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Dan Clark E3 Headphone Review

Rate this headphone:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 4 1.9%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 12 5.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 32 15.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 162 77.1%

  • Total voters
    210

staticV3

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How long does brain burn-in take to adjust to a new sound signature? Because I just got the E3's in and I am almost ready to return them already. The clarity is great but the bass sounds thin in a lot of tunes where I'm used to hearing more of it and vocals are SPICY to the point it's hurting my ears at certain peaks. I was expecting a lot more of a "wow" effect for my first "perfectly tuned" Harman headphone and, so far, I'm pretty disappointed to say the least.

But, I will say, I went back to my Atrium Closed and, while they are MUCH easier to listen to, I definitely now hear a "veil" and much less clean of a sound. I just want my hears to not bleed while listening to my headphones :-/. Not sure if I've just been too used to headphones with that veil or not
Thin bass and hot mids sure sounds like you're not getting a proper seal.
 

SlothRock

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Try to compress the cups while listening. Is there a change in sound?

Not really actually. But, funny enough, the more I listen the more I'm starting to get used to it. I think this is just such a different tuning than I'm used to that I need to sit with it for awhile before jumping to conclusions.
 

dougq

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Not really actually. But, funny enough, the more I listen the more I'm starting to get used to it. I think this is just such a different tuning than I'm used to that I need to sit with it for awhile before jumping to conclusions.
What music are you listening to?
I also think everything is relative.
 

Chagall

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Not really actually. But, funny enough, the more I listen the more I'm starting to get used to it. I think this is just such a different tuning than I'm used to that I need to sit with it for awhile before jumping to conclusions.
I would try to see if maybe pads aren't fitted properly, NOT peel them off just press on them like in the video on the previous page. And yeah, give it some time.
 

Rhamnetin

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The E3 will take EQ well, if after a while you still find it fatiguing.

My initial impressions of the E3 were quite a bit different. I was comparing a bunch of different closed backs, and I was hoping I'd find it to be not worth the money so that I can return it. Looking back at the conversation I was having with someone at the time, initially I said, "this is clearly the best one, but it doesn't make the K371 sound terrible." Followed by, "How on earth is the treble so clean?" Then, "This is amazing." Then I was pretty much speechless. This was all over the course of 2 hours, at which point it was clear I would not be returning it and I spent around 4x what I assumed I'd spend.
 

SlothRock

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What music are you listening to?
I also think everything is relative.
I'll give you a few tracks that I listened to and some various impressions...


First one is Herald of Darkness from the video game Alan Wake 2....been a bit obsessed with this one recently and the bass sounded very thin on this track compared to other headphones and IEM's I was listening on (Sennheiser IE600, Atrium Closed, 7Hz Crinacle 2)

Then we move to

This actually had way more of the bass I was expecting but the vocals were more piercing and I had to turn down the volume

Then this sounded pretty perfect all around

@Rhamnetin I totally get what you mean about the clarity and cleanliness of everything. I went back to my Atrium Closed to listen to a few tracks and, although I could turn it up away louder before it became fatiguing, the difference in clarity was pretty stunning.
 

Chagall

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Maybe it's just clean undistorted bass with filled in mids and treble that you need to get used to. Hope it works out.
 
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Dazerdoreal

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[...] the bass sounded very thin on this track compared to other headphones and IEM's I was listening on (Sennheiser IE600, Atrium Closed, 7Hz Crinacle 2)
Probably there is nothing wrong with your seal. Judged by the sheer graphs, you are most likely just used to fuller/bassier sounding headphones.

IE600: https://crinacle.com/graphs/iems/graphtool/?share=Harman_IE_2019_v2_Target,IE600&tool=711
7hz Zero 2: https://crinacle.com/graphs/iems/graphtool/?share=Harman_IE_2019_v2_Target,Zero2_S1&tool=711
Atrium Closed: https://gadgetrytech.squig.link/headsets/?share=Harman_Target,ZMF_Atrium_Closed
 

Robbo99999

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How long does brain burn-in take to adjust to a new sound signature? Because I just got the E3's in and I am almost ready to return them already. The clarity is great but the bass sounds thin in a lot of tunes where I'm used to hearing more of it and vocals are SPICY to the point it's hurting my ears at certain peaks. I was expecting a lot more of a "wow" effect for my first "perfectly tuned" Harman headphone and, so far, I'm pretty disappointed to say the least.

But, I will say, I went back to my Atrium Closed and, while they are MUCH easier to listen to, I definitely now hear a "veil" and much less clean of a sound. I just want my hears to not bleed while listening to my headphones :-/. Not sure if I've just been too used to headphones with that veil or not
Have you got speakers that are close to Anechoic Flat that you can compare to on your favourite tracks? This will help you understand what good tonality is. Brain burn in can take a few hours of listening I suppose - it's been a long time that I've tried to force myself to like a headphone! Re bass, you might want to make sure you're getting a good seal.

EDIT: and as Dazedoreal says your other headphones are darker than Harman, particularly the ZMF Atrium Closed which looks like it has a horribly low response in the treble combined with muddy bass.
 
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SlothRock

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I think this is likely it. In the tracks that I know for certain have strong bass, the E3 shows it clearly and handles it super well. It’s likely the tracks where I’m used to a more bloated mid-bass that sound less bassy to me since E3 isn’t emphasizing that. I originally thought the 7Hz Zero 2 wasn't emphasizing it any more than the E3 but, after looking at the graph, it looks like it does at least a bit more.

Have you got speakers that are close to Anechoic Flat that you can compare to on your favourite tracks? This will help you understand what good tonality is. Brain burn in can take a few hours of listening I suppose - it's been a long time that I've tried to force myself to like a headphone! Re bass, you might want to make sure you're getting a good seal.

EDIT: and as Dazedoreal says your other headphones are darker than Harman, particularly the ZMF Atrium Closed which looks like it has a horribly low response in the treble combined with muddy bass.

I have KH120's & KH750's that are aligned with the MA1 but my room certainly isn't ideal as far as limiting reflections and such so it's close, but not perfect for sure. Even then, I've added a bit of a bass boost to the alignment I was given. Also, definitely not trying to force myself to like the E3's but, even though I don't believe in headphone burn-in, I do believe firmly in brain burn in. If all I'm used to is bass heavy, low treble response cans then it's going to be jarring moving to something on the other end of the spectrum.

I will say that now that I've had a couple hours on the E3, I am getting used to and appreciating the sound signature a lot more. When a track has an actual bass emphasis, the cans have a bass emphasis. When the track doesn't, the cans don't. It's also quite glaring the difference in clarity when I A/B test against the Atrium Closed. Oh, and they're comfy as hell. I think that I may have been judging too quickly and am looking forward to many more hours to come to a decision on keeping.
 

asrUser

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This is a review, listening tests, and detailed measurements of the Dan Clark E3 closed back headphone. It was sent to me by the company and costs US $1,999.
Why no EQ at all? The rise after 10k could be equalized, couldn't it?
 

asrUser

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I think this is likely it. In the tracks that I know for certain have strong bass, the E3 shows it clearly and handles it super well. It’s likely the tracks where I’m used to a more bloated mid-bass that sound less bassy to me since E3 isn’t emphasizing that. I originally thought the 7Hz Zero 2 wasn't emphasizing it any more than the E3 but, after looking at the graph, it looks like it does at least a bit more.
You can't really compare headphones to IEMs. Also the 7Hz Zero 2 got dynamic drivers so of course you would feel the bass differently. Don't forget to burn-in your headphones. Some other more powerful amps might also help to get a better listening experience.
 
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SlothRock

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You can't really compare headphones to IEMs. Also the 7Hz Zero 2 got dynamic drivers so of course you would feel the bass differently. Don't forget to burn-in your headphones. Some other more powerful amps might also help to get a better listening experience.
The more I listen the better it gets - I have a Holo Audio Bliss so I’m all set on the powerful amp situation. The clarity of this headphone is blowing me away. I hear EVERYTHING. It’s def better than the Susvara was although I had thought that was the pinnacle of clarity originally
 

williamr

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It is but I don’t EQ. I have an enormous cd collection and only really use my Rotel player with a Lake People head amp.
I could probably invest in a stand alone equaliser, but I’m also a little hesitant. I am quick to go down the complete OCD path and having something that allows me to finetune every headphone to the max, could also lead this man to insanity.
I know how great EQ can be, but I also know myself.
It took me many months, but I ripped my entire CD collection (+2000 albums) and now listen to it using Roon. Worth thinking about if you want to play with EQ in addition to many of the other Roon benefits.
 
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SlothRock

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A/Bing this with my Atrium Closed this weekend there are so many benefits that I'm seeing, but one area that has been underwhelming has been rock/metal music. I feel like the inclusion of a bloated mid-bass/bass in general helps to mellow out the mids of the guitars in rock/metal tunes and so my Atrium Closed usually is a better listen for that style of music, where-as the E3 represents the guitar in these tracks as more screetchy.

Curious if the Stealth has this same issue or, because it's more "politely" tuned, it'd be able to represent this style of music a little more pleasantly? Outside of metal/heavy rock type of tunes the E3 is excelling in every other type of track and is SO revealing and fun to listen to.
 

Rhamnetin

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A/Bing this with my Atrium Closed this weekend there are so many benefits that I'm seeing, but one area that has been underwhelming has been rock/metal music. I feel like the inclusion of a bloated mid-bass/bass in general helps to mellow out the mids of the guitars in rock/metal tunes and so my Atrium Closed usually is a better listen for that style of music, where-as the E3 represents the guitar in these tracks as more screetchy.

Curious if the Stealth has this same issue or, because it's more "politely" tuned, it'd be able to represent this style of music a little more pleasantly? Outside of metal/heavy rock type of tunes the E3 is excelling in every other type of track and is SO revealing and fun to listen to.

I haven't heard the Stealth but based on all the measurements and impressions, the difference would be mild at best. Though I prefer the E3 over every headphone I have heard for those genres as well. You could try boosting the bass more to your liking.
 

SlothRock

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I haven't heard the Stealth but based on all the measurements and impressions, the difference would be mild at best. Though I prefer the E3 over every headphone I have heard for those genres as well. You could try boosting the bass more to your liking.

Yea, figured this would be the answer. Usually fine at lower volumes, just if im in the mood to "blast it" :). Literally everything else is superior to my Atrium Closed. I'm positive that I'm selling my Atrium Closed, but now just deciding to keep the E3 or return it within my return window to get the Stealth. But not sure the $$ difference is worth it based off measurements (even though I found a deal for a new one at $3k).
 

Benesyed

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Yea, figured this would be the answer. Usually fine at lower volumes, just if im in the mood to "blast it" :). Literally everything else is superior to my Atrium Closed. I'm positive that I'm selling my Atrium Closed, but now just deciding to keep the E3 or return it within my return window to get the Stealth. But not sure the $$ difference is worth it based off measurements (even though I found a deal for a new one at $3k).

I had the reverse experience between the Atrium Closed and the Stealth!

I enjoy my Expanse though especially the portability.
 
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