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


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
Superb truly remarkable review ... congratulations! I love my Rosson, I find it the best open headphones I've listened to today.
Great, in-depth, review. Can I plagiarize your links?
yes you can use my links

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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