Magnet-based headphones tend to come with two downsides, with size and cost a big factor, but in the case of the new “Sine” cans, Audeze has done away with at least one of these.
If you know the name Audeze, there’s a good chance you like large high-end headphones, because that’s primarily what this company does.
You only have to look up the name on Google to find a brand mostly obsessed with headphones, with only a smattering of other audio gear out there, primarily in unique microphones and expensive headphone amps.
So headphones is generally where Audeze sits, and for the past few years, we’ve seen some interesting magnet-based designs pop out of the company’s research headquarters in the US. We were particularly enamoured with the LCD-2 headphones, but they’re big, bulky, and not really made to take on the go, something you generally see in Audeze’s designs.
Fortunately, Audeze is trying something new in the Sine, with a smaller design made to sit on the ears or “supra-aural” compared to the typical around-the-ears or “circumaural” design the its headphones regularly take.
Despite the change in size and ear cup design, Audeze has left the technology as planar magnetic, meaning audio quality should remain fairly detailed, with the company’s “Fazor elements” technology from the EL-8 also thrown in for what it claims is a “truly organic sound”.
One thing that has changed, however, is the cable used to connect the headphones, because while you can buy the headphones with a traditional 3.5mm headset jack, Audeze is betting that Apple will lost the 3.5m jack when the iPhone 7 is released later this year, likely in September.
As such, one variant of the headphone will arrive with what is called the “Cipher” cable which is a version of Audeze’s cable that instead of ending in a standard audio jack ends in a Lightning plug.
The Cipher cable also features a built-in amplifier and digital-to-analogue converter with support for 24 bit audio, and will even talk to an Apple iPhone and iPad app to control the EQ settings with sound presets to define the headphones for your own personal tastes.
Audeze hasn’t said if there will be microUSB or Type C USB variants of the cable just yet for you Android and Windows Phone folk, but we wouldn’t hold our breath.
In any case, Audeze’s Cipher cable can always be purchased later for use with the Sine headphones, or even for another pair that was recently announced, the EL-8 Titanium, meaning you can get the Sine with a 3.5mm jack and bring the cable later, handy if Apple doesn’t go the jack-less route or you switch to another device, or even if Audeze does end up making the Cipher cable for other ports.