Uncomfortable, but sounds great

Audeze iSine 10.

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Audeze iSine 10.

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The iSine is Audeze’s newest range of in-ear open planar magnetic headphones. and the iSine 10 that I have here is the entry-level model in this range. It comes in a nice packaging that includes loads of accessories. Apart from the usual assortment of rubber tips, the iSine 10 also comes with special ear hooks and ear locks. It also comes with a nifty carrying case and a tool for cleaning the headphones.

The iSine 10 comes with two detachable cables: one that terminates in a 3.5mm jack and another CIPHER Lightning cable designed especially for iOS devices.

The CIPER Lightning cable comes with an inline amplifier, DAC, and DSP, that allows users to customize the sound using the Audeze DSP app.

Now, the theoretical advantages of planar magnetic driver headphones are increased responsiveness, a wider frequency range, and lower distortion. The downside is that they are often bulky and heavy because they require larger magnets.

Audeze’s expertise in planar magnetic driver design means that they were able to shrink their design to a size small enough to fit into an in-ear headphone.

However, at around 11g per piece, it is quite heavy for a pair of in-ears. As a result, you will need to wear the iSine 10 using either the supplied ear hooks or ear locks. Here’s where it gets uncomfortable, as getting a good fit is difficult and the supplied rubber tips are quite thin. Disappointing, as the iSine 10 is one of the best sounding in-ear headphones available.

Thanks to its planar magnetic driver and its semi-open construction, the iSine 10 has an expansive and wide sound that is atypical of in-ear headphones. Bass isn’t as hard-hitting and deep as Audeze’s fullsized offerings, but it is still good - very tight and clean. The mids and highs are clear, but they also sounded very veiled and laid back. Consequently, the overall sound is one that is detached and lacks intimacy. That said, the iSine 10 certainly sounds more neutral than most other high-end in-ear

 headphones I have tried, which tend to be too bassy and sparkly.