Mr. Speakers Ether Flow Open Measurements

Discussion in 'Audio Science' started by LSW, Nov 26, 2017.

  1. LSW

    LSW Facebook Friend

    Jun 17, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Dislikes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Basic Information
    • Required: Provide a picture of the headphone. (grab a URL from the Internet if you are lazy.)
    • Required: Provide a picture of any special jacks or connectors.
    It uses a 4 pin hirose connector on each earcup. Mr Speakers will include a cable for it in a variety of terminations.
    I have a 4 PIN XLR cable to use with the Schiit Jotuhnheim. My Aeon Closed has the 1/8" termination and the cables are interchangeable between the AEON and ETHER series.
    • Required: Talk about overall sound balance and frequency response signature in subjective terms.
    They sound bright, but thick. I feel they have more bass presence than other headphones in the price range, granted I did not hear the TH-900. During auditions, I felt they sounded very clear, on par with headphones twice the price, especially if I tried to compare them to closed headphones like an Eikon or Ether C Flow. The cymbals in most recordings are pretty prominent. Midrange (vocals/guitars) take a bit of a backseat to the bass and high treble, but I don't feel they're recessed or veiled at all. Bass feels thumpy and impactful. I have owned an HD800 for about 5 years and feel that it sounds a bit like an HD800 with more bass.

    Initially when I got my pair I thought they sounded too sibilant and thin compared to the shop where I auditioned them and was a bit disappointed. I'm aware of the debates of burn-in. However, I feel that mine have less pronounced treble after spending 50 hours or so playing pink noise during the overnight hours while I sleep, in addition to 20 hours or so of listening time. It could be settling of the foam/leather pads, or just my psychouastic adjustment process. I have to seek out the sibilance now instead of cropping up everywhere before. The person who designed these says it is a real thing so I guess I should believe him.

    I generally listen to Hard Rock, Industrial, and some heavy metal as long as it's not 100% shouting. Nine Inch Nails, Filter, Fear Factory, Type O Negative, old Smashing Pumpkins, Sponge, Deftones, and even some shameful nu-metal. These seem good for that type of music in the same way I used to think grados were, but with 100x better comfort and without all the shoutiness/honkiness of my SR325. With that said I have played some classical albums through them and have no complaints (Mariss Jansons's Beethoven Recordings with the Bavarian Radio Symphony being my favorite at the moment).

    • Required: Cite areas where measurements meet with subjective impressions. And areas where they don't seem to.
    I feel like the bass on these is pretty solid even though the frequency response shows a rolloff starting at 60hz. The midrange seems pretty even, which matches up with the measurements, and the high end is about equal in level to the midrange. In a lot of headphones I feel like there is more treble roll off than this, which probably contributes to the perceived clarity and hot high-end. The clarity/hot high end is also probably from the peak a little over 9 kHz with some associated ringing in the CSD. I notice a little bit of midrange shoutiness which is probably associated with the CSD plot in the 2-3k region, but not sure.
    • Required: Cite fitment and seal issues.
    They're really comfortable. They can get a little bit hot on the head after 2 or 3 hours, but nothing intolerable, it's probably just a fact of life with leather earpads.

    • Required: Frequency response.
    • Required: CSD (0.25 rise time recommended).

    • Recommended: Harmonic Distortion (THD or D2, D3, etc.)
    • Optional: Other Distortions.

    I feel like I'm probably not qualified to say much further but I'll give it a stab.

    Subjective Impressions
    • Optional: How does it do in plankton?
    I know this is probably the main criticism of the Ether Flow Open from other reviewers. I don't feel like I'm missing anything going from the Hd800 to this. I'd love some test track suggestions.
    • Optional: How does it do in bass quality? Articulation? Impact? Slam?
    Bass Quality is one of its strong points in my opinion. It's not a sub-bass monster as things start to roll off around 60hz, but I feel like it has enough bass energy to hit you with the right amount of impact when called for. I wish it had more sub-bass, but I'm always wishing for that with every headphone I've tried except the Vega and Periodic BE IEM.

    • Optional: How are the mids, warm, lush, forward? any issues with voices and piano?
    Mids seem even, I wouldn't use any of those adjectives (warm, lush, forward). They are present and timbre is accurate on vocals and guitars, to my ears. There is a definite open/airiness that makes the midrange sound natural.
    • Optional: How are upper mids? laid back? painful?
    Mostly good....I notice a little bit of shoutiness on some female vocals, for example Shawn Colvin's "Steady On", but not too bad overall.
    • Optional: How is treble? Smooth, rough? Extended?
    Treble is probably a bit hot, and while they made me like them in the shop, it can cause me to reach the volume knob to turn it down on certain recordings.
    • Optional: How is timbre? Plastic? Smoothed
    Timbre sounds smooth, but accurate.
    • Optional: Attacks and incisiveness?
    I feel like it's tends to be smoother/creamier rather than razor sharp and punchy. Sometimes things ooze at you more than punch you.
    • Optional: Dynamics? Compression?
    Haven't noticed any compression at all, dynamics seem good, it's one of the things I thought made them stand out.
    • Optional: Clarity?
    Clarity seems outstanding, whether that's partially a result of the hype at 8.5khz, I don't know.
    • Optional: Any amps that do well?
    Seems to sound equally good out of my Jotunheim and Geek Out 2 Pro Infinity. I tried it out of my 5 ohm Zo cellphone and it didn't sound very nice, but still got loud; it seemed to have weak bass out of the cellphone.

    Overall I like it, I guess that's obvious or I wouldn't have purchased it. I know it's not popular on SBAF but figured I'd offer the review anyway. Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017

Share This Page