Rosson Audio Design - Official Thread

Good point about the LCD4. I guess I was thinking of the original Audeze house sound, perhaps better represented by the LCD 2 classic. But the 4 are their top tier so I threw it in.

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I’d have to be using the Reveal or Roon presets (or equivalent manual EQ) to call them “natural”. Without it, they’re too intimate, need more low-treble presences, and shift the character and/or deemphasize high-toned instruments too much for me.

I don’t actually use them without one of the above adjustments anymore (with them, they’re excellent). Which is one reason why I’m interested in the Empyrean and the Rosson pieces.


Andrew just got off a call with him and he let us know that there is no compensation.

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Wait so that’s a raw graph? I meant depending if it’s to a diffuse field target, or a consumer target etc.

I think your thoughts on the LCD-4 treble is in line with @Resolve and I’s opinion. I admittedly haven’t played around with Audeze’s reveal plugin enough and I probably should since so many of their headphones make their way onto my desk!

I personally enjoy listening to headphones without any EQ since it’s a pain to get the same EQ across all the devices I’m using.

Really excited to see what you think of them. Especially since the RAAL experience seems to be a headphone-collection-changing experience! Would also be interested to see what route you would go for a custom pair if you decided to grab your own.

That is what it appears to be!




Oh, I won’t argue about the issues with getting consistent EQ. It’s bad enough getting the same EQ for ONE headphone across systems/sources. It’s another entirely if you’re trying to get a consistent response across headphones (though I don’t generally do that).

Just the LCD-4 really seems to benefit from the specific Reveal and Roon settings for it.

Given a choice, I won’t run EQ at all.

But not every headphone gives me that choice. The LCD-4 loses too much realism without it. Where as with Utopia it’s just a slight “to-taste” thing for one or two genres.

Even the SR1a I have backed off almost all of my EQ. Nothing but a little sub-bass lift to compensate for the early roll-off for different wing positions. The first profile I built had lift all the way up to 100 Hz. Not any more! Though a progression of amps, plus a (my) prototype cable, have been responsible for some of that change (more about the cable on, probably, Saturday).

In general, I won’t keep any headphone that I have to EQ to enjoy. I’ll do it to make it better. I’ll do it for specific genres on occasion. But if it’s a systematic requirement to enjoy the can, then it tends not to last long. The LCD-4 is one exception there. Though I doubt that’s going to last in light of what’s on my head.

The SR1a would have been another exception, but since I’m no longer needing EQ to enjoy them broadly, and am still getting all their other benefits, they’re pretty safe (safe enough I’m do a complete system rebuild …).


Raw graph having no compensation is not that strange, if it was measured by DIY flat coupler (note that ear resonance accounts for most part of head-related gain). Sometimes, a measurer is convinced by the raw result. For DIY coupler, developing compensation curves cost unnecessarily painful resources without meaningful benefits. I bet Rosson measured competitor headphones with the same rig, and might have a good sense of how results are associated with their perceptions. Indeed Raal was the same case – based on what Alex commented (i.e.,strong disbelief on ear couplers) over Head-fi.

The problem (from our side) is for now we don’t have no way to comparatively interpret it.

Bass might be good. But also note that flat coupler often has much better sub bass response due to a perfect seal.


Tuning headphones is hard, and EQ invariably involves trade offs. I just auditioned the Ananda which had perhaps the most perfect timbre of any headphone I’ve heard, but it needs more sub-bass and more mids around 2 KHz to give me the macrodynamics I crave. Sure I could EQ that in, but I’ll almost certainly lose the natural timbre.

I’m still a believer that most of a headphone’s sonic quality are a direct result of the frequency response, however I’ve come to believe that there are multiple frequency responses that can yield a natural timbre, so the challenge of tuning a headphone is to create a response that achieves the desired effects in terms of dynamics, staging and so forth and at the same time yields a natural (or believable) timbre. I’m not a headphone designer, but whenever I reach for EQ I’m just playing a poor imitation of one!


This was my immediate thought as well. It has to be the case here (if that is indeed raw).


We’ve currently got 5 pairs on the way to us, shipping out on Monday. Hoping to get some up for the meet on Saturday!

The 5 pairs we got are:

RAD-0 Graffiti
RAD-0 Emerald (Sold)
RAD-0 Opal (Sold)
RAD-0 Ruby Sky (This is the one we listened to in the listening studio with the balanced XLR and it sounded incredibly good. I would expect all the units to sound the same though) (Sold)
RAD-0 Orange Sapphire (sold)


Love the opal and orange sapphire look! So gorgeous


The Opal is my favorite


the graffiti was the one at CanJam I think? or a similar one… honestly @taronlissimore, @andrew you guys can vouch for this statement…but in person they are even better looking!


Yes. Can confirm. Way better looking in person.

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They sure are beautiful hp’s any pricing and where to get my hands on a pair.?

You can grab a pair direct from us

If there is a specific one you are looking at from his website you can let us know as well and we can get it for you.

The retail pricing on them is $2600.

This has been sold so it won’t be at the Vancouver meet.

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So I’ve been listening for a half hour to Northern Lights “Revival” Album and my impressions haven’t changed a whole lot from last week. These are some of the most well balanced headphones I’ve ever heard.

Comfort wise, I’ve had them on my head for almost an hour with zero issues. I have the LCD-4 beside them on my desk as well so I could do some A/B testing between comfort and I do get some neck pain after an extended period with the LCD-4. None so far with the Rosson. The weight definitely feels evenly distributed across the board and I’m going to give them a proper weigh in later on this this afternoon.

Current setup is:

Macbook Pro —> iFi Audio Micro iDSD Black Label —> Cayin HA-1A MK2

Our Phonitor XE is currently in customs and is scheduled to arrive tomorrow along with some balanced cables to use. Excited to try them out with both the Matrix Element X2 as well as the Phonitor XE!

One thing that I noticed that is a little different and it could just be song choice / gear but these do seem to slam harder than I originally thought. I’ll have to listen some more to be sure. It doesn’t reach LCD-4 levels but it’s also not as loose as the LCD-4. It’s a little tighter and punchier.

Back to listening!


You may have seen it in the Reddit thread but he used the KU 100 for measurements without any additional filters applied.

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Just doing my initial evaluation, and so far I’m impressed with the technical ability. Admittedly I’m a few drinks in from the headphone meet (huge thank you to the guys for putting that together, and to those who came). The tonality sounds very balanced just as @taronlissimore mentioned.

Here’s my initial measurement with the HEQ Compensation:

There’s a bit of an odd peak around 4.5khz - or perhaps better stated as dips on either side of 4.5khz. It could just be a miniDSP EARS oddity, and I’ve never had much confidence in its concha/pinna shape, especially not the canal they use. In this case that 4.5khz bump would be affected more by both concha and pinna flange gain and that seems to be a bit all over the place in my experience. At best this is just to gauge tonal balance across the board, not specific dips and peaks as much since they often don’t track with reality. Still, that 4.5khz bump is in every one of my measurements. My initial reaction is that if this isn’t just a concha/pinna imperfection for the measurement rig, it may have an effect on where certain instruments and vocals sit in the mix.

There’s a slightly larger than average soundstage that’s maybe a bit smaller than that of the Ether 2, and the RAD-0 has a surprising amount of variance to how far or how close different pieces of the mix can sit. This may just be due to physical characteristics of the headphone, but I’ve also experienced a similar quality to headphones that also exhibit this kind of bump/dips. The nice thing is that I find this to be a really interesting quality. If you’ve heard the Auteur, you know that it puts you quite far back from the stage. With the RAD-0, you’re much closer to the stage, but the stage itself is deeper and wider (or similarly wide) - so you have vocals coming through quite forward, almost right in front of you, but the nuance and layering of the rest of the instrumentation is very precisely placed across the stage.

Also, the best thing about this headphone is that it’s detail retrieval is excellent, and it has a truly excellent treble response without any sibilance whatsoever. I think I may still prefer the treble of the Hifiman planars, but the RAD-0 is able to be extremely well balanced without sounding overly bright or losing the midrange and bass presence that’s often the case. I’d take this tonality over that of the LCD-4.