If you’ve been keeping up with our exploration into some rather obscure IEM brands, you’ll know that there’s a lot to be impressed by without breaking the bank. On the other side of the conversation is jumping back to those more high-end models from the brands every audiophile knows and loves. Out of all the top IEM manufacturers on the market, none of them have experimented as much as Audeze.
The iSINE series was personally a missed opportunity for me, as though I appreciated the attempt, there was so much room for improvement. The new Audeze Euclid is set up to be that improvement for me. This is undoubtedly set up to be their flagship IEM, and the main idea for earphone designs moving forward. It comes at a price you’d expect of this prestige, setting you back $1,299. Is the Euclid worth it?
What You Get
- Audeze Euclid IEM
- MMCX Braided Cable
- Pelican 1010 Travel Case
- Mesh Fabric Bag
- Assorted Ear Tips
- Cleaning Brush
- Cable Clip
Look and Feel
When I first saw what these earphones looked like in press images, I knew that Audeze was finally getting serious about IEMs. The black and gold immediately screamed quality and even seemed consistent with Audeze’s main aesthetic choice. Finally getting to hold these beauties in my hands felt like I was really holding a high-end product. The main body is made out of a precision-milled aluminum body, smoothly contoured with an elegant matte black finish. The earpiece is lightweight and durable, all capped with a layer of carbon fiber and the Audeze logo fashionably laid atop.
My praise for the Euclid’s aesthetic design is clear, but one thing I intentionally haven’t mentioned yet is the size of the shell. Minus the Euclid’s perfectly circular faceplate, the rest of the housing bulges out into almost an egg shape. This made me nervous about the fit as a whole, and when I finally tried them out for the first time it confirmed my doubts. These aren’t the most uncomfortable IEMs in the world, but the shape of them doesn’t exactly feel relaxing in your ears. Starting out I didn’t mind the fit, but over time the pressure and ear fatigue started to build up.
If you don’t know it already, Audeze has transferred their planar principle design to their IEMs. It’s a rare sight for earphones to have this design, but Audeze has really put their money on this principle for their earphones. As I mentioned, I thought the iSINE series was a neat experiment, as there really aren’t any other open-back earphones around in the first place. This time, Audeze has put their 18mm planar magnetic driver in a closed back housing. This planar is the smallest of its kind, which is quite sizable for IEMs in the first place. Audeze implements its patented Fazor waveguides in order to eliminate phasing and distortion, while Fluxor magnets and Uniforce voice coils further reduce noise and significantly enhance sensitivity.
Being that the Euclid features a planar magnetic driver system, it needs a more powerful output than a smartphone or laptop headphone jack might give you. Despite the 12 Ohm impedance, it is recommended that the Euclid use some sort of outboard power source in order to get the best signal, with the most sufficient gain. It’s then odd to me that Audeze doesn’t supply a quarter-inch adapter, as using these IEMs with a device like the iFi Signature or Diablo would have been ideal. Instead, I went to the trusted ALO Pilot DAC adapter to do most of my testing. Using it, I was able to get an ample loudness level with a comfortable amount of headroom.
I expect a lot with planar, but I also understand the limitations IEMs have in this area compared to headphones. Those expectations completely went out the window with the Euclid. While I could have used a bit more height on the image, the width here is undeniable. The stereo field extends to a space rarely achieved by most IEMs, creating a sound field that extends well past the earphone’s faceplate, and into the outer air. It’s really like the best elements of a planar driver inside an IEM.
The depth here is also just as great, with layers of sound playing over each other with exceptional clarity and articulation. I tested the Euclid with the new Nick Cave and Warren Ellis album “Carnage” where many of the instrumentals were given the accurate positioning the track deserves, all while putting the booming vocal at the front of the image with intended authority. The most interesting aspect about this stage is that while the width presents this huge image, there’s nothing about it that sounds extreme, only natural and elegant.
While my first impression of this bass was that it was more on the lighter, more neutral side, tracks like “White Elephant ” off that Nick Cave record showed me just how versatile some of the response can be. I think overall, the lows here will always have a moderate tonality, with a flatter all-around mass to the frequencies. However, this is still a bass you can definitely feel. The track I mentioned here delivers the utterly smooth synth bass rather unexpectedly, and the Euclid showcased this timbre with exceptional grace. The texture here is clean, and most importantly, I never felt like the bass wasn’t doing enough. It always showed itself when needed, but it wasn’t necessary to take over the sound signature in any way.
A highlight of this unique sound signature is its eloquently natural midrange. It reminded me a bit of how MEZE tunes their IEMs, but the Euclid comes off way smoother in comparison. The tonality is a lot more laid back, and less forward than I had originally expected. Although their nature isn’t as rich, the mids are still astonishingly full and balanced with energy and purity. This puts vocal fidelity in an interesting place, as a male and female performances are reproduced with an illuminating timbral quality, highlighting the details of each voice. I found the mids here to have one of the most grounded responses I’ve heard on an IEM.
Somehow, the treble here combines the best qualities of the mids and lows and shaped them into a balanced and articulate frequency response that showcases authenticity. They share the natural qualities of the mids, with a softer timbre, but don’t lack in liveliness or detail. The highs also have the smooth consistency of the lows, showcasing a clean and unobtrusive timbre. No harshness or sibilance, but well-defined highs that excel in making instrumentals sound organic and tail off properly.
The Euclid has its flaws, but when it comes to the sound signature, it’s one of the most unique models on the market. Audeze has crafted a wonderfully natural IEM with one of the best sound stages around. Although Audeze doesn’t lack in the sound department, the fit was something that didn’t really suit me, even with the exquisite design. The price is sure to put some off, but the Euclid still screams high-end no matter how you want to put it. This is a big improvement over the iSINE for me and I am looking forward to what else Audeze can do with IEMs in the future.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Soundstage, Natural timbre, Sophisticated design
Cons, Fit, Price
The Audeze Euclid is available from Audio 46.
Discuss the AUdeze Euclid on our Forums here.
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