With a K702, you get the sense that those sounds may be happening to your right or left or side to side, but they may seem more distant and subtle.
In the case of the Aeon, it took on a more intimate quality, as if she (the vocalist) occupied the same space as me. It didn’t feel like I was listening to her through a device.
This is sort of like the feeling you get when 2 speakers or studio monitors are pointed towards your ears in an equilateral triangle. What are Studio Monitors?
It’s what is referred to as the “Phantom Center Image”, or the illusion that the sound is coming from somewhere it’s not (i.e. the middle). Basically, it’s your brain’s way of compensating for the strange stimuli.
The fact that a pair of headphones could achieve this same sort of effect was mind-blowing to me, and something I have yet to experience since.
Instead of hearing the sound through the 2 drivers on my right and left ears, it felt like the voice was centered and directly in front of my face. What is a Headphone Driver? Yes, it actually felt like I was listening to speakers, or that the sound was outside of me rather than in my head.
With a closed-back, you have to worry about many things: fatigue, the sound becoming too boxed in and claustrophobic, plus most closed backs just aren’t very comfortable if we’re being honest.
The K550/553 and CB-1 are both exceptions in the mid-tier and budget categories, respectively. Both are very comfortable for the most part.
The great news about the Aeon is that it’s a true outlier in all regards when it comes to closed-back headphones.
It’s supremely comfortable, it’s built like a tank and highly portable, and it pretty much avoids all of the pitfalls of your typical closed-back headphone; that is, it sounds incredibly open and spacious and doesn’t get fatiguing in the slightest – musically or otherwise.
Attack, sustain, and decay are all spot on. Notes and voices are full and trail off beautifully. Instrument plucks and rhythm guitars sustain their sound incredibly well; meaning, they sound full, bold, and lush. Nothing is forced. With many headphones in lower-tiered price categories, you’ll often times find that the music seems forced – perhaps a bit too brittle or sterilized. The Aeon sounds like how a smooth, warm liquid would feel running over the top of you.
It’s like a bubble bath!
Oh no, here comes the word salad. xD
A lot of headphones tend to sound a bit thin and perhaps brash. As much as I love the SHP9500, it can sometimes sound a bit too open and airy. As if the music is missing some weight or thump. Imagine a lean, long-distance runner who could benefit from a cheeseburger, or 10. xD
The Aeon tends to portray sound with meat on its bones. It’s a bodybuilder on a bulking regimen. It almost reminds me of a Sennheiser HD25 without the brightness in the treble and without the mid-bass bump.
Like the HD25, there’s certain energy the Aeon has that’s hard to argue with.
The bass slams and has a lot of impact but doesn’t feel bloated or artificial. The mid-range sits perfectly in the mix, and the treble has sparkle and detail without sounding essy.
If I had to choose one closed-back headphone to take with me on a deserted island the Aeon would most certainly be the one.
It combines everything about a headphone that I adore into a single package; it’s comfortable, durable, portable, open, spacious, impactful, detailed, crisp, and lively sounding all at the same time.
Like a Utopia, it’s a headphone that comes along very seldom.
Stu is determined to help you make sound decisions, and strives to deliver the best and most in depth content on the internet! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, pray, rap, make beats, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His sense of humour, coupled with a knack for excellence and strict attention to detail are what allow him to stand out in an crowded industry.