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Audeze has been a bit of a love-hate brand for me.
Many would already be familiar with my opinions on the iSine/LCD-i series of open-backed planar IEMs: technically proficient, but with absolutely garbage tuning that necessitates some form of EQ. And that’s not considering the fact that an open-backed IEM is probably one of the nichest-of-the-niche products out there. After all, why buy an open-backed IEM when you can just… get an open-backed headphone?
Now in the greatest year of 2021, we finally have the solution. Here I present the Euclid, Audeze’s closed-back alternative to the iSines and LCD-i’s. Though that concept has got me understandably skeptical considering that last time a big-name brand tried to turn an open-back into a closed-back, we got the HD820.
But enough talk, here IEF answers the question you’ve all been asking once you’ve learnt of this IEM’s existence. How good is the Euclid actually?
Product page: https://www.audeze.com/products/euclid
Driver configuration: Single Planar-magnetic (18mm)
This Euclid was kindly provided by Audeze.
My unboxing posts are pretty much the only times I’ll ever talk about build quality, accessories and the like. I’m not really the person to ask about these things as I don’t really care about them that much.
- Pelican 1020 hard case
Cable: 4-wire double-twist braid. Rather odd braiding style, rather rough and so not very comfortable skinfeel.
Build: metal build, surprisingly light given the size. No weak points from a cursory glance.
Fit: MMCX connection is a little too low for my liking, but otherwise fine for my large-ish ears. Could see the Euclid being a problem for smaller ears.
Isolation: slightly above average, wouldn’t mind bringing it outdoors but wouldn’t be my first choice either.
- Tuning is probably the Euclid’s biggest limitation, so not too dissimilar from the original iSine/LCD-i series of IEMs.
- That said, the tonality is nowhere as bad as its predecessors. For one thing, there’s actual upper midrange and the 1.5kHz honkiness is very much eliminated.
- Clarity-forward, but not necessarily in the right ways. Rather aggressive, almost shouty, but also lacks the required body for most baritone-bass instruments (and even in the tenor ranges too).
- Vocals are too head-y for my liking. Again, needs more body and weight.
- With all the bad things out of the way, here’s the good: the Euclid manages to match the resolving ability of its predecessors, that is to say, potentially top-tier material.
- The Euclid is clearly an IEM that priorities technical ability above all else and while it’s tonality leaves a lot to be desired, I can at least see this being usable without any EQ.
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