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Drop + Dan Clark Audio Aeon Closed X Headphones
$479
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All of our reviews are from verified customers.
4.6
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31
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93%
would recommend to a friend
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Erenau
15
Sep 11, 2021
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Lifeless Sound. Textbook `measures great, sounds not so much` type of headphones
Few references to gauge yourself first: I listen to metal, rock, jazz, rap, quite a bit of pop and a little electronic but not much. Listened to these on apple dongle, THX AAA one, iFi Zen DAC V2. And have JBL LSR308 studio monitors in an untreated mid size room for my personal `natural` referance. (Other headphones i own 6XX, 58X, HE-X4, X2HR, DT770, Senn HD280, portapro, Creative Aurvana Live!, Koss GMR, Sony XM3, Bose QC25, AirPods Pro, Shure SE-215) TL;DR: Unfortunately these are classic case of great measuring headphones on the spec sheet on those magic 2-3 measurements and they sound okay at best. Music just doesn’t sound lively, right (or fun). And Aeon-X is not something i can call natural, EQ just does does not fix it either, played around plenty. Just trust many reviews out there saying they sound lifeless (dead?) (somewhat hollow?) Many headphone around $150-200 can outclass these. Just don’t buy these before you can hear them in person if you absolutely must. I’d suggest most people are better of with a DT770 PRO. Okay so bit of an optional back story first: I really, really wanted to have these because these were on the top of the list on Tyll’s Wall of Fame for closed backs. I have followed him almost 10 years ago now as a broke collage student and some entry level headphones he recommended, i really loved. I always dreamed of getting or at least trying some of the headphones he had on the top of his list. Anyway fast forward a long time, life happened and i totally forgot about the hobby until all these lockdowns and building my first PC, i wanted get a good headphone again, and the journey started again… Many headphone later i pulled the trigger on these after wanting something `high end` for a while. Starting with the build and comfort: Well they are really very good. Photos don’t do it justice to be honest. The black ring around the cups are metal and so is the hinge. Plastic and carbon fibre feels high quality and i don’t really have any issue with the headband system. As many people say, they disappear after few minutes of wearing them and i forget i am wearing headphones. I also should mention Drop version of these actually come with a really nice rubber cable, it’s excellent! I never personally had it, but it seems much better than that `dummer` cable DCA has. 2 issues with the build though. First is simple, the connector type. Why on earth someone like Dan Clark who started his business with modding headphone choose a connector that’s not industry standard and hard to find is beyond me. (Hoping that’s not to charge ridiculous when you need one, but it feels that way.) So not enjoy paying 10-15X more for a cable if you ever need one or want to run these balanced… Second one is the ear pads. First they are stuck on with an adhesive so no way to easy swap. Take them off and they are now garbage. But more annoyingly, the foam rolls inside the leather outer layer and it’s infuriating. The foam is not adhered fixed to the outer skin properly and too soft to keep it’s shape. And after wearing only a 2 weeks or so it’s close to impossible to fix it as the foam is permanently rolled/deformed. Dan Clark have a video showing the fix, makes it sound like it happens once in a blue moon, it’s ever single time you put the headphone on, and it affects the fit and feel. Also by extension of the goofy shape, that they made so it doesn’t put pressure to persons pinna, puts pressure right on the pinna???? Like it’s a flat line instead of going out and around the pinna? I just don’t get that and the shape just degrades the otherwise great comfort. Anyway now to the sound: Again reminder my `natural` reference JBL LSR305 studio monitors, and arguably a good one as many artist mix on similar speakers, so they are generally not too off from what they’d intended music to sound like. Starting with sub-bass: No complaints here, it’s great. I can actually tell to quite very low freq, like almost right down to 20 hz, which is impressive. (But so can Dt770) Low bass region is pretty good too. Mids: Starting from 150Hz however is where the problems start. There is just something about the sound in the low mids and mids that i have hard time trouble describing that’s missing. It’s like it’s almost kind of hollow? There is not crunch to the guitars in rock metal. (And yes i EQ’ed the 150hz dip on the graph) I have listened to MORGAN FREEMAN a million times through many, many speakers, including IMAX so I’d like to think i have an idea how it’s suppose to sound (on speakers that is). His voice is full, round, crunchy, crackling and satisfying. These headphones somehow manage to make it hollow and smooth (not in a good way) and unoriginal. I swear my Creative Aurvana Live!’s, which are what $60?, sound so much better, their mid bass is amazing. Again, this has nothing to do with the Frequency response graph, the issue is not mids `loudness` of these frequencies, it’s some other characteristics that i can’t put into words unfortunately. Upper mids are the same story with female vocals generally sounding somewhat hollow and losing all their original vibe that makes them special. Think how 6XX has that special mids, this is the opposite I’d say. Highs: Highs are actually fine just a bit harsh and not the good quality people usually define as `shimmer` But they aren’t too bad. Relatively detailed but nothing special. Honestly not even going to say anything about details retrieval, as i really think these are average at best and all headphones i have pretty much do as much. Instrument separation, again okay at best. DT770 does the same job But what i can tell you is these are missing the Macrodynamics. Overall: Don’t get me wrong they don’t sound horrible. They sound alright, but that’s it. Music is just not fun to listen compared to many other headphones, and certainly not worth $479. Not the same tonality but honestly DT770 is pretty close, especially with a few dB High-self filter they sound even better. That’s a $150 headphone… Quick comparisons: Closed backs: DT770: On par, close tonality and with a little EQ, I think DT770 can even be better overall sound and build wise. Creative Aurvana Live!: These are just make music sound lively and right. They are pretty close to what i hear from speakers with a tiny bit of V shape. CAL! is like anti-AEON Closed X. They just are a pleasure to listen to. Comparing to opens backs if that’s what you are also considering, Just get the 6XX or 58X, they are outright better, if you are okay with them being open back. Or Hifiman HE-X4 if you want planar detail and that planar bass SLAM. Those things become bass cannons if you EQ them so. Or X2HR, with a tiny bit of EQ on the high end to correct tonality, they transform into truely top tier territory, far superior than Aeon-X. I’d like to also add i am big fan off all other drop collabs and this is the first one i didn’t like. And returning is a bit of a pain since i am not in US, but Drop has been great about it and communication was also great. Eventually decided to keep them because the trouble of return and shipping costs weren’t worth it.
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Would not recommend to a friend.
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marts_sum
309
Sep 12, 2021
I love the look of these, but after getting the HE5xx I know I will find the sound dull. HE5XX are exciting and great with metal.
Erenau
15
Sep 13, 2021
Ah mate great to hear you are enjoying the HE5xx! I never heard HE5xx but I have the HE-X4 and I can confidently agree with you they sound great with metal, especially after a few simple EQ. They outclass these by a decent some and they are fun. All for 1/3 of the price!
Greendriver
0
Aug 17, 2021
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Lightweight with good isolation
Love these cans, which sound great even at low volumes. Need a quality amplifier to drive them properly
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Would recommend to a friend.
Ranker
9
Aug 13, 2021
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Great headphones. Can be used for anything from work to play.
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Would recommend to a friend.
similingsun
2
Aug 2, 2021
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Good headphones
the headphones need to be burn in with the recommended hours before they sound good especially the bass...nice n tight with good treble extension. But they need a good amp to get the best out of them.
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Would recommend to a friend.
ih8tickets
63
Jul 30, 2021
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Great Headphones
So where I'm coming from, kind of an audiophile, have a bunch of headphones from IEMs, customs to HD800S, was looking for closed headphones for cube farm at work, where I have noisy neighbors, current setup at work is Questyle CMA400i DAC/AMP with Audeze LCD2C with balanced cables driven from Roon on a Macbook. Anyway about the Aeons, really comfortable, light with good isolation, well built, I have 2 minor grumbles, I was hoping they would fold like the other Aeons but its my bad for not doing the research (but the case provided is good) , also there is some microphonics with the supplied cable which might be the splitter rubbing or the angle the cable exits. I may get another cable since I kind of want an XLR for my AMP. Overall pretty happy with the sound signature, they compare favorably with my other cans now they are broken in a bit. Bass is decent without being heavy and detail and resolution are good, smooth without being veiled, haven't played with the inserts yet. For the price I am a happy camper, also I really dislike on ears and any pressure generally on the pinna of my ears and these fit nicely and don't bother me when wearing glasses. So just to add to this as others have mentioned the headphones benefit from good amplification, I just received my balanced dummer cable from Dan Clark Audio and this really helps put some meat on the bones of the musical presentation vs single ended.
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bitskream
7
Jul 23, 2021
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Really responsive plus plenty of low-end
I’ve been looking to upgrade my headphone rig for a while, having mostly used a J3 DAP with an O2 amp and Fidelio X2HR. My rig now comprises a Topping D30Pro & A30Pro. They really brought out the best in the open-backed X2HRs, but I wanted a pair of closed backs, and after exhaustive research concluded that the Dan Clark Aeon RT should be at the top of my list. Then I found the Drop X closed to be identical. Right from the get-go they sounded great, and I have listened to a wide variety if genres from Bowie, to Miles Davis, Rebecca Pidgeon, to Bob Marley, loads of Zenon Records dark progressive psytrance, Fleet Foxes, Sting, Brian Eno and more. In the last two weeks, I’ve now easily surpassed the recommended break-in period, and they sound even better. Freqency response is as good as the technical reviews suggest it would be. Low end is robust and delivered with punch and without boominess. In Zenonesque psy, where producers obsess over transients, kicks, space and sound design, the Aeons deliver everything that I could wish for with precision and presence. The soundstage is super surprising for closed backs - not quite what I get with the X2s, but the isolation and other characteristics easily surpass the overall experience I get with those. I’m now streaming from my NAS using Neutron Player on several mobile devices and have also now added Amazon HD into the mix which is pretty good too! I highly recommend that you audition these if you are in the market for some great closed backs that are not at an insane price point. The topping x30Pro stack is awesome too!
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Would recommend to a friend.
Ja-Tech
2
Jul 20, 2021
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Outstanding Resolution
Advantages It has the best resolution in the same price range. If you are looking for this level of resolution in other headphones, you will have to pay over $1000. It's closed-back headphone but staging and sound is very natural like open type headphone. Disadvantages it sounds as if the bass is lacking because of the dip around 100Hz.
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Would recommend to a friend.
theblackdawnr3
3
Jul 17, 2021
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Great with emphasized treble
These are the best closed backs I’ve used for gaming. Very good imaging (directionality and positioning) great mids with bass not quite as plentiful as I’d like it to be and treble a little more plentiful than I’d like (Dreams by Fleetwood Mac is a little uncomfortable.). Great for gaming and good for long listening sessions at medium volume.
SXL1
48
Jul 11, 2021
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Great closed back planar headphones
I really needed some headphones I could use without sound leaking out and disturbing people around me or feeding back into a microphone. I personally like them without the foam/felt inserts and don't find the highs to be too harsh or fatiguing. I haven't had many good closed back headphones but these come closest to sounding like an open back set. They are kind of hard to drive so make sure you've got a good amp. Build quality is great, using titanium and carbon fiber to keep weight down. I appreciate that they come with a case.
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Would recommend to a friend.
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SonnieDelight
3
Jul 8, 2021
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Their pretty Good
Can’t really complain about build quality cause they are built nice and sturdy. The only complaint I have is sound… they are lacking some type of energy, I have used them on my THX Monolith portable amp paired with Fiio BTR5 and there wasn’t enough power to push these guys, so I tried my Mojo paired with Hiby R3 Pro Saber and it powers them nicely but still lacking something, I guess in time I will figure it out, but in all… they are a fine pair of headphones. overall I’m satisfied with them, would I recommend them? Not to sure, To early to say , they might need a burn in period like I’ve heard. Guess I’ll put them on my Schiit Stack for a few.
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Would recommend to a friend.
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