A collaboration with MrSpeakers, a boutique shop in San Diego, California, the Ether CX closed-back headphones have a lot going for them. For one thing, they sound more like a pair of open-back headphones—clean, open, realistic, relaxed—while retaining the low sound leakage and high isolation you’d expect from closed cans. As for looks, they’re like something off an Italian supercar lineup, with the sleek lines and sizable, high-gloss carbon fiber cups of the original Ether C. The NiTinol memory metal headband is lighter and more durable with fewer moving parts, while the new and improved ear pads combine memory foam, Japanese protein leather, more consistent stitching, and a flat design. Featuring the same V-Planar driver used in the Ether C, the CX has been retuned for enhanced tonal balance, a smoother bass-to-midrange transition, and a lower 5–6 kHz peak in the upper mids.
Note: This item is in stock and will ship within 1 business day with standard shipping. Expedited shipping in the contiguous US is available at checkout.
At checkout, you can add the Drop + THX AAA™ 789 Linear Amplifier (+ $375) and save $25 versus buying it separately.
The Ether CX is built around MrSpeakers’ single-ended planar driver with patented V-Planar technology. A conventional planar driver is assumed to move as a flat surface. In reality, this isn’t possible, as the driver is inelastic and “locked” at the boundaries, so the driver moves more as a bowed surface than a flat plane. V-Planar technology addresses this issue by deeply creasing the diaphragm, allowing it to “accordion” when going through the larger motions required by bass notes. Much as pleats allow an accordion to expand and contract without stretching the fabric, the creases in the driver "open" slightly during larger excursions. Along with pushing more air at low frequencies, V-Planar delivers better dynamics, high-end frequency response, and measurably lower distortion. In the Ether CX, the distortion is less than 0.5 percent in the low bass and less than 0.1 percent from 60 Hz to 9 kHz.
MrSpeakers was founded by Dan Clark, an electrical engineer who has been working in and around the high-end audio market for more than 20 years. He believes that a great-sounding headphone is one that allows you to simply slide into the music without inserting itself into the listening experience. To that end, the headphone should also deliver exceptional comfort, because—as Dan says—an uncomfortable headphone “gets in the way of musical enjoyment the same way a terrible seat at a concert venue detracts from a live performance.” With the Ether C and Ether CX, MrSpeakers wanted to eliminate the closed-in, “cuppy” sound that reminds the listener they’re using closed-back cans. The sense of space and openness are there, as is plenty of isolation for air travel, buses, and trains. With a history as a community modder, Dan strives for continuous improvement and makes upgrades available whenever possible.
Announced at CES 2018, the Drop + THX Achromatic Audio Amplifier (THX AAA™) 789 is a linear bipolar amplifier with feed-forward error correction. It’s designed for objectivists who appreciate an incredibly clean, transparent amp—the sought-after “wire with gain” whose amplification is wholly uncolored by a sound of its own. Made in collaboration with THX Ltd., it features the company’s groundbreaking THX AAA and feed-forward topology, which reduce distortion by 20 to 40 dB for realistic, fatigue-free listening. In fact, this bridged-output amp’s performance figures speak for themselves: It’s powerful (2 x 6W at 32 ohms) and quiet (136 dB SNR) with a record-low THD of -140 dB at 300 ohms, 100 mW. That’s four times the power of the Objective 2 amp, for example, with far less distortion.
All orders will be shipped by Drop.
Estimated ship date is Dec 16, 2019 PT.
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