MrSpeakers ETHER Flow
Open-back planar magnetic headphones
MrSpeakers ETHER Flow - Extra large planar drivers use folded V-Planar diaphragm design for better dynamics
Our take on the MrSpeakers ETHER Flow by Crutchfield's Jeff Miller
"A bit more resolving"
Since their debut in 2016, the MrSpeakers ETHER Flow headphones (and the closed-back ETHER C Flows) have earned rave reviews, and remain on many "Best of" lists. But recently, they've been a little overshadowed by the buzz surrounding their younger siblings, the AEON Flow headphones. I still strongly encourage headphone aficiandos with high-performance gear and a high-res music collection to consider these larger, detail-focused 'phones.
It's like company founder Dan Clark — THE Mr. Speakers — told me, "there isn't really a right headphone experience...The ETHER is a bit more resolving, it's going to create more delineation of voice. They are a little more revealing of source — I tried to make the AEONs a little more forgiving."
Who is Mr. Speakers?
I met at CanJam NYC 2018, and he's a really interesting, intelligent guy. His passion for headphone-making is only rivaled by his love of music. He's as quick to drop a story about his favorite band as he is to break down his patented TrueFlow™ technology (more on that later).
Dan had worked in tech for years, but said he originally studied engineering for audio design. One day, he decided to quit his job and start making headphones. He first made his name by modifying existing models. Hardcore headphone enthusiasts appreciated his semi-"outlaw" approach, and really loved Dan's sound improvements.
And while he uses the latest technology and measurement instruments available, he relies a lot on his ear when voicing his own headphones. "I generally start with well-recorded jazz drums," he said, "If you can't get the cymbals right, the highs are never going to sound right. And getting cymbals right is ridiculously difficult with headphones, because you're in a small space where you have physics working against you — so it takes a lot of trial and error."
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 relatively lightweight and very efficient. Though I would still recommend driving them with a robust headphone amp — so you can really open up their dynamics and hear their gorgeous imaging.
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.
- open-back design offers spacious, transparent sound
- planar magnetic drivers offer enhanced dynamics and warm sound
- made with premium materials
- 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
- thick, memory-foam earpads lined with dual-stitched leather
- NiTinol "memory metal" headband for easy fit
- super-light, flexible material
- sturdy dual-sided headband slider for effortless adjustment
- feels lighter than most planar magnetic headphones
General Info and Specs:
- 8 ft. detachable DUM (distinctly un-magical) cable with braided cover
- terminated by a 1/4" plug
- hard-shell carrying case with soft protective interior
- impedance: 23 ohms
- weight: 14.1 ounces
- warranty: 2 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Over-ear headphones
- 6' DUM cable (1/4" plug)
- MagicFiber cleaning cloth
- Hard-shell zippered storage case
- Certificate of Authenticity
Features and Specs
|Earcup Width x Height||4.12" x 4.12"|
|Mic For Taking Calls||No|
|Frequency Response||Not Given|
|1/4-inch Adapter Included||No|
|Parts Warranty||2 Years|
|Labor Warranty||2 Years|
Overview: The MrSpeakers Ether Flow is an over-ear, open back planar magnetic headphone. These audiophile-grade headphones are precision machined and crafted to deliver superb performance throughout the extended frequency range. For best performance, it is recommended that you use a high-quality headphone amplifier with the headphones.
Planar Magnetic Drivers: The Ether Flow uses planar magnetic drivers which deliver much better performance over standard dynamic drivers. Bass response is full and strong, while the sound stage and imaging are more defined. With the open back design, the headphones are very airy, and thus are not particularly good at attenuating external noise. In addition, the sound inside the headphones tends to leak outside of the ear cups, so everyone around you can hear what you're listening to.
Construction: The Ether Flow headphones features a black anodized milled aluminum main ear cups to house the large 2-3/4" x 1-3/4" 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 Nickel Titanium metal alloy that returns to its original shape, even after being severely bent. Soft lambskin leather is used for the headband and the ear pads for ultimate comfort. The open-back Ether Flow features a black honeycomb pattern surrounded by a blue ring.
Ear Pads: The soft memory foam ear pads provide comfort for extended listening sessions. The inside cutouts for your ears are rectangular (1-5/8" wide x 2-5/8" high), and the pads are angled for a more secure and comfortable fit.
DUM Cable: The MrSpeakers Ether Flow comes with the 6' detachable DUM (Distinctly Un-Magical) cable. The fabric-covered Y-type cable features 4-pin connectors on the headphone end and a sturdy 1/4" plug on the other (device) end.
Storage Case: The headphones come with a brown molded, hard-side, clam-shell case for storing your headphones (with the cables removed). The case has a 3-sided zippered closure.
- Impedance: 23 ohms
- Ear Cup Dimensions: 4.12" Diameter x 2.264" Depth
- Ear Cutout: 1-5/8" Wide x 2-5/8" High
- Weight: 16.3 ounces
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