The American brand Audeze is one of the most unshakable examples of audiophile quality, its full-size magneplanar headphones lead the market in many areas, from conservative Hi-End and studio monitoring to modern gaming trends. Fans have been waiting for the appearance of closed IEMs from Audeze for a long time, but it’s not easy to make planar headphones in this form factor, this emitter is poorly adapted to it.
Here you need an accurate and careful calculation. Maybe that’s why the headphones were named after the ancient Greek mathematician Euclid. In any case, I intend to give an independent assessment of how successful the result was. The cost of the model is about $ 1450, and for this money you can buy quite top-end full sizes from the same Audeze, so testing will be strict. To business.
We are greeted by a discreet glossy black box with a geometric pattern of the letters “A”. The package for my Audeze Euclid sample was not record-breakingly generous, but acceptable: 3 pairs of regular silicone tips, 3 pairs of Comply foams, a Pelican 1010 case, a cloth bag, a cleaning tool, an adapter for a 6.3 mm jack and a clothespin. Of course, after the scattering of ear pads that some Chinese Hi-Fi brands, such as FiiO and iBasso, usually put on their headphones, such a set of accessories is perceived as more modest, but everything you need for the first time is here.
New Euclid look expensive and serious. Their bodies are made of solid aluminum with precision milling, faceplates are coated with carbon fiber, they are embossed company logos. The surface of the cups is all embossed, it will not collect fingerprints and small scratches. The work is really thorough and accurate, the headphones are handmade at the Audeze plant in California in small batches, there are no questions about the build quality. By the way, the warranty for the model is 1 year, and for the emitters – 3 years.
But I want to note that the size of Euclid turned out to be not the smallest. For me personally, their fit fit flawlessly, it was almost like magic when the cases fit perfectly into the ears, immediately completely ceasing to be felt in them, but I cannot guarantee that this will happen to you. The width of the sound guide here is 5 mm, although it has the correct angle of inclination, and the rounded shape of the shells with anatomical curves contributes to wearing comfort. In addition, the weight of the model is more or less gentle – 15 g. Passive noise isolation is better than average, this will be a useful bonus when traveling.
So, the only remark is the large size. But when compared with Audeze iSine10 / iSine20 and their, so to speak, ergonomics, this is already incredible progress, there is nothing to complain about at all.
About the stock cable
We have a twisted unbalanced wiring made of oxygen-free copper with a 3.5 plug and durable MMCX connectors. It is soft, docile, not prone to tangling, acoustically quite transparent, I cannot find fault with it. But if you plan to use a symmetrical connection, it will not be superfluous to replace it with a higher-level lanyard. However, it is still not just a cheap consumable, which pleases.
Specifications and Compatibility
- Frequency range: from 10 Hz to 50 kHz;
- Sensitivity: 105 dB;
- Resistance: 12 Ohm.
Despite their enticingly low impedance, the Euclids proved to be quite finicky when it comes to gain. And they require good current output, otherwise you just won’t have enough volume. But it’s probably strange to recommend listening to IEM with a hospital, right? Let’s put it this way: you need a high-quality Hi-Res player with sufficient power indicators, and it is better to give preference to a balanced connection. Although the potential of the model with a desktop combine is revealed much richer, this is a fact.
Let’s start with the fact that in-channel planars are always a compromise. If you want headphones in which this type of driver behaves exemplarily and works as virtuoso as possible, showing all his talents from start to finish, you will have to choose open full sizes. As usual, they are heavy in weight, with large bowls, demanding to buildup, focused purely on home use. Manufacturers are experimenting with the in-ear form factor for those audiophiles for whom the main listening scenario is the road.
Now let’s talk about our hero. And here I was in for a surprise, guys. More precisely, just two surprises. First, the Audeze Euclid is capable of delivering a really wide, deep and holographic scene, surprisingly large even for their price class. But please, seriously pay attention to the selection of nozzles, in this case this is a matter of principle, otherwise not only will the panorama turn out to be more constricted than it really is, but many aspects of the delivery will simply not be audible at all.
Secondly, for some reason I imagined that the nature of the headphones would be strict, dryish, with impassive sharpness and a noticeable departure into micro-contrast. But no. Euclid are played softly, thickly and warmly, with a pleasant length of notes, enveloping melody, delicate velvety textures. They don’t really lie, the placement of accents is extremely accurate, but the picture itself is presented delicately, analogously, melodiously. The headphones, as it were, slightly blur the contours of individual parts, forcing the composition to be perceived as more realistic and solid. And all this is combined with a natural and diverse timbre scale.
This handwriting is especially harmonious for acoustic genres, it is simply created for them. That’s why I love classical music, ethnic music and jazz, because it is here that live instruments so frankly flaunt with overflows, richness and versatility of their natural sound. Euclid know how to work out this palette, they also add delicious elasticity to it so that the recording has the necessary volume.
However, the continuity of the feed does not turn it into a continuous mess. The control over the entire range is quite good, it is felt both in the definition of the high frequencies, and in the speed of impact on the low frequencies, and in the confident juiciness of the overtones. It provides omnivorousness to other musical styles. I have no complaints about the resolution either, for their money the headphones have quite decent information content. They are unlikely to be a suitable option for connoisseurs of dry reinforcement, icy analyticity and fractional micro-detailing, but if you need a model for thoughtful and comfortable listening, you can take it.
The bass is massive, sweeping and deep. I would call the mid rounded and rather plump, but the sub sounds solid, weighty and percussive, with a strong punch and unhurried attenuation. The spectrum is underlined, but without fanaticism. The relief and variability are good, positioning in space is accurate, freely defined.
The middle is engaging, plastic and voluminous. She seems a little muffled, but her three-dimensionality compensates for this. There is a careful study of the background, on high-quality recordings you can feel the size of the room and its acoustic properties. Minor nuances are not highlighted, but are audible, they are here very unobtrusively and organically complement the melody. The texture of the mids reminded me of a delicate paste, they are so soft, it is literally tactile contact with the instrument. Vocals are colorful, emotional and lively, but, fortunately, without synthetic loudness. Of the minuses – I wanted more technicality, as well as transparency and clarity, so that the midrange were brought closer.
High frequencies are airy, fast, reliable. They are slightly reinforced at the base, but the upper layers are smoothed, so that the handwriting is very comfortable. Despite this, even I, a HFfil, a lover of sparkle and bright crystallinity, sincerely liked the nature of the spectrum. The Audeze Euclid gives the uppers warmth, weight and impeccable definition, resulting in a more true-to-life range with beautiful richness and just enough overtones. Elastic notes are devoid of “digital” sharpness, they literally caress the ear with their flexibility, calm grace and clarity. In general, the nature of the treble is quite universal – both for aesthetes and for a mass audience.
In this section, I don’t even have anything to talk about, although I myself specialize in top-end audio devices. I don’t want to compare Euclid with dynamic headphones, and I haven’t heard anything from planar IEMs of this level, except for them. I recently had hit 7Hz Timeless on my test, but this is hardly a rival to the hero of the review. The model, of course, replays its price, and significantly, but not so much. Yes, and the character of Timeless is different, they are dried, harsh, high-speed, driving, punchy, with a pronounced V-shaped frequency and accentuated micro-detailing. An interesting little thing, but that’s a completely different topic. I hope that in the future there will be more in-channel planars.
What can I say about the new Audeze Euclid? These are headphones with a neat design, excellent build, comfortable fit, atmospheric and soft sound. These are compact planars that can be slipped into your pocket to listen anywhere you want. Audeze well done for handling this audiophile request. The cost of the model, of course, could be more sparing, but as it is, guys. I advise you to listen to Euclid if possible before buying it yourself, the presentation here is still tasteful, and do not forget about a good amplifier. The rest – the headphones are made serious, grown-ups, if it is appropriate to use this term. All Hi-Res.