It’s been a slow day at work, and I’ve been listening to the Aeolus (LTD Ziricote version) and comparing it to my Eikon. The Eikon has been my favorite headphone since it released.
Despite the Aeolus being billed as an open Atticus, I think the description isn’t as apt as some might think. It does keep that Atticus emphasis on mid-bass, but it’s much less thick sounding and definitely has a more neutral production than the “Neutral? Yeah, I’m not even going to pretend I’m neutral” freq response of the Atticus. Sub-bass is represented well, but like it’s big brother the Atticus, it is less present than the mid-bass. Despite this, I feel the Aeolus presents a more even, rich but not thick, laid back signature. I feel the Atticus goes the other way, and unapologetically lays the gravy on thick and heavy.
Aeolus seems to be on par with the Eikon on treble quantity, and it presents a more spacious presentation to the music as well. It does have less treble and headstage than the Auteur though. Overall, the Aeolus doesn’t seem peaky or overdone in any area of the treble, and provides enough oomph here to keep things exciting and alive while still remaining a safe choice for us treble sensitive folk.
The Eikon has more sub-bass rumble, a benefit of being closed and a Bio driver headphone, but the Aeolus is still very enjoyable for electronic music and feeling that deep rumble. Aeolus also seems a little more even in the mids than the Eikon. Mids just have a touch more presence to them, again owing to it’s Atticus bloodlines, whereas on the Eikon some things get emphasized and some things don’t. Don’t get me wrong, that’s part of the Eikon’s charm, but the Aeolus just seems more cohesive here.
I can see people calling this a dark headphone, but I think there’s more to it than that. ** The Aeolus isn’t trying to be neutral, but it’s FR is still smooth and has a pretty even response. It just seems to gradually slope down from the mid-bass into the treble.
If I had to sum up the Aeolus, I would say it is the love child of an Atticus and Auteur. The Auteur family traits have tamed the wild side of the gene pool, while also lending a more open and spacious quality, and more comfort too. The overall family resemblance is unmistakably Atticus though.
Now… here’s a confession. I owned the Atticus. I eventually moved on from it, as I thought it was too tonally thick and syrupy, and ultimately didn’t fit my preferences. The Aeolus on the other hand is NOT like this, and I’m having a wonderful time listening to this for hours at a time. If you were not a fan of the Atticus, don’t be shy on the Aeolus. I’m willing to bet that it will really surprise you.
** I also think the term Dark gets overused way too damned much. As in, WAY to bloody much. It’s like, anything that isn’t a HD800, Beyer, or Utopia is dark. You freaking treble-heads… just stop it! I think there should be a Dark baseline we can use for meaningful comparisons. Let’s call it the AQ Nighthawk scale, and start doing comparisons from there. eg. - The Aeolus is only 4/10 on the Nighthawk scale. =P Anyway… enjoy, and happy Thanksgiving everyone!