Planar magnetic headphone manufacturer Audeze retained much of the same look for their massive booth located in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, but this time around the products on display were significantly updated for the changing times of 2016.
First up is the new Titanium version of the EL-8 showcased last year. It is currently available in select Apple retail stores across the country and retails for $799. This silver-colored iteration of the portable planar features the company’s iDevice-compatable Lighting cable called the Cipher.
The Cipher carries its own 24-bit DAC and headphone amplifier hidden away in the slim housing. Keeping up with the times, it of course includes the standard 3 button Apple remote and a built-in Siri compatible microphone as well. Audeze’s Sankar Thiagasamudram let me know that the DAC section of the cable is capable of high resolution, but expect CD-quality sound limitations from the iOS for the time being.
The cable is also an option for the new Audeze headphone called the Sine ($499) as an $100 add on. The termination on the headphone side is different than the EL-8’s but operates in the same manner everywhere else.
The Sine was developed for even more portability and the 230g overall weight of the headphone clearly reflects that. An single sided 80 x 70mm planar magnetic driver does the heavy lifting and has a large surface area for the compact on-ear design of the ear cup. The Sine even offers folding capabilities and is another headphone designed in partnership with BMW DesignWorksUSA.
The Sine is one of the first on-ear headphones to feature a planar magnetic driver and carries the same hope as a step-up in sound quality for Apple listeners as the EL-8. Sakar is quick to inform inquiries that there is no relationship between the development of his lighting cable and the recent rumors of Apple doing away with the 3.5mm headphone port on future iPhones. Other offerings from Phillips and his own development of the Cipher existed long before the rumor mill started swirling on the recent uproar.
All things considered, the move into portable and a close proximity to the Apple brand is poised to deliver even more exponential growth for Audeze as a company. With the recent release of a new LCD-4 flagship, the brand is taking serious aim at both mainstream consumers and the high end of audio simultaneously.
Pre orders of the Sine headphone should be available for delivery by March.
More info: https://www.audeze.com/products/sine-series