Mr. Speakers newest open back headphone was perhaps one of the most talked about new products at the Southern California Head-Fi meet. Owner/designer Dan Clark made sure that the new flagship from the company made an appearance at nearly every table with a complementary amplifier or service and had plenty of demos to show at his own table in an interior room on the second floor of the Westin in Costa Mesa, CA.
Primarily known for his modded Fostex T50RP creations, the new new 23-ohm open back design marks a distinct departure from the rest of the Mad Dog product line. Also new to the game is the flagship price tag of $1,499, pushing it into the competitive field with the likes of Audeze and HifiMAN’s best offerings. The headphone boasts a “industry-first headband made of NiTinol memory metal” and lamp-leather ear pads and was a good weight when worn (370g), especially for a planar magnetic headphone. Also pleasing was the caliper pressure against the head, which was void of a skull-crushing grip that some headphones are plagued by.
I was able to spend some time listening to the ETHER in private quarters away from the loud din of the show floor and was impressed with its even-handed frequency response and low end grip. Once we have a review copy in the AH lab we will make sure and post our findings on how it stacks up against the tight competition in this category.