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Drop Dan Clark Audio Aeon Closed X

JanesJr1

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Beyerdynamic DT990pro, 770pro, AKG K712, HiFiMan HE400, HE560, Sundara, and few other HiFiMan's, Sennheiser 600, 650, 800.
(and many IEM's, but comparison's with IEM's, I think, is incorrect).
AKG K712, for me, also is very comfortable, but AeoN Closed X sound is better - more accuracy, lower distortions and more speed.
I moved to the Closed X headphones from HD6XX's, and have a similar reaction. I really liked the HD6XX, but I now "crave" a return to the detail, neutrality and clean bass of the Closed X when I put the HD6XX's on. Percussion and "slam" on the HD6XX's is more substantial, but also seems less focused and subjectively more like distortion to me: I'm mixed on that. I like to play the Closed X's just loud enough to bring out the percussion and slam elements; and when I do, they sound wonderful. At lower volumes, they can sound a little thin: recessed drums, etc. But that's my only qualification and the Closed X's sound better to me in all other respects. They are also easy to EQ: when I change the EQ, it comes through clearly and predictably.

I appreciate Andrew or "Resolve" at Headphones.com and his thoughtful comments, even when I don't agree (which I sometimes don't). He made a comment reviewing planar headphones that I can paraphrase here, because it kind of applies to the Closed X's. He said that dynamic headphones are more likely to sound natural if your reference point in your history of music-listening is music that has been amplified electronically. That is, you are used to richer vocals from close-miking, and the additional harmonics and other distortion associated with music played back through speaker boxes and small, resonant rooms, and rather thick-waisted thwacks of the drumsticks. But if your reference point is for live music at its point of origin, you may prefer a sound with less distortion, less euphonic coloration, etc., and closed-back planars in particular have to be engineered to damp distortion and resonances of the closed-back form-factor, so that they may tend to sound more like the naked music signal. One person's neutral and uncolored sound may be another's cool and recessed sound. Now, I may be overstating or interpreting Resolve's points a bit, but it's something to think about as you listen to these phones.

Anyway, I can imagine some people wouldn't like the Closed X's, but I learned something from them: I do crave that highly-resolved, neutral, subjectively-distortion-free sound that rises naturally and coherently from deep bass to airy treble..
 
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Construct

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These are on sale at Drop.com again. Down from $479 to $399 with 2 days left: https://drop.com/buy/drop-dan-clark...eadphones?utm_source=linkshare&referer=UTUVE6

I finally caved and bought a pair. I've been using HD650s at night and ER-4S during the day when I need noise isolation for WFH, but I'm tired of having IEMs in my ears all day long. I'm hopeful these have a similarly neutral signature that I've come to appreciate for coding, but I'm also excited to have some truly new headphones. The HD650 and ER-4S are great and definitely staples of the headphone world, but it's been a long time since I've tried something new.

Also picked up a Motu M4. Going to try giving up the headphone amp for a while. I listen at quieter volumes anyway so I'm expecting it should be plenty of power for all of my headphones, despite the somewhat limited headphone amplifier section.
 

doug2761

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I finally caved and bought a pair. I've been using HD650s at night and ER-4S during the day when I need noise isolation for WFH, but I'm tired of having IEMs in my ears all day long.
Congrats. I'm listening the the Aeon X as I type this. I also have the HD650. I enjoy both but like the Aeon X when I want a bit more noise isolation. Let us know how you get on with them. Also curious on the Motu M4. Are you using that as an all-in-one DAC and headphone amp? I couldn't find a spec on the headphone output power so curious how that works out with the DCA.
 

Construct

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Congrats. I'm listening the the Aeon X as I type this. I also have the HD650. I enjoy both but like the Aeon X when I want a bit more noise isolation. Let us know how you get on with them. Also curious on the Motu M4. Are you using that as an all-in-one DAC and headphone amp? I couldn't find a spec on the headphone output power so curious how that works out with the DCA.

There is a fantastic review of the Motu M2 (same as M4 but with fewer inputs) on this forum: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/motu-m2-review-audio-interface.19911/

The headphone amplifier output is not particularly powerful. There's a chart toward the bottom of the review that shows output power. I listen at lower volumes in general and especially with closed headphones, so I don't think it will be a problem for me. If you prefer higher volumes I'd be looking very closely at the headphone amplifier specs.
 

dav3

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I should be receiving my pair of the Aeon Closed X within the next couple of days, grabbed the last one from Amazon. Can barely wait!

Hoping that my setup will give it enough juice, I'm just running a Asus Xonar STX (pci-e) soundcard which has a dedicated headphone amp. It has 3 different gain settings:

Normal Gain (0db for <64ohms)
High Gain (+12db for 64~300ohms)
Extra High Gain (+18db for 300~600ohms)

I'm wondering: Are the ohm ranges in the gain settings just guidelines for most cases? Or do I have to not change it from normal gain due to potentially damaging hardware?
 
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Congrats on your new cans! Definitely leave your Asus set to normal, impedance of your ACX are around 13 ohms. If they sound flat with your Asus, the card can't provide enough current at that impedance. Something like the Topping DX3 Pro+ should fo the trick...
 

dav3

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Congrats on your new cans! Definitely leave your Asus set to normal, impedance of your ACX are around 13 ohms. If they sound flat with your Asus, the card can't provide enough current at that impedance. Something like the Topping DX3 Pro+ should fo the trick...
Thanks David,

Good to know, I'll leave it on normal when I get it and see how it goes.
 

Jimbob54

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I should be receiving my pair of the Aeon Closed X within the next couple of days, grabbed the last one from Amazon. Can barely wait!

Hoping that my setup will give it enough juice, I'm just running a Asus Xonar STX (pci-e) soundcard which has a dedicated headphone amp. It has 3 different gain settings:

Normal Gain (0db for <64ohms)
High Gain (+12db for 64~300ohms)
Extra High Gain (+18db for 300~600ohms)

I'm wondering: Are the ohm ranges in the gain settings just guidelines for most cases? Or do I have to not change it from normal gain due to potentially damaging hardware?
I would disagree with other responses. Start on normal gain and if you find you are maxing that, go up to high. If you find that either makes odd sound, yes you might be clipping the amp and dial it back down, but dont be afraid to try.
 

dav3

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I would disagree with other responses. Start on normal gain and if you find you are maxing that, go up to high. If you find that either makes odd sound, yes you might be clipping the amp and dial it back down, but dont be afraid to try.
Appreciate your response,

Yeah I thought about it, and I was going to make a thread to double check.

With my limited electronics knowledge; An amp doesn't determine the ohms, but the headphones do? And gain is just how much power is delivered? That's my best guess.
 
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Yes, the output impedance performance is dictated by the headphones. The amps output impedance switch is for matching headphone impedance - mismatch affects frequency response.

I may be misunderstanding, but normally - if there is sufficient current reserve, available amplifier power should increase as output impedance decreases. Certainly try all the impedance options, if they sound good, great. If not it's likely not the headphones, it's insufficient current.
 

Jimbob54

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I may be misunderstanding, but normally - if there is sufficient current reserve, available amplifier power should increase as output impedance decreases. Certainly try all the impedance options, if they sound good, great. If not it's likely not the headphones, it's insufficient current.
My understanding of the gain settings quoted were they were a guide as to what impedance headphones you might be using. So low gain (in the manufs. rough rule of thumb) should be suitable for headphones with 64 ohm or less impedance. Which for less sensitive 'phones like these planars might not hold true.
 
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Absolutely right, normal would get closer to the ACX impedance! Check out the stated power for each impedance switch selection, gain is increasing as the amp impedance goes up... That is what I was referring to... If there isn't enough power at the normal selection for 64 ohms, gain may not increase at the higher amp impedance values... What is confusing is that amp impedance and headphone impedance are independent, and ideally should match.
 

Jimbob54

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Absolutely right, normal would get closer to the ACX impedance! Check out the stated power for each impedance switch selection, gain is increasing as the amp impedance goes up... That is what I was referring to... If there isn't enough power at the normal selection for 64 ohms, gain may not increase at the higher amp impedance values... What is confusing is that amp impedance and headphone impedance are independent, and ideally should match.
I think the gain settings are for voltage increase, not current. Output impedance should stay the same. The specs quoted are for headphone impedance as a user guide, not output impedance of the amp- hopefully,
 
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Exactly my understanding too...:cool:
I know you will enjoy them. I give mine a 5db low shelf boost starting at 150hz, and they sound great!
 

dav3

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Yes, the output impedance performance is dictated by the headphones. The amps output impedance switch is for matching headphone impedance - mismatch affects frequency response.

I may be misunderstanding, but normally - if there is sufficient current reserve, available amplifier power should increase as output impedance decreases. Certainly try all the impedance options, if they sound good, great. If not it's likely not the headphones, it's insufficient current.
Absolutely right, normal would get closer to the ACX impedance! Check out the stated power for each impedance switch selection, gain is increasing as the amp impedance goes up... That is what I was referring to... If there isn't enough power at the normal selection for 64 ohms, gain may not increase at the higher amp impedance values... What is confusing is that amp impedance and headphone impedance are independent, and ideally should match.
I think the gain settings are for voltage increase, not current. Output impedance should stay the same. The specs quoted are for headphone impedance as a user guide, not output impedance of the amp- hopefully,
That certainly clears things up and makes sense :)

Cheers
 

Robbo99999

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My understanding of the gain settings quoted were they were a guide as to what impedance headphones you might be using. So low gain (in the manufs. rough rule of thumb) should be suitable for headphones with 64 ohm or less impedance. Which for less sensitive 'phones like these planars might not hold true.
That's my understanding of it too (the reason why the manufacturer linked it to headphone impedance)......but instead he should ignore the impedence the manufacturer states & flip through the different gain settings starting on the lowest.....if it's not loud enough go up to the next, etc, etc.
 

dav3

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They came in an hour ago, and the Asus Xonar STX for sure is enough to drive them (thankfully). On normal gain, I turn it up to 55% and it's pretty loud. On high gain, it's loud at 25%.

First impressions without burn in or EQ is: They sound amazing. Detailed, fluid, smooth, balanced but not boring. Just a good balanced sound. Bass is sufficient, and clean. I'm coming from a Fostex THX-00, and I was worried that in the bass department I would be disappointed but that certainly is not the case. It has less bass in terms of quantity for sure, but it's a more pleasant bass response. Overall, I'm impressed.

I think I would prefer a tiny bit more low end, and adding the less dense black inserts on top of the one notch ones give it that. Once they burn in for a bit, I will try one of the EQ settings posted in the forums and remove the inserts.

Not sure if this a new batch, but the case it came in says DC audio instead of Mr.speakers.
 

Robbo99999

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They came in an hour ago, and the Asus Xonar STX for sure is enough to drive them (thankfully). On normal gain, I turn it up to 55% and it's pretty loud. On high gain, it's loud at 25%.

First impressions without burn in or EQ is: They sound amazing. Detailed, fluid, smooth, balanced but not boring. Just a good balanced sound. Bass is sufficient, and clean. I'm coming from a Fostex THX-00, and I was worried that in the bass department I would be disappointed but that certainly is not the case. It has less bass in terms of quantity for sure, but it's a more pleasant bass response. Overall, I'm impressed.

I think I would prefer a tiny bit more low end, and adding the less dense black inserts on top of the one notch ones give it that. Once they burn in for a bit, I will try one of the EQ settings posted in the forums and remove the inserts.

Not sure if this a new batch, but the case it came in says DC audio instead of Mr.speakers.
Don't worry about burn-in, it doesn't really exist, so don't let that stop you from trying EQ's sooner if you want. Yes, there's EQ's in this thread, I did a couple, and Oratory has since measured an Aeon Closed X, so he has his EQ for it on his reddit website.
 

dav3

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I took out all the inserts, and even without EQ to my ears much preferred the sound. The details, especially in things like female vocals are so much more enjoyable. Like there is more sauce on the dish :) Then, I applied your EQ @Robbo99999 and oh my goodness..... I can't put these down. It's like a whole new dimension of musical enjoyment has opened up and I don't want to leave. Truly fantastic, I'm gobsmacked.
 
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