Massdrop x MrSpeakers Ether CX Closed Headphones
Massdrop x MrSpeakers Ether CX Closed Headphones
bookmark_border
Where's the price?
To negotiate the best possible price for our customers, we agree to hide prices prior to logging in.
391 Sold
Product Description
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 ... Read More

search
CEE_TEE
3109
Collaborations
Sep 24, 2018
Stickied
bookmark_border
When the timing is right…
Dan Clark’s operations are in San Diego.  (I imagine it’s gotta be hard to be productive in such a nice place, but Dan has always seemed driven.)  We checked in with Dan a couple of times throughout the years about working together and usually he is improving his headphones, developing new models, and keeping up his production. Earlier this year, he said that with enough time to plan he could increase production capability plus he had some ideas for our project.  We were a go!
Thrilled to have a couple of prototypes bouncing back and forth (between Dan, ourselves, and a couple of community members) we made some adjustments to the frequency response and subjectively validated the balance of spatial & tonal considerations.  Targets are a balanced, open-sounding tonality with a soundstage that has natural sonic size and weight.
Some concepts at work with MrSpeakers: DIY Spirit = Appreciating the people & process of improving headphones with modifications Kaizen = Discipline & Practice of Continuous Improvement Customer Care = Making improvements available to existing customers
Dan comes from the DIY audiophile community, where he originally worked on tuning Fostex T-50RP headphones. Eventually, he set a goal for himself and a new company:  offer commercial mods on Fostex T-50RP headphones and save up to launch a whole new headphone line made entirely by MrSpeakers within 3 years.
DIY spirit we give Dan credit for: making upgrades available for existing headphones.  When possible, Dan offers new tuning upgrades for purchase and self-installation.  When the mod requires more than swapping out easy tuning materials such as foam and felt, he has allowed people to send in their headphones for swapping of updated drivers or baffles at reasonable prices.  This speaks to Dan’s ethos of wanting people to have the best sound he can make.
The MrSpeakers line of Fostex T50RP modded headphones: Mad Dog
search
Alpha Dog
search
Alpha Primes
search
Those are the steps Dan took so he could make the leap to his Ether line of headphones.   MrSpeakers did in fact release the first headphone from the ground up within three years:  the Ether Open with new V-Planar drivers.
search
Flying V V-Planar Drivers utilize MrSpeakers’ proprietary version of the planar driver diaphragm knurling technique invented by Bruce Thigpen.  This is an accordion-type of folding method that adds surface area to allow for more linear excursion with the rapid tensioning of diaphragms during dynamic music.  The goals are natural sound with high dynamics and low distortion, even when stressed.
search

Closed Back, Open Sound In general, with open-back headphones, pressure doesn’t build up as much in the earcups and reverberations or ringing is minimized. Sound is natural, open, and clear.  (Imagine speakers playing in your backyard vs. in your closet.)
However, sound leaks in & out of an open-back headphone.  With a closed-back headphone, more care needs to be taken in order to absorb reflections and pressure from a closed system but benefits through isolation from outside noise.  If you can pull it off, the ideal for many is the sound of an open-back headphone with the advantages of a closed-back design.
Business is now Open AND Closed No sooner than he successfully launched his Ether Open, I know that Dan started getting requests for a closed version. (I was one of those people.) Luckily he had the chops from all his T50RP modding days and the Ether C (Closed) was created…
Fast-forward another few years and our new Massdrop x MrSpeakers Ether CX contains continued improvement on the original (non-Flow) platform of the Ether C.  
search
The Ether CX is still using the extremely clean V-Planar drivers along with some changes to damping and ear pad material/shape to get the sound we were searching for.
Product goals for our flagship closed-back headphone: · Isolating · Accurate · Open-sounding · Resolving · Fast · Clean · Sleek
Personally, I’m stoked about the clean sound these produce, how they feel in the hands/on the head, and I LOVE how they look.  Designing and tuning closed back headphones is not for the faint of heart- or people wary of driving towards constant improvement.  We’re so happy to be adding these to the exclusive Massdrop Made product line and to have our flagship closed back headphone at last…we hope you enjoy!
Sep 24, 2018
Ecoli_o157
6
Jul 5, 2019
bookmark_border
Any chance to see them available to the EU as other headphones are?
Jul 5, 2019
Shawnb
6
Jul 13, 2019
bookmark_border
Headphones in this range aren’t really meant to be used with a smartphone. They need more power, plus if you find Sony MDR-7506 better then the AFC’s then likely these aren’t the headphones for you. You either need a DAP or need to add a portable DAC/amp to really get the most out of these
Jul 13, 2019
MrSpeakers
217
Dan Clark, Designer/CEO
Sep 25, 2018
Stickied
bookmark_border
Hi there!Thanks to Cee Tee for his perseverance, he stuck with us for a long time to make this happen, and I'm really excited for us to be doing our first drop!
We tried to make the ETHER CX a unique product, and there is a lot in that's new. For example, it uses the original ETHER C driver but with a new tuning system delivering a unique and smooth voicing with gently lifted bass, and a really smooth transition from bass to mids. The new hardware is also a bit lighter and with no moving, as per our AEON design, and it sports a new ear pad. I hope it's a lot of fun for those who opt in the drop.
If anyone has any questions for me, please chime in.
EDIT: To make the information easier for people to see, I'm copying two of my posts contrasting ETHER CX to ETHER C and to AEON Closed. The format of the two posts is a bit different in style as I was sort of answering two different questions, for the editorially minded. :-)
ETHER C The original ETHER C had a tip toward the higher frequencies and also had some pad bounce that made bass a little unpredictable. With ETHER CX we have a new pad that reduces pad bounce for smoother and more impactful bass. By bringing the highs better into balance the whole headphone has warmer tone, without lacking air or shimmer, and the bass really pops on good source material (listening to Robag Wruhme's Wolluwe track as I write this and a lot of toe tapping going on).
search
EC = Black ETHER CX = Orange
ÆON Tone: ETHER CX has a more neutral voicing with a bump to the bass, while AEON has a bit more of a V to the response and is less linear and smooth sounding. ETHER CX has a bit more heft at the lowest frequencies, it just feels like there's more power at the sub-bass even though they measure similarly. AEON Closed presents a bit more upper bass energy due to the V-shape to the response. ETHER CX has a smoother blend to the midrange which delivers better phase coherence, while AEON has a bit of a peak in the 5K region, something we worked to eliminate in the ETHER CX, and a brighter than neutral top. Dynamics are very similar. Soundstage they are close, ETHER CX seems a trifle larger. Efficiency: ETHER CX is 2-3dB more efficient. Comfort: The AEON is lighter and is a bit more comfortable for more extended listening. Isolation: ETHER CX offers several dB more isolation. The following chart is showing both headphones with no damping,orange is ECX and purple is AEON Closed, measured on a GRAS 45 CA with DF compensation. The main takeaway is the smoother response of the ETHER CX, with a less pronounced "V" to the response for better midrange-high coherence, yet with a fun bump to the bottom end. The smoother top end lets the mids and bass stand out nicely, too. I like to think of it as "audiophile fun" voicing.
search
ECX = Orange ÆON Closed = Purple
Sep 25, 2018
MrSpeakers
217
Dan Clark, Designer/CEO
May 23, 2019
bookmark_border
Correct, it's a balanced cable with an adaptor for 1/4" and 3.5mm included.
May 23, 2019
LuckyLuke575
175
Jul 5, 2019
bookmark_border
I've been reading the comments, and I'm wondering what is the minimum amp output that's needed to make this headphone run at its full potential? E.g. 200 mW, 500mW, 1000 mW etc. The impedance is low, but people are saying that isn't indicative if the kind of amp one needs to have.
Jul 5, 2019
T.Fernandez
97
Collabs
Feb 22, 2019
Stickied
bookmark_border
HOW TO GET THE BEST SOUND FROM YOUR ETHER CX Your headphone will sound great out of the box, but with a little bit of care we can help you get the best possible experience. Burn In MrSpeakers headphones “burn-in” over the course of 100-200 hours. Our drivers have been processed using our patented V-Planar technique which creases the driver to improve bass response and reduce distortion. This unique process requires the driver diaphragm and conductive traces to reach a steady-state through some use. You can burn-in with regular listening and enjoy the changes as the driver stabilizes. Tuning Your new Massdrop MrSpeakers ETHER CX headphone comes with a tuning kit allowing you to tune the sound to your preferred listening volume and tonal balance. Due to the physiology of human hearing- the louder music plays, the more sensitive your ear is to low frequencies. This means tone of your headphone will change with volume and a headphone that sounds full and balanced at 75dB may sound thinner at 60dB. There are four included tuning materials listed in the order of increasing damping (damping softens the highs): 1) 2mm Black Foam (pre-installed) 2) Black Felt (slightly more damping for a bit more warmth) 3) 1-Notch White Felt (good for low volume or to increase bass) 4) 2-Notch White Felt (delivers the warmest tone, most bass) Tuning materials may be used alone, in combination, or not at all. “Pro-tips” from MrSpeakers: 1) White felts “burn in” as the fabric settles down,1-2 days of normal use will “open up” the sound of the felts. For this reason, don’t judge tunings instantly. Live with a tuning for a while and see how it settles. 2) Don’t be afraid to combine materials, white felts can be paired with black felt or foam just fine, for example. The only pairing that won’t work well is layering both of the one and two notch white felts at the same time.
Feb 22, 2019
bfitz
356
Jul 7, 2019
bookmark_border
These or LCD-2C.... Both blind purchases, looking for a closed all rounder to complement HD800 and various other midfi cans. Personal fav right now is 58x through CTH
Jul 7, 2019
vonBaron
0
Jul 5, 2019
bookmark_border
Anyone can compare Ether CX to Fostex TH-900?
Jul 5, 2019
MusicLover
341
Jul 5, 2019
bookmark_border
After watching a recent review on YouTube I’ve decided against purchasing for now . This just seems to be overpriced for it’s quality and sound. I Would appreciate opinions from those who actually purchased it and have had time to form an opinion. Thanks
Jul 5, 2019
gtb75
128
Jul 10, 2019
bookmark_border
No offense here... I just am not a fan of Audeze as a company after what they pulled with Massdrop. I feel Massdrop has done a lot for the audiophile community as a whole, so it was a real disappointment to hear what Audeze did. As for the Ether CX, you probably won't see a ton of reviews out there for them since they are a Massdrop exclusive and they have sold less than 400 of them (and not all of those have been delivered yet). The only other comparable closed headphones I compared them to were the Focal Elegia, and I definitely preferred the Ether CX to those. There is just an ease to the presentation of the Ether CX which lets you listen fatigue free for hours. The Ether CX is also vastly better than my Fostex TH-X00 which I was using as a closed headphone before I got the CX. Full disclosure - I have a number of MrSpeakers headphones, so I generally like Dan's "house sound". That being said, I actually wasn't a huge fan of the original Ether C when I heard it - but he definitely got it right with the CX.
(Edited)
Jul 10, 2019
MusicLover
341
Jul 10, 2019
bookmark_border
Thank you. I appreciate all Massdrop has done too. I have made many purchases here too. I have a rather large collection of Headphones from many different manufacturers. In Business sometimes partnerships don’t work and sides go separate ways. Audeze has been great to deal with and I feel they make great products and that’s all I can go on. Take care
Jul 10, 2019
megawhacko
7
Jul 3, 2019
bookmark_border
Did anyone else get an email about their order being pushed back till late July? Why do I feel like this is my luck with Massdrop lol.
Jul 3, 2019
mikkol79
3
Jul 15, 2019
bookmark_border
Any more news about shipping...?
Jul 15, 2019
megawhacko
7
Jul 16, 2019
bookmark_border
No other update emails since the original one saying it was pushed back till late July. Bummer.
Jul 16, 2019
Ecoli_o157
6
Jul 1, 2019
bookmark_border
Great product for a EU run. Hope to see it available very soon!
Jul 1, 2019
jrjr
22
Jun 20, 2019
bookmark_border
I have the emu teaks as my closed back headphones. Without going over the top, what are the sonic differences?
Jun 20, 2019
mikkol79
3
Jun 19, 2019
bookmark_border
How likely are these to ship in time? Would be critical as a friend is bringing them over for me from the east coast (I live in Finland).
Jun 19, 2019
Showing 108 of 368
keyboard_arrow_up
Newest
368 OF 368 POSTS
Jul 20, 2019
keyboard_arrow_down
Oldest
Recent Activity
Placed an order
Placed an order
Placed an order