If you don’t like using the 3.5mm headphone jack on your iPhone but demand high-end audio, you’re a rare beast. But a rare beast whose dreams have come true, in the shape of Audeze’s new headphones, which combine audiophile luxury with an integrated Lightning connector.
The Audeze EL-8 Titanium headphones are claimed to be the world’s first with a fully integrated Lightning cable. That cable also contains a digital signal processor, digital-to-analogue converter, and an amplifier, which suck music from your iPhone or iPad and pipe it straight into your ears. There, the headphones use a 100mm planar magnetic driver to create their output.
The headphones do feature an in-line microphone and remote control that’s Siri compatible, but that seems unlikely to be why you’d buy these closed-back cans. More likely, you’ll be buying them for sound quality, which is said to deliver “a lifelike listening experience with an extended frequency response that opens up a new breadth of sound”.
At $US800 ($1109) they’re not cheap, though actually they are at the lower end of the Audeze pricing spectrum. Oh, and if you need to use them with a regular 3.5mm jack you can — but you’ll have to buy an extra cable for $US50 ($69). But if the rumours of Apple removing the headphone jack from the iPhone come true, you might not really need it.
Americans can buy them from the Apple store now, but they haven’t yet made their way to the Australian store.