Rosson Audio Design RAD-0 Over-The-Ear Planar Magnetic Headphones


1000+ Head-Fier
Wolfhawk46's Rosson RAD-0 Review
Pros: .
-Rock/EDM sounds amazing
-Instrument reverb
-Close Soundstage sounds like being in the studio with the musician
-Piano sounds amazing
-Still my favorite headphones
Cons: .
-Some bass/sub-bass is missing
-A bit heavy/weird eardrum pressure
-Not the most accurate instrument portrayal or detail
-Stock cable is meh
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I’ve had my Rosson RAD-0 #367 now for a few weeks now and I finally have enough free-time to write a review of these. I purchased these used with the @puck headband pre-installled and I have them hooked up to a Corpse Cable Gravedigger 4-pin XLR, then to a Schiit Bifrost 2/64 DAC and a Jotunheim 2 amp (both excellent Schiit btw). They are being sourced through my desktop with a Moon Audio Silver Dragon (what a waste of money) cable pulling from Tidal Hifi Plus. If you haven’t figured it out by now (c’mon, it’s why you’re even reading this review), each set of these headphones comes in a completely unique color that the Rosson team puts into an acoustically-excellent resin for your viewing pleasure. Yes, they’re gorgeous, and yes, they sound good enough that I sold my Hifiman HE-1000 v2 after getting these because they have a more fun sound at the cost of less detail, and a less analytical sound. That’s the Rosson RAD-0 in a nut-shell, read on for more details on sound, build quality, and a comparison to my Kennerton Gjallarhorn GH 50 JM Edition v2 (GHJM) and Hifiman HE-1000 v2 (HEKv2).

RAD-0 Side.jpg

Build Quality/Comfort:

Overall, the build quality is excellent. This headphone weighs in around 600g and long-term wear is helped by a chair with a headrest – they’re not meant to be a mobile headphone. I have the occasional headband crackle sound when moving a cup off my ear, but its rare and doesn’t impact anything. The headband is part of the reason these are so heavy – supposedly a new headband design is coming out soon, but the @puck mod is highly recommended in the meantime. The cups are more gorgeous than photos suggest in-person, and you can have them build however you want, or you can buy them used or b-stock for a significant discount. You can even get the grills customized by contacting Rosson. The stock cable is not great and I’m using a Corpse Cable Gravedigger, which I can highly recommend other than the fact that it’s slightly microphonic. The stock earpads are super comfy and squishy, though they can get a little hot. You can bend the headband to make the fit better, but mine came well-fitting upon purchase. The carrying case that comes with these is a super sturdy pelican case, but it crushes the stock earpads more than it should.

The RAD-0 are very comfortable headphones with the @puck mod, though I doubt they would be without it. They are more comfortable than the HEKv2 and UItopia, both which pressed on my ear canal below my jaw. They’re not as comfortable as the GHJM, which is 200g lighter (but has a more annoying headband). The earcups are large and very comfortable over long periods. I have noticed a somewhat annoying eardrum pressure when putting them on though, which is very odd for open-back headphones.

RAD-0 Side Supra.jpg


OK, so while I’ve owned a lot of high-end headphones, including the Meze Empyrean and Focal Utopia 2020, that doesn’t mean that I can pick apart sound like a professional reviewer. On the plus side, neither can most other people, and it makes for a boring read, so below are MY impressions on the sound – deal with it or go write your own review. I will list the song I use to test certain aspects of headphones and you can find my headphone test tracks playlist in my sig if you want to try your own headphones to compare. Also, I don’t have an accurate way to differentiate between mids and highs (most people don’t), so I prefer to use specific instruments and vocals.


If you want to test bass, The Knife’s “Silent Shout” is the best track to test that, even though I think it’s just an OK song. The bass in the intro is strong, and very clear, but nowhere near as strong as the GHJM (it’s closed-back, so that makes sense). The GHJM definitely loses some clarity in the bass, but the bass and sub-bass (the bass you feel more than hear) is significantly stronger. The bass on these is still FAR better/stronger than the Utopia and HEKv2. I am not a basshead, but if you want really powerful bass, get the GHJM, if you like your low-end to exist, but not overpower everything, these are a great option, and if you like a subdued bass with neutral tuning, get the Utopia or HEKv2 (more low-end than Utopia).

The bass intro to David Guetta’s “I’m Good (Blue)” REALLY highlights how good the bass and sub-bass are on these. You can feel the reverb on the low-end in your soul. The RAD-0 REALLY works great with EDM and rock. Skrillex’s “Scary Monster and Nite Sprites” really highlights how good the low-end are on these. The transition at 0:40 really makes you feel the sub-bass and drums on the low-end while also highlighting the rest of the sound signature while the synths are playing.

RAD-0 Top.jpg

Instruments and vocals:

This is where the RAD-0 really shines. 3 Doors Down “Kryptonite” (greatest hits remake, not original (better sound, but has an annoying guitar-part missing at the beginning)) really shows off the excellent mid-sized soundstage and guitars/vocals that these can present. They ARE slightly more distorted and less detailed than the Utopia and HEK, but the reverberation and overall sound is just amazing. There is a reason these are often mentioned as endgame headphones and the talented bass and excellent mids are why.

To use David Guetta’s “I’m Good (Blue)” once more, the synth and vocals in this song are just to clear and can really blow your mind and give you that euphoric/musical feeling that other headphones struggle to achieve. John Legend’s “All of me” shows how well pianos and vocals are represented. Slash’s “Anastasia” highlights how well both acoustic and electric guitars are presented by the RAD-0, though it also highlights how the low-mid end overwhelms some of the mids-highs as opposed to a more neutral presentation like you might find on the Utopia or HEKv2. Demon Hunter’s “I am a Stone” shows that the RAD-0 presents strings beautifully, though they can overpower the vocals just a tad. Mr. Mister’s “Kyrie” highlights the high-note vocals and they are beautifully represented and at the forefront of the song, though the electric guitar can occasionally overpower the vocals on the RAD-0.


I’m using the GHJM on 6.5mm so I can have both the RAD-0 and the GHJM plugged in at the same time for easy swaps and at the same volume (with xlr-4, the GHJM is MUCH louder and easier to drive. The big takeaway between the two is that the RAD-0 gives you a much more well-rounded presentation with a bigger soundstage while the GHJM has WAY more bass (even with the bass plugs in, these are super bassy). Fun.’s “Some Nights really highlights this where the low-end is pounding on the GHJM and the mids take front-row on the RAD-0. The RAD-0 have a far more balanced presentation, but can actually feel a little bass-light switching between the two. The intro to Yellowcard’s “Transmission Home” really highlights this difference as well. With the bass drums hitting SO hard on the GHJM, but it feels like something is missing on the lowend for the RAD-0 in a direct comparison. The vocals are definitely drowned out by the low-end on the GHJM, but the bass is just really on point while it feels absent on the RAD-0.

I find this amusing because I got the RAD-0 as a replacement for the HEKv2 which had too little bass. I got the HEKv2 as a replacement to the Utopia for the same reason. So now I’m moving even further to the right where I’m noticing a lack of bass on the RAD-0 that the GHJM has – but it can be too overwhelming on certain songs and really good on the RAD-0. Regardless, the RAD-0 has some of the best instrumentation and vocals of any headphone I’ve heard – they are more fun than the Utopia and HEKv2. If you want a bigger soundstage, get the Sennheiser HD800s – The RAD-0 feels pretty intimate, more like being in the studio or a small club than a concert hall or stadium.

A quick note on classical: The Piano Guy’s “Code Name Vivaldi” has piano, strings, etc. and sounds very good on the RAD-0, but if you’re looking accurate instrument representation with classical, the Utopia or HEKv2 will be better options for you.

RAD-0 Back.jpg


These are still one of my favorite headphones and I’m looking forward to trying them out with a new DAC/amp soon for more variety. People are surprised when they learn that I prefer these over the Empyrean, Utopia, and HEKv2. There’s more low-end and excellent mid/high-end with good soundstage. They don’t have the low end of the GHJM, but if you’re not a basshead, like I am not, then these are just about perfect. The only headphone that has a better low-end and similar mids/highs is the JMA XTC-Open, but it's missing a bit in the highs and doesn't have the gorgeous looks the RAD-0 does. If you’re looking for more fun and you find your neutral-reference headphone just too boring, like I did, grab a pair of RAD-0, I’m not getting rid of these anytime soon.

Headphone Scoring - Each category can be split into quarter points:
Build Quality
Ear Pads / Tips
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Awesome review man, beautiful set too--I miss them.
Great review and yes for me comfort aside these have the best tone and timbre of the high end cans I’ve tried. My extra large noggin precludes me from listening to these without discomfort at the top of my head
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I can't help but drool every time I see a pair of these. I've been telling myself the last 3 years "This year I'm getting a ZMF" I have decided THIS YEAR FOR SURE I am getting a ZMF, tho I honestly could see myself getting a Rad-0 and continuing to torture my inner-self on that ZMF hunt. Loved the review. My money is going somewhere good when all the work comes back to the city come Spring/Summer.
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Headphoneus Supremus
Rad 0 Surprise!
Pros: 1. Musicality +++
2. Enjoyment Factor
3. Live Presentation
4. Custom Colors - One of a Kind
5. Great Customer Service
6. Excellent Build Quality
7. Body with Bite!
Cons: 1. Headband ?
2. Weight ?
OK, Merry Christmas, its that time of year again. Santa Claus delivered several new toys for me to play with. Recently a Schiit Magni 3 +, a Schiit Modi Multibit 2, Nitsch Piety and a pair of nice new Rosson Designs Rad 0’s.

This review or rather “experience” is about the Rad 0’s. Alex Rosson designed the Rad 0’s and they have been around for quite some time now. There are several reviews that go into Alex Rosson, his Audeze relationship and his move over to Shinola and now Rosson Designs. I am not going to rehash this history, take a look at the Rosson Designs website and you can get that information. I will say that Alex is a nice person and was helpful in my questions and choices.

I have gone thru a lot of headphones over the past several years. Way back when Audeze released the then new LCD 2 R1’s I bought a set. Why? Well I had this itch to see how far headphone technology had advanced since my last foray onto headphones back in the HD 414 and Koss 4AA Pros era. Yes that’s back away for sure! I set a budget of $1,000. Man back then this was A LOT of bucks to discover some new stuff.

The proverbial box picture:
Screenshot 2022-12-24 100150.jpg

I ordered the LCD2’s a Schiit OG Asgard (really hot) a Schiit OG Lyr (hot too). This was back in the 2012 timeframe or thereabouts. Well the LCD2s were BIG and HEAVY and had great bass but the overall tone was dark to me…a veil overall and I was fine with this…but soon sold all this stuff. Going thru Audeze, Beyerdynamics, Grados, Sennheisers, Audio Technicas, Sony, Focals, Hedds, Final Audio, HI-FI Man, etc….the typical search for the perfect “thing”…

Well after years of testing and listening, I settled in on a D8000 Pro, HD 650, and ADX 5000. Sold everything else and told my wife, I am not buying any more headphones we are set.

My set: #424.

Well after a year the itch came back and I wanted to see how Audeze was doing with all its latest stuff, read some reviews but the D8000 Pros seemed for me to have the planar experience down pat. Then I read a silly titled review something like “the headphones that took me by total surprise or the headphone surprise of the year’…something like this…close enough. I read the review and it was juicy enough to stir my interest in these Rad 0’s. Same person that was associated with those LCD2s way back when, had come up with a 66 mm set of planers with some really “rad” cup colorations. All unique.

So I read all the other internet headphone “gorp” and took a look. $2600. Well they are not cheap. But hey there is a discount code on their site. “YOUARERAD”….well from my skateboard days I was called “Rad Dad”! So this code brought down these $2600 cans to under $2,000! Oh my..such a deal. Some of the reviews stated these were a bit costly. Well my D8000 Pros are almost twice as much. Hmmm.

So we jumped in and contacted Alex Rosson who told me my first choice colors had some imperfections and he might be able to fix them but it would take some time. Well being impatient I told Alex to send me something in the same color tone and I would trust his judgement. Done. 2-day UPS and they are in house. Merry Christmas!

Beautiful workmanship!

The first session was hurried, 20 minutes. First Impression. Excellent. Too Excellent. New Toy Syndrome Excellent? Put them up. Next day.

Hmm Still Excellent. How so?

After reading all the other reviews and experiences I expected to hear a certain sound…and to some extent yes, but more-so no. Different. A totally very good different. Some reviewers drooled over the Rad 0’s, comparing to LCD 4’s, Abyss, other Audeze and the new kids in town…yeah, the $4K TOTL level guys…well this is expected. One reviewer just pontificated on the case, the skimpy cable and the sound for him was just not to his liking. Hmmm.

This is the subjective part. No charts. No Graphs. No trying to convince you I am a frequency chart guru that can explain what your hearing from a curve on a sheet of paper. Nope. Just listening and comparing from years of listening with all types of headphones, amps and dacs.

I used several amps, SE and balanced cables, four different dacs and lots of good music. All kinds.

Comparing these cans for less than $2K new with my D8000 Pros (2x the cost) the Rad 0’s is an exceptional buy. Really exceptional. Top tier stuff IMO.

So, as I listened I was first amazed at the overall tonality. Musical instruments were reproduced very naturally. OMG good most of the time. Vocals, guitars, acoustic instruments, bass, treble all superb.

Alex Rosson got the overall sound experience with this design close to perfection for my ears. It was so easy just to get lost in the music…. IMO this is what I have been looking for all these years. Perfection well nothing is perfect, but this is really close for sound from transducers hanging from a steel band on your head! LOL!


Another reviewer has stated these are heavy. Yes. And the physical mounting mechanism has something to be desired. Hot spots, single point cushioning etc... To me the fit was good and comfortable for my head and the weight was not an issue. I also had no issue with my Hedds. With the D8000 Pros’ I use a ZMF Pilot pad to make them fit well. I am different in that it’s the “sound” that I am looking for. And the fit although is important, it’s not the only thing I look at, especially if the sound is really, really good. I can work around the fit stuff….and with the Rad 0’s its all about the sound for me. Excellent.

Back to the sound…Treble…I have a lot of music I like but when played its too bright and trebly…like listening to razor blades at times. For example, Los Lobos, La Bamba soundtrack and the cut “Come On, Lets Go”. With most other cans, even the D8000 Pros, the treble content in this track is bright and in your face. With the Rad 0’s I listened to this for the first time all the way thru and was totally amazed at how will the high end was presented. Excellent.

Some reviews state vocals either forward or recessed dependent on whether female or male. I did not find this at all. IMO the cans are so good they allow you to hear where in the mix the vocal was in the studio etc.. Some vocals are mic’s so you hear the voice right up front and louder than the other stuff, some just the opposite. Very neutral here to me. What you put in is what you get out. Simple. I like this a lot.

Listen to Eva Cassidy in her Live at Blues Alley is just a solid 10. What a surreal experience. Most live performances come across as live performances, with all their goodness and wort’s. Many of my older Joni Mitchell ear bleed cd’s are presented so well they are a new-found joy to listen to. Musical.

The Rad 0’s will expose mediocre recordings. Expect this. Lots of stuff out there is crap recording wise. But when you get the good stuff playing its indeed a real treat.


I used both the SE cable that comes with the cans and I wired up a balanced cable with some Mogami cable. The wiring for a cable is different from most other cans. The wiring schematic is on the Rosson site. Not hard to understand or make up. Some folks didn’t like that the wiring was different from other vendors and could not use in house cables. Having the balanced cable helps with some amps and having some more EMF available. These cans are relatively easy to drive. The D8000 Pros are easier to drive. To get the same SPL levels the Rad 0’s had to be cranked up from a 9 o’clock to 10:30 position for the same volume. “I” would want a really decent amp to drive the Rad 0’s. Not a big deal but speaks to the impedance and sensitivity.

I used a iFi ICAN amp, tons of power, Pass Labs HPA-1, Schiit Vali 2+, Schiit Magni 3+, Nitsch Piety, and a few others. For dacs I used a MHDT Orchid (TDA 1541 Philips chip, NOS), Soekris 2541, iFi IDSD Pro (Burr Brown Dacs), and a new Schiit Modi Multibit 2. All amps drove the Rad 0’s well.

These headphones have been compared by many reviewers against the D8000 Pros, LCD 3 / 4’s, Abyss, Empyreans, etc.…Some state $2600 is a lot of money for what you get. But these headphones being compared to headphones that cost much more and are in the upper tier of headphone goodness speaks for itself. The Rad 0’s are world class and have so many positive sonic attributes IMO they are a steal for this performance.

After a day of listening with these only across differing gear I them brought out the D8000 Pros for a more in-depth comparison.


Here’s what happened:

The following refers to the D8000 Pros...When I started listening with them to compare with the Rad 0's...

Immediate response was soundstage is not as wide as the Rad 0’s. The overall tone is more alive, more clear or transparent. A delicate presentation out of a murky darkness. Less musical but still very very pleasing…even more realistic but in a more analytical way. The D8000 Pros are like a finely sharpened audio scalpel. Its all there in the details for me. Less colored. The really big differences is in the soundstage width and accuracy of instruments are reproduced compared to their real life sound.…Less of a veil. More high-end energy with the D8000 Pros. Remember I said the tone with the Rad 0's was very very good...well the tone or the accuracy or portrayal of musical instruments IMO is even more accurate with the D8000 Pros.

Now I am being really exacting but using very subjective adjectives that many of us confuse. So, what I hear may not be described in words that you use in this crazy hobby.

After several hours of going back and forth the more meaty and fuller Rad 0’s I found the D8000 Pros lacking in the overall make me smile “area” for live presentations. The D8000 Pros with their more analytical sound and lesser and more centered soundstage are not as enjoyable at times. Again, depending on the music and how its mixed and recorded.

Some vocals with the Rad 0’s sounded a bit diffused a little less focused or “tight” …this trait IMO is due to the width of the soundstage. Layering on both cans is excellent.

I thought that I would never say this. The Rad 0’s are more fun to listen to. The D8000 Pros are more technically accurate with a smaller soundstage. Simple as that. The tonality difference is really very noticeable.

Tracks with a lot of high-end energy IMO are easier to listen to with the Rad 0’s.



Once you start listening with the Rad 0’s the difference in tonality disappears and your drawn into the overall musical presentation and I smile a lot. But going back to the D8000 Pros its like gee these have less of a veil, a tad better bass (bass is more taunt and defined with the D8000 Pros…but a smaller soundstage, more focused…choices.

When cranked up the Rad 0’s with most music has never made me smile this much in a long time. Exceptional enjoyment. You can be a jackass in between two piles of hay…wondering which one is better. For this audio jackass I decided to eat both piles of hay! Lol!

So, in conclusion, if your looking for a really great all-around set of planers for what I would consider a fair price the Rad 0’s will not disappoint. Owning both these stellar cans is wonderful. The only way to really tell if your going to like these and other cans is to audition then on your head.

Alex Rosson IMO has hit the mark with the Rad 0’s. He has created a wonderful set of headphones that are musical and just lovely to listen with. Job well done Alex !

Hope you enjoyed the read…

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Listen to, George Benson, Joe Satrini, Quincy Coleman, Eric Clapton, Spyrogyra, Lee Ritenour, Tommy Emmanual, Joni Mitchell, David Grisman, Larry Carlton, Beatles, Stones, Doors, Jimmy Smith, Lloyd Cole, Eva Cassidy, Keiko Matsui, Stanley Jordan, SMV, Jake Shimabukuro, Neal Young, Rachael Yamagata, James Taylor, Lee Ann Rhimes, Bob James, Alanis Morisette etc....
1. I mainly listen to Metal, mostly extreme. Sometimes it's easy to read a review and forget that the reviewer might be listening to something very different and judging the device reviewed by different standards.
2. Yes, there is - the Anode Acoustics HPA#1:
I own it and it has transformed the D8000 Pro completely. It is very affordable and in my opinion worth x4 its price. reading what you wrote about the D8000 Pro it sounds as if you can use it. It will make the D8000 Pro make you smile all day long, it will be transformed into a musical pair of headphones. No details lost, no distortions, no smoothing. You will swear it's just like SS, only with a bit of soul. I bet you can use it with all your HPs, I use it with my LCD-X as well.
3. RAD-0 has a bigger stage than the D8000 Pro?
Yes as wonderful as the D8000 Pros are for $4299 retail the soundstage to my ears especially in width is greater than the D8000 Pros. I would be torn to choose between them both. I listen for a week with one then switch falling in love with them all over again! lol. The Finals are indeed the more accurate can. Sweet on the Anode Acoustics! Listening to Alex Bugnon as I reply. Love slow and deliberate I can appreciate the artist etc....great choices! Enjoy!
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Reviewer at Ear Fidelity
Rosson RAD-0
Pros: Exceptional Build Quality
Customizable, beautiful designs
Fantastic case included
Natural tone
Brilliant dynamics, slam, attack
Fast, highly saturated
Fun, entertaining, not too extreme though
Easy to drive
The Rosson Audio Design team is just super friendly and humble
Cons: Fairly pricey, but the overall experience is definitely worth it
Quite heavy
Rosson RAD-0 is an artisan, planar magnetic, open-back headphone with custom designs and exceptional build quality. It starts at $2600, but the final price depends on the design.



The headphone audio market has been rapidly growing and expanding over the last couple of years. Nonetheless, we are witnessing a big shift lately into a more objectivist side of audio, with most manufacturers aiming at a more “objectively better performance”, rather than experimenting with new and exciting ideas.
I’m not saying that the market is boring or going in the wrong direction, not at all. I just want to highlight the unique character of the product I’m reviewing today. There’s nothing like it on the market currently, and yes, it can give you the impression that it’s “looks above all”.
Honestly speaking, I’ve always seen the RAD-0 more like a bespoke-looking headphone that is going to be fine, but not extraordinary. The design choices and design of this model seem to be its selling points, and they never took off as much as some expected them to, even though this project is led by Legendary Alex Rosson (ex-Audeze).
Even though, I’ve always been largely interested in trying these but never had an opportunity. I’m pretty unyielding, and it paid off. Finally, after a few years, I’ve had the RAD-0 here at my desk for a couple of weeks now, and I’m finally ready to give you my impressions.
As I said previously, I never had my expectations set too high for the sound quality of these, not because I had any doubts about Alex Rosson though. And how wrong I was…

An Interview with Alex Rosson​

The folks at Rosson Audio Design are super friendly and humble, and I was lucky to be able to send a couple of questions directly to the man himself – Alex Rosson, the founder of the company. Thank you Alex for your honest and intriguing answers, it was a pleasure!

Paweł: What exactly is the RAD-0? The physical aspect of the headphones is the first thing that draws attention, but what’s more to it?

Alex: I’ve always thought of it this way: There’s nothing more satisfying than a home cooked meal that’s made with quality ingredients and love. I believe the intention is just as important as the ingredients used. Music involves instruments like ingredients, but I think we can all say there is an unspoken magic behind the intention of recordings to which no measurement can be applied to quantify how things make us feel. Given how much attention, love, and care we put into each RAD-0, I’d like to think our intention behind it is something our customers can feel and recognize when you put them on. Every RAD-0 is hand made in Reseda CA…We build our planar transducers here, pour the resin here, cut, sand, polish, drill, polish, assemble, test, qc, photograph (with the least amount of post), personalize upon request, sell, package, ship, and support. We are by no means high volume, we are as boutique as it gets. Few places get to remain in control over their product in the that way we do. You are fully taken care of with us. Our ability to customize RAD-0s is only limited to your own intention and imagination, and desires.

Paweł: What was your goal creating the RAD-0?

Alex: Create a unique headphone that makes you proud to own, looks good, a tool for engineers, or to relax and listen to. I am a big believer in the philosophy of doing one thing well and keeping it simple. There is so much noise out there with new product releases, few things excite me anymore. I gravitate towards making and using products that are quality, accurate, reliable, modular, but eccentric enough to have a soul.

Paweł: Seeing that the RAD-0 has been on the market for a while now, what is planned for the future of Rosson Audio?

Alex: Other than the continued refinements and production:
  • Closed back convertor kit
  • Ring swaps/updates to existing customers
  • Weight reduction kit via single sided driver
  • Suspension Strap Mod
  • Megalodon / MAPE-0

Paweł: Is Rosson Audio more of a side quest or are you planning on becoming one of the biggest players in the market?

Alex: Rosson Audio is certainly not a side quest… I aim keep to keep it simple, stay small, do one thing extremely well. However, my desire to continue to surprise the audio world is only beginning. I have done a few amazing consulting jobs on the side, such as the Mont Blanc MB01 Wireless Headphone. I also have a record label, Play Me Records. My spare time is spent playing, making, and listening to music.

Paweł: What’s your favorite aspect of the sound of the RAD-0, and which music genre do you think sounds the best with it?

Alex: I listen to many genres especially when testing and conducting comparisons, I can’t recall a specific genre that performs better with the Zero…as we know this is subjective territory. However, the RAD-0 does a few things I personally enjoy, and have observed among our customers:

  • The Rad-0 has such an effect on our customers that we frequently receive thank you messages speaking our praise.
  • Mix translations using the Zero are sure to make you feel confident in your choices.
  • The low-end accuracy and tightness is surprising.
  • No exaggeration of tonal balance.



Let’s start this review with the unboxing experience as always. The presentation of the RAD-0 is absolutely marvelous. They come in a huge peli-style case, that feels extremely durable and it just looks like a piece of equipment that belongs to a recording studio.

Yes, it’s quite common for manufacturers to use this kind of case lately, but boy oh boy, this thing is just in a different league. We’ve had a hard case with the Audeze LCD-X 2021, a beautiful and elegant case with the Meze Elite, and classic, “luxury” style boxes with Hifiman flagships.

The case that comes with the RAD-0 is simply better than everything I’ve seen previously. It is a tank, literally, this feels insanely solid and protective, it’s quite big and bulky, but I don’t mind it at all. In the past, when I had to take one of my headphones anywhere outside, I used the carrying case that was included with the Final D8000 Pro. Well, not anymore, now I’m using this huge thing, and I’ll never have a second thought about whether my headphones survive the trip. I feel like I can take the RAD-0 in that case to Mount Everest and back, and the only “thing” that won’t survive that trip is me.


Now that we have the actual packaging out of the way, let’s have a look at what we’re getting apart from the headphones themselves. It’s not much, but there’s everything that you need. First of all, the cable is pretty okay, but definitely not amazing. It’s a little bit stiff and it’s not the softest to the touch. Not a big deal though, I still use it a lot and it doesn’t bother me too much. There’s definitely room for an upgrade, but I would never call it simply “bad” to the point where I would recommend getting a replacement right away.

Apart from the cable, you’re also getting a metal card that is a proof of authenticity and some Rosson Audio stickers. Not too much, but we have already gotten used to the fact that the audio manufacturers aren’t very generous when it comes to extras in the box.

Even though the unboxing experience is quite modest, I’m still going to call it fantastic, mainly because of that incredible carrying case. It is just so functional and secure, that I can easily see myself using it for years, and I’d rather have one great accessory in the box, than five mediocre ones that would go into the closet and be forgotten.

Design, Build and Comfort​


Now onto something very interesting. You’ve all seen these, different-looking every single time. What’s the deal with them?
Well, these are the only custom-design high-end headphones in the market, and trust me…they look absolutely stunning.
So, when you’ll make the decision about getting the RAD-0, you don’t simply order these online and receive them the next day. The decision of buying them is just the beginning, as there’s an even bigger decision ahead of you…what design to go with?!

Well, you can actually order one of many in-stock versions that have been already built by Rosson and they are literally ready to go. There are many spectacular design versions every single time that the guys release a new batch onto their website. But, if you are really picky, or you just want a very specific color combination and looks, then the Custom fun begins.

So, the Rosson team is able to build a pair of RAD-0 to match your vision, and they are actually very good at it. You can go wild and give them the craziest ideas about your future audio babies, and they will deliver. There’s literally no other manufacturer that offers this kind of service, and this is a HUGE selling point for the Rosson team.

Just look at the picture below, it’s a pair that belongs to a dear friend of mine, and a great reviewer – Ryan Soo ( Let this incredible photo (yeah, Ryan is THE king when it comes to audio photos) show you that every single unit looks really different.


Shoutout to my boy Ryan Soo for this exceptional photo.

Now onto the actual build and design. First of all, the custom earcups are made of a hard resin that lets the folks at Rosson Audio create a unique, one-of-a-kind design every single time. The material used is actually a very good choice for audio equipment, especially headphones, as resin is much more repeatable than wood when it comes to acoustics. Hence, not only does it serve a function in the overall look of the headphone, but it also ensures that every single unit is going to sound its best with limited variations from unit to unit.

We have the earcups all explained now, let’s dive into the rest of the RAD-0 now. The overall build quality is absolutely fantastic. The headphone feels incredibly sturdy in hand and on your head, and it is definitely built to last. Solid construction comes at a price of high mass of the entire construction, which may lead you to think that the RAD-0 is not going to be comfortable, but you’ll be highly mistaken.

And yes, while the comfort is highly subjective and will depend on the shape of your head, for me, the RAD-0 is a very comfortable pair of headphones, even though it’s one of the heaviest I’ve tried. The earpads used here are definitely the biggest aspect of why I like the ergonomics of the RAD-0, as these are one of the plushiest, comfiest earpads I’ve ever tried. They are like 2 soft pillows gently hugging your head from both sides, resulting in a welcoming, intimate type of wear.
The headband, when compared to the earcups looks rather simple, but I actually think that this was intentional. The custom earcups are the star of the show here, so the Rosson Audio team didn’t want to steal your attention from what’s most important. Nonetheless, the design of the headband is pretty clever. The slider mechanism doesn’t have any clicks to ensure the headband stays in one place, but once you put them on your head, the thing ain’t moving nowhere. This is a highly well-engineered type of mechanism that’s going to work flawlessly for many, many years.

Apart from the sliding mechanism, the overall headband construction is good, but I’d love to see Rosson Audio using a suspension strap design in the future. The latter proved to distribute the weight of the headphone in a better way, resulting in an even more comfortable experience. I don’t have any problems with the current headband cushioning on the RAD-0, but I’ve seen some people that did, and I can imagine why. One, narrow point of contact on top of your head is less ideal than a suspension strap, which allows distributing the weight onto a much larger surface, which helps with proper weight distribution on your head. Luckily, the RAD-0 is a very comfortable pair of heavy headphones in my subjective opinion, but it definitely can be improved.

The overall fit and finish of the RAD-0 are spot on. This is an artisan level of finishing, definitely up there with the best on the market. The combination of different textures, matte-black finish on the yokes and grills paired with a shiny and smooth surface of the earcups themselves, finished with insanely plushy and soft earpads. This is where function meets design and quality, and Rosson Audio executed it perfectly. Definitely one of the best-built headphones on the market, without even the slightest doubts.
Let’s finish this paragraph with my subjective take on the design and aesthetics of the RAD-0. This headphone looks absolutely stunning, it is quite a conversation starter actually, and you really think like you’re handling something truly unique, one of a kind. I’ve had my authors and friends coming over quite frequently over the last few weeks, and everyone was highly impressed with these. What’s most important – It is not just about the looks, but about carefully forging something beautiful into a tool that’s going to be used for years without any problems. Perfection.



I already covered the physical aspects of the technology used in the RAD-0, so I’ll limit this paragraph to what’s inside.

So, the Rosson RAD-0 is a Planar Magnetic, open-back headphone using a 66mm driver. The impedance is rated at a reasonable 29 Ohms, and the sensitivity is rated at 98dB, which together make for a fairly easy-to-drive planar. Again, I think this was more than intentional, as it lets professionals use the RAD-0 in a studio environment, without worrying that their headphone output might not be powerful enough to drive these – it will be.

Other than that, there’s nothing more to talk about. The strength in the RAD-0 performance is said to be up to Alex Rosson’s vast experience in the studio and audio environment, so let’s just get right into it.



Here comes the most important part of the review, at least for me. You see, I’ve seen the RAD-0 quite frequently for years now, and I always had a feeling that these are mainly about the design and looks, with the sound not being the biggest attraction. This might be quite harmful for the company, as releasing a product that unique and different can lead up to a specific approach from customers.

So, the first time I ever tried the RAD-0 was when I received them a couple of weeks back. I was extremely curious about them, but I didn’t let my emotions win, so I proceeded with my standard burn-in procedure, before having a listen.

But, the time has eventually come and I was ready to try these on. And oh my, this was quite a shocker.
For those of you less patient, I’m going to say it right here, right now – the Rosson RAD-0 is now one of my absolute favorite headphones of all time when it comes to sound, which should give you an idea about my impressions. Let’s dive in.

The overall type of sound that you’re getting with the RAD-0 is tight, punchy, dynamic, and vivid, with a wonderful, natural warmth to the midrange and excellent extension to the treble. This is by far one of the best (if not THE BEST) planar magnetic headphones for genres like metal, electronics, and hard-rock, because of its highly saturated, dynamic, and powerful sound. Planar headphones often lack punch, a sense of physicality to the low-end, and vividness of the bass response to sound truly great with these genres, as they require both technical excellence as well as a joyful, high-contrast tuning. This is totally not the case with the RAD-0, as it simply delivers a perfect blend of both technicality and musicality.

This is the most important aspect of the RAD-0. In the world where more and more headphones are tuned to Harman, aiming at the most neutral tonality, the hero of today’s review is just different, in a good way definitely. This headphone brings me back the memories of the headphone market around 10 years ago, when it was all about different flavors and subjectivity to the sound. Nowadays, while we still get different house sounds from different manufacturers, they’ve been all brought closer to each other, resulting in a somewhat similar sound between many different high-end, planar magnetic models.
Because of that, the RAD-0 has been getting the most head time ever since I got them, even though I have the absolute bangers within my hands reach, such as the Hifiman Susvara, Meze Elite, D8000 Pro by Final, etc. The RAD-0 just offers a different type of experience, which is just grabbing you by your clothes and making you headbang like crazy. Truth is – the more audiophile I become, the less metal I listen to, and it’s an absolute joy to rediscover all of that music that I used to kill on repeat in my youth.

If you’re reading my reviews regularly, you know that I do reviews in a highly emotional, subjective fashion, and this review is yet again going to be that way. I just cannot turn my emotions off and talk about the RAD-0, as it just brings those emotions to me every single time I listen to them. This is peak entertainment and an aspect that I value in this hobby the most – bringing memories, emotions, and making you forget about the whole audiophile stuff, and just enjoy your favorite music. If a headphone can do that, we’re experiencing something extremely good in my book.
Another thing worth mentioning is that the RAD-0 doesn’t take anything to the extreme. While it is undoubtedly fun oriented and entertaining, it still has a lot of qualities that are known from the best studio equipment when it comes to audio. We have a lot of fun-sounding headphones in the world that are not too good when it comes to being natural and accurate, and the RAD-0 is definitely not one of those. Alex put a lot of experience into tuning these to appeal to a wide variety of tastes while being suitable for professionals as well.

So, the bass is hard-hitting, dynamic, and saturated. It’s by no means bloated, uncontrolled, or overly thick sounding. The main aspect of the bass delivery is the raw power that this driver can output, making for a very punchy, vivid, and accurate note delivery. Planar Magnetic headphones often tend to lack the dynamics and punch in the low end, and the RAD-0 eliminates those aspects of your standard, planar headphones. The low-end performance is actually more reminiscent of good dynamic headphones, because of the energy and the power of the bass response.
At the same time, planars are known for their incredible texture and crunch in the low-end area, and the RAD-0 is no different. It has the ability to let you pick up all the individual notes with ease, because of its highly controlled, clean bass response. Because of all those perks, I’m quite confident about calling the bass response of the RAD-0 one of the best on the market, without a doubt.

The midrange actually reminds me of the classic Audeze house sound to some extent. It is slightly laid-back, thick, very natural, and engaging. Voices have a very natural warmth and weight to them, resulting in a highly enjoyable, yet an accurate type of presentation. The resolution is up there with the rest of the high-end planars, and so is the detail retrieval, which while not the best of the best, still provides a fantastic insight into the mix. This headphone has been tuned very cleverly, as it doesn’t sacrifice even a tiny bit of resolving capabilities for that beautiful, smooth tonality in the midrange. The overall vibe of the midrange is somewhat similar to Meze’s flagship Elite, which has that beautiful, rich tonality while still providing very good detail retrieval and resolution. In the world of more and more neutral headphones, that thick and lush presentation to vocals is something I absolutely strive for, as this is my absolute favorite aspect about audio – vocals that sound almost intimidating, intoxicating, and just simply beautiful.

The treble is not as laid-back as the midrange, but it still has many similarities. It is fantastically detailed and clean, but it never gets harsh or overly forward, and trust me, I tried to push them onto that. This is, once again, a very clever tuning that focuses on the best aspects of a good Planar driver, while dressing it up in a pleasant, natural tone that is just pleasant to listen to. Studio engineers should be happy as well, as the RAD-0 offers a brilliant extension in the treble region, and the overall treble output is quite linear and it doesn’t lean towards sounding too forward, nor too far away. Metal fans will be satisfied as well, as the RAD-0 will give you that aggressive, saturated hi-hat splash that is necessary for metal to sound good. The guitar overdrive sounds great as well, because of that highly textured, yet rich sound that works well with every genre.

Lastly, the soundstage. The RAD-0 is not an overly huge staging pair of headphones, but it rather focuses on realism when it comes to the size and accuracy of the soundstage. The imaging is brilliant, as you will be easily able to pinpoint the location of every instrument in the mix, while not feeling that it sounds too far away or too close to you. The vocals however have that ability to stand out in the mix, being rendered a step closer than in many competitors, which further extends that entertaining, fun character of the RAD-0. This is, once again, a very clever tactic, as a pair of high-end headphones that are made for both audiophiles and sound engineers should have the ability to please both, and with this kind of spatial presentation, they definitely will.

To summarise, the RAD-0 might look like an artisan pair of headphones where you’re just paying extra for the looks, but it is very far from the truth. This is an insanely good-sounding pair that is tuned so well, that it will appeal to most people. The RAD-0 is a perfect blend of technicalities, musicality, and a piece of art that will satisfy you while both listening to them and just looking at them and praising that striking build quality and design. This is literally a much better product than I expected it to be, and for that, I’m very grateful that I was finally able to try it, and now it became my go-to headphone for rock, metal, and electronic music, which I listen to a lot lately.


Audeze LCD-X 2021


The first comparison is going to be between the RAD-0 and the LCD-X 2021, by Audeze. Knowing that Alex Rosson, the founder of Rosson Audio has been a CEO for Audeze in the past, this comparison is even more interesting.

So, the LCD-X 2021 is our “Headphone of the year 2021”, because of its fantastic ability to be a true chameleon – it’s great for audio professionals, as well as audiophiles.
And yes, reading this might give you a little Deja Vu, as the RAD-0 has the exact same ability. Honestly speaking, I somewhat feel that the RAD-0 is everything that the LCD-X 2021 is, but slightly better. The resolution and detail retrieval are both better, the built quality feels a bit more premium, and the design is just vastly different. With the LCD-X, you’re getting that beautiful, minimalist and industrial, raw design that is just beautiful to look at. On the other hand, the RAD-0 is much more “crazy” looking, and you can actually customize its design to suit your aesthetic needs just perfectly.

The carrying case of the RAD-0 is much, much better quality than the one found with the LCD-X, but as far as the cable is regarded, I’m going to give Audeze a point, as it is just a nicer quality and more comfortable.

To be completely honest, both are excellent and the choice between them should come down to your budget and needs. If you don’t care about a custom design and you’re not ready to pay as much as the RAD-0 costs, the LCD-X 2021 is a brilliant choice for a “does it all” pair of headphones. However, if you want that sweet design, and you want that extra sound quality, the RAD-0 is a significant upgrade over the LCD-X 2021.

Hifiman Susvara


I’m praising the RAD-0 so hard, that it would have been illogical not to compare it to the best headphones I’ve ever listened to – the legendary Susvara.

So, let me start by saying this: The Susvara is definitely a more audiophile-oriented pair of headphones. Not only its detail and resolution are basically unmatched by anything else on the market, but its tuning is just incredible for classical music, jazz, acoustics, and basically everything that is well-mastered (try Dire Straits on these, you’ll be blown away). Nonetheless, I always had a feeling that the Susvara sounds too polite with genres like metal, rock, and electronic music, resulting in a somewhat “extremely coherent, but kind of boring” sound. Its bass response is not the most dynamic and vivid by any means, and these are very important for these genres to sound entertaining.

And then comes the RAD-0, which just shows the Susvara its place when it comes to raw power, macro dynamics, and vividness of the sound. When listening to In Flames (a Swedish metal band), the RAD-0 just makes me headbang, something that the Susvara never gave me. These are just two, completely different approaches to making you emotional while listening to music – the Susvara is the king when it comes to chill, “you are there” type of experience with many music genres, but when you just want to have fun and be entertained, the RAD-0 is actually superior to the legendary Hifiman flagship.

Meze Elite


Another comparison, another different approach. The Elite is a Jack Of All Trades for me – it just simply sounds great, no matter the situation. It does well with all the music genres, and they are very forgiving when it comes to the rest of the system.
On the other hand, the RAD-0 is more oriented into those high-energy genres, when it just outshines the Elite with its fast, impactful and vivid sound. It doesn’t do as good of a job with calmer music genres, in which the Elite is just romantic, intensively personal, and welcoming sounding, but if we turn the table around, the RAD-0 is more entertaining with fast and dynamic music.

Once again, it comes down to your preferences. I would actually recommend having both and using them both, depending on what you’re listening to or simply to match your current mood. These are two spectacular headphones that have different strengths, but it’s simply impossible to rate one higher than the other (or we’ll see about it in our Battle Of The Flagships RAD-0 update…).

The last thing worth mentioning is the build. The Elite is the best-built headphone in the world, and the RAD-0 is just not AS good. There’s nothing wrong with it by any means, but the Elite is just a marvel when it comes to modern design and finishing. However, the RAD-0 is customizable, which gives it a huge point for people wanting something different, crazy looking. I would actually like Meze to give you a choice with the design of the Elite, because honestly speaking, the silver color is just not really my thing. Oh, what’s also very important, is that the Elite is vastly more comfortable than the RAD-0. Once again, nothing wrong with the latter in my experience, but the Elite is just like a soft cloud gently sitting on your head, and there are not a lot of headphones in the world that are even more comfortable than the Romanian flagship.

Audeze MM-500


Another Audeze vs Rosson comparison, but now we’ll be looking at the latest MM-500, made in collaboration with legendary Manny Marroquin.

So, these two are very, very different. The MM500 is a studio tool, very neutral, technical, and accurate sounding. This is actually our top recommendation for those looking for linear, neutral, and uncolored-sounding headphones to work with audio. On the other hand, the RAD-0 can also do that (not as well though), but when it comes to actually listening to music, there are no doubts about which one gives you more entertainment.

The RAD-0 is just more colorful, powerful, and fun sounding of the two, giving you a tool for having fun and entertainment, rather than the ultimate neutrality and accuracy.

When it comes to the build though, the MM-500 is just an insanely well-made pair of headphones, and its overall design is more sublime than the RAD-0. Once again, you can customize the latter, so this debate is open, and the right choice will depend on what kind of person you are and what you value the most. Also, the comfort is better with the RAD-0 in my opinion, as the clamping force of the MM-500 is quite brutal, and its earpads are not as plush and soft as the ones found in the RAD-0.

Once again, this choice should be rather easy. If you’re working with sound and spend a lot of time in the studio environment, just get the MM-500, as its neutral tuning will definitely give you the best results. On the other hand, if you do spend some time in the studio, but you also listen to a lot of music (especially rock, and metal) with your headphones, it might be worth saving more and going for the RAD-0 instead.



XIAudio K-DAC + Feliks Envy

Yes, this setup is wildly expensive, but not everything that’s expensive is good, don’t you agree?
Well, this setup is just something different. The K-DAC and the Envy (reviews coming soon!) make the RAD-0 fly and sound absolutely stunning. The sound of this combination is incredibly rich, flavorful, powerful and refined. The detail retrieval and resolution are both exceptional, but the entire sound has that magic and realism to it.
This has been my favorite combo for the past couple of weeks, as the almighty Envy pairs beautifully with the RAD-0. This is peak headphone audio experience, providing an experience that’s hard to beat even for the best headphones in the world. What a setup.

EarMen Tradutto + Staccato + CH-AMP

Even though I’ve had the Tradutto for quite some time now, the CH-Amp amplifier is new for me. Still, I managed to spend some time with this combination and was wildly entertained.
This combo sounds very dynamic, fun and forward, this is the ultimate metalhead wet dream when it comes to headphone audio setups. Fast, snappy, dynamic and powerful to the limits, the CH-Amp proves that it’s a force to be reckon with within its price category. It drives the RAD-0 with absolute authority, and gives it that clean, powerful output that the RAD-0 uses to sound incredibly clean yet musical.

Burson Audio Playmate 2 (V6 Vivid OPamps)

The Burson Playmate 2 might not be a powerhouse that is worthy of ultra high-end headphones, but it once again proves that its performance is insanely good for its price.
While the overall sound character gets a bit warmer and softer, the Playmate 2 yet again has literally zero problems with driving the RAD-0. This results in a sound that is natural, engaging and rich, with beautiful vocals reproduction and that romantic approach to the midrange.

SMSL DO100 + HO100

The RAD-0 sounds fantastic even from a budget equipment as the DO100 + HO100 combo by SMSL. This SMSL stack offers a wildly neutral and clean sound that works well with the RAD-0, as it lets its beautiful tone shine.
Because of that, this setup is stellar when it comes to technical performance, and is the most neutral tuned from all the pairings I’m mentioning in this review. This lets you enjoy the RAD-0 the “OG WAY”, with its phenomenal tuning taking the best seat in the crowd. This is great news that you don’t have to spend thousands for your DAC and Amp for the RAD-0 to sound great.



The Rosson RAD-0 would have gotten a “Surprise Of the Year” award if I was to do one. While this product might be overlooked by some audiophiles, because of its high price tag and the custom design aspect (which may lead some to think that it is more about the looks than the sound itself), it proved to be an incredibly good performer, taking the position in my “3 most used pairs” by storm.

Very good technical performance meets incredibly fun tuning, wrapped up in a unique, beautiful, and one-of-a-kind design gives me no choice but to recommend the RAD-0 from the bottom of my heart. It has won my heart over in no time, maybe it’ll win yours as well. A truly spectacular pair of headphones.

Wildly Recommended.

Gear used during this review for the sake of comparison and as an accompanying equipment:
  • Headphones – Hifiman Susvara, Final D8000 Pro, Audeze LCD-X 2021, Drop + Sennheiser HD8XX, HEDDphone, Hifiman Edition, Meze Elite, Audeze MM-500
  • Sources– XI Audio K-DAC, Feliks Envy, SMSL SH-9, EarMen Tradutto + Staccato + CH-AMP, SMSL DO100 + HO100, Burson Playmate 2, Yulong Aurora, iBasso DX170
Big thanks to Rosson Audio Design and Alex Rosson for providing the RAD-0 for this review. I wasn’t paid or asked to say anything good or bad about this product, all of the above is just my personal, unbiased opinion.

You can get your RAD-0 here.
Very surprised how well these are made and sound.
First can in a long while where I just want to listen to music.
So I guess these have a "musical" tuning!!

Balanced cable works well, using with the iFI ICAN pro so we get the higher EMF voltage rating.
Amazed at the width of the soundstage...some state this is not that great.

Here it is indeed very wide and pleasing to my ears/brain.
Very articulate and resolving. Yeah stuff that you hear for the first time syndrome.

Alex has indeed done a magical job here with these cans.

Have to agree with the " these took me by surprise description for sure...

Big Smile here!
  • Like
Reactions: rev92
@adydula damn this is so cool, our impressions are exactly the same :wink: enjoy bro
Treble is very very well done.
The old Los Lobos, La Bamba soundtrack and the cut "Come On, Lets Go" with other cans is like listening to razor blades at times.
This can really allows this to be listenable and very realistic.
Wonderful for live stuff for sure..


100+ Head-Fier
Rosson Audio Design RAD-0 - The Most Beautiful, Musical, Studio Reference Planar!?
Pros: Neutral, natural, accurate
Cons: Weight

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but the Rosson Audio Design RAD-0 is artistic eye candy for all! There are some things in life that seemly slow down time and everyone stares intently when they enter; the Rosson RAD-0 is one of them. There is no doubt that the RAD-0 is a gorgeous headphone. I do not own a more attractive headphone. The Rosson Audio Design RAD-0 is tuned to be a studio reference monitor.

Is the Rosson RAD-0 the most beautiful, musical, studio reference planar?


About Alex Rosson: (quoting

"Alex has spent his entire life in the sound business. As a musician and engineer, Alex grew up immersed in audio and film production at many of the most notable studios across Los Angeles. Alex worked for nearly a decade as one of Technicolor’s mastering engineers before venturing into entrepreneurship and becoming the co-founder and CEO of Audeze.

Rosson Audio Design distills a lifetime’s worth of work in the listening business with a mission to providing unique experiences that bridge exquisite audio with unique design. Each product in Alex’s portfolio has helped set the stage for the RAD-0 and all Rosson Audio Design products to come."


What do I consider to be "reference"? I believe that a reference headphone should be one that is about as flat, neutral as possible without losing detail and extension. A reference headphone should not add in flavoring or coloring to the sound that isn't natural or realistic.

What do I consider to be "musical"? A musical headphone to me is one that sounds natural and realistic without being bloated or excessive in any of the frequencies. A musical headphone should be an accurate portrayal of the music in the real world that is enjoyable and detailed.

What do I consider to be "neutral"? Neutral to me is not ruler flat but having natural and realistic rises in the frequencies. A neutral headphone portrays correct and accurate tones that aren't boosted, elevated or colored from the natural tone.

What do I consider to be "natural"? Natural is realistic and accurate to everyday tones. A natural headphone presents a sonic bliss that is neutral from sonic alterations with natural, detailed realism and musical, tone and timbre, accuracy.

I am not a professional producer or sound engineer but I do run the soundboard (Allen & Heath QU-24) at my church each week. I don't have any studio experience or training for a professional setting. So the sound impressions are based on my limited usage and whether or not they fill my needs.

DISCLAIMER: I purchased the Rosson Audio Design RAD-0 with my own funds. I have not been paid, pressured or otherwise influenced to spin this review one way or the other. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I have to mention that Alex Rosson did upgrade my order from the b-stock headphone I had chosen to a new stock headphone for no extra charge. Alex Rosson surprised me with the color design and I had no clue what to expect. I didn't ask for the upgrade, that was all from the graciousness of Alex's heart. Alex Rosson is a very kind, thoughtful man, who went way above and beyond to share his kindness with me and I am truly grateful and amazed that he did what he did for me.





THD : <0.1%





YouTube Video:

The unboxing of the Rosson Audio Design RAD-0 starts off with a box inside a box. The outer box has the Rosson logo stamped on each side in differing colors, nice touch. The inside box is a normal cardboard box, I miss those colorful logos. After undoing the tape, you slide out the hefty pelican case. Then the fun starts with the unlocking of the latches and the raising up of the pelican case lid. Inside you are greeted with an abundance of foam cradling the RAD-0 and on the other side is a cut out that contains your cable, cleaning cloth, user manual, logo sticker, QR code for registration and the certificate of authenticity. Overall, I find the unboxing experience to be pleasing and the accessories included to be just what you need.


When Alex reached out to me about an upgrade, he mentioned that he had a design picked out for me but wouldn't tell me what it was. I love surprises so I was anxious to find out what he sent over. I have got to say, Alex knows me too well, impressive since we never communicated until the surprise email about the upgrade, this color scheme is perfect for me.




I don't know how he did it but wow! Thank you Alex Rosson, fantastic job!

The RAD-0 is all hand-made in the USA from the headband, housing and transducers. The headband is spring steel covered with a leatherish material. The headband is slightly curved and has a large leather pad in the middle. The yokes, arms, rods and sliders are all made of metal. The pads are a thick, hybrid design that has leather on the outside and inside and a soft fabric for the ears. The stock cable measures in at 2 meters. The cable is an OFC copper braid wrapped in black nylon. The cable is well built, looks nice, behaves without curves, kinks or jankiness but is a tad stiff. But the star of the RAD-0 are the cups. Wow the craftsmanship, these belong in an art museum! Rosson can custom make pretty much any design with any materials inside the cups that you desire or you can purchase one of their own designs. In case you want a RAD-o like mine; sorry you can't get one exactly like it, because all Rosson are unique in that they are a designed individually and each design has its own characteristics. No two RAD-0 look the same, now that is cool! You can get one that looks similar but not the same. I am amazed at the beauty that the RAD-o is to behold; I have never seen such a pretty headphone. There is a depth to the coloring that is mesmerizing. There are small sections that have layers of colors on top of each other and others that shows what looks like a gap.


Pictures do not show the true beauty. I can't stop looking at them!


The RAD-0 fit me very well but that might not be the case for everyone.



The ear pads are the perfect size for my ears as they envelope my ears with just enough room to spare without touching any part of my ears. The headband disperses the weight evenly, removing any worries about the RAD-0 slipping and falling off my head. The intense clamp force has lessened with time but there remains a comforting amount of clamp to hold the RAD-0 in place without being a vice grip on my head.

The weight is the most of any headphone I own and takes some time to get used to for sure. But I find that Rosson has done a good job of balancing and dispersing the weight; the RAD-0 isn't a cinder block brick on my head but it isn't a down feather pillow either but something in between.


Mytek Liberty DAC

Schiit Audio BiFrost 2

Headamp GS-X Mini

Burson Audio Funk

Sony NW-WM1a


Rosson Audio Design RAD-0 - stock 6.35mm

Corpse Cable - XLR balanced

MUSIC: (in order of playlist)

Tingvall Trio “Beat” - piano tonality
Sinne Eeg “We’ve Just Begun” - multiple layer soundstage
Molly Johnson “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” - female vocal tone
Leslie Odom Jr. “Under Pressure” - male vocal tone
Eric Clapton “Change the World” - soundstage, layering and placement
Yo Yo Ma “Ecstasy of Gold” - acoustic instrument timbre
Adam Baldych “Spem in Alium” - acoustic instrument timbre
Pain of Salvation “Stress” - percussion balance
Michael Buble “When I Fall in Love” - orchestral dynamics
Patricia Barber “Code Cool” - sibilance check
Christian Scott “New New Orleans” - shouty upper mids

Tool “Chocolate Chip Trip” - imaging
Hans Zimmer “Why So Serious” - sub bass extension
Marcus Miller “No Limit” - bass control
Dave Holland Quartet “Conference Of The Birds”- bass check
Ilhan Eshkeri “47 Ronin”- orchestra and bass dynamics
Hans Zimmer: “2049” - sub bass extension
Cher: “Believe” - sibilance
Stanley Clarke - “Passenger 57 main title” - percussion, bass, separation and placement
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra - “The Pine of the Appian Way” - soundstage, imaging and separation
Houston Person - “You are my Sunshine” - tone and timbre

Sound Impressions:
This is the area of the review process that I have struggled the most with personal bias, subjectivity and attempting to be as objective as possible. The Rosson RAD-0 is the hardest headphone I have reviewed because it brings out my personal bias and subjectivity in full force and to the forefront.

BASS: The Rosson Audio Design RAD-0 has a linear bass that extends into the deep sub bass regions. The RAD-0 adds in natural and accurate note weight and density, along with authority and control, slams and thumps. There is a sensation of reality with the bass that I haven't heard in a headphone before. The RAD-0 bass portrays meekness; power under control. The bass is an authoritative presence that is calm and collected and never losing control of the moment, no matter the stress level. The extension is far and wide and the depth and layering is mind blowing. Speed and agility is ridiculously spectacular; like Sebastian Vettel carving his Aston Martin Mercedes through the curves of an F1 track. The RAD-0 has an impacting power and percussive slam that lets you feel the moment and the enjoyment, all the while remaining an analytical, critical listening headphone. Details are all present and resolved with impeccable effectiveness.

MIDS: The Rosson RAD-0 is balanced, cohesive and natural in the mids. The RAD-0 portrays mids with clarity and accurate tonality. There is natural warmth without coloring the overall sonics. The RAD-0 mids put you with the action; allowing you to dissect each instrument and vocalist; critiquing each breath, strum, touch, tap and movement with ease. The notes have realistic body and weight and they are full and natural. The RAD-0 reveals each detail, displaying it in a respectful and polite approach with precision and accuracy. The RAD-0 is not forceful or aggressive in it's presentation, instead it allows the music to dictate the force and aggression and it reveals it accurately and flawlessly. There is so much information available and the Rosson RAD-0 resolves it with ease and precision. The RAD-0 is never fatiguing or intense unless the track includes it.

TREBLE: The Rosson RAD-0 has a natural and realistic approach to the treble revealing natural sibilance, harshness, grit and bite. There is crispness, airiness, sparkle, energy and control; the sensation of realism is jaw dropping. The Rosson treks along the line of just enough and not enough and doesn't waiver off it. The RAD-0 is direct and precise with the treble without being overly forceful and intimidating. The details whizz in from all over with precision and accuracy. The definition and refinement of the details is impeccable. The attack and decay is natural and realistic. The Rosson Audio Design RAD-0 treble is perfection to my ears.

SOUNDSTAGE/WIDTH/DEPTH/LAYERING/IMAGING: The Rosson RAD-0 presents with natural and realistic width and depth; allowing the studio/sound engineers to determine where instruments and vocalists are presented without having to lift their heads. Imaging is precise and direct with the RAD-0. The Rosson portrays the music exactly how the studio heard it live. When it comes to soundstages, you can get too wide, too deep and they lose the naturalism; the RAD-0 has the proper balance. Everything sounds realistically placed and spaced. Nothing feels awkward or misplaced, you know what you are seeing on stage or in studio is what you are hearing in your ear. One other thing of note, is the crossfeed capabilities of the Rosson RAD-0. When something is on the right side, the left side has a subtle amount audible and vice versa, Unlike a lot of other headphones that are imaginative venues of live experience; the RAD-0 has you at the mixing controls putting the finishing touches on a recording masterpiece.

TONE/TIMBRE: The Rosson RAD-0 to me has the most natural and realistic tone and timbre that I have heard in a headphone. The tone and timbre of the RAD-0 makes it effortless to determine and follow instruments through a track. The Rosson RAD-0 portrays vocals and instrument distinctness and characteristics accurately in a natural and realistic manner. The Rosson RAD-0 have a perfect balance of note weight and density with tone and timbre that is the best I have ever heard on a headphone.

DETAILS RETRIEVAL/RESOLUTION: With the Rosson RAD-0 there is a proper amount of details retrieved without being excessive or limited. The amount of details retrieved and revealed is a fine line to walk. Excessive boosting of mic gain brings in a false impression of detail retrieval but it isn't natural. There is an over abundance of information that is provided by some headphones that is helpful in the studio but isn't portraying the natural, realistic amount of details. With the RAD-0 there is an accurate and appropriate amount of details presented without being overwhelming. The revealing nature of the RAD-0 does come with a caveat; poorly recorded tracks. If you are looking for a revealing headphone to help you sort your audio library by recording quality then look no further then the Rosson RAD-0. Resolution of all those details is phenomenal on the the RAD-0, crazy good resolution. There is no detail left behind and every one of them is presented in it's best form.

(The pairing that took up most of my listening time was the Mytek Liberty and Headamp GS-X Mini, as they are my benchmarks for reviews along with being my personal everyday listen setup.)

Mytek Liberty DAC: Whether it was the single-ended headphone output on the Liberty DAC or the GS-X Mini being fed by the Liberty DAC the Rosson RAD-0 sounded insanely good. The Liberty DAC had plenty of power for the RAD-0 and their more then enough headroom left, never got close to max volume. I am not going to go into details about the sound as I just described them all above. But this is a pairing made for each other and I am so blessed to own them both. Perfection to my ears!

Schiit Audio BiFrost 2: Pairing the BiFrost 2 and the GS-X Mini with the RAD-0 is another pairing made for each other. Take all that is mentioned in the sound impressions above and add a kiss of warmth and a little more immersive staging but a slight lag behind in detail retrieval and natural air. I love this pairing as well but it gives way to the Mytek Liberty by the slightest of margins.

Sony NW-WMIa: I do not use headphones often with my Sony WM1a but I thought I would give this pairing a try and I am so glad I did. Using the 4.4mm balanced output on high gain and the experience is like nothing I have ever heard from a portable. Yes there is enough power to make the RAD-0 sing from the hilltops. All the sonics experienced from the desktop are mostly present, not much is lacking. For a weekend trip, a work week hotel stay or a work shift in the cubicle, this pairing will suffice. Not only will you have spectacular sound but you will have the prettiest portable setup. If you have a WM1a and are seeking an open-back headphone to pair with it then look no further then the Rosson RAD-0.


(Please see the full written comparison for more details)


The Ether C has less note density and weight then the RAD-0.

The MrSpeakers Ether C has slightly more detail retrieval and better resolution but it is not the most natural and realistic portrayal. The MrSpeakers Ether C lacks in bass slam and thump but excels in extension. The Ether C mids are more dominant and expressive all the while maintaining cohesion. MrSpeakers Ether C comes out holding nothing back; there is a grit and an edge to the treble. The MrSpeakers Ether C are not at a disadvantage because they are a close-back when it comes to soundstage.


The Meze Empyrean tone is excellent but the timbre is less defined as it is on the RAD-0. The Empyrean at times struggles to differentiate between instruments and to show the fine intricacies of an instrument. The Meze Empyrean lags behind slightly with detail retrieval and resolution. The Meze portrays a more accurate and realistic portion of the details for listening consumption but not enough for the studio. The Meze Empyrean has an elevated bass line along with extra note weight and density. The Empyrean has moderate extension but isn't as defined as the RAD-0. The mids of the Meze Empyrean are a warm breeze of naturalism. The Meze envelops the listener with emotion. The Meze Empyrean treble is lush and airy with soft and smooth edges of enjoyment. The Empyrean glosses over the sibilance and harshness of treble for a more forgiving and enjoyable listen. The Meze Empyrean presentation is all about the engagement and enjoyment.


I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to hear many headphones over the years in all sorts of price points, designs and driver types. I am blessed to own three spectacular headphones and to use them all daily; Rosson RAD-0, MrSpeakers Ether C and Meze Empyrean. All of them play a vital part in my review process. I absolutely love all three headphones and I highly recommend each of them. The MrSpeakers Ether C are my benchmark for how a closed-back headphone should sound.

The Rosson RAD-0 are my benchmark for how an open-back headphone portrays a natural, accurate, real-life experience.

The Meze Empyrean are my benchmark for how an open-back headphone portrays an engaging, realistic experience. For those moments of relaxing and being immersed with the music, I grab the Meze Empyrean. For those critical listening moments and comparing to the minutest of degrees, I grab the MrSpeakers Ether C. And for those times of relaxing, immersion, critiquing to the smallest of slivers, I reach for the Rosson RAD-0 the most. I prefer the RAD-0 over the others the most because it is the more refined and defined and better implemented. Don't get me wrong, the Ether C and Empyrean are no slouches they just aren't as finished like the RAD-0. The Rosson RAD-0 pairs with my ears the best of anything I have ever heard and owned. Everything that I seek as an audiophile is on full display with the Rosson RAD-0.

I believe that the Rosson Audio Design RAD-0 would excel in a studio. I asked Alex Rosson if he uses the RAD-0 in his own studios and he answered with a "Yes". I totally understand why.

YouTube reviews:
Twitter: @TalkDbs
The Honest Audiophile research and review process:
Audio Terms and Definitions:

Recommended Gear:

Rosson Audio Design RAD-0:
Meze Empyrean:
Hifiman Ananda:
Sennheiser HD600:
Sennheiser HD660s:
Meze 99 Classic:
MrSpeakers Ether C (non flow version)
(similar to:)
Meze Rai Penta:
Meze Rai Solo:
ADV. M5-12D:
Empire Ears ESR:
Tin Hifi T3:
Tin Hifi T2:
Tin Hfi T5:
Moondrop SSR:
Monoprice Monolith THX AAA 788:
Sony NW-A105:
Sony NW-WM-1a:
Mytek Liberty:
HeadAmp GSX-Mini:
Soekris DAC1421:
Tor Audio Roger:
Schiit Audio BiFrost 2:
Massdrop THX AAA 789:
Grace Design SDAC-B:
Geshelli Labs Enog 2 Pro:
Geshelli Labs J2:
Geshelli Labs Archel 2:
Geshelli Labs Erish:

Music recommendations: (in order of playlist)
Tingvall Trio “Beat” - piano tonality
Sinne Eeg “We’ve Just Begun” - multiple layer soundstage
Molly Johnson “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” - female vocal tone
Leslie Odom Jr. “Under Pressure” - male vocal tone
Eric Clapton “Change the World” - soundstage, layering and placement
Yo Yo Ma “Ecstasy of Gold” - acoustic instrument timbre
Adam Baldych “Spem in Alium” - acoustic instrument timbre
Pain of Salvation “Stress” - percussion balance
Michael Buble “When I Fall in Love” - orchestral dynamics
Patricia Barber “Code Cool” - sibilance check
Christian Scott “New New Orleans” - shouty upper mids

Tool “Chocolate Chip Trip” - imaging
Hans Zimmer “Why So Serious” - sub bass extension
Marcus Miller “No Limit” - bass control
Dave Holland Quartet “Conference Of The Birds”- bass check
Ilhan Eshkeri “47 Ronin”- orchestra and bass dynamics
Hans Zimmer: “2049” - sub bass extension
Cher: “Believe” - sibilance
Stanley Clarke - “Passenger 57 main title” - percussion, bass, separation and placement
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra - “The Pine of the Appian Way” - soundstage, imaging and separation
Houston Person - “You are my Sunshine” - tone and timbre
yes you can use my links
Very nice write up!
Thank you

Dobrescu George

Reviewer: AudiophileHeaven
Pros: + Musical Sound
+ Smooth
+ Grain-Free
+ Comfy
+ Easy To Drive
+ Clean
Cons: - Heavy
- Pricey
Rosson RAD-0 Headphones Review - Liquid, Musical, Smooth, Grain-Free

Rosson RAD-0 is a headphone that's slightly less known right now, but I really hope that after this in-depth review will become better known, for its really good build quality, and amazingly well tuned sound. They are a flagship, and are priced at about 2600 USD, so they have to be compared with other flagships, such as HIFIMAN Arya, Kennerton Thror and Crosszone CZ-1. There is also a bonus comparison with Audeze LCD-MX4 included in this review, as Mr. Alexander Rosson has been part of Audeze in the past. I will also explore pairing with a few flagships, including pairing with iBasso DX220 (AMP 9), Mytek Brooklyn DAC+, and M2Tech Young MK III + Wells Milo.


Rosson is basically the dream of the audio engineer Alexander Rosson. He has a rich history working on headphones, previously with Audeze, and he has an extremely good knowledge of headphones, and as we will explore in this review, on sound. The more you get to know his work, the more curious you become about what a headphone, made based on his tastes, sounds like. RAD-0 is a handmade headphone, so you know you're in for a lot of fun, from a carefully designed, and caressed product. There aren't supposed to be any issues with RAD-0, since they are very thoroughly tested before they leave the hands of Mr. Alexander Rosson, but if you were to encounter any issue, he is a very reliable source, and will surely help you sort that out, making the investment worth your while.

It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with Rosson, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. I'd like to thank Rosson for providing the sample for this review. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in Rosson RAD-0 find their next music companion.

About me


First things first, let's get the packaging out of the way:

I wished more companies would bundle their headphones in a package as trusty as Rosson does, as with this one, you receive the headphone packaged inside a full sized peli case. In fact, since I went out to take the photos for it, some people were looking a bit odd, since the case is very serious and looks like you mean business, so most people are surprised when the product I take out of such a case is, in fact, a headphone.

Nowadays Rosson also has a balanced cable in store, so you can use their headphones with a balanced source as well, but RAD-0, at least in the version that I am reviewing, comes with a Single Ended cable. Besides the headphones, you can also find the cable and the paperwork. Thinking that the package is part of, well, the package, that is actually really good, because it has enough space for you to carry the headphones, along with a DAP or another source, so you won't have to worry about scratching or damaging RAD-0 during transport.

Overall, for a 2600 USD Flagship, you may be expecting a spare pad set, or a different cable, but I think that the package, as it is, is pretty darn good. I tend to go for the default single ended cable most of the time, and since you can purchase a balanced cable made especially for this headphone, I think it is better it comes with a Single Ended cable by default. Furthermore, the pad locking mechanism looks like it may require you to contact the company to replace the earpads, but that won't be needed for a long time, and you should have no issues with RAD-0, plus with their amazing support, you won't have to worry about the earpads for a long time to come.

What to look in when purchasing a Flagship Headphone

Technical Specifications


Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit/Comfort

You can notice the fact that RAD-0 is hand made from the first moment you hold it in your hands. The earcups are made from what I would call a special resin, with a wide selection of models and colors available. I think that if you're one to like your headphones looking a bit more artsy, and having a bit more personality, you will surely find the store offer comfortable.

Right now, there even is a sale going on, trying to help limit the spread of Corona, named a Special Social Distancing Sale, and all models included sell for 2100 USD rather than 2600 USD.

So, we settled on the fact that the ear cups are really nice, but what I love about Rosson RAD-0 is that they also mind the weight relative to the build quality. The headband is really soft and also is pretty light, leading to what I would call a very comfortable fit. In fact, Rosson flaunts their RAD-0 as the most comfortable planar magnetic headphone ever created, and well, they are probably just that, I can't say they are far from it. Especially if you enjoy a thicker earpad, especially a leather one, they are really really comfy. There are lighter planars out there, like Arya from HIFIMAN, but RAD-0 has the magical seal touch, as they create the kind of seal you would expect from an Audeze Headphone, all while being lighter than most Audeze Models.

I also love the fact that Rosson states the Frequency Range as 20 Hz up to Beyond Audible Range, because they are absolutely correct, I am sure that on a pure tone sweep, the RAD-0 is capable of reproducing more treble and goes beyond what my ears can detect. This doesn't say much about the actual sound quality and the signature, but it makes reading through the description and the technical data more fun.

RAD-0 comes with burn-in done, and they have been burned in for 15 days, at 120 dB, so there is very very little chance to burn them unless you listen to volumes that are way too loud to be comfortable for any period of time. Without requiring burn-in, you are able to enjoy RAD-0 right out of the package, and this is actually quite amazing, and a proper thing to do for a flagship, and I wish more headphone producers would do this with their cans. I can confirm that I detected minimal changes in sound, and they actually do sound proper right from the first listen.

Passive Noise Isolation is also pretty good, and although RAD-0 is a fully open-back mode, they isolate you a bit from the outside noise, and I could wear them in public, and use them as portable headphones, without having to bump the volume to ear bleeding levels, and without having to worry about hearing every single rustle of the leaves. The impedance is really low, at just 29 OHMs and they are really easy to drive, and can already sound at their best from a really low-power source, like a typical smartphone, such as my Xiaomi Mi Max 3 smartphone, so you can arguably enjoy them portably quite a lot. I also noticed that the earpads do not get very hot, despite the rich, thick padding on both the headband and the earpads, so you can enjoy RAD-0 during mid summer, even wearing them outside.

The cable they come with is pretty basic actually, but it works fairly well, doesn't conduct much microphonic noise, and works well with all my portables, so I didn't feel the need to upgrade the cable right away. They have a 3.5mm cable, and they come with a 3.5mm socket at the earcup level, so all current HIFIMAN Cables, like the ones for Sundara, Arya and HE6SE, and some Meze Cables will work just fine, in case you had any of those models around, and wanted to swap some cables. The cables of Brainwavz Alara should work just fine as well.

There are no creaks and no odd noises when adjusting the headphones, like what you can get from other flagships, like HIFIMAN Jade II, which had some creaking noises when adjusting it, so the entire mechanism of RAD-0 feels really high-end and their build matches the price tag.

All in all, RAD-0 is one well built headphone, it feels very well put together, is very comfortable, and Rosson delivers on their promise to make one of the most comfortable planar magnetic headphones out there, the headband is reliable but not very heavy, the earcups also are large, and beautiful, but not too flashy, and they aren't too heavy either, and the entire headphone is simply outstanding from a build and comfort point of view.

Sound Quality

Here's where the things start to get even more fun, and I can see how Audeze split in a different direction than Rosson, and how Mr. Alexander Rosson's influence on Audeze was a very positive one. In fact, after having reviewed both LCD-2C and LCD-MX4, I can say that RAD-0 feels like it has some of that Audeze DNA, but in a much better, more refined way that what I would have expected before hearing them for the first time.

If there is one word to describe the entire sound, that is liquid. Everything is made to work together, to combine, to blend, and to be smooth when doing so. There is a sense that the headphone is doing everything with ease, that nothing is forced and that everything is just at the right spot, so much, that this headphone became my number one headphone for rock, metal and guitar music in general. Solos simply flow from RAD-0 even better than from the most expensive guitar cabinets, and I can say without a doubt that if you love rock, or guitar in general, you will love RAD-0. The whole headphone is thick, warm, voluptuous, well bodied, well extended both ways, musical, detailed, clear, and crisp.

Now, there are a lot of words there, and you may notice that at least half of them point to the bass, which is, hands down, probably the best bass I heard in a headphone to date. I don't mean just from a certain price range, but in general, this has to be one of the best bass I have heard. It simply flows in a rich, well controlled fashion, reaches the lowest depths, but doesn't shy from exploding and hitting when it is called for. There is a sense of texture in the bass, but which is liquid, and smooth, simply put, it sounds natural. For electronic music, the experience is simply sublime, and so is for hip-hop, downtempo, and basically for all electronic bass types. Even for Rock and Metal, you hear the bass guitar ringing as if you were right there, as if it was interpreted by the most skilled master of all time.

The midrange then blends beautifully with the smooth, yet detailed bass. You see, the midrange is not the most detailed out there, but the musicality and overall smoothness of the music, the way every sound flows into each other, and the sweetness of the guitars makes me listen to RAD-0 more than my analytic headphones. I always thought I enjoy a colder, brighter sound more, but RAD-0 made me open my eyes a bit more to what a truly well mastered planar magnetic headphone could sound like. Indeed, RAD-0 is considerably more musical and smoother than LCD-2C for example, because Audeze always felt dry to me, as if the speed, although good, makes music feel a bit congested, and RAD-0 is just the other way around, hence the name of this review, liquid. Everything simply flows freely, effortlessly, music is simply the focus point of RAD-0, and for 2600 USD, they have enough detail, they just reveal new guitar sounds, rather than revealing new mastering artifacts or new random noises I couldn't really understand, as most analytic headphones do. For example, even with death metal, with technical metal, with black metal, I am able to enjoy the guitars, it doesn't even matter if it is the solo guitar or the rhythm, everything just sounds sweet, and it brings me a special euphoria every time I listen to RAD-0. It may have a lot to do with me really loving metal and music in general, but I cross tested RAD-0 with classical, and with large orchestras, and I found out the same thing, all I can hear is music. The staging is fair, average sized, so you don't get the most atmospheric presentation, neither a very wide one, but the imaging is spot-on and the instrument separation is also pretty good. If you go to any respectable shop and take a listen to a good number of headphones, then come to RAD-0, you get the feeling that RAD-0 really is grain-free, it is almost like all grain was removed from your music.

The treble is not a focal point for RAD-0, and you can totally tell they were made to bring you into an euphoric state, and never take you out, because they are exactly what you'd expect to compliment the signature best, they are zero percent fatiguing. There is not much excitement up top, and by that I don't mean it is inexistent, but it is a smooth, relaxing place, where you get all the detail of a proper treble, but with zero harshness, zero sibilance, and zero fatigue. I usually would try to EQ such a headphone to be brighter and more sparkly, but with RAD-0, I didn't really feel the need to. They sounded just right from the first second, and I didn't want to change that, I enjoy them the way they are.

Now, the last part, the dynamics, are in one word, amazing. To get a complete painting of their signature, you need to understand that they are not perfect, but they are extremely musical, liquid, effortless, but also medium sized in soundstage, and the treble is not exactly the most sparkly out there. RAD-0 can make you enjoy anything if you're looking for a musical signature, but they are rather warm, they have quite a bit of bass, and they also have a pretty dynamic sound, so they will be engaging. There is some resemblance of Audeze's house sound, and as far as I understand, Mr. Alexander Rosson was a sound technician working with Audeze in the past, and I feel that his new direction is one that true music lovers will enjoy greatly.

Portable / Desktop Usage

You may be wondering whether RAD-0 is a portable or a desktop headphone, but this question has a mixed answer. The simple answer is that you can use RAD-0 however you want, it is a very easy to drive headphone, and I have been using them portably for a good while, so nothing will stop you from enjoying them on-the-go.

The longer answer is that they are still a planar magnetic headphone, and they are still too heavy to be practical portably. I mean, I am the guy who uses Audeze LCD-MX4 portably as well, so I know I have a hinge off, but if I were to be completely honest, RAD-0 looks great, but is also a bit large and heavy to be worn portably. Wearing them around the neck, like, for example, when doing some groceries, and you want to be aware of your surroundings, really makes you consider whether you want them portably or not.

Now I am not very well built, and I could say that I didn't have issues taking RAD-0 on a 4-hour trip, and never taking them off, but again, I'm not sure I'm quite normal either, and I enjoy large headphones, and open-back headphones on-the-go. Speaking of which, RAD-0 leaks quite a bit of noise, and you won't be able to crank them loud in a library, since they are an open-back design, but they are not the most open out there, and they isolate enough for me to consider them adequate for more noisy locations.

The drive factor makes them so easy to drive that I could enjoy them from really light sources, like FiiO M6, Shanling M2X, and Pro-Ject S2 Digital. When stepping up to midrange sources, like iFi xDSD, FiiO M11, and iBasso DX150, I could say that they almost reach their entire potential. This is one place people can misinterpret and misunderstand, but RAD-0 is easy to drive, you can get them to ear bleeding levels even with a fairly weak portable source, but to get the best sound, the most liquid presentation, most detailed, most dynamics, and best overall soundstage, you need a source that doesn't have just the power, but also the quality and control. I try to make a big case out of this because even if a source can have enough power for planars, like xDuoo TA-10, it can still sound far from your liking, and not have as clean, wide or punchy of a sound as a weaker source, that is in fact designed better. This is why products like Feliks Echo, or Hagerman Tuba exist and are priced higher than some entry-level products that have lots of power.

All in all, you are free to enjoy RAD-0 however you like, and if you want to take them portably, that should be fairly easy to do, but they are mainly designed to be a desktop headphone, and despite the fact they don't require a lot of power, they aren't the easiest to take outside, gien their size and weight.


The main contenders in this price range are HIFIMAN Arya, Kennerton Thror, and Crosszone CZ-1. All of those are proper flagships, and after a careful consideration, I decided to also add a bonus comparison with Audeze LCD-MX4, as the comparison may be very relevant to those who were wondering what direction Audeze took, and what direction Rosson has.

Rosson RAD-0 vs HIFIMAN Arya - Arya is one of those flagships that are barebone, and you receive just the headphone, and its cable, but it sounds so good, fits so well, and has such a nice stage that you really want to explore more of HIFIMAN's lineup. The package is clearly better, and more fancy for RAD-0. The comfort is better for Arya though, they are lighter, and do not cause any kind of strain. This being said, Arya is much harder to drive, and could never be used portably. Arya is also much more open, its passive noise isolation is lower than RAD-0, and you're going to hear more of what is going on around you, and people are going to hear more of what you're listening to. The sound of Arya is also quite different. Both Arya and RAD-0 are warm and have a sweet midrange, but RAD-0 has a much more rich sound, deeper bass, more impact, more punch, and more thickness to the sound. Arya has a much wider soundstage, is much more holographic, more atmospheric, and also has considerably more excitement up top, the treble is nowhere near as smooth as RAD-0, but if there's anything they both have in common, they both have a sweet, musical sound that captivated me, but for very different reasons. RAD-0 really made me love rock, metal, aggressive music, electronic, and everything that has depth, where Arya has shown me that music which is atmospheric has beauty, that even country can be enjoyable, that I love having a wide soundstage.

Rosson RAD-0 vs Kennerton Thror Palisander - Kennerton Thror comes in a much more genuine-feeling case, compared to RAD-0, since Thror comes all dressed in wood. The ear cups also have wood, where RAD-0 has its own unique, magical beauty for the earcups. The comfort is better on RAD-0 thanks to thicker earpads, thicker headband padding, and better weight distribution, where Thror tends to have a more rigid feeling, Thror feels like a tank, where RAD-0 feels like a smooth tank, something that's both well made but also comfy. They are similarly hard to drive, but RAD-0 is easier to power from portable sources compared to Thror which still requires some power to reach its potential. In terms of sonics, they have almost nothing in common, with Thror being more neutral, more bright, also having a lower amount of bass. RAD-0 is much more romantic, has a smoother, warmer, thicker, more punchy sound. Both have similar amounts of dynamics, and both have similar soundstage width, depth and height. Thror comes through as more analytic and feels like it has more overall detail, but if you're likely to be captivated by musicality, RAD-0 is more musical, has a more liquid midrange, a smoother treble. Thror has better treble, more sparkle, more air in the highs. Both are great headphones, each for different reasons. I would use Thror for music mastering, but RAD-0 makes a much more easy listen, a headphone to enjoy for hours and to put you in a very euphoric state.

Rosson RAD-0 vs Audeze LCD-MX4 - Audeze LCD-MX4 is interesting to compare to RAD-0, because somehow, you can feel the Audeze DNA in RAD-0, but after you sit down for a couple minutes, and think about it, you can feel what went in a different direction with LCD-MX4. When studying the history of the products that Mr. Alexander Rosson worked on Audeze, I quickly understood it, he worked on most models I really liked from Audeze, models that I once or twice heard way before I got serious about music listening, so it was all clear to me. But let's not get too much ahead of ourselves. Audeze and Rosson have a similar package and presentation. In terms of comfort, though, RAD-0 manages to be more comfortable, because the headband has thicker padding, although LCD-MX4 is almost 100 grams lighter. In terms of drive factor, LCD-MX4 is harder to drive, considerably so. Only two or three portables can drive LCD-MX4, where RAD-0 can be driven by almost anything although, by some twisted play of fate, I ended up driving both portably, and ended up using both portably. When it comes to sonics, both are thicker, warmer headphones with a smoother top end. But RAD-0 has a very balanced overall midrange, with good upper midrange presence, clean vocals, and a focus on musicality, smoothness, liquidness of the sound, everything has a certain flow to it, there's nothing that sounds aggressive or grainy on RAD-0. By comparison, LCD-MX4, is much more dry, has grain, or rather, reveals it a lot, if it was present in your music. LCD-MX4 is marketed as a mastering headphone, and there are actual professional audio masters in Romania using it, it is great for that, it has a very forward and aggressive midrange that helps reveal every single detail there is to hear. The soundstage is actually slightly wider and deeper on LCD-MX4, and the dynamics are slightly better, but the upper midrange presence, smoother sound, grain-free sound, and more musical presentation, with a more balanced midrange, all make RAD-0 an easier choice for pure music enjoyment.

Rosson RAD-0 vs Crosszone CZ-1 - This is a little bonus comparison, as CZ-1 deserves way more recognition than it currently has. You see, the package of CZ-1 is not as impressive as the one of RAD-0, and neither is the design, which is interesting, but a bit odd. But in terms of comfort, CZ-1 is probably one of the most comfortable headphones out there. If all of the other headphones in this comparison have been planar magnetic headphones, the same as RAD-0, CZ-1 is a triple driver, dynamic headphone, with three dynamic drivers for each ear. The number of driver and choice of technology has been made, not to make them more bassy, but to make the soundstage wider, and more natural. To their gain, they really managed to make the CZ-1 sound more like an ear speaker, a headphone that really creates the feeling you are in a large, open space, rather than listening through headphones. CZ-1 is also comfortable, and hard to drive though, they are large, and to not have a tight fit, so they are not portable at all. Compared to RAD-0, RAD-0 has a much deeper bass, a thicker, warmer sound, it is more musical, and has a more musical presentation. This being said, both headphones have a really grain-free presentation, but CZ-1 feels much more suited for classical, and music where you can live with a brighter, more neutral presentation, where RAD-0 works much better for Metal, Rock, Electronic and Pop as well.

Recommended Pairings

The main pairings I am going to recommend are those with Wells Milo, when paired with a Young MK III DAC from M2Tech, with Mytek Brooklyn DAC+, and with iBasso DX229 (or as I call it, DX220 with AMP 9).

Rosson RAD-0 + iBasso DX220 (AMP 9) - DX220 with AMP 9 has been a source I recommended for a lot of portables, and even for some desktop headphones, it simply works that well, so well, that it is hard to find a replacement. If anything comes around, that will beat it in any way, that will be a true party to behold, but until then, it will stay as one of the easiest to recommend DAPs for me, it doesn't cost that much compared to a flagship smartphone, but the sound of DX220, and the overall hardware makes it just that easy to recommend. With DX160 also around, a DAP that has a similar quality, but is priced considerably lower, I think that iBasso is on a roll with their DAPs and that you have quite a good current selection to pick from, regardless whether you're looking for a flagship, or a more modest priced source. Now, in terms of sonics, the pairing has no hiss or other issues, but you will hear the muscality of RAD-0 coming through, even without cranking the volume of DX220 at max. In fact, the best part of this setup is the grain-free midrange, which has a sweet presentation, but also good upper midrange and treble presence, along with a nice treble extension, since RAD-0 needs a more sparkly source, for its smoother and more relaxed treble, to become just a bit more engaging.

Rosson RAD-0 + M2 Tech Young MK III + Wells Milo Headphone Amplifier - I know there's two components in this setup, but Young MK III brings in the soundstage, as it is one of the widest, most holographic sounding DACs out there, with a really neutral presentation, while Wells Milo brings in its own unique magic touch, with a smooth, and also musical overall presentation. The whole setup manages to make the soundstage of RAD-0 a bit larger, wider, and more holographic. But the setup also manages to keep the thick, smooth presentation of RAD-0 and give them an edge in terms of punchyness and dynamics. Of course, there's also the fact that you barely need a few clicks of Milo's power to power RAD-0, which is really easy to power, but that's for the best I think, as you'd have an amplifier and a setup that could drive other headphones as well. Just make sure to not place Milo near a router, as it can interfere with its sound.

Rosson RAD-0 + Mytek Brooklyn DAC+ - Mytek Brooklyn DAC+ is still one of my favorite DAC and headphone amplifiers, and for a good reason, it manages to have a really wide soundstage, and a very dynamic sound, without needing anything else, like an external amplifier. In fact, the power and quality of the DAC+ alone makes me choose it so often that I consider it an essential part of my listening, while I'm at my workstation. The pairing with RAD-0 is also pretty much the one I referenced the most throughout this review, since I consider DAC+ the most reference source I have for a desktop setup at the moment of writing this review. You get a really crisp, clear and clean presentation, but you also get that musical, grain-free, smooth and deep sound RAD-0 has.

Value and Conclusion

The price of RAD-0 is actually pretty high, and it clearly is not an affordable headphone, or a headphone you can just get and forget, but rather, it is an investment to look forward to. If it fits your tastes, it could be your end-game, and despite it not costing more than 2600 USD, or 2100 USD, if you get it while on the Corona Social Distancing Sale, you can enjoy it for years to come. Now, I'm not saying this as someone who just finished a review, I'm saying this as someone who is really enthusiastic about something, if you ever did something, you know you can't fake enthusiasm.

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The build quality is nothing to laugh about, and RAD-0 is one of the most serious headphones out there, with actual metal in their build, and luckily, they also look fashionable, and not all tanky, like other options that have a good build quality. The weight is not the lightest out there, at about 650 grams, but the design makes the weight distribute well enough so that you don't feel it. There are heavier and lighter planar magnetic headphones out there, all that matters is that the weight distribution system works, and with RAD-0, it really works well. Being assembled with care, they come with burn-in done, and they also have the support of Rosson behind, making RAD-0 a good choice.

In terms of sound, if you enjoy a smooth and effortless sound, RAD-0 will make your music sound like music. You can forget about the analytic side, lean back, and enjoy a more musical presentation for a little while, and if you feel a romantic attachment to this new presentation, it may stick with you. This really worked well for me, and regardless whether it was electronic, metal, rock or pop music, I couldn't stop listening to RAD-0 whenever I wanted to simply enjoy the music without being bothered by anything.

Before the end of this review, I want to add RAD-0 to Audiophile-Heaven's Hall Of Fame for their sound, build quality, comfort and overall design, as they are one of the best headphones out there, in line with other flagships.

At the end of this review, if you're looking for a really musical, comfy, easy to drive, and effortless headphone, that has a punchy sound with excellent, deep, bass, Rosson RAD-0 may be winking at you, and if you fall in love at first listen, it may end up being your headphone for a while to come.

Full Playlist used for this review

While we listened to considerably more songs than those named in this playlist, those are excellent for identifying certain aspects of the sound, like PRaT, Texturization, Detail, Resolution, Dynamics, Impact, and overall tonality. We recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you're searching for new most, most of them being rather catchy.

Youtube Playlist

Tidal Playlis

Song List

Bats - Gamma Ray Burst: Second Date
Eskimo Callboy - Frances
Incubus - Summer Romance
Electric Six - Dager! High Voltage
Kishida Cult - High School Of The Dead
Dimmu Borgir - Dimmu Borgir
Breaking Benjamin - I Will Not Bow
Thousand Foot Krutch - The Flame In All Of Us
Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
Infected Mushroom - Song Pong
Attack Attack - Kissed A Girl
Doctor P - Bulletproof
Maximum The Hormone - Rock n Roll Chainsaw
Rob Zombie - Werewolf, Baby!
Escape The Fate - Gorgeous Nightmare
SOAD - Chop Suey
Ken Ashcorp - Absolute Territory
Machinae Supremacy - Need For Steve
Ozzy Osbourne - I Don't Wanna Stop
Crow'sclaw - Loudness War
Eminem - Rap God
Stromae - Humain À L'eau
Sonata Arctica - My Selene
Justin Timberlake - Sexy Back
Metallica - Fuel
Veil Of Maya - Unbreakable
Masa Works - Golden Japang
REOL - Luvoratorrrrry
Dope - Addiction
Korn - Word Up!
Papa Roach - ... To be Loved
Fever The Ghost - Source
Fall Out Boy - Immortals
Green Day - Know The Enemy
Mindless Self Indulgence - London Bridge
A static Lullaby - Toxic
Royal Republic - Addictive
Astronautalis - The River, The Woods
We Came As Romans - My Love
Skillet - What I Believe
Man With A Mission - Smells Like Teen Spirit
Yasuda Rei - Mirror
Mojo Juju - Must Be Desire
Falling Up - Falling In Love
Manafest - Retro Love
Rodrigo Y Grabriela - Paris
Zomboy - Lights Out
Muse - Resistance
T.A.T.U &amp; Rammstein - Mosaku
Grey Daze - Anything, Anything
Katy Perry - Who Am I Living For
Maroon 5 - Lucky Strike
Machinae Supremacy - Killer Instinct
Pendulum - Propane Nightmares
Sirenia - Lithium And A Lover
Saving Abel - Addicted
Hollywood Undead - Levitate
The Offspring - Special Delivery
Escape The Fate - Smooth
Samsara Blues Experiment - One With The Universe
Dope - Rebel Yell
Crazy Town - Butterfly
Silverstein - My Heroine
Memphis May Fire - Not Over Yet

I hope my review is helpful to you!


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