RAAL-requisite SR1a - Earfield™ Monitor/Headphone - Official Thread

That’s a sweet setup! Reference headphones within reach. :sunglasses:

Though the camera tripod in front of the bed is giving me flashbacks to my youth in the San Fernando Valley… :eyes:


I have been traveling, so haven’t been able to listen to the SR1a recently. I thought I had a good aural memory of what they sounded like, but when I put them on again today, I was blown away all over again. As they are set up in my office, I have been listening to them all day, with no fatigue at all. In the evening, I return home where my Focal Utopias are the headphone nirvana of choice. Here is my office setup.




Great setup!

I’ve always wanted to hear the Bartók. :+1:t4:

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And how much actual work was done in that office all day? I have trouble working with anything more than background music. Or ambient.

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In between naps, medications and whining, I finally got around to putting both the SR1a on my measurement rig. And comparing them to perhaps the most interesting recent challenger, the HEDDphone:

Now bear in mind this rig is not a professional-level/research grade setup. And that I hear the SR1a’s bass as being a bit lower in level than the HEDDphone (I’m a bit skeptical about how good this setup is below 100 Hz). But otherwise, this largely gels with what I hear when listening to music.

It also explains the zingier/splashier delivery of the HEDDphone.


Not much, but I loved the music!


The RAAL is impressively flat. :flushed:


There is particularly nice synergy in the setup:

Roon Nucleus > dCS Bartok > SPL s800 amplifier > Raal interface box > Raal SR1a

All controlled by Roon on an iPad.


It sounds like a great system. I don’t know what other headphones you have, but how is the headphone output on the Bartók?

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There is plenty of output for headphones on the Bartok. Here are the headphone output specs:

1 stereo balanced pair on 1x 4-way male XLR connector. 1 stereo unbalanced pair on 1x 6.35mm (1/4”) 3-pole jack. Full-scale output levels are 1.4W rms into 33Ω, 0.15W rms into 300Ω. Output levels are 0, -10, -20, -30dB, set in the menu. Minimum headphone impedance is 33Ω.


Yeah the power is definitely there. :+1:t4:


I always found it interesting that the Bartok has exactly the same power output for headphones that Chord’s DAVE does. Was never sure if that was just a coincidence or was deliberate.


My full SR1a review is finally finished and posted.

I think it’s the longest review I’ve written, and is based on the most exposure and new gear coming in in the midst of it. Part of the length is due to the unusual amping requirements and unique nature of the headphones.

And absent some pending ZMF cans, might just be the last headphone review I need to write for a while …


Excellent review, Ian.

Makes me think of reconsidering all of my current plans in upgrades, and just think about saving up for these.

Now if only @andrew and @taronlissimore can get that RAAL deal without the box to happen… :thinking:


Superlative review Ian @Torq

I too am in agreement with Christopher @ValentineLuke, in regards of possibly reconsidering all of my current upgrade plans. I still want to get a ZMF Verite, but everything I have been reading about these seems to continuously draw me further in. This also might be do to my current speakers being, Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers with the RAAL ribbon upgrade and being my favorite speakers I have heard.

Decisions, Decisions. Though it will be quite a while, before I am able to afford these. “HiFi Goals” lol

Once again great review Ian!


Once again, another killer review and I thank you for that and for what you do for this community in general!

“I just don’t know where I would go from here …“

+1…the bar is so high that I find myself struggling to listen to other cans, the disruptive nature of the SR1a made me sell all my other headphones but the VC just because they’re closed (and I like them). Closed is still the main reason.


I’m sure an addendum regarding Raal’s own headphone amp is in the future…
Price is not exactly cheap, but at least it can drive regular speakers, too.

To quote Raal:
"It can drive two sets of SR1a, it has switchable EQ for SR1a, so it will drive our future models that may not need the EQ, as well as driving a pair of speakers with moderate power. It has RCA and XLR inputs (and it works better on XLR’s).

The price will be ~ $3500 and the first dozen will be ready for sale in about 2-3 weeks"

RAALhsa1a by drjlo2, on Flickr

RAALhsa1a.2 by drjlo2, on Flickr


Talk about disruptive but at the asking price it better be worlds even galaxies better than the Schiit JotR! $3500 vs $799 for marginal gains is going to be unacceptable in my books!


Yep, the RAAL| Requsite HSA-1a sounds like more work for Torq!

True on the value for dollar MrCypruz but they do mention it will drive speakers as well, but I’m guessing they are talking very small desktop monitors and I have no experience with that type and wouldn’t see myself investing in a pair.

“It can drive two sets of SR1a, it has switchable EQ for SR1a, so it will drive our future models that may not need the EQ, as well as driving a pair of speakers with moderate power. It has RCA and XLR inputs (and it works better on XLR’s).”

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