Headphones of the Year: MrSpeakers Ether Flow

There are many headphones on the market. Many claim to do various things, like directional audio, or multi channel processing. Others claim to increase your spatial sense in the air around you. In search of the best headphones—within reason—we came across a pair from an unlikely candidate: MrSpeakers.

Located in San Diego, California, MrSpeakers is small and isn’t as widely known as say, Sennheiser, or Audio-Technica, or Beats (lol), but that's what makes the company great. MrSpeakers isn’t tied down to old processes and thinking. It isn’t weighed down by large company bureaucracy. With none of that baggage, the company’s engineers and founder, Dan Clark, toys endlessly in the labs trying out new things.

Gear of the Year

Check out the complete list of all of our award winners for 2017. (The list will be updated daily as the winners are announced.)

The Ether Flow is one such creation from MrSpeakers. An evolution on the company’s incredibly well received Flow, the Ether Flow is a set of planar-magnetic over-the-ear open headphones. When we reviewed the original Flow, we were blown away by its fidelity. The Flow is the best all-around headphone at any price-point. Sure, it’s a high-end headphone by design, but it can compete in categories many times its cost. The new version is even better.

MrSpeakers has fine tuned the Flow with a more rounded sound signature. Under objective tests, the Flow—like the original—produces a nearly ideal flat frequency response curve. That means it doesn’t add artificial color to anything you listen to. Like a good monitor that dishes out accurate colors, the Ether Flow is a precision instrument. Except it isn’t completely flat. It has a signature that is pleasing to the ear. Bass is powerful and tightly controlled. Highs are crystalline without ever sounding harsh. And mids are neutral and well balanced. The entire sound signature of the Flows are well balanced and spacious—thanks to the cans being open.

We’ve tested headphones below and above the Ether Flow’s price range. It still remains our all time favorite.