The focus of this meet was on the new MrSpeakers Ether 2. The outward appearance is similar to its electrostatic sibling, the Voce. Light in weight and polished in feel, I had high hopes for this headphone. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite deliver. The source was a Metrum Onyx with amplification courtesy of a Bryston BHA-1. The Ether 2 was connected to the balanced output via the stock cable. I thought the midrange and treble sounded smooth as silk, though maybe erring just a little on sounding too sweet. The bass response was a bit of a mess, however. The lower octaves came across as artificially boosted and the bump was so broad that it seemed to color the lower registers on male vocalists. The effect was most noticeable on “Get Lucky” from Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories. Pharrell’s performance sounded a little ‘chesty’ and more resonant than I’ve heard on other setups. A second headphone on the same system – a Jupiter Audio Research modded HD 650 – exhibited the same sonic aberration as the new Ether, though Pharrell’s vocals this time remained, for the most part, untouched. Of course, this can also be a matter of taste – I prefer bass to be a little more in line with the rest of the frequency spectrum and decently textured, so as they say YMMV. In any case, usually MrSpeakers allows for the frequency response of their headphones to be tweaked somewhat by the end user and hopefully that policy is carried through to this model. If so, maybe Ether 2 owners can have their cake and eat it too.