When you’re buying a pair of headphones, the first thing you need to decide is whether you want earbuds or an actual pair of headphones. If you want to jam a pair of speakers in your ears, it doesn’t really matter what they look like. If you want a pair of over-ear headphones, however, style matters. We took a pair of solid wood headphones from Grain Audio for a spin to see if they have the chops to match their sharp appearance.
WHAT IS IT?
A pair of solid wood headphones constructed with sustainable Walnut. They aim to deliver a natural listening experience that isn’t highlighted by fake bass and exaggerated mid-range.
WHO IS IT FOR?
Anyone not ready to jump into the high-end audio market, but still willing to spend a couple hundred dollars on a pair of good-looking cans. They’re also really tailored to certain musical genres that don’t benefit from any added thump.
HOW DOES IT FEEL?
The earpads are extremely comfortable while still providing enough of a seal to block outside noise. The flat top of the headband, however, can become annoying after extended periods of use as it applies gentle pressure to the top of your head.
WHAT WE LIKED:
They look great. The solid Walnut makes them appear far more luxurious than other headphones at the same price point. Also, they protect really well against sound leakage. That’s something we liked, and so did those around us.
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:
The “natural” sound was okay, but for a lot of the music we listen to, the OEHP headphones left something to be desired. Maybe we’re just used to stronger bass and amped-up vocals, but we had a hard time adjusting to the audio.
The sustainably harvested Walnut that was oil-finished by hand. What big box store electronics brand offers that?
WOULD WE BUY IT?
No, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. We’d pass because we enjoy having a lot of our tracks bumped up to pulsate our earlobs. If you listen to lo-fi, jazz, or other genres where this isn’t applicable, however, these headphones from Grain Audio are a great-looking set that could be what you’re looking for.