CanJam Singapore 2019 SR1a ReviewReview by Marcus | April 7, 2019 | Original Source →
This is the one. The ‘headphone’ that created the biggest impression on not just me but plenty of others who tried it. The SR1a is not so much a headphone. Those who have used the old AKG K1000 will be familiar with how the SR1a sits outside your ear to create an almost speaker-like experience. In fact, RAAL-Requisite actually refers to it as an Earfield™ Monitor.
The design is also being touted as the first True-Ribbon™ headphone that allows RAAL to do away with sealed chambered bass designs and keep the design entirely open for the widest possible frequency response.
You can see from the pictures it does have a slightly boxy Stax look to it but perhaps just a little rawer in its design. I like the design personally; I love exotic nerd aesthetics and it is definitely unique. It is not that heavy at 425g but does require a slightly studied approach to putting it on your head so you get the right ear to ‘speaker’ alignment.
The SR1A also comes with a little impedance matching box which acts as a buffer between the headphones and whatever amp/source you connect it to. Note the box uses speaker binding posts so this is going to work primarily with a power amp/Preamp and DAC rather than a pure headphone amp unless said amp has binding posts on its rear panel. Plugging directly into a conventional headphone amp will short the SR1A.
Well, damn. Probably the best recreation of a natural speaker sound in a headphone I have heard to date and that includes the AKG K1000.
I spent about 30 minutes in total listening to the SR1a alongside Tony Pothitos of HiEnd News and we both came to the exact same conclusions. the SR1A has a beautiful level of crossfeed that creates a stunning speaker-like presentation with nothing in the way of traditional left-right separation found in traditional headphones. It just sits “out there” like a great set of speakers.
More than that the timbre is to die for. You will hear zero harshnesses, zero exaggerated bass, wonderfully clear and natural sounding vocals and more than impressive instrumental separation and imaging. I could have sat all day and used the SR1A without a hint of fatigue throughout. Thanks to Sean Thong and SLT Technologies for bringing this amazing headphone to the show.