Well, this! There is an Aeon Open! Released a few months after the Aeon C, the Aeon O (also $799) entered the arena. Will it live up to the Aeon closed?
I am not going to talk about the build, as it is identical to the Aeon C, which is to say: outstanding. The only difference is obviously, the open-backed grills. Comfort is also the same, so, everything great about the Aeon C, so far, carries over to the Aeon O. The Aeon O does come with two more sets of dampening pads for tweaking the sound than did the closed model. I will say that, again, I prefer the sound without adding the pads, but, as always, I never frown on giving people more options.
When compared with the Aeon C, the sound of the Aeon O definitely has its own unique character. Let’s take a listen.
Weight (without cable): 321gr Open
Impedance: 13 ohms
Sound – Aeon Open
This one is a little bit easier to talk about than the Aeon C, as it has some features that stick out a little bit more. Once again, bass body and impact are quite good. The Aeon C might dig a little bit deeper, but that is pretty normal. For an open backed headphone, the Aeon O does a very fine job with bass.
With the upper bass and the lower midrange, the Aeon O starts to differentiate itself from its slightly older brother. There is definitely a noticeable bump in this region, causing it to stick out. That extra body gives the Aeon O a warmer feel than the more linear Aeon C. This trend seems to follow the sound into the mid and upper midrange, as they feel a little more laid back. Voices don’t sound quite as sharp or detailed here as they did on the Aeon C. Treble, however, to my ears, sounds about the same here as it did on the Aeon C.
Being open-backed, the Aeon O does have a more open sound, and the soundstage feels wider. Transient response and instrument separation, to my ears, are a little sharper on the Aeon C. I will say that I also find the Aeon O to also play well with a wide selection of music. Once you adjust to the different sound, it is really easy to drift away and disappear into your music.
That is the real beauty of the Aeon O. It may read like I didn’t like the Aeon O very much, but that isn’t the case at all. There is something warm and inviting about the sound of this headphone. This last month has been a really intense one for me. On the few occasions that I could find the time, I loved being able to sink into my favorite chair, let me favorite singers wash over me, and feel all of my troubles melt away, if only for a half hour. While there are other open headphones, like the HE560, which I feel offer a sharper, more balanced technical performance, there is no denying the pleasure that can be derived from the Aeon O. After all, what is this hobby about if not enjoying your music?
Well, there you have it: two new winners from Mr. Speakers. Obviously, my heart belongs with the Aeon closed, but I can see others falling in love hard with the Aeon open. Either way you go, you can’t go wrong with the Aeon. I can’t wait to see what Mr. Speakers comes up with next! Both the Aeon open and Aeon closed retail for $799, and can be bought here: www.mrspeakers.com .