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

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by jude, Jul 14, 2016.
  1. fixated
    I do plan on using them on a pair of Utopia's as I've read that Utopia's pair well with tube amps, of course I'd be deciding later on if that's actually true once I get my Utopia towards the end of this year or start of next year. Thanks for the info about the pairing with the Flows, will keep that in mind!

    Yeah, big bummer that there doesn't seem to be a dealer here anymore. I think there used to be one but I asked them recently if they still sell Woo Audio products and they seemed to have dropped it from their store at some point. Might ask around locally if anyone has any WA amps.
  2. TSAVJason

    Just contact Woo and ask. I’m sure they’ll have the most up to date dealer information
    The Source AV TSAVJason Stay updated on The Source AV at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.

  3. RollsDownWindowsManually
    Got to try a bunch of headphones yesterday at the sourceAV including the Utopia, Elear, LCD4, LCDMX4, HE 1000, Aeon open/closed and Eikon. Walked away liking the sound of the Ether Flow open the best after an hour and a half or so of A/B'ing and ordered one. It was really close between the Utopia, LCD4, and EFO, but I like the perceived low end punch of the Ether Flow open combined with very natural vocal/instrument timbre and clarity. I didn't even come in expecting to audition the EFO but ended up buying it. The SourceAV is awesome. Thank you Alan!
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
    Alcophone and mrspeakers like this.
  4. Rowethren
    How did you find the MX4? I am very interested in more impressions of these.
  5. RollsDownWindowsManually
    I found the mx4 pretty dark and even; I prefer a bit more bass emphasis and I felt it didn't have the clarity/resolution of the lcd4, utopia and ether Flow open. It was comfortable though, I don't think I'd have any comfort issue with the Lcd-Mx4 or lcd4. I'm certainly no expert, but I will confess to preferring a bit of a v shape on headphones, and the mx4 seemed far from that.
    Alcophone likes this.
  6. Rowethren
    Interesting thanks. So they have less bass than the Ether Flows, that is a shame as I was looking for more bass really :frowning2:
  7. sbradley02
    Maybe the LCD2 Classic then. I haven't heard them but if they are really like the original version, the bass should be great.
  8. mrspeakers Contributor
    You might consider open Aeon with the heavier filter in place if you want bigger bass...
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  9. 50sQuiff
    Today I visited Audio Sanctuary in New Malden (Greater London) to audition the Elear, Clear, LCD-X and Ether Flow Open. They have every TOTL headphone you can imagine on demo, in a quiet and relaxing listening environment. Somehow I resisted the urge to mess about with the Utopia sat just feet away from me, and tried to focus on my four main candidates.

    I listen to EDM and jazz in the main. Testing was with my Cowon Plenue 2 DAP, which has AKM's TOTL DAC and a high-current headphone amp from TI. It drove all four headphones with ease.

    The Focal headphones are works of art. Their comfort and design is extraordinary. I found the Elear to be exceptionally dynamic and engaging, but the punch-you-in-the-face presentation and "shouty" mids made them quite fatiguing to listen to, especially on tracks with a higher-pitch male vocal.

    By comparison I found the Clear to be somewhat flat, distant and disengaging. Which was a shame, because they were the headphone I wanted to like most.

    Then I moved on to the Audeze. I found the LCD-X to be a strong offering, and basically as advertised. Dark, smooth, with sufficient dynamism and punch in the low end. Comfort was absolutely atrocious. The weight was instantly uncomfortable, and the headband concentrates all the pressure in one painful spot on the crown of your head. I ruled them out quite quickly. They're very good, but with this level of torture they needed to be spectacular.

    Back to the two Focals. I ruled out the Clear. They're not veiled. In fact, they're detailed and resolving. But the sensation of distance and its very neutral tuning left me flat. I wasn't entirely convinced by the Elear either, so it came time to ask for the EFO, which wasn't on display (the EFC was).

    Within 60 seconds I felt an unusual combination of awe and dread. The EFO was by far the most expensive headphone in my selection, but it completely blew the others away.

    It looks great, feels solid and the headband design is ingenious. They were comfortable right from the off. They were almost as lively and engaging as the Elear (no small feat, believe me), smoother than the LCD-X, yet somehow more resolving than the Clear. Warm, liquid and dynamic are words that spring to mind. The all-round experience was of a different class of headphone altogether.

    I continued listening to all but the Audeze for another 45 minutes, but by this time I was mainly in the "inner monologue of justification" phase. At £800 more than the Elear, the Ether Flows should be a class above. Extensive listening proved their worth.

    My wallet may now be £1700 lighter, but in the EFO, I've gained a truly outstanding headphone that I plan to enjoy for many years to come. Bravo MrSpeakers!
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  10. RollsDownWindowsManually
    Even if you had auditioned the Utopia, the result might not have been different, it wasn't for me. I feel like with rock/heavy metal the better bottom end on the ether flow open results in a significantly better experience. Elear was a bit better but seemed slightly veiled in the upper mids and neither focal seemed as natural in timbre as the EFO in my audition. I'm glad others are reaching the same conclusion. I was really ready to buy a utopia or lcd4 but my ears preferred the EFO without regard to price
    ostewart likes this.
  11. 50sQuiff
    Based on the Utopia's noted brightness and lack of low end, I don't doubt it. I didn't want to audition the Utopia or LCD-4 because I didn't have the time to try cans I couldn't afford. But like you suggest, I suspect I would have still chosen the Ethers.

    I was shocked at how dynamic they were. Instruments did flow beautifully - and perhaps gently at times - but I didn't recognise Tyll's "ethereal" characterisation. To me, that suggests a diffuse, laid-back presentation, which I didn't experience. The extension and impact of the low-end surprised me too. Going in to the store, I pegged the Ethers as my least likely purchase. If anything, my bias was against them, which speaks volumes for just how good they are.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  12. Rowethren
    That is exactly how I felt when I tried them. Still looking forward to trying the MX4 though as it is supposed to be more bassy but I have had conflicting reports... Unfortunately those plans are on hold anyway now as my motherboard died £900 of unexpected expense sucks lol!
  13. 50sQuiff
    After 150 hours burn-in (without listening), I can confirm two things: burn-in is real and the bass on the EFO is astonishing. It's rich, textured and absolutely bottomless. I was planning on relaxing with a Bill Evans album or two, but instead just found myself listening to two hours of trance and retrowave, in a way I've never heard before from a headphone.
  14. RollsDownWindowsManually
    Since I probably can't afford a bendy head for all of my dozen or so headphones, can anyone recommend a good type of foam to insert between the earpads during hanging/storage?
  15. Ableza
    Why do you need anything between the ear pads? Just hang them or lay them in a drawer.

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