- Type: OVER EAR
- Amp needed: YES
- Open Back or Closed Back
I got the open backs last week. They sound pretty good. I bought them for gaming due to their lightweight and comfortable nature.
Cool I wasn’t sure whether or not to start two threads for this set ie Open or Closed…but I thought it would be fun having them running together so people with both sets could compare without jumping between threads?
Have been using the closed backs for about a year at this point. Loving everything about the Aeons, especially the comfort. It’s amazing how sturdy those cans feel while being extremely light and comfortable on the head. The only comfort issue is some heat build up around the ears in the summer after a couple of hours of use, but any headphone with leather/protein leather pads suffers from that, nothing out of the ordinary there.
I was daily driving HD6XX’s before that, and after getting the Aeons I decided that I really only need 1 pair of headphones since it does everything pretty well (music, gaming, movies). I’m currently using mine balanced with a Zen stack (black felt inserts + bass boost is just perfect for hip-hop/EDM), but I’ve been wondering if it would be worthwhile to try them on a hybrid tube (think I saw some people saying it’s pretty good in another thread). So, if anyone here has the Aeons + hybrid tube setup I’d be happy to hear what you think of it.
Oh yeah all my planars on the Xduoo TA-30 [Hybrid tube amp] with the 12AU7’s swapped for E80CC tubes sound incredible
That’s what I thought, thanks for the reply. How would you describe the change going from an SS amp to a hybrid? From what I understand the difference is not that drastic compared to a “true” tube amp.
Well it’s like preamping through a normal tube to solid state.
The sound is changed significantly. Soundstage especially you get a larger soundstage and a 3D soundstage more depth forward and back. Depending on your tubes it does change mids and top end. By having solid state it preserves the bass character mostly.
The main advantage is that you can get that tube flavour on a planar.
Dynamics are also increased increases punch of bass and can make music more lively.
If you were to use an actual tube amp to pre amp into a solid state you are achieving the same result as a hybrid so if you have a tube amp laying around then definitely put it to use.
The difference between running a dynamic directly off a tube will be the mid range and top end preamping with a tube just doesn’t have the same effect. It’s not as dramatic.
You simply have more detail resolution with the hybrid amplifier, overall it also plays a little quieter but smoothly enough.
It is also a bit more musical than on the SS, less dry.
You also have more control over the sound through the tubes and can better tune it to either your needs or your headphones.
I’ve had the R/T Closed for a little over a week and so far I like it best on the hybrid amp.
Paired with the Little Dot 1+ and Brimar tube, there’s not only soul in there, the R/T has extremely good detail resolution in the pairing and a separation that will blow your ears off.
Above all, it really brings out the rear part of the backdrop in a way that not even the Lcd2C can.
Unfortunately, the Little Dot 1+ broke last week.
A capacitor broke down.
I will try to repair it and fit it with better capacitors and hope it runs again.
Unfortunately, it has to be said that the market doesn’t necessarily offer much in the way of a good hybrid amplifier.
Either it’s too cheap that the quality suffers a lot or you spend a lot of money on it.
The most reasonable one I found was the Music Hall Ha 25.3, but there are hardly any reports about it and the tube is fixed.
Which is a real shame.
Apart from that, I couldn’t find anything useful.
The Schiit Lyr 3 cuts a good figure but is currently not available until 6-8 weeks and costs $500.
I have read a few reports where I have some doubts about the alleged Schiit “house sound”.
That’s why I’m a bit divided about it at the moment.
There’s also the Peter Millet student something or other, but it’s a self-built system that’s worth looking at.
But unfortunately not available for the Eu because of the power supply.
I will probably fall back on a custom made one, which I am currently working on.
But nothing is fixed yet.
The only thing I can say about the R/T closed at the moment is that it is more than worth the money and I still need time to better define the sound signature.
But other than that, the sound is mostly breathtaking.
It surpasses every Hifiman in its class and in certain respects does a lot better than the Lcd2c.
But also vice versa.
In terms of comfort, it is also easy to wear, even for people with glasses.
The downside of the R/T is its low impedance which makes it hard to find amplifiers that can drive it.
On the Feliks Euforia tube amplifier it is only usable when listening quietly or medium loud.
Then it starts to distort.
But I have to say that the Euforia was not built for this purpose, nor was it meant to be.
For a hybrid amplifier I would say that it should have at least 800mw at 32 ohm to be able to drive it reasonably, if more then even better.
Thanks for the detailed explanation. The increase in soundstage and dynamics sounds like something worth pursuing. Unfortunately I don’t have any tube amps lying around, haven’t even had a chance to try one yet. Will look into getting my hands on a solid hybrid without breaking the bank.
Thanks for the detailed reply. Sorry to hear about your Little dot. Hope you’re enjoying your Aeons regardless, they’re truly wonderful cans.
Defining the sound of Aeons might be tricky since it changes depending on the source and what tuning pads you’re using with them. IMO that’s the strength of the headphone, since you can tweak it a bit to make it sound the way you like it.
Unfortunately Schiit products are a real pain to get here, so I’ll have to check out other options. Xduoo seems to be making some interesting hybrids, might be worth looking into.
Xduoo makes some great stuff the TA-10R is the place to start for sure. Dac and hybrid amp combo
Yes, that’s right about the Aeon’s.
At the moment I have the pads in with a notch from the factory and have not had the need to change it.
The Chinese hybrid amps are not bad but unfortunately suffer a lot from the quality, which is partly a pity.
I’ll see if I can repair it, but I’m going to put in better capacitors and make two or three improvements.
The tube sockets will also be replaced with better quality ones.
It will be more of a small project to bring the Little Dot back to shape without having great expectations.
Otherwise, I can also recommend this one.
In my opinion, the Xudoo amps are a bit more advanced in terms of technology.
But from a personal point of view, I won’t test it.
The money is too good for me at the moment. And I will rather invest it in the Custom made.
I have news that it is similar to the Schiit Lyr 3 but better without the house sound with better parts and so on.
I am very excited about it but it will take 2-3 months until it will be ready.
Here’s my review for anyone who’s interested:
Very nice materials. The pads are really deep and large (whole ear fits without touching the side or bottom). Titanium alloy for the headband is a really good idea, providing super nice, even clamp force. The headphone just disappears once on your head.
Very neutral, nothing feels forced at all. Only issue is a slight lack of energy in the lower treble which I hope to fix with EQ. The sub-bass is amazing and extends so deep. Soundstage is great for a closed back.
I get the feeling that I’m just getting the music without any alterations, it’s very transparent.
These like a lot of power, which is an odd choice for a semi-portable headphone. I’m using an Iemagni on high gain for these and it gets plenty loud.
Great build, great sound, requires a nuclear reactor to power it. I’ll give it a 10/10 build, 8/10 sound (I’m expecting great things from EQ), 5/10 convenience (for the large power requirement)
7/10 overall, HIGHLY recommended
Pulled the trigger on a pair of these last week. Not shipped yet but quite excited to get a planar in that is light and comfortable!
Gorgeous and super comfortable. Pulled the filters out and these sound like butter driven by an Asgard 3, can’t believe the separation and placement I’m hearing is from a closed back! Will update as they break in and I’m able to figure out what exactly I like about them.
Had these in for over a week now and I’ve formulated some thoughts, hit the conclusion for a tldr. For reference, my points of comparison are rooted in my experiences with my other gear which includes: Beyerdynamic dt880 and dt990 600ohm, Beyerdynamic dt770 250ohm, Gold Planar GL2000, Sennheiser HD6XX, Sennheiser HD558/598c, Koss kph30i/kph40i all modded. In terms of sources I primarily listen on a SMSL Sanskrit 10th DAC and Schiit Asgard 3, a Xduoo TA0-10r hybrid, and sometimes a Magni 3/Heresy.
Build and Comfort
Without question the nicest build I’ve felt. The plush pads, leather headband, plastic/metal/?carbon fiber? earcups, steel yokes, and braces material headband feel incredible in hand. The materials add up to a surprisingly lightweight headphone that is very comfortable for my head shape and something I can wear for hours. Ear room inside the cups is near cavernous and my ears don’t touch the inside of the cups. I wear glasses and haven’t had any issues with getting a good seal. They are very sturdy which is a nice change of pace from the tank but jank build of the 880 that I normally daily. I got the single ended 1/4" cable which also feels quality, it has a solid termination at the end and the proprietary earcup connectors are very sturdy. The cable sheathing seems a bit thin though.
All thoughts are about the headphones without any filters.
Coming from an 880 I was a bit worried when I read/heard about the DCA house sound, reviewers described it as very lively but with recessed treble and less sparkle. This is somewhat accurate to my experience but the treble is not nearly as recessed as reviewers let on. It still sparkles and has air, just not as much as treble cans like the 880 and certainly not the 990.
Bass has a weighty presence and extends quite low, it’s powerful but never oppressive with a good control and separation from the mids. Infected Mushroom sounded so fast on these, the rt present bass with sometimes stunning clarity. Put on Speed Demon by Michael Jackson for a real demonstration of bass definition, impact, and above all else: control.
The mids are a tad boosted but not too far for my taste, the 6XX for me was way too mid focused and the Aeon rt closed thankfully stay far far away from that type of sound. Excellent cans for metal/doom/rock, guitars and drums sound exquisite with enough aggression to still feel raw but not so aggressive you forget about the rest of the mix. Vocal reproduction is as good as my 880s which is high praise, I was surprised at how pleasant vocals sound on the rt. These also standout on less aggressive guitar work, Radio Contact by Acoustic Alchemy is a wonderful journey on these cans as they provide so much definition on both nylon string and traditional acoustic guitars.
Something that stood out to me immediately with the rt is decay. The trailing ends of notes/sounds linger or are present in the soundscape for much longer than I am used to. I’m not sure if it’s the closed back earcups allowing more isolation, and thus more trailing quiet details to stick out, or if the cans just produce that much more detail but I absolutely love it! It makes these very detailed but still relaxed in a way I haven’t experienced before.
The presentation of sound/soundstage is very wide, wider than I expected for any closed back headphone. They have similar width as my 880s, but a tad more separation in placement of low notes, and more usage of height at least to my ears. Very immersive when combined with the closed back isolation, definitely a can to put on when stoned.
One place these cans are a little disappointing is their dynamic range. Listening to The Cemetery off of Danny Elfmans incredible Batman Returns OST it was immediately noticeable that these trade volume for detail, but the tradeoff is worth it. There is still a sense of “wow” when the orchestra swells and crashes, but I know it isn’t as “loud” as it should be or as dynamic as it is presented by the 990s which are the kings of large scale destruction.
I am not a huge fan of these on my tube-hybrid, the bass can become slightly muddled and the treble roll-off is too much for a Beyerdynamic stan like me. On the Asgard 3, which is a slightly warm but very accurate amp, I love them. The Asgard’s spaciousness and frequency separation really shines with the Aeon rts and it does not want for power. I didn’t test these driven by anything other than mini nuclear reactors, they suck up wattage like no tomorrow.
The only other headphone I have in this price range is the Gold Planar Gl2000 which the RT blow out of the water in basically every category. What I want to stress most is that the material feels like it’s worth $500 and the sound quality backs it up as well. Is it twice to three times as good as the $180 880s? No, but does it sound more refined and resolving? Yes, I think so.
I would buy a second pair simply because I love the feel of the materials, with the great sound as an afterthought. If you’re looking for fun accurate headphones in the $500 range then I would most definitely consider the Aeon RT closed. If you’re a fan of mid focused music then these are a must buy. As a closed-back can, they rival the placement and soundstage of my best open-backs while still isolating well, which to me, is a marvel of sound engineering. Highly recommend!
Hello - I’m looking for suggestions on what DAP/DAC/AMP combo you’d recommend to adequately power the Dan Clark Aeon RT closed backs.
What is your price point and are you looking for just a DAP?
DAP something like the hiby r5 that has 1w balanced
DAC/amp portable I’d look at Ifi Gryphon/black label/signature
DAC/amp desktop JDS Labs element
These are all things I’ve personally tried and the one that I didn’t enjoy much was the hiby as it was way to linear to my ears compared to the rest.
$800 or below is my price point. I need something to travel with. I’d like a DAP that includes a DAC/AMP. I’m not sure how much power I need for the Aeon RT closed backs though.
At least 1 watt, the RTs don’t have a ton of low-end but it comes out better when properly powered. Planars in general like current so it’s tough with portable. I personally like using my phone and the Gryphon for otg but I do a lot of streaming.