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Grado will happily tell you that the GR10 earphones are an evolutionary improvement over their predecessors, the excellent but expensive GR8 earphones. More importantly, however, they are indisputably among the very best of all of the earphones we've ever had the chance to try out. Alas, though yet this new offering is much more expensive at almost £400, for which money a lot of compelling alternatives can be had. So at one and the same time you really should buy a pair of Grado GR10 earphones, but also you really shouldn't buy a pair of GR10 earphones.
This quandary is evident even in the packaging of the Grado GR10s. Like the GR8s, the GR10s come is a simple goldish-brown box, containing only the earphones themselves, three pairs of silicone tips (small, medium and large) and some replacement filters. There's no carrying case, no aeroplane adaptor and no 3.5mm to 6.5mm adaptor - nothing you might describe as a value add.
Some might call that stingy, especially given the price of the GR10s, but the minimalist bundle does have an air of classiness to it. Indeed, other than a cutaway view of one earpiece, the company's name and tagline - "truly the world's finest" - on the front, and the product ID on the bottom, there's no text or imagery adorning the packaging. There's something refreshing about a product being allowed to speak for itself. You don't need fanfare and a parade to explain why you would buy a Faberge egg, after all.
The design of the earphones is the same as the GR8s and, as we remarked of those, elegant in its simplicity. We preferred the blue of the GR8s to the Green of the GR10s, but the latter do boast a pleasant enough shade at least. The presence of a slight notch on the left earpiece will prove useful if the GR10s L and R labels rub off as quickly as the GR8s' did. Although erring on the large size, the earpieces nestle comfortably in the ear, and the tips give a surprisingly good seal for silicone, though not as good as foam. The cabling has a pleasant-feeling, very slightly rubberised finish, and feels resilient, although not as much so as that of, say, the Shure SE535 - and with nothing as clever as their detachable, swivelling connectors.