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RAAL-requisite SR1a Earfield Headphone

RAAL-requisite SR1a Earfield Headphone

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Product Description
New from RAAL-requisite, the SR1a Earfield headphone is the first monitor to employ the company’s trademarked “Earfield” technology. Driving this technology are highly specialized ribbon drivers that reproduce 30Hz to 30kHz bandwidth, eliminating the need for sealed chambered bass and allowing for open air baffles Read More
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Basstwo
8
Mar 10, 2020
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Best headphones I have ever owned.
Looks really odd but it’s comfortable and the transparency is startling. Need a good amp for it.
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Would recommend to a friend.
rliblik
2
Nov 24, 2021
Its 2900$ fam
Tafka_Steve
45
Jan 12, 2020
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Sound quality is without peer in my experience, but latest interface box is a step back.
I have been an audiophile for 48 years and this is, overall, the finest transducer (speaker or headphone) in my experience. I hear crystal-clear detail, top-to-bottom coherence, absence of resonances or tonal coloration, and masterful control in signal tracking through macro- and micro-dynamics. I would choose this in a second over the Stax 009S. I would also choose this over the Abyss 1266, mostly because it is so much lighter and easier to wear. Until someone figures out how to make a headphone version of a corona discharge/massless full-range driver that doesn't microwave cook your outer ears or poison you with ozone, I think this ribbon driver will remain the state-of-the-art. As shipped from Drop, my unit came without any documentation or operating instructions in the Pelican case, but it is easy to figure out. Mine also had two changes from earlier production units. The first is a second, narrower leather strap, for the rear of the head. This helps secure the unit to the head, although the optimal length for mine is somewhere between the supplied hole/stud settings. Second, the amplifier interface box now has a second pair of binding posts as outputs for a pair of loudspeakers, along with an earspeaker/loudspeaker switch which is in series with your amplifier's output. This may be a good idea for those who have only one speaker amplifier and want it to share duties for driving the SR1a and speakers. However, it also potentially degrades the signal transmission, as my experiences with speaker-level switches have not been positive. It also increases the cost of manufacture. One more thing: when driven hard, the interface box "sings" with the music signal. I can't hear this while wearing the SR1a's, but if you put them in a ziplock bag and wrap them in a blanket to muffle their output, you can hear the box or its components resonating during certain signals. I don't know if there are inductive components inside (I've only seen banks of resistors in internal photos), but I am hearing vibrations due to inductive effects during large (>20 watt) signals. So as a bonus, you get a very inefficient speaker box with your SR1a's! I can't wait to try a Jotunheim R to bypass the interface box.
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Would recommend to a friend.
Tafka_Steve
45
May 21, 2020
Hi Dina, Using the Chesky descending frequency sweep track, I hear the combination decreasing in energy starting around 40 Hz, with bass notes still audible down to 34 Hz. I hear nothing at 32 Hz, so low C from 16 ft. organ pipes is missing. The bass is flattest when the baffles are angled flat against the ears and loses the most energy when the baffles are fully angled outward at 90 degrees to the head. So there is a tradeoff in soundstage dimensionality and forward image projection vs. bass extension. I listen with the baffles angled out 30 degrees from my head and bass is still fulfilling at that position. Further out from that and you might need EQ (see Ian Dunmore's review at Headphones.com). I am not a bass head either, but I can say that the SR1A does not have the deep and linear bass extension (below 25 Hz) of the Abyss, or Audeze, or ZMF. If pushed very hard with powerful bass notes, I hear some intermodulation distortion, but I haven't heard any ribbon slapping or crackling sounds. I do not have experience with the Stax L700. Similar to other Stax headphones, you get very articulate bass with the SR1A as a tradeoff for the lack of massive punching power. However, unlike the Stax models I've heard, you also get great dynamic contrasts in the bass with the SR1A. This makes recordings of drum kits come alive. I listen to vinyl direct-to-discs on the SR1A and the M&K "Flamenco Fever" record sounds alive with these earspeakers in ways that my loudspeakers (VMPS Elixir RM/X, 6 ft. tall ribbon/planar magnetic/dynamic hybrids) can't match.
dlna_prateek
2
May 22, 2020
Thanks you Steve for the deep dive. Appreciate it! I gather EQing is a must as per Ian's article at Headphones.com. I would definitely give them a try and then decide. Cheers.