MrSpeakers Ether 2 advances the artwork of headphone design


The MrSpeakers Ether 2 headphones


I’ve misplaced rely what number of MrSpeakers headphones I’ve reviewed, however their Ether 2 is the headphone maker’s largest leap ahead. First as a result of it is the world’s lightest planar magnetic, over-the-ear headphone, and the sound is deliciously clear, however to not the purpose it ruthlessly reveals recording flaws. As flagship high-end headphones go it is a midprice design, the Ether 2 runs $1,999 within the US, £1,900 within the UK, and AU$2,900 in Australia.

The Ether 2 differs from the unique Ether and Ether Stream in that it now sports activities all-new drivers, and coming it at 10.2 ounces (290 grams) it is three.75 ounces (90 grams) lighter. That is awfully gentle for a full-size, over-the-ear headphone, however the Ether 2 nonetheless feels loads sturdy. The good-looking design appears prefer it ought to put on properly over time. The protein leather-covered ear pads are luxuriously completed, and also you get a rugged carry case to retailer and defend the headphones.

The Ether 2’s proprietary planar-magnetic driver measures 2.75 by 1.75 inches (71 by 45mm), and it is mounted to a carbon-fiber baffle. Impedance is rated at 16 ohms. The usual 6-foot-long (1.Eight-meter) cable is supremely versatile and comes terminated in your alternative of a 2.5, three.5, Four.Four, 6.3mm or Four-pin XLR plug. Longer cables can be found for a further cost.

The Ether 2 is an open-back design, so it does not do a factor to hush exterior noise. The headphone is designed and made in San Diego, California.

Whereas Ether 2 is light-weight I do not discover it particularly comfy over lengthy listening periods as a result of the ear pads’ head-clamping stress is a tad too excessive, even after adjusting the scarf to reduce pad stress. Consolation is common for high-end ‘telephones, however head shapes and sizes differ, so you could discover the Ether 2 extra comfy than I do.

Listening to the two

The Ether 2 sound is clear however not ruthlessly so. This headphone will not bore holes into your eardrums when enjoying over-compressed or harsh sounding recordings, and it’ll nonetheless do full justice to audiophile recordings. Its keenly balanced sound makes it a simple headphone to reside with. I am utilizing a Monoprice Liquid Platinum tube headphone amplifier for all of my listening assessments. 

The Ether 2 melts away because it pulls you into the music. That is precisely what occurs with jazz singer Betty Carter’s extraordinary reside The Music By no means Stops album. The artistry of her delicate phrasing and dynamics are on full show, there is a direct connection to her music over the Ether 2. She’s fronting a giant band, however it’s such an intimate sound.

Sticking with jazz I cue up saxophonist Lee Konitz’ Strings For Vacation (Tribute to Billie Vacation) album, the sax and the string chamber group’s sound is downright opulent, whereas their surprising harmonic twists and turns preserve me on the sting of my seat. Dousing the lights and savoring the temper of this sensible album is a delight.  

The Ether 2 is particularly well-suited to motion pictures, because the sound is liberated from the ear cups, and dialogue is full bodied and pure. Mica Levi’s menacing rating for the sci-fi thriller Beneath The Pores and skin churns and rumbles with ease, the Ether 2’s management over the deepest bass passages is to die for.

Evaluating the Ether 2 with the Hifiman HE1000v2 headphones each are excellent, however the HE1000v2 produces a extra spacious and three-dimensional soundstage. The Ether 2’s tone is extra fleshed out and strong, whereas the HE1000v2 reveals superior element within the quieter elements of the music. I am extra conscious of the acoustics of the room the musicians had been enjoying in over the HE1000v2, and treble element sparkles extra. The Ether 2 brings the devices in nearer, so the sound is extra intimate than what I am getting from the HE1000v2. These two headphones current totally different sonic views, the Ether 2 digs deeper, the music has extra weight, and feels extra totally developed; the HE1000v2 is extra clear and livelier.

The MrSpeakers Ether 2 is a refined design that may have sturdy attraction for headphone aficionados and newcomers alike. 

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