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The Aeons are very revealing headphones, anything that sucks, they will reveal
Wow I would have thought the am5 would have plenty of juice.
When I was using the idsd black, low gain (so I believe 400mw into 16 ohm) I seldom had it past 12 o'clock and never felt it was lacking in headroom.
Again when using my mojo, I don't rarely get to cyan balls.
I am running the AM5 at a setting of about 70 (out of 120) so the AM5 does it with no problem. I was previously running the AM3 amp module and that did struggle from single ended output - would have been fine balanced but I don't have a balanced harness for the Aeon. The extra juice of the AM5 over the AM3 for single-ended was needed, I think.
The Aeon isn't all that easy to drive, at least not for portable devices.
Cuz you were using Nordost cables?
I do hope that was a joke. I don't subscribe to the cable fantasy at all, so best not go there.
I have actually ordered aftermarket cables for a few of my devices. But my goal is not to try to increase sound quality.
Although volume level can be slightly affected by the resistance of the cables themselves which is why people think that there are differences sometimes.
Just got my R2R 11 in and I have to say it pairs with the AFC beautifully. I'll have to give it more time but it initially it reminds me a little of the iDSD BL that I love so much. It adds a hint of warmth and sounds very natural.
Anyone looking for a relatively cheap desktop DAC/amp to go with the AFC should definitely consider the R2R 11.
How do these compare against the:
- Campfire Andromeda
- HD 800 S
- HD 650
- HD 660S
Since I can't demo them anywhere, I might have to buy them without hearing them. I'm in particular interested if these can significantly outperform the Campfire Andromeda for on the go use.
And how much worse does it sound than the open version?
I wouldn't really say a ~$400 shipped DAC/Amp is "relatively cheap".
Additionally FWIW NOS DAC's have less detail and ultrasonics, its just a characteristic of NOS DAC's.
Its up to your tastes as to what you like in terms of a sound signature.
I can only comment on the closed Aeon Flow and the Sennheiser HD800 (with the SR mod, which is close to the 800s). The Aeon's have surprising scalability for closed cans and cans in this price range. In my recent bake off for the various Chord DACs (from $500 Mojo to $10k++ DAVE), the closed Aeons and Senns HD800SR's were the only cans I tried that could consistently scale as I went up the chain (see https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/chord-hugo-2.22209/reviews#review-19435 )
I have a personal preference for the HD800SR with Chord DACs, just because the soundstage/detail/speed is unbelievably nice with the Chord kit. They really shine together. That being said, the Senn's are impractical around other people. At the office and at the coffee shop, I'm delighted with the closed Aeon Flows, and sometimes even prefer them at home because of their comfort (you can wear these for hours and hours). Easily the best closed headphones I've ever heard, and (at least for me) a big step up from the Ether Flows (closed and open). Even though I live maybe 10 miles from the factory, I haven't had a chance to head the open Aeon Flows yet, but I'm beyond delighted to have some closed cans that aren't some horrible compromise in some way.
With the closed Aeon Flows and the HD800SR's as a baseline, my next wave is diving into other fast TOTL cans (HEK v2s, revisit the Utopias, maybe try some electrostats). The pace of innovation that Dan and team and others are driving in headphones is fantastic. What a great time to be a fan of high fidelity music.
One thing to consider is to source some used Aeon Flows. The resale market is fairly stable right now. You could resell whatever you buy fairly easily, and only be out shipping and perhaps PayPal fees for the chance to try them yourselves.
That is good to hear. I want to use it as a portable headphone (replacing the Campfire Andromeda) driving it from the Chord Poly + Mojo. It's good to hear that Mr. Speakers + Chord equipment work great together.
The Aeon requires almost no power to drive, but it requires something that can provide a very constant current or it will sound tinny.
Its hard to describe because my Fulla2 sounds compressed I guess you could say, like all music is a 128kbps mp3 at best, where my FiiO K1 that has a much lower power output drives it fine and gets very loud at only 40% volume.
This matches my general experience so far. I've been driving them from my phone while commuting and have no trouble with volume but they sound... Empty.
Even through my E10k I have relatively little room to adjust the volume, but get far more body from the sound. I'd also echo the compressed sound with my fiio compared to my home set up.
Well, Fulla 2 definitely clip with Aeon, so that's the compression feel you get I think. I agree it can sounds tinny on less powerful amp despite it can drive it pretty loud, i.e I have Radius LCH91 with the max output at 90mW per channel, it doesn't sounds the best but still clean and can get loud. Fulla 2 though... it sounds fine with my other headphone, but just not for Aeon.
not sure I mean it wouldn't make sense to clip when I'm only using like 10% of the volume pot. Additionally I brought my Oppo pm-2 and it had the same exact problem. But my K1 does not have this problem with either headphone despite having almost no actual output wattage.
that's why I said it's very weird because the fulla 2 should have more than enough power