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Audeze EL-8 Closed Version Impressions Thread

post #1 of 504
Thread Starter 

As I didn't see a closed version specific thread I thought I'd start one.  Apologize to moderators if there's one, feel free to merge the thread.

 

I just received these today from headroom, so this is my quick out of the box impressions and possibly with a bad pair, so reserving final impression once I sync up with Audeze support.

 

I've compared it with:

1. Denon AH-MM400

2. Denon AH-D5000 (Lawton modded)

 

Using my Cayin N6 DAP BTL 250mw+250mw @ 32ohm amp section playing back DSD and 192khz/24bit FLAC files

 

Quality of EL-8C: 

1. The design and build quality as a whole looks solid.  feels solid too

2. I didn't run into cable problems like some others, but they plugin like lightning connectors, but with less force and less of a "click", so can see even margins of imperfections in mfg can lead to it being loose

 

Comfort:

1. The ear cups are HUGE compared to the 2 denon's.  The MM400 fits over my ears just fine, so by looking at the picture you can see how much bigger the pads are on the EL-8C

2. While the unit is solid, and you can feel the weight when picking them up, it fits comfortably on my head and has the right amount of clamping pressure that I don't feel squeezed, but doesn't move when I turn my head

 

Isolation:

1. Due to the size of the cups, they seal really well.  I consider the MM400 seal decently, but these are another notch up.

2. So if we go by percentages, D5000=30%, MM400=50%, El-8C=65% in terms of isolation

 

Sound:

Before I provide more info here, I think I may have a defective unit because the right side keeps giving this "thack, thack" sticky type of physical noise from the headphone itself when I turn my head and if i press on the closed back of the right cup i hear it even with a light tap.  The left side doesn't have this problem.  So i wonder if there's something loose or defective inside because the right driver sound seems lacking (could be my mental manifestation due to the physical noises bothering me)

 

With the said problem, I observed the following sound performances:

 

Bass: Sit's somewhere in between the MM400 and D5000 because the MM400 has the deepest extension while the D5000 has the quantity.  Which produces an ideal overall bass

Treble:  I can see how some declares this being bright.  The Denon's are more relaxed and not as pure and forward like what I observed in the EL-8C.  For female vocal's, it is very crisp

Mids: This is where Planar's suppose to shine, but sounds recessed compared to both Denon's, and another reason I feel the unit might be defective.

Sound Stage: Wider than MM400, but not as cavernous and airy as the D5000's.  

Imaging: The ability to hear instrument separation is better than the Denon's.

 

I ordered a headphone case and looks like it fits the EL8-C's perfectly at least :)

 

Given what i heard, I'm going to hold on to my lawton 5k's until I get this sorted out with Audeze on the possibly defective unit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 504
Thanks for the impression bluesaint, been trying to find more impressions/reviews on the closed back EL-8s, but it has not been easy... Except for some impressions in the CanJam thread.

I have asked my friend to carry back a pair with him when he travels back from the US in the next few days, hopefully, they will not be defective.

Was hoping that the closed back EL-8 would have had a sound signature similar to the LCD series, but a more portable version with... But I guess, I might have been totally wrong (darn impulse buys :-p...)

Well, now I will just need to wait and audition them myself, and, hopefully not be disappointed.

Cheers
Simon T.
Edited by Simon T - 4/3/15 at 8:41am
post #3 of 504
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon T View Post

Thanks for the impression bluesaint, been trying to find more impressions/reviews on the closed back EL-8s, but it has not been easy... Except for some impressions in the CanJam thread.

I have asked my friend to carry back a pair with him when he travels back from the US in the next few days, hopefully, they will not be defective.

Was hoping that the closed back EL-8 would have had a sound signature similar to the LCD series, but a more portable version with... But I guess, I might have been totally wrong (darn impulse buys :-p...)

Well, now I will just need to wait and audition them myself, and, hopefully not be disappointed.

Cheers
Simon T.

its ok, I bought mine purely on impulse as well since I really really wanted to like the El-8C's.   I still do, so i'm really hoping its defective.  I'm sending it back to Audeze for RMA, so fingers crossed.   

post #4 of 504

are these portables headphones? Would it be worth having both the LCD3s and EL8s?

post #5 of 504
Quote:
Originally Posted by VoodooSamurai View Post

are these portables headphones? Would it be worth having both the LCD3s and EL8s?

Well, I have the LCD-3 and the reason I purchased the closed back EL-8 is because I am craving for the Audeze house sound signature in a more portable version and not open back (for isolation purposes). I have considered the LCD-XC, but they are still too heavy and bulky to be considered portable.

Considering the specs: https://www.audeze.com/products/el-8-collection/el-8-closed-back , as well as, knowing it has 3.5mm termination; ergonomically, I consider them as a pair of bearable portable headphones.

Now, whether they are going to be uncomfortable or they do not meet the sonic expectations I was hoping for. Is another story triportsad.gif
post #6 of 504
Thread Starter 

They are quite large and bulky, so really depends on your definition of portable.

 

They are the best isolating none ANC headphones I've ever tried.  It seals like no other.

 

If you plan on only taking them from point A to point B, or have them on your head while you walk from you cube to the cafeteria or something yes they can work.

 

But if you plan on taking them on trains, walk around outside, then that's not really portable in that sense.   The PM-3's and MM400 are far better for that.

post #7 of 504
Hi bluesaint, can you please tell me where you ordered your headphone case and the brand etc.?

I was thinking of getting a Slappa Hardbody Pro case but it looks massive.
post #8 of 504
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by faran View Post

Hi bluesaint, can you please tell me where you ordered your headphone case and the brand etc.?

I was thinking of getting a Slappa Hardbody Pro case but it looks massive.

casebudi XL, amazon

post #9 of 504
Thanks very much bluesaint.
post #10 of 504

So everyone that has received these headphones are reporting defective?  

post #11 of 504
Quote:
Originally Posted by stryfe View Post
 

So everyone that has received these headphones are reporting defective?  

 

I received mine a couple of evenings ago, luckily did not have the issue faced by bluesaint ("...defective unit because the right side keeps giving this "thack, thack" sticky type of physical noise from the headphone itself when I turn my head and if i press on the closed back of the right cup i hear it even with a light tap.").. 

post #12 of 504

That's good but that also makes me very nervous about investing that much money into something that ships defective.

post #13 of 504
Quote:
Originally Posted by stryfe View Post

That's good but that also makes me very nervous about investing that much money into something that ships defective.

I guess it depends on luck... Once received a faulty PHA-2 from Sony, but it was replaced (pain was the wait and spending more for shipping it back).

If you live in a country where there is an Audeze authorized dealer, it should not be an issue.
post #14 of 504

Sound:

Before I provide more info here, I think I may have a defective unit because the right side keeps giving this "thack, thack" sticky type of physical noise from the headphone itself when I turn my head and if i press on the closed back of the right cup i hear it even with a light tap.  The left side doesn't have this problem.  So i wonder if there's something loose or defective inside because the right driver sound seems lacking (could be my mental manifestation due to the physical noises bothering me)

 

I'm just wondering why the AUDEZE people shipped a defective product to their customers? To my knowledge, every company in this world, small or big they have their own Quality Control Department who are responsible in testing and see to it that the product is not defective and it is fully functional before releasing it.

 

This is made in the U.S. product and I'm very impressed in all products that are made in the U.S.A. but I think this EL-8 has some failure in production and quality. In first glance I'm very impressed with the presentation and made up my mind that this will be my next purchase of HEADPHONE before going to LCDX or HD800.

 

Reading many reviews of the EL-8 and most of the complains is the defect on the product made me dismays on this CAN.

I will be hoping that AUDEZE will address all this problem with their new EL-8. This problem will also reflect to BMW as they are the one who design the looks of the product.


Edited by cristobalroy - 4/15/15 at 5:10am
post #15 of 504
I got my EL-8 last week from Moon Audio and let them 'burn-in' for 50 hours or so. Build quality is solid, the cable doesn't tangle and they sit very comfortably on my head. No quality issues so far with phones or cable. The sound is very good and they sound nice with both my CLAS+AloContV3 and the Pono (although with 24/xx recordings I need to dial up sound to 70%). The mids are very clear and the bass tight and balanced. With some of my lower res files they sounded bright, but not with my good recordings in HQ files. No specific compares yet but I have enjoyed listening to music with the Audeze's. While they are smaller and lighter than the LCDs, they aren't smaller by much and I doubt I will be travelling with them.
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