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DiMora
223
Apr 2, 2019
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Edited to show chronological impressions as they broke in: Day one: Bottom line up front: An extremely comfortable set of closed cans, beautiful carbon-fiber cups, VERY detailed midrange and treble, with good, clean tight bass - but a bit light on bass overall. If they had more bottom-end, they would be nearly perfect. Still a keeper. Unboxing: Cardboard box is unremarkable. Much better packaging on HiFiMan HE-4XX, Koss ESP-9XX and Sennheiser HD6XX. Fuzzy pouch. Cans inside. Very nice cables...XLR and adapter for phono jack. Plugged into my Class A Schiit Asgard 2. Qobuz high-Rez... Sounds good. Highs bright. Not as much bass as I want. Grabbed my HiFiMan HE-4XX. Aaaah, much better at 1/6 the price. Back to Mr. Speaker...Added double-notch white pad to cans. That's better...highs more mellow...warmer sound...volume increase = more bass. Back to HE-4XX. Better all around. Not apples to apples...4XX are open back; these are closed. Expecting better bass with closed. Tried black felt and double notch white. Killed mids and highs too much. Back to double notch white. Better. Back to 4XX. Better. Hmmmmm...these will need to break in before I can give a fair assessment. 4 Week point: Source is TIDAL through a Mytek Liberty DAC/headphone amp and also a Pro-Ject Pre-Box S2 Digital into a Schiit Asgard 2 Class A amp. Yesterday I listened to the same through a Mytek Brooklyn DAC+. They have broken in nicely...bass has increased, but is still a bit shy from where I wish they were. I'm running them with the double-notch white felt and the black foam. If I grab them without having recently listened to other cans, they put a big smile on my face. Very light and comfortable! Bass is tight, not bloated at all. Midrange is tight and detailed, accurate, full. Highs are all the cliche words...crisp, shimmering, detailed, clear. Snare drums, upright bass, cymbals are accurate. Also next to me are Sennheiser HE-650, and HE-6XX, HiFiMan HE-4XX and HE560, and ESS 422h. Today I also went to Paragon Sight and Sound in Ann Arbor, Michigan to listen to FOCAL Elegia vs. the Mr. Speaker on a Mytek Brooklyn DAC+. Impressions vs. other cans: They are a wash vs. the FOCAL Elegia, and are more comfortable than the Elegia. Bass is about the same. FOCAL is maybe a bit more detailed in the mids and highs, but I preferred the more laid-back mids and highs of the Mr. Speaker. Vs. the HiFiMan cans: The HE-4XX have deeper more voluminous bass, but the mids and highs are not as detailed. You might say the bass on the HIFiMans gets a bit muddy compared to the Mr. Speakers. Vs. Sennheisers: I'm not a fan of Sennheisers on solid-state amplification, but on my Darkvoice 336SE with vintage tubes, I do love the Senns. HE-6XX may be my absolute favorite on the DarkVoice, but in this discussion closed cans vs. open cans are apples and oranges...I'd give the advantage to the Senns if I could only have one, but being closed, the Mr. Speaker are both portable and non-offensive to other persons in the area who might not want to hear your music. Vs. ESS: I love the ESS dual driver setup...great bass...but the highs can be overbearing - and the cans are quite uncomfortable (too tight) compared to the Mr. Speaker. Audio quality is not as clean and detailed as the Mr. Speakers. I may add more later, but that is where I am today with my thoughts and impressions. I may need to try some Ether CX flow closed to see if they have more bass. That could be perfect. Update September 26, 2019 at almost 6 months into ownership: These have become amazing. They are now fully broken in and have been used for hundreds of hours. The bass has really, really opened up. The level of detail these headphones can reveal is simply stunning. The bass is tight, clean, accurate and not bloated. I might still prefer a bit more, but they are really good. I bought a pair of Massdrop THX789 amplifiers so that I can more easily A:B my headphones. I'm looking at a triple-stack next to me...on the bottom is the Monolith Monoprice THX788 headphone DAC/AMP and on top of that are my pair of 789's. The 789's are each fed by a dedicated Audioquest Dragonfly red DAC just so the playing field is level. The first 789 is feeding some already broken-in Audeze LCD-X headphones (open, planar magnetic) and the second is feeding my Mr. Speaker Ether CX. I'm using my Roon server which is streaming TIDAL; Roon can feed multiple DAC's the same track at the same time. I love both headphones, but as I go back and forth, sometimes I prefer the Mr. Speaker on certain tracks. The Audeze have a bit more "air"...and I would say a slightly bigger sound-stage as well as "punchier" bass extension. The Ether CX have so much fine detail and the bass is so amazingly accurate and deep. The Ethers are also much, much more comfortable! The clamping force on the Ethers is such that they nearly "disappear" when I'm wearing them for a while. The Audeze LCD-X are giant, heavy, and clamp my head hard. They are much more fatiguing from a comfort standpoint. The Mr. Speaker weigh ~ 394 grams and the Audeze LCD-X weigh ~635 grams. I might prefer the Audeze from an overall sound standpoint if I had to pick just one...because I do often like "punchy" bass on a lot of tracks, particularly rock, and I love a big, airy soundstage - but the comfort is a huge factor...and a set of closed headphones gives you the ability to listen without disturbing others (airplanes, public places, at home so as to not disturb your family, office environments, etc.). As others have stated, you MUST break these in. They were honestly not very good when I first received them. I'm running black foam and double-notch white felt in them. They are also now much, much better than my Sennheisers on Darkvoice 336SE with Philips / RCA vintage tubes. They're also better than my HiFiMan HE-4XX. They're more detailed, cleaner and tighter. With that said, if you are on a budget...HE-4XX are great for the value, but they can't hold a candle to the Ethers once the Ethers break-in. The Ether highs and mids are some of the cleanest and most accurate I've ever heard. On my Monolith THX788 I sometimes add a low shelf EQ to boost the bass, but even without a boost they are awesome. On the THX789 with zero EQ, I still love them and they are amazing. My Mr. Speaker Ether CX are 100% keepers, and based on the above - at this point in time if I could only have one pair of headphones, the Ether CX would be the pair due to the light weight comfort and closed-back design. I would give the edge to the Audyssey LCD-X for overall audiophile sound quality, but that is also a bit of an apples/oranges comparison since the LCD-X are open-back design.
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(Edited)
Apr 2, 2019
A community member
Apr 4, 2019
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Would you say the bass on the hd 6xx is more or less punchy/impactful than the mrspeakers ether cx?
Apr 4, 2019
DiMora
223
Apr 4, 2019
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Yes, 6XX has more punchy, impactful and overall louder bass - but it is not as "clean" and accurate. You can hear every little nuance of the bass on the Mr. Speakers once they are broken in.
(Edited)
Apr 4, 2019
dabratto
22
Apr 17, 2019
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What songs do you listen to that have bass? Cuz the mid bass on the sens are great but completely fall flat on sub bass. I listen to a lot of current day rap and hop and the sens were clearly not built for that music. I highly doubt the sub bass in that aspect would be better on sens than the CX, not that I’ve heard the cx of course
(Edited)
Apr 17, 2019
DiMora
223
Sep 27, 2019
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Yello "The Expert", Kendrick Lamar / Rihanna "Loyalty" (Off of DAMN)...There's some super-deep bass on that track at 1:30. I cannot hear it with impact on any headphones I've tried yet. I can hear a hint of it on my Audyssey LCD-X...but my reference system has a pair of Dayton Audio Ultimax 18" subs in sealed 3 cubic-foot enclosures powered by Crown XLS2502 pro audio amps (2400 watts each), so I know what that low note *should* sound like - and no headphones can do it that I've tried thus far. Both of those tracks sound great on the Ether CX...they have clean bass, but it is not a big boomy sound on the Ethers.
(Edited)
Sep 27, 2019
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