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Hands-on with the Audeze Euclid Jeff Li/IBTimes

Though planar headphones have been around for the last 50 years, they have finally picked up the long-due glory it deserves in recent years among audiophiles. The general impression most have towards planars is that they are large and cumbersome, and is something that you would wear while lounging next to serious stacks of amplification equipment.

Audeze however, sets out to break out of that mold with its in-ear planar earphone lineup. The revolution began with its LCDi series of peculiar looking earphones that look like tie-fighter wings, with the Euclid a re-think to the whole planar earphone solution that has a much more mainstream aesthetic. How do these in-ears headphones made by the planar maestros at Audeze perform compared to their over-head counterparts? Let's dive in to find out.

The Euclid features a genuine carbon fiber faceplate Jeff Li/IBTimes

Aluminum and Carbon Fiber Goodness

The Audeze Euclid at first sight just like the LCD series has an unique industrial look to it that sets it apart from other IEMs. The precision milled aluminum case has a clearly differentiated aesthetics from the typical polished resin IEM cases, and it's covered by a textured low-sheen black finish. Accented by a gold-ring that surrounds the parting line of the case, the case is finished with an Audeze logo inlaid onto a real carbon fiber faceplate. The overall look is sophisticated yet industrial and appears to be genuinely robust, just like other Audeze Planar headphones are well-known for.

The unusually round profile of the Euclid Jeff Li/IBTimes

The overall profile of the IEM earbud is worth a mention as it's quite different from usual IEM shapes. Instead of the typical side on elliptical shape, the Euclid is almost a perfect circle that's slightly elongated vertically. Initially it took me some time to get used to, as I had to figure out the correct orientation to insert them into the ear, but it didn't take long to get used to. The unusual shape is most probably due to the fact that they are housing unusually large planar magnetic drivers.

How does magnetic planars sound in the ear? Jeff Li/IBTimes

In-ears that Sound Like Over-ears

Just how large are the drivers in the Euclid? To put things in perspective, dynamic drivers in earphones usually maxes out at 14-15 mm, limited by the size of the human ear. Since these Audeze in-ears use magnetic planar drivers, they managed to break that limit and fit in a set of 18 mm drivers.

The result of fitting in magnetic planar drivers of such a dimension is the direct increase of the 'size' of the sound. Having heard of countless earphones and headphones in reviews, one of the few areas where in-ears can't compete with is the sound size. The clarity and quality of sound will always be limited to a limited volume that comes from sealed ear canals. However, with the Euclid, the perceived sound is coming from a much larger sound source - sounding more like a pair of over-ears headphones. The sensation is quite surreal, and I doubt it is something that can be measured but rather needs to be experienced in person.

Adding to the perceived large sound source, the Euclid has an open-back transparent sound - even though it is closed-back and has little to none sound leakage. The staging on these in-ear planars is very wide, but I would say the only Achilles' heel is the instrument separation, which is more ambiguous than multi-driver IEMs.

Just like its older sibling the LCD-2C, the Euclid is a surprising vocal performer Jeff Li/IBTimes

Vocal Specialist with Tunable Bass Boost

With the large 18 mm driver of the Euclid, I was expecting a powerful bass performance, but was met with a tuning that focuses on vocals. (Funnily enough I went through the exact same surprise with the LCD-2C). There is a noticeable bump around the 2,000Hz which gives the vocal an outstanding 'bitey' characteristic, resulting in the accompanying music taking a slight step back in the background.

With some equalizing, I found that the large planar magnetic driver indeed can be exploited for a potent bass boost. However, rather than a fast and punchy bass, the low-end is more atmospheric, with an even spread across the breadth. The resulting bass sounds better with classical and atmospheric music rather than bass driven music like pop, electronic or hip-pop.

Overall, the Audeze Euclid is an in-ear that I would choose for enjoying vocal focused songs. Just like the LCD-2C, the large planar film served to give the vocal an unparalleled realism and articulation.

The full package from Audeze Jeff Li/IBTimes

Rich Care Package

The Audeze Euclid has one of the richest accessories packages I've seen for IEMs, ensuring that no extra accessories will need to be purchased to enjoy them to the fullest. Starting with an authentic customized Pelican clear case, which houses the Euclid earbuds and cable separately in foam compartments.

Since the Euclid is a universal fit IEM, the package also includes different ear tips to ensure the best fit. What's impressive however, is that Audeze did not save cost on the quality of tips and used well-known third-party brands among audiophiles: with silicon tips from Spinfit and foam tips from Comply foam in addition to its own silicon tips.

The Euclid uses MMCX connectors, allowing its cables to be easily interchangeable. The package comes with three different kinds of cables: a standard 3.5 mm braided cable, a 4.4 mm balanced cable as well as a necklace style Bluetooth receiver. The latter wireless solution is simply thrown in to offer convenience instead of critical listening - a proof that Audeze sincerely wants all bases covered.

The genuine Pelican carrying travel case included Jeff Li/IBTimes

Final Verdict

IBT Euclid 2022 Audeze

As a brand that many will think of immediately when it comes to planar magnetic headphones, Audeze continues to expand its lineup to go beyond the over-head category, and makes a mark in the IEM segment as well. Following the more novel design of the LCDi models, the Euclid is one its first mainstream IEM and it has truly captured the spirit of planar in an in-ear form.

The Audeze Euclid is a unique IEM that especially shines when it comes to vocals and atmospheric music. Its perceived sound source is larger than any in-ear that are on the market, and is the best choice for people who want the planar magnetic experience while being on-the-move. We award the Audeze Euclidwith the IBTimes Best Product badge for its portability and unique listening experience.

David is a tech enthusiast/writer who is often on the move, but since the lock-down is on a mission to explore gadgets to improve his 'home work'. This is a contribution to an ongoing IBTimes review series on gadgets for Home Productivity.