MrSpeakers began life, at least with my exposure to the brand, with proprietor Dan Clark’s headphone offerings that were based on a modified Fostex T50RP. Further differentiation was possible with various user-applied, and easily reversible, tuning options.

Since then Dan has developed his own drivers, enclosures, mounts and headbands to produce a series of entirely unique, in-house, designs, in both planar-magnetic and - somewhat unusually - electrostatic, offerings, while continuing to offer in-the-box tuning options for his headphones, as well as retro-fittable upgrades to prior models.

This is the spot to discuss the MrSpeakers brand and products in general.


I have both the Mad Dogs and Alpha Primes, bought new from Dan about and 5 and 8 years ago respectively…and I love them still. I originally paired the Mad Dogs with the first Schiit Asgard, and they were an absolutely wonderful combination for only about $500. The Mad Dogs were recommended to me by Jason Stoddard/Schiit CEO and lived up his billing as “best bang for the buck in an ortho” and sort of a “poor man’s Audeze LCD2”. They like a lot of power and I enjoy them today on a Lyr2 with NOS Telefunken tubes. (My LCD2-Rev2 sounds great on that amp too.) The Alpha Prime is a great headphone as well. I think of it in terms of my current day Focal Clears–they do just about everything very, very well. Great accuracy, balance, detail, clarity, musicality and punch…in a closed ortho and (like the Mad Dogs) custom modified by one of the pros at MrSpeakers. Back in the day I think Dan’s staff were all professional musicians, who did great mods because they really knew music and sound, and loved music and sound. No two of these headphones sound alike, of course , because they’re mods. And I was lucky with both the Mad Dogs and Alpha Prime’s to get top flight craftsmanship.


I have to admit the Mr.Speakers Mad Dogs are what got me into wood headphones, I actually thought the MD sounded terrible, but my little tube amp was a big reason why. I had little to no power to drive them an I’m sure the output impedance didn’t help either

still there was something about the MD that I liked, it’s mid range, and after a few days of crawling the forums I purchased an Audio Technica W1000x, which I then modded

That headphone and it’s beautiful tone and imaging are why I continued to default to wood closed backs time and time again, and I feel very thankful for having had the MD as it ultimately lead me to purchase a ZMF Eikon!

That said getting back to Mr. Speakers, I do like his Aeon Flow Closed portable headphone very much! An with the right system I also find my self super impressed with the Ether C Flow as well. Plus getting to meet Dan at AXPONA this year was awesome, as he’s a very knowledge but also approachable person to talk to about audio!

So here’s to hoping I get get some Mr.Speakers cans back into my stable soon!!!

I found the AEON Flow Closed, while needing a decent amount of juice (an actual amp is required in my opinion, but it doesn’t need to be a monster), work well even with relatively modest (price-wise) setups:

Yes, you’ll want to run the Magni 3 in high-gain mode here, but adding power beyond that doesn’t yield large benefits. Which is not to say that the AFC don’t benefit from even better amplification, but that’s a qualitative concern not a quantitive one … and the next step up there is really something like the Jotunheim or THX AAA 789.


I have the MrSpeakers Aeon closed and had the Aeon open for a short while. Ironically I found the open to be more closed in than the closed. I also felt the closed to be more tonally balanced than the open but the open do have a nice warm, thick sound.

I demoed the Ether C flow and found them to be rather lean/thin sounding. I much prefer the Aeon Closed, which like the Ether C, have a large soundstage that I think competes with many open headphones. This however does not mean that they sound open and compared to the Focal Clear give the impression of being in a much smaller room, even if the soundstage is about the same size.

I like them using the Massdrop THX 789 but I preferred what I heard using Gilmore Lite MK2 as the I found the higher frequencies on the 789 sounded a tad harsh in comparison. Dan Clark sells the Gilmore on his website and has a mini review explaining why he likes it so much.


I have the AFC too, and chose the closed because that’s a common view across many reviews. I agree with you and them too. The AFC sounds open, while the AFO sounds closed. The AFC was released earlier, so I think MrSpeakers knew they’d hit on a magic formula with the AFC.

Me too. I couldn’t figure out why the Ether series cost so very much for worse performance…

I was really hoping to be able to get to try the AFC as they are top of my wish list (I am sort of limited to closed backs and these seem to get the most praise).

However, it doesn’t seem to look like I will get chance, at least not in the near future.

Here they are nearly $1k, which I feel is rather expensive to buy without trying first.

But I am struggling not to order a set…

How do they sound with a tube amp? :wink:

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Okay, I’m running the AFC through my Loxjie P20 hybrid tube amp right now. It’s a nice match, with the AFC’s general neutrality shifting toward thick, rich, and creamy. They are still well behaved headphones and still sound like open backs in an inky void with no ambient room noise. The AFC are never about ultra detail on any system, and the P20 smooths and slightly veils their naturally diffuse/harmonic high end. The harmonic character comes from planar technology.

With only 13 ohms resistance the AFC may not work well on a pure tube amp (I don’t own one).

My hobby spending motto is: "It’s not about how much you pay, it’s about the ease of resale and the residual value!"


They will be fine on a tube amp using output transformers, but likely very bassy and underdamped on an OTL design.


Very impressed w the AFC I managed to demo 2 days ago.

Did feel that they could sound boring due to the lack of oomph tho…AFO will solve that problem?

I don’t know what is ‘boring’ to you. Both the AFC and AFO are planar, relaxed, and don’t have the punch of dynamic driver headphones. The main difference between AFO from AFC is that the AFO are tilted toward encompassing and less defined bass. IMO the AFC have tight, deep, and clean bass. Neither approaches the massive dynamics of Focal’s products.

I personally like the AFC for their gentle diffusion, as it’s a good match for closed headphones and reduces fatigue.


The AFC is a lovely sounding headphone which I can understand some listeners not finding immediately engaging because of its neutrality, but its neutrality is quite fantastic and has a low end which is viscerally satisfying and which I preferred AB’ing with Audeze’s LCD2C.

I eventually chose the AFO over the AFC after a two week demo of both, carried away, as I was, with the AFO’s wonderfully warm and soothing presentation.

Mr Speaker’s Dan Clarke’s recommendation for amping these headphones is the more effervescent Lyr 3 for the AFO and the ever-so-slightly warm Gilmore Lite MK2 for the AFCs.

The Gilmore Lite MK2 is also a wonderful pairing with the Ether 2 (better, I feel, even than the Cavalli Liquid Platinum), which, when paired together, takes some of the warmth of the AFO and marries it with the neutrality of the AFC, with truly exceptional low and sub bass. If Head Amp’s new GS-X mini is the Gilmore Lite MK2 on steroids (specifically with a slightly warm wash) then this will be quite some pairing for the AFC and the Ether 2.

Because of its cathartic warm blanket of sound, and in spite of owning the Ether 2s, I can’t bring myself to sell my AFOs.