I've seen some large in-ear headphones before, but Audeze's new iSine Series in-ears take the cake.
The reason they're so big is they incorporate the company's planar-magnetic drivers (30mm), which tend to sound very coherent and spacious, with low distortion, and until now have only been found in models that have full-size earcups.
If "planar magnetic drivers" sounds Greek to you, you're in good company. Ultimately, what matters is that it's a totally different technology than what you find in nearly all other mainstream headphones. If you want the technical details, check out Inner Fidelity.
Audeze has three new in-ear models ranging in price from only $399 to $2,495. All include Audeze's Cipher Lightning cable for Apple's iPhone/iPod/iPad.headphone, an on-ear model we reviewed earlier this year and raved about, comes in a version that includes the Cipher cable, but you have to pay extra for it.
Here are iSine Series key details, according to Audeze:
- The $399 iSINE 10 model is easy to drive with an impedance of 16 ohms. It includes both the Lightning cable and a standard audio cable with 3.5mm stereo plug.
- Also suitable for use with portable devices, the $599 iSINE 20 has a longer voice coil (24 ohms) and other improvements, offering higher resolution and detail than the iSINE 10.
- The $2,495 LCD i3 features the finest drivers, utilizing the same nano-grade film as Audeze's $4000 LCD4 headphones, along with premium materials.
- The Cipher Lightning cable uses its own built-in DAC and amplifier for superior audio quality (even voice call quality quality is improved).
- The headphones ship in October, and can be preordered today from www.audeze.com and Audeze retailers.
- No word yet on international pricing or availability, but we'll update this post as soon as we get it.