The Audeze iSINE 20 semi-open in-ear headphones are definitely among the weirdest in-ear headphones we’ve ever seen. If you think they look like they were designed for Spiderman, you’re not the only one. But the strange design has its purpose: to deliver the best sound quality and the most natural reproduction possible at this size.
Design and Build
The Audeze iSINE 20 are strange headphones—no doubt about that. They don’t just look weird, they also fit weird. The housing is very large, and its weight can make you feel like the headphones are going to fall off with the next step you take.
According to online customer reviews, some people never get the fit right, while others don’t have any problem at all. Fortunately, the headphones come with a host of useful accessories, such as multiple pairs of replaceable eartips and a set of earhooks, which greatly help to achieve acceptable comfort.
The Audeze iSINE 20 also come with two cables: one that you can connect to any 3.5 mm audio port and the other one with Apple’s Lightning connector for use with iOS devices. The Lighting cable has a built-in amplifier, a digital-to-analog converter, and a Siri-compatible microphone. Users of iOS devices can also use the Audeze iOS app to boost or elevate mids in real-time using a 10-band equalizer and save the settings to the cable.
The reason why the Audeze iSINE 20 look so weird is the fact that they house planar magnetic drivers, which are a sort of crossbreed between dynamic and electrostatic drivers. The diaphragm of a planar magnetic speaker is a thin sheet of flexible transparent film with flat electrical conductors in it and an array of magnets placed in front of and behind it.
Planar magnetic drivers are known for their ability to effortlessly produce natural, organic sound, and the Audeze iSINE 20 are no exception in this regard. They deliver pure and clean instrumental attacks, an incredible level of detail, and brilliant separation.
Being open headphones, the only thing the Audeze iSINE 20 don’t deliver is good sound isolation. These headphones are meant for attentive listening inside a quiet room—not for playing white noise to drown out loud coworkers.
What’s in the Box?
The Audeze iSINE 20 comes with one 1.5 m audio cable with 1/8” stereo plug input to 2-pin plug output, one 1.5 m Cipher cable with Lightning plug input to 2-pin plug output, a user guide, a warranty card, and a certificate of authenticity.