MrSpeakers AEON Flow Open - Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by XERO1, Sep 30, 2017.

  1. Schwibbles
    Sound leak from the Aeon Open is less than the M1060, HD600, and HD800S.
    I'll have to compare to the Nighthawk since that is semi-open. The AFO reminds me a lot of it in terms of isolation and sound leakage.
     
  2. mrspeakers Contributor
    Same pads.

    Regarding leakage, the construction of the driver is such that in fact there will be less leakage than most open headphones, you can easily assess leakage by placing your headphones on your thigh...
     
  3. thighmaster69
    I’d like to see some measurements from a third party. Although Dan is respectable, we have no idea what kind of equipment he’s measuring on or what kind of compensation curve he’s using. At least with a third party you can compare.
     
  4. TSAVJason
    Isn’t that one of the points of contention? Jude has his gear, Dan has his and Tyll has his. I may be wrong but it’s my understanding that Jude’s rig does account for Ear canal weighting. I’m not sure if Dan or Tylls rig do. With Dan and as a fellow engineer I have no doubt that his testing is meticulously consistant. With Dan, there is no measurement chasing. For Dan I think it’s all about getting his sound ...I’ll add his ears don’t suck. If I were to respect famously anyone here on headfi Dan hands down would have my vote.
     
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  5. thighmaster69
    My point is that we can’t objectively know how they perform because we have no baseline that he measured against; we know what the frequency response produced by his rig looks like for this headphone but we don’t have anything to compare it to. We can’t compare it to Jude or Tyll’s measurements of comparable headphones to see whether the results he’s getting means anything at all
     
  6. TSAVJason
    I won’t disagree. Measurements imo are a reference. Listening is absolute proof
     
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  7. Charente
    Totally agree ... the AFO sound superb to my ears & brain ... the only measuring instruments I personally rely on.
     
  8. lentoviolento
    do they have impact/slam in the low end? like audeze or nightowl?? i don't know if buy them or not
     
  9. Fungus
    Compared to the lcd-2 they do not.
     
  10. Oscar-HiFi
    Literally just put these on, but wow they are very very good. Nice and extended on each end, nothing overblown throughout the range everything well balanced but with a smoothness to it that makes them a pleasure to listen to. This is a very good headphone indeed :D

    The bass has good weight and body without being bloated, they add a nice little bit of warmth to the overall signature. The highs are well extended and effortless, and the midrange is well presented but not forward.
     
  11. Charente
    My own thoughts on MrSpeakers Aeon Flow Open.

    I bought the Aeon Flow Open (AFO) as an upgrade to the Sennheiser HD650 that I have had for about 2 years. They are my first planar-magnetics. In fact, up till now, all my headphones have been Sennheiser so I am pretty familiar with their sound signature. The HD650 have delivered an appealing sound to me, particularly as I have moved up the equipment ladder. On the Schiit Mjolnir 2 (MJ2), via XLR, they are particularly good, with the right tubes. But, it was time to consider whether I could get something along similar lines but higher up on the sound quality scale ... when the AFO were launched they were an obvious candidate. I did briefly consider the Focal Clear but at twice the price I declined them. Another option I considered was the Sennheiser HD660S but I wasn't convinced they would deliver enough over the HD650, although I did not manage to audition them.

    I was looking for some improvements over the HD650, particularly in the bass and soundstage presentation. I wasn't particularly looking for 'more' bass, indeed with the MJ2 they do produce a reasonable 'thud'. I was more after control at the low end, better definition and less woolliness.

    The AFO were promptly delivered to me in France by Electromod UK. Excellent service BTW. They come in an attractive presentation box, with the phones inside the sculptured case, which is a tough clamshell design that hold the phones securely. There is a net pouch on the lid for the cable and there should be enough space in there for a DAP as well.

    The AFO are an unusual tear-drop design but most attractive, with the hexagonal mesh on the ear-cups. I love the dark blue colour of the shells. Apart from the single pivot bearing on each earphone, there are no other hinges on the headband assembly. The flexible, almost fragile looking, Nitinol wire frame provides sufficient clamp-force to keep the ear-cups sealed against the head, although not uncomfortably so. I'm of the opinion that flexible headbands like that on the AFO afford better comfort than a fixed headband. Adjustment on the AFO is effortless and essentially self-adjusting laterally as one puts them on. The pad material is soft leather-feel and is probably better for a good seal than velour. I found them comfortable to wear for hours on end.

    During my listening, I paired the AFO with a Schiit Lyr 2 and Mjolnir 2, both with NOS tubes (GE 5670W & GE 5670 5-Star respectively), all at normal listening levels (not loud and at Lo Gain). Unsurprisingly, the best result is with the Mjolnir ... this is an excellent pairing, although I have absolutely no complaints with the LYR 2. I mostly listen to acoustic jazz, although I also have some classic rock in my collection.

    It was clear from an initial out of the box listen that the AFO do require some running in. I feel they settle down considerably after about 25-30 hours, so, not a lot of run-in required IMO to get the best out of the AFO. Perhaps they will improve further with more time.

    The following are snippets from my listening notes, as I played through some good quality recordings ... mostly from a musical perspective.

    The first thing I noticed was the incisive but natural presentation, a bit warm of neutral to my ears, with a two-notch tuning pad in place (these are a nice touch). The overall sound presentation is airy and spacious ... slightly wider than the HD650 with more precise instrument placement. On the album 'Live in Monteal' by Hiromi there is just a piano and a harp ... the stage is well dimensioned here - piano clearly on the left & obviously more forward - Harp on the right, set clearly further back. I love the sound this harp makes in a jazz context.

    The ambient echoes in both live and studio venues are detailed and lingering. Live recordings, such as Eva Cassidy Live at The Blue Note, are wonderfully convincing.

    These are 'fast' headphones ... the music flows effortlessly with impressive transients. I am impressed with the detailed, delicate timbral nuances that are produced. Instruments like piano (especially high-mid block chords) and vibrophone, which are difficult to reproduce, ring out in a natural way with little or no glare. On the album 'Hand with You' by Steve Shehan, the unusual shimmering pan drums are a joy to listen to on these headphones.

    Drum resonant decay tones (on rim-shots and tom-toms particularly) are clean, tight and palpably realistic ... a good example is Brian Blade on 'Trilogy' by the Chick Corea Trio, his drum solo on the 'Fingerprints' track ... is stunning. On the same album, there is a wonderful clear delicacy on his light-tap cymbals .... when he hits harder, the cymbal splash and shimmer is majestic and rings out realistically.

    Listening to the album 'Revisiting Grapelli' by Mathias Levy, the violin strings are variously plucked and deliberately mis-plucked ... these come across with alarming clarity and vividness.

    The acid test for me as a bass player is how well bass-lines are presented. I am not in the least disappointed ... bass 'quality' is good-to-excellent. Listening to Modern Art by Daniel Humair, the double-bass goes really deep with a clear and satisfying grumble. Christian McBride on Trilogy comes across equally well with plucks and bowing that appear to defy possibility from a headphone.

    Compared to the HD650 ... the Sennheiser gives a much thicker presentation. This tends to dull the overall sound presentation with bass being considerably affected. The AFO are less warm with a more refined, tighter weight and body quality to the sound. I can unhesitatingly recommend the AFO as an upgrade over the HD650, albeit at a fair jump in price.

    In short, this is a thoroughly addictive headphone ... they make you sit up and really listen ... and at the price, great value for money.
     
    keeferdog, Zachik, qrtas and 7 others like this.
  12. Fungus
    Do the aeons have more bass impact than the alpha primes? Are the mids more forwards?
     
  13. jinxy245
    Exhaustive and informative review...

    Thank you!
     
    Charente likes this.
  14. Eldair
    Have anyone listen metal or progressive heavy with those? I would like to hear impression. Bands like Opeth, Vanden Plas, Threshold. Thanks.
     
    YtseJamer likes this.
  15. jinrawke
    Great review! The attention to detail on explaining the specifics on what you were hearing were fantastic.
     
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