Before we get into the Audeze Sine vs. EL8, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this review
Today I will provide a no non sense comparison of these two buddies, and then give a recommendation towards the end. 🙂
Similarities & Differences
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!
For the purposes of this review, I will be outlining the EL8 Open backed model.
Similarities & Differences
Overall sound. I would say that these two headphones have a pretty similar sound overall. Both are pretty balanced, with a flattish mid-range and a treble response that is somewhat darker than your average headphone.
Mobile devices. I would say both will work fine with a mobile device, but if you have an Android, the Sine may prove to be a bit troublesome. My only gripe with the Sine was that it sounded too quiet straight out of my phone. Because it’s geared more towards Apple, it’s simply not going to sound as good if you happen to have an android device. It was only when I hooked it up to an Amp/DAC did the signal really come to life and prove what they are really capable of. That is: an amazingly accurate and detailed sound signature. How to choose a headphone amp! With the EL8 I was equally as impressed, and especially with the bass response. It was ultra crisp and detailed, and actually made songs I’ve heard many times over sound different somehow. With that:
Bass. The bass on these two puppies is very similar, with strong attention to detail and clarity. It’s hard to explain what the word “texture” means when describing bass, but think of it like you’re able to really discern how exactly a bass note is supposed to sound. Rather than simply hearing it as a thump, you’re more apt to analyze it and understand how it actually sounds on a deeper level (no pun intended).
Type. Both are planar magnetic headphones, but just by looking at them and feeling them in your hand you would be likely to disagree! The EL8 resembles a typical planar headphone: It’s fairly heavy and bulky, but still rests very comfortably on your melon. The Sine is unique in that it’s very lightweight, not at all clunky, and looks more like your typical on ear dynamic driver headphone. Because planar headphones have magnets on both sides of the driver, it causes the weight to be rather heavy. Both the Sine and EL8 circumvent this issue by featuring what Audeze calls Fluxor magnetic technology. There’s a magnet in there, but it’s only on one side of the diaphragm, thus reducing the overall weight of the can. Still, the EL8 is a bit heavier than the Sine overall, because of it’s larger drivers.
Comfort. Unfortunately, the Audeze Sine will get uncomfortable rather quickly. This is pretty much it’s only flaw. The EL8 is by contrast an extremely comfortable headphone, and you won’t need to adjust it at all. I’m able to keep it on my head for long periods without taking it off or moving it to a more comfy spot on my head.
Supra-aural vs. Circumaural. The EL8 fits around your ear while the Sine is actually the worlds first On-ear planar magnetic. For more info on planar magnetic technology and drivers: What is a Headphone Driver?
Mid-range. I would say that the mid-range is a little bit more forward in it’s presentation with the EL8, while the Sine’s is a tad recessed by comparison. Both of these have a very flat overall profile though. Think lots of detail and clarity.
Treble. While both headphones have a similar sounding treble, the EL8’s has slightly more sparkle and shimmer in comparison to the darker sounding Sine. Still, both are pretty similar in this regard.
Material. The EL8 is made of wood, metal, and leather, while the Sine is comprised of metal and leather, but also uses a bit of plastic as well.
Soundstage. Being that the EL8 is open back, it’s going to naturally have a more spacious and airy presentation. The Sine is of course a little more boxed in sounding. What is Soundstage?
Cable. The cable on both the EL8 and Sine plug into both ear-cups, but for the Sine, the way it’s angled provides a nice deterrence from snag, as it cannot be ripped out of the ear-cup.
Well my friend, this is somewhat of a difficult dilemma. Which of these should you go with?
I would say if you have an Apple device, go with the Sine as you can get the Cipher cable with it and be at a legit starting point without any extra gear. Later if you want to add a portable or desktop amp, you can! Interested in learning more about the Sine? Check out my informative review:
The EL8 sounds phenomenal out of my Android, but is a bit more expensive, and isn’t as portable, but it’s a lot more comfortable. However, for just a few more hundred dollars you can get an LCD3, so it’s hard to recommend it outright. Still, it’s an amazing headphone with an accurate and balanced sound signature like the Sine.
Stu is determined to provide the truth about all things audio, and strives to deliver excellent content to you the reader! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, attend church, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His attention to detail and perfectionist attitude are what allow him to excel, but it can be both a blessing and a hindrance at times.