Grado Labs Is A Foolproof Gift For Everyone On Your List (And The Most Classic Of Brooklyn Stories)
The Grado family has been hand-building headphones and cartridges in Brooklyn since 1953. And not just any headphones: WIRED calls them “the best headphones in the world.” Neil Young, Spike Jonze, and Aerosmith are fans too. We got Jonathan Grado, vice president of marketing and the third generation of Grados to work for the family biz, to tell us a bit more.
TELL US ABOUT BEING A GRADO.
Grado started on my great uncle’s kitchen table. My dad, John Grado, started sweeping the floors in 1965 as his first job. He started running daily operations in the ‘70s, and bought it outright in 1990. I literally grew up in the business: We lived on the top floor of Grado till 1999. I was embarrassed by what my family did since no other family did it, realized that was dumb in college, and joined in full-time in 2013.
WHAT ROLE DOES BROOKLYN PLAY?
Brooklyn has been part of our history every step of the way. So much so that when we found out a nearby tree had to be taken down after a storm, we bought it and made the first Brooklyn wood headphones. It’s our home.
WHAT DOES AN AVERAGE DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
It depends on which Grado you ask! We’re a pretty small company for how long we’ve been around.
FAVORITE THING TO LISTEN TO ON THOSE HEADPHONES?
I love to hear a song I’ve listened to a thousand times and then hear something new.
BEST CONCERT YOU’VE EVER BEEN TO IN BROOKLYN?
Seeing Billy Joel with the whole family on New Year’s Eve.
- Grado Labs