AUDEZE iSINE-10 In-Ear headphone w fluxor magnets w Apple Cipher Lightning cable

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NZ$ 675.00 ea (incl. GST)
Audeze Headphones

Audeze’s goal is to re-create sound exactly as the artist intended.

New

NEW - iSINE10 In-Ear Headphone - the iSINE 10 sounds and looks like no others, an innovative design without a care for the same old status quo of balanced armature or dynamic driver designs. The Fluxor Magnets and large 30mm planar magnetic diaphragms deliver precise control and fast response times without distortion so music always sounds alive.

Add the included Lightning cable with DSP and there’s no other in-ear headphone that even comes close to its performance. 

Exclusive iSINE planar magnetic technology

Miniaturising Planar drivers is no small feat. The new iSINE Series barely weighs 20 grams, contains all our exclusive patented technology including power enhancing Fluxor Magnets that nearly double the magnetic driving force on our large, ultra-thin diaphragms with patented Uniforce voice-coil technology that delivers the most accurate in-ear headphones experience ever. The distortion (THD) is less the 0.1% overall even at high volumes, an amazing achievement for in-ear headphone designs.

The world’s first 24-bit Lightning cable for higher-resolution sound

Audeze’s award-winning CIPHER Lightning cable specially optimised for the iSINE Series, delivers 24-bit digital audio from iPhone/iPad/IPod to the headphones. The CIPHER cable contains a high-quality inline amplifier, digital-to-analog converter, and DSP. With the powerful DSP capabilities of the Cipher cable, the iSINE headphones deliver a vivid, almost like-you’re-there experience. Customise the sound in real-time with the Audeze iOS App. It features two presets and a 10-band equaliser that changes EQ in real time. Refine the bass levels and tamp down the highs on peaky recordings you still love to hear. The two EQ presets travel with the cable when switching devices

Customise your sound in real-time with the Audeze iOS App

The Audeze DSP app features two presets to personalise your music playback. It features a 10-band equaliser that changes EQ in real time. Refine the bass levels and tamp down the highs on peaky recordings you still love. Save two EQ curve presets that travel with the cable when switching devices.

Engineered and handcrafted in our California factory

Both the iSINE10 and iSINE20 headphones are engineered for superb long-term comfort and deliver an immersive, dynamic music experience. Audeze’s innovative planar magnetic technology delivers astonishingly clear and accurate sound wherever you go.

Great Sound comes in small packages

Cutting-edge industrial design by BMW’s i8 team
To bring the sound of our award-winning LCD Collection to in-ear headphones, we worked closely with our strategic partner Designworks USA, a BMW Group Company. Every part of the iSINE is designed to bring our world-renowned Audeze sound to a global market in a smaller, lighter package. Great care has gone into the design of the iSINE series, from the housings that minimise reflections and diffractions to ensuring a comfortable, secure fit. At 20 grams, it is the lightest planar headphone ever made.

Features

Specifications

Reviews

Videos

Features

  • Planar magnetic drivers for better dynamics and frequency response
  • Premium materials for style and durability
  • Sleek contemporary design by DesignWorksUSA a BMW group company
  • Ear hooks and Earlocks for long listening comfortability

AUDEZE TECHNOLOGY

  • Fluxor magnetic arrays
  • Uniforce diaphragms

PACKAGE INCLUDES

  • Certificate of authenticity
  • User guide and warranty
  • 1/8” to 1/4” adapter
  • 1.5m audio cable, 1/8” stereo plug input to 2-pin plug output
  • 1.5m Cipher cable, Lightning plug input to 2-pin plug output

Specifications

STYLE:   In-Ear, Universal fit
TRANSDUCER TYPE:   Planer Magnetic, semi ope
MAGNET TYPE:   Fluxor high-grade Neodymium
DIAPHRAGM TYPE:   Ultra -Thin Uniforce 
TRANSDUCER SIZE:   30mm
MAX POWER HANDLING:   3W
MAX SPL:   >120dB
FREQUENCY RESPONSE:   10Hz-50kHz
THD:   ,0.1% @ 100dB
IMPEDANCE:   16ohms
CABLE TYPE:   Non-Microphonic 
WEIGHT:   20g without cable

Reviews

So what’s so special about the iSine 10’s? Well, they’re planar-magnetic — and in-ears. In fact, the iSine line is the world’s first planar magnetic in-ear headphone. But are they worth it? Yes, they are.
CHRISTIAN DE LOOPER

Conclusions - the Audeze iSine 10’s are a home run for Audeze — but they’re not for everyone. We like how they look given the fact that they need to be as big as they are, and they’re generally comfortable despite their size. Not only that, but they sound great despite a few frequency bumps along the way.
While the Audeze iSine 10’s unique approach makes them difficult to review, as there’s no other planar magnetic in-ears to compare them to, Audeze is innovating and that’s an important consideration. Do you need these? Probably not. But those looking

EXTENDED REVIEW: Every now and then a company comes out with a “world first,” which is getting a little rare in the headphone world these days — companies seem to be innovating with the tech that’s already there rather than by inventing all new tech. Audeze, however, has gone a different route. Introducing the Audeze iSine 10 in-ear headphones.

So what’s so special about the iSine 10’s? Well, they’re planar-magnetic — and in-ears. In fact, the iSine line is the world’s first planar magnetic in-ear headphone. But are they worth it? Yes, they are.

Design

The first thing to notice about these headphones is their design, and boy is it an interesting one. The “world first” label is complimented by an alien design that does away with conventional in-ear designs that we’ve seen over the years. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — just a different thing.

Of course, there’s a reason they have the design that they do. Because of the way planar magnetic headphones work, shrinking down the technology into super-thin 30mm drivers is already a feat of engineering, and as such, considering the fact that they need to be at least slightly large, these in-ears actually look pretty good. They boast an all-black look with a cover that looks kind of reminiscent of Spiderman.

You can kind of tell that the larger outside basically just funnels sound into something that fits inside of your ear, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing — the funnel design fits with the rest of the in-ear pretty well.

In the box, you’ll get the in-ears themselves, a carry case, two detachable cables (one 3.5mm cable and one Lightning cable), a few different earhook styles, and a few different eartips. You’ll also get a sleek-looking USB that contains the user manual — a very high tech way to deliver the manual.

The whole package is put together beautifully, and it’s clear that the people at Audeze want the iSine 10’s to be a seamless experience from start to finish. The box is nicely packaged, everything is easy to understand, and the case is clearly of the highest quality — although it’s not a hard case, so don’t put too much weight on it with your precious headphones inside.

In general, while we would have liked a somewhat smaller in-ear, technological limitations mean that we won’t get it yet, but knowing that the Audeze iSine 10’s look absolutely awesome.

Comfort

You might assume that the Audeze iSine 10’s are a little uncomfortable because of their size, but they’re a lot more comfortable than many other in-ears we’ve tried.

First up, it’s true that the headphones are a little heavy for in-ears, but that’s to be expected. You’ll definitely want to use the ear hooks with the iSine 10’s — otherwise you’ll most likely face them falling out regularly.

When it comes to fit, the eartips actually aren’t that bad. They’re certainly big, which can get slightly uncomfortable after long periods of listening time, but not abnormally so, and not much more than other in-ear headphones.

Sound

Ah, the all-important sound — something that can make or break a pair of headphones.

First up, the Audeze iSine 10’s are open-back, meaning that they let plenty of outside sound in and let plenty of what you’re listening to out. Now, we’re a little torn on this. The open design certainly helps improve the sound quite a bit, but the point of in-ears and earbuds is portability — to take out on the road. You definitely don’t want to be hearing the sound of the bus on your way to work. If you’re buying headphones for home use, then you may as well buy the full-sized Audeze Sine headphones, which we reviewed and absolutely loved.

In any case, the fact is that the Audeze iSine 10’s are open-back, which is something to keep in mind.

The bass on the Audeze iSine 10’s is pretty solid, though we felt there was some super low bass lacking — which could be owed to their smaller size. Most will be happy with the bass offering despite that, but those who like really boosted bass might want to look elsewhere — these are a little more natural sounding.

Audeze iSine 10 Lightning

When it comes to the mids, it seems like there’s a slight boost in the lower mids, which gives the Audeze iSine 10’s a bit of warmth — which is kind of nice. The higher mids seem to have taken a slight hit because of the lower mids boost, but there are still plenty of high mids to go around.

Last but not least are the highs, and there are a good amount of highs here too. Like the bass, it seems as though there’s a slight roll off when we get into the really high frequencies, but most won’t notice that — vocals are still nice and clean while guitars still have plenty of bite.

Frequency ranges are important, but on the Audeze iSine 10’s it’s almost as if they aren’t. The first time we put them on was a weird experience — they sound like over-ear headphones. They sound wide, and open — which is likely owed to the open-back design. It’s an interesting feeling, and while we do have a bit of a hard time finding a use case for the iSine 10’s, we love that the tech makes something like this possible — and it’s exciting to think about the future of planar magnetic headphones.

Conclusions

The Audeze iSine 10’s are a home run for Audeze — but they’re not for everyone. We like how they look given the fact that they need to be as big as they are, and they’re generally comfortable despite their size. Not only that, but they sound great despite a few frequency bumps along the way.

While the Audeze iSine 10’s unique approach makes them difficult to review, as there’s no other planar magnetic in-ears to compare them to, Audeze is innovating and that’s an important consideration. Do you need these? Probably not. But those looking for a great-sounding and portable in-ear with an open design will love them.

The iSine10 is as a portable audiophile experience — it’s a punchy planar magnetic sensitive enough to be driven by a phone and small enough to carry in a pocket,
GUIDO GABRIELE - iLounge

SUMMARY: the iSine10 is a success in that it delivers a new experience and makes the best out of the inconvenience Apple created by removing the headphone jack. Planar bass used to require a 100mm diaphragm; the iSine10 packs most of the experience into a case slightly larger than a quarter. Some enthusiasts attempt to emulate their home audio experience by attaching “portable” DACs and amplifiers to their phones with rubber bands; Audeze has shown that the same can be achieved by some tiny inline electronics in the headphone cable. We think that headphone enthusiasts value function over form, and we have no problem dishing out praise for innovation.

Innovative as it may be, the iSine10 is not a go-everywhere do-everything headphone. It’s fun to use outdoors, but does not isolate from ambient noise and may not stay in place unless without the over-ear guides. The iSine10 sounds great at home, but many will reach for full-size cans for longer listening sessions. 

EXTENDED REVIEW: Compared to the other types of products we review, innovation in the headphone market can sometimes feel a little slow. Enthusiasts tend to buy, review, recommend, and re-review the same few benchmark headphones year after year. New headphones are often little more than refinements of their predecessors. As technology fans, we’re hungry for new experiences. That’s why we looked forward to reviewing Audeze’s new iSine10 ($399). The iSine10 is a planar magnetic in-ear headphone that provides, somewhat paradoxically, an open-back experience. Audeze calls them the “world’s first” — though there is some debate about this in the headphone community, it’s certainly the only such headphone in production today. This unique configuration makes the iSine10 difficult to review. Should it be compared to fullsize open-back headphones or isolating in-ear monitors? With no direct competitor, it’s up to Audeze to justify the iSine’s price, sound, and polarising design.

iSine10’s packaging and included accessories got us off to an encouraging start. Included in the box are a ballistic nylon case, three sizes of wide-bore silicone tips, four plastic ear guides, and two sizes of silicone “Earlocks,” (developed in collaboration with tactical gear company Surefire). The display case doubles as way to securely store the headphones and wind the cables inside the carrying case — a nice touch for protection of an admittedly pricey portable. Unlike the original Sine, the iSine10 includes both analog and Lightning audio cables as part of the standard purchase. The cables are flat and unsleeved, which makes them resistant to tangling but also a bit unruly in use.

We had some minor issues with the iSine’s ergonomics. Where most in-ears are small, rounded, and seat inside the concha, these driver housings are large, hexagonal, and stick out from the head by a few millimetres. The iSine10 is surprisingly light, but its long sound channels give the driver housings leverage to pull downwards, out of the ear. Though there is an engineering reason for the length of the sound channels – they house conical wave guides designed to improve various characteristics of the iSine’s sound – we found that it was not practical to use the iSine10 without some kind of ear support. This is especially true when using the Cipher cable, due to the added weight of the pod which houses that DAC and amplifier.

The included over-ear guides are the most secure way to wear the iSine10, but they didn’t work for us. The semi-rigid plastic hooks had just slightly too short of a rise and too steep of an angle relative to the iSine10’s housing to fit comfortably on our ears. We had better results with the flexible Earlocks – these were far more comfortable than the over-ear hooks, but we found that some regular cleaning was necessary to remove skin oils that made them slip out of the concha. Audeze includes two pairs of the plastic over-ear guides, but they’re the same size; from our perspective, it seems like a missed opportunity not to have included two different sizes. Getting the iSine10 to fit was a bit tricky during our testing, but we won’t call it a deal breaker – this is not the first time we’ve had difficulty fitting an IEM; the comfort of any in-ear can depend on the user’s individual anatomy.

When fit properly, the iSine10 is a unique experience. The silicone tips do not isolate like a traditional IEM, but instead seem to “concentrate” sound in the ear. The open-back design lets plenty of ambient sound in, but also provides for a wider soundstage and better imaging than we’ve ever heard in an IEM. Sound leaks out of the back of the iSine10 as well – not as much as some over-ear open back headphones, but it’s undeniably audible when played at high volumes in quiet environments. Regardless of whether you think the iSine10’s sound signature is for you, we think that this miniaturized open-back experience alone is worth a test drive.

The iSine10’s sound signature is difficult to pin down because it sounds different, depending on whether the analog cable or the Cipher cable is used. We listened to this headphone in a wide range of configurations, including a powerful tube amp, desktop solid state amp, a portable solid state amp, directly out of the iPhone’s headphone adapter, and using the Cipher cable. We listened to the iSine10 alongside a wide range of other headphones, including dynamic drivers and planars, open-back and closed-back, and IEMs. We put them up against cheaper portables and flagship cans, including Audeze’s own LCD-2 and LCD-3. With all this context, we found that the iSine10 is at once two completely different headphones. Depending on what you use to drive them, the iSine10 can be an interesting headphone that falls a bit short of its price tag, or it can be comparable to some of the best headphones on the market.

Our first week with the iSine10 was spent almost exclusively with the analog cable. As a planar magnetic headphone, the iSine10 responds well to amplification, but may be too sensitive for the high gain setting on some amplifiers. Over analog, we heard a warm sound signature that was at best “relaxed” and at worst “veiled.” This is not to say that the iSine10 wasn’t technically competent – we heard great bass extension and punch with all of the open-back soundstage and imaging that we think makes this headphone unique. Still, the recessed treble presents a somewhat congested atmosphere even compared to the famously warm sound of the Audeze LCD-2. Not yet having heard the Cipher cable, it’s a sound that we adjusted to and came to enjoy; this warmth makes for easy, low-fatigue listening, even though perhaps t can’t match the no-compromise quality of the LCD-3  / LCD-4.

If the iSine10 was “relaxed” over analog, it woke up with the Cipher Lightning cable. Like the Sine and EL-8 Ti, the Cipher cable drives the iSine10 substantially better than an iPhone headphone jack or the Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter. However, unlike its predecessors, the iSine’s Cipher cable presented a very different sound compared to the analog cable, even with amplification. All the best qualities of the analog sound remained, but the “veil” was lifted. A substantially boosted (or, no longer recessed) treble gives the effect of greater detail; this was drastic enough that we were initially concerned that there might be a nasty treble spike, but we soon found that this was just a more balanced sound signature than the dark presentation over analog. Having spent substantial time with both, we think that the Cipher cable is the best way to experience the iSine10.

What is the Cipher cable doing, and why? In our previous Audeze reviews we guessed that the better sound was simply due to more amplification, but Audeze has offered a more interesting explanation: the laws of physics make it impossible to design a headphone that sounds exactly as the designers intended in all situations. Even the most expensive headphones have peaks or dips in their sound that make them not ideal for some users. With the Cipher cable, however, Audeze can “bake in” DSP settings that can adjust the iSine10’s sound to the Audeze house sound. With DAC, DSP, and amplifier controlled, the Cipher cable can consistently output sound that matches Audeze’s original intent. With the Audeze app, users can further customize the sound.

.The iSine10 is a headphone clearly made by engineers, not a marketing team. Its looks are polarizing and one size does not (yet) fit all, but every apparent oddity is explained by the technology Audeze developed for this headphone. The iSine10 is a success in that it delivers a new experience and makes the best out of the inconvenience Apple created by removing the headphone jack. Planar bass used to require a 100mm diaphragm; the iSine10 packs most of the experience into a case slightly larger than a quarter. Some enthusiasts attempt to emulate their home audio experience by attaching “portable” DACs and amplifiers to their phones with rubber bands; Audeze has shown that the same can be achieved by some tiny inline electronics in the headphone cable. We think that headphone enthusiasts value function over form, and we have no problem dishing out praise for innovation.

Innovative as it may be, the iSine10 is not a go-everywhere do-everything headphone. It’s fun to use outdoors, but does not isolate from ambient noise and may not stay in place unless without the over-ear guides. The iSine10 sounds great at home, but many will reach for full-size cans for longer listening sessions. 

Perhaps the best case for the iSine10 is as a portable audiophile experience — it’s a punchy planar magnetic sensitive enough to be driven by a phone and small enough to carry in a pocket, though it requires the Cipher Lightning cable to sound its absolute best.

......these are going to be another win for Audeze, looking and sounding like a truly unique pair of headphones.
Vlad Savov

SUMMARY: In my time listening to the Sine, I was able to run through my usual set of test tracks on Tidal, checking out the realism of vocals, acoustic instruments, and some good old bass-pumping EDM. The bass was brutal when it needed to be, and the voices came through sounding natural and real. 

EXTENDE REVIEW: I’m ready to crown this the best IFA of this decade. In a show already highlighted by Lenovo’s Yoga Book, Acer’s ultra slim notebook, and LG’s enchanting tunnel of OLED, there’s somehow still room to fit in an astounding pair of headphones as well.

Audeze, the boutique audiophile brand responsible for some of the best planar magnetic headphones in the world, has done what many might have thought impossible and shrunken its technology to fit into an in-ear design. The result is the imposing, alien-looking thing you see before you: the Audeze iSine 10. It’s basically a 30mm planar magnetic headphone with a funnel to channel its sound into your ear.

As much as I’ve enjoyed Audeze’s high-end over-the-ear offerings over the years, I was skeptical about the wisdom of the in-ear iSine — but then I was quickly dissuaded by listening to the new headphones. The iSine 10 sound phenomenal, even inside the noisy IFA hall dedicated to audio equipment. Their soundstage is broad, their imaging’s precise, and their range extension, from deep sub-bass to high end treble, is outstanding. Overcoming the din around me, these headphones got loud using only the power of my Galaxy Note 7.

DON'T BE DAUNTED BY THE SIZE AND TECH, THE ISINES CAN BE POWERED BY A PHONE EASILY

Audeze sells the iSine with two cables in the box: one terminating on a regular 3.5mm jack and the other plugging into Apple’s Lightning port and also incorporating Audeze’s Cipher digital-to-analog converter and amplifier. Both the Cipher-amped iSine 10 and the pair plugging into my Note sounded terrific. I can already say, with a high degree of confidence, that Audeze has justified its oversized, outlandish design with extremely high sound quality. The $399 price point is a highly competitive spot for entry-level audiophile gear, and Audeze has asserted its credentials very nicely. But the company’s ambitions are grander than that still — Audeze tells me it’s a little worried that it underpriced the iSines, fearing that audiophiles wouldn’t take them seriously as a competitor to the very best in-ear headphones in the world.

Beside the iPhone-friendly version, Audeze will offer alternative options of the iSine 10 with specific cables for connecting to an Oculus Rift or an HTC Vive. Both of those will cost the same as the iOS variant, so it’s really a matter of what you favour most. There will also be an iSine 20, with a longer voice coil and a touch of extra resolution.

THE SOUND IS TYPICAL AUDEZE: CLEAN, BALANCED, DYNAMIC, AND EXCITING

The iSine aren’t without any compromises, of course. For one thing, they offer precious little noise isolation. The 3D-printed prototype I tested today had glorious sound, but offered mediocre fit. Not uncomfortable, just awkward to wear. Audeze offers Comply foam tips along with the usual silicone options, but the company admits that even in the best case scenario, you’ll hear plenty of exterior noise. On the other hand, these headphones don’t leak out much of your music at all.

In my time listening to the Sine, I was able to run through my usual set of test tracks on Tidal, checking out the realism of vocals, acoustic instruments, and some good old bass-pumping EDM. The bass was brutal when it needed to be, and the voices came through sounding natural and real. IFA is obviously a suboptimal testing environment, but the quality of the iSine feels just as obvious from even a brief listen.

The iSine 10 and iSine 20 will be available from the end of October 2016, with their final design opting for a matte black finish rather than the present glossy look. On the evidence of my first time with them, these are going to be another win for Audeze, looking and sounding like a truly unique pair of headphones.

Audeze’s terrifying iSine 10 headphones sound terrific - If aliens had headphones, they'd probably look and sound like this
Vlad Savov@vladsavov

SUMMARY: I was able to run through my usual set of test tracks on Tidal, checking out the realism of vocals, acoustic instruments, and some good old bass-pumping EDM. The bass was brutal when it needed to be, and the voices came through sounding natural and real.

EXTENDED REVIEW: I’m ready to crown this the best IFA of this decade. In a show already highlighted by Lenovo’s Yoga Book, Acer’s ultraslim notebook, and LG’s enchanting tunnel of OLED, there’s somehow still room to fit in an astounding pair of headphones as well.

Audeze, the boutique audiophile brand responsible for some of the best planar magnetic headphones in the world, has done what many might have thought impossible and shrunken its technology to fit into an in-ear design. The result is the imposing, alien-looking thing you see before you: the Audeze iSine 10. It’s basically a 30mm planar magnetic headphone with a funnel to channel its sound into your ear.

As much as I’ve enjoyed Audeze’s high-end over-the-ear offerings over the years, I was skeptical about the wisdom of the in-ear iSine — but then I was quickly dissuaded by listening to the new headphones. The iSine 10 sound phenomenal, even inside the noisy IFA hall dedicated to audio equipment. Their soundstage is broad, their imaging’s precise, and their range extension, from deep sub-bass to high end treble, is outstanding. Overcoming the din around me, these headphones got loud using only the power of my Galaxy Note 7.

DON'T BE DAUNTED BY THE SIZE AND TECH, THE ISINES CAN BE POWERED BY A PHONE EASILY

Audeze sells the iSine with two cables in the box: one terminating on a regular 3.5mm jack and the other plugging into Apple’s Lightning port and also incorporating Audeze’s Cipher digital-to-analog converter and amplifier. Both the Cipher-amped iSine 10 and the pair plugging into my Note sounded terrific. I can already say, with a high degree of confidence, that Audeze has justified its oversized, outlandish design with extremely high sound quality. The $399 price point is a highly competitive spot for entry-level audiophile gear, and Audeze has asserted its credentials very nicely. But the company’s ambitions are grander than that still — Audeze tells me it’s a little worried that it underpriced the iSines, fearing that audiophiles wouldn’t take them seriously as a competitor to the very best in-ear headphones in the world.

Beside the iPhone-friendly version, Audeze will offer alternative options of the iSine 10 with specific cables for connecting to an Oculus Rift or an HTC Vive. Both of those will cost the same as the iOS variant, so it’s really a matter of what you favor most. There will also be an iSine 20, with a longer voice coil and a touch of extra resolution.

THE SOUND IS TYPICAL AUDEZE: CLEAN, BALANCED, DYNAMIC, AND EXCITING

The iSine aren’t without any compromises, of course. For one thing, they offer precious little noise isolation. The 3D-printed prototype I tested today had glorious sound, but offered mediocre fit. Not uncomfortable, just awkward to wear. Audeze offers Comply foam tips along with the usual silicone options, but the company admits that even in the best case scenario, you’ll hear plenty of exterior noise. On the other hand, these headphones don’t leak out much of your music at all.

In my 10-minute listen of the Sine, I was able to run through my usual set of test tracks on Tidal, checking out the realism of vocals, acoustic instruments, and some good old bass-pumping EDM. The bass was brutal when it needed to be, and the voices came through sounding natural and real. IFA is obviously a suboptimal testing environment, but the quality of the iSine feels just as obvious from even a brief listen.

The iSine 10 and iSine 20 will be available from the end of October, with their final design opting for a matte black finish rather than the present glossy look. On the evidence of my first time with them, these are going to be another win for Audeze, looking and sounding like a truly unique pair of headphones.

Audeze’s iSine 10 planar magnetic earphones sound as good as they look crazy
Napier Lopez - a writer based in New York City.

A couple of weeks ago, Audeze surprised audiophiles and stuck huge planar magnetic drivers into its new alien-looking iSINE series. I was able to try out the ‘entry-level’ model, the iSINE 10 for about 30 minutes. In short: they sound like no IEMs (in-ear monitors) I’ve heard before.

That’s probably because they’re designed like no IEM before; the earphones are basically just funnels to direct sound from the nearly-full-size 20mm drivers directly into your ears.

For reference, IEMs normally use drivers 10mm or smaller, and while bigger isn’t always better, it works in Audeze’s favor here. Moreover, they’re planar magnetic drivers, which is supposed to translate into greater clarity and less distortion over standard ‘dynamic’ drivers  (you can read a longer explanation of the tech here).

Most of the headphones remain outside of you ear, with the included earhooks keeping them in place. Despite their size, they’re deceptively light. I found them completely comfortable in about half an hour of listening, though you’re mileage may vary.

To keep the headphones light and the drivers properly vented, the iSine 10 forgo anything like a traditional in-ear headphone design for a webbed pattern seemingly designed by peter parker. I thought they press images looked pretty ridiculous, but they definitely look much better while worn in person.

Back to the sound: they best way to describe them is that they sound like something in between a high quality headphone and IEM. The iSine 10 have that clarity and intimacy you expect from good IEMs, but seemed to be able to throw sound as far out as smaller headphones that sit outside the ear.

They have that typical easy-to-listen-to Audeze frequency response with refined, but impactful bass. There was ample of treble presence – perhaps bordering on sibilant for some, but mostly just bright with good sparkle.

On the other hand, bass had some of the most ‘kick’ I’ve heard from IEMs, perhaps because of a combination of driver size and venting. The kick drums in Paramore’s Ain’t it Fun were realistically assertive, and true to Audeze’s claims, I didn’t notice any distortion even at the highest volumes.

They were easy to drive out of the LGV20 I’m in the process of reviewing, as well as out of the lightning cable I tried it with, although I couldn’t tell a difference in the time I spent trying. Perhaps it would be more apparent with a less audiophile-oriented phone (I noticed a difference when reviewing the on-ear Audeze Sine).

Though my time listening to them was short, I came away impressed. That’s not always easy for expensive audio products, which you often need to spend several hours or days listening to before you can really acclimate to them and appreciate their sound, but the iSine’s technology is so different from anything out there that the benefits become pretty obvious.

When much of the world is focusing on wireless audio and software-based enhancements, it’s nice to see you can still innovate with sheer sound quality too. Stay tuned for a full review when we get final units.

Videos

INTRODUCING iSINE-10