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MrSpeakers ETHER Flow and ETHER C Flow -- Inspired by Electrostatic Headphones

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by jude, Jul 14, 2016.
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  1. ddr007
    I got this cable https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B011LRBIL0. Works fine.
  2. ChrisIsAwesome
    I sent my ether open in for an upgrade, cant wait [​IMG]
    At first i actually though the ether c1.1 was more to my liking with greater resolution and transient response but after spending time with them and demoing the flows twice i realized that isn't true. The Ether only gives the impression of having increased resolution and transients due to it sounding more lively with peak's or "hot spots". 
    The flows have just as much clarity, extension, resolution and transient response while having a more balanced tonality overall. They really are a level above. i think i've found my end game headphone.
    I forgot to mention increased sound stage, thanks Dan, this was crucial.
    Edit: Will The ether flow ear pads be available for purchase from the Mr speakers store in the future?
  3. mrspeakers Contributor

    Glsd you are enjoying the flow upgrade! The C pads on the website are the Italian Leather flow pads. Same price.
    MrSpeakers Make every day a fun day filled with music and friendship! Stay updated on MrSpeakers at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    @funCANS MrSpeakers https://www.mrspeakers.com/ info@mrspeakers.com
  4. rollinbr
    That doesn't make any sense that he won't ship to Hong Kong. On the US Amazon site it shows that there are 18 left in stock. It is available for 2 day prime delivery here in the US. So that tells me he has built a lot of these adapters and shipped them to Amazon here in the US. They are sitting here in the US at one of the Amazon warehouses. So if you ordered it, I would expect it to ship from the US and not China at this point. 
    Here is another one of his adapters, it is 4-pin female XLR to 6.35mm male. Amazon has 16 in stock and these have 2 day delivery for prime members in the US too so they are sitting in a warehouse here in the US.
    I bought both of these adapters back in 2014 and have had no issues with either one.
    husafreak likes this.
  5. husafreak
    Well, I am getting close to ordering a set of Flows. I hope this doesn't sound too "trollish" but are any of you experiencing buyers remorse? I have written about my experience auditioning the Flows. LOVED them. But some reviewers have been less enthusiastic. Which makes me pause. In my experience I thought the Flows were the closest I could come, at a price I am willing to pay, to ultimate phones like the Utopia, HE-1000, LCD-4. I found the Flows much closer in sound signature to those lofty cans than, for instance, the Elear's. I find it difficult to listen to cans like the HD800 due to the peaky treble (actually the treble on the Ether C was a tiny bit too hot for my taste as well). But some reviews have led me to believe that I will be giving up on the last wondrous bits of soundstage and dynamics and realism that top tier headphones are capable of if I go with the Flow. That sort of prompts this post. Do you consider the Flows an endgame headphone? Or now that I finally amassed this fortune should I go back and audition again?
    On a philosophical note, forgiving cans may be a necessary evil for guys like me who listen to everything and anything music wise. I do not restrict myself to well recorded (or even played!) music. Maybe I enjoyed the Flows so much just because they are somewhat forgiving? I would love to hear from someone who has owned the nth degree in headphone resolution and superlatives only to find them unpleasant in the long term. My ownership experience is pretty much limited to inexpensive Grado's and NAD's, the HD-600's I owned for 20 years and rarely used, or the Fostex TH-X00's that I currently enjoy very much. Anywhoo, a penny for your thoughts :wink:
  6. TonyNewman
    I upgraded my Ether C 1.1 to Ether Flow (open). Had them for a month or so. It is a very, very good headphone.
    The only sense in which I have buyer's remorse is that I now have a pair of Utopias and - to a degree - these make my other headphones, including the Ether Flow, somewhat redundant. The Utopia does most things better than the Ether Flow for me.
    At the time when I bought the original Ether C the Utopia did not exist. So this is 20/20 hindsight.
    For me the Utopia is 'endgame', but that is a moving goal. Something significantly better might be on the market in the next couple of years - who can say?
  7. husafreak
    I agree that the Utopias best the Flows, they are pretty incredible!
  8. mscott58

    Of course the Utopias are also >2x the price of the Flows...
  9. TonyNewman
    Yep. I would never call them a 'bargain'. Diminishing returns hit pretty hard @ 4K.
    None of that changes how good the Utopias sound. Just wonderful.
    If your budget doesn't go that far the Flows are a very good choice IMHO. If I didn't have the Utopias I would be using (and enjoying) my Flows a lot more.
  10. ray-dude
    Any one of these TOTL headphones are sublime.  They may be sublime in different ways and some will inevitably suit some people better than others, but these are all A+ experiences.  You're spending a LOT of money and obviously want to optimize your choice, but IMHO you're cheating yourself if you don't enjoy the 99.99% awesome that whatever your choice is brings to the table, and focus on the 0.01% that may be better over there.
    In the mega shootout we did, for our collective experience (5 people) there was no set of headphones that was optimal across the board.  Each had strengths and each had weaknesses.  It was incredibly illuminating to use those to really understand our preferences and what we each wanted out of the music listening experience.
    Below is the summary from that WAY too long review.  FYI, of the 4 of us, 2 of us (including me) ordered the Audio Zenith PMx2's, 1 stayed put, 1 is going to experiment with CIEMs, and 1 is still trying to figure out next steps.  In addition to the PMx2 that Alex is building for me, I'm very tempted to get a used pair of Senn HD800's and start to tinker to try to understand better where all the "WOW" and the frustration comes from those cans for me ($700 experiment sounds like a lot of fun!)
    As I mentioned in my write up, if I were offered a pair of Utopias ($4k) and a pair of PMx2's ($1.4k) and couldn't resell them, I would be sorely tempted to take the PMx2's.  I strongly suspect once I get more experienced at headphone listening (esp. in the work environment where one needs to occassionally focus on work and not the music), I would definitely put the Ether Flows at the top of the list for a 2nd set of headphones for that type of listening.  Would it encourage me to have more than one pair?  Ask me in 6 months.  I'm very grateful for the chance to have listened to them, and know that type of experience is available to me if I want it.
    As for end game, I believe we're at the very beginning of a HUGE innovation wave in headphones (MrSpeakers is helping lead that wave actually).  Ether Flows are leveraging 3D printing to bring high end manufacturing gloss to small scale volumes, Focal is using exotic materials to take their drivers to the next level, and Audio Zenith is taking bespoke expert custom tuning to transform an already pretty awesome set of headphones into what they would be if Oppo had ultimate manufacturing and process controls in place (jumping to the end game).  Anything you get today will have something more awesome and cheaper/better a year from now and two years from now (compare the Utopias and Ether Flows to the Audeze line, or the PMx2 to the stock Oppo PM-2, now extrapolate forward)  Enjoy what you have, while you have your hearing and the passion for music to enjoy it (alas, both of those disappear with time).  If something else brings you more joy in a couple years, sell what you have to bring joy to an other, and step into that new experience. 
    tl; dr:
    If you’re a audio geek like me that values even full-range tonal balance and the sense of “being there” musical ambiance that comes with fast dynamics, low distortion, and good phase coherence in the high mids and trebles, here is my advice after a stoopid crazy week of excessive headphone evaluations:
    1. If you focus on tonal balance and appreciate and want to support bespoke craft that borders on alchemy, get the Audio Zenith PMx2
    2. If you find presence in music thrilling, feel a sense of reward when you get that unexpected “WOW!” after messing/tweaking with something, and don’t mind wearing really ugly (sorry :wink: headphones as you listen to music alone, get the Sennheiser HD-800’s and start tweaking
    3. If you want world class next generation cans that sing out of the box, sell a kidney and get the Focal Utopia’s (and sell part of your liver to upgrade your DAC/Amps to be worthy of this engineering marvel). 
    4. If you want to experience that next level next generation cans without giving away organs (or parts there of), the Focal Elears are phenomenal $1000 cans, that evoke the best of their breathtaking sibling, but are a little too thin in the high end for me.
    5. If you want lovely headphones that integrate well into the rest of your life and don't cause the music to distract you from work etc, the Ether Flows are top tier
    6. Shy away from any TOTL/premium models from companies that haven’t adopted significant material and manufacturing innovations in the past 3 years…they are the pinnacle of a previous age, and the miracle of the 3M’s (manufacturing/materials/modeling) S curve are available for roughly the same price
    7. These are all FANTASTIC products, and honestly, is there any among us that if stranded on a dessert island, wouldn’t be delighted with any of them? Be happy, enjoy what you have, and enjoy the gift of music in your life.
    gelocks and Docterror like this.
  11. RCBinTN
    Really a great question.  Good responses from @TonyNewman and also @ray-dude - I just wanted to offer my opinions.
    There are many variables involved.  The music quality, upstream rig, music genres that you prefer, open/closed, the volume at which you listen.  These variables apply to all HP experiences.  IMO, it is not easy (or advised) to just say the Utopia are the best cans, without considering the variables.  Others will say the LCD-4 or the SR009 are the best.  By far the most valuable advice is for you to listen to these HP's and decide for yourself, especially at this price point.  As Tony wrote, the law of diminishing returns comes into play as well.
    As an example, a trusted friend @pippen99 recently heard the LCD-4 at the Nashville meet.  He's a solid LCD-X listener.  The experience showed him that the LCD-4 do indeed sound better, but not by a wide margin.  His comments are posted on the Nashville meet thread.
    Personally, I own the LCD-X, Ether Flow and HD800.  They are now considered mid-fi cans.  I keep all three because they work well for different music genres.  Of the three, the Ether Flow work best for all music genres.  When I want kick-ass rockin' bass, I reach for the X.  When I want super mids, vocals and treble, I reach for the HD800.
    I recently purchased the Flow and have zero buyer's remorse - very happy with them.  They fit perfectly in between the LCD-X and the HD800.  As for forgiving, I don't have a great answer as all my music now is at least 16/44 ALAC or better quality.  One of those pesky variables.
    You can probably buy all three of the cans I own on the Head-Fi or open market for the price of the Utopia.
    Hope this helps, as always, enjoy your music!
    All the Best,
    MattTCG likes this.
  12. TonyNewman
    +1. Sold my LCD-X / HD800 / HD800S. Keeping the Ether Flow. If I listened to a lot more classical I might have kept the HD800S, but I don't, so sold it.
  13. Middy
    How long does the upgrade take.. anyone know?
    Missing mine already....:hushed:
  14. Muinarc
    Mid-fi in price alone maybe. I guess the Utopia is mid-fi because the Orpheus 2 and Shangri-La exist.
    I have heard all of the top cans except the new Orpheus and the only ones that do anything for me are 009, Abyss and Flows. 009 are a pain with amps and this is a hobby so I don't like being locked in to e-stats, the abyss is super uncomfortable to me, so the Flows win out. The utopia are nice but I'm sorry; people love to throw around "way" better and "huge" differences around here. The Utopia might be 0.5 - 1.0% better (to me mind you), at 2x the price.... no thanks.
    @husafreak brings up one of the most important things of all, do the headphones let you enjoy ALL of your music? I also have a library of thousands of poorly mastered music and I still want to listen to it. The headphones I mentioned above let me do that in my experience. Something hyper detailed like the HD800 never did. I went down that road of sonic 'perfection' in 2 channel and one day it hit me that I was only listening to Audiophile Approved™ recordings and listening to the equipment and not the music. Again.... no thanks.
    There are a lot of audio hobbyists more into gear than music and you can't really tell who they are from their reviews. It makes buying something based on reviews an absolute minefield beyond their personal preferences and biases. Being a gear enthusiast is fine, I totally get it; you just need to know who you are and what you want for yourself, don't let misguided comments about a $2,000 headphone being mid-fi sway you.
    Alu, RCBinTN, fixated and 3 others like this.
  15. husafreak
    Wow, thanks for all the heartfelt responses! The last post really got to me. I get pretty bogged down when it is time to buy but then I typically go off and just listen to my music for years without another gear related thought IF (that's a big IF) I make a good choice. That no one is jumping in here to recommend another audition cycle is reassuring. Case in point. Right now I am totally loving my main speaker system, Brad Mehldau Trio killing it through Harbeth SHL5+. These speakers are also interesting in that for every guy who hears them and declares the search is over another chimes in to say you could do better in many small areas. But as a machine for making music, for me, they are consistently totally satisfying. I think the Flows may be kind of similar, not the ultimate in any one area but taken as a whole they are consistently musical and always satisfying.
    Quinto likes this.
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