Audeze has been on our shortlist of go-to headphones for the last few years, but one of the most significant issues with their cans is that they don’t travel well, aka they are pretty big. So what about their IEMs? The LCDi3 is a fantastic pair of buds; however, if you are using them to travel and drown out the noise of life around you, that’s not going to work because they are open-back headphones. Enter the Euclid, the first closed-back, truly portable planar IEM from Audeze that brings the performance of a single planar magnetic driver to a set of buds.
So what’s so great about planar headphones? To put it simply, they have incredible detail that you don’t get from traditional cones.
You can get your nerd on here if you want to get more in-depth on the subject with this great article from out on it here from HowToGeek.com
So what catches most people’s attention straight away is the hefty price tag, which comes in at $1,299. This sum of loot immediately puts them into the “I’m SERIOUS about my sound” category, and as you would expect, many audiophiles swear by planar headphones. So if you are a casual music enthusiast, like a more colored or bass-heavy sound, you can stop reading now because you don’t need this kind of firepower, as it would be like handing your grandparents the keys to a new Ferrari.
What’s In the Box – 2x Euclid Buds| MMCX Braided Cable | 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced cable | Bluetooth Cipher Module | 1/4″ TRS adapter | Pelican 1010 Travel Case | Mesh Fabric Bag | Assorted Ear Tips | Cleaning Brush | Cable Clip | Certificate of Authenticity
Build Quality – The Euclids come in at 15 grams (without cable) and are made of aluminum and capped off with a layer of carbon fiber. They are machined beautifully and, after handling them quite a bit, seem to be durable and resistant to scratching despite aluminum being a soft metal. Keep in mind that these materials should be treated with care as they are by no means bulletproof, so we highly recommend traveling with them packed in the included hard case. You lose toughness here, but you also get a significantly lighter earbud, which is crucial for long traveling sessions.
Comfort – The Euclids are the smallest IEM that Audeze currently offers; however, these buds might still be a bit bulbous for your average listener. We found them quite comfortable overall as we are accustomed to larger and heavier True Wireless models from other brands. The nice selection of ear tips allows you to dial in your sound and fit to get that seal just right. The included braided cable(s) and Bluetooth cable are designed to wrap around the back of your ear to keep them secure, which helps manage their overall size as well. Compared to the open-back LCDi3, these buds are far more manageable for commuting and longer listening sessions due to their lighter weight and smaller size.
Cables (All included with Euclid)
Standard MMCX Braided Cable: The Euclid standard 3.5mm braided gets upgraded with gold plated MMCX plugs and worked well with our Astell & Kern AKjr high-resolution player Schiit headphone amp (with 1/4 inch adapter) for vinyl and even on an iPhone.
Euclid Balanced 4.4MM Pentaconn Cable: For those with HD players that have a 4.4mm jack, you get the Balanced Pentaconn cable to deliver even better sound. We, unfortunately, could not get our hands on an HD player with this type of input, so we cannot speak to the sound quality, but we are guessing it’s fantastic.
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Euclid Cipher BlueTooth Cable – We use the Cipher cable on our LCDi3, so since there are different connectors (MMXC) on the Euclids, they had to change it up to accommodate. The Euclid Cipher Bluetooth module is relatively light and gives you the freedom of wireless listening on your new Ferraris, errr Euclids. The module features the latest and greatest codecs and lasts for about 8 hours, a must-have accessory for those on the move; however, audiophile types will probably still argue that wired sound is better. If you need to take a call while you are lost in a wonderland of vibrant sound, don’t worry, they have a great mic too!
- 24-Bit high-resolution audio playback quality
- Wireless Bluetooth experience for Audeze Euclid headphones
- Memory wire wraparound design for a customized fit and comfort
- Gold plated MMCX terminated for use with the Euclid
- High-performance microphone for crystal clear call quality
- High-capacity lithium battery for 8-hours of continuous play
- CSR8675 chip with Qualcomm aptX HD audio decoding
Pro Tip: All about those tips: The fit of an earbud and a good seal makes the difference between good and outstanding. The Euclid comes with two different styles of silicone and foam ear tips, including Comply models. Make sure you take the time to get this right; it’s worth every bit of effort fumbling around with those pesky little tips.
We tested the Euclids with both the standard and Cipher Bluetooth cables with the following devices and genres.
Electronic – From techno to more chillout, the Euclids capture the crisp, tight, and punchy sound of electronic music quite well. For those that exclusively listen to more bass-heavy music, you might not be satisfied with the thump, but the tightness and clarity are exceptional. These buds shine in the beautifully balanced highs and mids that deliver a remarkable and rich clarity combined with the smooth bass sounds. Artists that sounded fantastic – Aphex Twin, Autechre, Plastikman, FSOL, etc.
Hip Hop – The more modern stuff with heavy bass and sub-bass sounded decent but lacked the big punch most fans look for in this genre. We were pleasantly surprised by how they sounded with older hip hop that is more sample-driven and contains more jazzy elements. Artists like Eric B. and Rakim, Gang Starr, De La Soul, etc., all felt fresh and vibrant, with subtleties that we had never noticed before.
Jazz/Rock/Classical – The natural and detailed sound of the Euclids is right at home with the more acoustic sounds of these genres. Jazz sounds rich and complete with all the details of the players, from hands sliding down bass strings to the delicate breath of a trumpet player. Rock sounds full-bodied, significant, and detailed, giving the music the space it needs, which is impressive for a closed-back headphone, let alone an IEM. Last, and probably the most impressive of all the genres, was classical, with vivid details, a sense of space, and a soundstage that felt staggeringly like being at the symphony.
Summary – If you love music and fantastic sound, the Euclids are an IEM that you should take a closer look at and listen to. They deliver big for those that have to commute and need something more practical but don’t want to sacrifice vibrant sound. If you are a fan of jazz, electronic, and classical genres and appreciate expansive soundstages and natural, detailed sound, you probably won’t find much better. The price is steep and undoubtedly a significant investment, but it’s a worthwhile one for those passionate about sound. One thing is for sure; if you get the Euclids, you will probably want to purchase some kind of HD audio player to get the most out of these buds; the iPhone is ok but no match for the Astell&Kern AKJr.