Drop + Dan Clark Audio Aeon Open X Headphones
Drop + Dan Clark Audio Aeon Open X Headphones
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Product Description
We’ve partnered with Dan Clark Audio (formerly MrSpeakers) to improve a remarkable and well-regarded pair of planar open-back headphones. Introducing the Aeon Open X: our take on the Aeon Flow Open.
Here's what our community has to say
All of our reviews are from verified customers.
4.3
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3
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Oyuki
3
Jan 14, 2020
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I'm sorry that it's really good, but only one.
I hear sibilance when female vocals sing in the frequency band (9k-11kHz). Those who like the treble may buy it. Photos added. https://drop.com/talk/29550/she-is-a-small-face?utm_source=linkshare&referer=5RGZ2R (powered by Google translate)
(Edited)
Jan 14, 2020
hi123
2
Jan 15, 2020
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I had a similar issue. Try the default white pad and the soft black pads combined. Greatly reduces treble intensity while increasing low end
(Edited)
Jan 15, 2020
Oyuki
3
Jan 17, 2020
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Thank you for a good suggestion. When I actually tried it, it sounded muddy overall. With the default pads, the treble appeal of this product is halved. I would use EtherCX purchased during the sale if I use AeonOpenX with padding. (powered by Google translation)
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Jan 17, 2020
angstroms
29
Jan 4, 2020
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Great feel, incredible sound even before full break in. Very nice sound stage with clean separation of vocals and instruments Note after 2 days of break in. dialing in filters ( none ) and the CEntrance DACport HD, ( High Gain) and figuring out what level volume need to get headphone to open up. Note I found many amp would just plateau. Now DACport HD is not perfect some EDM ( Moby, etc ) song will clip on DAC/AMP at volume. I wondered into an old album from the Squirrel Nut Zippers, "Hot". ( 1996). The third song "Memphis Exorcism" with beautiful Trumpet solos, kick and snare holding time with a upright bass thumping away, then guitar sliding in, AEON has sold solid separation with engaging detail and staging. Then the 7th song "Hell" rolls in with another the trumpet solo just draw you in, with Vocal and background singers make you feel like you down at Elephant room in Austin. Next big surprise was Taj Mahal's "Dust My Broom". the Harmonica feels like you blowing it , drums are holding time to the left and guitar is next to you. Walter "Wolfman" Washington "Save Your Love for Me" his deep vocal just layer forward over brooding jazz cords Tom Petty "Free Fallen". wow another great song on the Aeon. Love vocal, guitar, drums and separation, as back ground vocal slip in. This one staying in the collection, but I would recommend good DAC and higher power Headphone Amplifier. Example where you could use little more juice, U2's "Cedars of Lebanon" opening organ clips the CEntrance DACportHD. Update it works fantastic with the Xduoo XD05 Plus DAC/AMP, it really opens up the headset.
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Would recommend to a friend.
(Edited)
Jan 4, 2020
Helpbot
225
Jan 15, 2020
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Did you mean to day Ananda has details in abundance? You mentioned comparing the too so I was wondering if it was a typo
Jan 15, 2020
angstroms
29
Jan 15, 2020
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I dropped that line now in text above. They both really have good detail, but I give Ananda has the edge at all volume of music. Aeon X is warmer, when you go back to the Ananada it can sound little drier. Now both headphone even though they low Ohm, they really need better amp pull the detail out of them. I finally have amp with enough current (mA) to support Aeon X, note it lot hungrier for current then the Ananda. The Headphone which is more efficient than Ananda is Focal Elex, this another topic. Sound stage is bigger on the Ananda and Elex, Perl Jam "Rival" proves this. Right now I say the Mid-fi Headphone space is pretty special, At the top Focal Elex/Elear and Hifiman Ananda are working to take top crown, each are fantastic on there own right. Then there is specialist Aeon X if you want something more intimate for vocals with solid detail and instrument separation. One update I have the XDO5 Plus amp and DAC with AK4493, I will soon have a TCA HPA-1 amp https://www.tomchr.com which I am really looking forward too to open up headphones more, leave them bare as they say...
Jan 15, 2020
Zilfallion
120
Dec 26, 2019
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Preface: I wrote the vast majority of this review last Thursday, my fourth day with these headphones(I got them last Monday). Editted it Friday and gave it to Drop. Have had these almost a week since I wrote the review and stand by the majority of what I said. There's a few things I've tweaked here compared to what'll be up on Drop.com, but nothing major. I'm not being compensated for the review, and I'm sending the unit back into Drop tomorrow. So to start with a bit about my preferences. I really like forward vocals, especially female vocals. I'm fairly treble tolerant when it comes to peaks, and in general prefer my treble relatively neutral. I think my HD 6XX has really skewed my perception of lower-mids, so that's something to keep in mind. Most of my references will be coming from my fairly worn-in Sennheiser HD6XX, with a few references to the Koss ESP/95X and Focal Elex I tried for a week very recently. I do not own and have not heard an Aeon Flow before, so I do not know if there's any difference between the regular Aeon Flow and the Aeon Flow X. Having now seen the Drop page for them, it does seem like at least the pads are changed and some of the damping. Packaging: I'm assuming a lot of the packaging is stuff Dan had leftover from before the name change from MrSpeakers to Dan Clark Audio as the sticker on the box on my review unit says MrSpeakers, and the headphone case inside also says MrSpeakers. The box isn't particularly anything special, which I don't mind if it saves some cost. I do like that it at least has a magnet to keep the box closed. The case is nice. Fits the headphones rather well with enough room in a pocket to throw the cable and potentially a few other accessories. I expect we might see a small change in the naming as the existing stock of the old runs out. Build Notes: The cable seems to use the same connectors as I see many other Dan Clark Audio(Formerly MrSpeakers) headphones use. They do lock-in rather securely and are also very easy to remove, but will make finding an aftermarket cable a fair bit harder. The cable's y-split is rather far down. I would have liked for it to be about eight inches higher, as I think that would have also helped on the cable microphonics which is not great and rather noticeable above the y-split. It terminates with a 3.5mm plug and a screw-on 6.3mm adapter. I am a fan of this solution personally over a plain 6.3mm plug. The headband is super flexible, the strap could be replaced fairly easily from the look of things if need be or desired. There is no creaking that I can hear from these, which is nice. My kitchen scale that's not the most accurate, but good enough for my pizza dough weigh these in at 334 grams without the cable. Comfort: I like these for the most part. The pads are sufficiently large enough and deep enough my ears don't touch anything while also being rather soft. I like the feel of leather-type pads over velour most of the time(just a personal thing). They don't feel super heavy. The weight is fairly well distributed on the headband. The clamp isn't too high once you adjust the strap's position a little, but does give it a decent grip. My ears do get a little bit warm over long sessions, which is to be fairly expected with leather pads. The strap has a texture on the bottom of it that has a fair bit of grip to it. Once you put it on your head, it doesn't slide around without bringing your hair with it. If you want to adjust the strap back on your head a little you should probably lift the entire headphone a little and reseat if you don't want to mess up your hair. I didn't find it to be a significant issue, but it's worth noting. One rather important thing to note though is the pressure you get from a sealed front-volume on planars like this. Getting used to this coming from headphones with very open front volumes has taken some time and one of the main reasons I've had to take short breaks from the headphones. It's something I've gotten used to. By the fourth day, it stopped bothering me nearly as much as it did the first day and is much less noticeable. They're nice and secure for front and back headbanging, they shift just a little but not too much when you headbang decently strong. Side to side head shakes do cause them to wobble around a bit due to the flexible headband, but they still stay on your ears. My glasses don't really seem to affect the seal much at all on these headphones, but they aren't particularly large frames that I've been wearing for years and have slightly indented my head in some spots. Isolation and Leakage: This headphone kind of surprised me here. It isolates noticeably more than my HD6XX. It's harder to notice someone talking to you from another room or that UPS came to deliver a package with this pair on, especially once you have some music going. This isolation does make your voice speaking also sound a little weird, but anyone who uses IEMs or earplugs a bit will be used to that. Somehow it also leaks sound quite a bit as well. With my HD6XX at a reasonable volume, I can put them down on my desk and barely hear them. With the Aeon Flow X at a similar volume, I can set them down on my desk, walk ten feet over to my door and still hear them. People nearby will definitely hear what you're listening to. Sources I used: The vast bulk of my listening was through a JDS Labs The Element(first generation), fed by either Foobar2000 local .flac files or Spotify Premium with quality settings maxed. They do require a fair bit more power than their impedance alone would suggest due to their rather low sensitivity, though not quite as much as my HD 6XX need. I did briefly test them off a Samsung Galaxy S5, A50, iPhone 5, and LG V30. All of which got them to a fairly loud level, though the iPhone 5 seemed to be a little quieter than the rest. Personally, I'd be fine using these headphones off of any of these long term. Bass: The bass is really well extended on these. It doesn't seem quite perfectly flat, but the sub-bass is quite clearly audible in songs. Bass also sounds a lot cleaner than when boosting up the HD 6XX's sub-bass to get it somewhat close in level. I like just a little bit more of a mid-bass bump than these have, but after an adjustment period found they didn't really need it. Mids: They're very clear, but tilting to the warm side in the lower mids. They don't seem quite as warm as my worn-in HD 6XX's lower mids are, but close. The upper mids are just a bit more relaxed than the HD 6XX's rather forward upper mids. A little bit more on the upper mids later as we transition into the treble. Filters primer: Before getting into this, I want to mention the included tuning filters. These affect primarily treble response as far as I can tell. The differences between filters are not incredibly large, but they are slightly different. Most of my listening was done with the 1-notch and 2-notch white felt filters. Will go into a bit more depth after the treble. Treble: These are a little bit on the darker side when it comes to the treble in general compared to my HD 6XX. Not by a lot, but noticeable. There's a noticeable dip between 2.6kHz and 4kHz, and then there's a rise around 7kHz up to a peak around 7.8kHz This comes down fairly quick afterward by around 8.5kHz then another but much smaller peak around 11.2kHz and drops off a bit after that. All according to my ears and sine sweeps. The 2.6-4kHz dip is the thing I find my focus on the most. I am not personally a fan of dips around 4kHz. To my ears they make certain female vocalists seem just a little bit dull. Nightwish's Elan is the song I always see one of the biggest differences from correcting dips in this area. Fixing that dip with EQ just always seems to bring the vocal image just slightly up and out of the rest of the instrumentation to give it more clarity. The 7.8kHz peak I found was high enough in frequency to not cause any sibilance. Resolution and detail were quite good on the chimes in Erutan's The Willow Maid. Overall a little bit lower than neutral treble level, but the detail was still there and clearly audible. Filters: The filters are important. With them, the 7.8kHz treble peak is much less noticeable in music. You'll still hear it in sine sweeps, but all of them really take a lot of the perceived sharpness out of that peak. Overall, I didn't find them immensely different, with the changes between filters being rather small and mostly about how much treble you get. Most of my filter comparisons included swapping to both of the same filters for a time as well as putting one filter of one type in one ear, and one filter of the other type in the other ear, and setting my output to Mono so I can more easily hear the differences. The included card telling you about them does match my general feelings in how much they damp. In order of most damping to least damping, 1-Notch White Felt, Black Foam, Black Felt, 2-Notch White felt. 1-Notch white felts are put in when you get them. I feel like these make them just a little too dark for me. The black felt and black foam attenuate slightly less in general, but it felt like too small a difference. The 2-Notch filters seemed like they made the 2.6-4kHz dip seem the least obvious, though for some reason in this specific area it felt like the black foams made the dip just a little less obvious than the black felts, despite the felts damping less. I still found myself relying on EQ to fix that area. Around 5.5kHz, the black felt and foam did feel just very very slightly elevated compared to the white felts. One area of concern with mixing and matching filters is their total width. The black foams, in particular, are just barely thick enough that the edge of my ear rests just against them, but none of the other filters are thick enough on their own to be an issue for me, however, if you start combining them because you want a darker sound signature, you might start to feel them. I don't think this will be an issue for most people though. Just to reiterate though, a lot of these differences are really small and I spent a lot of time trying to find differences in them other than the general volume level and shift of the central imagine when using different filters in each ear. Soundstage: They pan to the sides just a little bit wider than my HD 6XX's rather small soundstage. They aren't as tall of a stage as the Koss ESP/95X were though. Imaging seems to be quite accurate in Vermintide for special enemy spotting, my typical gaming test. Dynamics: This is something that's always brought up in discussions about MrSpeakers' headphones. To my ears, yes, there is just a bit of dynamic compression. They lack the impact and punch of something like the Elex but aren't significantly more compressed than my HD 6XX. I notice this mostly on quieter volumes. The overall darker nature of these and the lack of a more distinct midbass hump do seem to slightly contribute to this. At higher volumes, I didn't find the compression to be that bad, especially with a slight bump to midbass from EQ. It's still audible though. Equalizing: So what I settled on that let me like these a bit more than stock was a +3dB boost at 120Hz Q:1.2, +3dB boost at 3.2kHz Q:3, and 7.8kHz -3dB Q:5. Small adjustments, but enough to shift it a bit more into my preferences. Conclusions then: They're a solidly built comfortable headphone. I enjoyed them while I had them as they were something new and different. After finishing my review, I honestly kept using these instead of switching back to my HD 6XX. Mostly for the better comfort. These were great for watching things like movies or shows with the much better bass extension. I didn't like these quite as much for music. The upper mids and treble are just a little more recessed than I personally like combined with that slight compressed sound to them meant they just weren't for me. I still think they're good headphones, just not what I'm looking for as an upgrade.
(Edited by moderator jssullivan)
Dec 26, 2019
Adorni
32
Jan 7, 2020
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It isn't impression, this is information from the producer
Jan 7, 2020
DizzyFred
5
Jan 13, 2020
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Great review man!
Jan 13, 2020