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Looking for DCA Aeon 2 Noire alternative

holdingpants01

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Hello there!
I'm a sound engineer but also music lover (those don't always go hand in hand). I never liked any headphones but two things changed my view. Those were simulating crosstalk and harman curve. After too much reading and testing I found almost perfect combination: Dan Clark Aeon 2 Noire and Goodhertz Canopener Studio 3. Both of these gives me everything I ever wanted soundwise, however there's one big issue. These headphones are just not reliable enough. So far twice in a year of ownership one of the drivers malfunctioned. The volume drops on one side and only loud sound can unclog it, then it's fine until it happens again. First time they just replaced both drivers, I thought ok, can happen, but second time? Nope, I can't trust them anymore for work. So my question is what other headphones sound similar to them? I love the detailed sound of Aeon, love the wideness of the scene, great bass. Strongly prefer over the ear closed back designs, harman curve is fine but less mids won't be a problem, but that could be EQd. I'm not afraid of EQ, but low end extension is as important as the amount of lows. I guess no open or semi open as I never heard any of these with good lows, especially in terms of extension. Please help!

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I just read the sonarworks white paper and I'll go with their individual measurement and calibration, so I just need some ideas what to try for closed backs with enough detail so I won't miss much after Aeon, and low enough thd in the lows that it could be calibrated without compromises
 
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holdingpants01

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Austrian Audio Hi-X60
thanks, I had a few AA headphones for demo and didn't like any of them, super weird midrange/high mids response, too janky to even try to correct it, but I'm not sure there was this model as they all look similar. Besides the sound they were really uncomfortable to me, very well constructed though
 

staticV3

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AA models measure really differently from another. There are some absolute abominations (X55), but the X60 is by far the best tuned so far.
They have very spacious ear pads, but apparently higher than average clamping force to increase the likelihood of proper seal.
 
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holdingpants01

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AA models measure really differently from another. There are some absolute abominations (X55), but the X60 is by far the best tuned so far.
They have very spacious ear pads, but apparels higher than average clamping force to increase the likelihood of proper seal.
I had x55 for sure and just couldn't understand why would anyone release something like this. I'll check X60 then, thanks!
 

AudioKC

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Asked GPT4 for you


If you're looking for alternatives to the DCA Aeon 2 Noire with a similar planar magnetic closed-back sound, here are a few options to consider:

  1. Audeze LCD-XC: The Audeze LCD-XC is a closed-back planar magnetic headphone that delivers a balanced and detailed sound signature with excellent bass response. It offers a spacious and immersive soundstage for a closed-back design, with accurate imaging and instrument separation. The LCD-XC is also comfortable and well-built, with high-quality materials and a premium feel.
  2. MrSpeakers Ether CX Closed: The MrSpeakers Ether CX Closed is a closed-back planar magnetic headphone that offers a natural and balanced sound signature with excellent detail and clarity. It has a wide soundstage for a closed-back design, with precise imaging and instrument separation. The Ether CX Closed is also lightweight and comfortable, making it suitable for long listening sessions.
  3. Hifiman HE-6SE: The Hifiman HE-6SE is a closed-back planar magnetic headphone that delivers an engaging and dynamic sound signature with excellent bass response. It has a spacious and detailed soundstage for a closed-back design, with accurate imaging and instrument placement. The HE-6SE is also comfortable and well-built, with high-quality materials and a premium feel.
Please note that individual preferences and requirements may vary, and it's always a good idea to audition headphones before making a purchase.

Here are the approximate prices for each of the headphones mentioned:

  1. Audeze LCD-XC: around $1,799 USD
  2. MrSpeakers Ether CX Closed: around $1,399 USD
  3. Hifiman HE-6SE: around $1,799 USD
Please note that these prices are approximate and may vary depending on your location and the retailer. It's always a good idea to check with authorized dealers or the manufacturers directly for the most up-to-date pricing information.
 
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holdingpants01

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haha thanks, but I don't think going with the same type of headphones or even manufacturer is what I'm looking for. I think I'm ready for more usual type of design, so dynamic driver with correction, should be more robust. Ollo S5X seems like a good idea
 

ehabheikal

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The m50x is amazing while equalized, it has very very low distortion so eq as your heart desires or just use wavelet or peace.
I have it and really you can turn the volume up till you loose hearing before you hear significant distortion.
 

TabCam

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And, which one did you end up buying? Sorry to hear you have had two driver failures. I expect them to fix it. I have had two cable failures but that is maybe because their own cables are quite inflexible and I bike to work often. Did not have a driver failure on either the Alpha Prime or Aeon Flow 2 Closed (knock on wood).
 
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holdingpants01

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And, which one did you end up buying? Sorry to hear you have had two driver failures. I expect them to fix it. I have had two cable failures but that is maybe because their own cables are quite inflexible and I bike to work often. Did not have a driver failure on either the Alpha Prime or Aeon Flow 2 Closed (knock on wood).
None actually. They actually started to work properly and for the last two months were trouble free, so I'm sticking with them. I still love their sound and all of the tested alternatives sounded just wrong. The worst thing is I tried DCA Stealth, wow, amazing
 

Jimster480

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This is really weird because I have had my original Aeon like 5 years now and I use it almost daily and it has never had an issue. The pads wore out and I replaced them 2 months ago... which is pretty good after almost 5 years of constant use.
 
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holdingpants01

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it's good now, no problem in the last two months
 

markanini

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Shure SRH440 with light EQ is not very far from Noire on the graph:
1686259245097.png

Shure SRH440 EQ - DCA Noire Stock
 

paudio

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It's weird that the same thing happened again after driver replacement and is intermittent. Maybe it wasn't the drivers at all. I also own the X60 which I also quite like though I tend to listen to the Noire only since I got them. The X60 are a bit more polite in the bass region than I would like.
 

sharock

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I've just ordered a slightly used pair of the original SRH440. Hoping it will tide me over for office use until I can afford a Noire.

Do you Noire owners have any issues with it being sensitive to head position, resulting in broken seal and loss of bass response?
 

paudio

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I've just ordered a slightly used pair of the original SRH440. Hoping it will tide me over for office use until I can afford a Noire.

Do you Noire owners have any issues with it being sensitive to head position, resulting in broken seal and loss of bass response?
Fit is pretty forgiving for me. Can reposition it a lot without any seal issues. The pads are soft and deep
 

nonnyno

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Would agree with the statement that fit is pretty forgiving. I find I can move it quite a bit without significant bass response loss. I would criticize it for:

1) The finish picks up fingerprints like you wouldn't believe and I am terrified of scratching it.
2) The pads on mine are deforming really fast. It doesn't seem to be making much difference to the sound but it looks bad and i wonder how long they'll last. I do think DCA should be looking at this and an alternative fitting system for the pads.
3) I cant really fault the sound other than I find it lacks a little life (my opinion only - you need to listen and make up your own mind). Its very detailed (the Focal Clear MG's, Sennheiser HD820's and DCA Stealths are better with detail IMHO) but just seems a bit flat compared with the 820's and the Clear's in my view. That said I wonder if I've got slightly odd hearing because I heard the Audeze LCD-X's and was seriously unimpressed. I also heard the Focal Stellias and was not prepared to pay the extra for them (though they were gorgeous headphones) - it would have been a sideways move rather than an upgrade for me.
 

paudio

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I haven't got any scratches on mine. The worst wear spot I've seen on other sets is the hinge paint can get scratched off. Don't put them down on the hinges and I think it will be fine. If you do put them down on hinges I've managed to not wear down the paint at all placing them in their case.

The pad deforming is annoying but I've managed to roll them back into shape every time so far. It would definitely be nice if they could solve the issue. Seems like they need to anchor the foam somehow. I am assuming this is what you are talking about? If not I heard they can deform while in their case without inserting the foam block between the cups
 
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