Dan Clark Audio E3 Review: Interview, Measurements, Impressions
Dec 1, 2023 at 8:14 PM Post #32 of 1,817
I have some questions.

Why E3 as opposed to Ether3?

You pride yourself on making lightweight headphones, so why use glass for the backing of the cups instead of something that's rigid yet lighter?

Are those two holes on the backs of the cups bass ports?

We originally had referred to it as ETHER 3 but it was such a different product it felt a bit off key. We were calling it E3 internally and I started playing with badges and really liked the elegance and simplicity of the mirrored badge.

The glass is actually not a lot heavier than carbon but gave us a more flexible design aesthetic.
 
Dan Clark Audio Make every day a fun day filled with music and friendship! Stay updated on Dan Clark Audio at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
@funCANS MrSpeakers https://danclarkaudio.com info@danclarkaudio.com
Dec 1, 2023 at 8:15 PM Post #33 of 1,817
Awesome that the AMTS is coming to a lower price point. Honestly, this seems to cannibalize the Stealth a bit. If E3 has the latest driver tech and uses a better tensioning system, why bother getting a Stealth?

Props to DCA for being willing to release something that competes if not bests their flagships for half the price. Still not cheap but moving in the right direction.
 
Dec 1, 2023 at 8:16 PM Post #34 of 1,817
My first impressions.....

There is nothing to criticize about the highs/mids 👍
The higher contact pressure/clamping force should also benefit many now
❗️No matter what you are told by others, the E3 is not easy to drive❗
The M17 from FiiO is the only one of the mobile players that has enough power...even the new Kann Ultra from Astell&Kern doesn't make it by far
As always, Dan Clark has succeeded in creating a kind of soundstage that takes place in front of you, which is still a phenomenon even for me
The illumination of the room can be described as sufficient, even for me
It is also positive that the bass/low end now appear more compact and hit harder in comprison to the stealth 👍
For the price I think the E3 will get a big fan base

The question of all questions - what bothers me personally?😎
More on this later

NOMAX

PS.lol
Maybe I will like this one. I have yet to like a DCA headphone. I just don't jive with the tunings and they for whatever reason aren't comfortable on my oblong noggin'.
 
Dec 1, 2023 at 8:34 PM Post #35 of 1,817
Maybe I will like this one. I have yet to like a DCA headphone. I just don't jive with the tunings and they for whatever reason aren't comfortable on my oblong noggin'.
🎶 “… oblong-di, oblong-da, headphone fit? nah! … la la how the search goes on …”🎵 😒😏😍💸
 
Dec 1, 2023 at 8:38 PM Post #36 of 1,817
🎶 “… oblong-di, oblong-da, headphone fit? nah! … la la how the search goes on …”🎵 😒😏😍💸
We all like our potatoes cooked a bit differently. Personally I'd take mine sauteed in goose fat.
 
Dec 1, 2023 at 8:43 PM Post #37 of 1,817
The glass is actually not a lot heavier than carbon but gave us a more flexible design aesthetic.

Well it is listed as 40g heavier than the Stealth, which is not an insignificant number. Will you continue the Ether line with lighter weight alternatives?

Another question, what acoustic properties/advantages would a flat backing have over a back that is angled/rounded or irregular in shape?
 
Dec 1, 2023 at 8:51 PM Post #38 of 1,817
Well it is listed as 40g heavier than the Stealth, which is not an insignificant number. Will you continue the Ether line with lighter weight alternatives?

Another question, what acoustic properties/advantages would a flat backing have over a back that is angled/rounded or irregular in shape?
A lot of the weight is actually in the driver which is heavier.

The internal cup shape relationship to performance is multi-variate. Good question but that’s not something I want to share with competitors as the answer is quite complex.
 
Dan Clark Audio Make every day a fun day filled with music and friendship! Stay updated on Dan Clark Audio at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
@funCANS MrSpeakers https://danclarkaudio.com info@danclarkaudio.com
Dec 1, 2023 at 9:30 PM Post #39 of 1,817
How could I not get these? With the DCA club membership got a nice 15% off. This is perhaps the only manufacturer I purchase from blind. I regard the Stealth as the best headphones in current production. Really looking forward to trying the E3.
I somehow had no clue the DCA club existed. As someone who bought my Expanse new from DCA, it just got a little more tempting to put the E3 in the closed back slot in my collection...
 
Dec 1, 2023 at 10:30 PM Post #41 of 1,817
Clear or a tinted glass version could be pretty cool.
I think using darkly tinted glass so that you can just barely see whats inside would look hella cool!! :sunglasses:
 
Dec 1, 2023 at 10:59 PM Post #42 of 1,817
I think using darkly tinted glass so that you can just barely see whats inside would look hella cool!! :sunglasses:
This. Sorta like the black-translucent plastic skins on certain 80s/90s tech gear (think the translucent GameBoys and so forth). It'd look super slick.

That, or just straight-up clear, like HD820 does with their glass backs.

Speaking of HD820, if anyone who has had a chance to listen to both of these cans recently could do a comparison (or if any HD820 owners end up picking up an E3 to compare), that'd be rad :) Curious how the only two higher-end glass-having headphones I can think of quickly off-hand compare!

Oh - one other request! I haven't seen efficiency numbers quoted in writing anywhere yet (albeit I only found this thread 5 minutes ago) - would love to get an idea of how feasible it'd be to push these to ~75-80dB off a Qudelix 5K for portable use. My desktop rig is an ADI-2 DAC FS, which should be just fine I presume.
 
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Dec 1, 2023 at 11:10 PM Post #43 of 1,817
Stealth is already trading at $2k in the used market. DCA could have just run a perpetual BF special on Stealth like what HFM is doing. IMO, Stealth looks like a premium/luxury product, E3 doesn’t (would have to see them in person to confirm).
 
Dec 1, 2023 at 11:18 PM Post #44 of 1,817
Noticed in Currawong's video that the box prominently displays "closed" on it.
Seems like an odd thing to do for a headphone that's only available closed, unless of course there's an open E3 on the horizon...

DCA did release the Stealth first and Expanse later afterall. Additionally there are open and closed versions of the Ether 2 which this E(ther) 3 is replacing.
 

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