Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Grado updates world’s only wireless open-back headphones with better sound, longer battery life

Brooklyn-based Grado has updated the world’s only wireless, open-back headphones. The on-ear $275 GW100x — the third generation of these cans — are now available via and they offer several improvements over their predecessors, like better sound and improved battery life.

Grado GW100x wireless open-back headphones.

The GW100x uses Grado’s 4th-generation 44mm driver, which the company says has a more powerful magnetic circuit, a voice coil with decreased effective mass, and a reconfigured diaphragm. The design is claimed to also improve efficiency while reducing distortion.

On the wireless side of the equation, the GW100x now use Bluetooth version 5.2, which should offer more reliable wireless connections to devices. Grado has also added Qualcomm’s aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codec (in addition to SBC and AAC), marking the first time these cans will be able to receive 24-bit wireless sound, albeit still with some compression. Previous versions only supported classic aptX, AAC, and SBC.

The GW100x have been given Bluetooth Multipoint support, which greatly improves the ease with which you can switch between two paired devices — handy for anyone who needs their phone for calls and their computer for work or other listening activities.

Battery life has also been improved. The second-generation GW100 was already impressive, with a claimed 40 hours of life, and the GW100x bumps that number up to 46 hours of listening on a two-hour charge. Charging now takes place via a USB-C port. Should the battery die, you can still use the headphones in wired mode with the included 3.5mm headphone cable.

The words “wireless” and “open-back headphones” are almost never mentioned in the same sentence because, in some ways, the two ideas are contradictory. We want wireless convenience when moving from place to place, but that’s usually accompanied by external sounds that would trash the audio quality that open-back cans are renowned for.

At the same time, the sound from these headphones tends to leak out, so it can be heard by those around you. Grado says it has significantly improved this sound leakage — by up to 60%.

Editors' Recommendations

Simon Cohen
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like spatial…
LG updates its XBoom 360 speaker with better sound, battery, and water resistance
LG XBoom 360 X03 speaker.

We were pretty impressed by LG's XBoom 360 portable party speaker when we put one to the test earlier in 2022, but despite the good tunes and fun lighting, we noticed a few places where it could improve. Battery life, at just 10 hours seemed meager, and what's a portable Bluetooth speaker without the ability to take a splash or two?

Looks like LG took our comments to heart. The latest addition to the XBoom family is the $300 XBoom 360 X03, a much more robust speaker in every way, that still keeps the original's unique shape, 360 sound, and customizable light effects. LG says it's available to order immediately from LG's website and authorized retailers, but at publication time, we couldn't find any links to do so.

Read more
UE refreshes its Wonderboom waterproof speaker with longer battery life, new colors
Two UE Wonderboom 3 speakers held side-by-side.

Ultimate Ears (UE) has just dropped a new version of its popular Wonderboom Bluetooth speaker, and while not much has changed, you know the old saying: if it ain't broke ...

The Wonderboom 3 keeps the $100 price intact, along with= size, shape, and its iconic, oversized volume buttons. It also keeps all of the other features that havemade it such a handy companion for the pool, beach, or patio, like its 360-degree sound pattern, IP67 water and dust resistance, and its ability to bob like a cork if you chuck it in the water.

Read more
Audio-Technica’s latest wireless earbuds have monster battery life
Audio Technica ATH CKS50T earbuds in ear.

The battery life you get from true wireless earbuds is often a problem, isn’t it? Enter Audio-Technica’s newest earbuds, the ATH-CKS50TW, which may put an end to this issue thanks to a high-capacity battery inside each bud that will let them operate for an astonishing 20 hours on a single charge. Even if you switch on the noise canceling, battery life only drops to 15 hours, meaning these tiny earbuds easily outperform the competition.

Add the ATH-CKS50TW’s case into the mix, and you’ll get a total of 50 hours of playback before they actually need to visit a charger. Audio-Technica promises the fast-charging system will add 90 minutes of playback after a 10-minute charge. With this level of battery performance, it’ll be unlikely that you'll find yourself in a situation where the earbuds are completely flat with no way to immediately get them operational again. It’s this feeling of reassurance that many true wireless earbuds are missing.

Read more