Grado x Pokemon
Image: Grado Labs

We saw a bunch of cool merch to mark Pokémon's 25th but one collaboration that has passed us by until now is this range of hand-built Grado Labs headphones.

Grado Labs – which was founded in Brooklyn way back in 1953 – makes high-end headphones and phono cartridges for record players.

It has released a range of four different Pokémon-themed headphones: three sets of the Poké Ball ones (wood with red headband; wood with black headband; aluminium) and a pair of Pikachu ones (Black Aluminum).

Here's some PR:

Our favorite collaborations are ones that challenge us to build something different than what we’ve been doing for decades, and these fit that quite nicely. To bridge function and design, we built a new ventilation system in the shape of a Poké Ball. If this design didn’t meet our standards, it wouldn’t move forward. Fortunately not only do they sound great, they’re one of our favorite designs we’ve ever put to a headphone.

Each driver is tuned for the material of their enclosure and individually matched for sonic consistency, as we strive to find the perfect balance between the housing material and speaker. This process lets the headphones take full advantage of the color & impact of maple wood, and the clarity & imaging of metal.

Rounding out the four pairs are two made of aluminum. The aluminum Poké Ball Headphone is built with a wooden Poké Ball to combine metal and maple. The final pair has a wooden Pikachu medallion paired with black aluminum, another first for us. The housings of these special edition headphones lay out an extremely detailed presentation.

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Thanks to James Mielke for the tip!