AEON, MrSpeakers' New Closed Back Planar Magnetic Headphone
Apr 19, 2021 at 10:32 PM Post #5,386 of 5,485

trellus

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You people are lucky, in my job, that has to be done in person, music isn't an option, as well, I can't work and listen to music as I find it far too distracting. I guess that is why my thinking stayed clearly in the box!
I am grateful for my job. đŸ˜…. Re: music being distracting, yeah, for sure for me sometimes it is and I need to shut it off, t other times, I find it helps me to pound out the solution. One thing the Aeon has over the LCD-2 is it’s a hell of a lot lighter, and I also sometimes need the isolation so it’s definitely part of the rotation.
 
Jun 3, 2021 at 7:31 AM Post #5,390 of 5,485

im6cninoit

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Anyone know what tuning filters were used on oratory's aeon flow closed v1 measurements? Hoping to tame the highs a bit while adding more bass. On a side note, anyone know if the rt are significant enough of a change in terms of bass slam and soundstage to warrant an upgrade over the originals?
 
Jun 3, 2021 at 5:55 PM Post #5,391 of 5,485
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Anyone know what tuning filters were used on oratory's aeon flow closed v1 measurements? Hoping to tame the highs a bit while adding more bass. On a side note, anyone know if the rt are significant enough of a change in terms of bass slam and soundstage to warrant an upgrade over the originals?
No idea what oratory used but I'd start with black felt or foam.

The RT adds considerable bass weight.
 
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Jun 4, 2021 at 6:59 AM Post #5,392 of 5,485

Sonic Defender

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It is good that DCA has created a signature that adds enough bass weight to be satisfying. To have an entire lineup where neutrality was the predominant goal seems to be leaving a significant portion of the marketplace looking elsewhere. There is a reason that so many tunings feature a bump in the bass. Many people, and yes even people who care about quality audio reproduction prefer some weight down low, and it can be accomplished without obscuring detail. There are plenty of options for the purist set who think any deviation from flat is sacrilege. What is needed are more well tuned, well designed headphones where bass weight and impact factor into the design. We can't leave the development of such headphones to the large scale, mass marketing players only as we often get overcooked, bloomy and boomy bass that does indeed eat into clarity and detail.

I will be honest when I heard a few previous models from Mr. Speakers I left the auditions knowing that despite whatever they did well, which clearly were several important things, they just did not offer anywhere near enough bass potential to be satisfying. I like well integrated, somewhat prominent bass with any genre of music that I listen to. equalization while something that I am comfortable doing is ultimately less optimal to me than already having the design of the headphone bass appropriate. I think we also need to realise that music is forward looking also and while the back catalogues of older music will always be important, contemporary music in every genre clearly features more and complex bass information so what accurate musical reproduction means in that context is different than what it has been. Engineers and artists now look to add some heft in the lower regions. I am not suggesting universally, but the trend is undeniable so we need headphones that acknowledge this.

I think when headphones are tuned even well done modern electronic music should be important tuning guides used in conjunction with established audiophile standards. A balance can be struck I believe.
 
Jun 4, 2021 at 10:57 AM Post #5,393 of 5,485

Stillhart

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Do you think ~$350 is a good price for the Aeon Flow closed (v1)? I want a closed back headphone to complement my open headphones and there's someone selling the OG Aeon Flow at that price near where I live.

I think they're a good price at the original asking price of ~$800. Still one of my favorite headphones in my collection. $350 is a steal for what you're getting IMHO.
 
Jun 10, 2021 at 6:44 PM Post #5,394 of 5,485

KCXT

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Got a pair of the AF Closed RTs to compare head-to-head with the LCD-2 closed for my closed-back solution. At first, I had it plugged into the THX 789 balanced output and it was somewhat pedestrian; sounded fine, but it seemed that the comments about flat presentation and minimal dynamics were accurate. Unremarkable overall and seemed the LCD-2 closed would be an easy winner.

However, when I swapped it over to my Emotiva A-100... good lord what a difference. Even with the seeming impedance mismatch there was no tubbiness whatsoever to the low end and these things sprang to life and started singing, with way more dimensionality and dynamics to spare. Travis Scott, Adam Jensen, Celldweller, Garbage, Patsy Cline, various strings and orchestral, and my personal dynamics stress test of Sinatra's 'My Way' (his vibrato on the chorus really comes through on these) just pop right out in, to my ear, splendid tonal balance.

Still a lot of listening to do and I'll perhaps play with the filters - I'm currently pleased with no filters added - but this is the most drastic amp pairing difference I've experienced with a headphone.
 
Jun 10, 2021 at 8:46 PM Post #5,395 of 5,485

Sonic Defender

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Got a pair of the AF Closed RTs to compare head-to-head with the LCD-2 closed for my closed-back solution. At first, I had it plugged into the THX 789 balanced output and it was somewhat pedestrian; sounded fine, but it seemed that the comments about flat presentation and minimal dynamics were accurate. Unremarkable overall and seemed the LCD-2 closed would be an easy winner.

However, when I swapped it over to my Emotiva A-100... good lord what a difference. Even with the seeming impedance mismatch there was no tubbiness whatsoever to the low end and these things sprang to life and started singing, with way more dimensionality and dynamics to spare. Travis Scott, Adam Jensen, Celldweller, Garbage, Patsy Cline, various strings and orchestral, and my personal dynamics stress test of Sinatra's 'My Way' (his vibrato on the chorus really comes through on these) just pop right out in, to my ear, splendid tonal balance.

Still a lot of listening to do and I'll perhaps play with the filters - I'm currently pleased with no filters added - but this is the most drastic amp pairing difference I've experienced with a headphone.
That is really confusing. The A-100 uses resistors to cut down the power and doing so typically has the effect of squashing dynamics to some extent. You really don't see impedance mismatches having much impact with planar dynamics as they tend to have a pretty flat impedance responses. So really you are just looking at whether or not the amplifier can drive the load to the SPL without clipping or other distortion products that become audible. The THX 789 (I think you mean the Massdrop?) has plenty of power and the testing I have seen at audiosciencereview suggests that it would do quite well with the RT.

So unless the amplifier is designed to sound flat and lack dynamics, there is really no technical reason that the THX 789 (model unclear) would be the culprit. I would suggest this is possibly expectation bias at work. Simply the act of switching to a new amp indicates that the user is hoping/believes there can be a difference, and certainly if the user has read so much about amplifier/headphone synergy. I am not saying that there can't be synergy/interaction effects, but unless either the headphone or the amplifier have a very odd design, the interaction effect, particularly at reasonable listening volume should be minimal and more likely inaudible. None of this isn't to suggest that there aren't poorly designed amplifiers that might have issues with certain loads, but the THX 789 (Massdrop for example) does not fit that category.
 
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Jun 10, 2021 at 10:04 PM Post #5,396 of 5,485

KCXT

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That is really confusing. The A-100 uses resistors to cut down the power and doing so typically has the effect of squashing dynamics to some extent. You really don't see impedance mismatches having much impact with planar dynamics as they tend to have a pretty flat impedance responses. So really you are just looking at whether or not the amplifier can drive the load to the SPL without clipping or other distortion products that become audible. The THX 789 (I think you mean the Massdrop?) has plenty of power and the testing I have seen at audiosciencereview suggests that it would do quite well with the RT.

So unless the amplifier is designed to sound flat and lack dynamics, there is really no technical reason that the THX 789 (model unclear) would be the culprit. I would suggest this is possibly expectation bias at work. Simply the act of switching to a new amp indicates that the user is hoping/believes there can be a difference, and certainly if the user has read so much about amplifier/headphone synergy. I am not saying that there can't be synergy/interaction effects, but unless either the headphone or the amplifier have a very odd design, the interaction effect, particularly at reasonable listening volume should be minimal and more likely inaudible. None of this isn't to suggest that there aren't poorly designed amplifiers that might have issues with certain loads, but the THX 789 (Massdrop for example) does not fit that category.
I have the jumpers in on the A-100, so there is a definite overall power difference even if there isn't ultimately an impedance interaction. I'm obviously not pushing major wattage at usual listening levels but the headroom is available.

If I have any bias at this point it's a bias towards the 789 (yes, the Drop amp). Every other headphone I own or have owned, planar and dynamic alike, with the exception of the DT 1990 sounds better to me through the 789. My HE6se V2s, for example, get louder and have more bass through the A-100 but I feel like I lose some top-end shine with that pairing. It's been the same with every other headphone but IMO took the edge off of the 1990s and made them a bit rounder vs the 789, which was pointed with them.

The wild card here is that my source is an LG V30, so I don't believe I'm pushing more than 1 or 2 volts max into the unbalanced inputs. However, it's a constant between the amps so it's not a variable.
 
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Jun 11, 2021 at 10:23 AM Post #5,397 of 5,485

Dawgfish

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Got a pair of the AF Closed RTs to compare head-to-head with the LCD-2 closed for my closed-back solution. At first, I had it plugged into the THX 789 balanced output and it was somewhat pedestrian; sounded fine, but it seemed that the comments about flat presentation and minimal dynamics were accurate. Unremarkable overall and seemed the LCD-2 closed would be an easy winner.

However, when I swapped it over to my Emotiva A-100... good lord what a difference. Even with the seeming impedance mismatch there was no tubbiness whatsoever to the low end and these things sprang to life and started singing, with way more dimensionality and dynamics to spare. Travis Scott, Adam Jensen, Celldweller, Garbage, Patsy Cline, various strings and orchestral, and my personal dynamics stress test of Sinatra's 'My Way' (his vibrato on the chorus really comes through on these) just pop right out in, to my ear, splendid tonal balance.

Still a lot of listening to do and I'll perhaps play with the filters - I'm currently pleased with no filters added - but this is the most drastic amp pairing difference I've experienced with a headphone.
The early THX amps are not a good match for the Aeons as they need a lot of current and the early THX amps do not have very robust power supplies which are a huge component in providing good current.

I have said since I've got my Aeon that the reports of lack of dynamics were due to reviewers or listeners pairing them with amps that do not have sufficient current (like a lot of early THX amps). People often confuse power output (wpc) with current and they are not the same thing. Case in point is I often use a Little Dot 1+ that is only rated to about 0.79 wpc (or 790 milliwatts) with my Aeons and they drive the Aeon with authority. They actually drive the Aeon much better than some amps I've tried with higher rated output like the Schiit Magni 2 Uber and Cavalli Liquid Spark. The Little Dot has a very beefy power supply transformer for an amp with its rated output.

You're findings seem to be in line with my experience with the Aeon. Give it some current and they have plenty of slam. The only headphone I have that has more slam than the Aeon is the Modhouse Argon. I also run the Aeon with a Schiit Lyr and Primaluna Prologue 4. The amount of slam they produce with these (especially the Primaluna) is breathtaking. They will shake your ears off on bass heavy tracks! Anyways glad you are liking them and happy listening! I absolutely love the Aeon!
 
Jun 11, 2021 at 10:35 AM Post #5,398 of 5,485

Dawgfish

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That is really confusing. The A-100 uses resistors to cut down the power and doing so typically has the effect of squashing dynamics to some extent. You really don't see impedance mismatches having much impact with planar dynamics as they tend to have a pretty flat impedance responses. So really you are just looking at whether or not the amplifier can drive the load to the SPL without clipping or other distortion products that become audible. The THX 789 (I think you mean the Massdrop?) has plenty of power and the testing I have seen at audiosciencereview suggests that it would do quite well with the RT.

So unless the amplifier is designed to sound flat and lack dynamics, there is really no technical reason that the THX 789 (model unclear) would be the culprit. I would suggest this is possibly expectation bias at work. Simply the act of switching to a new amp indicates that the user is hoping/believes there can be a difference, and certainly if the user has read so much about amplifier/headphone synergy. I am not saying that there can't be synergy/interaction effects, but unless either the headphone or the amplifier have a very odd design, the interaction effect, particularly at reasonable listening volume should be minimal and more likely inaudible. None of this isn't to suggest that there aren't poorly designed amplifiers that might have issues with certain loads, but the THX 789 (Massdrop for example) does not fit that category.
It's really a current supply thing with the Aeon vs total power output (wpc). The THX 789 does not have as robust of a power supply when compared to many other amps like the A100 for instance. Don't get me wrong the THX is a great choice for dynamic driver phones and planars that are easier to drive, but the Aeon has a nominal impedance of 16 ohms (and actually drops much lower at some frequencies) vs 32 ohms or more for more typical planars. This low impedance means it takes a lot of current to drive effectively and the THX 789 was not optimized to drive these types of loads. If you go back and look at a lot of reviews you will see some reviewers comment that the THX 789 can lack dynamics and slam in some situations. The THX 789 is just not a great match for the Aeon and other phones with very low impedance (for headphones). Again not saying it's not a great amplifier, it's just not that great of a match with the Aeon and wpc does not always tell the whole story on how an amp will perform.
 
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Jun 11, 2021 at 10:55 AM Post #5,399 of 5,485

KCXT

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The early THX amps are not a good match for the Aeons as they need a lot of current and the early THX amps do not have very robust power supplies which are a huge component in providing good current.

I have said since I've got my Aeon that the reports of lack of dynamics were due to reviewers or listeners pairing them with amps that do not have sufficient current (like a lot of early THX amps). People often confuse power output (wpc) with current and they are not the same thing. Case in point is I often use a Little Dot 1+ that is only rated to about 0.79 wpc (or 790 milliwatts) with my Aeons and they drive the Aeon with authority. They actually drive the Aeon much better than some amps I've tried with higher rated output like the Schiit Magni 2 Uber and Cavalli Liquid Spark. The Little Dot has a very beefy power supply transformer for an amp with its rated output.

You're findings seem to be in line with my experience with the Aeon. Give it some current and they have plenty of slam. The only headphone I have that has more slam than the Aeon is the Modhouse Argon. I also run the Aeon with a Schiit Lyr and Primaluna Prologue 4. The amount of slam they produce with these (especially the Primaluna) is breathtaking. They will shake your ears off on bass heavy tracks! Anyways glad you are liking them and happy listening! I absolutely love the Aeon!
My 789 has the 2A/24V power brick and I've wondered if it would do better with the HE6se (and now the Aeons) if I was running a DAC/preamp that put out 4V instead of the 1/2 that the LG puts out. That wouldn't alleviate and power supply differences but might result in using the full output rather than being input limited.

Then again, maybe I should just quit speculating and enjoy the music. As a prelim comparison they have more in common with the LCD-2 closed than they do differences, with the Aeons being more balanced and having more treble though a smaller soundstage while the LCD-2 is thicker down low with a midrange that's a little further back but a wider stage.
 
Jun 11, 2021 at 11:23 AM Post #5,400 of 5,485

Dawgfish

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My 789 has the 2A/24V power brick and I've wondered if it would do better with the HE6se (and now the Aeons) if I was running a DAC/preamp that put out 4V instead of the 1/2 that the LG puts out. That wouldn't alleviate and power supply differences but might result in using the full output rather than being input limited.

Then again, maybe I should just quit speculating and enjoy the music. As a prelim comparison they have more in common with the LCD-2 closed than they do differences, with the Aeons being more balanced and having more treble though a smaller soundstage while the LCD-2 is thicker down low with a midrange that's a little further back but a wider stage.
That's a good point about the source output. I too use LGV35 and LGV20 for my initial sources though I do run them into an external dac, and run the dac to the amp. I will say that I have noticed improvements in sound when I upgraded the power supply to my D50s dac also. My other dacs have built-in power supplies. Power supply can definitely have an impact on sound quality. I think the current output of the amp has a bigger effect with the Aeon since they have such a low impedance (again for headphones).

I know that properly matching a sources output with an amp's input sensitivity can have a big impact also. I have experimented with passive preamps in the past with my two channel speaker setups and they always sounded less full, with less drive and impact when compared to using an active (usually tube) preamp. Some sources I've tried also had to have the volume turned up considerably on the pre compared to other sources to get similar volume levels. At the end of the day though listen and let your ears tell you what's a good match between components.
 

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