MrSpeakers Aeon Over-Ear Sealed Planar Magnetic Headphones

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It's pretty amazing, really. I would say Sankar Thiagasamudram of Audeze, Fang Bian of HiFiMAN, and Dan Clark of MrSpeakers—all of whom got their start within the headphone enthusiast community—have revolutionized the headphone world with their planar magnetic designs over the past ten years. HiFiMAN has a pretty diversified offering of products and provides a one-stop on-line shopping experience, but their planar magnetic designs have continued to evolve and put pressure on the other two competitors. Audeze had some some money behind it, and they've taken full advantage by assembling a tip-top R&D team focussing tightly on planar magnetic technologies and now has a crushing hold on a good chunk of the premium headphone market. Meanwhile Dan Clark at MrSpeakers has been slowly but surely evolving from one guy with a soldering iron modifying Fostex T50RPs, to a small business with a 3D printer and making the headphones for the Fostex PM driver, to a full fledged manufacturer making every component for their headphones and mightily plodding on.

I'd say all three have run a close race amongst themselves, and in the process put significant pressure on and taken market share from traditional headphone manufacturers in the $500+ headphone market. But of the three, my impression is that MrSpeakers has most reliably produced ever increasing sound quality in their development efforts. I wasn't a big fan of their original T50RP modified products (others did it better to my ears), but in the intervening years they've consistently improved product performance. It comes as no surprise to me, therefore, that the new Aeon is yet another step forward in planar magnetic performance.

What is a surprise is how damned good it is...and at a relatively affordable price relative to recent offerings from others. This one's gonna leave a mark.

MrSpeakers Aeon ($799)
The Aeon is an around-ear, sealed, planar magnetic headphone. Its carbon fiber teardrop shape is its most striking and unusual design feature...I was initially a little off-put by the alien shape, but now have grown to quite like it, mostly for its ergonomic benefits. I can't see it while it's on my head after all.

Materials are top-notch. Headband is leather and earpads are high-quality protein leather; ear-capsule covers are carbon fiber; baffle plate and gimbal arms are cast aluminum; Nitinol headband arches deliver excellent caliper pressure and headband adjustment. The serial number is laser etched inside the upper left gimbal arm; and cables, connectors, and carry case are all brutally appropriate. This is a very well built headphone.

Ear pads are soft protein leather over ample memory foam attached to the baffle plate with adhesive tape and should not be removed unless pads are being replaced. Although replacement pads are not currently on the MrSpeakers' site, they will be before too long.

Comfort is very good, if not great. I had a phone call with Dan regarding the earpiece tear drop shape, which he explained is integral to its ergonomic performance. If you run the edge of your thumb down the side of your head just in front of your ear, you'll find there is a groove running fairly straight down behind your cheek and jaw bone, and in front of the ear. The front of the ear pad seals in this groove very nicely. Adding the internal foam tuning insert does take up a little space in the earcup, and my ears do slightly touch them, but I found no discomfort as they're nice and soft.

The floating headband pad conforms very nicely to the top of your head providing a secure fit without any hot spots at the top of your head. Friction sliders adjust headband size and (if properly tightened) remain securely in place.


TrueFlow spacer is on the diaphragm side of the magnet assembly only.

The magnet structure for the Aeon is single sided and resides between the ear and diaphragm; diaphragm is rectangular in shape. The Aeon does have the TrueFlow™ waveguide technology that fills the spaces in the magnet structure with a mechanical part that makes the passage of air through the magnets less turbulent in an effort to reduce distortion, extend frequency response, and improve dynamics.


Diaphragm circuit traces on diaphragm are quite thin and finely spaced.

Like the preceding Ether products the Aeon does use the MrSpeakers V-Planar driver technology, which uses a pleated or knurled diaphragm in an effort to cause the surface to move in a more "pistonic" manner. Circuit traces on the diaphragm are quite thin and finely spaced at 0.005" and 0.004" respectively. You can read more about these two technologies here.

Alrightythen, let's have a listen...

MrSpeakers Headphone Products
3366 Kurtz Street