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Resolve
90
Nov 29, 2021
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As of writing this, it seems they're out of stock - but let me say that these are worth taking note of for when they come back in stock. In particular it's because they have one of the best tunings of any closed-back headphone at any price... period. Drop was kind enough to send them over to me for a review, which you can check out here: https://youtu.be/MRD9c4qSJbI But I'll add my written notes and measurements here as well for both the Open and Closed (I like the Closed better). Measurements done on the GRAS 43AG-7 with KB5000 anthropometric pinna. Closed: No Filter
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Open: No filter
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Notes:
  • These are generally pleasant tunings for both - but the Closed is better in my opinion.
  • The Aeon X Open has better and smoother treble, while the Aeon X Closed has better/cleaner bass and lower mids.
  • The Aeon X Open is considerably warmer/thicker - but once again the treble is very agreeable
  • Driver resonance frequency (Fs) is around 400 - 500hz on both (very high)
  • Both have significant driver damping, which is expected for this form factor - it’s how you get the tuning the way you want it, but that comes at the cost of the intangibles.
  • Both are very tight and quick sounding for the initial leading edge with good instrument separation, but also walk the line as far as blunting the trailing ends of tones. The Aeon X Open is on the wrong side of that for me, but the Aeon X Closed is on the right side of it and sounds sufficiently resolving. I do not recommend using the foam tuning inserts as they blunt the trailing ends of tones even further.
  • Both have some of the softest macrodynamics or contrast I’ve ever heard, for better or worse - kind of like a ‘pillow filter’ to the whole thing. If you’re wondering about what all this macro contrast stuff is, these headphones are the perfect examples of the ‘softer’ side. The Open is particularly interesting in this case because it sounds somewhat dynamically constrained to me, even though it’s significantly boosted in the upper bass and lower mids, yet again pointing to this quality not being presently available in frequency response (although I remain open-minded on that front if someone can identify some consistency there).
  • Staging isn’t particularly noteworthy on both, not as good as on the Aeon 2 Noire, but still no major issues with things sounding too tight or claustrophobic or anything like that.
In general, I think the only reason I would get the Aeon X Open over the HiFiMAN Sundara (2020) would be for something warmer and thicker sounding, and perhaps for form factor reasons. With that said, without EQ, the Aeon X Open has the kind of tuning that does really well for rock and metal genres - or anything that's a bit more aggressive. The Aeon X Closed on the other hand is solid all around for its tuning, being a bit more neutral and sounds great with just about everything I throw at it, and it’s going to go on my strongly recommended list for closed-back headphones under $500 - especially for those who want that planar instrument separation and incisiveness, and don’t mind a softer presentation.
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Would recommend to a friend.
Nov 29, 2021
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