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Behind the scenes: a factory floor tour of Audeze

Buzz buzz buzzzzzzzz, tap tap tap. These are the sounds that permeate the factory of one of the world’s most revered headphone manufacturers. In an industrial park at the corner Hyland and Sunland Avenues in Costa Mesa, CA sits the headquarters of Audeze (pronounced Or-dezz-ee, not Or-deez).

Audeze specialise in planarmagnetic (aka orthodynamic) headphones. Their LCD range made them rock stars in the high-end head-fi world but moving product appeal toward the mass market took the EL-8, designed in collaboration with BMWDesignWorks USA. I reviewed the open back EL-8 here but be advised that their sonic signature has been revamped since their CES 2015 launch.

BMW’s input saw Audeze unify earcup and driver assembly into a single piece. The diaphragm is traced in precise accordance with the measured flux density of the magnets beneath. In case you hadn’t guessed it already, Audeze make everything in house.

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Wanting to explain his company’s planar magnetic headphone tech in more detail put our factory tour host, company CEO and co-founder Sankar Thiagasamudram, into full teacher mode. With whiteboard and pen, Thiagasamudram explained the theory behind the company’s Fluxor magnets and the Uniforce diaphragm.

Last year, these same planar magnetic headphone technologies were applied to a smaller headphone, the Sine, an on-ear which which can also be powered by Audeze’s Cipher cable – it sucks digital audio from an iOS device’s Lightning port uses in-line circuitry to drive the planar-magnetic headphones directly. This not only keeps iPhone 7 users in the picture but affords all Sine listeners a significant uptick in sound quality over a more traditional, analogue-cabled connection where the signal is derived from an iPhone’s (or iPad’s) internal DAC and headphone output.

In 2016, the planar magnetic driver miniaturisation continues…

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Next to ship are Audeze’s iSine – the world’s first range of planar magnetic IEMs. Open-backed means street noise comes in and your music leaks outwards but, oh my, the headstage sizing and the illusion of sitting closer to the source are like no other IEM heard by this commentator to date. This were my first impressions upon hearing the iSine 20 and Cipher cable handle a Spotify stream of David Bowie’s Young Americans in Audeze’s boardroom after the shop floor tour.

That was mid October. A pair of the iSine 20 are headed my way shortly so more listening impressions will follow in due course.

In the meantime, witness the Audeze factory tour (almost) exactly as I did:

Further information: Audeze

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Written by John H. Darko

John is the editor/publisher of DAR from which he derives an income from its ad revenues. John is also an occasional contributor to 6moons and AudioStream and lives in Berlin, Germany.

Twitter: DarkoAudio
Instagram: DarkoAudio
Facebook: DAR

14 Comments

  1. Can’t wait to hear about the iSine. I should have a pair fairly soon to play with as well John. We should swap notes! 🙂

    Audeze is a great shop, one of the best in the world.

  2. Hey John, could you give more impressions on the sound of the isine 20? Do they sound exciting and engaging? Maybe comparing them to other more expensive iems. Thanks

    • Not from a show floor and factory floor I can’t – sorry. Once I unbox and run-in the pair just landed here in Berlin I’ll have more to say.

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