Bushmills x Grado: How a Collab with a Whiskey Brand Evolved a Design


Grado Labs has been making their headphones the same way for a long time. One constant has been an open-back design that allows a free-flow of air and a more natural sound (a sound, it should be noted, that also flows out of that same open-back design — for obvious reasons, considerate Grado users do most of their listening at home). But now, in a first-time-ever move, Grado has released its first closed-back headphone, designed by Elijah Wood and Zach Cowie in collaboration with Bushmills.

Grado crafted the limited-edition set of cans with reclaimed white oak whiskey barrels from the Bushmills distillery. In order to display the Bushmills logo, Grado was driven to re-engineer their open design to allow for a closed-back without sacrificing their trademark sound; while closed, the cans are not sealed, resulting in Grado Labs’ first ever vented-back design.

At the moment, the Bushmills x Grado Labs Headphone is exclusively available through Turntable Labs — exclusively unavailable, rather, as they sold out the first day. Look for more to be released soon, with AC Gears working on securing a few pairs as well.

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