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View Full Discussion Just got my Ether CX, and I have a few comments & criticisms. Don't take anything here as a knock against these headphones--I like them and need more time to get to know them before I provide a proper review. Just wanted to capture some first impressions and offer a few constructive suggestions.
I guess let's start with a couple positives? The carbon fiber is beautiful, and the headphones are light and extremely comfortable. Kudos. They sound good, too (smooth and detailed).
Naturally, the first thing I did was attach the cable. Wait, which side is L and which is R? Oh, there it is--on the headband, stamped into the leather. Uh, OK. Now, how do the cables align with the earcups? They only fit one way, so a little trial an error and it's sorted.
This would have been easier if L/R indicators were on both the earcups and cable ends. For example, Utopia has a similar bayonet-style attachment. Here's how the earcup and a pair of aftermarket cables make it super-easy to align and attach the correct cables:
Speaking of the cable, I applaud the inclusion of a balanced cable with a SE adapter. That's almost exactly how I prefer all of my cables. Instead of an XLR, I use a 2.5mm balanced cable, which avoids a big bulky lump when you use an adapter to go to SE. 2.5mm is also handy for DAP use. You could always option-in Massdrop's own 2.5 TRRS-to-XLR adapter as an add-on:
Another personal nitpick: I have come to heartily dislike nylon braid/paracord-wrap style headphone cables, thanks to terribly microphonics on Forstex TR-X00 cans. I have been exclusively going for soft braided (litz-style) cables that have no microphonics. To be fair, I spent a minute rubbing the Ether CX cable on my shirt and desk and the microphonics are minimal (not zero, but also not bothersome). So it's more of a personal annoyance than an actual problem, but I'd be remiss not to mention it.
Last nitpick: I'm a little lukewarm on the headband. I love the comfort, and the minimalism. I guess I just don't trust the friction-based adjustment won't loosen over time. And the pair of wires is a little too thin. For comparison, the AKG 7xx uses a similar style headband that is also very comfortable, but the wires are a little thicker (looks more quality / robust). I prefer adjustments that lock in, so I can count the clicks and make sure adjustments are even on both sides.
The headband concerns may be unwarranted paranoia on my part, since this looks like a standard MrSpeakers style headband based on pics (I don't own any other MrSpeakers cans to confirm). So far my adjustments seem to be holding as I swap headphones.
AFC headband, on which this is built, has held up very well for me.
I have the K702 and Ether Flow. I think the Nitinol wire on the MrSpeakers is much stronger than the band on the AKG. But on a headphone stand, I hang the K702 by the metal band vs the leather band on the Ether FLow (for fear of paint chipping).