True Ribbon Headphones & Amplifiers

Stereophile’s Products of 2020 Headphone Product of the Year

RAAL-Requisite SR1a headphones ($3200; reviewed by Herb Reichert, January 2020, Vol.43 No.1 Review)

The RAAL-requisite SR1a “earfield monitors” are not conventional headphones. They sit away from your ears—don’t plan on using them on noisy airplanes; there’s zero isolation—tilted back to produce an image of a soundstage in front of you. In this respect, they’re practically opposite to closed-back ‘phones like the Focal Stellia (although, inside its earcups, the Stellia, too, has angled drivers). Sound is produced by what is claimed to be the world’s first full-range pure-ribbon transducer, which has extremely low input impedance, specified as 0.018 ohms; the designer recommends a 100Wpc amplifier—for headphones! “With their extreme purity and resolution, the SR1a’s deposited Vladimir Horowitz, his piano, and the room he was playing in right there, in the space in front of me,” Herb wrote. “Not inside my skull.”

“In my view: The RAAL-Requisite SR1a’s are both revelatory and revolutionary.”

Stereophile's Products of 2020 Headphone Product of the Year Award

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