Massdrop x MrSpeakers Ether CX Measurements

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by Hands, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

    Staff Member Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    9,790
    Dislikes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Colorado
    Home Page:
    These will be brief. No impressions because of my level of involvement in the project. But my measurement procedures are "standardized," so to speak, so I feel comfortable sharing. I will add some measurement commentary, but no direct subjective thoughts outside of that.

    This unit was pulled off the line at random by Massdrop and sent to me. No cherry picking in that sense.

    Disclaimer: I am allowed to keep it and plan to do so.

    Technical note: ARTA mysteriously wiped all my settings. I tried to set them back up as best as possible. The data should still be accurate for my methods, but you may notice minor deviations (i.e. low point FR cutoff).


    FR note: Normally I put 1KHz at 90dB, but these sound fuller than measurements might suggest were I to have done so. Measuring these posed difficult due to fit, placement, and seal sensitivity. Actual listening is just dandy. The new style pads are much better at sealing than the old style, however.

    Default 2mm foam insert in place.

    Massdrop x MrSpeakers Ether CX FR Left.png


    Massdrop x MrSpeakers Ether CX Distortion Left.png


    Massdrop x MrSpeakers Ether CX CSD Left.png
     
    WHO23, Kamikazi, J.I.T and 22 others like this.
  2. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

    Staff Member Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    9,790
    Dislikes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Colorado
    Home Page:
    I will add two more notes after giving it some thought. Despite the slightly bowed nature, downward, between 20Hz and 1KHz, these do not sound lean. They are full, engaging, and linear. They do not have the lean low mids like the original Ether C.

    They may sound ever so slightly forward around 1-2KHz. No biggie.
     
    Jinxy245, Lyander and Halaudio like this.
  3. spoony

    spoony Spooky

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    259
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Measurements look good for sure.
     
  4. NightPhotographer

    NightPhotographer Rando

    Joined:
    May 2, 2019
    Likes Received:
    1
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Hi
    Can you please compare frequency response of Ether CX to that of LCD2C? I need to know which one has better bass response.
    Cheers
     
  5. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

    Staff Member Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    9,790
    Dislikes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Colorado
    Home Page:
    Well, there's a lot more to it than bass response...

    The LCD-2C I can almost guarantee you has better bass. But both are quite good.

    But the LCD-2C is also a rougher sounding headphone in general, though quite good with vegan pads. You can find my measurements in the corresponding thread. I would recommend opening them in two tabs and flipping between the two.

    I think the ECX is more neutral out of the box. Definitely more comfortable. And closed isolation is nice. But it also is not for people that must wear glasses while listening, have thick hair, etc. It's very seal dependent.
     
    Elmer Danilovich likes this.
  6. NightPhotographer

    NightPhotographer Rando

    Joined:
    May 2, 2019
    Likes Received:
    1
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Thank you very much for your reply. I mostly listen to metal. If a headphone has forward upper mid range, bass guitar will be buried under electric guitar which I don't like at all. That's why I asked the question. I don't have a chance to try these headphones before pulling the trigger, so I need to rely on frequency responses and reviews. I'd really appreciate it if you could compare LCD2C, ECX, and Verum One with regard to my special need.
    Cheers
     
    jexby dislikes this.
  7. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

    Staff Member Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    9,790
    Dislikes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Colorado
    Home Page:
    Well I’ve never had all 3 together to compare. The ECX probably has more relaxed upper mids than the others. But it also may not sound as full in the low end as the others unless you can ensure a very, very good seal around your ears.

    I don’t really feel comfortable enough saying what would work best for you in this case. You’ll need to do a lot of research on the three and hope you can triangulate.
     
  8. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

    Staff Member Friend JK47
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    5,060
    Dislikes Received:
    39
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    anywhere but Randoville
    hey guess what?
    SBAF members don't exist to solve a magical evaluation of 3 way cans (with unknown chains) to satisfy your "special need". Go forth on picking one headphone, select a first pass DAC+Amp and report back with at least some first hand knowledge.

    the first chain is never the end game. take your time.
     
  9. Elmer Danilovich

    Elmer Danilovich MShenay trying to pretend to be an old man

    Joined:
    May 8, 2018
    Likes Received:
    142
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    Here with Mshenay
    Home Page:
    To be honest out of the same set up* I like with my AFC I'm quite impressed with ECX not as bass heavy as I was expecting, and quite lush certainly not lean. Staging is fairly open coherent and precises BUT only with a good seal, I have to admit I'm finding more texture in the mid range than I was expecting. Detail isn't lacking either, in fact I've been pleasantly surprised a few times tonight

    An again the seal is crucial, same with AFC but something different about ECX in my experience has been the position of the pads, I had to rotate them a little before I got a worthwhile seal.

    I see no real faults with it and as others have said it's quite good. Personally I'd actually like a smidge less bass with less humps/dips still that's just nitpicking... I'll also admit that while I found the macro dynamics to be adequate they could be better

    Thanks @Hands for the measurements,

    * HM901 Vintage Filter ON -> Moon Audio Solid Silver Blackdragon Line out -> Balanced out from iBasso PB2 LME 49990 Op Amp & High Current buffers w/Upgraded Battery PSU
     
    jnak00 likes this.
  10. Magnetostatic_Tubephile

    Magnetostatic_Tubephile Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Likes Received:
    650
    Dislikes Received:
    44
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    GoogleChrome, EU
    Been listening to recorded output of Ether CX compared to HD6XX or Verum 1 for the second time, using Oluv's handy online comparo tool.

    I held off posting anything about it a month ago but will comment this time. I cant help it but Ether CX sounds like crap tonally to me using the demos - plastic, zingy, grey, lacking in deep bass. The two headphones mentioned above provide audibly more balanced and vivid tonal experience. Oluv literally stated the "crap" word as well in his LCD1 comparo (at around 7:20 timestamp).

    If this is yet another case of Mrspeakers production consistency issues, it would only prove my point. I am shaking my head still about the brand overall but hopefully Dan Clark Audio rewamp is to bring positive changes to the pattern.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2019
  11. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

    Staff Member Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    9,790
    Dislikes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Colorado
    Home Page:
    Hold up, why the hell would you base anything off recorded outputs of headphones?

    Some are more sensitive to placement and seal than others. Ethers especially. Got a tiny leak, and you're going to have a bad time. Some are going to react more strongly, or differently, to different pinna, or lack thereof.

    Yeah, they're picky to work with. Most of his headphones are. They're hard as hell to measure even on my own head, because I don't get realtime feedback when listening.

    Yet, you're going to trust someones binaural recording comparisons?

    C'mon, man...You're smarter than this. And I think that you waited a month to post stemmed from something in your mind telling you, "This is probably not the smartest thing I could post."

    I helped MD identify some variance issues, but unfortunately not before some units made it into the wild early on. Dan also increased foam density in later pads because they might have worn too easily otherwise (which admittedly might be my fault to pushing for pads that more closely replicated the original flat pads).

    I was pretty adamant that MD reach out to owners, so they could be aware and request replacements as needed. No idea if that happened.

    I'm not saying that, were you to listened to these in person, you'd love them. I'm not saying you wouldn't find product inconsistencies.

    But, really? Recorded demos? We're not yet at the point where these can be done with any amount of reliability, and won't be for a long, long time.

    Can the Ether CX sound a bit grey at times? Mildly. The upper-mids/lower-treble are relaxed, and everything below 1KHz is pretty flat. Sort of like a smoother LCD-2C, which to me sounded didn't sound "vivid" either.

    It could also be due to the very slight raise around 500Hz-1KHz, especially in relation to the relaxed upper part of the headphone. That can make things sound a bit grey. 90% of this is alleviated once you get them on right and let the pads warm up, being memory foam or similar.

    So, yeah, they aren't perfect, but they're pretty damn good overall. None of this was hidden from anyone if you look at my measurements.

    And maybe newer pairs just sound wildly different. I'd have no way of knowing, really. My involvement ended shortly after launch. But there's really no evidence and information to suggest as such, as far as I know.
     
    Sqveak, Jinxy245, Baten and 2 others like this.

Share This Page