Drop + MrSpeakers Ether CX Closed Headphones
$749
$900

Drop + MrSpeakers Ether CX Closed Headphones

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$749
$900
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All of our reviews are from verified customers.
4.5
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159
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86%
would recommend to a friend
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Tigerabbit
19
Jun 4, 2022
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Sonic Sanctuary
I've had these for a couple of years now, and have gradually used them more and more. After a helluva burn-in, and a bit of fussing with the tuning pads, I began to regard these as my reference, my still point, my sanctuary, my seat next to the masterer. These phones always tell the truth, revealing all detail in both the sound and the space in which it occurs with great speed and accuracy. Upper, mid, and sub bass are all there - fast, detailed, and (importantly) even - you hear what's there. I'm not a fan of EQ, and seldom use it especially with these, although one can EQ the crap out of 'em if wanted, and they'll faithfully serve up what you feed 'em. For me, if I want "drama" or "fun", or "punch", I'll turn to another device, like the Meze 99, for example. The longer I own these, the more often I turn to them for critical or deep listening, yet continue to be delighted at the effortless intelligibility and musical presence they reveal in mediocre or even poor recordings. I hope these last a long time, because I intend to rely on this headphone as a reference indefinitely. Happy Camper. Smiling Buddha. The End.
Dbuchina899
34
May 13, 2022
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These are great headphones, But not marketed to the right user
Personally, I think the Ether CX's are excellent headphones but they aren't marketed to the right buyer. These have laser-accurate imaging and tend to get out of the way to give you the sound of the source. I am able to pick up background noise on things I never was able to before, even on something as resolving as the Aeon 2 closed back. Out of the box they are very neutral and the way I like to describe the sound is "cold" with near-perfect timbre and "warm-neutral" on some tracks with a slightly bright, more metallic timbre. They were brighter when I first listened to them but most of that went away with the break-in period. Although some of this can be a placebo with a variety of things such as amplification, the track itself, genre, and the master quality of the recording. For reference, I am using the newer Topping DX5 and I listen to pretty much every genre there is, hence some of the characteristics I described. These are also very resolving and fast throughout the entire spectrum, but they are planar magnetic so the dynamics aren't as good as some of the focals. These do need a lot of time to break-in and the sound does change quite a bit based on how your brain changes and adapts to the sound and the knurling pattern of the driver breaking in. I put a 6db low-shelf on these at 80 Hz and a few peaking filters at 3 and 5 Khz (+3db) to open up the space just a tad, as busier tracks do seem a little congested, but that could be because of the limitation of the dynamics. After EQ though, these are way more fun to listen to now and some of the best headphones I've ever listened to. I think out of the box they are more catered to people that mix music and "work" with these. For listening, EQ'ing these are a huge benefit because these are voiced so well that almost any change in the spectrum completely changes the way you perceive the way these sound. These are the jack of all trades, but I only recommend these only if you plan to EQ them to your preferences and want to put some effort into making these sound more musical. If you prefer a cold, excruciatingly neutral sound then these are for you. Thanks for reading!
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Would recommend to a friend.
(Edited)
modernfoodsafety
19
Apr 25, 2022
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Yeah, meh...
Fist put them on, and it was nice. Then I noticed a channel imbalance. I thought one of the OG filters was out, but no luck. Regardless, when I balance the channels, the sound signature is decent but at this price point ($900) the LCD2 Classic Closed Back I have provided a fuller sound with better imaging and separation. I would recommend at $600. Cheers!
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Would not recommend to a friend.
M.Yuhei-Japan
23
Mar 21, 2022
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very clear sound
I'm Japanese, so my English may be strange. The headphone have a very clear sound. It is also a good point that it is lighter than others. But the bass is weak.
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Would not recommend to a friend.
aka665
47
Feb 27, 2022
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Good for closed headphones
Great if you’re a crowded area. I am just not a huge fan of closed headphones but this one gives you a nice soundstage. There’s better out there if you just spend a little more.
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Would recommend to a friend.
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Solid build
I'll be honest, I am not an audiophile, but I I like the relaxed sound profile and carbon fiber build
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Would recommend to a friend.
NorthernUK
4
Feb 22, 2022
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Disappointing
First off I will say I was really looking forward to owning these headphones. I had previously owned the Aeon 2's and after upgrading to Arya Stealth and living with them I thought owning a pair of closed backs again would complement the Arya for late night listening when the other half is in bed. Needless to say as the title states I was disappointed. Without EQ these are light on bass with a bright top end and the soundstage is just average for a closed back. I've owned the ZMF Eikon and with EQ the soundstage on these beasts the Ether's by some margin. On a positive note they do respond well to EQ and you can get some presence dialled in with regards to bass and tame the top end. Still, I wasn't that impressed and felt they were more of a tool to analyse than a medium to enjoy and become emotionally attached to the music you are playing. Needless to say I have now sold them ... At the price they are difficult to justify.
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Would not recommend to a friend.
modernfoodsafety
19
Apr 25, 2022
You nailed it. At the $900 price point I prefer my LCD2 Classic Closed Back.
EAP1
28
Feb 10, 2022
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Excellent detail for a closed-back planar, but probably not my go-to headphones
These are keepers for me, though, as I discuss below, I think the HE-5XX is a far better buy if you're looking for planars but don't require closed-back. The Ethers don't require much if any EQ, so they're well-voiced. The high-end detail is very good. They are not strident or sibilant (which is most important to me), though they sometimes walk close to that line which can make them a bit fatiguing with some kinds of music. But, as others have said, they lack weight in the bass, which surprised me given they are closed-back), though the bass extension is fine. Solid soundstage (not nearly as wide as the Hifiman HE-5XX, which is understandable because the Ether is closed-back). Very comfortable and just right in terms of clamping force. Excellent build quality. However, after having lived with these for about a month, I have to say that I prefer the HE-5XX. The Ethers just sound thinner and the recessed bass is problematic. The HE-5XX has a far wider soundstage and is more engaging, with equal high-end detail. And the HE-5XX has smoother highs with more bass presence. Both phones seem about equal in the mids. The HE-5XX is not as solidly constructed as the Ether, and the HE-5XX has fairly weak clamping force, which is my biggest complaint about the Hifimans. But they work fine if you're not moving around a lot. In short, the Ethers are nice planars but if you don't need closed-back phones then I don't think spending $700 more for the Ethers over the HE-5XX is justifiable.
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Would recommend to a friend.
fortiter
167
Feb 6, 2022
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It's taken a while, but I love them.
After having had these for over a year, these are one of my most used headphones. But it wasn't always like that. The Beginning: I got these on sale at $750, thinking they would just be some great headphones out of the box. To this day, that's still the most I've paid for headphones (tied with a used HD800). That being said, I think it would be hard for me to justify paying $900 with what I had to do to get enjoyment out of them. Upon their arrival, while I was excited for them, I didn't enjoy these headphones very much. They were great for "reference" purposes, I suppose, but I found myself enjoying my TH-X00 much more for regular listening - especially since my ears hit the drivers with the flat pads. Pads: My first divergence from the original experience of the Ether CX was with the pads. The original flat pleather pads were far too shallow for my liking, leaving my ears to touch the drivers. Additionally, despite them having the highest quality pleather pads I've used, I found myself desiring something more comfortable to the touch. I decided to pick up the ZMF's hybrid Ori pads, as I wanted the touch of suede (though lambskin would also have worked well in retrospect), but I also wanted to keep the original "leather" sound. I knew that the deeper, angled pads would change the sound in some ways, but that was a risk I was willing to take in order to keep my ears from touching the drivers. In the end, the bass was reduced further, and the soundstage seemed to increase (in my case). But, most importantly, I was finally able to comfortably wear the headphones. Despite the pads being an overall improvement for me, I still didn't find myself reaching for these headphones outside of reference situations. EQ: I recently stumbled upon a review by Amir which praised the Ether CX, and mentioned EQ being a great way to improve the listening experience for them. After reading that, I found a collection of EQ settings by Amir which included the Ether CX - I only needed to import settings, and I was off to the races. Much to my pleasure, the EQ preset provided an immediate improvement. I did have to modify the preset to increase the bass a bit more due to the Ori pads changing the sound from Amir's original measurements, but I've found something that I'm very happy with. Conclusion: I wouldn't recommend these headphones for anything over the $750 - primarily to offset the pad cost and requirement of EQ. But, maybe to your benefit, many people seem to dismiss these headphones and sell them for a rather low resale value (I've seen some for $450). And for anything under $750 I would heavily recommend these headphones - but only if you're willing to put in a bit of effort to get the right sound and comfort. Nitpick: the stock cable is very microphonic, and I would recommend getting a replacement for that reason
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Would recommend to a friend.
kris.skjordal
60
Jan 29, 2022
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A solid choice if you can buy them for $750. Can't recommend them at $900.
Comfort and build quality is top notch. The packaging is arguably too basic and might not give enough protection during shipping. An inclusion of a headphone case would have been nice. The inclusion of a balanced cable and an adapter for unbalanced termination is a nice. If you are only going to include one cable then this is the way to do it. I have pretty much tried most of the closed back headphones around the $1000 mark. This include the Beyerdynamic T5 Gen 3, Focal Celestee, and Aeon 2 Noire. The Ether CX holds up to all of them. I can't really recommend them for $900 when you can buy the Aeon 2 Noire/Aeon 2 closed for the same prize, but the Ether CX are sometimes on sale for $750 and at that price they are quite good. I also think the Ether CX need EQ to boost the bass. I personally use a 6 dB low shelf filter at 200Hz to boost the bass quantity. Highly recommend trying out Yaxi TH900 leather pads on these.
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Would recommend to a friend.
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