AEON, MrSpeakers' New Closed Back Planar Magnetic Headphone
Aug 4, 2018 at 8:16 PM Post #4,397 of 5,438

Gilles De Rais

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Can anyone recommend a budget 4.4 mm balanced that goes with the AFC?
Given the Aeon's unique termination, I think you'll be stretched to find something 'budget'. Given your previous question on the WM1A, I'm assuming that's what your after this for.
My view - not a good match. The Aeon, again IMO, needs the amount of current a desktop provides. When driven by the Sony ( which I have) or by a Mojo, the Aeons sound a little constrained and dynamically choked. This is particularly in the bass. Love both, wouldn't pair them.

Regards,

Giles
 
Aug 4, 2018 at 9:05 PM Post #4,398 of 5,438

phthora

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Aug 5, 2018 at 10:20 AM Post #4,399 of 5,438

bearFNF

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Can anyone recommend a budget 4.4 mm balanced that goes with the AFC?
might check out Moon Audio's blue cable...

Or if you have the XLR balanced cable for the headphones already you could get and adapter to 4.4mm...
 
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Aug 5, 2018 at 12:26 PM Post #4,400 of 5,438

Xyst

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Without hyperbole, how different are the closed Aeons from the open ones?

I met my friend for coffee this week and he brought his AFOs along for me to try and they we're brilliant. I listen to a lot of Jazz, and the low end extension for upright bass, clarity on drums, and non-fatiguing high end was awesome. I need a closed headphone, but if I pick up the closed model will it sound completely different?

I've checked the FR charts between the two models and they seem pretty close. Most of the reviews I've read talk about there being a difference, but without golden ears, will they sound similar enough to me? I get that's a hard question to answer since it's very subjective.

Also, is there an a general recommendation for a starter amp and DAC for these yet?
 
Aug 5, 2018 at 2:56 PM Post #4,401 of 5,438

Nick-s-f

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Without hyperbole, how different are the closed Aeons from the open ones?

I met my friend for coffee this week and he brought his AFOs along for me to try and they we're brilliant. I listen to a lot of Jazz, and the low end extension for upright bass, clarity on drums, and non-fatiguing high end was awesome. I need a closed headphone, but if I pick up the closed model will it sound completely different?

I've checked the FR charts between the two models and they seem pretty close. Most of the reviews I've read talk about there being a difference, but without golden ears, will they sound similar enough to me? I get that's a hard question to answer since it's very subjective.

Also, is there an a general recommendation for a starter amp and DAC for these yet?

I compared both Aeons last year, right after the AFO was released. Ended up with the AFO, but I find both headphones aren't too much different aside from bass presence (or warmth)? With the Closed, you're basically trading some of the upper bass warmth for neutrality/isolation and additional detail retrieval. The AFO warmth is very well balanced and pleasant, but sometimes I feel like I want a little bit more detail out of it.

Closed has the best combination of detail/isolation I've heard in a closed headphone. If you appreciate the details in your music, the AFC is fantastic.

FWIW, I would have ended up buying the AFC, but I already had 3 other closed headphones.
 
Aug 5, 2018 at 3:11 PM Post #4,402 of 5,438

Xyst

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I compared both Aeons last year, right after the AFO was released. Ended up with the AFO, but I find both headphones aren't too much different aside from bass presence (or warmth)? With the Closed, you're basically trading some of the upper bass warmth for neutrality/isolation and additional detail retrieval. The AFO warmth is very well balanced and pleasant, but sometimes I feel like I want a little bit more detail out of it.

Closed has the best combination of detail/isolation I've heard in a closed headphone. If you appreciate the details in your music, the AFC is fantastic.

FWIW, I would have ended up buying the AFC, but I already had 3 other closed headphones.

Thank you very much
 
Aug 5, 2018 at 4:27 PM Post #4,404 of 5,438

GrussGott

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Would someone do me a favor and tell me the size of the cup? I sold a pair at fleabay, and the buyer (who suspiciously has zero feedback) claims that the headphones do not fit his ears' size.

Was the buyer bellowing a lot, cause the aeons aren't exactly on the small side ...

September-07-2012-20-31-21-ddsmsn.jpg
 
Aug 5, 2018 at 11:25 PM Post #4,405 of 5,438

Gilles De Rais

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[QUOTE="Xyst, post: 14404829, member: 133498"
Also, is there an a general recommendation for a starter amp and DAC for these yet?[/QUOTE]

Touchy subject. My personal belief? Don't cheap out. If you can't commit to at least a Schiit Magni/Modi (USD 200) look elsewhere. These headphones need a reasonable amount of current to drive well (note the "well" - even some daps can be used with the Aeons, but they sound bland, flat and constipated...) Some of the popular gear used includes the iFi DSD Black Label (USD 600), the Schiit Jotunheim (USD 349). Massdrop occasionally runs the Cavalli Liquid Carbon or the CTH with an ODAC for about USD $349. Despite being closed, these are not really anything other than a desktop headphone. IMO etc.

Oh and they scale spectacularly - currently using a USD2,500 Naim Dac v-1. Sounds brilliant.

regards,

Giles
 
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Aug 6, 2018 at 1:38 AM Post #4,406 of 5,438

Nick-s-f

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Also, is there an a general recommendation for a starter amp and DAC for these yet?

My take on amp selection is the Aeon's tuning (this goes for both Open and Closed) allows them to handle higher listening volume than a lot of other headphones, at least in my experience.

For example, I occasionally run the AFO on a Fulla 2, with listening volume around 12 o' clock. I can easily take it to max volume without a wince, despite my preferred low to moderate volume, even without tuning filters.

It all depends on your preferred listening volume and genre; if you like to chill out at low to moderate volume the Fulla 2 is a great pairing, but there may be times when you get to a quietly mastered song or specific genre of music and really want/need to crank the volume.

On any given 'quiet' mastered track, if I push the Fulla 2 to near max volume, I can hit distortion...that is when you'll be wanting a High Gain setting.

Despite that, the Fulla 2 is cheap and simple..as an entry into the amp/dac world its a great first step.
 
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Aug 6, 2018 at 11:00 AM Post #4,407 of 5,438
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Would someone do me a favor and tell me the size of the cup? I sold a pair at fleabay, and the buyer (who suspiciously has zero feedback) claims that the headphones do not fit his ears' size.

Approx 81mm length x 50mm wide x 30mm deep

We have had very few people with size/fit issues, but there are always edge cases...
 
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Aug 6, 2018 at 7:05 PM Post #4,408 of 5,438

LarryMagoo

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Can anyone recommend a budget 4.4 mm balanced that goes with the AFC?


I made a real nice 20 footer from DH Labs HP-1 Cable....with new HP connectors from Dan probably cost me around $225.....
IMG_1776.jpg



Besides needing reading glasses on top of looking through a Magnifier...I was able to solder them up like a pro! They will sell bulk cable to build from....
 
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Aug 10, 2018 at 5:58 PM Post #4,409 of 5,438

AdamWill

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Without hyperbole, how different are the closed Aeons from the open ones?

I met my friend for coffee this week and he brought his AFOs along for me to try and they we're brilliant. I listen to a lot of Jazz, and the low end extension for upright bass, clarity on drums, and non-fatiguing high end was awesome. I need a closed headphone, but if I pick up the closed model will it sound completely different?

I've checked the FR charts between the two models and they seem pretty close. Most of the reviews I've read talk about there being a difference, but without golden ears, will they sound similar enough to me? I get that's a hard question to answer since it's very subjective.

Also, is there an a general recommendation for a starter amp and DAC for these yet?

IMHO the difference is obvious. I'm not one of those folks who claims to be able to hear the difference between two nigh-on identical cables in three seconds flat, but I don't have any difficulty hearing the difference between AFC and AFO, and I don't think anyone would, truly. I demo'ed them against each other in-store and I actually have *both* right now (I'm, uh, experimenting a bit), and you wouldn't mistake one for the other. Just like all the reviews say, the AFC is more neutral with less warmth and bass impact, but this isn't a "sit there listening to the same passage for half an hour till you kid yourself there's a difference" thing, it's very clear, again IMO.

I like both a lot, and I don't think you'd be disappointed with the AFCs if you like the AFOs, but there's definitely a difference between them - if you can demo the AFCs before buying, just to confirm you're happy, it'd be a good idea.

FWIW on the amp question, I'm driving mine out of a Firestone Spitfire / Cute Beyond combo at home and Opus #1S portable (which is noted for being very powerful, for a DAP). For both AFC and AFO I'm happy with both (I did test them against some other equipment in store, and didn't really find anything sounded significantly better than my desktop setup), but the desktop setup does seem slightly better than the #1S - that *is* the kind of difference you have to pay attention to hear, note, much less obvious than the difference between AFC and AFO. The Cute Beyond drives them fine on its low gain setting, the #1S automatically picks its high gain mode, and my comfortable listening volume is around 95/150. I might upgrade to a DX200 DAP at some point, but the #1S does a solid job.
 
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Aug 10, 2018 at 6:19 PM Post #4,410 of 5,438

AdamWill

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might check out Moon Audio's blue cable...

Or if you have the XLR balanced cable for the headphones already you could get and adapter to 4.4mm...

In case it helps, I've been looking into that (as I may soon wind up with two pairs of headphones with 4XLR termination, and a DAP with 4.4mm headphone port...) and you can find this kind of adapter on ebay/amazon/aliexpress for $30-$50:

https://www.amazon.com/Balanced-16cores-Headphone-Adapter-TA-ZH1ES/dp/B071H976FC
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/10c...4MM-male-to-4-pin-xlr-female/32847597791.html
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4-4...ble-For-Sony-PHA-2A-TA-ZH1ES/32809726170.html

Note I have no idea how well-made any of those are, I haven't bought any of them yet, I just found them. You can also custom order an adapter cable from moon-audio: go to https://www.moon-audio.com/dragon-audio-cables/adapter-cables.html , pick one of the models, and set the 'headphone connection options' to female 4-pin xlr and the 'amplifier connection options' to 4.4mm Pentaconn - I believe that's the correct combination. I think you have to set the length to minimum 1.5ft per the footnote "The shortest we can make an XLR based cable is 1.5ft." The cheapest option seems to be the "Black Dragon IEM Headphone Adapter Cable V1", which works out to $105, though that does use very thin wire (26AWG), so I guess that may be a reason to go for the Blue, which works out to $125. Of course, you can pick more expensive models in accordance with your belief in cables =) I can't imagine any reason an adapter based on any of these cable 'models' would somehow be incompatible for use as a generic adapter, but you can always ask moon if you're worried, I guess.

Any of those options is cheaper than any complete Aeon-to-4.4mm cable option I could find (a straight-up 5ft Blue Dragon Aeon-to-4.4mm cable is $220, for e.g.). And having the 4xlr termination could actually come in useful sometimes, I guess.
 
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