The Audeze Euclid is the company’s debut closed-back IEM featuring 18-mm planar magnetic transducers with Fazor phase management. It is priced at $1299.
Disclaimer: The Audeze Euclid sent to us is a sample in exchange for our honest opinion. We thank the team at Audeze for giving us this opportunity. Please note the Euclid will be available to buy online at around 9am Pacific Standard Time, Friday 5th February 2021.
To read more about Audeze products we have reviewed on Headfonics click here.
Note, this review follows our new scoring guidelines for 2021 which you can read up on here.
The Audeze Euclid is a new $1,299 IEM that is sure to impress. Gosh, the 2020-2021 season has really ramped up the number of Boss level portables, hasn’t it?
Today, we are going to somersault right into the good stuff! The gravy! The juicy bits of Audeze’s first-ever closed-back full-range planar magnetic monitor, the Euclid. The Euclid has plenty of that familiar Audeze technology inside also including Fazor phase management, a Fluxor magnetic system, and an Ultra-thin Uniforce diaphragm with Neodymium N50 magnets.
Let’s see how it compares to some of the competition out there.
Stunning, for the lack of a better term that I can ponder at the moment. The exterior shells are made from milled aluminum and feel so dense and heavy compared to most other IEM’s. Truly, just one other IEM in my collection and inventory right now has a comparable build: the Ikko Obsidian which feels like actual Obsidian carved rock, but I digress.
The Euclid is amazing as well in its own right. The visuals are appealing as well, with black and gold accents all around. I feel like the artistic flare and tone of the entire experience is to provide a fancy impression. It worked.
The connection ports are solid and offer no jiggle or sway when I gently play with the cable connection area. Also, the nozzle sound ports just under the ear tip area are on the larger size, which probably is why the IEM sounds the way it does. This is a good thing.
Overall, the build and design quality is stellar. Easily among the best I’ve had in a while in the house for review. I want to feel that density and not feel like the inside is completely hollowed out. I understand others want a lighter experience, but not me.
Comfort & Isolation
The Euclid is quite a large IEM and my ears are relatively small. I have trouble with them fitting properly but I don’t think the average-sized person out there will have issues. I am on the small side and I require gently pulling on my ear lobes a little to get the Euclid into my ears properly for a correct seal.
Once they are there, they don’t budge. I’ve used them for hours without adjusting. I had a problem with this with Shozy’s IEM and shhh, I’ve not reviewed the Ikko Obsidian yet but they legit hurt my ears. Don’t tell anyone I said that yet though.
In my opinion, comfort fact is good on this, the exterior shells are not oddly shaped and the surface is very smooth. I do not find them uncomfortable and if you are a Hobbit-like me, then odds are good you just require a bit of adjustment to get them positioned the right way. Overall though, the experience is lovely once they are installed into my ears properly.
The stock cable is standard 3.5mm and unbalanced. I’ll have to route to another MMCX cable that is balanced for the good stuff via amplifier usage later. But, that’s okay. I’ll show why later in the synergy section of this review below.
For now, the stock cable is just good overall, I’d have preferred something a little more provoking in an artistic manner but maybe I am asking too much, all things considered.
The stock cable is a standard braided cable and nothing to write home about. But then again, sometimes simpler is better. Nothing intrusive. No mic or 3 pole connector. Back to the basics and I applaud that. Again, I’ve got some nicer cables I’ll be using for the balanced mode that I will showcase the effects of later in this review.
Packaging & Accessories
Audeze includes a lovely little box with pretty much everything they released over the past 2 years or so. So too, this Euclid has a very nice little presentation.
The exterior box shouts something premium is inside, just waiting to be removed and played with. Believe it or not, the box art is a lost art. Sometimes, we get a plain-looking package, sometimes certain color pallets invoke a sense of prestige and I am on the side that the Audeze coloration here is something higher end in appeal.
Contrast that with the Ikko IEMs here, something sort of anime-inspired and beautiful in its own right. One shouts fun, the other shouts high class.
Isn’t it amazing how just a simple flat color can provoke that? I try to notice these little things and see what they mean to me often. But sadly, the box isn’t anything special in build. Just standard cardboard boxing really.
After unboxing, you are met with a little foam cutout that holds a great see-through plastic hard case. To be honest, I hate the ones that are not see-through like this. I have so many, all of them lined up and I have no clue what is inside each one on a whim without opening them. I want to see inside before I open it.
Trust me, when you have 10+ sitting in a row and 50+ in storage for comparison, this is just a little “please make this a little easier on me” type of a thing and I love that it has a clear window inside. Outside of the hard case, you get a few extra ear tip selections from SpinFit and Comply.
For starters, the Euclid sounds and feels like how a planar should. There are quite a substance and tactile difference between this type of driver and your typical dynamic driver.
The older Audeze LCD-i3 and iSINE 20 are two of my favorite $1000’ish tier planar portables for sounding the way they do on the low end. So too, this Euclid shares the overall same tonality and physicality.
A stark contrast to the Shozy Black Hole, another high-end IEM that I’ve reviewed recently that has a semi-open dynamic driver design. The Audeze Euclid sounds audibly more dense and smooth across the board than all three of these other models I’ve just mentioned. It also has more bass depth in terms of physical quantity.
Bass Fidelity & Quantity
Without any EQ active, a dead neutral, or disabled EQ function on my various sources for testing, the Euclid comes across as on the lower end of bass-moderate in physical quantity offered.
This is not an overwhelmingly bassy IEM, it is very elegant sounding and hyper smooth, like the side of a slick glass piece sculpture. It is noticeable faster on decay than any current IEM I’ve yet reviewed here at Headfonics and that includes the Nemesis from Empire Ears. You can achieve some extra bass, but not a ton.
I managed to squeeze a bit more quantity on a +5dB and then decided to try a +10dB increase on Foobar2000’s realbassexciter DSP. The result was hardly any physical quantity increase between +5 and +10.
So, I would consider the Euclid an IEM that remains moderate and clean even with absurd levels of bass added in. But, there is no doubt, that the fidelity factor is off the charts good. In fact, I am going as far as calling it the prize-winning most clean and pure bass experience in any IEM I’ve reviewed in the last decade.
Oh, here is an interesting experience. I expected very forward mids, something on par with or maybe exceeding the engaging factor of the i3 or the Shozy Black Hole.
Instead, I was met with a relaxed midrange that is noticeably more distant feeling overall than either of those two IEM’s. Audeze seems to have tailored this Euclid for a relaxing and smooth sound signature, not a very forward and in your face presentation.
The most impressive part of the vocal experience is the sheer density factor. It is sublime and puts to shame some of my custom IEM’s. There is a golden zone that is desirable for me as an audiophile.
That zone is what I call middle ground and usually only found in electrostatic headphones. By that, I mean Planar’s can feel very dense and weighted, dynamics can too but generally offer a thinner overall signature. Electrostatic’s though…feel realistic and natural.
This Euclid is a planar IEM that gives off some of that golden zone tonality in the vocal experience, it is so slick and smooth, so perfectly balanced in the signature that it feels semi-electrostatic in nature.
The classification of upper mids and where it lay in the spectrum generally is when we reviewers talk about nasal tendencies. This Euclid has none. Literally, none.
A lot of this might have to do with the excellent imaging experience, which I will get to in a moment, but the separation of instruments is fantastic for an IEM. In fact, no, this is the best separation in a “closed” IEM that I have heard in quite some time. The only separation qualities I’ve heard that surpassed this were in giga-expensive and niche custom IEMs.
Why do I bring this up? Well, when all, or at least a lot of cards are laid the right way, the entire experience flows so naturally that you forget you are listening to an IEM.
This has happened to me a few times. And typically, what brings me right out of the experience first is a nasal upper midrange. First and foremost. “Oh, it sounds a little wonky in the lower treble and upper mids, ehhh.”
This is not the case here with the Euclid. In my humble opinion, having a few really good IEMs right beside it, one of them clearly sticks out as the most rounded sounding, the Euclid.
The upper end of this IEM mirrors the slickness of the lower end, it feels genuinely effortless. There is no potency or overly engaging physical slam effect. Cross-referencing with the LCD-i3, I can sense more slam in the LCD-i3. Not in a bad way. I just think the Euclid is softer on approach no matter which quality we are discussing.
I have one IEM that sounds more soft and natural though and it’s from Shozy. However, I can instantly tell, like a spotlight in the forest at night, that the Euclid both feels purer and offers more of a realistic physical feel to sudden treble instances in the music.
By that, I mean piano key strikes, cymbal crashes, triangles, etc. These upper-end spectrum movement cues are portrayed with elegance and smoothness second to none that I’ve experienced in this price tier.
As mentioned, the closest one that I felt to also be natural, feels like it offers physically less quantity of the treble and makes me desire more. I get more in the Euclid while retaining a similar sense of smoothness.
The Audeze Euclid is really something else in the soundstaging department. For reference, again the Shozy Black Hole might be the most open and natural sounding IEM I’ve heard overall, but truthfully the Euclid is not that far off.
The Black Hole sounds like a widescreen effect, a 16:9 ratio with lacking height and significantly more width than stage height. This Euclid sounds like a full-screen ratio on a modern OLED. Full-bodied, lacking nowhere, and of equal height to width.
The Euclid’s depth of field is exactly on par with the Black Hole and obliterates the Nemesis. It sounds less open than the LCD-i3, but the Euclid still offers a more realistic staging depth of field that reaches out into the music effect than both.
I am just so shocked by how complete of a coherent image this IEM really is and how it sounds versus some other “amazing” imaging IEMs out there. I am positively elated beyond words that a “closed” IEM can sound this large.
I mean it, in terms of imaging vastness this Euclid is one of the best I’ve ever heard in any style. I hope whatever tech allowed for this is improved further and focused on. I would love some truly HD800 level IEM’s in the future years to come and now I think Audeze and some other IEM brands are poking the boundaries of what is possible for an IEM like this.
The Euclid is rated at 12Ω and 105dB SPL so it is relatively easy to power and requires nothing overly special to get the best out of.
I did not find a balanced MMCX connection to warrant anything superior with something like the Ultrasone Panther DAC/Amp or numerous lower-powered balanced options I have versus just a normal 3.5mm connection.
That means you don’t need excessive power and it won’t matter really. Stick with something that offers a good 500mW for 3.5mm and you will be good to go. The low gain setting on the xDuoo XD05+ is more than sufficient and doesn’t sound any different from the high gain setting.
You don’t need to use this IEM in balanced mode and feed it a ton of power, despite it being a planar design. Just grab the best overall portable amp you can muster ( I highly recommend the Ultrasone Panther!) and enjoy. Don’t worry about custom cables or anything like that with this Euclid. You don’t need it and it doesn’t benefit from any of that extra jazz.
This is where things get a little tricky. The Euclid tonality is hypernatural and is a bit prone to neutral treble alterations. What I mean here is that an extremely clinical and metallic sounding USB DAC or DAP music player will make the Euclid sound a bit askew in overall tonality.
Bass and mid tonality general stay the same no matter what I do, but the upper end of this IEM seems to be moderately responsive to source treble tonality. My somewhat warm sounding Burson Conductor 3 sounds different with the Euclid than the hyper pure SMSL M400. So be careful with the sound result you want.
This likely won’t be so prevalent in portable source gear but it will be for home usage if you use a desktop DAC. So far, I prefer the Euclid with my Hidizs AP80 Pro connected to my Ultrasone Panther. This is a great rig pairing, at least in my opinion.
However, I feel the opposite about that with the Xduoo XD05+ when we are discussing treble. I found the Panther rig to sound better with the upper end of the Euclid, but lacking the bass quantity I desire.
Whereas the XD05+ has a bass switch for more bass but sounds less interesting on the treble side and even a little overly lacking treble quantity that is very much stunning in the Panther rig.
Summed up there, experiment. If you like neutral or a natural sound, this Euclid can achieve that with minor tweaks to the EQ if your source and amplifier tonalities either lean too far neutral or too far into the warm territory. You can normalize that.
However, also, you can get a warm sound, or a more neutral sound if you use either a warm source and amplifier or a very neutral one. This Euclid is mostly right in the middle gray area of tone and I call that hypernatural in tonality. Exactly where HiFi products should be that we consider immensely amazing all-rounders and generalist products.
Good lord, the Audeze Euclid is one of the most rounded IEMs I’ve tested recently. It fails at very little in terms of sound quality. Imaging? No problem, it has one of the best imaging factors in an IEM that I have reviewed with an immensely coherent feeling.
Bass? No worries there either, it is planar and has an excellent high-quality low end. Separation? Great. Design? Sublime and damned sexy if you ask me. But, more so that makes me happiest of all is the ability to pair with many different types of rigs and offer a slightly different overall sound signature.
This is an amazing HiFi generalist monitor and that is incredibly rare.
Audeze Eculid Specifications
- Type: In-ear, closed
- Transducer: Planar Magnetic
- Magnetic structure: Fluxor magnetic system
- Magnet type: Neodymium N50
- Phase management: Fazor
- Membrane type: Ultra-thin Uniforce
- Driver size: 18 mm
- Maximum sound pressure level:> 120 dB
- Frequency response: 10-50,000 Hz
- Distortion (THD): <0.1% with 100 dB SPL
- Sensitivity: 105 dB / 1 mW (at DRP)
- Impedance: 12 ohms
- Maximum supported power: 500 mW
- Wired connection: MMCX braid
- Weight: 15 g / pair without cable