Grado launches first true wireless earbuds – but can they compete with the AirPods Pro?

wireless earbuds
(Image credit: Grado)

Grado, the Brooklyn audio company best known for its open-back on-ear headphones, has launched its first pair of true wireless earbuds to rival the AirPods Pro.

The Grado GT220 come with 8mm drivers that have been "specifically tuned for their miniature polycarbonate housings", and are "voiced to deliver the world-famous sonic signature" that the company says it's known for.

With a sleek, rounded design, the GT220 come with a choice of silicone eartips, and what Grado describes as a "twist to lock" movement, that should ensure a snug fit against your ear canal.

No noise cancellation

Battery life comes in at six hours from the buds themselves, while the wireless charging case provides an additional five charges for a total playtime of 36 hours – which is pretty impressive compared to much of the true wireless competition.

Grado says that the GT220 can be charged up to full power in two hours, either via a USB-C cable or a Qi-compatible charging mat. 

Controlling the earbuds can be done by using the touch-sensitive controls on their outer housings. By tapping the 'G' icon on each earbud, you can play, pause, and skip your music, adjust the volume, answer phone calls, and activate your device's built-in voice assistant, whether you use Google Assistant or Siri.

Connectivity comes courtesy of Bluetooth 5, with aptX and AAC codecs supported. Audiophiles will be pleased to know that Grado says that you'll be able to enjoy Hi-Res Audio streams while using these buds.

wireless earbuds

(Image credit: Grado)

While all those specs are impressive, there is one omission that could hamper the success of these true wireless earbuds: noise cancellation. 

Costing $259 / £249.95 (about AU$360), the Grado GT220 are priced similarly to the AirPods Pro and are pricier than the best true wireless earbuds of 2020, the Sony WF-1000XM3 – but without the active noise cancellation provided by these popular earbuds, here's hoping that Grado's first wireless buds can deliver outstanding audio quality to compensate. 

If the Grado GT220 sound anything like the GW100 wireless headphones, they could be an exciting proposition for audiophiles looking to make the leap to true wireless listening.

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.