CanJam at RMAF2016 Showstopper: Audeze iSine10 and iSine20 Planar Magnetic In-Ears

I had a little pre-view of these earphones in prototype form some months ago...boy did I leave skeptical. These seemed to me an answer in search of a question. Well, it's amazing how much a product can change on it's way to a production version. The iSine was light, comfortable, secure on my ears, and quite good sounding...this might indeed fill an unserved niche of in-ear replacements for open headphones around the home or quiet office.

The Audeze iSine is the world's first planar magnetic, in-ear headphone. It is a semi-open design and is largely acoustically transparent to your surrounding environment. The iSine10 ($399) and iSine20 ($599) differ, as stated on the Audeze website, in that the latter has, "an even longer Uniforce voice-coil that covers the ultra-thin diaphragm to a greater extent, enabling better control and responsiveness for better bass, clarity, and improved imaging."

RMAF2016_Audeze_Photo_Snout

Arrows point to the area within which is a horn shaped "phase plug."

The iSines include thin diaphragms, Fluxor magnets, and Uni-force circuit trace technologies found in other Audeze products. No Fluxors, but one thing that was pointed out to me during the prototype pre-view is that snout portion of the iSine is not simply an empty space. Within it there is something like a phase-plug on a speaker. The opening to the snout is a circular entry which can be seen at left in the above illustration at left; The terminus of the plug can be seen in the snout after removing the ear tip as seen in the photo above at right. I'm told this plug acts to correctly match the acoustic impedance between the driver and the ear.

RMAF2016_Audeze_Photo_Closeup

Sankar did send an iSine20 with Cipher Lightning cable for me to play with. I've been enjoying it quite a bit with movies and music on my iPad. I've only had it a few days but my first impression is that the tonal balance is quite good, but may be a bit overemphasized in the bass—the Cipher cable does store a factory set EQ that can be modified in the cable's app. Sound is a tad hard/un-romantic; imaging is surprisingly good; bass is well controlled and punchy; treble is well behaved without harshness or glare.

Kinda like a Koss KSC-35 on steroids...surprisingly, I'd take the comfort of the iSine over the KSC-35 all day long. These will definitely get a review!

Here's the full story from Sankar.

Click here to view on YouTube.

COMMENTS
monetarydread's picture

I have spent too much money on a VR headset called the HTC Vive, and I love the fact that they bring up VR. The Vive came with a set of headphones that do not come close to sounding great and his mention of fatigue is accurate. My over-ear headphones are too bulky for use with the headset, and every in-ear I have tried ends up creating too much pressure in my ear canals, and that leads to an uncomfortable feeling after a while. These sound like an almost perfect solution, my only concern being the price, $400 for a supplementary accessory is a little much for a single use case scenario.

tony's picture

I'm surprised.

This might be a good, everyday headphone solution.

I wonder the power requirements, very much like the built-in Eq. ( can I apply my Audiologist's measured hearing curve?) and am rather pleased with the price points.

This could be an ideal hearing device with way-outrspace looks.
Hmm, Thanks for reporting on these.

Tony in Michigan

Magoo's picture

Tyll,

If the new iSine10 and 20's use a Lightning cable then there has to be a DAC in the cable somewhere ....I was surprised you did not ask him about that...?

Tyll Hertsens's picture
Oh yes, absolutely, there's a DAC and DSP in there.
View's picture

Hey Tyll,
What do mean by hard or unromantic for the sound? Can that be fix with eq? Was the bass round and full? And how is the sound stage?
Thanks

Augustus's picture

Tyll, when do you think you'll post the review?

Thanks!

anuj's picture

the Cipher cable does store a factory set EQ that can be modified in the cable's app
Read more at http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/canjam-rmaf2016-showstopper-audeze-... best site
complete
thanku