The announcement was expected by those who follow the headphone industry closely but the IFA 2016 unveiling of Audeze’s new planar magnetic in-ears was certainly one of the highlights at the Berlin show. These are not only the first in-ear planar magnetic headphones, but the new Audeze iSINE Series raises the bar in terms of sound quality with lower distortion, superior bass response (to 10Hz!), and a wider soundstage than other in-ear designs. Designed and assembled at Audeze’s Costa Mesa, CA, factory they are individually matched to within ± 1dB.
Perfect for all portable devices, the more affordable $399 iSINE 10 model is easy to drive with an impedance of 16 ohms. It includes both the Lightning cable and a standard audio cable with 3.5mm stereo plug. To ensure all-day comfort, a pair of Ear Hooks and EarLocks are provided along with silicon and foam tips. The $599 iSINE 20 has a longer voice coil (24 ohms) and other improvements, offering higher resolution and detail than the iSINE 10. Audeze also announced the upcoming $2,495 LCD i3 in-ear model, featuring drivers with the same nano-grade film as Audeze’s $4000 LCD4 headphones, along with premium materials.
On the iSINE Series, the Fluxor Magnets and large 30mm planar magnetic diaphragms deliver precise control and fast response times without distortion, nearly doubling the magnetic driving force, combined with ultra-thin diaphragms with patented Uniforce voice-coil technology. The distortion (THD) is less than 0.1% overall even at high volumes, an amazing achievement for in-ear headphone designs. The iSINE 20 is one step up from the iSINE 10 featuring 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.
Like the original over-ear SINE headphones, all three in-ear models include Audeze’s Cipher Lightning cable. This Apple MFI certified cable takes digital audio directly from the iOS device and uses its own built-in DAC and amplifier for superior audio quality - even with voice calls, quality is improved. The Cipher Lightning cable delivers 24-bit digital audio from iPhone/iPad/iPod to the headphones and contains a high-quality inline amplifier and DSP, apart from the digital-to-analog converter. With the powerful DSP capabilities of the Cipher cable, the iSINE headphones are able to deliver a better experience and the sound can be customized in real-time by the user using the Audeze iOS App. The app features two presets and a 10-band equalizer that changes EQ in real time and are memorized in the cable, when switching devices.
“An avant-garde design without a care for the status quo, this innovation rewrites the rules for in-ear earphones. We are really proud of these groundbreaking headphones as we push headphone innovation,” says CEO Sankar Thiagasamudram.
Specifications for the iSINE 10 indicate the planar magnetic transducer to be an open design, while the iSINE 20 is described as semi-open. Otherwise, factory specs are identical, with a maximum power handling of 3-watts and >120dB of maximum SPL.
Audeze is indicating shipping to start in November 2016 and anyone interested can pre-order directly on the company’s website and authorized retailers. Audeze offers a 30 day trial on all direct headphone sales and free shipping in US.