I was recently able to get my hands on the open-back version of the ever-popular Audeze Sine headphones. These planar magnetics are much more affordable than the others in their collection. They are also smaller, and so are convenient for the travelling audiophile who can get away with an open-back set of cans. But does their sound stand up to the more expensive models? Today I’ll find out with this Audeze Sine DX on-ear open-back headphones review.
Audeze Sine DX On-Ear Open-Back Headphones Review
In the Box
-Audeze Sine DX on-ear open-back headphones
-hard-shell carrying case
-detachable 3.5mm cable
-3.5mm to 6.5mm adapter
The headband of the Audeze Sine DX headphones is durable. It is made of metal, but still flexible and able to bend and extend to fit just about all head shapes. Along the top part of the headphone, a thin layer of foam coated with leather protects your noggin and provides firm, but comfy padding.
Just like the closed-back Audeze Sine headphones, the Audeze Sine DX headphones have “D” shaped earcups. They are smaller and lighter than other Audeze LCD series and swivel freely in their yolks. While the earcups are meant to be on-ear, they actually fit over my ear, but will fit more intentionally on folks with bigger ears.
The earpads of Audeze Sine DX are much like the original Sine. The thinness of these pads is an issue for me, although my not bother folks with larger ears. Because the earcups and pads fit over my ear rather than on my ear, the lack of body in the pads causes my ears to touch the cup. As a result, the headphones are uncomfortable for long duration use.
The cable is interesting because it is both unobtrusive and heavy duty. It is detachable and attaches to both earcups. It is a flat design.
The low frequencies of the Audeze Sine DX are a bit polite volume-wise. However, they feel balanced overall and react quickly to low-end transients. They work well for most genres, but if you’re relying on the low-end to carry a lot of emotional impact, these won’t be a good choice for you. There seems to be a broad boost somewhere around 100Hz which helps give kick drums and bass guitars a little extra body.
Despite the dim low-end, the low mids actually feel pretty thick. A boost at 600Hz also makes them a little bit cloudy, so music that depends on low-mid clarity, like some classical music, suffers a little bit. The midrange as a whole feels warm, and sounds pleasant especially with acoustic guitars, violins, mandolins, and drums. This midrange is more of an aesthetic feat than an accurate and analytical one. A boost at 1.7Hz starts the emphasis of the high-mids. Therefore, vocals sit high in the mix. Additionally, there is a cut at 3.5 kHz, so those vocals have a slightly different tonal quality than you might be used to with other sets of cans. They do respond well to female vocalists who might otherwise get a little bit harsh when they reach for the strong high notes.
The highs exude a big boost at 10kHz. As a result, the highs sometimes sound a little bit pokey–that’s a technical term :). I find this boost reasonable on many mixes, but it is especially harsh on Rudy Van Gelder jazz recordings.
The soundstage of the Audeze Sine DX is wide and accurate. The high frequencies in particular provide a nice sense of width and depth. Because of the lack of low-end, the height is taller than it is deeper, and this isn’t as accurate is it otherwise would be.
The Audeze Sine DX open-back, on-ear headphones have a nice and warm midrange that responds especially well to female vocalists. The headphones sound the best with clean recordings that would benefit from added warmth–which the headphones provide. The lack of low-end and the cloudy low-mids makes these headphones not ideal for some genres. Also be advised that if you have small ears, you may find them uncomfortable because of the over-ear way they’ll fit.
The Audeze Sine DX headphones are available for the best price here:
Frequency Response: 10 Hz-50 kHz
Impedance: 18 ohms
Sensitivity: 102 dB/mW
Type: open-back, on-ear
Transducer: planar magnetic