Dark or Light
logo
Logo

Golden Ears: Audeze Euclid Planar Magnetic IEM Review

TOTL Planar Earphones

Christopher Coke Updated: Posted:
Category:
Hardware Reviews 0

Audeze is one of the biggest names in the audiophile world. Its over-ear headphones have all found their way onto best-of lists and earned accolades and awards across the industry. The Audeze Euclid isn’t an over-ear headphone: it’s an in-ear monitor, small enough to slip in your pocket and take anywhere you go, but features the same planar magnetic drivers and patented technology that has made Audeze the brand it is today. 

But they don’t come cheap. The Euclid retails for $1299, making it the perfect fit for Golden Ears, our semi-regular column exploring the world of high-end audio. Here, we explore top-of-the-line products and see just what exists on the other side of the audio rainbow. What does a quad-digit IEM get you? Find out in this edition of Golden Ears.

Specifications

  • Current Price: $1299 (Amazon
  • Style: In-ear, closed-back
  • Transducer type: Planar Magnetic
  • Magnetic structure: Fluxor™ magnet array
  • Phase management: Fazor™
  • Magnet type: Neodymium N50
  • Diaphragm type: Ultra-thin Uniforce™
  • Transducer size: 18 mm
  • Maximum SPL: >120dB
  • Frequency response: 10Hz - 50kHz
  • THD: <0.1% @ 100 dB SPL
  • Sensitivity: 105 dB/1mW (at Drum Reference Point)
  • Impedance: 12 ohms
  • Max power handling: 500mW
  • Min recommended power: > 50mW
  • Wired connection: Braided MMCX
  • Weight: 15g/pair without cable
  • Sound port diameter: 5mm

Audeze Euclid - What Is It and What Makes It Special

Audeze has made its name on delivering boutique, top of the line planar magnetic headphones, and the Euclid is no exception. Planar magnetic drivers are beloved in the audiophile world due to their incredible clarity, detail, and low levels of distortion. When properly tuned, they can deliver some of the best listening experiences headphones have to offer, which is exactly why many of the most popular audiophile headphones today use them. 

The problem is that these drivers are usually large and rather heavy. Unlike traditional dynamic drivers (think of the speaker or subwoofer cones and you’ll be on the right track), planar magnetics don’t use a moving coil and conical diaphragm. Instead, their diaphragms are thin sheets held on a flat plane, thus deriving the “planar” name. This diaphragm is traced with an electrical conductor. Magnets are positioned on one or both sides (the Euclid uses a single-sided magnet array) to control the motion of the driver when  electricity is pulses through them to create sound. Their unique design at once makes them bigger, heavier, and capable of delivering exceptionally detailed sound across a wide frequency response range.

Historically, planar magnetic IEMs have been hit or miss, but that’s been changing, and certainly isn’t the case with the Euclid. In fact, Audeze has made a point to outfit it with much of the same technology it uses in its over-ear headphones. In addition to its large 18mm driver (20% larger than either the 7Hz Timeless or Letshouer S12), it features Audeze’s patented Fluxor magnets, ultra-thin Uniforce driver, and Fazor waveguides. Together, these technologies allow the Euclid to deliver a bigger, richer sound, with incredible detail, and imperceptibly low levels of distortion. These technologies form a kind of superhero trifecta of aural aptitude, and the results are plainly evident when you hear them for yourself.

Which you should. If you’re able to hear the Euclid or any premium Audeze headphone, you should take the opportunity and hear for yourself. It’s worth seeing what this next-level of planar headphone can actually offer. The results may surprise you like it did for me.

For $1299, expectations are understandably high — of sound and everything else, too. The IEMs and handcrafted in small amounts and are built to a high standard. The shells are larger than your average in-ear monitor and are milled from a solid piece of aluminum before being topped with real carbon fiber for the faceplate. They’re rather oddly shaped, featuring a unique oblong contour, but aren’t as abstract and standout as its previous models, the LCDi series and iSine. That larger size pays dividends in soundstage, however, which I’ll delve into later.

Also included in the box is a selection of silicone eartips (Audeze and SpinFit), three pairs of name-brand Comply memory foam ear tips, a hardback travel case, a mesh carrying bag, a credit card-like certificate of authenticity, and three separate cables. For cables, Audeze includes a standard 3.5mm single-ended cable, a 4.4mm balanced Pentaconn cable, and a Bluetooth necklace which retails for $120 on its own. The presentation of the package is so-so, but the high price isn’t being piecemealed into packaging you’ll probably throw out anyway, so you can view that as a pro or a con. 

With all of that out of the way, let’s get into how fit, comfort, and sound!

Audeze Euclid - Fit and Comfort

The Euclid is a bit of an odd earphone. Even though they’re much more traditional compared to Audeze’s earlier IEMS, they still have a unique shape compared to the rest of the market and are also fairly large. I have medium-sized ears. As you can see in the picture, they fit snugly and comfortably, but I would be concerned for anyone with smaller ears than myself. 

The inner side of the IEMs is contoured to rest on the outer ear. The nozzles are medium-sized in length and diameter. Like all IEMs, it will be important to find the proper fit for your own ear. To aid in that, Audeze includes a selection of standard silicone tips and a set of premium SpinFit eartips in small, medium, and large for both. There are also three pairs of Comply memory foam eartips in the same sizes. I found the SpinFits most comfortable, but between the three sets, most users should be able to find a comfortable fit. 

When properly sized, I was able to wear the set for hours comfortably. They never caused inner or outer ear pain and stayed put remarkably well, even while moving around and completing errands around the house. 

Audeze Euclid - Listening Impressions 

    Image Credit: Crinacle

General Impressions: With a lofty price of $1299, you expect next-level sound and the Euclids deliver. Compared to a hybrid IEM where you can somewhat discern the mix of different drivers firing at the same time, the sound of the Euclid is much more cohesive and smooth across the whole register. This is an exceptionally well-tuned planar magnetic driver that aims for a balanced but detail-rich sound. In many ways, it reminds me of the LCD-GX headset, which is a large, open-back headphone. Given how impressive the GX was, and how comparatively tiny the Euclid is, that’s high praise. 

Bass: Bass on these earphones is very tight and detailed with good sub-bass extension. It’s easily the highest-quality reach I’ve heard on a planar magnetic IEM.  This isn’t a bass-head IEM and it’s very much about quality over quantity. D.R.E.A.M. by Jonny Craig is a great demonstration of this. The bass that underlines the song is tight and realistic but stepped back from sets that rely on bass performance to impress the listener. Church by Tom MacDonald is another good example. The thrum of the bass is textured so much and extends into the sub-bass so naturally that you can almost feel the vibration, like a good subwoofer. The drivers also have a healthy amount of punch that gives kick drums impact, but bass still keeps to its own aisle. On my iFi Go Blu and Xduoo XD-05 Plus, turning on the bass boost gives them a jolt to add that loudness without sacrificing detail, so it’s safe to say these will EQ well, like other Audeze headphones. 

Mids: Mid performance is very natural and spacious, packing plentiful amounts of detail. I really appreciated how the Euclid rendered female vocals. They captured the husky airiness of Adele’s Hello exceptionally well, while really capturing the atmospherics the sound engineer mixed in alongside the instruments. Dustin Kensrue’s raspy tones on Of Crows and Crowns were also fantastic and really captures how dynamic these earphones are. Piano and acoustic guitar come through crisp and clean with excellent separation and a musical presentation. The mids are, in my opinion, the strongest quality of the Euclid.

Treble: Treble on this set is great with great extension and plenty of air to enhance the sense of space they deliver. Cymbals have realistic attack and decay. They pop out in the mix, and I really enjoy how it draws forward these rhythm elements. The response in the high register is also great for giving acoustic guitars a bit of sparkle. The treble is impeccably tuned. Despite providing music with shimmer, it’s never sharp or grating and isn’t fatiguing at all. 

Soundstage/Imaging: Soundstage is one of the most surprising pieces of the puzzle. If I didn’t know any better, I would say that these are closer to an open-back headphone than any other IEM I’ve heard in recent memory. Instruments are spaced out so you can hear every element cleanly with vocals appearing to come from the center. At one point, listening to a live recording of Dustin Kensrue’s Jesus Christ, I heard a knock in the mix that I was sure came from the window behind me. Presentation is a key piece of the mix and Audeze has nailed it.

Final Thoughts

The Audeze Euclid is an outstanding IEM. The detail retrieval, tonal balance, and technical performance are top-notch, and there’s no mistaking just how accomplished the whole package is. At $1299, we’re well into the realm of luxury products where practicality goes out the window. But for enthusiasts ready to take the dive, they can look forward to a class-leading product to take their listening to the next level. 

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes. Articles may include affiliate links from which we may earn a small commission to help support the site. Authors do not earn affiliate revenue or commissions. 

9.0Amazing
Pros
  • Superb build quality
  • Excellent tonal balance
  • Surprisingly large soundstage
  • Great detail retrieval
  • Dynamic, versatile, and easy to drive
Cons
  • Bass is more subdued (but can be boosted with small tweaks to EQ)
  • Larger size may not fit smaller ears


GameByNight

Christopher Coke

Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight