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Drop Dan Clark Audio Aeon Closed X

Robbo99999

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For the benefit of future folk stumbling upon this thread, these are the sensibly priced* (incl. P&P to UK) cables that I have found (which includes Hart Audio):

As is the way, I now have more questions...

1 - The second from top (Mavis Mods) offers a choice of 4 core vs 8 core cable. Any comments on that? I'll only have a length around 4.5ft.
2 - Is it worth paying for silver plated copper over litz? Oidio, 3rd from top, charge more for it


* I retract my initial gripe reg. pricing of these headphone cables vs XLR interconnects, as the cables for the Aeon are bespoke.
Don't worry about cables, they don't make any difference & don't have any magical properties, just get some that look & feel how you like at the price you're willing to pay, no point paying lots of money for cables.
 

Firefly00

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Don't worry about cables, they don't make any difference & don't have any magical properties, just get some that look & feel how you like at the price you're willing to pay, no point paying lots of money for cables.
We’re saying that if you’re paying £93 for a replacement cable, it’s better to buy something nicer feeling than the DCA one
 

Robbo99999

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We’re saying that if you’re paying £93 for a replacement cable, it’s better to buy something nicer feeling than the DCA one
"You pays your money- you takes your choice!" as Jimbob used in another thread a few minutes ago, I'm not interested in cables, they don't influence the sound, choose some ones you like that fit the use.
 

hoverdonkey

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Don't worry about cables, they don't make any difference & don't have any magical properties, just get some that look & feel how you like at the price you're willing to pay, no point paying lots of money for cables.
We’re saying that if you’re paying £93 for a replacement cable, it’s better to buy something nicer feeling than the DCA one
"You pays your money- you takes your choice!" as Jimbob used in another thread a few minutes ago, I'm not interested in cables, they don't influence the sound, choose some ones you like that fit the use.

I hear you all. Problem is, before looking into it I was only expecting to pay (a wholly imaginary) £20-30, having already got a pair of TRS-XLR interconnects for a tenner! Now I'm looking at £80... and spending the same on a cable as a DAC does not compute! Darn Topping and their cheap goodness! I just need to recalibrate o_O (your comments have helped with that, ta!)
 

Robbo99999

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I'm gonna be off-grid for a couple of weeks, just a message for the folks that know me, I'll be back!
 

Hewbacca

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I finally got EQ APO working and tried these two presets. To my ears, the average of sample 1 and 2 sounds better; the EQ based on just sample 2 sounds a bit more V-shaped (which of course it is if you compare the curves). For completeness, I have the 105hz low shelf set to +3db on both presets, and the 11000hz high shelf to -3db on both presets.

The difference is subtle but I just enjoy the mids more on the 1+2 average preset.

I've also been having an issue with my headphones with no EQ where I experience significant ear fatigue (ears start hurting) after listening for a relatively short time, even at low volumes. I am pretty sure this is due to treble because using the 1 notch insert helped (but reduced the detail I was hearing), and I think these EQs are also helping. I think I am going to run with the 11000hz high shelf at 10000hz or maybe even 9000hz as the lower I make it the more comfortable the sound seems to become.

At any rate, thank you for putting this together, headphones definitely sound better with either EQ than they did stock (which was not bad at all).
 

Shadez

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I'm amazed and great full for the amount of effort folks on this thread have put into the reviews and analysis of these headphones.I am still not clear if the Dan Clark RT or the X are the ones to go for. I am lacking a good pair of closed back headphones, I am not a bass monster but I do very much enjoy extension at both ends, sound stage is also very enjoyable to me and still has some novelty as I am only a year into this interest. The only closed back headphones I have are a Sony xm4 for travelling Although I tend to take a couple sets of iems with me as well and a btr5 or my Audeze Mobius which I have pad swapped (very fiddly). The next run of the X is earliest March 22, I know headphones are subjective but in general, any views on should I wait for the X or get the RT, if anyone is kind enough to give some thoughts, also what about the RT but pad swapped with the federated pads, I'd like to use them as my travelling phones as to be honest the XM4's sometimes drive me a little nuts hence the iems's I also take.
 

Hewbacca

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I'm amazed and great full for the amount of effort folks on this thread have put into the reviews and analysis of these headphones.I am still not clear if the Dan Clark RT or the X are the ones to go for. I am lacking a good pair of closed back headphones, I am not a bass monster but I do very much enjoy extension at both ends, sound stage is also very enjoyable to me and still has some novelty as I am only a year into this interest. The only closed back headphones I have are a Sony xm4 for travelling Although I tend to take a couple sets of iems with me as well and a btr5 or my Audeze Mobius which I have pad swapped (very fiddly). The next run of the X is earliest March 22, I know headphones are subjective but in general, any views on should I wait for the X or get the RT, if anyone is kind enough to give some thoughts, also what about the RT but pad swapped with the federated pads, I'd like to use them as my travelling phones as to be honest the XM4's sometimes drive me a little nuts hence the iems's I also take.
I've not heard the RTs or any DCAs other than these, but from what I've gathered they are more similar than different, with just some mild tweaks in tuning. Both are very well-tuned out of the box though, so even if you aren't going to use EQ I think you can go with either one. With EQ, I think the differences are probably totally superficial.

So, I would probably go for the ones that are cheaper, which I think is Drop. Or, if you are willing to pay more for earlier delivery, the RTs for that reason. But I guess what I'm saying is I would probably look to secondary factors since they are pretty close to the same headphone.

Also, the XM4s suck, I have them too. With EQ they are listenable, but if that is your frame of reference for a closed headphone I think you are in for a treat with the DCAs. The Sonys are probably better for travel given how small they collapse and the fact they have BT and ANC though (that's what I use them for, although I too tend to go for IEMs more often than the XM4s these days).
 

doug2761

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I'm amazed and great full for the amount of effort folks on this thread have put into the reviews and analysis of these headphones.I am still not clear if the Dan Clark RT or the X are the ones to go for. I am lacking a good pair of closed back headphones, I am not a bass monster but I do very much enjoy extension at both ends, sound stage is also very enjoyable to me and still has some novelty as I am only a year into this interest. The only closed back headphones I have are a Sony xm4 for travelling Although I tend to take a couple sets of iems with me as well and a btr5 or my Audeze Mobius which I have pad swapped (very fiddly). The next run of the X is earliest March 22, I know headphones are subjective but in general, any views on should I wait for the X or get the RT, if anyone is kind enough to give some thoughts, also what about the RT but pad swapped with the federated pads, I'd like to use them as my travelling phones as to be honest the XM4's sometimes drive me a little nuts hence the iems's I also take.
I have Aeon X and Sennheiser HD6XX, both from Drop. I also had the Aeon RT from DCA. DCA has an owner's club that gets discounts on future purchases. I'm not sure if the Drop Aeon X qualifies for the club. That would be a reason to go direct with DCA. If you're using EQ then I don't think it will matter so much if you go with Aeon RT or Aeon X. Oratory has a lot of EQ profiles on his Reddit pages for the RT and the suggested EQ from earlier on this page work really well to my ears with the X. I use Oratory's settings for the HD650 with the 6XX phones and I think his EQ settings are terrific. Going with DCA direct, you'll get outstanding customer support and the ability to return the headphones for a limited period of time if they don't work out for you.

For me, I couldn't get the Aeon RT to sound quite right to me. It was probably something I wasn't doing right with the EQ settings or the inserts. I couldn't get it to my preferences with the pads or with EQ and no pads. I didn't want to run out of the trial period so I returned them before I could work out the problem. I gave the Aeon X a try because I kept reading how good the DCA phones sounded and wanted to try again. The Aeon X worked out really well for me. If you don't value the direct support from DCA and the future discounts aren't a benefit then the lower price from Drop is a great choice.

If you swap the pads then that may substantially alter the sound. If you look at the frequency response of the Aeon 2 and the Aeon Noire, you can see how dramatic that change can be. Oratory measured the Aeon 2 closed with the standard pads and with the perforated pads that are used with the Noire.
 

Firefly00

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I'm amazed and great full for the amount of effort folks on this thread have put into the reviews and analysis of these headphones.I am still not clear if the Dan Clark RT or the X are the ones to go for. I am lacking a good pair of closed back headphones, I am not a bass monster but I do very much enjoy extension at both ends, sound stage is also very enjoyable to me and still has some novelty as I am only a year into this interest. The only closed back headphones I have are a Sony xm4 for travelling Although I tend to take a couple sets of iems with me as well and a btr5 or my Audeze Mobius which I have pad swapped (very fiddly). The next run of the X is earliest March 22, I know headphones are subjective but in general, any views on should I wait for the X or get the RT, if anyone is kind enough to give some thoughts, also what about the RT but pad swapped with the federated pads, I'd like to use them as my travelling phones as to be honest the XM4's sometimes drive me a little nuts hence the iems's I also take.
Aeons will blow the XM4s out of the water, no matter which one you get. If you’re going to EQ, then there’s basically no difference. They both have fantastic sub-bass extension.

I’d just get the RT tbh, also you definitely get to join Club DCA w/ it. Not sure about the X on that regard
 

batfunk

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Same here. With Eq, RT ans Closed X are same Headphones. Drop Closed X are cheaper(with discounts) and DCA 2 years warranty applies too, so get the cheaper.
Don't forget you need a beefy Headphone amp to Take full avantage of it...
 

Morbosis

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Nice! Here are my settings:

Preamp: -10.0dB (Just to be on the safe side. Feel free to correct me on this.)
Filter 1: ON PK Fc 568.0 Hz Gain 2.60 dB Q 1.000
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 20.00 Hz Gain 3.80 dB Q 0.500
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 48.00 Hz Gain 2.90 dB Q 1.500
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 189.0 Hz Gain 3.00 dB Q 2.000
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 60.00 Hz Gain 1.00 dB Q 2.000
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 2200 Hz Gain 4.40 dB Q 2.000
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 3800 Hz Gain 4.10 dB Q 2.000
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 7020 Hz Gain 2.75 dB Q 2.000
Filter 9: ON PK Fc 5310 Hz Gain -1.90 dB Q 2.000
Filter 10: ON LSC Fc 125 Hz Gain 2.50 dB Q 0.250
Filter 11: ON HSC Fc 8000 Hz Gain 1.00 dB Q 2.000


I like the extra "air" Filter 11 provides.

The thing I've noticed is the volume you generally listen to has a massive effect on low and high shelf filter use. According to frequency/amplitude based sensitivity, people who listen loud will require less boost at either end of the spectrum than those who listen at lower volumes.

For those who might use these cans with movies, here are my settings:

Preamp: -6.8dB
Filter 1: ON PK Fc 568.0 Hz Gain 2.60 dB Q 1.000
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 20.00 Hz Gain 3.80 dB Q 0.500
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 48.00 Hz Gain 2.90 dB Q 1.500
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 189.0 Hz Gain 3.00 dB Q 2.000
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 60.00 Hz Gain 1.00 dB Q 2.000
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 2200 Hz Gain 4.40 dB Q 2.000
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 3800 Hz Gain 4.10 dB Q 2.000
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 7020 Hz Gain 3.50 dB Q 2.000
Filter 9: ON PK Fc 5310 Hz Gain -1.90 dB Q 2.000
Filter: ON LSC Fc 100 Hz Gain 3.00 dB Q 1.000
Filter: ON HSC Fc 2000 Hz Gain -5.00 dB Q 0.150


Keep in mind, I don't like to listen too loudly. In general, when I take the cans off while playing music, the sound is just audible not screaming at me like I've heard from others when they take off their headphones.
I'm calling this perfect. I was using Robbo's second EQ, but it was still a tad too thin and hot on the 8th filter. 3.5 was a tad too low. I've settled at 5db for the 7020hz. The 125hz Low shelf at 2.5db really woke these up :D I also run the high shelf at 1db for a tad of sparkle. -9.1 db gain was perfect and haven't been able to get these to clip.
 

aandres_gm

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Update: I’m now at my family’s, which means I finally got my paws on the Closed X. Build quality is very impressive, even though the headband locking mechanism is a bit odd. Regardless, the headphones feel like tanks and are completely solid, with no creaking whatsoever.

I could only test them shortly, but found the bass extension to be very impressive. The mids, however, did sound kinda off. I’ll have to test them further. Can’t wait to get back home to try them on my gear and to play around with EQ.
 

doug2761

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Update: I’m now at my family’s, which means I finally got my paws on the Closed X. Build quality is very impressive, even though the headband locking mechanism is a bit odd. Regardless, the headphones feel like tanks and are completely solid, with no creaking whatsoever.

I could only test them shortly, but found the bass extension to be very impressive. The mids, however, did sound kinda off. I’ll have to test them further. Can’t wait to get back home to try them on my gear and to play around with EQ.
Maybe start with Amir’s EQ for the Aron RT to try a subtle approach to EQ? His has too much bass boost for my likely. The boost he has at the upper end works well to my ears.
 

aandres_gm

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Maybe start with Amir’s EQ for the Aron RT to try a subtle approach to EQ? His has too much bass boost for my likely. The boost he has at the upper end works well to my ears.
Maybe in a couple of weeks, once I’m back home.

But the way, there was an info card in the box talking about burn-in on the felt inserts lol. What is DCA on?
 

Morbosis

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Maybe in a couple of weeks, once I’m back home.

But the way, there was an info card in the box talking about burn-in on the felt inserts lol. What is DCA on?
I thought that was odd too. Maybe the felt is compressed from manufacturing? :rolleyes:

For the headband, I had to tighten the headband clamps a turn on each side to lock it in.

Overall, the sound is dulled by the tuning filters. Without them, to my ears the sound is better, but is a tad hot on the upper treble. EQ cleans this up easily.
 

aandres_gm

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I tried Robbo's #2 EQ without the shelves, as I can't add them on moode, and I'm pretty happy with the results. Think the Ananada is still a bit more exciting, but these ones are also pretty fantastic.

I'll be contacting oratory to get them measured in the next few days.
 

Robbo99999

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I tried Robbo's #2 EQ without the shelves, as I can't add them on moode, and I'm pretty happy with the results. Think the Ananada is still a bit more exciting, but these ones are also pretty fantastic.

I'll be contacting oratory to get them measured in the next few days.
Nice! It doesn't matter that you didn't input the Shelf filters for that EQ as they are at 0dB, and they're only there for people to tweak the EQ for the bass & "air" if they're not 100% happy with those elements within that EQ as it stands.
 

hoverdonkey

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I had my Drop order for a Topping A30 Pro amp cancelled yesterday: "...the item you ordered has become back-ordered, and we do not know if more inventory will become available. As we are unable to guarantee that we will receive this item, we have cancelled your order...". Rather shameful of them, I reckon, seeing as I have been waiting weeks, and it was supposed to be shipped this week! I only hope they manage to honour my order for Aeon X Closed (due March).

But, looking on the bright side, it gives me a chance to revisit my choice of amp. I had planned to go balanced, but only realized after ordering the A30 Pro that it isn't actually fully balanced, so I get a second chance in that respect!

The other big reason for chosing the A30 Pro was that it has oodles of power, as it seems the Aeon X Closed needs it, but I was never quite sure how much it actually needs to sing. I would be grateful for advice in this respect. Any suggestions for suitable amps would also be welcome.
 
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