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Drop + Dan Clark Audio Aeon Open X Headphones

Drop + Dan Clark Audio Aeon Open X Headphones

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Customer Reviews

(166 reviews)
94% would recommend to a friend
By Feature
Build Quality
Music GenresPopular among reviewers
ActivitiesPopular among reviewers
Aug 9, 2023
Activities:Casual Listening
Music Genres:Country, Electronic, Hip-hop, Metal, Pop, Rock
checkVerified Buyer
Very good headphone
really enjoy it
Recommends this product? Yes
Jul 22, 2023
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Great. Better than the Closed X
A lot of reviewers suggest the closed are more accurate and technically better. I disagree. There’s something thin and brittle about the midrange of the Closed X that completely ruins guitar tone, significantly altering it. The Open X do not suffer from this at all - although they do have more treble extension than I’d like - again a lot of headphones do this to chase detail at the expense of tonal accuracy. However, using the pad recommendations of Z from YouTube (the default white plus the soft foamy black as a combo) these sound pretty awesome. I don’t like to EQ as I use these on multiple devices, including direct monitoring of guitar through a mixer. Some music can still sound a little too bright, but for the most part these become well balanced without sacrificing detail. Guitars in particular (I’m a guitarist) sound terrific, as do vocals. I returned the Closed X, sold the HD6xx, kept the Open X. Other headphones I’ve owned before these include: Noble K10u, Ether C, LCD2, HD6xx (twice but never liked), AirPods Max, RS1i, DT880 Pro (twice, nice but spikey), and a host of different IEMs from Shure, Westone, etc. The only issue I have is that despite being soft, with fairly light clamping pressure, and being open back, these still somehow cause a bit of clamping pressure after half an hour and need to be shifted around or taken off for a bit, and they get hot. Far more comfortable than the Ether C, HD6xx (terrible), LCD2 (heavy) and APMax (heavy).
Recommends this product? Yes
Apr 18, 2023
checkVerified Buyer
high quality build / very comfortable / very clean sound / well worth the price
I'm really enjoying them. They are very comfortable, light and the sound is balanced with a clean strong planar bass (they need to be EQ'ed to harman target first though). I'm so impressed with them that I'm going to buy the closed version next, which reviewers like Resolve and DMS say is a superior version. Pros
  • They are very well made using a combination of metal and high quality plastic
  • They have the best stock earpads I've ever had
  • They need EQ but after applying oratory1990's harman_over-ear_2018 profile the sound is well balanced with a strong clean planar bass.
  • very comfortable
  • They need to be EQ'ed to harman target
Recommends this product? Yes
Apr 14, 2023
Activities:Casual Listening
Music Genres:Rock
checkVerified Buyer
Well worth the money
These punch well above the cost. They are a little current happy. A decent ballanced amp really makes the fat lady sing.
Recommends this product? Yes
Apr 3, 2023
Music Genres:Jazz, Pop, Rock
checkVerified Buyer

Recommends this product? No
Mar 10, 2023
checkVerified Buyer
One of the most comfortable headphones
Before I bought these I already had the closed x and those are my favorite closed back headphones I own, so I bought these when they were on sale to give myself an open back version of it. When I first put them on I thought they sounded horrible, especially compared to the closed back, then I took out the tuning filters and they sounded so much better to me. However, I personally still think the closed x are better then the open x. Also the Aeons are definitely some of the most comfortable headphones out there.
Recommends this product? Yes
Mar 5, 2023
checkVerified Buyer
Outstanding comfortable
These Headphones are the most comfortable of all ... light weight and perfect fit. Soundwise they are a bit more close than i expected. So its more for music than for gaming.
Recommends this product? Yes
Mar 2, 2023
checkVerified Buyer
The review was originally published on our website - Twister6. Direct link to the Aeon Open X and Aeon Closed X Dual Review - DROP + Dan Clark Audio Aeon Open X & Aeon Closed X @ Twister6

Since this was published as a dual review, I talk about Closed X quite a lot in this review too.

PROS: One of most comfortable headphones designs in the world, excellent build quality for the price, highly attractive design, good selection of materials for parts, extremely comfortable earpads and headband design with ideal clamp force. North of neutral fuller bodied presentation for people who like fuller sounding laid-back headphones. CONS: Extra airy upper-treble boosts though fun could've been lower in both headphones to make for more neutral headphones and in line with reference tuning. Open X - Needs a wide band cut from 60-500Hz to sound in line with reference accuracy as it otherwise adds a bit of boom, bloom and mud.

Technical Specifications.
  • Drop + Dan Clark Audio
  • Open-back headphones
  • Individually serialized
  • Drivers: V-Planar planar magnetic, matched +/- 1.5 dB 30 Hz–5 kHz
  • Efficiency: 94dB/mW
  • Impedance: 13 ohms
  • Headband material: NiTinol memory metal
  • Ear cup material: Plastic frame, genuine carbon fiber inserts
  • Earpad material: Japanese protein leather (removable)
  • Input connector: Hirose 4-pin
  • Cable: DUMMER 4-pin (3.5 mm) to ¼ in (6.35 mm) , 6'5" (2 m) long
  • Weight (without cable): 11.5 oz (326 g)
  • Made in San Diego, CA

In the box.
  • Headphones
  • Carrying case
  • DUMMER cable with 1/4” termination
  • Tuning foam inserts
  DROP's collaborative changes. As per DROP, they listened closely to Aeon Open X's predecessors and inputs from their community of audiophiles to create this collaboration model. Experimenting with the dampening paper covering the drivers, DROP opted to use fewer plys, creating a more even tone. To add a bit more air and extension, they used the same partially fenestrated earpads featured on the Aeon Flow 2, minimizing sound reflection back into the ear. This resulted in a wider and clearer audio presentation. Build Quality and Design. Both Aeon Open X and Closed X have the same ear cup and headband design and fit, and the main difference between them is one being an open back and the other a closed back. Both have high quality plastic ear cups but the Open X has a nice honeycomb grill design while the Closed X has a nice carbon fibre plate design. The headband is made of Nitinol (Nickel and Titanium), which is widely used in the dentistry for braces and as files to clean and shape the root canals during the root canal procedure. The headpad is made of leather is quite comfortable. The ear pads are made of Japanese protein leather and are removable. They follow the shape of the ear cups, designed to the shape of an ear and are well padded for a comfortable wearing experience. Cable - Both headphones come with 2m cable with Hirose push pull connectors, 3.5mm jack and a 3.5mm to 1/4" adapter. The cable is soft and does its job. No complaints there. I just wish they had included a balanced cable as stock. Case - I really dig the Dan Clark headphone cases and this stock case is no different. It fits the headphones and has a pouch for the cable too. Fit and Comfort. I think every headphone manufacturer should learn from Dan Clark and make their ear cups to the shape of an ear! The earpads engulf the whole ear and are very well cushioned. Both the headphone are extremely comfortable and have one of the best headphone wearing experiences. They are light, the ear cups are well padded for one's ear to not touch the driver assembly and the headband has just the right amount of clamp force for them to remain comfortable for hours on an end. All in all, this is one of the best headphone designs in the world in my opinion. Sound Analysis.
Drivability - Aeon Open X and Closed X have an impedance of 13Ω and 12.5Ω respectively and are extremely easy to drive from even the SE outputs of DAPs, smartphones and laptops. Though I'd recommend using a nice source to get the best performance out of both headphones. Summary -  Open X is a fun tuned, fuller bodied presentation with a mid-bass boost and lesser sub-bass presence in comparison, around 5dB north of neutral boost in the 250-500Hz of lower-midrange which adds extra fatness and body to instruments, fairly clean and neutral 500-1kHz, forward upper-midrange with around 8-9dB of ear gain and fairly neutral lower and upper-treble presentation. The mid-bass and lower-midrange fullness take it away from reference accuracy and makes for a presentation that has a bit of veil but in turn also make for an easy laid back listen. Let's dig in deeper... Bass - Open X focusses on a 5db mid-bass boost for extra punch over sub-bass rumble. It being an open-back design, the sub-bass reach isn't the best and I can perceive a slight roll-off, primarily when comparing it to the mid-bass boost. The mid-bass oriented signature adds in boom, which may and may not be a good thing depending on your preferences. Reference heads would surely like to see this region cleaner and neutral but it does make for a signature than you can listen to at slightly loud levels for some fun with it ever coming across as intrusive. I personally would've like this region to be more neutral as the rest of the region, 500Hz and above, is extremely well tuned with a very clean and reference approach. Midrange - Open X has added warmth because of the boosted mid-bass and 250-500Hz region of lower-midrange. This makes it a nice warm headphone that fans of fuller midrange will really like but also adds a bit of veil and bloom to an otherwise very well done signature. This fuller instrument body can be seen as addition of some romantic musical flavour for a nice and easy laid back listen but reference heads will take issue as it makes mixes sound slightly muddy and not as clean/neutral. The upper-midrange is quite well done otherwise. It has around 8-9db of ear gain which makes for a very nice and well defined forward definition of instruments. For me, a reference head, a wide EQ cut in the 60-500Hz range starts bringing Open X to perfection. Treble - Open X's lower-treble is extremely well done. It is very neutral and clean, which is even more appreciable if you turn the mid-bass and lower-midrange down a bit. Upper-treble is slightly airier than neutral with an airy boost around 16kHz, with very good extension till 20kHz. Technical performance - Even with the warm-ish sound signature, Open X has impressive technical performance for the asking price. The boosted 60-500Hz does take away from absolutely good imaging and the soundstage it is capable of producing but it still has a well rounded soundstage, which is very slightly on the intimate side depth wise because of boosted mid-bass and fuller lower-midrange presentation. Open X isn't the benchmark in detail retrieval in its price range but is quite good for its warm sound signature and shines MUCH better with EQ. It otherwise has good left to right separation with good layering and space between instruments. More about its performance with good EQ later in the review.

Open X vs Closed X. In a way they are tuned closely but some of their quirks make them very different sounding headphones, targeted at very different kind of people. Closed X is a neutral-bright headphone whereas Open X is a fuller bodied, slightly warm sounding headphone. Closed X has better low-end extension with better rumble and a small mid-bass boost around 100Hz that adds in a bit of extra punch to bass. Open X on the other hand has a slight sub-bass roll-off and a boost in the 60 to 500 Hertz region which boosts the mid-bass as well as instrument body and results in a much north of neutral, fuller bodied signature. It doesn't just add in a lot of warmth but also a bit of veil and boom which takes Open X away from what could've been a very well done reference signature. Besides this, both the headphones have a very neutral lower-midrange post 500Hz and a nice, forward upper-midrange with around 8dB of ear gain. Open X has slightly better, more neutral lower-treble tuning, where Closed X is warmer. Both have a very airy upper treble tuning but because Closed X does not have the added warmth in the lower-midrange and ends up sounding brighter than the Open X as a result. In terms of technical performance, Closed X has a more open, airy and spacious sounding soundstage with better left to right separation and a better separated center image. On the other hand, Open X's soundstage sounds slightly intimate with the stage depth not going as deep as Closed X's. Closed X's soundstage really has impressive depth in comparison along with impressive width for a closed-back. Closed X because of its brighter treble tuning, has better micro-detail retrieval as well as better layering and separation between instruments.

Performance with Corrective EQ. If you're a fan of headphones and still haven't gotten into the world of EQ, I highly recommend that you do because it can add wonders and take the performance to the next level, something you can't do as significantly with source pairing or otherwise. If you've never EQ'd before or don't know where to start from, you can just start with using AutoEQ presets in Soundsource or Wavelet and take it from there. AutoEQ EQs the headphone to the Harman target and you'll see a substantial improvement in tonality right away. In the Aeon Open X, just EQ-ing out 60-500Hz by around 4-5dB, adding a bit of sub-bass below 60Hz and taming of the 16.5kHz upper-treble peak leads to it sounding much more accurate and more in line with the Harman target because the rest of region are very well tuned. You'll see the technical performance coming across much better because the Open X is a very capable technically but the bloom because of the boosted 60-500Hz overpowers it and doesn't let it shine as nicely. For starters, you can use jaakkopasanen AutoEQ settings to EQ the headphones to the Harman target curve. Aeon Open X Parametric EQ settings.  You can use filters 1-5 or 1-10. Apply preamp of -3.4 dB or -3.7 dB, respectively. # Type Fc (Hz) Q Gain (dB) 1 LowShelf 105 0.7 1.6 2 Peaking 155 0.78 -6.1 3 Peaking 2411 0.47 3.3 4 Peaking 5661 4.57 -3.2 5 Peaking 9415 2.96 2.1 6 Peaking 263 2.53 -0.6 7 Peaking 430 2.13 0.9 8 Peaking 759 3.5 -0.8 9 Peaking 3185 3.98 0.6 10 HighShelf 10000 0.7 -3.7 Comparisons with other headphones.

Sennheiser HD6XX - Quickly, HD6XX has better and more neutral tonality but the Open X has much better technical performance. Let's go into more detail. In term of fit, even though HD6XX Both have a sub-bass roll-off but Open X has it lesser and has slightly better extension down low. Hd6XX too has a slight 2dB mid-bass around 150Hz but Open X takes it to the next level and has a 5db boost in the region. HD6XX's mid-bass boost already lent it slight bloom but that is exaggerated in the Open X more. Open X's lower-midrange sound fuller because the mid-bass continues into the 250-500Hz and as a result instruments have extra fuller than neutral instrument body added in. HD6XX sounds more neutral in the region. HD6XX has the more accurate upper-midrange too with 2dB more ear gain than Open X. Open X's midrange though has much more resolution and better layering but more on that later. HD6XX has slightly warmer than neutral lower-treble where Open X is more accurate. Both headphones have an airy peak around 15-18kHz but Open X is airier in the region and that helps lend it a very slightly airier tonality than HD6XX. Where Open X completely beats the HD6XX is technical performance. Open X has WAY better left to right separation, better imaging, a better isolated centre image, better depth layering as well as overall micro-detail retrieval. This shines even better when you calibrate both headphones to the same reference target, something like the Harman Target. With EQ and corrected tonal issues, Open X shows it superiority even more and comes. Hifiman Sundara 2020 - Sundara is a more neutral, reference sound headphones whereas Open X has a fuller bodied presentation because of boosts in both mid-bass and 250-500Hz of lower-midrange. Open X has very slightly better reach down low though both headphones aren't the best at sub-bass extension. Sundara has a more forward upper-midrange because of about 2dB more of ear gain in the region. Sundara is very slightly brighter in lower-treble and mid-treble but Open X is airier in upper-treble. Open X has slightly wider soundstage boundary ends but otherwise a more intimate soundstage depth wise, primarily because of a fuller bodied presentation. Open X has slightly better left to right separation but otherwise both headphones perform similarly in terms of raw detail retrieval. Sundara can come off as having better micro-detail retrieval because of its relatively brighter signature. Focal Elex - Right away, Elex comes off as the more neutral, natural and more accurate sounding headphone in comparison. This is primarily because of the big wide boost the Open X has from 60-500Hz. It results in north of neutral mid-bass punch as well as fuller body, which takes it away from an accurate reference tuning. Elex has better sub-bass rumble and even though Open X has the mid-bass boost, Elex has more dynamic punch out of the two. It's just a thing Focals are really good at. Post 500Hz, both are quite well tuned headphones with a forward upper-midrange and neutral lower-treble tuning but Open X is much airier post 15kHz. Yet, it's the Elex that comes across cleaner because of its more accurate and neutral tuning. Elex has a cleaner and slightly more open sounding soundstage with better imaging whereas Open X's soundstage's depth sounds more intimate because of the boosted mid-bass and extra lower-midrange fullness. Both have good left to right separation but Elex has a better separated centre image. Elex also has slight better micro-detail retrieval but that could be because of its more neutral tuning sounding cleaner and clearer in comparison. Conclusion. This was one big review to finish but I had a really good time taking both Closed X and Open X through the paces. Both have one of the best headphone fit designs in the world, where their earcups are made to the shape of an ear and have very comfortable earpads with good padding and depth - which make them one of easiest headphones for long sessions. Both are headphones targeted at different audiences - Closed X for fans of neutral-bright reference-ish tuning and Open X for fans of fuller bodied, warm signatures. They both have really good technical performance for their price segments, especially the Closed X, which is one of the best tuned, VFM closed-back headphones you can get in the market today! If I had to choose one between them based on their stock signatures, I'd go with the Closed X myself. EQ adds on greatly to both headphones, especially the Open X, which sounds really good with a bit of sub-bass added in and the 60-500Hz wideband boost EQ'd down as the rest of the FR is very well tuned. All in all, I can recommend the Closed X as a must try headphone for everyone, especially people looking for close to reference tuning in a closed-back and the Open X for fans of fuller bodied signatures. Give 'em both a shot if you get the chance!
Gear used for testing and review.
  • Desktop setup - Universal Audio Apollo + DROP THX AAA 789 Amp
  • DAPs - iBasso DX240 | Shanling M6 Ultra | Lotoo PAW6000
  • Phone - OnePlus 7 Pro + HiBy FC4 / iBasso DC03 Pro / iBasso DC05

Artists I like and listen to.
  • Rock – Foo Fighters, Linkin Park, Switchfoot, Imagine Dragons, Daughtry, Green Day, MuteMath, X Ambassadors, Dave Matthews Band, Vertical Horizon, Our Lady Peace, Lifehouse, Fall Out Boy, Breaking Benjamin, Muse, ACDC, Audioslave, Rage Against the Machine, Biffy Clyro, I Am Giant, Normandie, Paramore, Slash & Guns N Roses, 3 Doors Down.
  • Pop Rock – John Mayer, Coldplay, Paul McCartney, James Bay, Hunter Hayes, Niall Horan, Keith Urban, The Bros Landreth, Bryan Adams.
  • Progressive Rock/Metal – Porcupine Tree/Steven Wilson, Karnivool, Tool, Dead Letter Circus, Periphery, Lamb of God.
  • Pop/Soft Rock – Ed Sheeran, Adele, Taylor Swift, OneRepublic, The Script, Gavin James, Magic Man, Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, Charlie Puth, Dua Lipa, The Weeknd, Oasis, Panic! At the Disco, TwentyOne Pilots.
  • EDM – Chainsmokers, Zedd.

Recommends this product? Yes
Feb 4, 2023
checkVerified Buyer
Comparison to Sundaras
I meant to do this sooner when everything was more fresh in my memory, but I figured I'd compare them to another popular lower(ish) cost planar magnetic headphone, the Hifiman Sundaras. The Sundaras were an interesting headphone for me, one of the few that has ever felt like such a huge shift in the audio experience, the separation felt like each sound was in a way individually produced. Every sound and instrument felt so clear on its own, even in electronic music, which of course isn't several instruments recorded together, but sounds manipulated and edited, then added on top of each other in a program(usually leads to less noticeable differences in headphones). They blew my mind with the unusual way they sounded, but it was pleasant, especially the sparkly highs, though the lows left something to be desired for me. Sadly I returned them as they aggravated my tinnitus too much(not at loud volumes either), and fatigued my ears to listen to(YMMV). After that I ended up on the Aeon Open X for the price, and what I presumed to be a sound more to my liking at least based on the tonal balance and reviews. And I was right, the bass isn't booming, but it's more there than I heard in the Sundaras. I don't notice the same sparkle, but I think a part of that came from the extreme separation and clarity of the Sundaras. Don't get me wrong, these sound clear and have some more mild differences to say my HD6XX's, in that it's not such a shock to your system the way the Sundaras were for me. After hearing them I understand the "bubble" people speak of for how they sound, listening to a little bit of The Beatles just now it sounds more like I have a tiny band next to my ears rather than instruments far and wide apart from each other. Also I would add, in my opinion these are closer to a hybrid of open and closed headphones, they do block out a lot of outer noise, though you absolutely still hear things. They also haven't been fatiguing to listen to or bothered my tinnitus, something that seems to be a problem at times(depending on the person) with planars. From my reading people suspect it's the planar wall's(if memory serves that was the name given) fault, a "wall" of a resonant frequency the driver just seems to "ring" at, though you may not notice it at all while listening it's apparently just a problem with planar drivers overall. As for things other than sound, both headphones have great build quality. However the Aeons blow the Sundaras away in comfort, it amazes me how the two little wires are enough to hold so much clamping force. However luckily not too much like so many other headphones that need to be stretched out first just to be comfortable, and paired with the super soft pads, I haven't had much better. Both are heavy headphones, though the Aeons haven't been fatiguing to wear, however the headband strap as many report is fairly weak and will shift on you. They can get hot, but my room also maxes out around 86F on a hot summer day with the PC on most of it(it's not pleasant), they're fine in the winter and cooler fall/spring days though. I know some have called the finish on them a fingerprint magnet, however these are nowhere near as bad as those gloss black devices where you barely press your finger on it and can perfectly see every line and curve of your fingerprint. The blue finish honestly looks and feels like a nice paint job or something of the like.
Recommends this product? Yes
Feb 1, 2023
checkVerified Buyer
Warm sounding and great for Metal music
Unlike other planers I had experienced in the past (sendy aiva, and He400SE), the Aeon Open X's had a warmer sound signature which is more forgiving to the type of music I listen to. They has a bit of extra mis bass so guitars feel more full to my ears. These are forgiving cans out the box but can be tuned for your liking if you'd prefer extra treble as well.
Recommends this product? Yes
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