Comfy detailed closedbacks under $500? T60 argon vs Aeon RT vs Ether CX vs?

First post! Help me headphone gurus!

Looking for a solid closedback headphone with excellent comfort and good detail that’s non fatiguing in the sub $500 USD (sub $700 CAD) budget. I prefer technical bass detail over bloat and in general prefer a ‘faster’ natural sound. I’d love to do an open back (probably a Sundara/Ananda/GL2000) but they just don’t fit the work from home situation I have. I have an amp (SP200) and a bunch of pro interfaces so power shouldn’t be too much of a problem. I have an enormous head :frowning: Bonus points for decent soundstage!

Considering the following:

  • T60 Argons
  • Vanilla T60rps
  • T50 Argons
  • Aeon closed RTs
  • Ether CX (used)
  • Fostex T( R )-X00 (worried they might be sloppy)
  • Focal Elegia?

Right now I have/had the following:

  • DT770 80 ohms with dekoni sheepskin (fatiguing and harsh, don’t like the sound, but comfy enough)
  • Shure SRH840 with dekoni sheepskin fostex pads (neutral AF and boring and too small for extended periods, not bad for a rough mix)
  • Hifiman HE4XX (I really liked these, but they broke & they juuust fit my huge head)

On paper the Aeon RTs seem like a winner. I tried the OG (pre RT) in a shop pre-covid, and perhaps they were under amped or busted but they sounded horrible - so I’m nervous about trying them.

The audioquest Nightowl were super comfy, but the sound was not for me.

I tried a Fostex TH610 and I wasn’t into the sound, but they seemed comfy enough.

Focals fit my dumb head, but I haven’t heard an Elegia.

Meze Classics were too small.

Maybe a used Ether CX is the way to go?

Thanks so much for any help!!


If you can live with some dynamic compression, you won’t get much better than the CX for comfort. They are very detailed and neutral, and IMO look good too. If you listen at higher volumes, they do open up a bit. Sold mine to fund upgrades, but occasionally miss them.

Elegia is great as well (traded when I started getting into IEMs). Also pretty neutral with a slight mid emphasis, and very transparent to the recording, assuming you have a good seal. If there’s bass in the track, it’ll be there.

Aeon is nice too, but I had the Open X. Sounded more closed, but leaked sound like crazy. Fun for listening to rock. Also very comfy…DCA knows how to do comfort.

T50 Argons are fun and comfy, but detail isn’t really the emphasis so much as fun signature.

That’s all I’ve personally experienced from your list…happy hunting!


unfortunately, as with all things HiFi people have a preferred sound signature of their own liking, hence i have great hesitance in picking from a list for someone else…plus with headphones it gets like a itch you cant scratch with upgrading etc etc. Buy the ones you fancy NOW, be overjoyed or slighty unimpressed and then join the sell and buy train on ebay/facebook/trade-in etc etc…it’s a great hobby if you treat it as a constant flow of kit, i have done that for years with up’s and down’s…also you can comnine CAN’s, DAC’s Amps and formats nicely to find your current hot spot in audio.

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I really enjoy my Aeon RT. They soundstage suprisingly well for a closed back and they are super comfy. The detail is fantastic. I hear thiings in recordings that I never new existed.
a few things to keep in mind.

  1. they really do new some break in period to open up
  2. they need decent power. at least 1Wpc, otherwise i find the mid sounds hollow.
  3. The stock wire is not very flexible. It pays to use something like the wire from hart.

@FiCurious Thank you! Nice to have context on so many of these in one place, this is super useful!

@tigerfish66 Yeah I think you’re absolutely right - this is a good way to go about it. Was curious if folks had any comparative context that I can extrapolate from - or if there were anything to avoid in my list or anything I might be really missing. But as is the case with collecting things, your advice sounds spot on! I’m not good at flipping things out of rotation (I tend to hoard them :man_shrugging:)

@skian This sounds right based on my research, thanks! I think that OG aeon I tried in a shop was either damaged or under powered as it was distorting like crazy. The RT sounds like a nice piece of kit (and it’s suuuuper comfy)

I should be good power wise with my SP200 & my interfaces



Ended up getting a pair of Dan Clark Audio Aeon Closed RTs instead of waiting patiently for a good pair of used Ether CXs. I only just plugged them in (so no burn in yet) and they are lovely - thanks for the advice folks.

Incredibly comfortable! Too early to say to much about the sound (haven’t messed with the filters yet), but they are definitely detailed and I don’t have any issues with tuning out of the box. Low end seems to reach deep and maintain decent control. Isolation is surprisingly good (better than my DT770’s) and soundstage on these is also quite decent for a closed headphone.

Very happy overall.

Day two (and yes much burn-in still needed).

They’re still great, comfort is bananas. Detail is great. I should wait for them to settle, but I have a few observations/criticisms

  • Dynamic range is good but not amazing (at a macro level, more so in the low frequencies)
  • There is a very slight sibilence in the upper mids (maybe with burn in this will chill out)
  • Soundstage is wide but not linear (so it reaches quite wide, but not in a linear way. With most sound between my ears, but it occasionally reaches quite far out. Enough that I’ve double checked that my studio monitors weren’t on)
  • Above soundstage actually feels very precise, so there’s that.
  • They’re fast, decays are quick
  • They’re revealing, I’m noticing distortion in recordings that were only hinted at with other gear.
  • Isolation is legit! I’m surprised this isn’t mentioned more. Minus the inconvenience, I think you could travel with these and be ‘that person’

Glad you found something you like, thank you for keeping us updated!

Question: any thoughts about the shape of these cans? Many reviewers seem to complain about them being too tall.

I have both large ears and an enormous head - so I’m in my comfort zone. They are tall, definitely. I could see the bottoms of them being noticeable to some with smaller heads, but I’d be surprised if they were uncomfortable. The cups are tall enough that I can adjust where my (large) ears sit in them. YMMV but for me this is a luxury.

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Glad your enjoying them.
I wonder if what your experincing with the soundstage is the pairing of the Aeon RT with the SP200. That’s known to be a very clean and powerfull amp, but can be a limiting factor in soundstage. The Aeon RT on an Asgard 3 sounds way bigger than one can expect from a closed back.
But just ignore what I said and enjoy what you got :wink:

I’m definitely happy with it, so I’ll do my best to just stay satisfied in ignorance :slight_smile:

I do find that while this setup reaches quite wide soundstage-wise, it’s more concentrated in the center than my old DT770s. The Aeons seem to reach wider at the extremes, but the 770s spread more of the audio out in general.

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