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Drop + Dan Clark Audio Aeon Open X Headphones
$449
$529

Drop + Dan Clark Audio Aeon Open X Headphones

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Timmaayy
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Mar 4, 2021
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What the hell
I just received these from Drop today. I'm listening to them as I write this review. I can not for the life of me figure out how I have been missing this joy in my life. I'm by no means a professional audiophile. My journey originally started in gaming...finding the best headset with a mic that really gave me everything I wanted sound wise. Treble, mids, bass response, clarity etc. I so I bought the steelseries pro with dac, first the wired, then the wireless setup. I loved them, they gave me everything I wanted....so I thought. It was about a year and a half and of course technology improves, so I decided to do my research and see what was the best new thing. Upon researching, I started to notice more and more forums talk about audiophile set ups. Well this is bullshit, I thought, thinking it was people just talking out their rear. Boy, did I eat crow. After weeks of forums, videos, reviews, I decided to pull the trigger on a sound blaster G6, and a pair of HR X2's. I recently was one of the lucky ones to grab a PS5, hence the G6. It seemed to be the only fully functional dac/amp that is currently compatible with PS5 Temptest audio. After experiencing the steelseries with dac/amp, I could never go back to regular wired connections, that I knew for sure. So I made my purchase. I received both it blew me away. There were sounds I never heard before. Either music, games, shows, movies. It was like lifting a vail the had been covering my ears. Preventing them from hearing true audio. I was hot like a whore in church on a Sunday. I needed more. I had my X2's for about 3 weeks before I set out on my journey again. Forums, reviews, youtube videos. I found drop, I found the Aeons open X. 500....hmmm...I thought to myself...is it worth it...just coming off a 300 - 350 dollar purchase not even a damn month ago....hmmm. I slept on it. I came right back to the website in the morning. Screw it. If these are as good as half of the thousands of people I have read about it, then pull the trigger. Trigger pulled. Oh my F$@!. I'm hot again. I have literally not taking these off my head since 1pm. It is now 9:24 pm. Mountain time. I can't take them off. The pure ecstasy my ears are having. The music...everything....from Led Zeppelins Stairway to Heaven, Dropkick Murphy's punk rock, Mumford and Son's I will wait, Skrillex Kill everybody, Korn Freak on a leash, Jay Z's on to the next one...everything...is new for me. I feel like crying. What the hell...how did I miss these beautiful sounds this whole time. The twang, the booms, the highs, the mids. And I'm using a damn PS5 with a G6!!! With YouTube red quality videos!!!!! Bet your ass boy I am a converter to all things audiophile now. I know my hunt has only begun. Forums, reviews, videos for dedicated amps, dacs, balanced cables, mastered tracks, everything...the journey begins.
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Hands down, best purchase I have made in a long long while. I'll go back to my listening now.
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Would recommend to a friend.
Timmaayy
33
Apr 8, 2021
Thank you Mattris! That's a great suggestion I'm looking into that setup right now! Thank you for the reply!
mattris
1192
Apr 10, 2021
TimmaayyYou're most welcome. While the ifi ZEN CAN is an amplifier only (you'd have to use you G6 as a DAC), the new Burson Audio Playmate 2 DAC/amp combo looks rather impressive across the board. It's price reflects a premium sound/experience. I expect it would be an 'endgame' DAC/amp for most music/audio enthusiasts. All the best.
ragonfab
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Dec 14, 2020
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Everything I was looking for and more.
These tick all the boxes for me when it comes to my preference in headphones. These are considered open-back but do block a considerable amount of outside noise, nearly to the level of a closed back. Yet, they leak a lot of sound like an open back. With that being said, this was exactly the type of headphone I was looking for: A warm, intimate and detailed, semi-open headphone with that planar transparency, imaging, and instrument separation that is extremely well built, lightweight, and comfortable. The inclusion of the tuning felts and foams was a nice addition and helped me dial in my preference in sound even further. I have found my preference to be the 1 notch white felts with the black foams on top of them. These are more amp picky than I thought these would be based off their low impedance and are not powered to their full potential off the SE output of my iFI Zen DAC. It gets plenty loud enough and sounds great at medium to low volume levels on the Zen DAC. However, at higher volume levels the highs start to sound a slight bit sibilant and the bass feels a bit loose when compared to the output of my iFI Zen CAN. These headphones perform at their best at higher volumes when supplied with a more capable amplifier. Regardless, I cannot stop being blown away by these headphones. So incredibly warm and full without having to sacrifice on detail while maintaining fantastic clarity, impact, and imaging. I am absolutely in love with these headphones from how they sound to how extremely comfortable and well built they are. Could not be happier with this purchase.
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Updated thoughts (~1 month later, 1/17/21): These are some really special, unique sounding headphones. After listening and adding a few more headphones to my collection, these really stand out from the rest. They sound detailed with fantastic imaging and great tuning while having the smooth, "holographic", layered sound and instrument separation that good planar magnetic headphones are known to provide. They have the perfect amount of soundstage in my opinion. Wide enough to have a good sense of depth but not too wide where it feels like you are losing out on intimate vocals or instrument mixes. The imaging capabilities combined with the soundstage provide a fantastic sense of depth and space. In terms of build quality, I don't think you'll find anything better even at double the price of these headphones. These are also very lightweight for a planar magnetic headphone, making them extremely comfortable. Weight is an issue for many planar magnetic headphones for me and these are insanely lightweight for a planar, very comparable to a lightweight dynamic driver headphone. I also recommend getting a balanced cable for them if you have a balanced amplifier. These really benefit from the extra power supplied to them. Unlike most planar headphones, these sound fantastic at higher volume levels. When provided with clean, capable amplification you can really crank these up and extract an enjoyable amount of additional detail without the headphones distorting, becoming sibilant, or unpleasant to listen to. It really surprises me to see how little of these have been purchased, 418 at the time of this edit, despite the fact that they have one of the highest average ratings on Drop for a set of headphones. I think this is due to the fact that there's a lot of competition at this ~500 price-point. However, I think you would be hard-pressed to find a more interesting, well-rounded, and enjoyable headphone to listen to for the price. Not to mention, the luxurious build quality and amazing comfort. You really get your money's worth and more with these. These are some seriously undervalued headphones that are truly something special and in my opinion, the most gratifying headphone purchase you can make for $500.
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Would recommend to a friend.
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Zourflox
7
Aug 25, 2021
ragonfabi receive them tomarrow with the THX 789 and the ifi zen dac V2 as pre amp. i'm so exited about it haha it'll be my first audio set up !
ragonfab
38
Aug 31, 2021
ZourfloxNice! I still absolutely love these headphones. They're my daily driver and my one and only set of headphones now as I've sold everything else I had because these suited my taste perfectly. Hope you're enjoying your setup!
Zilfallion
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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.
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Adorni
55
Jan 7, 2020
It isn't impression, this is information from the producer
DizzyFred
16
Jan 13, 2020
ZilfallionGreat review man!
tvr2500m
145
Feb 12, 2020
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I'd been tracking the Mr. Speakers Aeon Flow Open for a long while as a headphone I'd like to try . When I saw Drop offer it, I bought it. I felt the Drop value proposition tilted the product in the right direction. I like the look of the Aeon. Fit and finish are excellent. It's super comfortable. I like the hard carrying/storage case. And it sounds great. Sonics... I've been listening now for a while. I have only listened with the one-notch white filter pad installed, so I haven't played around with different tunings. What struck me immediately on first listening to this headphone is that they sounded dull. Muffled, high frequencies attenuated, constrained dynamics, excessively midrange forward (like the Senn 580/600 family). Without me saying anything, other people who listened to them said the same. Not so much now. After spending many quality hours with them, I don't feel them to be lackluster or dull. I feel they're excellent. Midrange forward, yes. To me, their midrange presentation is very much like the Sennheiser 580/600, and even the Hifiman HE-400i (I have all of these and I like them all). I enjoy this midrange character. It does tend to stand a bit unnaturally forward in the musical mix, but it's also tonally very natural and organic, with good detail, texture, and palpable tonality. Compared with the Sennheiser 600 family and Hifiman 400i, all around this healthy midrange the Aeon includes a very nice representation of space, if not an especially expansive soundstage, good element blend/isolation balance to the mix, and a more restrained but all-there treble character. Oh, and the Aeon is more controlled and detailed in the lower frequencies, so there's better bass texture and definition. To be more specific, I've seen people make comparisons of this or that headphone to the Sennheiser 600 family. With the Aeon X, this is the first time I've felt a headphone I have reminds me strongly of the Drop x Sennheiser HD-6XX. The Aeon has a similar indulgent midrange, but with better midrange articulation, more air and high frequency extension, and more and tauter, more textured bass. Just that much more nuance across the board.
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vvcv
13
May 13, 2020
Hello, thanks for all the great info. you've shared. I've got to admit, i'm wide eyed due the the gear we share, then topped off with a recording we enjoy. The soundstage you described in post above was the question I was going to ask. I'm curious as to how you see/hear your Denafrips DAC contributing to this headphones' soundstage? I get the impression you feel this DAC/headphone pair does an above average job with this recording, and w/soundstage overall, is this correct (excluding the Focals)? A R-2R DAC is on my very short list. I tried Focal Clear headphones a couple of years ago, and wow, I could not bear to listen to a solo violinist jamming -someone got a good deal on those. With that in mind I also, agree with your two speaker system soundstage reference. I am a speaker person myself, and got into headphones to listen to my large symphonic recordings and world favorite conductor cycles. Classical is about 90% of what I listen to, and midrange is very important for me as well as a few trick to get some volume on very low piano octaves. I hope you don't mind a request, but would you mind comparing these headphones with your HiFiMan and Drop Senn 6XX while listening to a few minutes of a symphony you enjoy. Then perhaps sharing w/us your feedback regarding how good/differnt they are at finding the various instrument sections and rendering the concert hall when compared to the other headphones? Also, if you don't mind playing it on your Cavalli amp (I have the hybrid) would be a double bonus and would really appreciate it so so much. If you decide to try this test out, I am in no rush at all. I'm still learning the whole headphone system building thing. I only just got my real gear from Drop about a month ago. But I can say I like Planars a lot, but starting to like my wood frame Zeze 99 a lot as they break in. Turning into a real treat they are. Thanks again tvr2500m for all the info. you've already given -it's so close to what I was thinking about.
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cybergalaxy
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Oct 21, 2021
tvr2500mWould you say this is much better than 6xx?
BeerandMonsters
59
Jul 24, 2021
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I wanted to wait until the honeymoon period was over before writing a review. That being said, let me get this out of the way: I love these headphones. The design, the build, and the materials far outshine all the other sets I own. What does that mean? From whence do I speak? My first set of big boy headphones were AKG Q701s. From there I purchased a set of HiFi Man HE-4XX and a Fostex T50RP with Shure 1540 pads. So all my comparisons are being made against those. When I received Aeon Open Xs, my setup was as follows: a Topping D10 hooked up to my PC via USB feeding a JDS Labs Atom. I tell you this so you have the full picture of my experience with these headphones. Your mileage may vary. Whenever I receive a new piece of audio equipment, there are three songs I listen to. I pick these songs because I love them, not because I feel they have any sort of audiophile cred. The first track I pumped through my system was Fear Inoculem by Tool. The opening electronics didn't reveal anything new to me, although they did sound great. However, at about a minute in when the percussion starts there was some noticeable punch behind it. None of my previous sets did this. As the song wound on little nuances I had never noticed before appeared. One song into my test drive and already I was smiling. Next up was The Mother Road by Chelsea Wolfe. Right away the Aeon's demonstrated their imaging chops with the strumming of Wolfe's acoustic guitar behind my right ear. Then her vocals started coming through. Wow. Intimate, I guess you would call it. One of the things I've always liked about Wolfe's voice is the huskiness of it. The Aeon's really made that texture apparent. So, two for two. The last test drive was with Heilung's Alfadhirhaiti. For me, this track really showcases the Aeon's abilities. Like on Fear Inoculem, the drums punched with an energy I didn't realize I had been missing. Bass sounded fantastic. I'm not the type of guy who needs his bass to rattle his ears with wub-wub. But I do like it to have some pop. And pop it definitely does. If you're familiar with this song then you know how crazy the imaging and details can get. The Aeons delivered on all of it. Since receiving them these headphones In June they have become my daily drivers. They make me want to keep listening to music. I also use them for gaming. In shooters, such as Destiny 2, the imaging is pretty spot on. But there is a difference in sound stage. All three of my other headphones have pretty wide sound stages. The sound stage of the Aeon Open X is not quite so wide. But to my ears it sounds a bit taller. That's not something that is great when listening to music, but it is apparent when gaming. After such gushing praise, why am I only awarding 4 stars? I have some concerns about the Drop name, if I am honest. While the materials and comfort of the set is top notch, the left pad has developed a weird lump on the outside of it. Nothing that impacts their performance or comfort, but it looks odd. Also, I'm not sure about the cord. It is stiff and the texture on the outside snags on things. One final thought. Spending $500 on a set of headphones makes me nervous. I'm glad I own them, but if they break I will weep massive tears. UPDATE, Sept. 17th, 2021: My concerns about build quality have borne true. The cable that connects to the right ear has died completely. That is absolutely unacceptable for a headset that costs $500. I have reduced my rating to three stars. UPDATE 2: Oct. 4th, 2021. Dan Clark Audio sent me a replacement cable. The replacement is made of a different material and does not seem to have the same flaws as the one provided by Drop. I missed listening to music and games with these headphones so much. I found it hard to go back to the Q701s and my Fostex. I have re-added the star to my review.
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BeerandMonsters
59
Oct 19, 2021
I can't comment on the HD6XX because I have never heard them. Prior to getting these, I used a pair of Fostex T50RPs for the majority of my gaming. My experience is that the Fostex had a slightly wider sound stage. I can pick up sounds a little farther away with them then with the Aeons. But the detail on the Aeons is far superior. Gunshots sound solid without overwhelming my ears with bass. I would agree with what you have heard. At least with the sets I own, the Aeons have the best bass and I still experience very immersive imaging. I suppose I should say that I don't play any competitive shooters where picking up on footfalls trumps everything else. But these headphones give me an extremely enjoyable experience when gaming. I can wear them for hours in comfort and I have no problems picking out sound sources, enemies or otherwise. I hope that answers your question.
BearWitness79
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Oct 30, 2021
BeerandMonstersIt absolutely did. Thanks so much!! 😁
raansire7
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Mar 9, 2021
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I can hear sounds until their end, until their last bit of decay and release...
This initial review is based on the headphones straight out the FedEx vehicle and out the box; no tuning pads other than the pre-installed white ones.  Source is OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren through a CEntrance DACport HD on high gain. Dislikes first, I totally dislike how they feel on my head and over my ears. I have to fiddle with them too much due to their artful, Halo alien ship design. So far, these are the most unpleasant-feeling headphones I own. Now to the likes. I wasn't expecting to feel so much emotion from my self-produced tracks. The sound presentation didn't really grab my attention, but the emotionality did. I started to feel the music right away. Wearing them, my ears are "whistling" and feel like they're in closed-back headphones, but I also hear every single little ambient sound. When playing music, my brain interprets it as being in a sound-proofed room with high-end speakers. The Aeon Open X do not sound like closed-back nor open-back headphones to me. That's because of their impressive clarity. By the way, it's easy to confuse sharp highs with clarity, but that's not really it. Once we experience it and can identify it, we know it has nothing to do with treble. Being so used to quirky, aggressive-sounding headphones as my beyerdynamics and HIFIMAN HE-5XX, sound presentation was unimpressive at first due to subdued sound signature, but sound quality itself was very impressive to my ears. I can hear sounds until their end, until their last bit of decay and release, and then the silence that follows before the next sound is very obvious. It feels to me like slow-motion aural perception in real time; so gratifying to hear every element in the tracks as they start and finish. Absence of sound is as noticeable as its abundance. It's startling on occasions. Nothing I own besides the AudioQuest NightHawk Carbon does this. I don't exaggerate when I say it startles me, and it has nothing to do with playback volume. Thing is, the Aeon Open X seems to go so deep into the void of silence, I'm never prepared for what's next even when I know the track. This might be normal to lots of people, but it's new to me due to my brain being exposed so much to aggressive-sounding headphones for the five years of my short headphone journey.  This stuff happens in milliseconds, which is what takes me by surprise. There is loneliness and then there is sound, but the emotion of the tracks remain if they have it. I've been making computer music on and off for 19 years, so I've been in analytical mode for longer than enjoyment, "take everything in" mode. Both mentalities are very different, so I'm still in the budding, discovery phase. Low distortion and lack of high-frequency harshness instantly reminded me of the NightHawk Carbon. They have that same "something seems missing, but I don't really miss it" quality to them. Bass is not rowdy or noisy, but is ear-feeling while remaining restrained. It doesn't slam, but it pounds and punches and can sound as small or as big as the tracks contains it.  Sub-bass and mid-bass are cohesive and well-blended. I don't want or need more. It's just right for me. It's not overly tight nor loose. It's satisfyingly fast and snappy. Mids are balanced with the rest of the spectrum. Not very forward or bright, but just right, also being cohesive and well-blended with the highs. Differences in volume are presented in a very drastic manner. That jumped right at me in a live track where the mixing engineer lowers a bit the levels of everything except the drum kick to let the singing audience be heard. It sounds very obvious on the Aeon Open X. I've never heard it before with such contrast. Again, here the absense of sound is as obvious as its abundance. My $900 Focal Elegia lack that attribute. They're impressively-revealing with great sound resolution but lack that dynamics resolution...that finesse and precision. I'd say the Aeon Open X are balanced-sounding in tonality, but there is this unusual cleanliness and sterility in a pleasant but unfamiliar way. Highs are smooth and anti-aliased without losing sparkle and sheen. They trace the littlest details without adding unnecessary brightness. Distortion, hiss, clipping all are noticeable but not in an unpleasant way. Soundstage is deep and tall but not wide; isn't in front/outside of head but around. I'd say it's intimate but very spacious. It's not claustrophobic at all. Lows, mids and highs do not mask each other's details and nuances. Everything has its space to breath. The sound is dry but not lifeless. Tonality is right. Stuff sounds real. No funky-business frequencies sounding where they shouldn't or missing where they should like with all my beyerdynamic headphones and the Sennheiser HD 6XX. This is with my brain and ears. Your experience might be very different than mine. I love my HD 6XX and will try to not gift them away, but to my criteria, there is nothing they do better than the Aeon Open X. I can say these are truly high-end headphones. They fall in that category. This is what one gets to leave the Mid-Fi purgatory of sidegrades and move on to not only a different sound, but more importantly, a better one. They're just on another level of performance, and the fact that I noticed it right away without actively looking for proof...proves it to me! I've been eager to sample Dan Clark's work for two long years, and I'm glad I made myself wait this long and got so many more hours of ear/brain training. Dan, I know you're not reading this, but you're the real deal, man. 😁👍 Props to the Drop team to bring this into fruition. Peace!
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Would recommend to a friend.
allage
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Feb 14, 2020
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Amazing But Very Odd
These are really amazing, but very odd, and only one flaw overall that cant be overcome. Good
  1. premium build
  2. light weight
  3. good non offensive scenting on them out of box
  4. good clamp force
  5. sound is highly detailed, more so than the Focals in side by side except for upper treble,
  6. no exaggeration, but inserts can make certain aspects more elevated tonality wise.
  7. very portable, at least more so than most Bluetooth noise canceling headphones.
  8. comfortable strap and earpads.
Bad
  1. almost no sound stage to speak of, but good image isolation for left and right.
  2. overly intimate sound, almost like an IEM.
  3. very picky as to what you use as a sound source, almost makes it pointless to make them portable. but overall really cheap options work with the aeons so less of an issue; I used an e1da.
  4. balanced is what i recommend, tried multiple balanced sources, even ones with both SE and balanced, i do wish this did come with a balanced connector of some kind.
Conclusion: if you want something to go on a trip, and want something to bring with you that can fit tonality of anything you would listen to, this is it really. its open sounding enough to recognize that its open, but not with the open sound stage. if this had a competitor, which i dont think this really does, i would say the Audeze iSine 10 are really the only thing, but the 10s are so uncomfortable to wear for more than an hour at a time, or slightly more if you use ear hooks and smaller eartips; overall i think the aeons are standalone, they have competition in sound stage for the price, but not really clarity, especially not this portable.
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Would recommend to a friend.
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Dandrey
26
May 22, 2020
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Rich Detailed Punchy Dynamic Resolving Low and High end Extended Quality Build Superb
Punchy dynamic Extended On top and bottom with superb lush very detailed mids not shouty upper midrange and oh my Gods that low end and texture , resolution everywhere , detail in tracks you did not hear before , soundstage with good imaging , separation and multilayering of instruments ,top of the line quality build and comfort , compact alien space looking nicer material production nitinol pleather (nobody got killed and skinned ) they feel look and sound rich quality and very very good , luxurious i would say , that's the proper word . And yeah , no M1060c Open mod can do that for sure , been comparing back and forth for a couple of hours today . Some dummy said they they sound muffled , some idiot told they are lackluster on punch and dynamics , one not genious claimed there is a compression at times not enough resolving or some other stupid shit (Hello , now you know that your recordings are not well produced , suprise , surprise !) and you know who said , quote : they are a hair more fun than plain boring..WHHATT !!?? You weirdos better take those pillows out your ears and stop lying to people , these are Superb ! Its my second day of ownership and i am ecstatic , baby , for sure ! Technical death Metal , electronic of all kinds , world music , classical , acoustic , hip hop , Drum'n'bass , dubstep , ambient , chillout , psytrance , dub , you name it, everything on'em sounds purely Fantastic, yes ! And i didn't pass my 15 hours of burn in even . 2 things 2 consider though : ya gonna need an amp ( no LG G8 no 75 knots max still no ) and if your music production or mastering is whack ya gonna know that , otherwise - its a damn fine audiophiliac top of the line product which sounds extremely pleasing . Still don't get it ? - Just grab it for 499 until Mr Clark and Homies at the Drop changed their mind , cuz these shoot way above their price , definiteily ! P.S : Big shout out to Mr Clark and Drop Crew for having a very fine tuned ears . Zifallion , you must be deaf or retarded in other way to compare these to 58X or 6XX , which i own and love , by the way , Aeons blow those beginner tier still audiophiliac phones out the water easy , easy . And those guys like Zifallion who try to sound reasonable and give not proper review while praising way lesser products, you are the main reason i did not buy Aeons 3 months before .. I am out , standing behind every word i said .
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Would recommend to a friend.
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Francolargo
6
Apr 1, 2022
IME, the Aeon is closer to a 6XX having upgraded pads, which significantly improve them. But the Aeons are in a different league, really. ...closer to the 6XX vs. the 58X, but not similar to either.
Dandrey
26
May 31, 2022
It is mellow enough for not being jumpy . Relaxed sound , yet , very detailed . Not in your face though , comfy sound , i would call it .
MrChiSox
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Jun 1, 2021
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I have only just begun to enjoy this pair of headphones, my 4th pair of planar magnetic cans. I own the Audeze EL-8, Audeze LCD-2 and HiFiMan Sundara as well. I listen regularly to each of them with the least frequent pair being the EL-8. Don't get me wrong, they are a very nice sounding headphone but they can't out perform the LCD-2. Not even close. In fact, the LCD-2 is easily the best all around pair of cans I own. They have outrageously good technical ability and detail retrieval. I often find myself hearing levels within familiar material which I have either never noticed or which presents itself to my ears in a much different way and which forces me to outwardly exclaim "WOW". I love the buttery soft cups and the headband which make them comfortable to wear for hours and hours. And, they take to EQ very well. At this early stage of the game it is apparent that the LCD-2 is a far better headphone than the Dan Clark Audio AEON Open X, and it should be; the LCD-2 is an $1100. headphone. But the Dan Clark offering here is something special on it's own accord and I'm really looking forward to spending more time listening to them. I have about 20+ hours on them so far. As I opened up the box I was suprised to find the protective clam shell case featuring the DC logo rather than MrSpeakers on it. It's a nice protective case, too. It appears to be manufactured in a much similar way to several other cases I have purchased for my headphones. I'm going to have to reach out to someone about the tuning pads, however. My pair arrived with the white ones inside the ear cups and nothing else so far as I have seen. There should be more. I don't mind the included cable, it far exceeds the included cables of some of the others. I was immidiately surprised by how lightweight these are. Oh sure, you can read the specs but once in the hand it's incredible how light they are. And they are incredibly sexy. I love how attractive they are while at the same time being very, very well built. I have stretched them a bit, tested their flexability a bit. I do want to look into tightening the earcups a bit so that they stay exactly where I want them on my head. Mine tend to want to move around a little bit. It's really only noticeable if I am laying down. Oh, they also love your fingerprints! These are so comfortable to wear. You wouldn't likely take issue with comfort should you purchase them. So far as how they sound? Well, my wife brought them to me the morning that they arrived while I was laying down on the bed with a backache (the FedEx guy had left them out on the front sidewalk so I was really happy that she was able to locate them after being outside for over a half hour) and I had been looking at youtube videos. I don't know why but there was a video of a teenage girl in my feed, a young lady with a beautiful, obviously well trained voice for her age, and she sings well known broadway show tunes so I listened to her as the very first listen. It was an OMG moment as I heard not only this lovely voice but a wide and expansive soundstage, an airiness, and excellent imaging. I had taken the white pads out initially and at first was a bit concerned about bass response. I thought it was a bit muddy sounding. It didn't punch hard. I have noticed this to dissipate once the pads were put back inside the ear cups. I'm hoping that with time perhaps the drivers will open up more and allow for a bit more depth in the bass. I also watched a video where a couple of delivery gentleman in Japan (look up KENRICK SOUND on youtube) hauled a LARGE pair of JBL Loudspeakers into the home of an obviously well off individual, set them up and turn on the music. Obviously well off, how so? There was an impressive display of McIntosh feeding them! Anyway, it sounded as though I were sitting in a jazz club listening to live musicians. I don't know how to convey what it is that I am hearing, other than to say that it's pretty special. My LCD-2, as good as they are, sometimes make me wonder if I am listening to and enjoying music, or if I am listening to the actual headphones (if that makes sense). The Dan Clarke Audio AEON Open X seem to be a set of cans to put on your melon when you just want to sit back and listen to music because they are FUN. I don't get a sense that they are trying to remind you how great they are. I think you would be well served to consider listening to these if shopping in this price range. I myself checked these out after trying/returning a pair of Focal Celestee which are a closed back headphone with zero soundstage and just bored me to death. Given that I saved cash in the end I may just give the closed back AEON a look as well. Update: One day later I can report that I have found the missing tuning pads. Apparently my son found them and didn't know what they were so he just put them on the kitchen table where they got buried under a pile of mail and other stuff. Update 2: I'm really not a huge fan of the stock cable. It's kind of wonky and I'm finding myself having to straighten it out all too often. I decided to purchase a seven foot cable made by Periapt. Much better without being over the top on price.
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confed
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Sep 7, 2021
MrChiSoxMind sharing the cable you picked up?
MrChiSox
101
Sep 7, 2021
confedPeriapt. Type 10 for MrSpeakers/DCA headphones. I bought a 7 foot length.
ab.y
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Dec 25, 2021
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The Right Headphone For the Right Person
My feelings towards this headphone have swung all over the place. Disappointment leads to jubilation followed by disappointment, and so on. Ultimately, I believe this is someone's 5 star headphone, even if it isn't necessarily mine. The build is easily endgame; a masterclass in headphone design. They're visually striking, with a pearlescent finish reminiscent of something you'd see in a car. No headphone I've tried has matched the initial comfort felt when you first put the Aeons on. The cups gently collapse around your ears and then disappear. After several hours some mild pressure builds on your jaw, so I find Sennheisers more comfortable for extended listening, but the *initial* comfort is unmatched (I notice more initial clamp with Sennheisers, but they disappear on my head after extended use). The sound signature is the most controversial aspect of the headphone. It has a very purposeful tuning that you'll love or hate, emphasizing fatigue-free listening. It's slightly bassier and darker than a 6xx, with improved detail retrieval and instrument separation. While it's technically superior to a 6xx, it's also the most "veiled" sounding headphone I've heard. The bass bloat combined with the dark treble results in a smooth but not always coherent listen. You'll get more clarity out of something like a 560s, but the tuning of the Aeon allows you to crank up the volume without any piercing sibilance or discomfort. Most other planars I've tried sound very analytical, and require an EQ adjustment to smoothen them out, but the Aeon prioritizes pleasure right out of the box. That said, when I first heard them I was disappointed. I found the bass to be overemphasized, and missed the treble clarity provided by reference class headphones. They initially sounded as others have described them: dead, blunted, muddy, etc.; but as the headphones burned in and my ears adjusted to their signature, I began to appreciate the laid-back experience they bring to the table. You get the sense that the Aeon was designed by people who love listening to music and have considered all aspects of the experience. Many have compared them to the 6xx, and while they have a different signature to my ears, everything comes together as a singular experience in much the same way it does for the 6xx. By contrast, the tuning of a Hifiman has no character; they're technically proficient but don't necessarily add up to a musical listen. Who is this headphone for? If you're an analytical user who prefers a neutral signature and obsesses over technicalities, this headphone will disappoint you. While it is very technically competent, the tuning prioritizes a more casual experience. Users that want to relax and listen to music through a comfortable, well-built headphone that doesn't take itself too seriously, will absolutely love the Aeon Edit: I was driving the Aeons using a Schiit Hel 2. While this powered them to suitable volume levels, I do get the sense that a better DAC/Amp setup would give the bass better texture and definition, and make the sound signature more punchy and defined. I didn't love the 6xx on the Hel2 but when I heard it on an A30/D30 stack it transformed, and it has a similarly elevated bass region + volume output
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Would recommend to a friend.
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ab.y
27
Dec 25, 2021
Gotcha, I'll update the review
Zourflox
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Dec 28, 2021
ab.ynice i see that you did ! that's great :) verry nice review as i already said but better now that you included the rest of your setup and thoughts on it !
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