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Aune AR5000 Headphone Review

Rate this headphone:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 5 3.2%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 35 22.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 70 44.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 47 29.9%

  • Total voters
    157

amirm

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This is the review, listening tests, EQ and detailed measurements of the Aune AR5000 open back headphone. It was sent to me by the company and costs US $299.
Aune AR5000 Open Ear Headphone open back headphone.jpg

The AR5000 is incredibly nice looking. Modern yet stylistic. What's more, even though it is made out of metal, it is extremely light. So much so that when I grabbed the box, I thought they had forgotten to include the headphone! This makes it comfortable to wear.

The drivers are heavily angled which in theory should help with spatialization.

While the headband has adjustments on both sides, I could not get it to exert equal pressure (top and bottom) on the headphone fixture so bass response may be better than shown below.

Aune AR5000 Headphone Measurement
Let's start with our usual frequency response of AR5000 on GRAS 45CA fixture:
Aune AR5000 Open Ear Headphone Frequency Response Measurement.png

Other measurements I have seen show the bass closer to flat although the company's measurements are similar to mine. We have some shortfall in treble as well. I expect the sound then to be "OK" but lack "excitement." Relative response shows the areas that need equalization for best fidelity:
Aune AR5000 Open Ear Headphone relative Frequency Response Measurement.png


Distortion rises in low frequencies as expected:
Aune AR5000 Open Ear Headphone relative THD Distortion Measurement.png

But as noted, settles down very nicely, hugging our near zero line at 94 and even 104 dBSPL. Here are the distortion components:
Aune AR5000 Open Ear Headphone THD Distortion Measurement.png


Group delay shows the typical messiness which may be caused by reflections in the cup:
Aune AR5000 Open Ear Headphone Group Delay Measurement.png


Impedance is nearly flat and low:
Aune AR5000 Open Ear Headphone Impedance Measurement.png


Sensitivity is extremely good, beating some IEMs!!!
Most efficient headphone review.png


This should make it very easy to drive with just about any source which is a major benefit for such a headphone.

Aune AR5000 Listening Tests and Equalization
Out of box tuning is "fine" and not something that would annoy you. But with some EQ acting as salt and pepper, the response wakes up significantly:
Aune AR5000 Open Ear Headphone eq equalization parametric.png

Above is based on measurements but tuned by ear. Specifically, if I dialed in the required bass boost, the headphone would distort. Above is as high as I could get it while playing tracks with significant subbass response. Given that, I had to dial down my two treble filters to balance the tonality.

Once there, the overall response was to die for on reference tracks. Bass response was solid and deep. High frequencies combined with very good spatial qualities put a smile on my face.

Importantly, this thing runs on candle light amount of power. This means that you can drive it hard and get excellent dynamics and fidelity much easier than say, Sennheiser HD650. I think many people underpower headphones and with it, hurt the perceived bass response at least. The AR5000 does away with that.

Conclusions
The AR5000 starts with looks that rival and beat headphones in multi-thousand dollar price range. Out of box tonality lacks some bass and treble which is easily remedied with equalization. Once there, combine with its very high sensitivity, you have a delightful headphone to listen to. It is a nicer alternative to Sennheiser HD6XXX series. That headphone doesn't need treble adjustment so sounds better out of box but the Aune beats in looks and sensitivity. And likely in spatial effects.

I am happy to recommend the Aune AR5000 with equalization.
------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

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Music1969

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Dynamic driver HiFiman Sundara like

Lighter and more efficient than Sundara
 

martin900

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Are we simply trolling these days? Recommending something AFTER eq is just plain nonsense, it's like saying "it's a good car, but you need to change the wheels and suspension"...
 

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OP
amirm

amirm

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Recommending something AFTER eq is just plain nonsense, it's like saying "it's a good car, but you need to change the wheels and suspension"...
Nope. EQ is free. Those mods are not.
 

ObjectiveSubjectivist

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Are we simply trolling these days? Recommending something AFTER eq is just plain nonsense, it's like saying "it's a good car, but you need to change the wheels and suspension"...
Victim of numbers and pure measurements without hint of interpretation or thinking?
Seems like you are that person.
 

Thomas_A

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Nope. EQ is free. Those mods are not.
EQ "may" be free. If you are using the headphone on multiple platforms (phone, digital piano, computer, amplifier, gaming) it soon becomes a bit of a hassle to use EQ.
 

Maiky76

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Here are some thoughts about the EQ.
Please report your findings, positive or negative!

Notes about the EQ design:
  • The average L/R is used to calculate the score.
  • The resolution is 12 points per octave interpolated from the raw data (provided by @amirm)
  • A Genetic Algorithm is used to optimize the EQ.
  • The EQ Score is designed to MAXIMIZE the Score WHILE fitting the Harman target curve (and other constrains) with a fixed complexity.
    This will avoid weird results if one only optimizes for the Score.
    It will probably flatten the Error regression doing so, the tonal balance should be therefore more neutral.
  • The EQs are starting point and may require tuning (certainly at LF and maybe at HF).
  • The range around and above 10kHz is usually not EQed unless smooth enough to do so.
  • I am using PEQ (PK) as from my experience the definition is more consistent across different DSP/platform implementations than shelves.
  • With some HP/amp combo, the boosts and preamp gain (loss of Dynamic range) need to be carefully considered to avoid issues with, amongst other things, too low a Max SPL or damaging your device. You have beed warned.
  • Not all units of the same product are made equal. The EQ is based on the measurements of a single unit. YMMV with regards to the very unit you are trying this EQ on.
  • I sometimes use variations of the Harman curve for some reasons. See rational here: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...pro-review-headphone.28244/page-5#post-989169
  • https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...pro-review-headphone.28244/page-6#post-992119
  • NOTE: the score then calculated is not comparable to the scores derived from the default Harman target curve if not otherwise noted.
Average L/R match.
I have generated one EQ, the APO config file is attached.


Score no EQ: 61.8
Score Amirm: 70.3
Score with EQ: 90.3

Code:
Aune AR5000 APO Score EQ Flat@HF 96000Hz
December202023-183426

Preamp: -7.9 dB

Filter 1: ON PK Fc 20.50 Hz Gain 7.93 dB Q 0.32
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 218.40 Hz Gain -3.17 dB Q 0.77
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 2017.48 Hz Gain 6.09 dB Q 1.75
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 3645.49 Hz Gain 6.13 dB Q 6.31
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 7261.90 Hz Gain 4.80 dB Q 2.57

Aune AR5000 APO Score EQ Flat@HF 96000Hz.png
 

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Last edited:
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amirm

amirm

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EQ "may" be free. If you are using the headphone on multiple platforms (phone, digital piano, computer, amplifier, gaming) it soon becomes a bit of a hassle to use EQ.
That is why I comment on the non-EQ performance as well. In this case it is OK. It is not annoying and can readily by used for gaming, etc.

If it is an issue, that is why you have other choices. Those choices may be a lot more expensive, harder to drive, etc.

None of this is a reason for me to not EQ a headphone and see how much improvement it can have. After all, a lot of headphone research was done by EQing a surrogate headphone to the response of other headphones.
 

sai

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Nice review!

Upon testing the AR5000, I found the positioning on the measurement rig plays a very significant role in the FR you get. This is expected. As Amir mentioned at the beginning of the review, the AR5000's drivers are highly angled. That means a greater degree of variability in how they interact with the pinnae.

aune-ar5000-positional-variations.png


Wear them with your ears towards the front of the AR5000 ear cups (blue curve) tends to give you the most upper-mids and treble, compared to wearing them in the middle/back of the ear cup (purple/red).

p.s. I am using the GRAS 43AG-4 namely the regular IEC60318-4 coupler so the treble response can be a bit different from Amir's measurement.
 

Mulder

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Are we simply trolling these days? Recommending something AFTER eq is just plain nonsense, it's like saying "it's a good car, but you need to change the wheels and suspension"...
It is not nonsense in my opinion, but highly essential information. How well a headphone responds to EQ is one of the most important characteristics of a headphone. Even a headphone that perfectly corresponds to the Haraman reference curve may need to be adjusted with EQ depending on personal preference or variations between different recordings. The availability of digital PEQ and DSP is generally an improvement in HiFi, compared to pre-digital HiFi. Not a sign that something is missing.
 
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Thomas_A

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That is why I comment on the non-EQ performance as well. In this case it is OK. It is not annoying and can readily by used for gaming, etc.

If it is an issue, that is why you have other choices. Those choices may be a lot more expensive, harder to drive, etc.

None of this is a reason for me to not EQ a headphone and see how much improvement it can have. After all, a lot of headphone research was done by EQing a surrogate headphone to the response of other headphones.
Sure, I agree that EQ can be used and improve almost all headphones with a poor response (distortion aside). But it is not always a free option, depending of how you use it.
 

Mulder

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EQ "may" be free. If you are using the headphone on multiple platforms (phone, digital piano, computer, amplifier, gaming) it soon becomes a bit of a hassle to use EQ.
For that reason, it would be a good thing if more HiFi manufacturers followed in RME's footsteps and produced DACs with analog inputs, built-in PEQ and maybe even built-in RIA adjustment.
 

Thomas_A

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For that reason, it would be a good thing if more HiFi manufacturers followed in REM's footsteps and produced DACs with analog inputs, built-in PEQ and maybe even built-in RIA adjustment.
One step forward, but still a bit of hassle if you use the headphone on multiple sources. Using headphones with good response from start is another solution.
 

Mulder

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One step forward, but still a bit of hassle if you use the headphone on multiple sources. Using headphones with good response from start is another solution.
Good sound is always a hassle. Ha Ha! Joking aside, it goes without saying I think that you choose the headphones that already suit your preferences best, but if you want really good sound, you have to be prepared to adjust the sound in any case because different recordings vary so much. And it's not just about EQ. Some have a much too strong stereo separation between the channels, which may require cross-feed in order to be able to stand listening to it in headphones. I almost always use a bit of cross-feed these days when I listen in headphones.
 

CedarX

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EQ "may" be free. If you are using the headphone on multiple platforms (phone, digital piano, computer, amplifier, gaming) it soon becomes a bit of a hassle to use EQ.
More RME-like DACs with built-in PEQ is an option, but another path would be a FreeDSP-like upgrade cable for headphones (where your EQ “follows” the HP). Sure you’ll now have to deal with a “digital” USB-C HP, but it’s becoming ubiquitous. The very good sensitivity should make the AR5000 an easy target…
 

Thomas_A

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It goes without saying I think that you choose the headphones that already suit your preferences best, but if you want really good sound, you have to be prepared to adjust the sound in any case because different recordings vary so much. And it's not just about EQ. Some have a much too strong stereo separation between the channels, which may require cross-feed in order to be able to stand listening to it in headphones. I almost always use a bit of cross-feed these days when I listen in headphones.
There are a lot of headphones that just sound bad or terrible out of the box, regardless of recording. A few ones are excellent/good (including IEMs). Recordings vary as well, but to me, those that reasonably follows the Harman curve works well for almost all recordings, with the exception for binaural recordings.
 
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