Rosson Rad-0 alternative suggestions
Aug 7, 2022 at 4:02 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

Drahsid

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Hey fellas! I recently got my hands on a pair of Rad-0s. They sound great, but there are a couple things that I wish were different. I am considering trading for another headset which may fit these differences, and I am looking for other opinions.
My primary issue with the Rad-0 is that when many sounds are playing at different frequencies, the sounds do not sound distinct, it sounds messy. I think this is because of their closer sound stage. In this aspect, I find myself comparing the headset to my Sundaras, which are certainly less detailed, but have a roomier sound.
Besides that, I feel like the Rad-0s really shine when it comes to lows, but at the cost of highs.
In my own research, I think the Hifiman HE1000SE or V2 may be more up my alley, but I would like to know more. What do you folks think? Thanks.
 
Aug 7, 2022 at 5:34 PM Post #2 of 13

gimmeheadroom

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Hi, a bit hard to understand what you like or don't like about them. The RAD headphones are close to Audeze, maybe something in their lineup would be better. None of the planars that I know of is really famous for soundstage but muddiness or lack of detail is not normal. For example, Audeze LCD-3 is tremendously resolving.

If you went for the beautiful earcups you could take a look at ZMF headphones which have probably the best wood in all the headphone-dom. But they are not planars.

What kind of music do you listen to?
 
Aug 7, 2022 at 9:09 PM Post #3 of 13

Drahsid

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Hey, sorry for the lack of clarity. I suppose it's kind-of hard to describe. I don't mean to express that the Rads are undetailed, they are extremely good. When various different sounds are playing, discerning or separating them becomes more difficult. Though I suppose at some point this is natural, it seems more extreme on them in comparison to other open backs and planars that I have, and have listened through.
As for what kind of music I listen too, it might be easier to answer what I don't listen to. I can groove with most music genre' no problem. What my library lacks the most is the extreme metals and hip-hop, but even then, that doesn't really mean I think they are implicitly bad.
 
Aug 7, 2022 at 9:14 PM Post #4 of 13

gimmeheadroom

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If you live in a city with a big headphone store you should try some choices with recordings you know, that you don't like out of your RADs. Maybe hit a CanJam if there is one near you. Otherwise you can spend years reading the threads on here :D

The more you say about what kind of sound you want and don't want and speak to your exact preferences and dislikes, the more likely people can help. But, in the end headphones are very personal and we all hear differently. One advantage you have is that you didn't complain about comfort. If you can tolerate that kind of weight with the single headstrap you will probably be ok with any headphone!
 
Aug 7, 2022 at 9:21 PM Post #5 of 13

Drahsid

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Hah, the weight is certainly different from every other pair I've wore but it never really bothered me. I did get one of those aftermarket heads straps from someone on here, and that did make it more comfortable, but it wasn't a big issue for me in the first place. Now I have the problem of potentially throwing my other cans because of how much lighter they are. I have considered taking a trip to a big headphone store to try some other pairs out, but the closest to me (as far as I know,) would be a trip, so I'd probably make it a detour for when I am in town sometime.
That being said, thanks for the advice.
 
Aug 8, 2022 at 8:34 AM Post #6 of 13

msing539

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My primary issue with the Rad-0 is that when many sounds are playing at different frequencies, the sounds do not sound distinct, it sounds messy. I think this is because of their closer sound stage.

I feel like the Rad-0s really shine when it comes to lows, but at the cost of highs.

Based on these two comments, it sounds like you're looking for more treble energy and a wider stage. The HE1000 v2 or SE would give you that, but not the same low end as the RAD-0.

But before you jump ship on the RAD, what's your chain? Which DAC and AMP are you running, and is the RAD connected via a balanced cable?
 
Aug 8, 2022 at 8:45 AM Post #7 of 13

Drahsid

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Based on these two comments, it sounds like you're looking for more treble energy and a wider stage. The HE1000 v2 or SE would give you that, but not the same low end as the RAD-0.

But before you jump ship on the RAD, what's your chain? Which DAC and AMP are you running, and is the RAD connected via a balanced cable?
I am running the smsl su-9 as my dac, and the Topping A90D as my amp. I've also tried the Shiit Jotunheim 2 as the amp. I am using balanced 4-pin xlr. I have a couple lower end dac/amp combos I could try, but they don't seem particularly fitting here.
 
Aug 8, 2022 at 9:09 AM Post #8 of 13

msing539

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I am running the smsl su-9 as my dac, and the Topping A90D as my amp. I've also tried the Shiit Jotunheim 2 as the amp. I am using balanced 4-pin xlr. I have a couple lower end dac/amp combos I could try, but they don't seem particularly fitting here.
Got it--so maybe the RAD just isn't for you, like you've been saying.

You can look at owner impressions of the HEK v2 and SE. To compare them with the Sundara isn't fair, but there's a ton more detail, instrument separation, stage, and clarity.

Something similar but less money would be the HD800S or Arya Stealth.

Something with fuller but well controlled lows while still having plenty of detail and a wider stage would be the Meze Elite.

These pricier ones are tough to blind buy--you might find that there's something from the RAD you just can't get from these other headphones, so as @gimmeheadroom said, demo if you can. A long trip to the shop could save you over a thousand dollars.
 
Aug 8, 2022 at 9:33 AM Post #9 of 13

Drahsid

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I've listened through 800S a good bit and like them a lot, but I don't think they're what I am looking for. I haven't heard any of the Aryas, the different revisions make them seem confusing, but definitely worth a listen. The Elites might be another good option, now that you mention it. Finding a place with everything to test will probably help a bunch.
 
Aug 8, 2022 at 11:45 AM Post #10 of 13

Monsterzero

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I have not heard the Rad-O personally, so take this with a couple grains of salt....

I have read several times that if ZMF had a planar it would sound similar to a Rad-0. As @gimmeheadroom mentioned above, a ZMF might be what you're looking for. I have 5 different ZMF models here with me, The Verite open, Verite closed, Atrium, Auteur OG and Auteur Classic. Each have their own sound, yet are clearly imbued with the ZMF house sound.

It sounds to me like you find the Rad-0 to sound somewhat congested. What genres of music do you prefer and what type of music do you feel that the Rad-0 is failing on?
 
Aug 8, 2022 at 12:09 PM Post #11 of 13

helljudgement

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My primary issue with the Rad-0 is that when many sounds are playing at different frequencies, the sounds do not sound distinct, it sounds messy. I think this is because of their closer sound stage
When various different sounds are playing, discerning or separating them becomes more difficult.
Looking at theses description it seems your issue lies with the way the headphone's imaging, stage width and separation/layering/space between each instruments. I've had a very brief experience with Rad 0 so I can't comment on these aspect of the headphone. You can consider the ZMF Verite w/universe pads as I find these have exceptional imaging and their drivers are fast enough to keep up with the busiest of passage. A planar recommendation is the d8kpro which have one of the best bass I've heard on a headphone while also having great technicalities. Both of these are pretty expensive so I highly recommend giving them a listen before jumping the gun. Good luck.
 
Aug 8, 2022 at 2:51 PM Post #12 of 13
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Chiming in here, I would suggest the ZMF Verite Open.

ZMF and RAD are very similar. and they are rightfully often compared to each other not only for their build quality but also their general sound signatures focusing on the idea that you can have a specific sound (relaxed", "energetic" and so on) without lacking on imaging and detail.

I would also suggest the Arya Stealth if you want something planar still.
 
Aug 8, 2022 at 4:21 PM Post #13 of 13

Drahsid

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You can consider the ZMF Verite w/universe pads as I find these have exceptional imaging and their drivers are fast enough to keep up with the busiest of passage.
Chiming in here, I would suggest the ZMF Verite Open.
I have read several times that if ZMF had a planar it would sound similar to a Rad-0. As @gimmeheadroom mentioned above, a ZMF might be what you're looking for. I have 5 different ZMF models here with me, The Verite open, Verite closed, Atrium, Auteur OG and Auteur Classic. Each have their own sound, yet are clearly imbued with the ZMF house sound.
If the Verite Opens sound similar to the RADs with better staging, it might be another pretty good option. Thanks for the suggestions.
 

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