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Dan Clark Expanse Headphone Review

Rate this headphone:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 6 2.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 8 2.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 56 18.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 234 77.0%

  • Total voters
    304

Lorenzo74

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Nov 17, 2019
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Hi everyone!

If I see technical questions in the thread I'll update this post with responses so it's easy for folk to find.

Cheers,

Dan
Hi Dan, thank you for letting us asking you questions.

I think many would appreciate to hear how do you manage without exposing trade secret to get so close to compliance curve.
Are you able to control it, how and to which extent?
Whatever you can tell us will be for sure super interesting.
(Maybe a talk on youtube with Amir?
Congratulations and thanks in advance.
 

GaryH

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Given the poor results in the group delay department we are used to see from other Mfr I wouldn't mind getting a little bit worser that means little more reflections and resonances ...... if it makes it more towards 300€ region for Sundara peers.
The 'poor results in the group delay department' seen on here are most often simply due a measurement set-up that allows open-back headphone measurements to be polluted by uncontrolled environmental noise (and possibly acoustic crosstalk due to using stereo test signals), which has nothing to do with the performance of the headphone. This is quite obvious when you notice that open-back headphone group delay measurements on here commonly exhibit 'mess' above 1 kHz, none more so than the least isolating headphones in the treble as measured by Rtings e.g. the (very) open-back HifiMan Arya, whereas closed-back headphones commonly don't have this mess in their group delay, e.g. one of the most passively isolating closed-back Rtings measured, the Drop + THX Panda. Note that Rtings' own group delay measurements of e.g. the Arya do not show any of this mess, because they actually control for this environmental noise by measuring within an acoustic isolation chamber. As noted by Jude in his review of the Expanse, these headphones are actually quite isolating for an 'open-back' design, which explains the minimal 'mess' in their group delay. Also note that this pollution of the measurements on here by noise is not confined only to the group delay measurements, but also shows up in the frequency response plots as 'fine grass' roughness in the same region above 1 kHz, which again has nothing to do with the acoustic output of the headphones. And even if it wasn't polluted by noise, the group delay plot would still not be fit for purpose, as it's excess group delay that matters for audibility.
 

DuncanDirkDick

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Amir is using the ADI-2 DAC, if I'm not mistaken.
Its maximum power is half the power of the ADI-2 Pro fs R in balanced mode.
Not really. At 23 ohms the difference between balanced and single ended is minimal. See Rme adi pro manual (81)
 
Last edited:
OP
amirm

amirm

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Amir is using the ADI-2 DAC, if I'm not mistaken.
Its maximum power is half the power of the ADI-2 Pro fs R in balanced mode.
Currently I am using ADI-2 Pro, not the DAC.
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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The 'poor results in the group delay department' seen on here are most often simply due a measurement set-up that allows open-back headphone measurements to be polluted by uncontrolled environmental noise (and possibly acoustic crosstalk due to using stereo test signals), which has nothing to do with the performance of the headphone.
I doubt it. My measurements are at 94 dBSPL in super near-field. External noise would not have a chance to enter the equation in any significant manner. On Rting, that measurement could very well be smoothed.
 

jae

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Currently I am using ADI-2 Pro, not the DAC.
Even better incentive for me to get the new RME ADI-2/4 PRO SE DAC being released

Unlimited_Power_Banner.jpg
 

Metronomy

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5000 dollars... So I voted Great, however I have to think if DC has not reasoned like the luxury multinationals where they have increased the price lists in recent years to rumbly because they already know that the middle class will be flattened down, so you might as well double the final price, so that spending 2k 3k 10k does not affect the assets of that type However, they have seen here ultra expensive devices with laughable performance, at least one VIP DC but at the top. Do I have what I pay for?
 

Keened

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Twx:
Some of the other 4-5K headphones might look better, but they can’t even be transported outside your house unless you wrap them in plastic wrap
I won't fault literal world class performance its price premium, but just imagine if you had that Norweigen 5 year legally enforced warranty, with the serivceable (and transportable!) design all at $2K.

You'd certainly be paying a premium over the kilobucks market bracket, but you could actually use the damn things and at least amoritize the cost over a decade.
 
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Keened

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Tempting, iff you design the custom car audio system.

(Typed whilst listening to Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade on my recently-purchased Stealths and sitting with maximum prejudice upon my wallet.)
Only if they teamed up with Dirac's Unison to offer meta-material tuned speakers working together to manage the reflections within the car.

Then you'd have to figure out how to compensate for different windows being open different amounts at differemt speeds...

Or just build a mount for these into the driver head rest. You can listen to what you want without 'inflicting' it on the passengers and still hear the world around you. They're open back so maybe it's legal...
 

Kyle / MrHeeHo

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I've had wonderful support from DCA on a headphone that I purchased used and wasn't even covered under warranty.
Nice, I have a Noire too but it slowly lost sound in one side (it's possibly the driver, already checked the cable). Maybe I should hit them up
 

cheapmessiah

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I must be the only one thinking that the price is actually good, if not great, considering the market for SOTA headphones and what you get for them.

However, I still think that the Stealth is the one to get, is much harder to get that level of performance on a closed back HP, not even EQ can compensate for FR deviations in many cases, while you can get an almost as good experience in open backs for much less money.

But, in any case, I still congratulate the DCA team for yet another excellent product and being finally able to translate their mastery of the close back headphones into the open back ones. It's truly remarkable to have a headphone that you can plug anywhere and with no other external aid than power you get the best performance one can desire for such a device.
 

Bow_Wazoo

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With the Aeon 2 I have unfortunately touched the inside with my ears.
Therefore, I would interssien the dimensions...
 

coptician

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I must be the only one thinking that the price is actually good, if not great, considering the market for SOTA headphones and what you get for them.

However, I still think that the Stealth is the one to get, is much harder to get that level of performance on a closed back HP, not even EQ can compensate for FR deviations in many cases, while you can get an almost as good experience in open backs for much less money.

But, in any case, I still congratulate the DCA team for yet another excellent product and being finally able to translate their mastery of the close back headphones into the open back ones. It's truly remarkable to have a headphone that you can plug anywhere and with no other external aid than power you get the best performance one can desire for such a device.
In some ways the Stealth is more impressive, I agree. But from a practical use case standpoint an open-backed is so much more comfortable in my opinion. I tried wearing my Aeon Noire at home and while it was comfortable, there is just a sense of closed off-ness that I do not like.

It's also way worse when you want to talk as you can't hear yourself very well (unless you monitor yourself but that seems crazy).

So unlike the Stealth, I am seriously considering these :).
 

Dan Clark

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Hi Dan, thank you for letting us asking you questions.

I think many would appreciate to hear how do you manage without exposing trade secret to get so close to compliance curve.
Are you able to control it, how and to which extent?
Whatever you can tell us will be for sure super interesting.
(Maybe a talk on youtube with Amir?
Congratulations and thanks in advance.

How turns out to be a very big question… There’s a decade of learning and technology that got us to the point where we can do this now reliably…. Certainly AMTS is a big part but I need to consider what else to share without giving away the farm.
 
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