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Dan Clark Audio AEON RT Review (closed headphone)

Robbo99999

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I am not so sure I fully understand your analysis, although what you say is true, but the OP was talking on the relation with perceived Slam vs listening level, and if I am getting right you seem to talk about seal? Me I think it's simply a very inefficient headphone, with a very low impedance, It doesn't appear unrealistic that this driver can struggle a bit to reproduce the bass at low voltage, depending what amp is used to drive them if it's current limited. Add to that the general theory of Fletcher Munson curves, that are true for all headphones but this add to the effect of perceived anemic bass at low level it's just already a fact that you won't get the perception of Big Bass at low level, but this may even be enhanced by unneficients drivers, It may just need more to get to their fully linear dynamic behaviour. @JanesJr1 What amp are you using?
Well he said this: "The reason I keep coming back to it, however, is my 'bi-modal' experience of the DCA's, whereby sometimes they're kind of tame, and other times, they're powerful and dynamic.".

If they're behaving unpredictably from one listening session to the next then it could be seal / position related, as well as psychological (the burn-in I mentioned). I expanded on the point to explain that "slam" was about frequency response received at your ear, and ways in which to get a more reliable headphone experience - by choosing a headphone with low unit to unit variation and one that generally seals well to most people - as these variables will all effect the ability to get that "slam" & of course that reliability will also increase the accuracy in the rest of the frequency range too when it comes to using EQ's published on the interwebs.

EDIT: it's true that listening volume level will influence how much "slam" you perceive, with increased volume increasing the likelihood of experiencing it as the bass is brought out more, but if you get the frequency response right from 200Hz down to 20Hz then you don't need to listen at loud levels to get it. For me the Harman Curve bass allows for slam at normal listening levels.

Regarding amps, the mantra I'm most familiar with is that "if it gets loud enough then the amp is fine", as in you don't need extra "overhead" or whatever people sometimes talk about when justifying overpowered amps. I don't know if here on ASR an amp has ever been measured to show that it's fine at all frequencies & output levels but taps out when it has to play a bass note?
 
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JanesJr1

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Well most of the true experience of what you perceive is related to what frequency response you are receiving at your eardrum combined with any recent comparisons (psychological burn-in you have with other differently toned headphones or speakers) you've made recently. The first point about what frequency response you're receiving at your eardrum - closed back headphones can often be quite finicky about how much bass you get, determined by how good you have seated your headphone for that listening session - some are more sensitive than others - for instance I know that my NAD HP50 closed back is extremely sensitive to seating position when it comes to bass perception & I've validated that unreliability through measurements of that headphone on my miniDSP EARS - it's very variable in comparison to my other headphones in the bass, and I had to do quite a few failed measurements (which I threw out) to even get the following kind of inconsistent consistency from the HP50 (and compared against the easy to measure/ easy to wear "chuck it on" K702):
HP50:
View attachment 200141
K702:
View attachment 200140


So it's possible you're getting a different experience in the bass with each headphone seating - you'll have to experiment with that.

The other variable is that you can't always guarantee what your actual bass frequency response actually is even when you have a good seal if you haven't had your individual headphone unit measured - I've found that since I've had the miniDSP EARS and have done EQ's based on the measurements of my actual units that the bass is noticeably more reliable when listening - because I'm crafting the shape of the bass from 200Hz down to 20Hz with good precision for my unit of headphone.

The elements of "slam" and such like are all explained by the frequency response of the headphone, if you can control it or conversely play with EQ a little to enhance it then that is where you will end up at. In my experience you can get adequate slam from a headphone following the Harman Curve in the bass, as long as it is really following that curve based on your headphone's unit to unit variation & how it seals on your head. The easy option is to place a Low Shelf Filter of Q0.71 at 105Hz and increase that until you have enough bass which should hopefully introduce some "slam" back into it - however I think the shape of the bass from 200Hz down to 20Hz will dictate your slam, and it's harder to get a clear picture on what's really going on if you haven't measured your individual unit or if you suspect you have seal issues when wearing it. I don't wish to put doubt in your mind about "knowing" what your headphones are doing on your head, but headphones can be a real bitch to know what's going on with them, it's a bit of a rabbit hole, the more you know the more you realise the ways in which they can be innacurate!


EDIT: regardless of what I've said, it's true that any given headphone & EQ will sound it's best at a certain "arbitary" volume level, I normally tweak the dial to get it sound the best for any given track as long as it's not too loud.

EDIT #2: what most users can do to minimise these problems is to choose headphones with historical low unit to unit variation combined with headphones that are known to seal well to most users (this way you can guarantee with greater certainty that any EQ's you find on the net are more relevant to your unit & yourself, they will be more accurate) - that's how you mitigate those problems and get the best experience if you're not in a position to measure your unit yourself.
Interesting points, Robbo.

With respect to EQ treatment of the DCS phones to address 'slam' or 'thinness' issues, here are some things that seem to help for me. I wonder if the tweaks might be a bit timid; maybe more can be done in the mids.

1. Rather than increase bass, which seems adequate to me, I raise the lower-midrange a bit relative to the bass and treble, by decreasing the bass 1-2 dB vs. the Oratory/Harmon EQ for these phones, and by decreasing the Oratory mid/treble transition at 2150 Hz by 1-2 dB. (I.e. soften the Harmon v-shaped EQ a bit.)

2. I maintain a Dan Clark EQ bump in the 90-200 Hz range, rather than fully implementing the Harmon/Oratory EQ in that region. (Further comment below.). Perhaps because these phones have such low distortion, this doesn't seem to make for an unnatural lower-mid bloom, which I normally hate.

3. I bring female vocals that can sound somewhat distant on the DCS phones a bit closer, by ignoring the Oratory/Harmon EQ of -2 dB at1500 Hz.

4. When I'm listening for SQ, I do so at a volume that brings out the 'bloom' in these phones, as I explained in my previous post. This level is a bit higher than I'd like, but it'll do and makes the phones fun.

This story accepts EQ as one key to the 'slam' or 'thinness' issues, but doesn't focus on the more-bass = more-slam theory. It's more about which instruments sound forward and which ones sound recessed, also about the role of harmonics/resonances in the perception of the richness of sound.

With respect to the bass, these DCS phones don't ever sound bass-deficient to me. I like tight, undistorted bass that transitions smoothly from sub-bass to mids. I like the DCA phones because that is what I listen for. But I have read, and tentatively agree with, the observation that when many listeners have grown up with amplified/recorded/EQ'd/synthesized sound through speakers with their own harmonics and resonance patterns, they may be normalized to a sound that is less like live music and which has bass with heavy harmonic/resonances, closer-miked vocals, and more forward percussion. They may prefer a more close-up, speaker-like sound from dynamic drivers, even with harmonics and resonances. By contrast, planar phones may have plenty of bass, but with low distortion still sound a little more distant, less percussive, and perhaps more authentic to listeners who prefer a live-music sound.

In this context, Amir and many others have observed that the harmonics and resonances in the bass region tend to be perceived as normal sound rather than distortion. Dan Clark, in a you tube video, explains why they left an EQ bump in the 90-200 Hz region in their Stealth (or was it Noire?) phones, because low-distortion bass can be perceived as thin or inadequate in that region, even when it is not. RHO makes related comments about this FR band nearby in this thread. And for example, in this same frequency band, I often hear drum-thwacks as recessed and less 'thick-waisted' (objectivist tech term) on these planar phones than on my dynamic driver HD6XX's. More generally, my much-praised HD6XX's, with a modest EQ boost to the lower bass, constantly annoy me with a bass that sounds wrong to me, but perhaps sounds better to others (who might also appreciate the thick-waisted drum thwacks, too.) Amir found high bass distortion on the HD650/H6XX phones when the bass is EQ'd up, which he liked.

This is a little squishy and speculative. But if the 'slam' and 'thinness' issue is mostly or completely about frequency response as you tend to believe, I think we may want to look beyond bass.
 
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Robbo99999

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Interesting points, Robbo.

First, a response on the EQ tweaking to achieve 'slam" or decrease "thinness" of the DCS sound. Three or four things I've tried help, and they are tweaks to the Harmon/Oratory EQ: I leave the low bass alone or even decrease it a dB or two. I leave the 90-200 Hz Dan Clark 'bump' mostly alone. I ignore the Oratory 2 dB cut at 1500 Hz. And I cut the mid/treble transition at 2150Hz by 2 dB. The goals are to add a little bass warmth to the bass/mid transition, give a little lift to the lower mids relative to bass and upper-mid/treble, and bring female vocals in closer.

I agree about seal, but I'm pretty sure I always have a good seal. My head is a little biggish, and the earcup contours always seem tight. I remove my glasses or tilt the wands above the earcups. I also appreciate the DCS phones' bass, and at both high and low SPL's. I think people perceive bass differently. I like very undistorted, clean, tight bass that integrates smoothly up the frequency spectrum. I've read, and tentatively agree with, the notion that many listeners raised on amplified/recorded/non-live music become attuned to bass with resonance/harmonics (like my HD6XX's now that I've EQ'd their weak sub-bass up some, which always annoys) and take in the distortion as sounding normal and 'right'. By consequence, they may miss the same sound when it's missing with low-distortion phones. I'm not one of them, and I almost always hear the DCA phones as rich in quality bass. I note that Dan Clark in a video on Youtube, explaining the deliberate FR 'hump in the 100-200 Hz range for the Stealth (or was it Noire?) phones, said almost the same thing: that low distortion bass causes a perceptual response that the phones are not warm or are a bit thin, and that the hump helps with this. (See also RHO's comment about this FR region above.)

Another 'slam' item is drum thwacks, which I always seem to notice in the 100-300 Hz range. They always sound kind of thin or recessed in relation to other instruments, like rock guitars. Drum thwacks on dynamic drivers always sound more 'thick-waisted' (objectivist tech jargon). The Dan Clark hump doesn't cure this, but it helps, as does a higher SPL. Perhaps a bit of of recess in the lower mids in the DCS phones, combined with the mild-V shape of the Harmon curve, adds to the general sense of 'thinness'.

For these reasons, I do not use the Harmon/Oratory adjustment to decrease the DCS bass in the 100-200 Hz region, and thus leave some of the DCS bump alone. I haven't bumped the mids up relative to bass or treble other than softening the lower bass a touch below Harmon and softening the upper-mids/lower treble 2 dB at around 2150 Hz. I might try something stronger, but haven't gotten there yet.

Another aspect of growing up with amplified/recorded sound is desire for a deeper, more close-miked sound for voices. I kind of look for this myself, except on some classical material. I haven't done that much, but the DCS phones just often sound more distant, particularly with female vocals. With Oratory, Harmon calls for an almost 2db cut at 1500 Hz, and I ignore this cut, because it brings female vocals in a bit closer. This doesn't address 'slam' per se, but restores a little richness to a sometimes thin and distant mid-range.





I also keep sub-bass a dB or two lower than Harmon, since it just sounds a little more natural to me.
You've put some thought into it, and listened intently to your music, so well explained.....I don't have all the answers for you there......but grasping at one point that stands out - "the intimacy of vocals", I too have noticed that this is one of the phenomena that distinguish different models of headphone......again I'm sure this all comes down to what frequency response is being received at your eardrum, but I do think that different models of headphone when EQ'd to the same curve on GRAS will not actually sound totally identical - even if you've got the same very units that were measured on the GRAS (I'm not talking just using EQ's off the interwebs based on GRAS measurements but instead your actual headphone unit measured on that device)....yes even if you've got those 2 different models of headphone measured & EQ'd to the same curve then they can sound a bit different on your own head and likely in that zone of "vocal intimacy" in terms of how forward they are..........for instance my HD560s (3 units) are all more intimate re vocals than my K702 (3 units too) with all EQ'd to same curve............I really think this comes down to the fact that different models of headphone can react with an element of "unpredictability" when confronted with a new anatomy vs the dummy GRAS head. I think broad tonal trends are quite well preserved between different headphone models on GRAS, but I think when it comes to some finer details then there can be some differences when wearing them on your own head due to the different headphone/anatomy relationship that can't be completely modelled by the GRAS dummy head. I'm gonna make a pretty large jump here and say that I think the most applicable types of headphone to be used with the Harman Curve are likely to be the ones similar to the one used in the Harman Research that they gave to people to tweak an EQ'd "flatline" to preferred bass & treble levels (namely the HD800), (which was the part of the process that created the Harman Curve), following is a little snippet showing you the EQ'd HD800 that they gave to participants before they were asked to tweak bass & treble levels to their own preference:
Harman target baseline, GRAS 45CA.png
And it's possible that other headphones that mimic the same types of anatomy/headphone interactions as the HD800 will be most applicable to the Harman Curve, but this is just my intuition & theory.........I also feel that the K702 is quite a close mimic to the HD800 in terms of angled drivers & spacious earcups and good soundstage, and given my experience with both a K702 Oratory measured unit & HD560s measured unit that I've actually had measured on GRAS I think I'm gonna say that the K702 experience is more accurate....hence my linking to the HD800.....but this is quite loose & impossible to prove, just an intuition/experience. But yes, I think you can expect things like "vocal intimacy" to change from headphone model to headphone model even if they're all EQ'd to the Harman Curve, as it's something I've noticed too. (I am also gonna say that I recommend people buy an HD560s over a K702 as the unit to unit variation is better (lower) on the HD560s, but I do think that the K702 is more "Harman Compatible" than the HD560s if you've actually had your unit of K702 measured so you can remove the variable of unit to unit variation).

You're very confident that you're getting a good seal on your DCA headphone there, and that's very encouraging....in that case I think you can rule out that variable. I'll leave you with your conclusions on the other finer specifics of your EQ's, because there's nothing wrong with tweaking an Oratory EQ to make it sound better to yourself.
 
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JanesJr1

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The lower distortion cans with the right eq win every time when you put the hammer down.
I have to reply to this post again, Jimbob. You boiled down my verbose posting. Never has more been said with fewer words. I'd say you could write haiku's ... except haiku's are too wordy for such word-genius.
 
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JanesJr1

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User EQ. Transducers are inherently linear and equal loudness compensation isn't really a thing yet in the headphone/IEM space. It's well established in Bluetooth speakers. Maybe AVRs as well? Not sure
I'm intrigued. But don't know what to do with it.
 

JanesJr1

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Pete L said:

I am not so sure I fully understand your analysis, although what you say is true, but the OP was talking on the relation with perceived Slam vs listening level, and if I am getting right you seem to talk about seal? Me I think it's simply a very inefficient headphone, with a very low impedance, It doesn't appear unrealistic that this driver can struggle a bit to reproduce the bass at low voltage, depending what amp is used to drive them if it's current limited. Add to that the general theory of Fletcher Munson curves, that are true for all headphones but this add to the effect of perceived anemic bass at low level it's just already a fact that you won't get the perception of Big Bass at low level, but this may even be enhanced by unneficients drivers, It may just need more to get to their fully linear dynamic behaviour. @JanesJr1 What amp are you using?
[/QUOTE]

I use a Topping A50s balanced amp. Amir measured almost 2 watts max pwer into 33 ohms balanced with 2 volt input. For these phones, at 92 Db rated sensitivity for the phones, impedance of 13 ohms, at a playback level of 104 dBSPL, only 16 mW, 36.5 mA and .44 vRMS would be required. I don't find a mA rating anywhere, but looking at the other specs in Amir's numbers, an amperage of least double the required amt, or more, seems likely, When I run these phones at a serious SPL, they sound very powerful and clean, with wonderful sub-bass power, percussive slam, no clipping, tremendous separation, no bass-pumping (and I've heard them underpowered, but this amp is not it).

Kind of amazing, when I power them with either of two dongles, either the Hidizs S9 Pro balanced, or E1DA 9038s G3 balanced, which are two of the highest-powered dac/amp dongles, it is almost impossible to distinguish their performance (other than max SPL) from the desktop (with multiples of their power) driving the DCA phones, even with demanding material like complex orchestral music, heavily layered rock with a continuous sub-bass drone, or electronica with ample sub-bass. (That all said, I've tried less-stellar dongles and they fell flat.)

But at lower playback SPL's, the headphones can sound a little flat, with percussion set back, distant sound stage, thin mids. Higher SPL's don't overpower the amp; rather the headphones themselves bloom. There's a lot of back and forth in this thread about a good earcup seal being necessary, and I'm pretty sure I have a good one.

I thought it was a power thing at first, but it doesn't sound like it, does it? I can see people underpowering these headphones with weak cell phones or dongles, for sure. But I can get wonderful performance out of these phones with my amp, a good seal and a healthy volume setting.
 
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pk500

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I have tinnitus for more than 25 years now. The DCA Aeon RT made no difference to it what so ever.
Just don't play your music too loud and you should be fine.
Curious: How will I be "fine" when my tinnitus increases every time I use the DCA's? I listen to them at the same volume as my other headphones -- not very loud.

But thanks for the inference that I should continue to use the DCAs because if they don't aggravate your tinnitus, they can't possibly do it to anyone else's. :)
 

pk500

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Aha, maybe that can be a factor. I have a small head, so do not suffer from excessive clamping from any headphones I have tried.
I have a very large head, so clamping force can be an issue for me with some cans. The DCA's grip my head like a vise, and the nickel-titanium (nitinol) metal used in the headband doesn't bend. It always snaps back to its original shape, so it's all but impossible to bend the band to relieve the pressure.
 

pk500

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Well, since you, Robbo, RHO, staticV3 and JimBob are all here, I have a subjective impression about the Aeon Closed X / RT's that I am trying to focus into something tangible. I've read a number of times about the Sundara's or LCD's or Focals having more slam or punch. My own comparison is to HD6XX's and various IEM's.

At low to moderate volume, I kind of agree. The DCA phones can be more distant, the drum thwacks can be recessed or thinner-sounding, and so forth. (That said, I love the DCA's, and like the tight, ample, undistorted bass, as well as the effortless resolution.)

However, at a certain volume, more like what I would use if I were actively listening to a piece of music and wanted to hear everything, but not to the point of actually-excessive volume ... the DCA's then seem so dynamic and lively that I couldn't imagine them being more punchy without sounding unnatural. It's like they cross a line where they bloom. I can imagine this is always true to some degree with any headphones or speakers, but I'm wondering if the "ramp-up" to full-slam is higher and steeper on the DCA's. But I can't even decide if it is more a perceptual or a transducer issue.

The reason I keep coming back to it, however, is my 'bi-modal' experience of the DCA's, whereby sometimes they're kind of tame, and other times, they're powerful and dynamic. And I notice it far more with them than my other transducers. (Minor side-note: I have a biggish head and a good seal with the DCA's. When they cook, they really cook, with deep sub-bass and percussive force.)

Does this subjective impression hook into anyone's perception of driver behavior or perceptual acoustics (or is it acoustic perception?) You all have more experience with a variety of headphones; do you see a tangible characteristic at work?
My experience with Focal Elegia and DCA Aeon Closed 2 with Noire pads is different. Please note these perceptions are all WITHOUT EQ.

The Elegia has true bass "punch and slam." The bass isn't that present, but when there's a bass drop in EDM or some other very percussive part of a piece of music, the Elegia's punch and slam almost to the point you can feel air moving in the ear cup. Then the bass crawls back into its hole until the next big rise.

The DCA's don't punch or slam like that, at least to me. But the DCA's have MUCH more present sub-bass than the Elegia, giving it a richer, fuller overall tone. That may be the "dynamic and lively" you're experiencing?

Everyone's ears and brain are different, so your mileage may vary. But that's my experience with owning the Elegia and the A2C with Noire pads.
 

Robbo99999

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I have a very large head, so clamping force can be an issue for me with some cans. The DCA's grip my head like a vise, and the nickel-titanium (nitinol) metal used in the headband doesn't bend. It always snaps back to its original shape, so it's all but impossible to bend the band to relieve the pressure.
It does sound like that's the issue re your tinnitus.
 

JanesJr1

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My experience with Focal Elegia and DCA Aeon Closed 2 with Noire pads is different. Please note these perceptions are all WITHOUT EQ.

The Elegia has true bass "punch and slam." The bass isn't that present, but when there's a bass drop in EDM or some other very percussive part of a piece of music, the Elegia's punch and slam almost to the point you can feel air moving in the ear cup. Then the bass crawls back into its hole until the next big rise.

The DCA's don't punch or slam like that, at least to me. But the DCA's have MUCH more present sub-bass than the Elegia, giving it a richer, fuller overall tone. That may be the "dynamic and lively" you're experiencing?

Everyone's ears and brain are different, so your mileage may vary. But that's my experience with owning the Elegia and the A2C with Noire pads.
Others have spoken of the difference of Focals with respect to slam, so I have to allow that the difference is real. However, I have had the same experience with the DCA phones, but only at a careful-listening volume; below that they do seem flat on some music. For example, with Pascal Letoublon's "Friendships", I literally cannot listen to the piece at normal volume on the DCA phones, because the slam of the bass line is so physical. In that case, it seems like more than just bass. Anyway, there's something to what you say, and it's hard to parse it out exactly. I envy you the direct comparison with the Focals.

BTW, I was using EQ and no pads with the DCA phones. However, I had reduced the lower bass by 2 db, one of two or three EQ steps I used to elevate the mids in attempt to decrease the Harmon "V" and maybe help slam or at least recessed percussion a bit at lower volumes. (There's another post on EQ and slam.)
 
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JanesJr1

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Yep. 'Fraid so. A shame, as I REALLY like the sound signature of these cans.
I'm also sorry for your tinnitus issue. I confess that I like these cans, too -- so much that I ordered Noire's with the 15% DCA club discount. It's irrational for two reasons First, I fear the Noire will not be sufficiently better than the Closed-X phones to justify the expense. Second, I invested in more of a sound I already have, rather than trying a different headphone brand, with its own mix of virtues, to broaden my experience. It's not like I'm dissatisfied with much using the Closed-X's.

Have you ever heard about "satisficing" and "optimizing"? Yes, the terms are intellectualized jargon, but probably based on an underlying, common-sense truth. We each have our own profile of things where we either make decisions that are "good enough" (satisficing), and a subset of things where we choose to make the best choice, perhaps a perfectionist choice (optimizing). The former is expedient, and the latter is more expensive in terms of time and often money. Anyway, somehow with these planars, I've got the bug to perfect a thing that I know I like.

We'll find out. I'm hoping for a little better resolution and a bigger soundstage. It'll at least be interesting to make the comparison, even if the buy turns out to be misguided. At least I didn't do what Amir did (yet), jump from DCA Aeon RT to DCA Stealth.
 
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Blake

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Yep. 'Fraid so. A shame, as I REALLY like the sound signature of these cans.

Have you tried EQ? (Apologies if I missed that, but I didn't see it in the thread.)

I ask because I have relatively mild tinnitus myself, and it is possible for headphones to aggravate it -- in particular my Grado SR225e can do it if I listen for a while at moderate volume with no EQ -- but my Aeon RT Closed EQ'd to a Harman baseline with a -4 dB high-shelf filter at the 2 KHz mark doesn't seem to cause me problems at all. I'm not suggesting that exact EQ for you, of course, because your tinnitus is different from mine, but I wonder if you might try using EQ to bring down the frequency that correlates with your tinnitus. I'm reasonably convinced that's what aggravates mine with the Grado. One of its infamous peaks is around the 4+ KHz mark, right around the tone I constantly hear if I stop to listen (currently I'd put it at about 4350 Hz).

While I've seen studies that correlate tinnitus pitch with the frequency of maximum hearing loss in an individual (and mine is right in that ballpark because I do have moderate hearing loss right around that range), I haven't so far found a study about frequencies that aggravate tinnitus -- although I haven't looked very hard. The idea that increased volume at the tinnitus frequency can aggravate said tinnitus further is just my own observation at this point, but it correlates well for me.
 

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I'm also sorry for your tinnitus issue. I confess that I like these cans, too -- so much that I ordered Noire's with the 15% DCA club discount. It's irrational for two reasons First, I fear the Noire will not be sufficiently better than the Closed-X phones to justify the expense. Second, I invested in more of a sound I already have, rather than trying a different headphone brand, with its own mix of virtues, to broaden my experience. It's not like I'm dissatisfied with much using the Closed-X's.

Have you ever heard about "satisficing" and "optimizing"? Yes, the terms are intellectualized jargon, but probably based on an underlying, common-sense truth. We each have our own profile of things where we either make decisions that are "good enough" (satisficing), and a subset of things where we choose to make the best choice, perhaps a perfectionist choice (optimizing). The former is expedient, and the latter is more expensive in terms of time and often money. Anyway, somehow with these planars, I've got the bug to perfect a thing that I know I like.

We'll find out. I'm hoping for a little better resolution and a bigger soundstage. It'll at least be interesting to make the comparison, even if the buy turns out to be misguided. At least I didn't do what Amir did (yet), jump from DCA Aeon RT to DCA Stealth.
I am to eager to read about your future comparison between RT and Noire..
 

JanesJr1

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I am to eager to read about your future comparison between RT and Noire..

It may be a while. DCA is having supply-chain issues and can't finish its current production run of Noires yet.
 

pk500

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Have you tried EQ? (Apologies if I missed that, but I didn't see it in the thread.)

I ask because I have relatively mild tinnitus myself, and it is possible for headphones to aggravate it -- in particular my Grado SR225e can do it if I listen for a while at moderate volume with no EQ -- but my Aeon RT Closed EQ'd to a Harman baseline with a -4 dB high-shelf filter at the 2 KHz mark doesn't seem to cause me problems at all. I'm not suggesting that exact EQ for you, of course, because your tinnitus is different from mine, but I wonder if you might try using EQ to bring down the frequency that correlates with your tinnitus. I'm reasonably convinced that's what aggravates mine with the Grado. One of its infamous peaks is around the 4+ KHz mark, right around the tone I constantly hear if I stop to listen (currently I'd put it at about 4350 Hz).

While I've seen studies that correlate tinnitus pitch with the frequency of maximum hearing loss in an individual (and mine is right in that ballpark because I do have moderate hearing loss right around that range), I haven't so far found a study about frequencies that aggravate tinnitus -- although I haven't looked very hard. The idea that increased volume at the tinnitus frequency can aggravate said tinnitus further is just my own observation at this point, but it correlates well for me.
Thanks for the tip. I'm not a big EQer -- I have a JDS Labs three-band Subjective3 equalizer for some minor tweaking.

I'm not so sure frequency is the cause for the A2C with Noire pads aggravating my tinnitus. I have owned and listened to some cans with some quite crispy treble without EQ, and they didn't do this. I think the combination of very tight seal, high clamping force, closed-back cups and planar drivers is some sort of perfect storm for my tinnitus.
 

Blake

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Thanks for the tip. I'm not a big EQer -- I have a JDS Labs three-band Subjective3 equalizer for some minor tweaking.

I'm not so sure frequency is the cause for the A2C with Noire pads aggravating my tinnitus. I have owned and listened to some cans with some quite crispy treble without EQ, and they didn't do this. I think the combination of very tight seal, high clamping force, closed-back cups and planar drivers is some sort of perfect storm for my tinnitus.

Fair enough. Just thought I'd throw the idea out there. Good luck with it.
 

Elfsberg

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Hey guys,

would the Aeon Flow X Open be comparable to this headphone?
 

staticV3

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Do you mean the Aeon Open X or the Aeon Flow Open? An Aeon Flow X Open does not exist.
 
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