I've had one Kaito version, one Redsun version, two C.Crane versions that all sounded harsh and brutal on my ears for talk and music.
My third C.Crane version however sounds very nice. My guess is there is variation in these with quite a good Quality Control range. I finally found one that is pleasing to my ears.
So the stigma of harsh sound may have to be replaced with the stigma of too much variability in product.