CES 2018: Audeze iSINE LX In-Ear Open Planar Magnetic Earphones

Having reviewed the iSINE 20 last year and placing it on the Wall of Fame as best in a class of one headphone, I've had on-going opportunities to use them around the house. These open acoustic in-ears won't do you any good on airplanes and noisy environments, but when it comes to housework and time in the garage they simply excel. I can even fit my full-size ear protection muffs over them when using my table saw. They are a bit pricy though at $599 with the Cipher cable. Fortunately, the iSINE 10 with Cipher cable is available for $399.

Evidently, that wasn't good enough for the folks at Audeze, bless their geeky hearts. You see, they have a penchant for improving manufacturability...something users never experience directly, and something that smaller firms yearn for. Taking advantage of sophisticated manufacturing techniques takes big sales volumes and/or big money. Frankly, I marvel at Audeze's ability to to gain the sales volume needed to support such efforts. I asked Sankar, Audeze's CEO, about it some time ago and he said getting into Apple stores has done amazing things. I suspect it goes deeper than that—they have one heck of a technology team.

Customers do benefit from good manufacturing though, in that it can lower the price of products. A lot of times the desire to lower the price of products comes from competitive pressure. Here's where you have to hand it to Audeze: They've implemented changes to the iSINE design that allows them to take advantage of more efficient manufacturing processes and lowered the price of the iSINE...in the absence of competitive pressure! There's just no other earphones like the iSINE. So, with solid sales in their iSINE line, why do they bother?

Knowing Sankar for a long time now, I'll hazard this guess: Because they could, and did in order to stay well ahead of the curve. When you're racing and running well, step on the gas and extend your lead. It's inspiring to see a company who builds expensive headphones to also continue to focus on lowering the cost to the consumer. The new iSINE LX still has the Fluxor magnets, Uniforce diaphragm circuit, Fazor acoustic impedance matching plug, and Cipher DAC/Amp cable...it's $150 less expensive than the iSINE 10. Thanks Audeze!

It's worth mentioning they've done the same thing in their LCD line releasing the new LCD2C for well under $1000. The Honorable Chris Berens tells us about both in the video.

View on YouTube here.

COMMENTS
thefitz's picture

I hope they unleashed a closed/noise isolating version soon.

jpelg's picture

the Monoprice Monolith M300 ($149) and the Unique Melody ME1 ($759) count as competition for the iSine lineup?

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=24461
https://shop.musicteck.com/products/me-1-by-unique-melody

Bennyboy's picture

They look really bad.

Peter Simon's picture

Thanks for this comprehensive review.

spy hunter

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