MrSpeakers AEON Flow
Closed-back planar magnetic headphones
Our take on the MrSpeakers AEON Flow by Crutchfield's Jeff Miller
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
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
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.
Mike, Laguna Niguel, CA
MrSpeakers AEON Flow Reviews
Average Customer Review(s):
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Features and 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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Why did you buy this?
Crutchfield tech. suggested this pair of over the ear closed headphones for my Astell &Kern 240 player. [ Charles May 21, 2018 ]
Great reviews! [ Mark Mar 13, 2018 ]
own earlier mrspeakers model. aeon has totl reviews for sub-$1000. like mrspeakers ethos, accessibility, and personal attention. [ Kevin Mar 11, 2018 ]
Strong reviews on website, liked the personal review from Crutchfield Reviewer where he took them home for the weekend, and wanted to use them all the time, not just to try them. I figure he has access to many different headphones and for him to single one out, is fairly remarkable, and a strong recommendation. [ Chester Feb 05, 2018 ]
web research [ Stuart Jan 20, 2018 ]
Wonderful reviews in my magazine. I'm all about the small company that tries harder and is not a household name. MrSpeakers is such a company. [ Darren Jan 11, 2018 ]
Reviews by professionasl and enthusaists. [ Stanley Nov 27, 2017 ]
Well regarded California audiophile headphone company with a great new offering [ Jon Oct 20, 2017 ]
The reviews on these are lights out and as an audiofile these should be right in my wheelhouse. [ Mark Aug 18, 2017 ]
1 question already asked
No they do not fold. They are not huge and do have a case. [ Scott Jan 08, 2018 ]
No, the earpieces do not rotate enough to lay flat. You're stuck with the carry case, which provides good protection but will take up a fair amount of space in your luggage. If foldability is important to you, I suggest you look at the Oppo PM3. While not in quite the same league as the Aeon, SQ-wise, they certainly are more travel-friendly. [ Derek Jan 08, 2018 ]
no. they do sound great though. the google pixel xl (1st gen) is not strong enough to drive them. an iphone 6s works--i have the volume at the penultimate volume setting. looking forward to getting an amp. [ rodney Jan 07, 2018 ]
No, but it does come with a small hard clam shell case that you can easily store in your luggage. [ Michael Jan 06, 2018 ]
They do not fold. A zippered hard case is included to protect them but it is fairly large. [ JONATHAN Jan 06, 2018 ]
No, they don't. They do come with portable case, but it has a large footprint [ Byungdon Jan 06, 2018 ]
Looking for more? Check out the next model in this lineup.
MrSpeakers' flagship closed-back headphones
The MrSpeakers ETHER C Flow offers these features:
made with premium materials
pleated carbon-fiber earcups and dual-stitched leather earpads
tuned for neutral, accurate sound
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MrSpeakers AEON Flow
Closed-back planar magnetic headphones
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Closed-back over-ear headphones
Open-back over-ear headphones
MrSpeakers ETHER C Flow
Closed-back planar magnetic headphones