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Focal Elear or Mr Speakers Aeon Flow Open?

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by Atticustas, Nov 24, 2017.
  1. Atticustas
    I'm looking at getting a headphone (preferably open backed) in the sub-1000 price range and so far the Elear and Aeon Flow are looking the most appealing to me. I have had the chance to hear the Elear, but not the Aeon so I was wondering if there's anyone here who has heard both who can say which they think is better or what the differences are between the two? I can't find any comparisons between the two already on the internet.

    My impressions of the Elear were great. I really liked it a lot. It's a very dynamic and punch headphone. Very engaging with great detail and pretty good frequency balance I would say. While the bass is very nice and punchy I would say that on some songs/genres it's a little too much for my taste. Although I think I have to try it again to confirm that. Is the Aeon more neutral?

    I'm looking for a balanced, natural sounding headphone with enough bass impact to satisfy but not too much. Balanced but fun and maybe slightly warm but it still has to have plenty of clarity, not TOO laid back.

    My music tastes include artists such as Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, David bowie, Jackson Brown, Simon and Garfunkel, Tame Impala, Pink Floyd, Bright Eyes, R.E.M, the occasional metal (System of a Down, Marilyn Manson) and the occasional classical. Basically everything except rap, top 40 pop and thrash metal.

    Thanks in advance for any replies!
  2. TMRaven
    Biggest difference between the two is comfort. I find the Elear annoying to wear, but not uncomfortable. The AFO is both very comfortable and not annoying. There's less clamp to it, and it's lighter with a suspension strap to boot. Both have more than adequate ear-space for a completely circumaural feel. AFO feels more like a semi-open on the head, whereas Elear feels like a fully open headphone on the head.

    Soundwise, both follow generally the same kind of tuning, with very adequate bass extension, elevated bass and lower midrange, a depressed upper midrange/lower treble, and a slight peak in the mid-upper treble around 10k. However, the AFO's coloration is less extreme than the Elear in this regard. The Elear's midrange is very strong to about 2k, then takes a radical dive around 3-4khz, before eventually crawling back up into the treble. The AFO is a bit smoother in this area. Both headphones also have a small soundstage for being open.

    I haven't heard the Elear right next to the AFO, so I can't make any comment on their sounds in detail beyond that.
    alfmoonspace, buonassi and Justin0505 like this.
  3. wazzupi
    Buy a rbh hp-2 and an aeon closed or open. Hp-2 might not have the same SQ overall but dynamics are equal if not better depending on your taste of the sound. Rbh is 139 free shipping main website look it up when you get the chance. im actually interested in a hifiman x v2 vs aeon open or closed comparison
  4. buonassi
    great info, thx for that. I'm ready to upgrade as I've recently invested in a much better chain. I'm interested in how each of these headphones resolves. I actually shape my own digital filters using upsampling software because I don't care for pre ringing, or much post ringing for that matter. With that in mind, which of these cans does the following better in your opinion?

    1. Detail retrieval
    2. Fast attack - IE best transient response.

    I'm more concerned with precision of timing and detail retrieval vs "slam". Happy new years guys.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  5. buonassi
    "The AEON is fast, but the Elear is similarly fast. What it comes down to is the surgical presentation of the AEON versus the impactful presentation of the Elear. The AEON might be able to replicate each kick drum and snare hit with precision, but the Elear doesn’t lag too far behind and brings with it a bombastic signature that makes everything sound larger than life. It’s really interesting, and a fulfilling moment in this hobby, where you can hear the clearly audible difference between a snare drum just being hit and it holding on for dear life from the same audio track – just because of two different headphones."
    Aornic Reviews - http://aornic.com/reviews/2017/6/29/mrspeakers-aeon

    perhaps reading his entire review may give us a better impression of the differences. But I'm not sure if the driver performance characteristics @Aornic describes hold true for the open version. I'm really struggling with what to buy next. There are so many good options out there now. The bio-cellulose drivers from ZMF really have me curious as to their speed and detail compared to the planar mr speakers as well. My only experience with planars is HE400i which I still own, but while it's fast at bass, I don't think it's a highly resolving set of cans. I feel I get more more of my HD600 than the HE400i.

    I just want the fastest transient rendering and most detail I can get without treble fatigue for crying out loud.

    PS, glad to see that this man is back into the review scene. For a bit, he had to take a break and it was uncertain as to when/if he'd return. I must say that out of all the reviewers out there, his are by far the most detailed and comprehensive. Can't wait for him to get into the TOTL IEM game. If he thinks the carbo tenore were awesome, wait until he hears a real 1K plus phase aligned multi balanced armature.
  6. NA Blur
    Both are awesome. The edge for me goes to the Aeon Open. It really is semi-open rather than truly open. It is one of the best sounding headphones I've heard. The Elear is decent, but rolled off in the treble and the pads wear out way too swiftly.
    trellus likes this.
  7. Sound Eq
  8. progrockrob
    anyone do a A/B/C comparison with the AFO, Elear, and Elex? I'm torn between the three (and the Audeze LCD-2C...) :)
  9. wazzupi
    Lcd2c is my favorite of the 3 i havent heard the elex but elear isn't as good so id find out more about the elex.
    omniweltall likes this.

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