Dan Clark Audio AEON 2 Closed Review: Flow Redux

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Since hearing about the new AEON 2 Closed Review, I’ve been hoping it would land on my review desk sooner rather than later.  Dan Clark Audio, having previously wowed my ears as MrSpeakers, introduced the AEON 2 Closed as the first headphone under its new brand name.  But at $899, how does this headphone stack up to the previous AEON and other headphones at the same price?  And is it the right headphone for you?

Dan Clark Audio AEON 2 Closed Review: Flow Redux

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The AEON 2 comes in a box similar to that of the original AEON.  Opening it up, I find a smaller case – almost too small to seemingly fit the headphones.  But inside, there’s the new AEON 2 Closed and three sets of dampening pads, as well as a 6.5 ft (2 m) cable terminating in a 3.5 mm plug.  A 3.5 mm to 6.3 mm adapter also comes included.

The AEON 2 can also be purchased with other cable terminations, though.  The other boxed alternative comes with an XLR cable, or one can mix and match with existing MrSpeakers cables available from Dan Clark Audio.

Anyone who has been following the news of this headphone will know that there are some fresh design choices appearing in the AEON 2.  Not least among these features is the folding design, allowing the headphones to be compressed to a small mass of audio gear.

Fit and comfort wise, though, it’s the same old AEON build.  Indeed, the AEON 2 sits snugly on my ears and remains comfortable for hours-long listening sessions.

Internally, the new AEON 2 Closed features a retuned driver and new dampening material, which Dan Clark Audio claims results in a clearer, more accurate sound.

Still benefiting from a healthy dose of amp, I paired the AEON 2 with my modded iPOD and pocket amp.  And even with my small amp, the sound remains telling.

Dan Clark Audio AEON 2 Closed Review – Sound Quality

Low End

The Dan Clark Audio AEON 2 Closed delivers a fairly impressive low end.  There’s plenty of detail here – even more than on the original AEON.  But what complimenting the detailed low frequency is just a slightly emphasized bass response.  Offering just a bit of slam, this bass response makes these headphones an excellent option for hip hop, rock, electronica, and some pop.

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Midrange

A strong, intimate presentation marks the midrange.  Vocals sound close, but not too oppressive.  This leaves ample room for instrumentation to shine, thanks to the re-tuned driver.  Of course this jives well with the low end to deliver an impressive sound for pop, rock, and electronic tracks.  But the mids also do justice to jazz and classical tracks, where a meaty midrange is an absolute must.

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High End

The highs on the AEON 2 Closed sound fairly articulate, only approaching a bright sound when it comes to the highest highs.  But for most tracks I throw at these headphones, the highs sound just a tad bit smooth, and never harsh or uncomfortable.  To be fair, the low end can seem a little unwelcome on some pop tracks.  And this especially feels true when trying to focus on certain tracks with more emphasis on mids and highs.  However, for most of my listening material, these highs deliver a sound that borders on something special.

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Soundstage

Better than the soundstage on the original AEON, the AEON 2 Closed features enough depth and space to work well with any music.  There’s enough room to work well with even more complicated classical numbers, but for most tracks, the soundstage sounds downright amazing.  While still not the match of a similar open-back headphone, I would say that the sound of the AEON 2 does land pretty close to that mark.

DCA AEON 2 Closed with ipod

Dan Clark Audio AEON 2 Closed Review – Conclusion

Pros and Cons

Pros:  Tons of detail, a fairly immaculate frequency range, and solid soundstage give the AEON some real chops when it comes to sound quality.  A new-and-improved build also brings an air of novelty to this revised AEON.

Cons:  Still power hungry, the AEON 2 requires a fair amount of juice to deliver its full potential.

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Final Analysis

At $899, the Dan Clark Audio AEON 2 Closed will run you more money than the older MrSpeakers AEON did.  However, thanks to the mesmerizing sound and impressive soundstage, this headphone delivers an awesome listening experience that puts others to shame.  At this price, the AEON 2 Closed offers one of the best sounds I’ve ever heard, and I heartily encourage anyone with ears and enough padding in their bank account to give it  a listen.  Bottom line:  the AEON 2 Closed sets a new record for just how good a closed-back headphone can sound.

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