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Winners in a field of two: Audeze at Superbooth ’17

  • If Superbooth ’17 proved thin on the ground for loudspeaker manufacturers – Dynaudio, Adam, Eve, Yamaha – headphones were almost non-existent. Beyerdynamic had populated half a dozen listening pods in the lobby with their headphones. Traffic was light on but more likely the result of an absence of company staff and/or location than the headphones themselves. Where were Sennheiser? AKG? Audio-Technica? Marketing opportunity missed x 3.

    It’s not just headphones. The electronics that drive them are also of interest to those recording and mixing material out in the field. How many of these modular synth freaks would spring for an AudioQuest DragonFly Black/Red or Rupert Neve Headphone amplifier were they aware of either’s existence?

    Nowadays, a DJ must also be a music maker. S/he doesn’t get booked based solely upon his/her mixing abilities but on how high his/her public profile. To establish and then maintain that profile, a DJ must make and release his/her own music, the recording and mixing of which often takes place on the road between DJ gigs.

    Tapping into this thinking are Audeze whose small table tucked away in the rear corner of Superbooth ’17’s uppermost level would have been missed by most. A shame – Audeze make some of the best headphones in the world.

    They also make some of the heaviest headphones in the world. Possibly why the Costa Mesa-based company boiled their planar-magnetic technology down to IEM level with iSine 10/20.

    Eyeing these game-changing transducers in the context of a pro audio trade show had this commentator recalibrate his thinking on why the iSine are an open- (and not closed-)back: perhaps the target market isn’t (only) audiophiles but travelling musicians doing mix-downs in hotel rooms where bi-directional noise isolation isn’t as critical as audible transparency.

    The iSine’s diminutive size means they travel in pocket or as carry-on far more easily than a bulky pair of circumaural LCD-X/XC/2/3 but with the bandwidth sacrifice held to a minimum.

    The iSine 10 and 20 sell for US$399/pair and US$599/pair respectively with Cipher Lightning iOS cable.

    Superbooth ’18 will be a must for any headphone or headphone electronics manufacturer looking to expand its market penetration. Everyone wins as soon as critical exhibitor mass is attained.

    Further information: Audeze

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

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