This is the official thread to discuss the MrSpeakers Ether Flow 2 Headphones
We’ve had the Ether Flow 2 in the office for the last month now I have been dedicating some of my days to giving them a proper listen. We only have the 4-pin XLR cable right now so all of the listening has been done balanced with the SPL Phonitor X.
This is just a quick post as I am on my my way home but I will give impressions tomorrow. First things first though, definitely recommend giving them a week or two before making judgements. While it wasn’t on the same level as the AEON Flow Closed in terms of hate to liking, the Ether 2 definitely grow on you after some extended time with them.
I had just picked up a pair of these. Like them thusfar.
They have a super-light, but sturdy-feeling, build and are very comfortable. Fit-and-feel is very nice indeed - with a solidity and precision you wouldn’t necessarily expect given how light they are.
The entirely mono-chromatic black-on-black-on-not-quite-so-black finish is going to require a bit of thought in order to compose a suitably sexy picture. They just look a bit plain in my pictures (@taronlissimore’s are much better in that regard), but these are just quick snaps for provenance, and because it was a nice day outside.
Initial sound impressions put them a good bit ahead of the AEON Flow “twins” and, again, the signature is very different to how I’ve heard MrSpeaker’s cans described in the past (they’re definitely not thin sounding).
Proper impressions/formal review as I get more time with them …
I’m picking up the LCD X today, do you have experience with it? And how it would compare? I can’t remember if you have the X or not. I remember the flow being so light it almost felt fake but I like the look of it more or less!
I only own the LCD-4 from Audeze now.
I used to have the 2012 LCD-2.2c (pre-fazor) as well (and before). Looked at both the LCD-3 and the LCD-X as upgrades … and then procrastinated enough that the LCD-4 came out before I could decide, so I bought those instead.
I don’t trust my limited memory of the LCD-X well enough, nor have enough time with the Ether 2, to try and draw useful comparisons between them, unfortunately.
We should get together again soon and do a back-to-back LCD-X/Ether 2 comparison …
In my opinion, the Ether 2 is one of the best looking headphones on the market, along with the Voce. How is the comfort???
Yes Sir! We are leaving for sunny/warmer climates tomorrow through the weekend, but maybe over the next couple weeks? First impression, not a fan of the metal and headband mechanics… but sound so far fresh no break-in is solid. Will do some break-in and a full review at a later time…
Comfort is excellent - which was just as I found with the AEON Flow models.
The cut-outs in the pads are smaller than you might think (while the pads are round, the cut-outs are the same shape as the cup of the AEONs), but they don’t touch my ears at all, so I’m not complaining about that.
They’re an easy all-day listen, comfort wise. Sound-wise too, so far.
Since I’ve been in a measuring mood the last few days, I plopped the Ether 2 on the rig to see what it’s frequency response was as well:
Here you’ve got the raw plot, the HEQ-compensated plot and a custom compensation that I’m still working on.
And then out of interest I wanted to see how what I heard here, and how that measured, to what I heard/measured with the AEON Flow Open and Closed (I am just showing the HEQ compensated plot here):
I have both the LCD-X and the Ether 2. They are both superior headphones. I had a bit of an issue with fit on the Ether 2 when I first got them. They are comfortable, but the thin headband wires were rubbing the top of my head, and the thin leather strap atop the headphones offered very little insulation. I contacted Mr. Speakers and they sent me a thicker top strap. My wife also crocheted a cover for the wired top strap. Problem resolved. They do play great music.
The LCD-X are a touch heavy, but still comfortable enough so I don’t mind the weight. Between those two headphones, the Audeze LCD-X seem to get the greater amount of use - not scientific mind you, but the ones I tend to favor from a personal standpoint. I also like the fact the LCD-X has EQ pre-settings available, which makes them sound great with Roon.
I got home last night from a mini vacation, and started A/Bng the LCD-X with Clears, and my modded M1060c (open back mod, and LCD Dekoni pads: sheepskin).
I can’t say for sure what I prefer yet, but volume matching is relatively easy with the Phonitor XE. I will be giving these some quality time over the next couple days/week or two.
I will download the Audeze EQ application today and give it a go.
Those measurements look good. I think one of the reasons I thought the AFOs sounded blurry wasn’t because of actual low resolution, but more because of that dip around 2.5k where a lot of vocals are. Maybe?
Looking forward to the review on this one.
The AFO are an interesting headphone. I, too, don’t really think they lack in actual resolution. But the elevated bass, and recessed upper-mids do them no favors in terms of apparent resolution/detail and also served to make them feel a bit ponderous or slow in their delivery.
The Ether 2 on the other hand are a much more convincing and very enjoyable listen. They’re very smooth, do a solid job in the lower registers without mucking up the lower-mids, the mids are fully present and very clean, have excellent detail and resolve extremely well, while maintaining typical planar traits of speed and impact. They’re clearly, and immediately, audibly technically more adept than the AFO/AFC twins.
Tonally they have a slightly dark (but not veiled) presentation and lack a little in terms of absolute air and sparkle (particularly compared to my favorite can, the Utopia which can be a bit pronounced there) - but this also means that they’re easy to listen to, fatigue-free, for long periods and are very tolerant of iffy material without veiling or smoothing anything over. These are matters of taste more than ability and are very minor nits in the overall performance of the Ether 2.
My only lament here is that I’m not getting enough time to listen to them critically due to all the early-to-late construction work that really precludes doing a proper job with open-back cans. Which is necessary before forming final opinions and writing up a review. I’m looking forward to that though, as so far they’ve been a very positive experience.
Some dedicated late-night listening time with the Ether 2, to avoid the construction noise, has gotten me to the point where I have a proper feel for what these are about. Now they’re with @DarthPool so he can give them a run, and maybe compared them directly to the Audeze LCD-X, and in the mean time I will get my review of them into a publishable state.
There’s only one thing I don’t like about them. And that’s trying to take pretty pictures of them. The entirely monochromatic color-scheme, while entirely appropriate for the slightly dark-presentation (not veiled), and quite fetching in person, is challenging to highlight well in pictures (@taronlissimore did a much better job there) … so I went down an “in-kind” path and with a gentle process push …
Like these a lot …
I’m looking forward to giving them a good listen!
So far just had them out of the box…and holding the LCD-X and these at the same time is like holding a dumbbell in one hand and a feather in the other…they are ridiculously light… shockingly so in fact…
I’m heading up to The Source AV tomorrow to listen to these specifically (and all the other things). It will be my birthday and they have a sale event ending tomorrow.
I asked if I could bring my RME ADI-2 DAC with me to hear them with their SPL Phonitor X, so that’ll be coming along.
Also, these aren’t the Ether Flow 2, right? The Flow came later than the Ether originally.
These are the Ether Flow 2…
No … they are the Ether 2.
They have drivers that are built with Trueflow technology, but there is no “Flow” in the name. That’s a separate line of headphones. These are the latest, new, flagship and an all-new design.
See here …