The Caeden Linea No. 10 A Lovely Mobile Headphone for the Ladies
Pretty much every day I get emails from folks who make fashion headphone touting both their beauty and sound quality. Sadly...frustratingly...these headphones almost never seem to pan out. It's gotten to the point I usually just delete the email and move on.
So, one day, I get an email from Caeden offering their new Linea No. 10 for my consideration. A good looking headphone, seemed a bit more credible than the emails that come direct from China. I didn't delete it, but I paused too long to answer and shortly forgot about it.
A few days later I get another email poke. *Sigh* I go through my schtick about not being your normal reviewer, and a review is unlikely, but if you want to send one in I'll measure and listen and give it a shot.
I get an affirmative answer back; headphones are on the way. Great being back in contact with you after so many years.
Wait! What? Do I know this guy? I reread the emails; add 2 and 6; and boom! Holy smoke, that's Rob Douglas who was with Sennheiser when I first started HeadRoom some 20 years ago! I give him a call and we had a good old chortle about days gone by.
Back in the day, if you wanted to carry Sennheiser headphones, you had to carry them all. I didn't like that of courseI didn't think all Sennheiser headphones were great (still don'tbut Sennheiser is way better than most in this regard) and I didn't want to sell headphones I didn't like. My solution: Carry every one, but when I didn't like something I'd only carry one pair. Didn't have to worry about it going out of stock, because I'd write stuff like this on the product page:
On the Sennheiser HD 470:
Sonically abominable. A real ear bleed. Imagine a turbine powered ice pick.
Or the Sennheiser EH2200:
These "Bionetic" era cans from Sennheiser are real losers. 'Blah' looks and shreaking highs make them a non-starter. One wonders if we'll ever get them off the shelves?
We had a dead serious conversation once where he said I should try to make up my mind whether I wanted to be a retailer or a reviewer and pick one, 'cuz I was acting pretty damned weird for a retailer. Well, I guess he was right in the end. Ha!
So, full disclosure: I've known Rob Douglas, VP Sales at Caeden, for around 20 years and I like the guyhe's as direct and honest as I. Moreover, he's been around the block in the headphone world and does know what a good headphone sounds like...which is a good thing because evidently he's had his mitts somewhat involved with the Caeden Linea No. 10, and it shows.
Caeden Linea No. 10 ($199)
The Linea No.10 is a stylish, on-ear, Bluetooth headset. Materials are mostly synthetic, but very tastefully used in this elegant design. Three color options are available (shown above); cable and carry pouch are white or black to match.
Controls and electronics are in the left earpiece; the 500 mAh rechargeable Lithium Ion polymer battery is in the right earpiece, and is claimed to last 30 hours of playback on a 3 hour charge. The cable enters the left earpiece at the bottom end of the headband arm. L and R identifying designators are etched onto the inside bottom of each arm and are somewhat difficult to find.
The Linea No. 10 features Bluetooth 4.0 + EDR Wireless technology that supports A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, and HFP operating modes. I did hook up to both my Android phone and iPad in dual mode and the Linea No. 10 performed all switching without flaw.
Left earpiece has three controls in Bluetooth mode, top and bottom buttons control volume up/down with a short push; and track forward and back with long pushes. Center button will turn power on/off with medium push; seven second long push when off will cause entry to pairing mode; short push when paired will pause/play. Mic and LED indicator is also in left earpiece. Right earpiece has USB power input jack for battery charging. (Photo of innards on the next page.)
I did find that due to the faceted design of the earcups, it was a little difficult to find the buttons on the earpiece by feel. There is a tactile dot in the center of the middle button to aid in identification, but the facet edges made it difficult for my finger to identify. This is one of those things that is difficult for me as I use so many headphones, but a purchaser will likely get use to the feel pretty quickly and this will end up a non-issue. But it will take a bit of time to get oriented at first.
Attaching the cable when powered on and Bluetooth connection will automatically turn the headphones off and permit passive use on the cable. The one-button remote on the cable acts as usual. Pushing the power on while cable is connected causes the headphones to turn on but is unable to connect via Bluetooth.
Headband adjustment is affected by a friction fit telescoping of headband arms. Travel on each ear is about 3/4", which seems short, but the headphones did seem to have enough travel to properly accommodate my somewhat fat head and my somewhat smaller than average measurement head. I think it's adequate for most heads. Headband cushion is small but quite plush. Combined with the light weight I had no problems with hot spots at the top of my head in long listening
Earpieces can swivel flat for storage in provided soft pouch. They also rock up and down. These two degrees of freedom provide adequate and easy movement to conform to your ears easily and comfortably when placed on the head. No further adjustment necessary.
On-ear donut ear pads are plush and fairly comfy for this type of headphone. Though the fit seems slightly insecure for active use like running, I found them comfortable enough for long listening. Caliper pressure is enough to provide a seal, but not so much as to be uncomfortable; just right. Pads are "Vegan leather", according to Caeden's website; they feel like a good grade of protein leather to me. Cushions don't feel like memory foam, but they are soft, comfortable, and provide a decent seal against outside noise.
Accessorization is modest but adequate at this price, and includes a 38" long fabric covered headphone cable with one-button remote, a matching USB cable to charge the cans, and a faux leather soft travel and storage pouch.
Now the good bit: How do they sound?