About the MrSpeakers AEON Flow
One of the best closed-back headphones I've ever tried
The MrSpeakers AEON Flow headphones are lightweight and comfortable with an effortless sound.
One of the best closed-back headphones I've ever tried
Our headphone merchant handed me a sample of the MrSpeakers AEON Flow headphones and asked, "how much do you think these cost?" My guess — based on the careful packaging, heavy-duty feel, and high-end look — was a little over twice their price. If I had actually worn and listened to them at that point? My guess would've been considerably more.
Who is Mr. Speakers?
Before I share my listening experience, let's step back a bit and talk about how these headphones came to be. Company founder Dan Clark — THE Mr. Speakers — is a longtime audio engineer who made a name for himself by modifying other manufacturers' headphones. Hardcore headphone enthusiasts appreciated his semi-"outlaw" approach, and really loved Dan's sound improvements. (Funny enough, Dan says that he was initially only looking for a way to turn his open-back headphones into a closed-back set, so he wouldn't disturb his wife.)
Capitalizing on the buzz, Dan started his own brand, MrSpeakers. He gathered some talented people, and they began building headphones from scratch in their San Diego shop. Those early MrSpeakers planar magnetic headphones earned rave reviews, and their reputation has only grown.
The company's latest top-of-the-line ETHER Flow and ETHER C Flow headphones are on many "Best of" lists. Those two models informed the design of these AEON Flow headphones. They use the same specially designed planar magnetic drivers. Modern manufacturing techniques like 3D printing helps them deliver premium high-end performance at surprisingly low prices.
A new take on planar magnetic headphones
Planar magnetic designs can get complex, but the basic physics behind them are pretty simple. You have a super-sized diaphragm moving lots of air, resulting in spacious sound with better dynamics. The diaphragm is covered with a flexible circuit and trapped in a magnetic field. It moves when the circuit receives an audio signal.
MrSpeakers added a new wrinkle to this traditional design. Or perhaps more accurately, a few creases. Rather than using a completely flat diaphragm that can bounce back and forth rigidly, their V-Planar™ drivers use a more fluid-moving pleated diaphragm. This accordion-like pattern helps it start and stop quickly, pushing more air. You can really hear the extra presence on tracks with complex bass.
Lightweight and efficient
To move a diaphragm this large, most drivers have a magnet array on both sides. That's why planar magnetic headphones sound great, but are usually heavy and bulky. The V-Planar drivers use a single-sided magnet design, so they are efficient enough to plug directly into a phone. (Of course, they'll really shine when you drive them with a more robust headphone amp.) Plus they feel lighter than any other over-ear planar headphones I've ever worn.
Smoother airflow around the magnets
MrSpeakers also includes their TrueFlow™ waveguides on either side of the magnet array. These special baffles help reduce turbulence in the airflow. This lowers distortion and makes for effortless, natural sound.
Airflow around planar magnet arrays can get messy...
... so MrSpeakers added the TrueFlow waveguides to reduce turbulence.
Incredible build and comfort
The six-foot, soft-fabric-covered cable connects to each earcup using a heavy-duty locking system. I made a simple adjustment of the leather inner headband, and quickly positioned the teardrop-shaped earcups correctly. The nickel-titanium outer headband is strong, extra-flexible, and it helps everything slide into place.
As strange as it sounds for headphones this large, I could almost forget I had them on.
My weekend with the AEON Flow headphones
I've covered all the technical stuff. Now it's time to talk about the "feels."
I only had these headphones for one weekend, so I got up early Sunday and put them on. That's sort of my weekly ritual — I have a two-year-old and a five-year-old, so I carve out a little alone time in the morning. Usually I wear headphones for a little background music while I read. After about five minutes with AEON Flows, I was so sucked into what I was hearing that I put my book down.
The 'phones were connected to the TEAC UD-503 headphone amp next to my recliner. I had a Spotify playlist going of obscure 70s funk music from Africa. Everything sounded natural and exciting. Punchy bass, sparkling highs, and an amazing sense of space — I was in the middle of the "dance hall" as it were, rows back from the performers.
"Enjoy your Life" by Nigerian singer Oby Onyioha was a particular delight. Her vocals popped with life, and blended beautifully with the jazzy bass line and orchestral, "dare-you-not-to-smile" energy of the violins, horns, and keys. I had to hit replay a few times.
What makes a pair of headphones great? To me, it's not really just one trait specifically, like comfort or sound. It's how well the overall experience connects me to the music. That tinge of nostalgia in the gut when an older song brings me back to a time and place. Or the exciting rush of blood to my face when a new artist pushes boundaries I didn't know you could.
The best headphones plunge you so deep into the tunes and experience, that the world around you disappears. That's what happened here. Even with a desk full of headphones to review, I didn't want to give the MrSpeakers AEON Flow headphones back.
- sealed-back design offers strong bass and better noise isolation
- open-back version also available
- planar magnetic drivers offer enhanced dynamics and rich, detailed sound
- designed, built, and tested in San Diego, CA
- V-Planar™ driver technology offers exceptional musical detail with low distortion
- powerful single-sided magnet for greater efficiency
- large, folded planar diaphragm acts as an accordion that "squeezes" more air as it moves
- TrueFlow baffles reduces turbulence of air moving through the driver
- enhances dynamics and extends frequency response
- a separate headphone amplifier is required to properly power these headphones for optimum sound quality
- durable aluminum frame
- earcups made of lightweight carbon fiber and hard plastic
- thick, memory-foam earpads lined with protein leather
- super-light, flexible NiTinol "memory metal" headband for easy fit
- single-sided headband slider for easy adjustment
- The lightest over-ear planar magnetic headphones we carry
General Info and Specs:
- 6-foot detachable, fabric-covered cable with a 3.5mm miniplug
- screw-on 1/4" adapter
- micro-fiber cleaning cloth
- hard-shell carrying case
- sensitivity: 93 dB
- impedance: 13 ohms
- weight: 11.8 ounces
- warranty: 2 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # AFC001
What's in the box:
- Over-ear headphones
- 78" DUMMER cable (3.5mm plug)
- Screw-on 3.5mm-to-1/4" adapter (installed on cable)
- Hard-shell zippered storage case
- 2 Foam inserts
- Cleaning cloth
- Quick User Guide
- Certificate of Authenticity
MrSpeakers AEON Flow reviews
Amazing step in my audiophile journey. I'm not really self-qualified enough to get nitty-gritty with all the details but I'm coming from the Sennheiser HD6xx to these and don't have any regrets. It was enough of a step up that I was able to get that magical feeling of transforming the sound in a good way. They're a worthy purchase at the price if music is a passion. Had a small issue with the cable, but was able to get it replaced with MrSpeakers no with no issues even though it was open box.
0 of 0 found this helpful
As of this review, this headphone has been rated 100% 5 star so it must be weird seeing one that's not. Many have claimed the AFC to be the best closed headphone around and I will do my best to justify my rating, and how they were not to my taste. My bias comes from my love of open backs: Sennheiser HD800, AKG 701, HiFiMan 400S and a few more. I listen to mostly orchestra, jazz and some pop. Consider these preferences while reading this review. I was looking for a pair of closed backs to compliment my set, and I thought that the AFC would be the ones. With all the praise, I was expected to be blown away, however, I wasn't. The frequency response was mostly neutral. I was satisfied with the bass and their control. The treble was smooth but slightly recessed. There's a slight hump in the mid range- a slight bell between 700hz and 1200hz of about 4-8db. Good for some genres but did not compliment strings. Sounded okay on some electronic dance with female vocals but destroyed male vocal and midrange dominant instruments and percussion- everything had a little bit of a radio effect and was quite distracting. I found myself reaching for the EQ. But here's the killer: these headphones sound so dead dynamically. The swell orchestras were completely lost. Every track feels like they've been put on a limiter. I felt no emotion nor life listening to the heartfelt OSTs of my favorite works. These were the main points I wanted to say, more in pro/cons. But for now I've reached th
Pros: 11/10 Comfort: Ergonomic+comfy pads+good clamp pressure Good soundstage for closed back Great Isolation Decent Frequency Response "Intimate" Sound/ Easy listening Tuning pads Portable and fasionable These are not bad headphones, I'm picky and going for a certain sound and these were not it. I sure these are the perfect headphone for some of you. Give them a try if you have the chance.
Cons: 1khz hump Wanted a little more detailed highs I think I hear distortion No dynamics/boring. Tried on variety of amps. Not the "all rounder" I thought they'd be. In fact, I think they're quite genre specific. I will consider returning these. I think I would rather not have these cons in a headphone with this price. Plus it's not really an upgrade nor compliment if I'm preferring my $300 open back sounds.
1 of 1 found this helpful
Sound signature is unusual, but in such a refreshing way. Laid back but never boring, wonderfully detailed but not overly analytical. Plenty of power and energy on tap when needed. Bass response initially seemed light, but wholly mitigated by overall impact and presentation. Imaging is fantastic and the soundstage is surprisingly expansive. Comfort and isolation are top notch. Set 'em and forget they're on. The cable is a bit unwieldy, but an overwhelming joy to listen to. Bonus points for the slightly cyberpunk aesthetic.
1 of 1 found this helpful
Amazing headphones, best at that price level by far!
Pros: Amazing sound and quality.
Cons: Requires a decent amp to power them properly.
1 of 1 found this helpful
Great headphones. The fit is luxurious!
2 of 2 found this helpful
A-B comparisons are not easy when selecting headphones--especially if you're not into buying and returning lots of them. I need to rely on experienced, trusted reviewers. Then, if I have doubts about critics' findings or the choice isn't suited to my taste, I'll move on. There seems to be a consensus on the AEONS that they are near reference quality and a very good value. I was also persuaded by claims that Aeon closed back not a compromise over open which doesnt seem to be the case with some other h-phones. I'm listening mostly to Tidal hi-fi (masters/MQA, whatever) downloaded on LG V 30 phone. Discovering that streamed music can match all but high-end reference gear. So do research and if you can spring for it consider MrSpeaker. My 3rd significant purchase from Crutchfield this year. Highly recommended.
Pros: Sound, sound & sound.
Cons: No cons in my experience or dealbreakers reported that I've seen.
6 of 6 found this helpful
Outstanding headphones. One of the few headphones I can listen to for hours and hours without fatigue. I power these cans with either my Little Dot Mk II tube amp or my Schiit Jotunheim amp. These cans sound great with both. The isolation is quite good, making it easy to zone out and enjoy the music. I moved to these from the Audeze LCD2C and I couldn't be happier.
Pros: Incredible sound, comfortable, light weight, great isolation
7 of 7 found this helpful
The Aeon closed back is one of the best headphones I've had the pleasure of listening to. I'm typically a big Sennheiser fan, but these brought a new twist to some of my favorite albums. They definitely require some burn in, as I was tempted to return them at first listening. However, if you have patience and give them a chance they will unfold into a beautifully balanced pair of phones. I strongly recommend adding a dac/amp to extract their full potential. I recommend one that has a bass boost feature as these are a touch light on their own. The ifi micro black label is perfect. Overall a great headphone with excellent instrument separation and wide soundstage. The entire sound spectrum is well represented.
Pros: comfortable, great travel case, top notch sound quality, and excellent cable quality
Cons: bass is a bit lacking without amp
9 of 10 found this helpful
Absolutely a great pair of headphones for the price. They sound as good to me as the Ether series that I heard at a show, at close to half the price.
Pros: Very dynamic, neutral sounding, nothing is over-emphasized. Little if any break-in needed. Super comfortable.
Cons: DUM cable that is included is a bit stiff and the connectors can be a little difficult to get a solid fit at times.
6 of 6 found this helpful
The Aeon Flow Closed (AFC) is the most neutral closed can that I've ever listened to, is light weight and extremely comfortable for extended sessions, and is value-priced at roughly half the cost of another company's flagship model. It replaced an unfortunately irreparable Lawton-modified Denon AH-D5000 and exemplifies the stunning advances in headphone design over the last decade. But don't be fooled by the 13 ohms impedence...it is not very efficient and wants pairing with a proper headphone amp. And it requires over one hundred hours of burn-in before stabilizing.
10 of 10 found this helpful
The Mr Speakers Aeon headphones are my new reference. Their performance are high end in all aspects of music. A headphone amplifier is recommended to experience their full potential.
Pros: Transparent, smooth, articulate, engaging, comfortable, and affordable. A great headphone
6 of 7 found this helpful
I heard many raving hot takes from fellow Head-Fi members about MrSpeakers products in general. The Aeon was the amalgamation of thousands of hours of R & D. I spoke with a lovely young lady by the name of Kristina at Crutchfield; who further sold me on this particular headphone. It checked all my stringent requirements for an excellent headphone. My fellow Head-Fi members resoundingly mentioned that the tuning pads should be used. The foam tuning pads are placed into the ergonomic earcups and add a hint of warmth to the low end frequencies. The end result is a more than capable headphone that exudes quality exceeding its price tag. While it is more than competent with a mobile device; there is an indescribable sonic epiphany when paired with a DAP such as the AK KANN, or DAC's like iFi Audio's Micro iDSD that is absolutely sublime. This is perfect for the Office, Home, or even portable use. You know you want this headphone!!! You can wear these for hours on head without discomfort or heat buildup. The Build quality is phenomenal. I am used to heavier planar magnetic headphones. With the Aeon's being light and built with longevity in mind it is evident great thought was put into the design. From the ease in which the secure Dummer cable connects/disconnects to the ingenious headband, the almost color shifting finish and carbon fiber overlay. I wholeheartedly recommend these headphones. Thank you Kristina for the enthusiastic suggestion. Y
Pros: The Sound they produce ( clarity with hints of warmth) excels with any genre of music. Shines with CDQ or better source material. Forgiving of low bit rate mp3 files. Possibly the lightest planar magnetic circumaural headphones available. Extreme level of comfort with sufficient clamping force. Superb noise isolation. Excellent with Smart Phones like the LG v20, Galaxy S8+, & iPhone 6s Plus. The accessories are top notch from the tuning pads, carrying case, dummer cable
Cons: I see the clock upon the wall, well it don't bother me at all...... It's a ever changing Ti...... OMG!!! The amount of hours lost listening to music. I wasn't Ready!!!! Noooooooooooooo!!!
13 of 13 found this helpful
Love these headphones. Very clear and precise sound. Super comfortable. Really enjoyed (yes, enjoyed) working with the Crutchfield team. Really attentive and responsive.
Pros: Clear. Precise. Perfect with classical and jazz genres. Comfortable. Perfect for open office environment. Very revealing - you realize just how poor iTunes files are.
Cons: Slightly light on bass. Requires proper amplification.
7 of 7 found this helpful
More details on the MrSpeakers AEON Flow
Features & specs
|Earcup Width x Height||3.314" x 4.749"|
|Mic For Taking Calls||No|
|Frequency Response||Not Given|
|1/4-inch Adapter Included||Yes|
|Parts Warranty||2 Years|
|Labor Warranty||2 Years|
Overview: The MrSpeakers ÆON Flow (Closed Version) is an over-ear planar magnetic headphone. These audiophile-grade headphones feature V-Planar and Trueflow technologies, and are precision crafted to deliver superb performance. Their low impedance (13Ω) and higher efficiency (93dB/mW) makes them significantly easier to drive with a smartphone or tablet. For best performance, you should use a high-quality headphone amplifier with the headphones.
Note: The ÆON Flow Open Version is also available for those who wish to allow in some of the external sounds while they listen to music.
Planar Magnetic Drivers: The ÆON Flow uses planar magnetic drivers which deliver much better performance over standard dynamic drivers. The result is more balanced sound with a wide open soundstage. The ÆON Flow comes with thin foam pads that you can insert into the ear cups to increase the upper bass output and tone down the highs a bit.
Construction: The ÆON Flow headphones features genuine carbon fiber ear cups to house the 62mm x 34mm (2.44" x 1.34") planar magnetic drivers. Two thin NiTinol memory metal bands hold the ear cups together, and provides the right amount of pressure on the head. NiTinol is a Nickel Titanium metal alloy that returns to its original shape, even after being severely bent. The soft dyed leather headband lies softly on the top of the head while the leather-covered foam ear pads provide a good seal to isolate a lot of the outside noise. The outer portion of the earcups features a window showing the carbon fiber weave pattern, framed in midnight blue/black metallic paint.
Ear Pads: The soft memory foam ear pads provide comfort for extended listening sessions. The inside D-shaped cutouts for your ears are spacious (1-5/8" wide x 3-1/8" high), and angled for a more secure and comfortable fit.
DUMMER Cable: The MrSpeakers ÆON Flow comes with the 6.5' detachable DUMMER (Distinctly Un-Magical) cable, which features a 3.5mm plug with a screw-on 1/4" adapter. The fabric-covered Y-type cable features 4-pin connectors on the headphone end.
Storage Case: The headphones come with a black molded, hard-side, clam-shell case for storing your headphones (with the cables removed). The case has a 3-sided zippered closure.
- Impedance: 13Ω
- Efficiency: 93dB/mW
- Ear Cup Dimensions: Width 3.314" x Height 4.749" x Depth 2.221"
- Weight: 14.5 ounces
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