The Audeze Sine has been out for a while now, receiving much well-deserved fanfare from audiophiles and casual listeners alike. But all the hype aside, how well does this $449 headphone perform? We put it through the paces to see just what kind of sound this baby is packing.
Audeze Sine Review
The Audeze Sine is a closed-back on-ear planar-magnetic headphone. There’s some decent leather padding on the headband and earpads, leading to a good amount of comfort and some decent isolation to boot.
In the box, there’s a carrying pouch and a 1/4” adapter plug.
|Transducer type||Planar magnetic|
|Magnetic arrays||Single-sided Fluxor|
|Transducer size||80 x 70mm|
|Max power handling||6W|
|Sound pressure level||>120dB|
|Frequency response||10Hz – 50kHz|
|THD||<1% full spectrum @ 100dB|
|Optimal power requirement||500mW – 1W|
The specifications reveal a headphone with a wide frequency range, as well as a low impedance. Total harmonic distortion is good, and the volume is great.
The lows on the Sine are both deep and articulated, with precise detail being the order of the day. Bass is warm and full, with excellent control that prevents bleeding.
The mids are accurate, but with the tiniest bit of compression – an iota of compression, really. I initially blamed the Sine’s dampening for this, though it may stem from the closed-back design of the headphones. At any rate, it’s barely distinguishable, but if you’re a seasoned critical listener, you may pick up on it.
The Sine’s highs sit somewhere between “damn good” and “spot on,” but they can still come across as piercing on occasion. Basically, with really high notes on strings, or the most falsetto of voices. Suffice to say, this is probably going to be a non-issue unless you listen to a lot of violin music or love the Bee Gees.
Soundstage is present. It’s not as full or as robust of a soundstage as I was hoping for, but it’s still there and it’s not too bad. With relatively complex tracks, like orchestral pieces, there’s a sense of some placement and depth, but this diminishes somewhat with tracks featuring less instruments, like some rock tunes. This may not be a deal breaker, but you should still be aware of it.
The Audeze Sine will impress most people for a rare quality of sound at a fairly decent price point. By virtue of it’s closed back design, the midrange compression and the not-so-perfect soundstage are strikes we can live with, if only because it does so many other things so well. When raw sound quality is taken into account, this headphone deserves a nod of recognition, because it shows what a closed-back planar-magnetic headphone should sound like (we’re looking at you, Oppo).
Want a rich, dynamic sound that isolates well while not skimping on precious details? Ladies and gentlemen, look no further. If you’re more of a fan of laid-back or relaxed sound, sure, you could look elsewhere. While the Oppo PM3 might have that kind of profile, it doesn’t seem as well-built as other models, so even here we’d be hesitant to recommend it. But, thankfully, there’s always high-end closed-back dynamic-driver options available in the form of the Shure SRH1540 ($499) or the Audio Technica M70x ($299). But for planar-magnetic closed-back high-fidelity sound, this one takes the cake.