MrSpeakers ÆON (Corrected Unit) - Impressions, Review, and Measurements

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by Hands, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    I will try to keep this a little more succinct that usual (key word try) and only include information relevant to the tuning correction on my Aeon. Please see my original thread for further information, but understand that any information in this thread supersedes my original impressions before the Aeon had its tuning corrected.

    I got my Aeons back a while ago with the tuning fix but have just now been able to post about it. I had anticipated a relatively minor change with the fix, but the Aeons sound noticeably different. As far as I know, this is what my pair was supposed to sound like.

    So, what has changed?

    - Much less low-end bass. They still have good extension but sound much more neutral now. This is both a pro and con in my mind. On the upside, they are more accurate now. On the downside, I liked that the extra bass pre-tuning-correction gave the Aeon some good "oomph" to the sound. I think this helps counteract what I perceive as a lack of macro-dynamics inherent in almost all planar headphones. (Even the lean HD800 can slam like crazy with the right amp. Not so much for planars, in my mind.)

    - Bass-to-midrange transition is much smoother now. No more major dips. There is still a bit of a disconnection, but it's more subtle and broad, somewhat like the Ether C with some filters in place.

    - Midrange and treble are both relatively unchanged. Now, what this means is that even though it's basically just the bass and lower-mids that have changed on the corrected unit, you would be surprised at how much of a difference this makes in the overall tone. The corrected tone is fairly neutral, but trends towards sounding a bit lean and bright. Previously, the upper-mids and treble sounded a bit bright, hard, and glaring on the Aeon. It was pretty easy to overlook with the excess bass. Now that the bass is relatively controlled, any upper-end problem areas stand out more. Everything is relative.

    - In continuation of the above point, the bass-to-mid transition no longer sounds hollow, but it still sounds lean and lacking in body (previously offset by the large bass boost). This also exacerbates any upper-end issues, and despite the overall neutral-ish tone, makes the headphone not feel as such.

    Despite sounding noticeably different, the overall traits from before the tuning fix remain. The sound is crisp, fast, and clear. Staging is fairly good for a closed headphone. They have decent resolution. It's really just the lower-end balance that came out differently.

    Without the foam inserts in place, I find the Aeons too lean, glaring, and bright sounding. They are more tolerable with the inserts. And, really, they are pretty balanced sounding in and of themselves, especially for a closed headphone. I know it's not easy to get everything nailed down perfectly. Given that, I do still think they are a good headphone and overall better now with the tuning fix than what I heard originally, but I recommend an audition before blind purchase.

    Using different front damping actually goes a long way on the Aeon. A bit of toilet paper, or similar material, and thicker foam can really do wonders for the Aeon. If you are very careful and have precise measuring gear to ensure channel balance, you could theoretically change the port damping material too. Just note that I don't think this is necessary, nor should you expect Dan or MrSpeakers as a whole to support that level of tweaking.

    Measurements

    The corrected Aeon is indeed quite different on the low-end. No more huge bass hump (required an absolutely perfect seal - slightest leak = goodbye bass). No more huge dip while transitioning into the mids. I would argue that while this is a very positive change overall, an even better subjective balance could be obtained were the bass to be a little heavier up until about 100Hz and with a slightly warmer-tilted blend into the midrange around 500Hz. Think more of a straight line from 10Hz to 500Hz. As it stands right now, everything between, say, 80Hz and 500Hz sounds to be lacking in body. And while that's a lesser issue than the pre-fix dip, I still find myself wishing for that next step in adjustment.

    Otherwise, the Aeons sound about the same as before in the rest of the midrange and treble. And while the overall response looks pretty decent on paper, you may be surprised how bright the Aeon can actually sound. It's still easier to listen to relative to the Ether C (w/out additional filters, that is), I think, but measurements can be deceiving.

    Adding the foam filter is a step in the right direction. I would like to see something with further impact on the response, but, hey, I won't complain for them being included for free. I have plenty of my own damping material to play with.

    NOTE: Blue = stock (left channel), and red = with the foam insert.

    AEON Corrected Left FR w and wout foam.png

    CSDs look OK, but not great. The filter helps clean up a few edges. It could be the mild ringing centered around 1-2KHz that makes them sound hotter than they may look in frequency response measurements, but I'm not sure. Either way, not a whole lot to comment on here, positively or negatively.

    Aeon L CSD.PNG Aeon L w Filter CSD.PNG
     
  2. dropadred

    dropadred Rando

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    I knew it! I knew that crazy (I fell in love with, tbh) bass response was "a fault". I wish I could hear it on my own...
     
  3. LSW

    LSW Facebook Friend

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    The more I listen to mine the more I notice a weird hollow-reverby quality to electric guitar and a general lack of subbass impact. I find myself gravitating back to the hd800 more, as much as I don't want to have to use the face tweeter. Considering a fostex th-x00 to satisfy my need for a closed headphone with decent bass slam that doesn't sound like total grainy crap in the mids and highs, but just don't know anymore. Never been a fan of wooden headphones.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  4. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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    I'm surprised Aeon doesn't have enough sub bass impact being a closed back planar. Although the impact bit might make sense if it's starving for air and over damped. It should at least reach as low as any other good sub bass can.
     
  5. LSW

    LSW Facebook Friend

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    It's about the a same amount of subbass as the hd800 in my opinion. A little less than my q701. Significantly less than the Sony 7506 or Beyer dt250. A lot less than most good iems. The bass measures ok if I press them into the coupling surface firmly for a perfect seal. Mess with that at all and it starts falling off 5db or more below 100hz, which is probably what a human head does.
     
  6. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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    Gotcha. I didn't realize seal was so important on these.
     
  7. TjH

    TjH Rando

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    I'm honestly really curious about an explanation behind that. I don't know much about this stuff but i've always been told, with good explanations, that planars have a nice bass extension and sub bass impact. Compared to things like lcd or even to dynamics like th-x00 or th-900 the sub bass on this is pretty low. Tho I gotta say: i cant see myself faulting it for that. I hate sub bass.

    Which also brings me to another point: how exactly do planars differ from dynamics in terms of sound? are there any real sonic properties ALL planars share that set them apart from dynamics - as a family? More to the point: how would you answer this question with relation to Aeon...what are some sonic properties of Aeon that are "planar"-ey - if that makes any sense.
     
  8. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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    I'm going to call on @Hands for that one. He's had plenty of experience with far more planars than myself.

    I will say that my findings seem to be that planars universally have a more in your head soundstage. Hands calls it the three blob effect. Sound centered around the left side, a little fuzzy then centered right in the middle and agiain fuzzy and more focused on the right. It's a loss of cohesiveness across the soundstage, at least with music.

    I find planars universally better for me when gaming. I can more easily pin point whether someone is left or right, up or down, but front to back is noticeably easier to differentiate with planars.

    One other area that some people being up is that planars don't have the same perceived dynamics of a dynamic headphone. I feel that this is mostly due to the linear frequency response from 20Hz to 1kHz of the majority of planars which gives them that lack of punch.

    All IMO, etc.
     
  9. TjH

    TjH Rando

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    Hmm ty.

    So, with dynamics being called 'dynamics' i feel like it'd be obviously more dynamic? (yes, i know that's not how names work). But, is it really a "planar" vs "dynamic" thing? IDK if i understand what "dynamics" means, but, from wat i can tell i seem to percieve lack of dynamics as "boring": i find AKG headphones (i've tried k712) to be REALLY boring. The micro dynamics esp is just so blah (my test track for dynamics is Omar Hakim's drumming in "Money for Nothing", as well as a Live version of hotel california).
    How would you rate dynanamics of Aeon btw?

    And as an aside, OMG I bought the Aeon (used). After being warned against buying mrspeakers by people here (inconsistent QC...and now i'm scared): I listened to aeon at a local shop as well as other phones, I was really digging the bite, transient and speed of the aeon as well as the "not over powering sub bass". So i pulled the trigger. So guys, tell me I'm not going to regret this? :)

    It's funny though, i never understood what people meant when they were talking about "speed", "attack" and so on. It made no sense to me. I went to the shop and put on AEon, after 15 minutes i put on Audeze EL8-C. It took like 5 seconds for my brain to go "wait..is this SLOW?" I was surprised that the first thought that popped into my head WAS in fact SLOW, not unexciting or something, but "Slow" and "lethargic"....so that was a cool experience.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  10. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Get the ebony version of the X-00. hardest wood and least amount of wood resonance.
     
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  11. bengo

    bengo Friend

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    The EL-8C sounded really dull generally to me, not a good headphone at any price.
     
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  12. TjH

    TjH Rando

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    oh good to know i wasn't imagining it. I did like the weight though. Unlike most people I LIKE me a HEAVY headphones, not sure why
     

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