Audeze joins forces with BMW for amp, headphones

One of the most impressive pairs of headphones we’ve ever put our ears into is getting an update, and it’s getting it with the help of BMW’s team of crack artists and designers.

Big headphones are about to become a bit more fashionable, almost to the point where you could probably wear them without feeling too self-conscious.

This year, Audeze has announced that two new products are on the way bringing high-end audio technologies to people with lots of money and a desire to listen to audio in what will likely be among the best gadgets they’ve ever heard them in (if our last Audeze review is any indication).

First there’s the EL-8, a new pair of very large headphones that takes the Fluxor magnetic tech we’ve seen on the LCD-2 headphones before and matches it with a diaphragm material called “Uniforce” which Audeze says was originally made by NASA to help produce lightweight electronics that deal with space better.

That unusual diaphragm material means these cans technically use “space age” materials, since the diaphragm is made out of something meant for space, and BMW’s Designworks USA has been tapped to make these look different, too.

A quick glance at the headphones show a style similar to what we’ve seen on the LCD cans, but it is much clearer, with wooden edges and a slotted grill against a large bezel. While we suspect these will still be very large headphones, at least they’re easier on the eyes, and Audeze suggests they’re light too, which can only be a good thing.

Also being released this year is a small headphone amplifier that was once again produced by Audeze.

Called the Deckard, this one won’t have to chasing down Androids dreaming of electric sheep, but will give headphones a boost in power, with the ability to pick up on anywhere between 16 and 32-bit (24 is also included), with sample rates from 44.1kHz all the way to the next-to-impossible-to-find 384kHz.

And just like most headphone amps popping up today, this one will support both USB and analog, meaning it could work with your standard HiFi setup or with your computer as a sound card at home.

Pricing for these hasn’t been announced yet, but Audeze is rarely inexpensive, so expect these to sit in the “if you have to ask” category of the market, with availability some time in March.