Ether-C Flow Measurements and Impressions

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by ultrabike, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Thanks to @GelockS for sending these.

    The Ether-C Flow is a closed back planar magnetic headphone flagship from Mr Speakers. As far as the unique "Flow" technology, this is what Dan has to say (http://headphone.guru/mrspeakers-ether-c-flow-headphones/):

    “We are dealing with waves, where atoms move back and forth in response to pressure changes. When the wave passes a right angle on a magnet, it experiences diffraction, which changes the direction of the wave from parallel to the driver to a quarter-spherical wave coming off the magnet edge, while the wave coming directly past the magnet remains parallel. This is an increase in entropy and the result is masking of fine details and increase in distortions. There are other effects as well, but the key point is we’re trying to acoustically replace the hard edges of the magnet with smooth passages that reduce these negative effects.”

    Wow. Well, that certainly went a bit over my head. But suffice to say, that it appears the drivers are custom made and this is not just another mod of an existing headphone.

    The cans look really nice, and the packaging is fantastic:

    [​IMG]

    How about the sound?

    Based on what I heard these maybe "version 1.1" (Don't know how many versions there are)

    I would agree (somewhat) with the following statements (http://audio-head.com/MrSpeakers-Ether-C-Flow-Review/)

    "I characterize as a shallow U-shape" - AudioHead
    "Everything in between, from the mids through the mid-bass, is slightly laid back and thin." - AudioHead
    "The complaints most often heard of the current C are that it doesn’t have enough bass and that it can be too bright" - AudioHead

    I don't think think they are exactly U-shaped. They have more treble than bass. The mids may be somehow laid back in some areas and may be indeed a bit thin. Indeed the C's may not have enough bass.

    If you care to read a perhaps different opinion, here is another take on it (maybe another version of the cans): http://headphone.guru/mrspeakers-ether-c-flow-headphones/

    Anyhow. I did not like what I heard. To me they sound similar to how they measure (see bellow). Possible other folks may find these their top of the crop cans depending on version and personal preferences.

    Frequency Response

    Ether_C_fr.png

    Distortion Right

    Ether_C_dist_right.png

    Distortion Left

    Ether_C_dist_left.png

    CSD Right

    Ether_C_csd_right.png

    CSD Left

    Ether_C_csd_left.png
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2016
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  2. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Several measurements on the right and left channel (after re-seating on the coupler), which seem to be repeatable:

    Ether_C_fr_2.png

    Distortion Right (not normalized to fundamental)

    Ether_C_dist_right2.png

    Distortion Left (not normalized to fundamental)

    Ether_C_dist_left2.png

    Impulse response Right

    Ether_C_impulse_right.png

    Impulse response Left

    Ether_C_impulse_left.png
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2016
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  3. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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  4. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    How in the fraggleheim does something leave the assembly line with such a big channel imbalance?
     
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  5. GelockS

    GelockS Friend

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    Hey G.

    As far as I know, there is only one Ether C Flows version... The previous non-Flow Ethers DID have different versions.

    But who knows!?! maybe something went wrong with their QA? It has happened before and it has been documented on HF...
     
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  6. GelockS

    GelockS Friend

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    Could be the pads too. They kind of compress a bit inside the provided bag. But I doubt it. ..
     
  7. perkele

    perkele Acquaintance

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    Another day, another version, another issue. Sigh. Once the Ether C had so much promise but bang/buck ratio is diminishing ever more. In my eyes the value perspective ruins these cans. Should they cost considerably less I could have lived with the flaws of C.
     
  8. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    I likely got confused with the versioning stuff.

    If the pads are the problem, and that's a good possibility, maybe Mr Speakers should experiment with more consistent ones. Not all headphones respond the same to pads and stuff. But some planar magnetic ones do seem to exhibit strong dependence on pads.

    Having pads deform consistently different between two channels may be part of the issue. Maybe there is still driver variability issues as well. This is pure speculation on my part though.
     
  9. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    I think there is good feed back here:

    1) Check pads. Make sure they are not the cause of these variations.
    2) Check possible treble issues in the tuning. I know different measurement rigs yield different results. But this feedback comes from hearing the cans. Possible folks have different opinions about this. But it seems a consistent criticism.

    The cans look fantastic though and are fairly comfy.

    These cans are $1.5k. It's hard to be lax in performance demands with such a step price as @perkele alluded to.
     
  10. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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  11. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Wow, shocking LR channel matching. My flow open was better matched (within 1.5db) than this flow-c. Is that because closed cans are more difficult to control unit variation, like Zach mentioned in one interview?


    (Zach explained why he designed Omni and new cans as 'semi-closed')
     
  12. Delayeed

    Delayeed Facebook Friend

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    So which version is this? Original C 1.0, 1.1 or Flow C or is there a new Flow C 1.1? ffs.
    I called him out after seeing people posting pics of their Ether Flows having pad compression out of the box and we are supposed to pay 1800$ for that?
    The original Ethers didn't have pad compression or severe channel imbalance fuckeries going on. They should finish and test their products and not releasing what seem like rushed prototypes that just get tweaked over time especially when the problems are fairly obvious and relatively easy to fix given proper QC. It's a pretty small and new company though so I guess these things are bound to happen. Guess I got lucky since I love my C 1.1s and will never "upgrade" to the Flow Cs.
     
  13. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    I'm not sure. I know my two HD202s are closed and use a port to control the bass. But the matching between all four drivers (2 per can) is pretty close.

    The only thing I can think off currently is the pads. Also, ports can be very difficult.

    These are the Flow C. It seems there is only one version.

    Having consistent results can be difficult at first I guess. Having a strict process by which cans are exactly the same all the way down to the last detail is important IMO. Senn seems to be very good at this. Koss and Grado seem also good at this.

    It could also be the driver construction. Not sure if it's easier to get consistent dynamic drivers vs planar drivers.

    Not sure if bigger drivers interact more with the cup than smaller drivers either.
     
  14. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The channel imbalance is disturbing. Can you try switching pads (if that even works) to see if its the pads or the drivers or something else. I doubt it's your measurement technique with getting a good seal (I can see Jude screwing this up, but not you). The Ether Flow C I heard sounded like the right channel in the bass and left channel in the treble. Then again, it's difficult to hear channel imbalances, especially if they are in the bass.

    Is Changstar / SBAF a magnet for random defects or what? It seems that folks always ship us defective gear.
     
  15. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Depending on the nature of the imbalance, I can usually pick them out without too much issue. There's the part of my brain that picks out tonal issues, the part that picks up distortion, and then there's the WTF part that's usually imbalance/driver matching and confirmed once I run a tone sweep.
     
  16. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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    I was going to link the youtube video of the Beyer lady testing only 1 channel of the headphones, but I couldn't find it.
     
  17. Kejar31

    Kejar31 Acquaintance

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    Wow that channel imbalance is really bad.. Looking at the pictures its obvious, this was an upgraded pair rather than a new set as the cups match the old Non-Flow version. The balance is so bad I would suggest taking off the pads and verifying that the front dampening material is the same on both cups. It may seem glued but the dampening material still comes off pretty easily. If the dampening material is the same I would almost guess something went wrong with the upgrade and would have the owner call Dan and get it fixed. TBH they should be testing these things before sending them out :/
     
  18. Btdk34

    Btdk34 Facebook Friend

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    It looks like the picture came from here, I don't believe it's a picture of the actual headphone that was measured: http://headfonics.com/2016/04/the-ether-c-by-mrspeakers/

    I very well could be wrong, though.
     
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  19. GelockS

    GelockS Friend

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    I think ultra posted an old stock picture and it's not one from the headphone per se... I could be mistaken. ..
     
  20. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Can do. Will do tonite.

    Will verify dampening as well.

    Yup. Will post actual picture tonite as well.
     
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