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."
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.
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 bassthe 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.