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Review: Grain Audio OEHP.01 Solid Wood Headphones

by Paul Strauss
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I’ve tested and reviewed numerous pieces of audio gear over the years, and one company I’ve been really excited about over the last year has been Grain Audio. The company’s headphones and speakers have thus far bucked the trend of style over substance, perfectly balancing sound quality, build quality and design. Perhaps the most anticipated product in the line are the OEHP.01 (over ear headphones), the biggest headphones in their lineup so far.

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For starters, the OEHP headphones look great. The enclosures are crafted from grain-matched solid walnut, cushioned with plush, form-fitting ear cushions and a cushioned headband, making them some of the most comfortable headphones I’ve ever worn. While the band is made from plastic, it has a nice flex to it, and cuts down on weight. Plus it doesn’t feel like it would break unless put under extreme stress.

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Generous 40mm neodymium magnets provide a natural sound devoid of the exaggerated bass boom found in some of the bigger name brands out there. That said, the OEHPs offer clean sound at even the top of the volume range. I ran them through their paces with my go-to test tracks, which represent a diverse musical cross-section, including Donald Fagen’s New Frontier, Radiohead’s Paranoid Android, Journey’s Wheel in the Sky, Kanye West’s Graduation, ELO’s Showdown, Arcade Fire’s Ready to Start, and Ella Fitzgerald and Louie Armstrong’s They Can’t Take That Away from Me among others.

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I’m happy to report that the OEHPs handled the full catalog with aplomb – from the quietest passages to the biggest booms, and revealing subtleties missed by lesser headphones. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to achieve the volume you can with a pair of studio grade headphones and a headphone amp, but there’s more than enough volume unless you like to blow out your eardrums with sound.

The headphones ship with a detachable cable with an inline microphone and pause/play button – cleverly embossed with the words “PLAY LOUD” – as well as a nice nylon zippered carrying pouch.

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I can’t say enough good things about these headphones. They offer clean and ear-pleasing sound, comfort, style and substance in a single package that’s not overpriced or overdone in any way. I highly recommend them.

The OEHP headphones sell for $199.99(USD) over at Grain Audio.

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