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They might be Kings: Focal Utopia, Sony MDR-Z1R, HiFiMan Susvara, HE1000 V2, MrSpeakers Ether Flow & Meze Empyrean

Discussion in 'Currawong' started by currawong, Mar 6, 2017.
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  1. Currawong Contributor
    I'm going to be checking out the new MrSpeakers cans in a few weeks. They might be the answer. 
    Out of interest though, I brought my Hugo upstairs and had a last listen with the Sony. It seems to be a good match, balancing out the sound very well, if it can't quite do justice to the bass that they are capable of.
  2. Neo Zuko

    And the Hugo 2 can only be better.

    Primarily based on your review, comments from Jude, and other forum posts, I added the HE1000 V2 to my Amazon wish list as my open-back planar magentic option. After researching it seems there is no better planar magentic option. Reports say they are lighter and more comfortable than any flagship Audeze, are more resolving for less, and even seem to beat out MrSpeakers Ether Flow for detail and on overall sound signature uniqueness. But as you say the HE1000 V2 is not as well rounded as the Ether Flow on build quality, maybe pure neutrality, and being easy to drive. And the HE1000 V2 takes a mighty amp to get there. But I wager the Pass Labs HPA-1 I plan on buying can tackle them nicely. However, I probably will not be able to use them with the WM1A Walkman.

    Now I just need a portable closed-back headphone and my proposed headphone wish list is complete. I hope the new MrSpeakers headphones you mentioned come through. I can't wait for your review.

    When I get all this gear, which admittingly will take a bit of time, I also want to do some YouTube videos on them. You are my gold standard reference on YouTube headphone reviews along with Tylar from Inner Fidelity and Jude from Head-Fi. Although initially I'll be at a disadvantage as I'm research heavy and somewhat lacking in extensive demo / comparison experience.
  3. BunnyNamedCraig

    I recommend making sure all your variables are cut down to a minimum (as you would expect),be it both SE or running both balanced ect. Take a piece of music you know well and listen to about 10 seconds of something listening to that section for bass, mids, highs specifically, and then A/B the next can listening for the same specific thing. The longer segment you use the more difficult it is to recall back. Make it easy on your self and use a short segment. When it comes to A/B (at least for me) patience is a virtue.... it's not easy for me to go back and forth a million times and analyze. But with dealing in research i bet your a patient dude. Good luck and have fun with it!!

    Also if anyone has any tips for A/B that they would like to share feel free to PM me. I am trying to get better at it my self, so I can make sure I am evaluating properly.
  4. Neo Zuko

  5. jscmd2000
    How was your comparison of Z1R and Ether C Flow?  What is your final verdict?  Very curious...
  6. BunnyNamedCraig

    I am waiting on our one guy to edit the video but he is super busy so I know it will take time sending it out... I haven't seen it yet so I was curious how I did ha. But anyways I prefer the Z1R due to its more pronounced bass and how well the bass is done (good extension and also tight). There is also a quality to the Z1R sound that feels more 3D to me, or extra body to the music. I dont get that with the Ether Flow C. The flow c is more neutral to begin with, so whatever the tuning is for the Z1R I really dig it.

    The build of both are excellent and major kudos to Dan at mr speakers for the NitTinol headband... he came to our store to have a casual sit down and talk with customers in Dec. during that talk he said that when he wanted to use that metal for the design of the Ether, he had to give specifications to a company working with the metal and then they would send him the headband back. He said he had to go back and forth with them until it was exactly what he wanted. So the development of headband was expensive... I think the fruits of his labor paid off and the thing is built to last, and the flexibility is awesome. I wanted to tell that story in my video but I was just throwing things off the top of my head and trying to flow the best I could... I just think it's cool to hear about development!

    The Ether Flow is more difficult to drive compared to the Z1R, but by no shape is it difficult in the grand scheme of things. If you were to get either headphone I would hope that they would be properly amped and DACed...

    The Ether may have better exentsion in the highs, or the slightly dark characteristic of the Z1R may make it seem like it doesn't extend as high. Does that make sense? Some songs I thought the Ether extended more and others I didn't. Maybe Currawong could comment on his opinion of this.

    When it comes to synergy with equipment I had no problems with the amps/DACs I was using. Aka nothing seemed to make the Z1R too dark or the Ether too bright ect. (The Ether is not a bright can, just saying). The best match that I thought was the Z1R with the Sony TA-ZH1ES. This was to be expected though ha. I also really liked the CMA800i from Questyle with both cans. I use the Questlye combo the most with all cans I A/B.

    Before I forget I want to say that I think people might like the Ether Flow C for classical more since I tend to anazlyze more with that can, and also it staying more neutral... the Z1R on the other hand I feel is more musical in comparison. That may be a stereotype of classical listeners so correct me if I am wrong! Hope this helps at all

    BillOhio and jscmd2000 like this.
  7. jscmd2000
    Thank you for that, it was very helpful.  I will look forward to the video.
    I do listen to classical a lot, probably about half of the time.   If I do decide on the Z1R's, I am definitely getting the PHA-2A.  In fact, this will be a good alternative to the Mojo, maybe some potential to be better with the balanced output. 
  8. Neo Zuko
    I read up on the MrSpeakers Aeon thread. I take it back, perhaps a closed-back planar magnetic can be exciting and neutral. Now I really can't wait for the official reviews.

    The Aeon will round off my headphone purchase plan, barring any new entries:

    01. Focal Utopia (open-back dynamic)

    02. MrSpeakers Ether Flow (open-back planar magnetic)

    03. Sony MDR-Z1R (closed-back dynamic)

    04. MrSpeakers Aeon (closed-back planar magnetic portable)

    05. Noble Kaiser Encore Wizard Edition (IEM super portable)

    They might be kings indeed (although my list is somewhat different). It's a nice lot, something for every occasion. I doubt I'll ever NEED much more. Want, perhaps a different story. The Aeon was the missing link for sure - a good closed can for on the go. Still a tad big still but doable. And I see myself buying the Aeon first in fact. Thanks again for turning me onto them Currawong. It's ether that or rebuy the Oppo PM-3. The PM-3 is still awesome but as I've said just a tad too polite and I've been there owned that already. I wish I could get in on the Aeon first 250 sold discount but my wallet says my first headphone purchase is definitely summer. And it told me to deal with it lol.

    And yes, I switched the HE1000 V2 pick to the MrSpeakers Ether Flow. The awesome design of the memory metal headband, the overall build quality, the ease of driving them, the cheaper price, and that they are great all-rounders won me over.
  9. BunnyNamedCraig
    Here is my video for a comparison between the Z1R and Ether Flow C I didn't cover all that I wanted to, but it was the first time I made a video so bare with me... ha
  10. Neo Zuko

    I want those red manikin heads so much.

    I also want to like the Sony desktop headphone amp... it seems perfect in many regards. But how good is the preamp output? I've read online somewhere the analog input is not as good as the digital input to headphone output. And someone else liked it better as just a DAC. So I wonder about the design balance of the product. Or maybe some are just not as satisfied compared to other high end, much higher priced options. So while it looks awesome with that Pentaconn output and fancy DAC solution (I've always had a soft spot for high end Sony gear) I'd have to demo for myself to make sure.
  11. BunnyNamedCraig
    great question and honestly I don't have any experience with using it's pre amp function so I don't want to give you false information or opinion. I wonder if anyone here could elaborate on the matter? I really like the DAC and amp section and the paring with the Z1R. It really brings the best qualities out of the headphone.
  12. danieldpagan

    Yeah the Ether Flow price is much better than the HEK v2. Don't get me wrong the he1000 v2 is fantastic and I love how much more air it has than the Ether Flow but unless you love the seperation/air/sound signature that much then I don't think it's worth it. The Ether Flow with electrostatic speakers sounds similar in a way and holds its own against it while being more than $1000 cheaper.

    If money ain't a thing then I would highly recommend looking into the HE1000v2 (I think the ethers are better than the v1). Otherwise the Ethers are a strong buy which kinda sounds ridiculous at its price lol.
  13. Neo Zuko

    That's why I want to use the Hugo 2 as the DAC and the HPA-1 as the amp. I want the best out of both my DAC and headphone amp / preamp sections. The fact that I can detach the Hugo 2, go to Starbucks with a laptop is a bonus. And it's cool that the Hugo 2 has a remote. It's also playing to each companies primary strengths.
  14. Neo Zuko

    Totally agree, on paper of course. Even though I'm gunning for the Aeons for portablitliy, I have to admit the Ether Flow C is the best looking headphone in MrSpeakers lineup (for me). However, the coolest looking headphone period (IMHO) is the Sony MDR-Z1R.
  15. danieldpagan

    Yeah the carbon fiber is sick. I dont care if people say it looks too simple. The z1r does scream quality though. One of the best built headphones ever though I'm still not sure if I like the way they look. Its like 2 giant nipples sticking out from the side of your head.
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