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CNET First Look
Audeze iSine 10 in-ear headphones look funky, but sound fantasticThe first in-ear headphones to use planar magnetic drivers, the iSine 10's offer stellar sound but aren't for everybody.
[MUSIC] This is Audeze's Isine 10 which is one of the stranger looking in-ear headphones available, but it's also one of the best sounding I've ever heard. The reason the headphones look a little like a Star Wars Tie Fighter is that they use the company's 30mm planar magnetic drivers which tend to sound very coherent and spacious with low distortion, and until now have only been found in models that have full sized ear cups. The Isine 10 which cost $400 has an open back design so it doesn't cut you off from the outside world. It can also it doesn't hush external noise and also leaks sound so this isn't the best headphone to use in an open office environment. The headphone comes with two cables, a standard one fit with a 3.5mm plug and apple certified cipher lightning cable. It takes digital audio directly from your iOS device and use the cable built in digital converter and headphone amplifier. [BACKGROUND MUSIC] Using the cypher cable the headphone plays significantly louder and does sound better overall. The only problem is the in-line mode is heavy and not great to walk around with. In a not so distant future we expect that a second generation cypher cable But the smaller inline remote will become available, but this is what you get for the time being. While the iSign looks a little funky, I did manage to get a tight seal using the largest of the buds included in the headphone. And I got the headphone to sit securely in place using one of the detachable ear hooks that's also included. Except for the weight of the inline remote tugging downward, the headphones fit me comfortably, though they may not fit everyone as well as they did me. There's an Odyssey DSP app that features a 10-band equalizer that changes EQ in real time, but you don't have to use that app to get great sound. Is a very clear sounding headphone. It goes deep, delivering clear articulated bass, natural mid-range, and very finely tuned treble. It's also a very open spacious sounding headphone. It's worth noting that Audeze sells a step-up iSINE 20 for $600 that has a longer voice-coil and other improvements That allow for even more transparent, detailed sound. In the end, this headphones design isn't for everybody. It's obviously pretty pricey, but the iSINE10 does deliver exceptionally good sound. It's well worth listening to, if you get a chance to hear it. I'm David Carnoy for cnet.com, thanks for watching. [MUSIC]