Audeze EL-8: The EL-8 is a must-hear at CES 2015
Jan 8, 2015 at 5:56 AM Post #902 of 6,486

mikemercer

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Thanks Mike,
Would you be able to give us some more detailed comparative impressions of the sonic differences between the OB and CB versions?

 
Sure:
Since I'm up TRIPPING over my possible-lost LCD-XCs...  - whew. can't sleep now:
 
The CB elate is like what I love about Sennheiser HD-25-1 IIs, with more overall dynamic gestalt and timing - like a Mad Dog Pro (which I now actually prefer to my Prime-pre-update) - but in a package thats a sincere pleasure overall: How it fits, sounds, looks, makes me feel.
 
The OB version is where Audeze just steps into another REALM from the competition, IMO.
But these are, again, IMO - more aimed at us hobbyists by default. But teaming up with The Oculus Rift for some cool demos.
SO sad I didn't get there before they packed up...  DAMN
 
But I truly LOVE the closed-backs - love em both. 
The differences cone down to, without trying to sound verbose for the sake of it:
 
like the differences between the XCs and Xs!!
 

 
 
But, even at this price - HUH
 
Stevie Wonder - my cousin worked on the hi-rez remasters from the original analog master tapes - and now in 192k/24-bit - 
 
THX to our AK240!!
 
Jan 8, 2015 at 6:07 AM Post #903 of 6,486

Jeb Listens

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Sure:
Since I'm up TRIPPING over my possible-lost LCD-XCs...  - whew. can't sleep now:
 
The CB elate is like what I love about Sennheiser HD-25-1 IIs, with more overall dynamic gestalt and timing - like a Mad Dog Pro (which I now actually prefer to my Prime-pre-update) - but in a package thats a sincere pleasure overall: How it fits, sounds, looks, makes me feel.
 
The OB version is where Audeze just steps into another REALM from the competition, IMO.
But these are, again, IMO - more aimed at us hobbyists by default. But teaming up with The Oculus Rift for some cool demos.
SO sad I didn't get there before they packed up...  DAMN
 
But I truly LOVE the closed-backs - love em both. 
The differences cone down to, without trying to sound verbose for the sake of it:
 
like the differences between the XCs and Xs!!
 

 
 
But, even at this price - HUH
 
Stevie Wonder - my cousin worked on the hi-rez remasters from the original analog master tapes - and now in 192k/24-bit - 
 
THX to our AK240!!

 
So good to be hearing real impressions now!
 
sounds like it may be a game changer.   I really hope your XCs turn up. 
 
 
May I ask how you feel, based on your time with them, the EL-8 open backs compare to the rest of the LCD line up?  
 
All the best
 
Jeb.
 
Jan 8, 2015 at 6:15 AM Post #905 of 6,486

citraian

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Sure:
Since I'm up TRIPPING over my possible-lost LCD-XCs...  - whew. can't sleep now:

The CB elate is like what I love about Sennheiser HD-25-1 IIs, with more overall dynamic gestalt and timing - like a Mad Dog Pro (which I now actually prefer to my Prime-pre-update) - but in a package thats a sincere pleasure overall: How it fits, sounds, looks, makes me feel.

The OB version is where Audeze just steps into another REALM from the competition, IMO.
But these are, again, IMO - more aimed at us hobbyists by default. But teaming up with The Oculus Rift for some cool demos.
SO sad I didn't get there before they packed up...  DAMN

But I truly LOVE the closed-backs - love em both. 
The differences cone down to, without trying to sound verbose for the sake of it:

like the differences between the XCs and Xs!!





But, even at this price - HUH

Stevie Wonder - my cousin worked on the hi-rez remasters from the original analog master tapes - and now in 192k/24-bit - 

THX to our AK240!!

So sorry for your XCs!
Can you provide more details on the closed back vs other TOTL closed headphones?
 
Jan 8, 2015 at 6:39 AM Post #906 of 6,486

chowmein83

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Man, I'm on a posting spree here. Anyways, wanted to offer up my impressions of the EL-8 (open-back version) after hearing them at CES.
 
I haven't looked at any of the other posts with impressions of the EL-8, so what I say may be different from what others have already said. I also will post these impressions in the other (much smaller) thread on the EL-8.
 
I only listened to these in the Burson Audio room, through a Burson Conductor, as somehow I ended up not having enough time to go to the actual Audeze booth (waiting for the Oculus Rift demo took up way too much time). However, the setup I listened to was not ideal - for some reason, the DAC on the Conductor was not being utilized, as the Burson was fed from a headphone-out from an iPod classic and an HTC One smartphone (the latter of which is my own source, loaded with music that I am familiar with) which split into RCA connectors, which was plugged into the Conductor.
 
Overall, I believe that Audeze is trying to go for a different sound signature here. To me, these are some of the brightest headphones that Audeze has produced, even brighter than the LCD-3 I also heard on the Burson Conductor in the same room. In fact, the overall tonality of the EL-8 reminds me much of my HiFiMAN HE-400i, which is saying something.
 
As elsewhere noted in this thread, the open-backed version of the EL-8 does not have the same colorations to the mids and highs that the LCD-XC (which I also in the Burson room) has, which makes the EL-8 to me sound a lot more natural than the LCD-XC.
 
As for soundstage, I feel that while the EL-8 definitely has a larger soundstage than the LCD-3, it isn't that much wider. Depth of the soundstage between the EL-8 and the LCD-3 seem to be about the same. For some reason though, I feel that the EL-8's soundstage is taller than the LCD-3's though. Imaging is quite good on the EL-8, though I feel the LCD-3 still images better (it's even easier to pick out where sounds are coming from in the LCD-3).
 
Highs on the EL-8 are well extended, and not harsh in any way. Mids sound quite natural on this headphone. I'd like to say something about the bass, but for some reason I either didn't play any songs with significant bass or I just don't remember the bass response on these headphones, so I'll refrain from making any comments on how the EL-8 handles lower frequencies. However, I do not mean to imply with these statements that the EL-8 does not have any bass. See my edit below for some brief thoughts on the bass.

Detail is quite good on the EL-8 (definitely not lacking compared to my 400i), but still not as quite as good as on the LCD-3. Also, the LCD-3 just sounds more realistic than the EL-8 (partly due to its bit darker tonality, but also due to the LCD-3's greater detail retreival). But both of these are to be expected given the price difference between the EL-8 and the LCD-3.
 
Comfort on the EL-8 is also greatly improved from LCD-3 and LCD-XC. This is mainly due to the EL-8's weight, which is massively reduced from the older Audeze headphones. Clamping force on the EL-8 is quite tight though. The EL-8 also distributes the weight nicely across the head.
 
I think I read somewhere in this thread people wanted a comparison between the EL-8 and the HD650. The EL-8 is brighter, and more detailed than the HD650. To me, it handles complex music (think orchestral) better than the HD650. Mids are lusher on the HD650, but the EL-8 is not lacking in quality in the mids compared to the HD650. The soundstage on the EL-8 is also definitely not as closed in as the HD650's, and the EL-8 definitely sounds airier than the HD650. I feel imaging capability between the two is about equal, though in the EL-8 it is easier to pick out where the sounds are coming from due to everything being more spaced out in the EL-8 compared to the HD650.
 
I think the EL-8 is also competitively priced. I don't feel that they are lacking compared to the Sony MDR-Z7 (MSRP price of $700, but street price seems to be lower), the Audioquest Nighthawk (planned to be priced at $700), and the Pandora Hope VI (which also seems to be $700). I bring this up because I also heard these headphones at CES. Though I will say that I think the EL-8 is better than the Nighthawk, and probably better technically than the MDR-Z7 (though I really still like the Z7 because it's technically competent enough, and has quite an alluring and relaxed sound).
 
Overall, I think that if somebody is looking for the traditional Audeze house sound, I'm not sure if they should be looking at the EL-8. It is good, but it doesn't really sound like the older Audeze headphones to me. To me, this is good, as I wasn't the biggest fan of how Audeze voiced their older headphones (though I do admit they technically are very capable).
 
Hopefully, these impressions don't sound too much like incoherent babbling, and are useful.
 
EDIT: A few words about my thoughts on the bass, as lifted from my other post:
 
"Also, I just remembered that I do have some words to say about the EL-8's bass in general. In short, I think the bass is actually relatively even-handed - there is no bass emphasis on this headphone, and the bass quality seemed to be pretty good. I would like to say that the EL-8's bass sounds like how the LCD-3 does bass (but not necessarily in terms of quality), but my memory is kind of fuzzy on this so I'm not going to make any more conclusive statements."
 
Jan 8, 2015 at 6:39 AM Post #907 of 6,486

mikemercer

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Would love more impressions of the closed back sq and isolation

@Tyll Hertsens - :)
 
you heard the new big Shure closed-back Tyll likes alot?
and I dig em too BTW - 1840??
 
The EL-8, to me, is like that on steroid and feels like a 1973 Rolex 
compared to a mid-eighties Bulova - in watch metaphors...
 
Sorry, still mourning my maybe-lost cans...
 
My full EL-8 review out ASAP.
Some in-depth stuff this week at Audio360, ETM, Guru, and PFO....
 
Jan 8, 2015 at 6:40 AM Post #908 of 6,486

mikemercer

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  Man, I'm on a posting spree here. Anyways, wanted to offer up my impressions of the EL-8 (open-back version) after hearing them at CES.
 
I haven't looked at any of the other posts with impressions of the EL-8, so what I say may be different from what others have already said. I also will post these impressions in the other (much smaller) thread on the EL-8.
 
I only listened to these in the Burson Audio room, through a Burson Conductor, as somehow I ended up not having enough time to go to the actual Audeze booth (waiting for the Oculus Rift demo took up way too much time). However, the setup I listened to was not ideal - for some reason, the DAC on the Conductor was not being utilized, as the Burson was fed from a headphone-out from an iPod classic and an HTC One smartphone (the latter of which is my own source, loaded with music that I am familiar with) which split into RCA connectors, which was plugged into the Conductor.
 
Overall, I believe that Audeze is trying to go for a different sound signature here. To me, these are some of the brightest headphones that Audeze has produced, even brighter than the LCD-3 I also heard on the Burson Conductor in the same room. In fact, the overall tonality of the EL-8 reminds me much of my HiFiMAN HE-400i, which is saying something.
 
As elsewhere noted in this thread, the open-backed version of the EL-8 does not have the same colorations to the mids and highs that the LCD-XC (which I also in the Burson room) has, which makes the EL-8 to me sound a lot more natural than the LCD-XC.
 
As for soundstage, I feel that while the EL-8 definitely has a larger soundstage than the LCD-3, it isn't that much wider. Depth of the soundstage between the EL-8 and the LCD-3 seem to be about the same. For some reason though, I feel that the EL-8's soundstage is taller than the LCD-3's though. Imaging is quite good on the EL-8, though I feel the LCD-3 still images better (it's even easier to pick out where sounds are coming from in the LCD-3).
 
Highs on the EL-8 are well extended, and not harsh in any way. Mids sound quite natural on this headphone. I'd like to say something about the bass, but for some reason I either didn't play any songs with significant bass or I just don't remember the bass response on these headphones, so I'll refrain from making any comments on how the EL-8 handles lower frequencies. However, I do not mean to imply with these statements that the EL-8 does not have any bass.
 
Detail is quite good on the EL-8 (definitely not lacking compared to my 400i), but still not as quite as good as on the LCD-3. Also, the LCD-3 just sounds more realistic than the EL-8 (partly due to its bit darker tonality, but also due to the LCD-3's greater detail retreival). But both of these are to be expected given the price difference between the EL-8 and the LCD-3.
 
Comfort on the EL-8 is also greatly improved from LCD-3 and LCD-XC. This is mainly due to the EL-8's weight, which is massively reduced from the older Audeze headphones. Clamping force on the EL-8 is quite tight though. The EL-8 also distributes the weight nicely across the head.
 
I think I read somewhere in this thread people wanted a comparison between the EL-8 and the HD650. The EL-8 is brighter, and more detailed than the HD650. To me, it handles complex music (think orchestral) better than the HD650. Mids are lusher on the HD650, but the EL-8 is not lacking in quality in the mids compared to the HD650. The soundstage on the EL-8 is also definitely not as closed in as the HD650's, and the EL-8 definitely sounds airier than the HD650. I feel imaging capability between the two is about equal, though in the EL-8 it is easier to pick out where the sounds are coming from due to everything being more spaced out in the EL-8 compared to the HD650.
 
I think the EL-8 is also competitively priced. I don't feel that they are lacking compared to the Sony MDR-Z7 (MSRP price of $700, but street price seems to be lower), the Audioquest Nighthawk (planned to be priced at $700), and the Pandora Hope VI (which also seems to be $700). I bring this up because I also heard these headphones at CES. Though I will say that I think the EL-8 is better than the Nighthawk, and probably better technically than the MDR-Z7 (though I really still like the Z7 because it's technically competent enough, and has quite an alluring and relaxed sound).
 
Overall, I think that if somebody is looking for the traditional Audeze house sound, I'm not sure if they should be looking at the EL-8. It is good, but it doesn't really sound like the older Audeze headphones to me. To me, this is good, as I wasn't the biggest fan of how Audeze voiced their older headphones (though I do admit they technically are very capable).
 
Hopefully, these impressions don't sound too much like incoherent babbling, and are useful.

Wonderful JOB!!!
 
Jan 8, 2015 at 6:45 AM Post #909 of 6,486

lamode

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Originally Posted by chowmein83 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
 
the Burson was fed from a headphone-out from an iPod classic and an HTC One smartphone

 
I do appreciate the effort, but given the source, I can't put too much trust in it :frowning2:
 
Jan 8, 2015 at 6:52 AM Post #910 of 6,486

potkettleblack

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  Man, I'm on a posting spree here. Anyways, wanted to offer up my impressions of the EL-8 (open-back version) after hearing them at CES.
 
I haven't looked at any of the other posts with impressions of the EL-8, so what I say may be different from what others have already said. I also will post these impressions in the other (much smaller) thread on the EL-8.
 
I only listened to these in the Burson Audio room, through a Burson Conductor, as somehow I ended up not having enough time to go to the actual Audeze booth (waiting for the Oculus Rift demo took up way too much time). However, the setup I listened to was not ideal - for some reason, the DAC on the Conductor was not being utilized, as the Burson was fed from a headphone-out from an iPod classic and an HTC One smartphone (the latter of which is my own source, loaded with music that I am familiar with) which split into RCA connectors, which was plugged into the Conductor.
 
Overall, I believe that Audeze is trying to go for a different sound signature here. To me, these are some of the brightest headphones that Audeze has produced, even brighter than the LCD-3 I also heard on the Burson Conductor in the same room. In fact, the overall tonality of the EL-8 reminds me much of my HiFiMAN HE-400i, which is saying something.
 
As elsewhere noted in this thread, the open-backed version of the EL-8 does not have the same colorations to the mids and highs that the LCD-XC (which I also in the Burson room) has, which makes the EL-8 to me sound a lot more natural than the LCD-XC.
 
As for soundstage, I feel that while the EL-8 definitely has a larger soundstage than the LCD-3, it isn't that much wider. Depth of the soundstage between the EL-8 and the LCD-3 seem to be about the same. For some reason though, I feel that the EL-8's soundstage is taller than the LCD-3's though. Imaging is quite good on the EL-8, though I feel the LCD-3 still images better (it's even easier to pick out where sounds are coming from in the LCD-3).
 
Highs on the EL-8 are well extended, and not harsh in any way. Mids sound quite natural on this headphone. I'd like to say something about the bass, but for some reason I either didn't play any songs with significant bass or I just don't remember the bass response on these headphones, so I'll refrain from making any comments on how the EL-8 handles lower frequencies. However, I do not mean to imply with these statements that the EL-8 does not have any bass.
 
Detail is quite good on the EL-8 (definitely not lacking compared to my 400i), but still not as quite as good as on the LCD-3. Also, the LCD-3 just sounds more realistic than the EL-8 (partly due to its bit darker tonality, but also due to the LCD-3's greater detail retreival). But both of these are to be expected given the price difference between the EL-8 and the LCD-3.
 
Comfort on the EL-8 is also greatly improved from LCD-3 and LCD-XC. This is mainly due to the EL-8's weight, which is massively reduced from the older Audeze headphones. Clamping force on the EL-8 is quite tight though. The EL-8 also distributes the weight nicely across the head.
 
I think I read somewhere in this thread people wanted a comparison between the EL-8 and the HD650. The EL-8 is brighter, and more detailed than the HD650. To me, it handles complex music (think orchestral) better than the HD650. Mids are lusher on the HD650, but the EL-8 is not lacking in quality in the mids compared to the HD650. The soundstage on the EL-8 is also definitely not as closed in as the HD650's, and the EL-8 definitely sounds airier than the HD650. I feel imaging capability between the two is about equal, though in the EL-8 it is easier to pick out where the sounds are coming from due to everything being more spaced out in the EL-8 compared to the HD650.
 
I think the EL-8 is also competitively priced. I don't feel that they are lacking compared to the Sony MDR-Z7 (MSRP price of $700, but street price seems to be lower), the Audioquest Nighthawk (planned to be priced at $700), and the Pandora Hope VI (which also seems to be $700). I bring this up because I also heard these headphones at CES. Though I will say that I think the EL-8 is better than the Nighthawk, and probably better technically than the MDR-Z7 (though I really still like the Z7 because it's technically competent enough, and has quite an alluring and relaxed sound).
 
Overall, I think that if somebody is looking for the traditional Audeze house sound, I'm not sure if they should be looking at the EL-8. It is good, but it doesn't really sound like the older Audeze headphones to me. To me, this is good, as I wasn't the biggest fan of how Audeze voiced their older headphones (though I do admit they technically are very capable).
 
Hopefully, these impressions don't sound too much like incoherent babbling, and are useful.

Thanks for your efforts. Maybe, despite the source not being that great, people are putting this on a bit of a pedastal. I still haven't taken the 3's and x out of my cross hairs.
 
Jan 8, 2015 at 6:56 AM Post #911 of 6,486

mikemercer

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So good to be hearing real impressions now!
 
sounds like it may be a game changer.   I really hope your XCs turn up. 
 
 
May I ask how you feel, based on your time with them, the EL-8 open backs compare to the rest of the LCD line up?  
 
All the best
 
Jeb.

I'm SO sorry guys - I feel like a LIL' b______h - but those LCD-XCs, even the old-school roadcase - w/ all mt stickers from Everywhere.
I carried that box since I got a bunch, and it became an appendage.
 
I gotta clear my head.
 
Thank GOD for the EL-8 + Audioquest Dragonfly (VER1.2) + my MacBook Pro SSD/Amarra rig...
 
But I'm consumed with possibly ruining one of my most cherished CES, and this old mans been comin' since 1996 - 
I was like 19!
 
anyway - my b___hing it distracting from the subject-at-hand
and I'll jump back in when my heart catches up to my head..
 
With regret for now - but MORE SOON!!!

I mean - these are mine in the pic - I went to town on the DECKART - a POWERHOUSE like my Cavalli LAu - or, more-precisely, like a smaller brother but looks like it should be on my desk NOW....
 
Jan 8, 2015 at 6:59 AM Post #912 of 6,486

mikemercer

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I do appreciate the effort, but given the source, I can't put too much trust in it :frowning2:

Well - I applaud what she experienced,
as it was close - but not nearly exactly like my experience, with great sources!!
 
I will be tackling this like my first LCD-3 review,
which sealed my entrance into this fine Community...
 
My minds just racing...
 
Jan 8, 2015 at 7:04 AM Post #913 of 6,486

EddieE

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Thanks for comparing the CBs to other closed phones Mike, that is what I wanted to hear.
 
I feel that a lot will compare the CB to the OB in impressions - which is a battle it's not going to win - the relevant comparison is the other options for high quality CB phones.
 
Appreciated.
 
Jan 8, 2015 at 7:08 AM Post #914 of 6,486

x RELIC x

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Jan 8, 2015 at 7:13 AM Post #915 of 6,486

money4me247

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@chowmein83, what headphones do the EL-8 most resemble from your experience in terms of sound signature?
 
Also, do you have any more detailed comparison notes vs. the HE-400i?
 
Thanks! I really enjoyed reading your comments. Much more helpful than the usual vague flowery descriptions found around here with your inclusion of comparison headphone as reference points :)
 

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