I briefly owned the MrSpeaker Aeon Flow (closed back) headphones for a few weeks. It was somewhat an impulse purchase, though not exactly. You well, when I heard the Aeon Flow at CanJam Singapore 2017, I fell in love, but I do not spend on or collect audiophile headphones because I don’t think they are worth spending money especially when I do not listen to them often enough. All these years I still kept using the Philips Fidelio X2.
But in February, with the CanJam Singapore 2018 happening in March, the fever got over me and I managed to find a pre-owned unit for a little less than S$900. Small change for audiophile-grade headphones, but significant for me.
Initially, when I started listening over the DAP and smartphones that I own, I find it lacks the kick. After running them through a separate portable amplifier (TOPPING NX3), the sound turns out a lot better, more drive, and fuller.
The Aeon Flow uses planar magnetic drivers, which is different from the usual dynamic drivers. Planar magnetic drivers have magnets laid over a thin plate and driven by magnetic currents to vibrate in synchrony over the entire plate. Dynamic drivers, on the other hand, is conical, driven by a magnetic coil in the middle while the rest of the diaphragm is just a thin membrane to move in response to that centre coil. Hence, planar magnetic drivers are more capable of delivering more detailed musical tones. Indeed, the Aeon Flow sound is so smooth and warm, not harsh. Audiophiles term it as “neutral”, meaning their bass is not excessively heavy and the treble is not too bright. The best part of the Aeon must be the midrange, achieving details and form yet not muddy.
Alas, I have decided to let go of the headphones. There are a few practical reasons, nothing to do with the audio quality. I mentioned earlier that I do not invest in headphones because I do not spend enough time with them, so ya, that is the number one reason. I would have loved to spend more time, if only it is less hassle to use them. You see, the headphones work best when driven by powerful amplifiers, so I had to go through a few hoops before enjoying.
The other reason is the comfort. The Aeon Flow is cosy, the ear cushion generously thick and plushy. It fits too snugly, and I would prefer to have a bit more room, but sonically, a compact earpads prevent the sound from misbehaving.
I wouldn’t have mind keeping them around, but the cost of parts replacement are rather high due to the exclusivity of MrSpeakers products. The cables are proprietary, which MrSpeakers call them “DUMMER” cable, and cost nearly US$100. The earpads are also special, and would set me back by another US$59.
Eventually, I found a buyer who shares the same appreciation with MrSpeakers as me. The evening before I meet the buyer, I listned to the Aeon Flow for one last time. Honestly, I had a tinge of regret. These headphones are awesome, bringing out the richness of recordings without fatigue. Little wonder that Aeon Flow has won praise in many renowned headphone review websites, like InnerFidelity (awarded Wall of Fame), Headfonia, Headfonics (Best Closed HP 2017), and Head-Fi.