At this point it’s no secret how much the audiophile headphone market has grown over the past several years and how rosy its immediate future appears to be. Residing in the upper echelon of high-performance headphone manufacturers is the Costa Mesa, Calif.-based company Audeze.
Audeze has been driving the sales of higher performing, non-plastic ear bud headphones through its growing line of planar magnetic-based open- and closed-back headphone products. The company recently debuted its EL-8 competitively priced ($699) planar magnetic headphones in open- and closed-back versions.
Utilizing the industrial design services of BMW Group DesignworksUSA, the EL-8 audiophile headphones are designed to provide dealers with a reasonably priced, nice looking choice of headphone solutions that don’t compromise sound quality. Some of the headphones’ ergonomic features include a suspended headband and contoured ear pads that are engineered to evenly distribute pressure and weight. The headphone’s aesthetics are complemented by wood accents that add to their appearance.
Internally the EL-8s incorporate the company’s Fluxor magnetic technology, along with the Uniforce diaphragm material that was developed by NASA to support Audeze’s design goals of producing a lightweight, but fast-sounding headphone. Both the open- and closed-back versions employ 100mm drivers and deliver frequency responses of 10Hz to 50kHz. The closed-back version is 100dB efficient and weighs 480 grams, while the open-back version is 102dB efficient and weighs slightly less at 460 grams.
In addition, both audiophile headphones have impedance ratings of 30 ohms and are capable of producing sound pressure levels (SPLs) as high as 130dB. (Available on Amazon)