MrSpeakers Ether 2 measurements and thoughts

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by Vtory, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    UPDATE @purrin measurements: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...2-measurements-and-thoughts.7194/#post-251075

    Got a chance to measure my E2 with relatively good level of quietness.

    Honestly I was surprised again with their measured performance -- kinda had an assumption that mrspeakers don't measure good.

    upload_2018-12-9_20-58-40.png

    upload_2018-12-9_20-59-35.png
    (1/6 oct)

    upload_2018-12-9_20-59-44.png
    (1/6 oct)

    All the measurements were done with the following setting:
    Indeed, measuring E2's frequency responses is tricky for several reasons. I found that pad seal, headband fit, and "angle" affected measurements. Yes, angle matters. Non-circular shape of ear holes induce some variation on trebles, depending on the "angle" between ears and pads. This also mirrors my subjective experience -- finding an optimal position was critical to pull the maximum performance.

    For your reference, above results are based on the average among 5 pairs of measurements at different positions.

    Anyway, both objectively and subjectively, E2 sound quite neutral with a bit dark and warm top octaves. In particular, E2 has the best midrange quality among I experienced. Not overly meaty but full-bodied.

    Resolution is also very satisfying. While HD800 still wins in treble resolution, I could detect microdetails and microdynamics in bass and midrange more easily with ether 2 than hd800. But somehow suspect sins of commission -- reproduction seems too romantic for some tracks. Also with slightly exaggerated spatial cues. Overall, E2 sound very pleasing.. but I am not sure whether or not they reproduce "accurately".

    Compared to auteur (eikon pads), unlike the measurement suggests, I still think E2 is slightly brighter than auteur. Tonality is surprisingly similar. But to my ears, E2 have fuller bass and midrange, also outperform in transient speed and plankton. Auteur win in attack and macrodynamics though. It is worth noting that I felt my RME ADI-2 DAC was too polite when used with auteur and eikon pads, but with E2, everything sounds just right.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2019
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  2. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    upload_2018-12-9_21-36-5.png
    upload_2018-12-9_21-36-10.png

    Even under quite noisy environment of my house, harmonic distortions are measured very low -- measured better (lower) than any of other headphones that I've owned. Bass distortion is almost on par with LCD2 classic.

    upload_2018-12-9_21-39-52.png
    upload_2018-12-9_21-40-5.png

    E2 sounds "open". Not as open as hd800, stax, or focals, but more open than anything else (including EF and AFs). Transience and decay are also very good for planar. Among I've measured, only bested by elex.
     
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  3. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    upload_2018-12-9_21-46-10.png

    I heard that my original pair had some "defect" that ruined sonic characteristics. It seems that they successfully removed "bad" things.. but I still suspect some level of product-variations. Although very happy with the current sound, I don't really know if this is originally intended. Future buyers should be aware. Fortunately, people there were quite kind, supportive, and responsive.
     
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  4. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    upload_2018-12-9_21-54-46.png

    Strangely, ether 2 sound and measure very bad with Schiit Fulla 2. I typically use fulla 2 as a measuring dac-amp. But when I connected E2 to fulla 2, the result was shockingly bad. And there wasn't anything wrong with either E2 or Fulla 2. E2 sounded and measured totally fine with RME ADI-2 DAC .. and Fulla 2 had no problem with my other headphones -- double-checked.

    Can't understand yet. Scratching my head..
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
  5. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    What's with that 19k peak. Measuring artifact?
     
  6. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Maybe. Not sure though.
     
  7. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    OK, if I'm reading your spectrogram right (sorry, I'm just more used to CSD) the 5k and 9k dips are short ringing in disguise.

    So really should only look at the 1/6 graph.

    Hm, I hope I can get ears on these, if the rise towards 19k (and the edge of my hearing at 17k) from treble that's broadly 7db shelved is real it might annoy me.
     
  8. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    I think it's EARS' characteristic rather than E2's because my other spectrograms had similar measured behaviors. See this: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...ions-and-measurements.5338/page-2#post-233159

    Subjectively, still think E2 had slight hint of steely sounding that are commonly heard in all planar headphones (including audeze, hfm, previous mrspeakers, ..). But it didn't bother me at all -- I didn't hate such sound but with E2 I had to be very careful to "hear" it.
     
  9. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    upload_2018-12-9_23-3-49.png

    Adding the comparison with Sennheiser family. Both HD600 and HD650 were measured with fresh new pads (not practical in most cases lol) -- of course, they sound darker with worn pads.
     
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  10. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    Oh, it's the EARS' ears, got it xD

    And the 19k peak is deffo in your rig. Ok, really hoping il get to audition these sometime. Thanks!
     
  11. TMRaven

    TMRaven Friend

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    These new measurements very much mimic what I hear on my Ether2. This is tonally the most 'flat' headphone I've heard to date. The other headphones I'd put in this category of accurate frequency response would be the HD650 (on a solid state amp) and the PM3. The HD650 rolls off in the bass, and is too emphatic around 5k. Subjectively, the Ether2 is a very slight downsloping straight line from 20hz to 3khz. The PM3 has a rougher transition from bass to midrange, but is otherwise fantastic. The midrange of the Ether2 is full and energetic without shouting shouty or cold.

    Oh yeah, and the comfort thanks to the insanely light weight That goes without mentioning.

    Dan made a real winner, with the caveat being that they are 2 grand.

    My biggest takeaway with the Ether2 is that it doesn't have a huge soundstage or that last bit of treble air, but while it has a smallish soundstage, it sounds open. Basically I'm recalling my HD800 days and its qualities that I missed, but the HD800 has plenty of wrong things with it.

    I've still yet to replace the headband on the Ether2 with a Hifiman suspension strap, but I will down the line. The massive strap on the Hifimans can't be topped in my opinion when it comes to mitigating any hotspots.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
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  12. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    ^ This sounds very interesting. But should be careful.

    E2 seem to depend on decoupling low-freq vibration through the user's head -- this process involves flexible headband and elastic metal frame to effectively handle vibration. I observed declining sub-bass response (from roughly 60hz) when the band was not tightly contacted on the top of EARS. I don't know whether or not HFM straps would work, but do think that it may change the bass response.
     
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  13. Ninja Pirate

    Ninja Pirate Friend

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    Some quick measurements from my EARS rig as well (HPN Comp, ignore distortion):

    MrSpeakers Ether 2 - FR and HD - HPN Comp.png

    That massive dip at 2kHz is pretty damn noticeable...


    More headphones for reference:

    Arya
    HiFiMan Arya - FR and HD - HPN Comp.png

    LCD-2
    Audeze LCD-2 - FR and HD - HPN Comp.png

    HD6XX
    Sennheiser HD 6XX - FR and HD - HPN Comp.png
     
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  14. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Motivated by this alternative presentation of harmonics discussed by @purr1n , did some excel work.

    upload_2018-12-12_2-12-59.png

    Note that the fundamental response above is NOT an "averaged" one -- in the first post, what I attached was the mean of 10 measurements (L and R, 5 different ear angles). Changing ear angle affects 3-6k fr response by a few decibels.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
  15. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    These look impressive. I'll have to give Dan a call. Just been totally slammed at work - should slow down a bit.
     
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  16. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Attached Files:

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  17. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    See my subjective impressions here: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/ether-2.6890/page-12#post-250958

    Ether 2 Distortion L and R (flat plate coupler): https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...2-measurements-and-thoughts.7194/#post-251077

    Ether 2 Distortion apples-to-apples vs. LCD-X: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...urements-and-thoughts.7194/page-2#post-251145

    Ether 2 CSD apples-to-apples vs. LCD-X::https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...urements-and-thoughts.7194/page-2#post-251202

    MrSpeakers Ether 2 Headphone Frequency Response
    EARS + SBAF compensation - flat line across ~ perceptual neutral
    upload_2019-3-30_15-1-12.png

    This is fairly reflective of what I hear. There does seem to be a bit more 8kHz than what appears, so I will have to check out CSDs to confirm. It's not significant. The top of the 8kHz no higher than anywhere else in the FR. The sibilance is slight and seems only evident on some solid-state amps. But I will reiterate that I do prefer the Ether 2 from slammin' 300B amps.

    FR measurement is consistent with @Vtory's measurements on the first page of this thread.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
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  18. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Harmonic distortion in percent
    FPC (flat plate coupler was used because of better s/n and distortion)
    Note frequency response (green line) is a flat plate coupler result (no compensation).

    Yellow = D2 (second harmonic)
    Gray = D3
    Purple = D4

    L channel
    upload_2019-3-30_15-15-52.png

    R channel
    upload_2019-3-30_15-18-45.png
     
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  19. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Interesting. With the production prototype I tested, that dip into 4KHz was only about 3dB down, instead of around 10dB, and the response above 5KHz in general was about 5dB higher than on the EARs results.

    It's possible it's just a "different rigs, different results," sort of scenario, but I know there were some final changes after the last pair I heard (tensioning, maybe something to do with traces? Can't recall specifically).

    Point being, it makes me that much more curious to get a real production unit in house for testing. That last prod proto I heard was really, really nice. Solid bass that gently sloped into mids, smooth and balanced midrange and treble, but a slight zingy nature around 5KHz and 6.5KHz that was easily addressed with A) a different amp or B) very, very light foam damping over the driver.

    My favorite part, by far, was the bass up through the ~2-3KHz midrange area. Looks like that is still doing well here.
     
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  20. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I'll get these shipped out to you. Dan doesn't want these "lost" in the mail and I don't want to dip into the SBAF insurance fund, so limited insider loaner for now.
     
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