Audeze El

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Audeze EL-8 Open-Back Headphones - An Introduction

Update: 20 March 2017 with long-term Impressions.

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Before I get down khổng lồ the nitty-gritty of this Audeze EL-8 review, I should probably say it’s been a few years now since I last spent any significant time with an Audeze product. At one point, I was in love with & owned the company LCD-2 headphones before selling them and moving lớn the Final Audio kiến thiết Sonorous VI.

My biggest issue with the Audeze cans was that they sounded great, but they also looked somewhat dated regarding the aesthetic design. They were also impractical & cumbersome for me to take around with me whilst traveling.

They sounded killer, that much was a given, but they just didn"t fit with how I did things back then. Audeze, the company has, of course,been at the spearhead of planar magnetic headphone design for years now & is widely credited with its return to lớn popularity amongst audiophiles.

What a difference a few years have made. In the time that I have been away, the company has seriously stepped up its thiết kế game.

The EL-8 represents a big change in the design ethos at Audeze. It’s modern, sleek, & stylish. In releasing the EL8 range of headphones, Audeze has just become much more desirable to the masses.

You can buy the Audeze EL-8 in Closed and mở cửa Back


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Both closed-back or opened-back versions of the design are available on the market right now. The underlying thiết kế is essentially identical bar some venting on the mở cửa back models earcups.

From a distance, you"re going to lớn have trouble telling them apart. My advice khổng lồ you is lớn decide on which one khổng lồ get lớn look at how you use headphones.

If you don"t need isolation & won"t bother folks with the inevitable sound leakage, grab the mở cửa model. However, for traveling/office use, then you will want the closed version.

I have spent some time with both, but at this time, we have decided to vì a full Audeze EL-8 nhận xét with the open back edition first. So after a couple of weeks of testing them out with every source and test track, we have it"s finally time to put "pen khổng lồ paper"

Audeze EL-8 Tech Spec

Style - xuất hiện circumaural

Transducer type - Planar magnetic

Magnetic structureFluxor magnets

Magnet type - Neodymium

Driver size - 100 mm

Maximum power handling - 15W (for 200ms)

Maximum SPL - >130dB

Frequency response - 10Hz – 50kHz

Total harmonic distortion -

Impedance - 30 ohms

Efficiency - 102dB / 1mW

Optimal power nguồn requirement200mW – 4W

Weight - 460g

Packaging and Accessories

Priced at around $700 in the US market, the Audeze EL-8 is definitely a premium product.

That very much shows in the way the tai nghe is presented lớn you. It is not quite on the same cấp độ as true top-end models (such as the Audezes own LCD-3 etc.), but it is still attention-grabbing in its own right.

It comes in a high-quality cardboard box that is very decorated in tasteful graphics that fit the overall clean kiến thiết direction that Audeze seems khổng lồ be heading.

Open that came up, and the EL-8 is presented very nicely with the xuất hiện back cups facing you. Beneath that, there are some well-thought-out accessories such as a phối of detachable cables, a 3.5mm lớn quarter-inch jack connector, và a carry bag.

At this price, I would, of course, like to have seen a hard shell carry case, but this can be forgiven as the headphones are not designed for portable use in the first place. All the accessories seem to lớn be of both high unique and fit in well with the total package.

Ohh, and before I forget, you will also find some promotional bumf/manual, but you will most likely neither bother lớn read nor care about it.... You"re going to lớn want to lớn get right down khổng lồ important stuff.

Design và build quality


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Wow. The new design is a world away from Audeze"s LCD tai nghe lineup, and I absolutely love it. They are just so much sleeker & way more aesthetically pleasing than the steam-punk Esq designs of the past., Hell, I would even go as far as to lớn say if táo bị cắn designed serious headphones, this is probably what they would look like.

With the LCD models, you get a sort of raw look, but here on the EL-8, everything seems streamlined, with lines flowing into one another instead of clashing at jagged junctions. They also feel extremely well built. Hinges are super smooth, the kích cỡ adjustment rails equally so, & the ear-cups swivel points feel smooth và robust.

The cable design is new, & unfortunately, it"s using proprietary connectors. That means you won"t be able to waste money on custom cables or more practically replace them on the cheap if something goes wrong.

That said, it is a very nice & well behave cable that is resistant to lớn tangling & virtually free from micro-phonics. I would say, though, that be very careful of the way you insert the cable into the housing; doing so with the wrong side up could be a very costly mistake.

*Update: The Cable on our version had been cut out due to the connectors" poor design.

Comfort

For the most part, Comfort is excellent, and I found the open-back headphones very easy to lớn get along with over prolonged periods of listening.

While not a featherweight, weight on the head was perfectly acceptable for a full-size tai nghe designed for stationary use.

The padding was extremely comfy thanks to the inclusion of the wonderfully soft leather earpads.

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The headphones are, of course, full-size circum-aural designs meaning that they sit around your ears as opposed to on top. This helps air circulate your ear & helps prevent the build-up of heat.

Clamping was absolutely spot on with enough pressure lớn hold them in place when moving about the room but not too much to lớn cause discomfort. The headband is well cushioned và very easy lớn adjust for any head size.

Sound quality - 8.5/10

The Audeze EL-8 nhận xét was conducted with a whole load of sources, and we found them khổng lồ work very well with almost any of them.

At just 30 ohms, the headphones are actually quite easy khổng lồ drive lớn full potential. Still, I definitely prefer using them with my higher quality source components such as the Aurender Flow, Oppo HA-1, and the Questyle QP1r, which they almost seem made for.

The headphones are certainly good enough lớn take advantage of higher-end DAC and amp units, so that might be something you may want lớn invest in (if you haven"t already).

It"s not really a surprise that a company famed for sound chất lượng as Audeze managed khổng lồ get the tuning very, very right with their new cans. For the most part, the tuning is neutral, but you will also find that a touch of warmth will be displayed in the mids on the right tracks.

Clarity and speed are the call of the day, something that planar magnetic headphone công nghệ is famed for.

I loved how I didn"t feel I was missing much in the way of detail; everything I knew was there from countless hours of listening to lớn my nhận xét test tracks was there, và detail wise the EL-8 was able to keep right up with my HD-800 as well as the phối of Mr speakers Ether in my possession.

The soundstage wasn"t the biggest; purely from memory, my Thieaudio Phantom had more lớn offer in this regard, but then again, there is quite a price discrepancy between the 2. Compared to lớn my Final Audio thiết kế Sonorous VI (my everyday go-to) through the EL-8 couldn"t come close lớn displaying that level of width và depth.

The EL8 really shows its teeth in terms of its ability to lớn keep up with extremely demanding, fast, & complicated tracks. The speed is outstanding in that it never manages to lớn feel cluttered or compressed.

My favorite track for this is Tchaikovsky"s 1812 overture, & the EL8 performed as well as any in separate the verifiable s**t storm that comes at the end of that track. Very nicely done!

Highs -The treble on the EL8 was very detailed with plenty of sparkle and detail. Cymbals crash high hats, tshhhh, and flute"s rip. Upper-end keys on various piano tracks tinkle và stand clear of getting eaten up by the mids or drowned out by the lows.

Mids - The midrange is right where I lượt thích it, fairly intimate và very detailed but with a slight overtone of warmth which will help engage you in a track.

There was no nasty upper mid-sibilance even on tracks where I knew it lớn be present. I found the headphones somewhat smoothed that out.

Guitars vày very well here, especially acoustic, and both male & female vocals can shine to lớn great potential.

Lows - The bass on the headphones is the one thing that stops the EL-8 from being a consummate all-rounder. It"s just to0 light for my taste khổng lồ be used as an all-genre headphone.

The detail in the lows is there are spades, but if you like to listen lớn electronic music or even modern pop và hip hop genres, there are better headphones out there for you. Sub-bass and impact are somewhat lacking.

If you are into rock, indie, jazz, and classical the EL-8 open back will be right up your street, but if you want some lower-end grunt, then you might want to kiểm tra out the closed-back tai nghe instead.

So lớn sum up the sound for its price, it’s a great headphone & something you should certainly consider if it fits both your budget và listening preferences. Grado lovers seeking a move into planar would be well suited as the closest tuning would be something like the SR225e.

Audeze EL-8 headphone reviews - Conclusion

There is a whole lot I lượt thích about the Audeze EL8, và it"s not just the headphones themselves. They sound great. They are well built. They look absolutely gorgeous in the flesh.

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However,that"s not all that"s going on here. Lớn me, the EL-8 is a bold statement that the company has moved out of the shadows of simply catering for us geeks. Sights are now firmly phối on bringing on-head audiophile products to lớn the masses, and that can only mean good things for our community.

The EL-8 represents a change in thinking and that now, more than ever,people are taking sound quality a lot more seriously. Despite recent opposition from brands lượt thích Oppo & Hifiman and Mr. Speakers,Audeze is still in the game & still winning. After all these years, they still stand at the forefront pumping out great sound and are one of the best makers of Planar Magnetic headphones on the planet.

Audeze Website

Note: Audiophile On would lượt thích to give a huge shout-out to Hifiheadphones.co.uk for loaning us the EL-8 for review.