Compendium updated: April 28th, 2021.
From Headfonia's review of the Lime Ears Aether R, first published on October 12th, 2019:
“It took a while for Lime Ears to update their flagship monitor but in the end the improvement is there. The new Aether R was worth waiting for and it now is a more reference, higher end monitor with a natural, neutral tuning and a smooth yet musical presentation. I do advise to use a better high end aftermarket cable with the Aether R as it will reveal what the new flagship monitor really is capable of.
“Price-quality-wise you get a lot in return looking at how the 1200€ Aether R performs. The Aether is is an almost perfect do-it-all monitor and it doesn’t break the bank. What’s not to like?
From Major HiFi's review of the Lime Ears Aether R, first published on March 6th, 2020:
“I think most listeners will be impressed with the Lime Ears Aether R. It offers a unique, well-balanced sound signature with relatively good technicalities, especially in the midrange. The bass switch is a welcome addition, allowing greater suitability for multiple genres. While the treble resolution may lag slightly behind the rest of the Aether R’s sound, it’s nothing offensive, and I don’t usually find myself bothered by it.”
From Headfonics' review of the Lime Ears Aether R, first published on August 14th, 2019:
“I can understand now why the Aether was so widely acclaimed and loved by many an audiophile. Granted I have yet to hear the original but that sweet timbre, musical but nicely balanced sound signature, and excellent vocal performance can be addictive at times. The Aether is a joy to pair with almost every source I have bar the muddiest lowest res budget DAPs and that’s not really the Aether R’s fault either.
“The only weakness is that stock cable. It delivers a bit too much resistance and compression for my liking. I would definitely factor in an additional $100-250 and get yourself a decent higher gauge wire and listen to the Aether R truly open up as a result. It’s a marvelous experience hearing the Aether R at its full potential.
“Who should buy the Aether R? Music lovers in short. Yeah, I know that might sound a bit of a glib answer but this is not something for those who like their sound on the cooler cleaner sound or for neutral referencing. It is tuned to allow you to sit back, relax and simply enjoy whatever it is you are listening to. Is that not what this hobby should be all about in the end?”
From Headfonesty's review of the Lime Ears Aether R, first published on December 3rd, 2020:
»Splendid build quality
»Class-defining fit and comfort
»Versatile bass switch
»Overall resolution and detail level
»Likeable, pleasant yet airy tuning
»Good bass detail, texture and layering
»Pleasant, forgiving treble
»Wide and deep soundstage
»Sparse accessory set
»Familiar, vanilla tuning
»Subpar bass thump and slam
»Unengaging mids tone
»Note hollowness in some places
»Muted upper mids and lower treble
»Muddled center imaging”
From The Headphone List's review of the Lime Ears Aether R, first published on September 3rd, 2019:
“With the Aether R, Lime Ears have infused their signature blend of airy, resolving musicality with a new maturity. They’ve matched the energy in the IEM’s vibrant, immersive, larger-than-life instruments with just as much refinement, authority and control. Behind the R’s big-sounding bass, richly-textured midrange and cleverly-tempered top-end is the stability to ensure it all stays engaging for hours on end. While its packaging is in dire need of a makeover, at the end of the day, the R is as much a testament to Lime Ears’ progress as it is a celebration of their legacy. As rare as good sequels seem to be, the Aether R has recaptured the company’s boisterous charm, and given the industry a worthy flagship to be excited for.”
From Everyday Listening's review of the Lime Ears Aether R, first published on August 20th, 2020:
“Pros –Excellent customer service and support, Well-balanced presentation, Outstanding bass extension and dynamics, Highly clean and resolving treble, Versatile switchable bass-boost
“Cons –Slightly raspy and truncated midrange may polarise, Bulkier uni shells
“Verdict –The Aether R will appeal most to those wanting great musical enjoyment and technical performance without sacrificing overall balance or long-term listen-ability.”
Editor’s note: Emphases ours.