• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Dan Clark Audio AEON 2 Noire Review

Rate this headphone:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 6 3.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 34 19.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 78 45.1%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 55 31.8%

  • Total voters
    173

staticV3

Master Contributor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
7,875
Likes
12,579
you can check every amp you desire by putting in the desired spl and appropriate impedance/efficiency
Headphonesty is only taking the Amps' max unloaded voltage into consideration and so is a terrible choice in this case, where the Amp will be heavily loaded.
And even some of their unloaded numbers are way off:
Screenshot_20230701-134513_Chrome.png
 

Verig

Active Member
Joined
May 4, 2023
Messages
117
Likes
65
Would the Qudelix 5K struggle?
353mW required for 94 dBSPL. 5K outputs 80mW single ended and 240mW balanced so even maxed out it SE is not going to cut it. Balanced could be ok depending on how loud you like it.
But this is before any eq which will take a bite. Also, the output starts to stall at 32Ohm so I don't know how it likes 13Ohm.
I'd get easier headphones for that amp. It looks nice otherwise, good dsp and all.
 

juliangst

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Dec 11, 2021
Messages
974
Likes
997
Location
Germany
I tried all the Oratory EQs for the noire and didn’t like them.

I‘m now using them with the white felt insert and cannot complain about their sound quality whatsoever.

I also can’t hear any distortion at high SPL.
For me they’re the best headphones I‘ve heard in that price range
 

juliangst

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Dec 11, 2021
Messages
974
Likes
997
Location
Germany
Would the Qudelix 5K struggle?
Every dongle will struggle because they all can’t provide the current to drive 13 ohm headphones to high levels.
For portable use I‘m using a Fiio btr5 attached to a topping NX7 and it works perfectly fine with enough headroom.
 

mmmdc

Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2023
Messages
32
Likes
36
Are the pads perforated on the inside edge?
Yes. In fact that's the only difference between the Aeon 2 and Noire.

Would the Qudelix 5K struggle?

It all depends, remember that the power demands don't rise linearly with volume.

No EQ and lower listening volume (I usually stick with 60dbish) they do fine straight from my phone which I doubt does more than the typical 1V and isn't maxed out volume wise either. It's not the most scientific test but to me the sound is identical to my Topping L30.
Depending on which measurements you pick the numbers suggest 1V is enough for at the very least 100db which is honestly still plenty of headroom if you don't listen at loud volumes.

I don't think you'd have any problems at the very least with a balanced cable.
 

TabCam

Active Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2020
Messages
199
Likes
170
Yeh, the connection is the best there is. And the headphones fold to unusually small size.
Hmmm, I agree that the folding is very good and reliable, but I am less happy with the connectors. I have an Alpha Prime and Aeon Flow 2 and four cables failed on me. Three were original MrSpeakers / DCA cables, one a replacement for an early broken one and all three failed in the end. I have two after market cables and another one failed.

I like the Hifiman connectors more, I just have two and none failed. I know with statistics that still could be serendipity but to me three is too much.
 

JanesJr1

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jun 9, 2021
Messages
505
Likes
450
Location
MA
Every dongle will struggle because they all can’t provide the current to drive 13 ohm headphones to high levels.
For portable use I‘m using a Fiio btr5 attached to a topping NX7 and it works perfectly fine with enough headroom.
I've had very good luck with both the Hidizs S9 Pro and the E1DA 9038s G3 dongles for a couple of years now, in both cases using balanced connections. I use them, as well as a good Topping desktop amp and a JS Labs Atom: at what are reasonably high SPL's to me, the dongles do fine in comparison with the desktop amps. If there's some brief distortion or limiting with transient SPL peaks with the dongles, I don't hear it, and I compared the amps and dongles as carefully as I could. They both are among the best dongles at handling a current demand, although, as others have pointed out, they will drain a phone battery pretty quickly. I use the dongles with my laptops, and they are ideal for that. (I've seen some posts that the Qdelix will also drive the Noire, but don't have personal experience with that.)

If those dongles won't float your boat or you use a phone to drive things, then I guess a portable battery supply, as juliangst relates in post #27 above, is the best recourse. But try a balanced, high current dongle first if you use a laptop.

BTW I have also used dongles (e.g 2 Audioquests) that will NOT drive the Noire, and know what that sounds like....
 
Last edited:

markanini

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 15, 2019
Messages
1,774
Likes
1,818
Location
Scania
Planar tech is a bit of a gimmick IMO. However it makes a lot of sense in a closed back in my mind, at least Sean Olive gave it praise for high FR consistency for a closed back. My personal headphone EQ target (and Oratory1990's) is very close to Noire stock. Seems like a no brainer if you have the budget. Good on DCA for making a banger.
 
Last edited:

Grobbelboy

Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2022
Messages
64
Likes
139
Would the Qudelix 5K struggle?
I’ve used the Noire for quite some hours with the Qudelix and in my experience they could drive them loud enough, never needing to max out the volume for sufficient loudness. And this was using the unbalanced connection and -2 dB pre amp for EQ.
 

usern

Senior Member
Joined
May 31, 2020
Messages
489
Likes
500
I had these for a few days. In short: much too uncomfortable for me.

Headband adjustment was not tightened enough so it tended to slide off position. Pads are huge and have large contact area. It was very uncomfortable when moving head which created vacuum effect. Pressed on my neck in the right place so that I could feel my heartbeats.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2022
Messages
39
Likes
63
Planar tech is a bit of a gimmick IMO. However it makes a lot of sense in a closed back in my mind, at least Sean Olive gave it praise for high FR consistency for a closed back. My personal headphone EQ target (and Oratory1990's) is very close to Noire stock. Seems like a no brainer if you have the budget. Good on DCA for making a banger.

I disagree. From my testing, my DCA Closed X headphones have distortion below -70dBFS at 100dB output. I don't think i've heard of numbers like that on any dynamic driver. In fact, it's possible that that's the distortion of my MiniDSP EARS microphones.
1688223281957.png



I think the closest i've got with any of my other headphones/earbuds is -63dBFS with my Moondrop Kato. Nothing else i own beats -45dBFS, if i'm remembering right.
1688223681279.png


A very good looking headphone, if it weren't for the 'carbon fibre' plates on the sides.
I actually like the look of the carbon fibre inserts, though i suppose we're allowed to be subjective about the looks of audio equipment here. :)

I'm pretty sure DCA says they're real carbon fibre, and they certainly look the part to me on my Closed X. Then again, i'm not a carbon-fibre-ologist.
 

markanini

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 15, 2019
Messages
1,774
Likes
1,818
Location
Scania
I disagree. From my testing, my DCA Closed X headphones have distortion below -70dBFS at 100dB output. I don't think i've heard of numbers like that on any dynamic driver. In fact, it's possible that that's the distortion of my MiniDSP EARS microphones.
View attachment 296132


I think the closest i've got with any of my other headphones/earbuds is -63dBFS with my Moondrop Kato. Nothing else i own beats -45dBFS, if i'm remembering right.
View attachment 296138
IMO the headphone as a whole should offer something to make-up for the decrease in efficiency vs. Dynamic. Here it's more than just raw THD performance, clearly. Compare with other Planars Amir reviewed, some measured less THD, others more.
 

ThatGuyYouKnow

Active Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2023
Messages
140
Likes
133
Cranking the RME to the max?
I must be listening at whisper quite levels, since mine get plenty loud with my phone at 15-20%, which was measured here at 0,5 Vrms (Xperia 5).
It's interesting, because I've found the DCA Noire not that particularly difficult to drive despite expecting otherwise. I power it with a Topping L70 in low gain mode, with around 20dB of headroom left on the dial when listening at almost uncomfortably loud levels. And that's with sources that have among the quietest masters.
 

majingotan

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Messages
1,519
Likes
1,794
Location
Laguna, Philippines
It's a nice bit of kit I think with the supplied case and detachable cables.
View attachment 296070

I didn't like the microphonics of the stock cables though they're built well, so I opted for Audiophile Ninja which is closer to the stock cable that is included with Expanse and Stealth

index.php



With the Drop Aeon X, I NEVER EVER encountered drop-outs from loose connections with the Audiophile Ninja and DCA connector and I've accidentally even tug the Y split quite forcefully twice due to uncontrollable headbanging and hand-drumming from its PERFECT sonic reproduction.
 
Last edited:

juliangst

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Dec 11, 2021
Messages
974
Likes
997
Location
Germany
I also have to agree that the cable is a problem with the Aeons.
The stock cable works fine but is a bit too springy and sometimes doesn't connect properly so that the signal gets quieter.

I also have two aftermarket cables (one 4.4mm 1.2m for portable use and one 1.5m XLR for the desk) but both also lose connection sometimes and the connector is a bit difficult to detach on the XLR cable.
 

tifune

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
1,085
Likes
768
I use Stealth when I am measuring due to fan noise of the AP. And also when my wife is listening to TV. I use Expanse when it is quiet.

Hate to pollute the thread, but I've asked so many times and never gotten a straight answer. Given the selling point of metamaterials is to eliminate/minimize reflections, what does Expanse give that Stealth is missing? To you, is it better or just different?
 

Robbo99999

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
6,981
Likes
6,839
Location
UK
I find it hard to agree with the following stuff Amir said re this headphone when he EQ'd down the 114Hz bass hump: "The highs were reduced a bit. I suspect what was happening was the reduction of harmonic distortion that was bleeding into the higher frequencies.". I can't think that would be the reason as there is no distortion issue at 114Hz, and he's not listening to the headphone at 114dB either (because the bass doesn't need to be EQ'd up) so the green line in the following graph is not relevant (and besides there is no distortion issue at 114Hz anyway):
index.php


Onto my general thoughts on this headphone, seems just OK to me, very nice channel matching, but frequency response is a bit too jagged above 3kHz to correct properly, so I don't see it as ideal. I think it's an OK headphone from the measurements.
 

juliangst

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Dec 11, 2021
Messages
974
Likes
997
Location
Germany
I can't think that would be the reason as there is no distortion issue at 114Hz
114dB not Hz.
Except for the 8kHz resonance I don’t see any problems at 114dB either
 
Top Bottom