Esquire Mention of the EL-8 Titanium
Awards, Reviews and Features
CNET Review of the iSINE
"Audeze was in New York Tuesday night to premiere its upcoming iSine10 in-ear headphones, which look and sound like a game changer to me. If you're considering an , or already own any iPhone with a Lightning connector, the iSine10's cable will plug directly into your phone's Lightning port.
The iSine10's earpieces are relatively large, but I found them comfortable over an admittedly short listening time. Without EQ turned on I heard incredibly deep, clearly articulated bass, natural midrange and very finely detailed treble. Soundstaging was bigger and far more spacious than even the better in-ears, and soft-to-loud dynamics were excellent. The iSine10 is an open-back design, so the good news is it doesn't cut you off from the outside world, but that also means it doesn't hush external noise."
Men's Journal of the SINE
"A few seconds into unboxing the on-ear Sine headphones, it's obvious they're a luxury object. The first tracks we tried out with the Sine sounded flat-out amazing. The balance of highs, lows, and mids was great, but the real magic was in the details that bobbed to the surface, even in songs we've listened to hundreds of times. The main advantage of planar magnetic tech is the way it reduces distortion, and improves responsiveness. Jargon aside, the result is clarity. Not just balance, meaning that bass drums don't drown out guitars, and vocals of all ranges cut through the mix, but a true sense of lifelike, you-are-there proximity, like you're standing in the band's practice room, or the podcaster's recording studio.
What these undeniably amazing headphones are for is at-home, ultra-attentive listening. Their reduced size makes those listening sessions more comfortable, and their price point, however high it appears, is dirt cheap for planar magnetic tech. The right song, played at the highest quality possible, and channeled through that Lightning cable and DAC, will sound nothing less than perfect."
Robb Report Review of the Deckard and EL-8 Headphone
Products: Deckard & EL-8 Headphone
"If one’s desk or hi-fi headphone-listening space needs to look as good as it sounds, the new headphone amplifier and headphones from Audeze are visually stunning gear for the discerning listener. Designed by BMW DesignworksUSA, the new Audeze Deckard amp and EL-8 headphones sport industrial styling and the impeccable audio quality that enthusiasts have come to expect from Audeze. Audeze incorporates the most recent advances in planar magnetic technology, borrowing some materials developed by NASA for use in the driver diaphragm and other areas. As would be expected, the headphones and amplifier pair well together, and both are currently available from headphone dealers online and at stores worldwide."
The Next Web's Review of the SINE
“On-ear headphones aren’t known for their comfort, but the SINE are more comfortable than most. My ears were sore after a few hours of listening, but that’s expected. That’s partly because the headphones have a fairly solid clamping force, which helps them block out sound. There’s no active noise cancellation on board, but the combination of their solid grip on your head, very pliable foam ear pads, and freely rotating earcups mean that they don’t tend to lose the isolation the way many on-ear headphones do while you’re on the go or working out.
As a result, bass is hits fairly hard without being overbearing (though a bit lighter than I prefer for portable headphones) – treble is detailed with virtually no sibilance, and voices sound full and lack the recessed quality often found in portable headphones tuned for bass and treble. No frequency range stands out, and that’s a good thing. The best word to describe the sound is ‘transparent,’ and they help the SINE deliver the goods for any music genre.”
Best of CNET
The Audiophiliac's top 10 (full-size) headphones for 2015
For those who crave the very best, take your pick from the Audiophiliac headphone list.
Audeze LCD-4: Oh my, the Audeze LCD-4's sound borders on deliriously decadent -- it's lovely and uber-detailed. Then there's that delicious midrange that's simply more lifelike than what I've heard from Audeze's other 'phones, and that's saying a lot. It's $3,995 in the US and £3,299 in the UK.
Reviewed.com's CES Editor's Choice Award
"Audeze Sine On-Ear Headphones: Compact, portable, and totally awesome
Typically, headphones that feature planar magnetic diaphragms are two things: bulky and expensive. The Audeze Sine on-ear headphones aren't cheap and they're not small, but they're cheaper and smaller than other PM headphones on the market. This makes them more portable, which ensures that these headphones stand out—even in a very crowded field of high-end headphones."
Forbes Review of the LCD-3 Headphones
"The Audeze LCD3′s are not your normal headphones. In design, build, and performance, they’re the epitome of high-end. They don’t really look like other headphones, and in many ways, they don’t sound like other headphones. No, they sound much, much better.
The word that comes to mind as I listen to the LCD3s is “realism.” Compared to most headphones, the LCD3’s seem like they’ve taken a layer of film off the music. They’re not brighter than other headphones, specifically, or even more detailed (which would imply an overbalance of high frequencies). Full-size planar magnetic speakers have this same quality, and I figure it’s because of the speed at which the drivers react. Percussion hits, like the crack of a snare drum, are quick in real life and fade rapidly. Through the LCD3s these attacks just seem a little more lifelike in that speed and decay."
Huffington Post's Review of the SINE
"While the soundstage is obviously smaller and more intimate than on open-backed headphones, the Sine through Cipher have more dimension than through the standard cable. Of course, the use of any headphone amp would enhance the sound quality of the Sine, but most other headphone amps aren’t the size of a stick of gum. That a 24-bit, high-resolution DAC/amp/DSP could be crammed into the space where the remote and mic live on a cable and somehow still make a clearly discernable improvement in sound is amazing, and the kind of thing that makes me glad I live in the future. Really, the only criticism I have of the Sine was the clamping force. To be fair, my ears stick out somewhat, so on-ears generally aren’t a style that I can wear for long periods of time. But the headband itself was also a bit tight."
Read more: http://www.soundandvision.com/content/audezes-small-mighty-sine-and-cipher#FV7HT36k6SiWxEpJ.99
Forbes Review of the SINE & Cipher Cable
Product: SINE & Cipher Cable
The rationale for banishing the headphone socket is that Apple could make its iPhones thinner or it could increase the size of the battery in order to improve the woefully inadequate battery life that bugs so many iPhone users. There’s also another advantage when using the Lightning socket: you can take a native digital stream that can be fed into a far better Digital-to-Analogue converter that could offer higher quality audio than available via the iPhone’s built-in amplifier.
The Sines are superb in their reproduction of the music. Neodymium drivers give a frequency response of 10Hz – 50kHz. There’s certainly plenty of deep bass but the top end is silky smooth. Absolutely no complaints at all. With the Lightning connector in place, these headphones really pull out the detail in your music. The soundstage and stereo separation is beyond reproach.
If you are thinking of upgrading to a new iPhone (and assuming the headphone socket is consigned to the dustbin of tech history) then these headphones from Audeze are an obvious choice. The sound quality is perfectly balanced and the ability to sculpt your own tone curves using the Cypher app is a brilliant move. Yes they are expensive but if you’re serious about your music then these are the way to go for better reproduction. The inclusion of a carrying case and a full-size headphone jack adaptor is also a nice touch.
Headphone Guru's 2015 Writer's Choice Award
Well, it was one heck of a year. Trying to pick my “Writer’s Choice” award came down to three new incredibly impressive products: the LCD-4 headphones by Audeze, the DAC/Amplifier Chord Hugo TT and the Hifiman HE1000s. All three could very easily have been my choice, but in the end I had to pick one. As difficult a decision that it was, I decided to go with Audeze’s LCD-4 headphones.
I’ve been a big fan of their headphones since the LCD-2s were released many years ago, but the LCD-4s have truly taken their products to the absolute pinnacle of headphone audio and for that, they get my vote. They are incredibly natural and detailed headphones with an amazing ability to portray a very realistic soundstage. Their build quality and choice of materials pushes for the very best I’ve seen on any pair of headphones. While not cheap, if you are looking for the one of only a very select pair of headphones at the apex of personal audio, look no further than the LCD-4s!
What Hi-Fi Review of LCD-3 Headphone
"There’s no denying the LCD-3s are expensive, but such is the quality of their performance that they almost seem like good value. Greatness is apparent straight from the off. Delivers a scale and authority of sound we didn't think headphones could ever manage. A rich, vibrant sound. By the end of the test period we had our answer, and it’s firmly in the positive. Provided the source and amplifier are up to the job these ’phones deliver a scale and authority of sound we just didn’t think headphones could ever manage."
Read More: http://www.whathifi.com/audeze/lcd-3/review
LCD-X Wins Product of the Year Award from The Absolute Sound
“There are over 100 headphones on the market today, and I’m not going to tell you I have listened to all of them, but I have listened to a fair number of top contenders under ideal conditions. Since I am writing this review for The Absolute Sound, I am using only its criteria, which is adherence to the sound of unamplified music, to judge the winners. I guess it could be called the battle of the flagships. Among the legions of headphones currently on the market I could only find four that I would characterize as flagships. They are: the Sennheiser HD 800, the Stax 009, the Audeze LCD-3, and the Audeze LCD-X. Each of these headphones has some flaws, but none of them has what I would consider fatal flaws, like huge variations in frequency response, or high distortion, or limited bandwidth, or odd colorations—anything that obviously distorts the music. Having listened extensively to these four flagships, the headphone that presented music in the most astonishingly accurate way is the Audeze LCD-X.
The LCD-X has the fewest and the smallest flaws of the four contenders. I’m a very meticulous guy when it comes to finding faults in any piece of audio equipment. In my experience, there are precious few transducers that are so close to flawless that pointing out their shortcomings is merely nitpicking. It was difficult to discover the flaws of the LCD-X even after listening to them for five months with the superb equipment and the superb program material I have described above. All the people of Audeze and especially its technical staff deserve enormous credit for greatly advancing the state of the art in headphones.”
Sound on Sound Review of LCD-X & EL-8 Headphones
Product: LCD-X & EL-8
“The LCD-X’s are simply the best-sounding headphones I have ever heard, with incredible musical dynamics and a remarkably neutral frequency response. The open-back EL8s are not too far behind them. The closed-back EL8’s offer very good isolation. All of them can be driven easily from any half-decent headphone amp.
Audeze’s decision to pursue an alternative headphone technology has yielded rich rewards, especially in their flagship LCD-X’s. They won’t be within everyone’s reach, but make the effort to hear them if you possibly can!
All in all, then, this trio of models from Audeze make a powerful case for the benefits of planar magnetic technology. The closed-back EL8’s offer excellent isolation, and despite their somewhat pinched tonality, do offer the core benefits of clean sound and superb transient response. The open-back EL8s add to this mix a frequency response that is as flat as any dynamic headphones I’ve ever heard, making them a compelling choice for mixing duties. And as for the flagship LCD-X’s — well, they are in a class of their own. If the idea of spending a four-figure sum on a pair of headphones seems ridiculous to you, these might just change your mind.”
Sound & Vision Review of the EL-8 Headphone
“Upping the ante, the EL-8 has brought out their lightest, most comfortable, best looking, easiest to drive, most affordable, made-in-the-U.S. headphone, and maintained Audeze’s signature sound. Well done!”
Read More: (insert link)
The Absolute Sound's Review of the LCD-X Headphone
"Reviewing an audio product is extremely challenging, because it is difficult to describe the intensity of human emotional experience when one listens to music. It involves putting on a two-dimensional page the magnitude of the three-dimensional sonic experience. I will try to describe how a piece of musical information actually sounds to me through a given chain of the tangible media, comprising headphones, a computer, a DAC, music data files, an amplifier, and cabling. The first few minutes of listening in my own environment suggested to me very quickly that the LCD-X headphones were extraordinary, and would require equally state-of-the-art equipment in order to review them properly, no different than if I were reviewing a very high-end speaker system.
Many of the best speakers on the market do not exhibit all of these qualities. I am not in any way trying to denigrate great speaker systems. My point is that to purchase a truly state-of- the-art speaker system and all of its attendant pieces would cost several hundreds of thousands of dollars. For a state-of-the-art personal audio system the price would be less than $30,000. And I can assure you I have enjoyed my state-of-the-art personal audio system as much as any speaker that I have had in my listening room over the years.
I now understand that both headphones and speakers can offer a wonderful connection to what really is the bottom line, and that is the enjoyment of music."
CNET Review of the LCD-X Headphone
"The way I see it, high-end audio is all about the pursuit of excellence, and Audeze headphones exemplify that philosophy. Now sure, most headphone manufacturers try to make the best products they can, but mass-market brands have to satisfy a broad range of tastes, load on features like Bluetooth and phone controls that don't enhance sound quality, and design their products within real-world price constraints. Audeze engineers focus on doing whatever it takes to make the world's best-sounding headphones, and the results speak for themselves.
The LCD-X's sumptuous real-sheepskin-leather, thickly padded ear cushions will coddle your ears, or if you prefer, you can order your headphones with leather-free super-suede fabric covered earpads. The LCD-X's machined aluminum earcups are far more substantial than what you see from even Sennheiser's or Beyerdynamic's flagship models."
Trusted Review's Review of the LCD-X Headphone
"The Audeze LCD-X are high-end headphones willing to make no compromises on sound quality. If you want something to plug into your iPhone as you saunter about listening to Taylor Swift, run away now.
However, If you need a pair of headphones to use at home, attached to a dedicated headphone amplifier, the Audeze LCD-X are quite simply among the best pairs in the world. We’re not convinced they’ll appeal more than the Sennheiser HD 800 for many – they’re more expensive and the benefits of the planar magnetic drivers requires even closer, more attentive listening – but if you value soundstage intricacy over pure size, they’re stellar.
The Audeze LCD-X sound fantastic, with the sort of supremely natural voicing we’ve come to expect from planar and electrostatic headphones. There’s such refined and sophisticated detailing to the mid-range that vocals and middy instruments are rendered with an incredible amount of spatial information. In other words, the Audeze LCD-X makes vocals appear three-dimensional like almost no other pair."
Electronic House's Review of the LCD-3 Headphone
“In its best form, listening to music becomes a transportive, emotional experience. If you’ve ever sat down to listen to a few songs, or maybe one album side, and later discover you’ve just spent the better part of two hours glued to your stereo system then you know what I mean. A great listening session can get out of hand in a hurry when you’re in your happy place.
That’s where the Audeze LCD-3 headphones took me every time I donned them. Of course, I was partly blocking off some quality time to evaluate them in the first place … but when you’re listening to an audio component that reveals your music collection in a new light, you just want to continue with another song or album.
Hearing the LCD-3s was like having your own personal concert hall with top-notch acoustics. The overriding impressions of the LCD-3s for me were its incredible clarity, fine transients, gorgeous midrange and spot-on imaging. For those seeking headphones that will take them to that transportive musical point of no return, well, try these on for size.”
Stereophile's Review of the LCD-X Headphone
“The LCD-X’s are deliciously smooth, unambiguously stable and accurate imaging with a lack of coloration in the midrange and treble.
Which headphones will be preferred for midrange and high-frequency rproduction will ome down to personal taste. For me, its performance in the low frequencies swung the needle toward the Audeze LCD-X.
The beautifully finished and equally beautiful-sounding Audeze LCD-X’s have seduced my away from my allegiance to Sennheisers. Highly recommended!”
WIRED Review of the EL-8 Headphone
“We had a pair here at WIRED, and they did sound absolutely amazing, but they were comically large, criminally heavy, and of course they required amplification. Audeze kept riding that wave, though, and now it’s released a planar magnetic headphone that is more affordable, more sensible, and infinitely more enjoyable.
The EL-8s are beautifully made. A thin ribbon headband has a spring-loaded pad at the top of its curve, and they hug the head comfortably with a nice amount of clamp. The metal earcups are ringed with wood veneer and capped with high-quality leather pads.
Headphone nuts—true enthusiasts who are in it for the thrill more than the utility—should definitely give the EL-8s a listen. But those looking for a pair of cans for the office or the commute should look elsewhere."
CNET Review of the SINE Headphone
"The SINE is a little bit more forward and revealing than the Oppo, which means it'll make well recorded tracks sound even better but bring out the harshness in badly recorded material and make it sound even worse. So it goes with really transparent headphones. And the clean and natural sounding Sine is just. The Beyerdynamic T51i is more forgiving and would be better with rock tracks, but overall the Sine is the better, more open-sounding headphone.
As far as the Cipher Lightning cable goes, don't expect to get a high-quality headphone amp for the extra $50. Using the Lightning cable does act a little like a headphone amp, boosting the volume and the bass (it also draws a little bit of power from your phone). However, a true headphone amp -- a good one anyway -- would improve the sound more significantly.
For instance, while the bass sounded bigger with Beach House's "Myth" using the Lightning cable, we felt a touch airiness was lost. And obviously, if you don't plan on using this with an Apple iOS device there's no reason to get the optional Lightning cable. (We also tested the Sine with a few portable high-resolution audio players.) It's great to see Audeze bring planar magnetic to a smaller, more mobile oriented headphone. We liked this headphone a lot and would recommend it to anyone looking for a truly high-end sounding headphone that isn't incredibly expensive."
Read More: http://www.cnet.com/products/audeze-sine/
EL-8 Wins Top Tech of CES 2015 & Editor's Choice Awards from Digital Trends
“You’ll find no shortage of headphones invading the halls of CES 2015 in Las Vegas, but when the gurus at Audeze debut a new pair of cans, the record stops. This year, the company premiered the EL-8, an incredibly innovative pair of headphones that the company hopes will own the audiophile scene. As for that membrane, it’s constructed from materials developed by NASA, and at only 2 microns thick, it’s the company’s thinnest to date, which helps to make it extremely responsive. Audeze also engineered a brand-new magnet set for the EL-8, which is able to create a more powerful magnetic field on the side of the headphone that faces the membrane driver, allowing for an extremely efficient transference of energy, and therefore, lighter and more-efficient interior components.
As for the performance, even from our quick first impression, there was little doubt the EL-8 offer some of the most vivid, dynamic, and powerful sound in their genre. Acoustic instruments spun across the soundstage in tactile clarity, including one particularly impressive moment in which an acoustic guitar run moved from the right side to center, gushing like a waterfall in reverse. Peter Gabriel’s “Up” also offered a host of dimensional effects resonating through the wide soundstage. We’ll be able to offer more detailed impressions once we get our hands on a review sample, which should be in the coming weeks ahead of the EL-8’s official launch.”
Men's Journal Review of the EL-8 Headphone
"Tech: Hi-Fi Sound on the Go
Audeze's new EL-8 Open-Back Headphones use a unique magnetic design to deliver ultra-detailed sound with visceral bass — straight from an iPhone. Similar sound quality has typically required a dedicated amp and cost nearly $2,000, but Audeze is bridging the gap to the mainstream. "People pay $400 for headphones that don't sound good," says co-founder Sankar Thiagasamudram. 'We wanted to raise the bar.'"
EL-8 Wins Top Pick of the Year Award from Sound & Vision
"I’ve reviewed a lot of headphones, but I’ve never encountered anything quite like the Audeze EL-8 before. It’s the first high-end planar magnetic headphone to come alive and sound fully transparent with portable music players. Now, sure, we’ve heard similar claims for other high-performance, full-size headphones; and yes, they play, but too much of the headphone’s potential is forfeited with portable devices. The EL-8 sounds scary good with my humble little iPod classic.
The EL-8 is still a good deal smaller, lighter, and more sleekly designed than Audeze’s flagship LCD series headphones. Build quality feels positively robust. The EL-8’s metal headband, ear cups, and yokes are beautifully finished, and the ear cushions and headband’s ample padding ensures comfort.
Audeze is definitely upping the ante. With the EL-8, they’ve brought out their lightest, most comfortable, best looking, easiest to drive, most affordable, made-in-the-U.S. headphone, and maintained Audeze’s signature sound. Well done!"
Sound & Vision's Review of the SINE Headphone
Product: SINE & Cipher Cable
To put it mildly, I was impressed. Acoustic guitar and string instruments truly shine on the Sine. There is a clarity and smoothness to the mids and highs that I honestly didn’t expect. There is no rattle or distortion in the very low (10-20 Hz) range, and although the overall sonic profile leans slightly toward the upper frequencies, there is still a solid foundation in the lower range to keep the Sine from feeling top-heavy.
Though Cipher, the Sine’s low frequencies are robust and tuneful. In fact, I may go so far as to say they are the best lows I have heard in headphones under $1000. There’s a refinement to the bass, especially on already bass-heavy songs that is nimble in both attack and decay. Truly, the Sine’s separation and dexterity across all frequency ranges is enhanced through Cipher. While there is still that slight peak in the high highs, through the Cipher it really reads as sparkle and crispness rather than intensity.
Overall, the Sine are fantastic, especially with Cipher. If you are an audio fan who wants a high quality listening experience on the go without the bulk of an amp, you can’t go wrong with this dynamic duo.
WIRED's Review of the SINE Headphone
"Truly excellent sound. All the hallmarks of the planar magnetic driver: Skull-rattling, distortion-free lows, nicely balanced mids, and crisp, like-you’re-there highs. Jazz, classic rock, and anything with acoustic instruments sounds particularly excellent. You don’t need a headphone amp—the Sine is rated at a phone-friendly 20 ohms, but they can handle 6W of input, so plug them into your tube Mjolnir 2. Earcups fold flat, making the headphones easier to transport. Remarkably small and lightweight for a set of planar magnetics. Handsome too! Lots of premium leather, with a tasteful and stealth all-black construction. (DesignWorksUSA handled the industrial design here, so brava.)
Audeze’s on-ears come with a standard analog headphone cable, but you can get that and a Lightning cable for another 50 bucks. If you’re an iPhone owner, spend the extra dough. Not only will you get the advantage of hearing your digital music before it is converted to an analog signal (a process that alters it in tiny ways), but you’ll be future-proofing your headphones. Should Apple ditch the standard headphone jack and move to Lightning-only audio (as rumors suggest, and rumors are always correct), you’re covered. And if that never happens (because rumors are never correct), you still get a noticeable audio upgrade."
The secret of making quality headphones
The secret of making quality headphones
Audeze has captured the interest of audiophiles and music industry professionals alike with its high-end devices. "Most of the headphones that you see in the market use cone drivers. What we do is use a type of driver called a planar driver," said Thiagasamudram. "It's a very small, thin transducer placed in a magnetic field which then produces sound. "The diaphragm is about two microns thick, which is about one tenth of a human hair. Because of its incredibly quick, incredibly accurate low distortion, this allows people to hear sound as if they are in a [recording] studio."