- Don’t chase the dragon of technicalities on headphones with poor FR.
- Aeon 2 Noire is a great hi-fi can even in comparison to its more expensive open-back counterparts.
Apple Lossless high res - ifi Gryphon - headphones. So nothing too fancy. No x-space or xbass was used. Volume matching was done by ear. Also, keep in mind, these are just one person’s opinions and ymmv. Also, yes. There are going to be people who say that I was limited by my source but I really don’t buy it and we’re going to have to agree to disagree until someone can explain to me in a civil and intelligent way why I am wrong. Also, I think it’s probably safe to say that in this comparison between the Clear MG, LCD-X, Sennheiser HD800S and Aeon Noire that the Noire is one of the most demanding in terms of power requirements.
There are definitely reasons for a person to prefer any of these cans and, if you have questions, I could go more in depth on my opinions of each. However, for someone like myself who is looking for one headphone to meet all of their needs, the Aeon 2 Noire is just so versatile. Ideal form factor for anything from long at-home sessions to portable listening. Is it the MOST engaging can in terms of technicalities? Maybe not? But it’s by no means boring. Again, there is great detail and, in my opinion, the bass had good weight (a feature lacking in the dynamic cans I compared to). While lacking some immediate punch (maybe) compared to headphones significantly more expensive (mainly the LCD-X and Clear). The biggest selling feature of the Noire, in my opinion, is their FR. Which is, as advertised, neutral. For once, a headphone advertised as neutral lives up to the expectation.
We can be tempted to chase technicalities with the hopes that we can get even more bang for our buck making trade-offs in terms of EQ and sound isolation. Yet, after a year of owning one of the most technically capable headphones on the market and tweaking it to my ideal FR. I was still won over by a headphone that costs almost half as much that is tuned well out of the box. Can my LCD-X sound better than the noire after significant EQ (and I mean like 6db of EQ)? Maybe (and I really mean maybe because it isn’t so black and white). But after all of that. I still have to run some form of EQ software, I can only use certain transports, certain streaming services, no exclusive mode, not to mention the weight, size, and lack of isolation (obviously) of the LCD-X which limits me to at-home use and also, I would say it limits me to at-home use when it is quiet which, in the city, is rare even at night.
Prominent reviewers who are very knowledgeable and experienced with audio frequently discuss the merits of the harman target curve and caution against chasing technicalities. I think it’s great advice… I learned the hard way (will take a couple hundred dollars worth of loss to sell my LCD-X). Try before you buy and don’t assume you can just fix it with EQ because, while you can make it better, without a measurement system you’re really just thrusting yourself into the circle of confusion and trying to convince yourself that you can get out of it.