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Dan Clark Audio Aeon 2 Closed, Aeon 2 Noire and Stealth

majingotan

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These sources I use to prove my point that DCA headphones are on the softer side come from not just any person, but from reputable reviewers such as the Headphones.com team and Crinacle who have tried and tested hundreds of headphones in their lifetime. Ideally the best way to prove my point is to use a completely objective source, but here's the problem with that: Nobody posts dynamics measurements online.

If you think DCA headphones have great slam and impact, good for you. But I don't know whether to trust you or the other reputable reviewers who say it has less dynamics relative to other headphones like Focal or Sennheiser... After all that is the only point of reference I have.

Perceived dynamics are a function of distortion, SPL and Frequency Response. Impulse response (aka the whole FR spectrum dissected in time domain) of headphone will show whether it's more or less dynamic than others. Subjectively, Focal Clear dynamics is inferior than the DCA Aeon X Open while Utopia is clearly better than the DCA during my A/B subjective test with them.

Also, I own a headphones.com amplifier BTW and that's feeding my DCA Aeon X Open with plenty of dynamics and slam!

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Ilkless

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Perceived dynamics are a function of distortion, SPL and Frequency Response. Impulse response (aka the whole FR spectrum dissected in time domain) of headphone will show whether it's more or less dynamic than others. Subjectively, Focal Clear dynamics is inferior than the DCA Aeon X Open while Utopia is clearly better than the DCA during my A/B subjective test with them.

Also, I own a headphones.com amplifier BTW and that's feeding my DCA Aeon X Open with plenty of dynamics and slam!

View attachment 225320

It's funny because compression is a very real and empirical phenomenon that is testable and observable. Yet people insist on judging it by anecdotal experience.
 

Madlop26

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You can ultimately only trust your ears.

I am totally stuck with the decision as to what to do and how much to spend on a headphone.
looking for the end-game headphones........
Oh yes. that's me, a few years back, when after many years with my Oppo PM1 and Shure SE835 I thought it was time for the end game. Now after 8 new headphones and 4 IEMs I can tell you my personal conclusions:
- I can not trust my ears
- Most likely there are no end-game headphones
I think no headphones can give me that wow experience just every time, because there is another part of the equation, the human part, and the perception of beauty is affected by the state of your mind.
My cheapest headphones are the AKG 371, there are days that I think these sound so wonderful, why do I really need the rest?, and there are days they sound just Meh, right now using my Focal Elex, and sounding awesome, but 2 weeks ago I remember thinking meh. I have to admit there are some that give me wow moments more frequent than others, like the Monarch MKII.
I kind of holding the quest for the end game, what I am enjoying more these days is going through all my headphones and EIMs, they are all capable of giving me the wow moments if they catch me in the right place. But I will get eventually the DC stealth, money is not the problem, but my wife, poor woman, she does not know it but she has it coming.
 

staticV3

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But I will get eventually the DC stealth, money is not the problem, but my wife, poor woman, she does not know it but she has it coming.
Insulting your significant other on an anonymous online forum, very classy.
 

isaudio

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Perceived dynamics are a function of distortion, SPL and Frequency Response. Impulse response (aka the whole FR spectrum dissected in time domain) of headphone will show whether it's more or less dynamic than others. Subjectively, Focal Clear dynamics is inferior than the DCA Aeon X Open while Utopia is clearly better than the DCA during my A/B subjective test with them.

Also, I own a headphones.com amplifier BTW and that's feeding my DCA Aeon X Open with plenty of dynamics and slam!

View attachment 225320
Alright, you have enlightened me. Although I would probably measure dynamics differently: I would play two sine waves of a loud and quiet volume, then see how the headphones do compared to the ideal response. Ideally headphones will have the correct distinction between a sine wave of 1 db and another of 120 db. After all, dynamics are the varying volume of sounds in music.
 

F1308

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At times I just go reading and think it is like...

Much Ado About Nothing.
 

asrUser

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When you feed your DCA good quality source and your ears are accustomed to them you'll think they slam very good. Then you put on an Audeze or Fostex and you'll be like "How did I miss so much slam and dynamics"? Not saying DCA headphones are bad. I just like them for being very balanced and relaxing, when I need it. They deserve to stay in collections.

But I will get eventually the DC stealth, money is not the problem, but my wife, poor woman, she does not know it but she has it coming.
Haha. Just let her listen for a while to persuade her.
 
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Snoopy

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When you feed your DCA good quality source and your ears are accustomed to them you'll think they slam very good. Then you put on an Audeze or Fostex and you'll be like "How did I miss so much slam and dynamics"? Not saying DCA headphones are bad. I just like them for being very balanced and relaxing, when I need it. They deserve to stay in collections.
Exactly how I feel like the Aeon noire Vs meze liric.. the liric have more bass slam and are more exciting. but the noire are more relaxed, everything kinda blends nicely together.
And they sound pretty good as they are even without EQ. So I really like to use them for movies and videogames.

If I'm ever going to replace the noire it will be with something else from Dan Clark.

IMG_20220819_170710.jpgIMG_20220819_170616.jpg
 

JanesJr1

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These sources I use to prove my point that DCA headphones are on the softer side come from not just any person, but from reputable reviewers such as the Headphones.com team and Crinacle who have tried and tested hundreds of headphones in their lifetime. Ideally the best way to prove my point is to use a completely objective source, but here's the problem with that: Nobody posts dynamics measurements online.

If you think DCA headphones have great slam and impact, good for you. But I don't know whether to trust you or the other reputable reviewers who say it has less dynamics relative to other headphones like Focal or Sennheiser... After all that is the only point of reference I have.
I have a slightly different subjective slant on the DCA "slam" issue. One interpretation is the one mentioned above, of limited dynamic range. My own impression is related more specifically to the loudness curve: the Closed X and Noire sound very dynamic at full listening volume, but may sound less dynamic at lower SPL's. At a volume that is high but still comfortable, I can't imagine ever wanting greater "excursion", since it would sound unnatural. Absolute dynamic range vs. loudness curve. This issue is beyond my pay grade, and I submit it for comment by those who may be able to comment knowledgeably. That said, I have two specific questions:

1. How would one measure the dynamics? Why isn't it commonly done?

2. My understanding is that planar magnetic drivers are less efficient than dynamic drivers, and the ones that succeed at "slam" and "punch" are likely to have bi-directional magnet drivers and be pretty heavy (e.g. Audeze), and I remember an interview with an Audeze principal who said "magnetic flux" is the primary factor in making a very dynamic planar with slam and punch. So if I look instead at DCA's Aeon phones, they are light, with single-sided magnets, inefficient and consume lots of current to achieve their mojo. Should I speculate that headphones like that may just need the current associated with high SPL's to really boogy, and maybe they're just more compressed at lower SPL's? Or is this impressionistic nonsense?
 

jpanda

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Hi all,

I am a fairly happy owner of a Topping dx3 pro+ (except the random auto switch on and the fact that I have to restart the device to make the BT visible when activated)... and a Aeon Noire.

A good seal was not that hard to find once I had tightened the headband screws a bit.
The bass and overall volume level sound good; even with some recordings like "Les pecheurs de perles, Bizet with Cyrille Dubois" (I need to push it quite high).
It also drives my Fostex T60RP well.
And it has never gone clipping so far.

I just read the Sabaj A20d 2022 review and was curious about your opinion on it compared to the dx3 pro+?
They seem close, but the sabaj seems more suitable for the low impedance Aeon Noire and can run balanced (audible benefit? more headroom?)
I tought it was more powerful than the topping but the measurements shared by amir say otherwise. Am I right?
 

mkc

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For those that have the Aeon 2 open, I want to ask about the comfort

How does it feel? Is it too heavy? Tight? does the lower section of the cup push in hard?

Planning on getting one but worry about it. My head fit 650 well but not with Beyer type, tried t50/he4xx but they are too heavy
 

JanesJr1

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For those that have the Aeon 2 open, I want to ask about the comfort

How does it feel? Is it too heavy? Tight? does the lower section of the cup push in hard?

Planning on getting one but worry about it. My head fit 650 well but not with Beyer type, tried t50/he4xx but they are too heavy
I find Aeon fit and comfort to be A+ on my largish head. The nitonol on the top should allow for more head-width variability while maintaining a bit of necessary clamping force. But anecdotes by others about comfort may not apply to you. You'll find people who have a problem with almost any headset. For me, I get a good seal, and the earcup shape gives my biggish ears plenty of room to adjust things to best sound. It is far, far more comfortable for me than my HD6XX's. Dan Clark makes a point that the clamping force along the front of the ear cup follows a relatively even plane as opposed to rounder cup-shapes that push it forward onto the jaw hinge or cheekbones, and I find that to be true for me (the point being a better seal with a tad better comfort.)
 

raps1514

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Re: Stealth you're absolutely right. Realistically, there's no headphone "worth" $4k. I say that wearing my Stealth right now. But, for me, spend your $ where you spend your time and even if Stealth is only 3% better than Noire I've already gotten my money's worth in that regard. But, I don't know your financial situation. For some people, $4k might as well be $400k when it comes to headphones - it's simply not an option.

I never had 800, only 800S. I loved them, but open back is just too limiting for me so I sold them for EtherCX, and sold those for D9200, and sold those for Stealth. So, I guess that's my ranking? Another consideration, planars are more power hungry than 'traditional' designs like 800 so often an amp is needed. Not always, it depends on your tastes re: volume & bass, but Stealth for example it's recommended to have 500mW, presumably at 22ohm but I don't think that was ever specifically called out. You won't get that with a Qudelix or dongle (yet)

You mention Focal; FWIW I've tried the Stellia and hated it. I have the Utopia and really like it, but at the same price if you can get closed-back Stealth why limit yourself with open back? Much easier to drive, though, I can get adequate volume with Qudelix. Also, I just sent the ML 5909 to Amir. If you despise wires, may be worth it to wait for those results. Some of the smartest guys in the room are behind that one so I have high hopes.
Wondering how well the Stealth’s might perform on my Ibasso DX320 DAP (7-8 VRMS)? Have the Aeon 2 Noire’s running on it and think they sound fantastic (even through SE).

Not sure how the Stealth’s would fair.
 

tifune

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Wondering how well the Stealth’s might perform on my Ibasso DX320 DAP (7-8 VRMS)? Have the Aeon 2 Noire’s running on it and think they sound fantastic (even through SE).

Not sure how the Stealth’s would fair.

I did a quick search and didn't see any stats for DX320 at 16 ohms. With mobile devices, it's common that output decreases below 32 ohm. If that's true here, *especially* at that price point, I'd move on to something else. But, really it depends on your listening habits. If most of your content isn't bass heavy, you're probably fine
 

raps1514

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I did a quick search and didn't see any stats for DX320 at 16 ohms. With mobile devices, it's common that output decreases below 32 ohm. If that's true here, *especially* at that price point, I'd move on to something else. But, really it depends on your listening habits. If most of your content isn't bass heavy, you're probably fine
Thank you. Output impedance of the DX320 is .03, I am told. So suppose that means there wouldn’t any real issue driving lower ohm drivers…
 
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