Audeze Euclid Planar Magnetic IEM Impressions

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by StandUp713, Aug 31, 2022.

  1. StandUp713

    StandUp713 Friend

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    Euclid Impressions

    https://www.audeze.com/products/euclid

    I did not buy a pair, but was fortunate to get them from the glorious SBAF loaner program. I had them for 5 days, but used them 3 times. I wanted to evaluate the way that I would most likely use an IEM. Out and about in public. They came in handy when I was at the daughters soccer practice.

    The source was my android phone/apple music/razor onyx/ Euclid

    TLDR: quoting @rhythmdevils " an LCD-X IEM"

    Having used a LCD-X for a few years back in the day, this was like greeting an old friend. That dynamic sound with the tight, beefy low end, and a slight midrange veil.

    If I had an EQ on my phone, I would have bumped the treble up a few DB. In rock music, the cymbals were a bit muted in my playlists.

    I found these work the best (to me, to my ears, yada yada) with electronic music. I really enjoyed going through my deadmouse (electronic music) playlist. They worked well for vocal or non-electric instruments (classical for example) but I think there are better options of IEMs out there at a better price.

    Two gripes about the equipment. First is the cable, while it is a great cable, there is no slider that can pull together the left/right split to sure up. I like the cable behind my head and slider would have made the fit and function better. I did not see or find a slider if it was included. Second is the diameter of the outlet on the IEM was bigger than most. I had to use smallest foamie to get a fit. They became uncomfortable after a couple hours.

    To close up, I enjoyed them, they are a LCD-X IEM with a little less imaging and sound stage than an open back full size headphone, but non the less, a solid IEM. I do think they are one the expensive side of the value scale. A gently used pair at 60% of suggested retail price would be hard to turn down, if I was in the market for an IEM.

    Thanks to Audeze, @rhythmdevels, and SBAF loaner program!
     
  2. DrForBin

    DrForBin Friend

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    hello,

    tl/dr: i am coming to the conclusion that USD$1K iems are my weak spot.

    post #146 in the Timeless 7htz impression thread is an adjunct to this one.

    these rock, they also folk, jazz, pop, blues, cabaret, and everything else.

    they are quite comfy, seem very well made, accessorized nicely, and bloody expensive.

    to compare with the Timeless i queued up Patricia. i then proceeded to just go through my music on the iPod with these in my head. i started swinging around with the second track "O My Soul" by Big Star.

    i do not use iems at home. the Euclids were in my ears for six hours today. i didn't go out.

    you know a transducer is addictive when you go to the "Songs" list on the dap and drift around just listening.

    aural memory is always suspect. these are not as wonderful as the CFA Ara. the Euclid is a bit more aggressive and doesn't quite disappear.

    the high end recession @StandUp713 disliked is not an issue for me, but then my high end hearing is a thing of the past.

    cheers!
     
  3. scblock

    scblock Friend

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    Thanks to the SBAF crew and Audeze for making this loaner possible. This is the first pair of planar magnetic IEMs I've tried. I've primarily compared them to my CFA Andromedas and my memory and notes of several other IEMs including the Moondrop Kato which felt like it had the most similar tuning at a broad scale. My primary comparison was the Andromedas since they're my daily driver (and favorite) IEMs. Completely different technology of course.

    Unlike the Andros the Euclid does not require an ultra quiet/clean source. No buzz or fuzz from anything I tested them with. The loaner box included an Audeze Cipher bluetooth adapter which had noticeable background noise with Andromeda and none at all with Euclid. Comfort is excellent; though they don't totally disappear they stay well out of the way and are fine for extended use.

    I didn't like the stock cables much. They're a bit heavy for portable use, were about 6 inches too short to keep a portable player in a back pocket, and about 3 feet too short to comfortably use with a desktop amp.

    After some time with the Euclids I am honestly not sure these fulfill what I consider the purpose of an IEM. Audeze claims "Euclid is engineered for an incredible 105 dB/mW efficiency" and while I'm not able to directly test that claim these IEMs required relatively high volume settings on all my sources for a given perceived level, higher than any other IEM I own or have tried.

    From my Sony MZ-N505 MiniDisc player they sounded fun if quite bassy, though everything sounds a little bassy from that player. I don't consider this a source for serious testing but it was the first thing I tried.

    From my Sony WM1A, which I do consider a serious source (and my primary source for IEM use), the Euclid sounded good but really didn't stand out. My initial reaction while listening to my test playlist was "these sound pretty good" but for the retail price pretty good doesn't stand out. The much cheaper Katos sound pretty good too, for a fraction of the cost. Speed and texture seemed lacking, as did the sense of space. The Walkman and the IEMs really didn't seem like a good match for each other. I switched the player output to high gain, which I have never done for IEMs before, which improved things some. Still never got past the feeling like I was missing something, never found those moments of frisson I sometimes get on certain songs. The story was similar from my iPhone with the Apple adapter, or from the Audeze Cipher.

    I switched over to the Lyr+ loaner which I also had and the story changed. From the Lyr+ the Euclid IEMs improved considerably. They had much better impact and clarity, and power wasn't a concern anymore. I really enjoyed the sound from the desktop amp. Maybe not the full LCD-X experience (though my only experience is with the rhythmdevils modded version) but awfully good.

    And that's my dilemma with these IEMs. They were great from a desktop amp, but they were just pretty good from my portable sources. And for me IEMs are for portable listening, whether around the house or while traveling. I keep the Walkman and Andromedas because they are a good enough I don't miss my bigger amps or over ears too much when I'm away from home. But if these need a desktop amplifier to sound right to me I'd rather use full size cans which I find much more comfortable and which tend to have fairly long cables.
     
  4. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    Big thanks to @scblock for the great impressions, and entertaining chat during our hand off of these Euclid IEMs.
    also props for getting your impressions up before mine. booyakasha!

    will keep my text shorter, as a result of the above- but a few points:

    agree on the "power deltas" with Euclid. I did plug them into a variety of amps: desktop Oor, mobile iFi Gryphon 4.4bal and a smaller Shanling UP5. yah- the bigger the amp the better qualities of the IEMs stood out. at minimum for me would be the Gryphon 4.4bal, and if you want to add more low end (not likely) the Xbass feature didn't overwhelm or muddy everything up.

    The Euclid certainly capture the (older- not MM500) Audeze house sound- warmer, thicker, bass present. no sparkly highs, treble or much spacing to be honest. Euclid don't deliver micro level detailing, air and space of IEMs like CA Solaris 2020, or from memory even Andromeda. I can surmise these being great for long mellow listening sessions but honestly they didn't capture my attention for long and sounded a bit muted when my (old) ears are expecting clarity and micro detail when the instrument should be delivering it.

    For planar IEMs will be staying with the Timeless 7hz for now. Yet likely not for long, this damn CA Universal Supermoon is really really excellent so far.... impressions in another thread soon.
     
  5. ufospls2

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    [​IMG]

    Hi guys,

    Today we are taking a look at a product which is a bit of a change of pace, an interesting pair of IEMs from Audeze called the Euclid. In traditional Audeze fashion, these feature a planar magnetic driver, similar to their open back LCDi4, iSINE, and LCD-i3 siblings. Now, in the past I have owned Audezes LCD-i4 open backed IEMs, which were more of a miniature headphone, than a true IEM. Having had a good experience with their sound quality, I was curious if Audeze had managed to capture some of their sound in a closed back model. For all the LCDi4 sounded great, its open back nature did limit its use case compared to a traditional closed IEM, and the fit was also something I struggled with. If the Euclid could improve upon those areas, but continue to be a very capable driver, then I felt it had a ton of potential.

    Thankfully, the Euclid are much more traditional in their form and fit. The driver itself has shrunk compared to the LCDi4, which has a 30mm driver, whilst the Euclid has an 18mm driver. In comparison to the group of planar magnetic driver options from Chi-Fi land that have been released in the last couple years, this is slightly bigger, with most of those options featuring a 14mm or 14.5mm driver.

    [​IMG]
    The Euclids use an MMCX terminated cable, weigh 15g per side without the cable, and come in a nicely presented box with a handy small pelican case for storage. Included are Audeze silicon tips, SpinFit silicon tips, and Comply foam tips. I ended up preferring the Audeze silicon tips, though the Spinfit are certainly worth trying to find your ideal fit. I usually don’t enjoy foam tips, so I only tested the comply tips in terms of sound, and not as my preferred overall fit. As far as I understand the Euclid come with a 3.5mm cable, a 4.4mm Pentaconn Cable, and a bluetooth cable is available separately. At 12 ohms impedance and 105db/mw in terms of sensitivity, the Euclid are not the most sensitive IEMs on the market, but entirely serviceable and can be driver well from most DAPs, laptops, dongles, etc…You certainly do not need a large desktop amp to get the best out of the Euclid. They seems to play well over a wide variety of sources, and I will mention some pairings I enjoyed later on in the review.

    In terms of general overall tonal balance, the Euclid seemed a bit more even keeled than the LCDi4 which I used to owned. Still, with that being said, in its stock tuning the Euclid is not my favourite. I think that for many listeners it may actually work very well, but I did end up preferring it after doing a bit tweaking via EQ. Audeze themselves seem to be a big supporter of the idea of EQ, going as far as releasing their “Reveal” (a software program they created) presets for their headphones and IEMs. Now, I prefer just figuring out what I prefer and doing it myself, but the reveal presets are always there, should you be interested in trying them out, and not interested in trying out EQ on your own. The drivers of the Euclid really do seem to be a level above the cheaper Chi-Fi planar magnetic options in term of technical performance, and take to EQ very well.

    In terms of the bass response of the Euclid, it did seem to be slightly elevated, and I actually really enjoyed it in its stock tuning. I didn’t feel an overall need to ad any bass or that I was lacking low end. There is more of a sub bass focus than a mid bass focus, and it seems to be a somewhat easy going low end response. I mean that in the sense that some IEMs really just go for it in terms of bass, and also have tons of slam and punch in terms of dynamic drivers. Some of the Campfire Audio’s like the Atlas are like that. The Audeze seems more polite and technically capable than those IEMs however. Perhaps this is due to the Planar Magnetic driver in use here, but there is a real sense of speed and delicacy that a lot of IEMs don’t have on show, not just in the low end but in terms of the overall performance.

    The mids of the Euclid did seem a little bit nasal and forward in the upper mids to me at times. I ended up preferring to reduce the 2khz area a little bit, which seemed to help with that nasal quality. I also found that snare drums and clap (or similar) type noises could be a bit too much, being piercing and grating. The Euclid's lower mids seemed mostly neutral, not really being forward and warm and mushy, or pulled back, being cold and clinical. They struck a fairly good balance between the two extremes, and I never bothered with tweaking them via EQ in the lower mids.

    The treble response of the Euclid was where I had the most problems. The lower treble was actually entirely ok, I just felt that for my personal preferences, the upper treble (lets say 8.5Khz and above) was way too dark. There just wasn’t enough energy, air, and sparkle. I also feel that through this recessed upper treble, it seemed to be masking how truly capable the drivers themselves were in terms of presenting detail and technical performance. Now, a darker treble obviously doesn’t mean that the detail isn’t there, and an overly hot treble can also make you think there is detail that isn’t really there, but I did end up feeling that with a boost in the highs, the Euclid really came into their own, and showed what they were truly capable of.

    [​IMG]
    Which brings me to my next point. Although the Euclid did not seem to be as large sounding and technically impressive as their LCDi4 siblings, they were incredibly capable IEMs. Lots of detail, lots of dynamic capability, with decent soundstage width and height for a closed back IEM. The tonal balance in its stock form may not be my favourite and treble in particular may not show off what the Euclid are capable, but after I got them dialled in, they really did impress me. The LCDi4 does have a much “bigger” sound, and a wider soundstage, and I think that is due to its larger driver and open back nature. That whilst Audeze has done a great job with the rear chamber and optimization of the Euclid to get a good sounding closed planar IEM, they just can’t out physics, physics, to beat the LCDi4s performance. To be fair though, the Euclid is vastly more affordable than the LCDi4, and I think it is the most technically capable IEM I have heard for the price (which I will mention more about after I speak about the build quality)

    Now, the Euclid are made of a metal shell, feel fairly substantial at 15g. Thankfully, they don’t need ear hooks like the open back IEMs from Audeze, and do have a much better overall fit. Once I did some experimenting with the Eartips they came with, settling on the stock Audeze silicon tips, they were entirely comfortable for long listening sessions. There are more comfortable smaller IEMs on the market, but in terms of accommodating the driver size of the Euclid, their comfort is absolutely ok, for me and my ears. If you have very small ears you may have some issues with the fit, so I would recommend trying to get your ears on a demo pair, if at all possible. The build of the stock cables was also absolutely acceptable, and I haven’t had any problems with the MMCX termination thus far. The Euclid's feel like a well built product overall, being substantial, but not too heavy to cause comfort issues.

    The bluetooth cable that Audeze makes for the Euclid, which I believe originally came with them stock, but is now an additional add on, works very well. Pairing the cable with your bluetooth source is very easy to do, and the whole process seemed smooth and worked well. The cable itself actually doesn’t have a ton of power or gain so if you want to really rock out, you would be better off with a DAP or dongle with a bit more power. However, if you want to be free to move around, with no attached cables or things to worry about, the bluetooth cable is worth considering. It sounds totally fine for a bluetooth option, but of course, for ultimate sound quality, I found that other sources did improve upon its performance. EDIT: I have found out that the bluetooth cable is no longer available.

    In terms of pairings, you don’t need a desktop amp to enjoy the Euclid. I’ve tried them with lots of portable sources, and the iFi GoBar was a great option. I also enjoyed my Fiio Q3. Basically, whichever portable DAP or amp you prefer the sound of, as long as its moderately powerful, will sound good with the Euclid. They are not very picky about what they are paired up with.

    My main comparison with the Euclid was the 7Hertz Timeless, another planar magnetic IEM. The Euclid is better in terms of technical performance, build quality, and comfort but the stock tuning of the 7hertz is better for my personal preferences. As I am not opposed to EQ use, the Audeze are the clearly superior choice especially given the pricing problems I will mention in the next section. The 7Hertz were a great option when they came out, but things have changed in a very quick way since their release, so I would hesitate to recommend them at this point.

    Now, I need to talk about the price of the Euclid as it’s a complicated issue and has caused some problems in terms of what to recommend. The Euclid released at an MSRP of $1299USD. Compared to the $2500USD MSRP of the LCDi4, whilst also being closed back, was an interesting addition to Audezes line up. There were a few sales here and there with the Euclid going for around $1000USD. Then, Audeze had B-stock models at around about $650USD two years in a row during their B-Stock sale. Most recently, Adorama.com, a US based online retailer, has had them on sale, B-Stock new models, for $299USD. They are also showing as being sold out on Audezes website. I’m not sure if that means they are going to be discontinued, or what is going on. With that being said, if you can get a pair of these for $299USD, and either like their stock tuning or don’t mind playing with EQ, then this is the EQ to get for the money in my opinion. Its technical performance for $299USD blows anything else out of the water at that price point, and many above that price point. At its MSRP, it's still a great sounding IEM, which is comfortable and well built, but has a much larger number of competitors to go up against. I would have even recommended the Euclid at its MSRP with caveats, but if you can get a pair from Adorama or used at $299, it's a no brainer in my opinion for those looking for an IEM.

    [​IMG]
    Overall, the Euclid is a very technically capable IEM, albeit with a stock tuning that is not my favourite. The accessories that come with the Euclid are great, equally well built, and make it an overall well done package. If you are willing to EQ the Euclid’s frequency response to be more in line with your personal preferences, their technical performance is very good, with good comfort and build quality as well. If you were paying MSRP, and don’t like to EQ, I would recommend trying them prior to purchase if at all possible to make sure you like the stock tuning. However, if you were able to get a pair from Adorama or similar at $299USD for a new A stock pair, and that is within your budget, I would recommend giving them a try regardless of your sonic preferences as you may end up really enjoying them, and the financial risk is much lower.

    I’m curious if Audeze will ever be able to come up with a higher performing closed back IEM, similar in sound and performance to the LCDi4. Would it be possible to do a bigger driver in a closed back model? With even more technical performance? I’m really not sure, but if Audeze does indeed ever release a “V2” or a model above the Euclid, I’d certainly be very interested to hear them and see what they are like. Overall, I’d recommend the Euclid, especially if you can get it at the bargain basement pricing they have been going for lately.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2022

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