Dan Clark Audio E3 Review: Interview, Measurements, Impressions
Dec 28, 2023 at 7:50 AM Post #512 of 1,862
I visited my local dealer yesterday and they had received first shipment of the new E3's. They opened a box for me to audition so I auditioned a brand new pair for ~10 minutes against DCA Aeon Noire's (which I also own). Headphone amplifier/DAC was Violectric DHA V380² and source Tidal from laptop.

With this quick audition all I can say is wow... seriously impressive sound. They sound very different from Noire's. Much bigger, more intimate and more organic. Extremely revealing but not clinical sound signature. There's more "meat on the bones" and especially bass sounds meatier and fuller. No signs of anything annoying on high end.

I don't use headphones much these days but if I decide to update from Noire's some day, the choice is easy.
 
Dec 28, 2023 at 8:35 AM Post #513 of 1,862
Mojo 2 will drive E3 ok, but definitely not to its fullest. When you compare to Hugo 2, you lose a lot of details, and not so open sounding. You can immediately tell.

I mean in terms of power, the Mojo 2 isn't missing anything. The Hugo 2 was always brighter than the Mojos, which is why that emphasizes some details and air more.
 
Dec 28, 2023 at 11:44 AM Post #514 of 1,862
Has anyone already returned or expect to return their E3 during the 15-day evaluation period?
 
Dec 28, 2023 at 11:57 AM Post #515 of 1,862
Has anyone already returned or expect to return their E3 during the 15-day evaluation period?
I have. It is great sounding headphone and if I was in situation where I need isolation from ambient noise, I can't think of better. However, I found I still prefer some other top tier open back sound over this one just for the hard to explain sizing of staging... it felt wide and not so wide at same time for me. Never too small to say though. Awesome headphone over all and I see why some reviewers are excited about this.
 
Dec 28, 2023 at 12:48 PM Post #516 of 1,862
I have. It is great sounding headphone and if I was in situation where I need isolation from ambient noise, I can't think of better. However, I found I still prefer some other top tier open back sound over this one just for the hard to explain sizing of staging... it felt wide and not so wide at same time for me. Never too small to say though. Awesome headphone over all and I see why some reviewers are excited about this.
How did they perform in that respect? I may purchase them instead of the Ether C Flow which I found to be very good for isolation.
 
Dec 28, 2023 at 12:59 PM Post #517 of 1,862
How did they perform in that respect? I may purchase them instead of the Ether C Flow which I found to be very good for isolation.
If you are talking about isolation, very good. There are some sound leakage... maybe more so than some closed back. As for sound staging... it is wide.. Wide enough to think it is open back. However, at the same time, for me, I get the feeling I am in much smaller room than where sound is coming from for some strange reason. To me, this is bit less cohesive on sound staging. But honestly I only notice it when I was comparing it to HEKSE and Diana MR (Not really fair comparison) =. It is much larger than most closed back I heard. I had question on this on https://www.head-fi.org/threads/how-would-you-describe-what-i-noticed.971071/
 
Dec 28, 2023 at 1:12 PM Post #518 of 1,862
If you are talking about isolation, very good. There are some sound leakage... maybe more so than some closed back. As for sound staging... it is wide.. Wide enough to think it is open back. However, at the same time, for me, I get the feeling I am in much smaller room than where sound is coming from for some strange reason. To me, this is bit less cohesive on sound staging. But honestly I only notice it when I was comparing it to HEKSE and Diana MR (Not really fair comparison) =. It is much larger than most closed back I heard. I had question on this on https://www.head-fi.org/threads/how-would-you-describe-what-i-noticed.971071/
I use closed backs for isolation when listening during the early evening with the wife watching something on the TV. I have Denon AH-D9200s which are pretty good and the Ether Flow I had for a short while were equally as good in that department, maybe a tad better. For late night listening I turn to my open backs, so either the E3 or Ethers will be used to compliment the Denons.
 
Dec 28, 2023 at 1:53 PM Post #519 of 1,862
Your phone isn't a calibrated mic, and will not measure spl evenly through the frequency range. Also the lack of a seal means you don't measure bass spl almost at all.

If you measure by phone, add 5db to be safe.
I have calibrated measurement gear and validated that at least with my iPhone 14 decibel X was within 2 db of my phone. To get a valid measurement I did take one extra step: using my fingers to gently pull the pad around the edges of the phone to reduce leakage. Sorry, forgot to include that tidbit!
 
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Dec 28, 2023 at 2:07 PM Post #521 of 1,862
I just did a test and it looks like I tend to listen at about 70-75db peak most of the time, and 80db peak for short periods (which I consider pretty loud).
while I work during the day it’s more like 65db peak.
I definitely hear a big difference in my oor/wandla stack over the mojo 2, but I guess I’d have to chalk it up to sound quality/resolution over raw power at my listening levels
 
Dec 28, 2023 at 4:57 PM Post #522 of 1,862
I would guess apple actually does calibrate their mics to get uniform performance across units (like they do with their displays and cameras)

Extract from the National Institute for Health regarding accuracy of iPhone mics/db measurement apps


Extract from above : Conclusion: This study has shown significant variation in the ability of iPhone apps (Apple) to accurately predict environmental dB levels. However, if the correct app is used, an iPhone represents a relatively reliable means of measuring noise exposure levels when a specialist calibrated sound level meter is not readily available.
 

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