeling it, but it was worth it).

We hope you enjoy this little piece of Brooklyn as much as we did making it.

Grado Heritage Series GH1 Macro


The GH1 is currently rolling out  in waves to our dealers and distributors around the world. The first wave shipped yesterday. If you’re in the U.S., you can check out places like 4OurEars or our Where to Buy page to find a local store. If you’re overseas, check the Where to Buy page to see if your distributor had ordered the GH1 from us. If they did, they’ll be receiving them within three weeks time.

Photography by Jonathan Grado

Grado Heritage Series GH1


Update – July 20, 2015

Well, the GH1 was met with a better reception than we could’ve imagined. The GH1 made its way to: WIREDUncrateThe NY PostPlayboySuperCompressor, Cool MaterialPSFKWHAT HIFISonicScoop, and more.

Todd Green had this to say about the GH1:

“The Grado GH-1 headphone is the newest creation from Grado Labs. The first in the Grado Heritage series, the GH-1 is made from a maple tree cut down in Brooklyn, NY and purchased by John and his son Jonathan. Maple has long been an audiophile favorite wood of choice for its sonic qualities. And it not only looks very nice but also sounds great on the GH-1. The GH-1 is also a limited edition – you can only get some many ear cups out of one tree…

The GH-1 comes with a black leather headband and the Grado L Cushions. It is terminated with a 1/8” mini jack on a 6 ft. cable with a supplied ¼” adapter. They are lightweight and comfortable.

But most importantly they sound very good. The bottom end is tight and delivers impact. Listening to Donald Fagen’s Morph The Cat shows off its bass capabilities. The bass is recorded deep and impactful with good definition and that shows up in the GH-1s.

The mids are smooth and sweet. Vocals flow effortlessly – both male and female.  And the highs are detailed without being bright. There is no harsh in the GH-1 – instruments are easily singled out as are vocals – even in complex passages.

There is a lot to like about the GH-1! I can listen to these phones for hours comfortably and fatigue free. They look good, feel good and sound great.

Expect 50-100 hours of break in but I thought they were pretty darn good straight out of the box.

Grado Labs has made some great headphones over the years and the GH-1 will long be remembered as one of those that stand out as special.”