Review: MrSpeakers Ether Flow
Firstly I would like to thank Mark from Electromod for lending me these for review. They are a demo unit and have been well used.
*disclaimer: This sample was provided on loan for the purpose of writing a review, no incentive was given to write a favourable review. All opinions expressed are my own subjective findings.
HP Laptop > Curious USB > Keces S3 > Balanced cable to Ether Flow
Build Quality and Accessories:
These didn’t come in their retail box as they are on loan, so I will start with the build quality. The build is excellent; the headband is made from NiTinol memory metal and is extremely light but strong. The headband strap is leather, the cups are aluminium and the whole build is metal/leather and extremely well put together. These headphones are built to last, even the cable is much better than most standard cables, along with being shorter and more manageable.
The Ether Flow come with a leather carry case and a cable, that is it. But then again, what else do you really need?
Comfort and Isolation:
The Ether Flow have very thick and plush angled leather ear pads that feel great on your head, the leather headband strap also distributes the weight evenly and they end up being a comfortable headphones for extended periods of time. Ok they do have some weight to them, so after a while you will notice them, but the way the weight is distributed is excellent.
The Ether Flow are an open headphone, but they do have layers of felt that mean they don’t leak quite as much as a fully open driver, and it also means they block out very quiet outside noises.
Split into the usual categories, with a conclusion at the end.
Lows: The lows on the Ether flow are fairly full but never becoming overbearing, they stay well controlled and also extended with excellent sub-bass rumble when needed. They have excellent punch when it comes to dynamics, and can really hit hard with great impact when needed. Due to being planars they also carry great speed, and adapt well to different genres. During faster metal tracks they keep up with ease, yet can flesh out the sound during slower acoustic tracks. With faster tracks the bass does an excellent job of layering and not becoming congested, bass guitars are well defined and articulate whilst being separate from the impact of kick drums. Overall the bass is slightly on the fuller side, but is very well behaved.
Mids: There is a slight lower midrange rise which brings out male vocals nicely, but female vocals don’t quite have as intimate a presentation. Imaging is strong in the midrange, having nicely centred vocals and well separated guitar lines. Male vocals are up front, nuanced and have good bite, but female vocals sit a little farther back in the mix. This is not to say they are lacking, just not quite as forward. The midrange has good tonal balance, leaning slightly towards a more euphoric sound but without sacrificing detail. The upper midrange is rather conservative, and this means there is no hint of sibilance.
Highs: The highs are excellent on the Ether Flow, true treble heads will crave a tiny bit more presence but the quality here is outstanding. They are always present in the mix, and the spatial accuracy of the highs is very good. You can pinpoint where instruments are in the mix very easily, what I enjoy is the natural tone of the highs. They are not artificially boosted and are far from metallic sounding, coming across with a very natural tone. The thing about the Ether Flow is they are not the most open sounding headphones but there is excellent imaging and coherency. The highs might not have extreme energy or sparkle, but they do extend well and the Ether Flow is far from a dark sounding headphone.
The soundstage is not huge, in some ways they are like the Beyerdynamic T1 2nd Generation, having more focus on accurate imaging over a boosted soundstage. There is still plenty of air around instruments, and everything is very well layered and separated.
Conclusion: I really enjoy the Ether Flow with a lot of the rock music I listen to; they have great but controlled impact, a detailed midrange and well extended highs. They are well balanced with a little added impact, the sound is dynamic and fun and they are a great all rounder if you have the money.
Sound Perfection Rating: 9/10 (expensive but very fun to listen to)