The Audeze iSine 10 creates a whole new category of in-ear headphones: open-backed with planar magnetic drivers.

Many high end headphones today use planar magnetic drivers. Since 2008, Audeze has designed planar magnetic headphones in California, where they also manufacture all their headphones. Like most planar magnetic headphones, Audeze’s headphones are fairly large and heavy.

figure 1 – iSine 10

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Well, Audeze’s headphones were fairly large and heavy. Until now. The iSine line are Audeze’s first in-ear models. They are both the first planar magnetic in-ear headphones and the first open in-ear headphones known to me. Audeze worked with BMW DesignWorks on the iSine 10’s industrial design.

figure 2 – iSine planar magnetic

Audeze offers the iSine with their Cipher cable, which has a Lightning connector for use with iPhones and iPads. The Cipher cable is far more than a cable with a remote and microphone. It includes bespoke DSP tuning, a 24-bit DAC, and an optimized headphone amp. Audeze offers an iOS app with 10 bands of EQ to further tailor the iSine’s 10 sound. The Cipher cable is MFi certified and Siri-compatible.

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figure 3 – cipher cable

In addition to the Cipher cable, Audeze includes a case, a standard 3.5mm headphone cable, several tips, two styles of earclips, and a manual on a USB stick.

figure 4 – iSine 10 accessories

The Audeze iSine 10 in-ear headphones cost $399. Audeze also offers a step-up model, the iSine 20, for $599. When I discovered that Audeze was developing these innovative headphones, in concert with their design partner BMW DesignWorks, I reached out to Audeze for a review sample of the iSine 10.

figure 5 – JBH iSine

My initial sonic impression of the iSine 10 is, they offer a bigger and and more open sound than any other in-ear headphone I’ve heard. The iSine 10 also fit me surprisingly comfortably. Stay tuned for a full review of these unique in-ear headphones.