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

Checkin in … still LOVE my SR-1a with HSA-1a … Definitely a unique headphone that provides lasting enjoyment beyond flavor of the month. Since I bought the combination when the HSA-1a first became available 2 years ago, I have made several tweaks to my chain (DAC, Preamp, Tubes). Every time the SR-1a has scaled up and improved and reflected every little tweak I made.

If you consider buying SR-1a and building a system around it, that’s definitely an approach to take you very close to the best possible listening experience on any personal listening device (excluding floor standing speakers); as long as you are fundamentally OK with the SR-1’s peculiar form factor.

I am currently listening (this is 4 hours non stop with the SR-1a) to Lloyd Cole - Antidepressant (just a great album!). Right before enjoyed a focused session with Verdi - MacBeth (Muti) - the magnificent stage offered by the SR1a works amazingly well with this material (further aided by the ability to tweak its shape with 2 Goodside plug-ins, see below).

My “guilty pleasure” setup for tonight consists of
Mac mini M1 - Audirvana Studio(*) - Wavedream Net - Wavedream Signature XLR - Woo Audio 3ES Elite (as preamp; tubes: Takatsuki 300B and 274B, RCA 5692 Red Base) - HSA-1a

(*) DLNA; 4 Plug-ins: DMGAudio Equilibrium, HG-2MS, Goodhertz Midside 3, CanOpener Studio 3

Biggest smile in the world, makes it easy to wait for the SR-X 9000 a while longer :slight_smile:


I have the SR1a with HSA-1b amplifier, driven by the dCS Bartok+HP amp - just about perfect. Being someone who is always looking for the “next step” in music reproduction, I have added a KEF C62 subwoofer to “fill in” the very bottom of the bass. What? you say? Why would you pair “ear speaker” headphones with a (subwoofer) speaker? First, the SR1a’s are (very) open. And previously, I tried a subwoofer before with my AKG K1000/First Watt F1 setup, and enjoyed it. Adding low-end frequencies to the SR1a/HSA-1b setup rounds out the presentation. I am really liking it, so far. Now to determine if it is fatiguing over time. Of course, as always, YMMV.


Yes, it was fatiguing. Returned the subwoofer.


I added a Kef KC62 subwoofer to my SR1A. Here is how I did it:
My Topping D90 DAC feeds both the SR1A amp and the active sub. The XLR outputs feed the SR1A’s amp, and the single-end RCA outputs feed Schiit Sys passive preamp.
The Sys RCA outputs feed the L/R RCA inputs of the KC62. Using the Schiit Sys, I can control the volume of the subwoofer from my desk.
Your DAC doesn’t need two outputs, you could instead use RCA splitter cables (or XLR splitter if your sub has XLR in).
In my opinion, the subwoofer sound blends with the SR1A pretty seamlessly and really enhances the listening experience.
My room is pretty small, about 10’x11’, 9’ ceiling so the KC62 placed in a corner is plenty of output. I did not feel that I had to crank the sub volume up much to hear it with the SR1A.