RS1e Reference Series Headphone and DIY Kit


Specification (pre-installed) 

  • Transducer type: dynamic
  • Operating principle: open air
  • Frequency Response: 12-30kHz
  • SPL 1mW: 98
  • Normal Impedance: 32ohms
  • Driver matched db: .05

SKU: RS1e Reference Series Headphone and DIY Kit Categories: , Tags: ,


This headphone is built with original Grado RS1e handcrafted Mahogany wood cups, original Grado 50mm 32Ohm drivers, original Grado 12core cable (original RS1e cable is 8 cores, 12core cable is for Hi-End series like GS3000e) and upgrade genuine leather headband. The result is a smooth, controlled and coherent sound with detailed dynamics. Frequency response ranges from 12-30 kHz and the drivers are matched to 0.05dB. Weighing 9 oz, these headphones are a gorgeous, dark-colored Mahogany look.

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  • Elegant, Grado RS1e Mahogany cups cut by high-precision CNC lathe from large chunk of wood with laser printed characters.
  • Original Grado RS1e drivers with 50mm diaphragm, 100% reproduce the original sound character
  • Cup holders (brackets) are made of high quality stainless steel, with 2 color options in silver or black
  • 3 headband options in black/brown handmade Hermes leather, or black genuine leather 
  • High quality Grado G/S/L cushions 

If you are an experienced DIYer and want to build the headphone from scratch, here is the DIY kit with everything you need. With basic soldering and crafting skills, you can make it in just a few hours. Scroll down for the DIY tutorial.

Know about Grado Labs RS1e

Grado Labs RS1e got “Outstanding balance and excellent details” on Tech Week (Review):

The Grado RS1e headphones differ from other models with their old-school design. In the manufacture of headphones, far from the most modern and technologically advanced materials are used. In production, preference is given to natural leather, wood and metal elements; the presence of plastic is minimal. As an open model, the RS1e showcases an outstanding stage, sound balance, volume and excellent detail.

Returning to the information from the official site, where Grado RS1e are called “point of no return”, “audio masterpiece” and those headphones, hearing which disappears interest in models for the mass market. The statements are quite bold and categorical, but let’s leave it on the conscience of the company’s marketers.

In my humble opinion, the Grado RS1 is still not a universal model, suitable for all genres; headphones have their own characteristic sound “handwriting”. Therefore, RS1e, like some other Grado models, is difficult to recommend for purchase without first listening.

Judging by some reviews, the sound of the Grado RS1e is not suitable for everyone, some consider it too intrusive and a little tiring. In contrast, we can say that Grado RS1e want to saturate the music with a variety of sound colors and their shades, to convey airiness and transparency to the listener.

Package list 

The DIY kit is pre-assembled as displayed in the product pics, including:

  • 2 X RS1e Mahogany wood cups
  • 2 X cup holders (brackets) in silver or black
  • 2 X 50mm original RS1e drivers 
  • 2 X G/L/S Cushions
  • 1 X Genuine leather headband, 3 options in black/brown handmade Hermes leather, or black genuine leather 
  • Original Grado cable with 6.35mm jack, or 6N OFC, silver plated, 8 cores hi-end cable with carbon fiber enhanced 3.5mm jack and Y splitter

Component options and how to choose


We highly recommend the 2 types of genuine leather headbands which are the best one we can offer – hand made with 3 layers of Hermes Zermatt Leather made in France, in black and brown (see more details and link to order separately) .

Here is the standard model which is more close to Grado GS3000e original headband, and also made from high quality genuine leather (link to order separately). It is also softer with more foams padding. 

Genuine Leather Grado Headband, Compatible with GS, PS and more Hi-End Series
Genuine Leather Grado Headband, Compatible with GS, PS and more Hi-End Series


Original Grado cable is with 6.35mm jack and 12 cores, 5.5mm outer diameter, very thick. You will need a 6.35mm to 3.5mm adaptor when using it with portable devices, like your mobile.

And if you want a light weight, more flexible and portable solution, you shall choose this hi-end 6N OFC, 8core cable in 2m (1.6m from 3.5mm jack to Y spliter) with carbon-fiber enhanced jacks and spliter.

DIY Tutorials

With basic soldering and crafting skills, you can make this headphone in a few hours. Let’s look at the kit first:

Step 1:  wire the cable to the cup

You need to pull the cable through the 5.5mm hole on the cup, and fix it with a cable tie.

Step 2:  Glue the cable to the driver

In order to protect the soldering pin, you need to glue the the cable to the back of the driver to prevent harmful vibrations. You may use any instant glue but be careful not to block the 2 holes on the backside of the driver.

Step 3: Solder the cable to the driver

Now you can solder the cable to the driver. Note all 3 cores in same color must be grouped and soldered to the soldering pane together.

Step 4:  Glue the driver to the cup

Apply some glue at the inner edge of the cup, and push the drivers into the cup. Wait a few hours before the glue fully dry.

Step 5:  Put on headband and earpads

You need to push the stick of the cup holder through the locker on the headband, and put on the tiny black caps.

Final Step: Test and finish

Now you an test the headphone and see if everything works well, and enjoy it!

Additional information

Weight 1.5 kg
Dimensions 35 × 20 × 15 cm
Choose a headband

Handmade Italian leather in brown, Handmade Italian leather in black, Genuine leather in black

Choose a cable

Original GS3000e cable with 6.35mm jack, 6N OFC, 8core cable with 3.5mm jack

Choose a bracket color

Silver, Black

Choose DIY options

Assemble it for me, Keep components separated and DIY


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