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Aune AR5000 Over-The-Ear Dynamic Headphones – MLD Driver With Crazy Awesome Sound

Aune AR5000 Over-The-Ear Dynamic Headphones – MLD Driver With Crazy Awesome Sound

Aune AR5000 is a $299 USD pair of open-back, over-the-ear dynamic headphones, which come with a new MLD driver developed by Aune Audio, and which we will be reviewing today. Besides reviewing the new AR5000, we will also dive in how they compare to other high-end headphones, including HarmonicDyne Zeus Elite (379 USD), Sivga Luan (359 USD), OLLO S5X (489 USD), and Erzetich Thalia (599 USD). 



Aune Audio is one of the larger high-end audio producers from China, having a wide selection of products, but being generally specialized in designing and creating high-end DAC/AMPs for desktop, headphone amplifiers, and their latest models even having won the product of the year in our ranks, namely the Aune S9c PRO and the Aune S17 PRO Headphone Amplifier. Aune Audio products can be found and purchased from Amazon, and most shops for audio, and they have a strong return, support and warranty policy, being popular with music lovers for how easy they are to work with and order from. As an Amazon Influencer, I earn from qualifying purchases, and using the purchase links in my reviews helps me maintain this website and Youtube Channel. Aune Audio has provided the sample for this review, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

PROs – Comfortable Fit, Beautiful Design, Smooth and Clean Sound, Grain-free textures, Lightweight build, Headband distributes the weight evenly without a hotspot, Easy To Drive, Not Source Picky. 

Cons – Open-Back Design means no passive isolation and sonic leakage, Not a lot of Bass, Super Smooth Sound not for everyone.  


Product Link

You can grab one from www.amazon.com here – https://amzn.to/430FSTy

If you’re in the UK, you can grab one from www.amazon.co.uk here – https://amzn.to/3Ik8CNz

And if you’re from Europe, you can grab one from www.amazon.de here – https://amzn.to/49BXV4Y

You can also grab the Aune AR3 Cable for headphones from here – https://amzn.to/49WE0NI


Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit/Comfort

Since a month or two ago, you may have started seeing in the background of some of my photos a beautiful silver headphone, and many of you have asked me what the model is, and when we will be reviewing them, so I hope it brings you endless joy to learn that today is that day. I wanted to give AR5000 a while to settle in, and as I have awarded every single Aune Audio product lately a huge award, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t too optimistic about their offerings, so this review has been shaped and opinion took proper contour after quite a while using the AR5000. 

This is an open-back headphone, so you can expect next to no passive noise isolation, and a high degree of sound leakage while using the AR5000. Aune is using a MLD or Multi-Layer Distributed Driver, with a diameter of 50mm. This is one of the larger drivers on the market, and this new MLD should al;low for a high purity of sound and good stability. The driver comes with suspensions that improve airflow, and equalizing internal pressure to increase the smoothness of the sound. 

The headphones are promised to be lightweight, at 350 grams, and in my experience, they are fairly light. You can feel them, but they cause no discomfort, and the headband does a good job at distributing the weight of the headphones. Since they are open-back, I can hear almost everything happening in my room with almost no passive noise isolation, and AR5000 leaks most of my music to the room, although at a quiet level. Still, for someone working or sleeping in the same room, it will be quite loud. The headphone connectors are 3.5mm jacks, which makes the Aune AR5000 compatible with all aftermarket cables for HIFIMAN headphones, like ddHIFI BC150B, or Lavricables Ultimate Silver or Lavricables Master Silver

Aune includes very thick earpads, with a semi soft cushioning, which allow for more than enough space for my ears, and which offer some of the best comfort possible. The earpads as well as the IEMs are circular in shape, which means that it is easy to twist an earpad out of place, and you should check and make sure they are angled correctly before wearing the AR5000 for the best experience. The earpads should have the thickest part behind the ear, for the best comfort possible. 


Aune AR3 Copper Cable

Aune makes and has their own AR3 cable which suits the AR5000 perfectly, and since it costs 49 USD, it won’t break the bank, but it is one of the nicest cables on the market build-wise. This is a High Purity, OCC cable with super soft TPEE outer sheath. The AR3 is a lightweight cable, and while I made a lot of reviews about cables in the past months, this one is the first one I can say has zero microphonics. AR3 is in fact so light and flexible, that even if it rubs against my clothes, the noise simply does not travel to the headphones, and AR5000 feels like there is no cable connected to them. 

The plugs of the AR3 are gold plated, and it comes with a 4.4mm balanced connector, and as most folks who bought it can confirm, it is one of the nicest cables in the whole world. We plan on making a separate review exploring the AR3 and its sound, but it will be rather short since the cable has no competitors in the price range. 


Driving and pairing with sources

Aune AR5000 has an impedance of 28 OHMs, so it would theoretically be sensitive to source output impedance, but I noticed no issues with HIFIMAN Serenade, EF600, FiiO Q15, and FiiO K9 PRO. There is absolutely no hissing, no background noise, but with a SPL of 108 dB, AR5000 gets loud easily. The theoretical THD of 0.03% is impressive, and with a promised frequency response of 5 Hz – 41 kHz, the headphones should handle being driven by most sources just fine. 

For today’s review I’ve been using multiple sources, including FiiO K9 PRO ESS, Shanling UA4, iBasso DX320 MAX Ti, Aune S9C PRO, Aune S17 PRO, FiiO K11, Drop + xDuoo TA-84, JDS Labs Element III MK2 Boosted, HIFIMAN EF400, Shanling H5, SMSL DO400, Astell & Kern SP2000T, and Lotoo PAW 6000. All of those sources can drive the Aune AR5000 just fine, but they prefer a source with a tighter sound, stronger bass, generally solid state sources with warm sound, and with a punchy / dynamic presentation. This means that iBasso DX320 MAX TI and Shanling H5 are perfect for AR5000, but the sound really reaches excellent with Aune S9c PRO and Aune S17 PRO, this combo being made for those headphones, offering them the best punch, depth and soundstage depth possible for the price range. 


Sound Quality

Overall Signature – If you’re a fan of grapes, the AR5000 frequency response graphs that you can find online will sum, up the frequency response fairly well, AR5000 is a mid centric, soft, and smooth sounding headphone, with a bright and open treble, softer and lower levels of bass compared to the midrange, and with a good resolution and detail, but more focus on sounding as clean, natural and effortless as possible. There’s a good sense of space, width and depth. AR5000 manages to sound purely natural, comparable to iBasso SR3 in tuning, which has a very similar tuning and signature, but with a different build and a more ethereal presentation, while AR5000 sounds more traditional.  

Bass – While bass isn’t the central element of the AR5000 sound, they can reproduce warmth and sub bass, but with a recessed quantity compared to the midrange, which takes the central place in the sound of AR5000. The low end is generally slower in response, has a smooth texture, smooth response, and slightly longer decay. There’s a good sense of substance and weight to musical instruments, complimenting rock, emo, and post-hardcore music, as well as Jazz, but the bass is a lighter type that lingers most in the mid bass with warmth and presence. 

Midrange – This is the highlight of the AR5000’s sound, as it has the strongest presence, most punch, and also most detail. AR5000 is a headphone that strives for sounding natural, lean and clean, grain-free, fluid and ethereal. This means that the sound is wide and expansive, with an unlimited dynamic range, allowing music to happen any way it is recorded and respecting the original recording. For example, in the song Flowers For You – Knife To A GunFight, the screamed parts of the song sound smooth and relaxed, with the voices expanding both in width and depth, and the special effects happening all across the sound scape. I need to pump the volume really high to hear any texture in the screams, AR5000 being quite good at hiding defects and textures, presenting most music with very little grain or harshness, sometimes disallowing that texture to exist even if it is naturally part of the song. 

Soundstage – AR5000 is a headphone with great potential to create a wide soundstage, but it doesn’t insist on sounding as separate as possible instead going for the widest, deepest sound possible, but emulating a properly treated room with a high-end speaker setup nicely. You can expect to hear voices both very close to you, in your ears, but also far away from you, instruments positioned both far and close, and AR5000 doesn’t force a certain soundstage shape and dynamic on the sound, they present music faithfully to the recording, allowing narrow and intimate recordings to play close to you, get you that personal feeling, while orchestral and rock songs can be as distant, wide and holographic nad need be. I had a fun experience with Shotgun Willy – Married to the Bag, a song which sounds really wide, with the voices punished forward, right in your ears, but a wide stage with a rich instrumental composition playing all around. Bass takes a central place in this song, being evident, but being overpowered by the voices, which are forward, although the textures are soft, allowing me to pump the volume high, with no fatigue. Another good song is Panic At The Disco – There’s A Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered, You Just Haven’t thought Of It Yet, where the voice is singing right in your ear, but the cymbals come from far away, piano is played loudly but quite eagerly in the right forward part of the scene, and with the drums filling up the entire sonic scape with a loud and authoritative set. 

Dynamics / PRaT – When it comes to the Dynamics and textures, AR5000 is one of the smoothest headphones out there, presenting textures in a fluid, grain-free way where even instruments that typically have harshness and texture will be presented smoothly. This can theoretically lower the level of perceived detail, but AR5000 has a good resolution otherwise, smooth micro details sounding relaxed and not overly evident. If you tend to listen quietly, below 80 dB, AR5000 can be rather textured and detailed in the micro details, but the sound gets leaner the louder you go. A good band to test textures and PRaT in general is Mindless Self Indulgence, thanks to their heavy usage of square waves in their synths, as it makes texture and impulse response obvious quickly. 

Volume Control – EAune AR5000 behaves like the model Dynamic Headphone and handles volume really well, from the lowest volumes where they sound wide, airy, and ethereal, all the way to ear bleeding 120 dB levels where they keep their control, become punchier, deeper sounding, the bass becomes more contoured, contrasty, and becomes a more central element of the sound. AR5000 sounds equally nice at all volumes, but given the laid back, relaxed signature and tendency to favor natural voicing, I liked them best at medium and high volumes, where sound has the best definition, precision, clarity and definition. It is in no way a negative or positive for a headphone to sound better at a certain volume, but it is important to get something that sounds best at your favorite listening levels. AR5000 sounds brighter at low volumes, where cymbals are played at about the same level as the voices, and bass is a bit more separated from the rest of the mix, but the sound has more textures at low volumes, becoming smoother and more relaxed at higher volumes, which is the opposite compared to the vast majority of headphones out there. 

Treble – I stated at the start of the review that AR5000 has a rather bright and open treble, but while the tonal balance is tilted towards brightness, because the bass is recessed, the treble itself is very smooth and relaxed, and this makes it non-intrusive and most cymbal crashes are actually perceived behind the midrange, behind voices and behind the lead guitars, and usually in line with special effects and background instruments. Even in really bright and sharp songs, like Rob Zombie – Never Gonna Stop, the cymbals are presented considerably behind the guitars, while Rob Zombie’s voice fills the entire sound stage, providing a really strong presence, with the special effects played separated in the background. Most instruments blend together, like you’d be listening to music in an open space, rather than in a studio. To put it bluntly, there is not a single song out there that will sound fatiguing on the AR5000, and it is a headphone that will make most music out there pleasing, smooth and enjoyable. 



Aune AR5000 vs HarmonicDyne Zeus Elite (299 USD vs 379 USD)

Build – Although Zeus Elite had a previous version, the new one is a bit plastickier, coming with a more beautiful finish, but a lighter, looser fit. This helps it with the comfort, and it has a far better cable included in the package, but AR5000 has a thicker earpad, slightly tighter clamping force, and also you feel their weight less, while Zeus Elite can be felt for sure. It is easier to drive the AR5000, but Zeus Elite is less sensitive to the source quality. Both are open-back, next to zero passive noise isolation, and strong sound leakage. 

Sound – You could argue that both headphones are warm, but Zeus Elite has more bass, with less rolloff, while AR5000 has more midrange, it is wider, while Zeus Elite is a bit deeper. Zeus Elite sounds drier, it has a lot more texture and is less forgiving, showing you just how well mastered and mixed a song is, while AR5000 opens most music as if it was played by friends who just had their best day together, AR5000 is a fun experience, turning even death metal to fun, while Zeus Elite wants to reveal the character of the original song more than color it. 


Aune AR5000 vs Sivga Luan (299 USD vs 359 USD)

Build – Sivga Luan is one of the few headphones out there who can be even more comfortable than AR5000, they are lighter, have bigger, softer and larger earpads, but the fit with the Luan can be a bit loose, while AR5000 has a tighter clamping force. AR5000 sits more securely on my head, allowing me to move more easily, without fearing they will fall off. Both headphones are open back, neither isolates much from the outside noise, and both headphones have a tendency to leak everything you’re enjoying to everyone else. Luan is a bit more sensitive to source quality, while AR5000 can drink the power juice from literally any source. 

Sound – There’s nothing more different than those two headphones, and the more I allow the Luan to play, the brighter, more revealing, detailed and sharp it becomes, being one of the sharpest, most detailed headphones I heard to date, and despite their meager price point having a resolution that can compete even many flagships. By comparison, AR5000 sounds relaxed, forgiving, has less treble, and a warmer, smoother sound. Sivga Luan sounds really bright, has a tighter, quicker and punchier bass, while AR5000 allows the sound to have a longer decay and produces less texture, creating a more fluid listening experience. If you like a bright, super brilliant sound, Sivga Luan is your boy for sure, while if you like a smooth, lean experience, AR5000 will entice you for sure. 


Aune AR5000 vs OLLO S5X (299 USD vs 359 USD)

Build – OLLO has a fair comfort, the earpads are thick and also fairly dense, but AR5000 is lighter, it has bigger, thicker cushioning for the earpads, and the earpad material is a bit thicker, more dense. The build quality is great for both, but the wood in S5X did get a few scratches during our photoshoot, while AR5000 is still scratch free, and looks like new, even after it has been taken outdoors and given a ride of Bucharest. Both headphones are open back, but there is a tiny bit more passive noise isolation with OLLO S5x, although both leak about the same amount of music at the same loudness. Both headphones are easy to drive, but S5X is a bit more sensitive to source quality. S5X sounds best at high volumes, while the AR5000 sounds good at all volumes. 

Sound – You can argue that OLLO is quite different from AR5000, as S5X sounds dry, precise, detailed, and doesn’t do pleasantries, revealing exactly the quality of the recording, having much more bass, but also not a very sharp or aggressive treble. AR5000 is a forgiving headphone, it is relaxing and smooth, allowing you to enjoy music as if it was played live in front of you, but in an open and relaxed environment, AR5000 never sounds forced, forward or aggressive, S5X being much better if you need an aggro sound with a lot of texture and harsher detail. This means that if you’re a more sensitive listener who’s easily fatigued by treble, or harshness / grain in the midrange, AR5000 will ease your pain and take you to dreamland, while S5x will be a great monitoring headphone and tool that will show you exactly what is in your song. 


Aune AR5000 vs Erzetich Thalia (299 USD vs 599 USD)

Build – AR5000 is over-the-ear while Thalia is an on-ear design, so the comfort of the AR5000 will be better, especially if you have larger ears. AR5000 is lighter, but leaks more, it isolates less from the outside noise, and Thalia is made of wood, while AR5000 is made mostly of plastic. This adds to the weight, and AR5000 feels lighter, while Thalia feels heavier on my head, I prefer wearing the AR5000 since it has fat cushions, as well as angled cushions, with the back part of the cushion being thicker and following the shape of my head quite well. Thalia is a bit harder to drive, and it needs a better source, while AR5000 will be okay with most sources and will sound just right with about any source. Thalia sounds best at medium and high volumes, while AR5000 does not have a preference for the volume it sounds best at. 

Sound – Sonically, Thalia has a drier, more solid sound that has more impact, more mid bass, and bass presence and impact, and a brighter, sharper treble with more texture. The kind of textures Thalia has are not smooth, and it is a natural sounding headphone with more micro detail, although AR5000 is quite exceptional at still revealing a similar level of details, effects and background voices, all while being far smoother, more related, leaner and easier to listen to, especially with aggressive and fatiguing music. Basically, Thalia is a really natural, slightly warm sounding headphone with a natural level of textures, while AR5000 sounds smooth, relaxed, airy and sometimes even a bit ethereal, having very smooth textures and a pleasing sound that can turn the savage beast into the prince with all songs. 


Value and Conclusion

Aune always had great value in the past, and they aren’t breaking that trend now, with AR5000 having excellent value, from the neat build quality, beautiful looks, and remarkable craftsmanship, all the way to the smooth, laid back and relaxed sound which can provide a wide and holographic presentation, but also intimacy with the lead singer when the song is recorded as such. 

At the end of the day, if you’re looking for a headphone that sounds just a tiny bit ethereal, with good comfort, an open, airy sound, and with a smooth, relaxed presentation, Aune AR5000 is a fully recommended model. 


Product Link

You can grab one from www.amazon.com here – https://amzn.to/430FSTy

If you’re in the UK, you can grab one from www.amazon.co.uk here – https://amzn.to/3Ik8CNz

And if you’re from Europe, you can grab one from www.amazon.de here – https://amzn.to/49BXV4Y

You can also grab the Aune AR3 Cable for headphones from here – https://amzn.to/49WE0NI


Technical Specifications 

Product type – Open-back headphones

Driver type – Dynamic with MLD technology

Frequency response – 5Hz-41kHz

Nominal impedance – 28 Ohm

Sensitivity – 108dB (@ 1kHz, 1Vrms)

THD – <0.03% (@ 1kHz, 100dB SPL)

Cable type – Detachable

Headphone connectors – 2x Jack 3.5mm

Cable terminaison – Jack 3.5mm

Cable length – 1.5m

Dimensions – 195 x 220 x 115mm (LxHxP)

Net weight – 350g

Package – 1x Aune AR5000 headphones, 1x Cable 2x jack 3.5mm stereo to termination jack 3.5mm stereo

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Full Playlist used for this review

We listened to more songs than those named in this playlist, but those are excellent for identifying a sonic signature.  I recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you’re searching for new music! The playlists are different for Spotify, Tidal and Youtube, and based on the songs I enjoy and are available on each!




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