Dan Clark Audio Stealth - Flagship Closed-Back Headphones

Noire is pretty good - the perf pads definitely help. I should be getting my hands on some of the Drop variants soon too, so that should be fun to check out.


Following along closely. Certainly a bold move to go from a $2000 open flagship to a $4000 closed flagship. But hey, if it sounds good, that would be awesome, as I still feel that a flagship closed back planar has yet to be nailed (There are a couple I haven’t heard, to be fair, HE-R10p and stuff.)


Ok, so 23 ohm and 549 mV @ 94 dBSPL (ASR) or 397 mV @ 94 dBSPL (Jude). That means somewhere between 82-86 dB/mW. For some perspective that means these need more current than susvara…

I’m content with the build quality of the Aeon.

But they would need to inject more resolution and a huge huge step in macro dynamics to warrant those pricetag.


Yeah and the tuning filter front-damping bluntedness thing is a no go. But the FR looks promising on this new one, so hopefully there’s no need to do the front-damping.

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Bold move for sure. Feels like what Audeze has done with the recent CRBN release.

I think that the pricing on both the CRBN and the DC Audio Stealth is so steep because of the innovations and new technology. Patents are also hella expensive, not to mention the whole R&D phase.


Yeah. $4000 can’t have dynamics issues though.


Agreed. For $4000 it had better be the best closed-back ever engineered, and that includes outstanding macro-dynamics.

A certain someone sure did shill the thing over on the site that shall remain nameless, so much so that folks are blind buying it. :open_mouth: I hope it really is that good!


The engineering solutions and the use of meta materials are very interesting.
Great development by Dan Clark team


hope to get my hands on them at Munich High End. - not that I would have the money, but why not give them a try.

The design is fancy!


In an era of mandatory shutdowns, stimulus checks, and few retail stores, many people “buy to try.” Price has become the producer’s suggestion for cross comparisons and quality. The trouble is that some grumble…e.g., HiFiMan grossly inflate retail prices and apparently don’t follow a traditional manufacturing formula (e.g., materials + R&D + labor + overhead + margin).

The Stealth could end up being the best closed headphone of all time…for a tiny fraction of its buyers or for all of its buyers… We won’t know until the early adopters start to sell. Used values are more informative than new prices. The $4K+ Utopia has been out for several years and can now easily be found for $2.5K used, often with an aftermarket cable thrown in. The Bifrost 2 sells used for nearly new prices, and there’s a waiting list to get them. ZMF’s products often lose no more than 10% or 20% of their new value, but the brand is hard to judge because of the limited supply and a pure luxury/collector market for limited editions.


The more I looked into it, the more I realized that this is the case. I fully understood this when they released the HE-R10…


I’m actually tempted …

They look fantastic, with materials that seem appropriate for a unit at this level (unlike a certain other popular flagship headphone I could name).

Comfort with Dan’s headphones has always been excellent for me. And the AEON Flow Closed was my favorite of his headphones to date.

And while I am not particularly a fan of the Harman curve, that is easily adjusted via EQ (especially where it would all be reductive changes) … and the raw measurements otherwise look very encouraging.

I almost sent Taron an email to buy a set … until I remembered that I haven’t used any closed back cans in five months or more, and when I last did it was AirPods Max. Since, now, the only situations I can think of where I’d want closed backs at all (especially with how warm and humid it is here), would also require noise cancellation and wireless operation.

Yet still I am tempted …

Ironically … I suspect that the announcement of these will result in me finally getting off the pot and selling my current closed backs*, rather than buying a set of the Stealth, as it is really just focused me on how much I’m not using them.

Still, though, I’m finding it surprisingly hard not to put in an order and then sort it all out from there …

*I always figured I would keep at least my Vérité Closed LTD in Stabilized Maple Burl, no matter what. They’re serial number 1, they’re gorgeous, sound fantastic, and I get frequent requests to sell them. But more and more I just can see when I’m going to use them … if only for reasons of raw comfort - open-back headphones here are already warmer than I’d like. So who knows, maybe I’ll wind up selling them after all.


Omg, why the hesitation? Haven’t you read the hype from all the people who haven’t heard these yet? These are better than breathing! You DO like breathing, right?

Taron, sell a pair to this man before he passes out.



Yes, I really want these to be good, but as much as I love the build and comfort on DCA headphones, I haven’t liked how any of those I’ve owned or heard sounded at rational volume levels.



The initial surge of interest I get for any new “flagship” headphone tends to abate rather quickly. Random, breathless, hype usually hastens that.

In this case, that “surge of interest” is mostly attributable to pent-up-demand, from there not even having been even a handful of true flagship candidates in the last 2.5+ years.

At this point, I’m well back from the ledge …

I’d be interested to hear them … but buying would be predicated on a successful demo and having a use case for a closed-back headphone. And it is that lack of a use case, anymore, for such a thing that has had me spend more time today thinking about which, if any, of my existing closed backs I keep … rather than buying another one.


Just for funnzies I’ll note that “having a use case for a closed-back headphone” is predicated on a presumption that closed-back headphones INHERENTLY have some compromise(s) in sound quality compared to non-closed back headphones. While few would argue about that historically, with more and more attention being paid to closed-end designs, and more innovations such as some of the new technologies used in the DCA Stealth, at some point those inherent compromises are (potentially) overcome.

Are these the h/ps that break through and delight as much as the best open-back do? That remains to be seen. (And of course, many people DO have a use case for closed backs, if they’re living or working in close proximity to others who would be bothered by sound leakage.)


Not really.

For me that use case is about needing isolation enough to warrant the reduction in comfort vs. an open headphone.

I had already assumed they’d passed the performance/sound-quality bar (i.e. “successful demo”). I’ve no reason to buy any headphone that doesn’t better something I already own at this point.


Jude also has measurements comparing it to some other closed backs.

Audeze LCD-2 Closed:

Focal Stellia:


$4000 is a lot of money for a headphone, let alone a closed-back, but I really do hope it’s a huge success for Dan and also us the consumer. The technology implemented is intriguing - something I hope to see trickle down in the future. I look forward to reading future reviews and I hope to hear these one day.