Skip to main content

Audeze breaks out the shrink ray for world’s first planar magnetic in-ear cans

Update: We’ve updated to reflect the fact that Audeze has added a new color to the iSine 10 line.

Headphone maker Audeze has made a name for itself in the audiophile world for its planar magnetic headphones, which offer simply fantastic sound. While Audeze began making larger-than-life headphones — with the sound quality to match — the company has take great pains in recent years to go more portable. Now Audeze is taking that technology even further by thinking even smaller, introducing the world’s first planar magnetic in-ear headphones.

Audeze isn’t known for baby steps, so the company is entering the in-ear market full force ahead with three different models, ranging in price from $400 all the way up to $2,500. The very design of planar magnetic drivers, which use a thin membrane excited by a magnetic coil to produce sound, is part of why they’re generally so big. That makes it especially impressive that Audeze has managed to scale the technology down to in-ear size. Despite the technical hurdles the company likely dealt with, the designers seems quite confident that customers will love its new in-ears.

“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,” CEO Sankar Thiagasamudram said in a statement.

Thiagasamudram isn’t exaggerating. The in-ears look a little cumbersome, but that’s far from the only reason they stand out — the webbed design on the housings make them look fit to play back jams for Spider-Man himself, and they’ll no doubt get some serious attention from passers by. Unfortunately, we’ve yet to receive an image of the LCD i3, so we’re currently left speculating as to whether or not it shares the same webbed design as its siblings.

If you’re just looking for some high-quality in-ears to plug into your iPhone, the $400 iSine 10 is likely the model you want, as it’s not only the most affordable, but also the easiest to drive at 16 ohms. The iSine 10 is also the only one that is available in multiple colors, including a black/steel that is exclusive to Apple stores and the internet. The iSine 20, however, offers a longer voice coil for better detail, but at $600 (and 24 ohms impedance) they’re a larger investment.

The flagship as far as Audeze’s new in-ears are concerned is without a doubt the $2,500 LCD i3, which use many of the same materials as the company’s $4,000 LCD-4 over-ear headphones. That appears to have paid off, as the company claims bass response travels all the way down to 10Hz, an extremely impressive feat for in-ears.

One thing all of these models share in common is that, in addition to the standard 3.5 mm headphone jack, they also include a Lightning cable for use with Apple devices. Audeze has offered its Lightning cable design on two different models in the past (including its Sine headphones, and the EL-8 Titanium), but it’s a boon for Apple fans who want a more portable design to see the tech paired with in-ears. That’s especially true considering that Apple’s new iPhone 7 will likely be dropping the traditional headphone jack.

If you’re looking to get in on the ground floor, the iSine 10 is the most affordably priced, even at its $400 price tag. Meanwhile, the near-prohibitively priced LCD i3 isn’t exactly impulse purchase territory, but on the bright side, it’s slightly more affordable than Shure’s life-changing KSE1500 electrostatic in-ears, which we auditioned earlier this year.

All of Audeze’s new models will begin shipping in October, but you can pre-order them starting today from the Audeze website.

Kris Wouk
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kris Wouk is a tech writer, gadget reviewer, blogger, and whatever it's called when someone makes videos for the web. In his…
How to use Plex Media Server to watch all of your media
Plex used to watch media on a laptop.

What if we told you there was a way to house and access all of your favorite streaming content and personal media files under one easy-to-use platform? Sure, we’ve had platforms like Dropbox and Google Drive for years, but while these applications are pretty great for the latter (storing media), you can't get a Netflix movie playing with Google Drive. The all-in-one entertainment hub we’re alluding to is the content-hosting and streaming umbrella called Plex.

Plex haș been around for more than a decade, but what exactly can you do with Plex? Is it free? Is it difficult to use? Does it support multiple users? And perhaps most importantly, how do you get your movie and TV show downloads uploaded and streamable from anywhere in the world?

Read more
The living room tripod is now officially a thing you need
An iPhone on a Peak Design travel tripod.

A carbon fiber Peak Design Travel Tripod is overkill for living room video calls — but it also is very cool. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Now that you can choose between using FaceTime or Zoom on an Apple TV — and that really isn't as much of a lesser of two evils scenario as it sounds — it's time to consider one more accessory to stash inside your living room closet for those special occasions: a proper tripod for your phone.

Read more
The weirdest and wildest AV gear of 2023
The Dyson Zone air-purifying ANC headphones on a model.

This year has been full of some pretty excellent and innovative tech products, and that includes audio/video and home theater gear -- from blisteringly bright TVs to headphones with Wi-Fi and earbud charging cases with LED screens to new-and-improved products from all the big shots like Apple, Sony, Amazon, and more.

But I'm here for the weird stuff. The interesting stuff. The stuff that made our eyes widen and our eyebrows do funny things. And throughout 2023, there have been a few good ones, including a fire-breathing $3,900 surround sound setup, a turntable you might want to eat with a side of fries, and a James Bond-worthy TV in a suitcase. Here, then, is some of the weirdest AV gear of 2023.

Read more