Having heard that Apple might drop the 3.5mm audio connector starting with the iPhone 7, Audeze developed yet another pair of headphones that use a Lightning connector, and unveiled them last week at CES 2016 in Las Vegas.
Advertised as the world’s first on-ear planar magnetic headphones, Audeze Sine a brilliant piece of technology that have been adapted to be used with Apple’s upcoming iPhone 7. Designed in collaboration with BMW DesignWorksUSA and showcased at CES 2016, the Sine headphones are the lightest of Audeze’s headphones, weighing just 230g, but there’s really more to them than just the extreme portability.
At first, it may seem like a very stupid decision to replace an universal connector such as the 3.5mm with a proprietary one (i.e. the Lightning connector). People thought that Apple is doing this just to spite both smartphone and headphone makers, pretending that the final goal is to make the iPhone slimmer. Well, that’s true, as the 3.5mm port’s bulkiness prevented not just the iPhone, but pretty much every other smartphone out there from getting thinner. Still, how much thinner can smartphones get while still maintaning a decent battery life?
Secondly, Apple says that the 3.5mm port takes much more space than it would have you think, as it goes deep inside the phone, whereas the Lightning connector is far more compact. Not at last, Apple claims that the 3.5mm port prevents it from making waterproof iPhones. Well, Sony has been waterproofing its flagships for five years now, and guess what, they all have 3.5mm ports. Whether the existence of the 3.5mm connector is beneficial or not is still debatable, but my personal opinion is that Apple is trying to create its own ecosystem that includes only accessories that they approve of.
Here’s a fragment of Audeze’s press release that announced the debut of the SINE planar magnetic headphone at CES 2016:
“The SINE headphones feature Audeze’s renowned Fluxor® planar magnetic technology with Fazor® Elements and Uniforce® Diaphragms to provide a highly efficient yet lightweight headphone, with very low distortion, good bass, a seductive midrange, crisp extended high frequencies, and excellent imaging.
Audeze’s fully integrated Apple Lightning cable is also an option for the SINE headphones. The exclusive Lightning cable streams a complete 24-bit digital signal through a high quality DSP and DAC to offer better sound quality directly from the iPhone. The built in microphone can be used for phone calls or Skype and is SIRI compatible.”
To pre-order the Sine on-ear planar magnetic headphones, head over to Audeze’s website and get ready to shell out $499.95, as this is how much these jewels cost. If it makes you feel any better, the Audeze EL-8 Titanium cost $800, which is more than what the iPhone 7 will probably be.
As an audiophile (since I assume that this is who Audeze is targeting with its products), do you think it’s OK to invest that much in a pair of headphones that can only be used with Apple’s products?