The Enigma


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Awesome texture; excellent balance; wonderfully deep bass; craftsmanship; incredibly relaxing yet detailed and transparent.
Cons: Maybe not the best for high energy music; can be distant sounding with some genres.
Note: I'm not sure why, but for whatever reason the little bars at the side aren't matching what I put them to. Audio Quality, Design, and Value I all consider to be top notch, with comfort having some very minor issues. Details below, of course.

The following are my impressions of LFF's (relatively) new headphones, the Enigma. My heartfelt 
appreciation goes out to Head-Fi user gelocks, who lent me his personal pair and is therefore in my books an 
outstanding guy. I've had them for a couple weeks now, they're going back tomorrow, and I promised 
some thorough impressions, so here we go!
The setup that I used for the entirety of my listening was the DAC portion of my trusty Aune T1 using 
an Amperex 7308 tube fed through a Purity Audio K.I.C.A.S. solid state headphone amp. The amp is 
definitely on the warmer side, and as the Amperex is a very full-bodied tube, I might be getting a 
Telefunken E88CC down the road to clear up the sound a little. My cables are all cheap garbage, and I 
actually have some upgrades in that department only a few weeks away. My regular headphones are 
Ultrasone Signature Pros that I've had for almost a year now.
When I first caught wind of these new headphones, I was very interested. Unlike a lot of people, I 
actually prefer the sound of closed headphones. My preferred brand has been Ultrasone since I got 
into this hobby, and I'm a huge fan of the visceral impact and contradictory sense of space that 
Ultrasone does well in their entire lineup. Throw in the relatively neutral sound of their Signature 
Pros, and you have a VERY nice pair of headphones that straddles the line between classy and fun, 
like a sexy librarian or that one TA you had freshman year.
However, it's not all sunshine and daisies. The Sig Pros can sound a little narrow and congested at 
times, in spite of their excellent sense of space. I tend to fiddle with where they sit on my ears, 
and the S-Logic technology they use can make the soundstage a little confusing (much like the 
aforementioned librarian and TA). After acquiring the K.I.C.A.S., I realized how much of a difference 
a good amp makes with them, but the weaknesses are diminished, not removed. When I heard of the 
Enigmas, I hoped to find a pair of headphones that would have many of the same strengths as the Sig 
Pros, but would improve on width, clarity, detail, separation, and imaging. I think in a lot of ways 
I found something close to what I was looking for.
One thing to understand from the get-go; if the Sig Pros are a sexy librarian, the Enigma is the 
Grand Canyon, or maybe the view of Earth from space. It's not that one is objectively more appealing 
than the other, it's just that they're appealing to entirely different parts of you. The Enigma is 
definitely the victor when it comes to detail, separation, width, clarity, and (subjectively) overall 
sound quality.
The difference is in where that sound puts you. Listening to the Enigmas is like watching a storm 
from a tall hill. You can see every detail of the light and shadow, and how the wind blows the rain 
in different directions. You can pick out exactly how the thunder is rolling over the landscape. The 
Signature Pros, on the other hand, place you directly in the middle of the same storm. Maybe you 
can't see where the lightning came from, but the light is blinding. Even though you can't see every 
intricacy of how the rain flows, you feel exactly how icy cold it is. And you'd better believe you 
FEEL the thunder.
I know I just made the Sig Pros sound awesome, and in a lot of ways they are. But sometimes it's 
definitely better to have that distance; I can't imagine a worse place to see a sunset than standing 
on the sun. That's where the Enigmas start to make a lot of sense. They pull you back and let you see 
the bigger picture. If the Signature Pros sound like humanity, Enigma sounds like transcendence. It 
was an extremely enlightening experience listening to different genres of music with two pairs of 
closed headphones that take such different approaches.
I wanted to take an interlude here and talk logistics. Build quality is great. Luis obviously takes 
pride in what he makes. Even though they weren't my headphones, I never felt nervous that they were 
going to get damaged. You can definitely tell they weren't made in a factory, but they don't look 
like a homework project. They're unapologetic. I like that.
Comfort was both good and bad. I'll admit right off the bat that the suspension strap just didn't 
work for me. When I took it off the comfort level definitely improved. In general, I liked the snug 
fit, but at the same time pressure was a little high. If they were my personal pair, I would have definitely 
stretched the headband a little bit. The Alpha Pads are nice and cushy and thick. Definitely a 
different philosophy from the smaller sheepskin pads on my Sig Pros.
I know one typically talks about value at the end of the review, but it felt appropriate to put it 
right here. Frankly, the value is ridiculous. There are several options, but the standard finishes 
cost under 1000 USD. I could easily see people paying twice that. You're getting a fully custom 
orthodynamic headphone, handbuilt personally by the designer, just for you. They do not come with a 
cable, but if you don't want to spend a whole lot you don't have to. The Audeze stock cable will work 
(which is what gelocks loaned me with this pair), or get something from Charleston Cable Company for 
a little more, or go absolutely crazy and get those $4,000 cables infused with demon blood; it's your 
call. (I understand that Luis does make cables as well, and last I asked he also carries the WyWires 
There's a lot I could say here about measurements and technicalities, but I've never really been big 
on much of that. I could repeat what a lot of people have said and talk about the bass being bumped 
and the mids being luscious and the top being slightly rolled off, because it's all true. And I guess 
I just did, didn't I? Well, I guess that's out of the way.
What really jumped out to me about these headphones is the raw texture of the sound that comes out of 
them. I'm a euphonium player, and listening to brass on these reproduces almost the exact way that 
the sound of a brass instrument actually feels coming through the air. The same applies to acoustic 
string instruments. Even synthesized and digital sound has an entire new facet revealed. It could be 
that what I'm hearing is characteristic of orthodynamic drivers, but in any case I'm really digging 
The bass on these is excellent. It doesn't hit hard like the Sig Pros, but instead feels like a deep, 
deep ocean. Combine that with the texture that I just talked about and you get an EXTREMELY fun take 
on dubstep and other EDM. The Enigma also reproduces female vocals very well, so anything from 
someone like Ellie Goulding or La Roux is a pure joy. Right now I'm listening to a Pandora station I 
titled Dub/Heavy, and it really is transcendent. I could listen to this for hours. To quote Sir 
Thomas Beecham, “The function of music is to release us from the tyranny of conscious thought,” and 
if so, the Enigmas are rapidly approaching music's true ideal. These might not be exactly neutral, 
but I'm not really missing any frequencies. Very well done.
Detail retrieval is really good. That's a fairly large understatement. I can hear every breath, 
fingers on guitar strings, keys and valves clicking on horns, basically everything. And all of those 
little details have individual textures. I know I keep talking about that, but it really is something 
impressive to hear. I'm sure there's something out there with more detail, but I'm having a hard time 
imagining it. I know this is a short paragraph. That's because I have nothing to complain about.
If I have any complaints, the first is that some sounds (like male vocals) seem to lose their 
resonance. Maybe it's because I expect them to have a stronger, more present impact. The texture is 
spot on, but the impact is off. If you use these for TV or movies, you might notice dialogue has a 
hollow quality to it. I think this most probably is due to the Enigmas making you hear sounds exactly 
as they were recorded.
I mentioned pressure when talking about comfort levels. There's also a peculiar pressure 
actually present in the sound, especially at louder volumes. This definitely is not present in any of 
my Ultrasones, and I have to wonder if the difference has to do with Ultrasone's S-Logic technology, 
or maybe how the drivers are positioned, or the size of the resonance chamber. I don't know. I just 
thought it was interesting, and at the very least wanted to point it out.
In spite of being closed and having an excellent seal, the Enigma has a very wide, open soundstage. 
As I mentioned earlier, width, separation, and imaging are all superior to Sig Pros (with a caveat or 
two, I'll get to that). It's very easy to pick out exactly where a sound is coming from and where 
it's going. It doesn't seem especially deep, though. Almost like standing in the middle of a hallway 
facing one of the walls. That analogy really makes it sound worse than it is. It's not like there's a 
complete lack of depth; it's just not a particularly strong point.
I think part of my issue here might once again be related to S-Logic. One of the cool things that I 
enjoyed even with my first pair of Ultrasones was the illusion of realism. Before I got used to it, I 
often had to shift my headphones just to make sure someone wasn't knocking at my door or something 
similar to that. With my Signature Pros, sounds can sometimes seem to be coming from outside of the 
headphones. In spite of their better width and soundstage, I seldom had that same impression with 
the Enigmas. I guess I always took it for granted, but you can definitely color me impressed now that 
I have something to reference the Sig Pros against. A lot of people say that the Signature DJs are 
even better in this regard.
I really like these. Enough to sell my Sig Pros? No. But enough to want them both. The Enigma is 
clearly superior technically. You see so much more in the music. When I want to wind down at the end 
of the day, these are the headphones I've been reaching for. In addition to their surprisingly 
impressive take on dubstep, they're absolutely phenomenal with acoustic, ambient, and really any 
music that's meant to be relaxing. If it's not meant to be relaxing? Well... I can definitely miss a 
little punch, a little THUD. That's where the Sig Pro hits like a baseball bat. And since I can't 
bear to abandon the hotrod, I'm going to have to send the spaceship back to gelocks for now. But 
believe me, when it becomes feasible, I'll be back in orbit with no regrets.
Man... This hobby is flippin' expensive...
Great review Levaix!
And being a previous owner of the Signature Pros, I definitely get what you are saying and where you are coming from! Glad you enjoyed them! :)


Pros: great mids, well controlled bass, most interesting highs I've ever heard
Cons: high clamping force
The headphone modding industry has been slowly heating up as more and more cottage industries pop up. Luis Flores, creator of the Paradox, has taken it a step further by going out and sourcing his own custom built drivers and tuning it to his liking.The Enigma is a departure from what I'm used to hearing from Luis in that it's voiced to be a potent sounding fun headphone. Even so, it still shares a bit of the DNA that the Paradox is known for. Curious to see what I'm talking about? If so hit the play button below, sit back, and enjoy my latest review.