Mr Speakers Aeon Flow - The Bee's KneesMr Speakers has made a huge impact on the market since graduating from Fostex fiddling, not least with the Aeon closed-back model recently. However if you're in the mood to pick a quiet spot and have a need to relax, why not consider the open design of the Aeon Flow?
Design and appearanceThe most visual difference between the closed-back Aeon and the Flow is the attractive hexagon grill design on the earcups. Perfect for listening to the likes of Queen, and Sting. Moving on from the Bee-grade jokes however, the Aeon Flow keeps all of the charm and advantages of the former model in terms of its lightness and comfort.
Durability & build qualityThe Aeon open-back's lightness may give the impression that it is fragile; however it can bend and stretch along with the roughest handling, and there's no reason to suspect that will ever change. The included carry case may not win any beauty pageants, but is certainly one of the more pragmatic cases and should protect the Aeon for years to come.
ComfortThere should be no worries when it comes to comfort during extended listening sessions; the more forgetful among us may even be wondering where our new headphones are whilst wearing them. The Aeon open-back is light and sits nicely on the head, distributing the load evenly.
Sound characteristicsThe tuning can be altered by means of filters which can be added to the earcups, just like the closed back Aeon. These will gradually decrease the treble presence, making a bassier-sounding headphone. For this review, we go 'au naturel' and try them in their unmodified state. However even with no filters, the Aeon open back is a warm-sounding headphone. If you find yourself attracted by dog whistles, then maybe the Aeon open will be a little too relaxed for you.
BassSub-bass has a good presence in the mix for an open design. It's a relaxed, yet powerful quality which describes the sound overall pretty well. Like the Aeon is not really trying - high praise indeed! Mid bass has a punchy, slammy feel to it. Many cheaper cans have a mid bass punch, but here it's the real deal and much more authoritative. It's ideal for fans of bass quantity and quality alike.
MidsMidrange is neither pushed at the listener or recessed. Vocals are rich and velvety and there's a natural and unforced feel about them. Control is in evidence however, with a nice black background for reverbs to tail off into virtually nothing. Consequently there is a lot of space in good recordings, which complements the well controlled audio and provides some excellent imaging. The midrange quality veers slightly towards the lush and rich, giving music a nice approachable glow.
TrebleHigher frequencies may not be featured prominently but the treble, like the bass and midrange, has a free and easy quality about it. Much like a figure skater's graceful figures of eight which look easy to do, the hard work going on is cleverly hidden from view. There's a little bit of sparkle here, and the treble generally has no problematic peaks.
Soundstage & SeparationThe overall width of the presentation is not huge, it keeps vocals and instruments close to the listener. Separation is very good, with some clear midrange harmonics doing well against a silent, distortion-free background.
Music genres good for and whyA few genres were tried, and all were very enjoyable with the Aeon Flow Open. If you are fond of classical, acoustic or similar genres, don't be put off by the sub bass these headphones can put out, as there will be little sub bass in the recordings. However if sub bass is your thing, the Aeon Flow Open will certainly be a contender for dance, pop and rap. Rock music and jazz benefits from the treatment the midrange gives, so if you like to mix things up, these are some versatile headphones indeed.
- Light and comfortable
- Good build and looks
- Sensible carry case
- 'Effortless' sound quality
- Modifiable sound
- Soundstage is limited