🔷 Audeze EL-8C

This is the official thread for the Audeze EL-8C. This thread is for discussion and reviews.

  • Over Ear
  • Amp needed
  • Closed Back

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[Z Reviews]


The EL8s and the EL8Cs are both wonderful headphones that both sound and look great

But unfortunately because of the unreasonably high original MSRP and the build quality issues they never really took off

But these days you can get a set in mint condition for around $300 and $350 which is a great deal

These get a big thumbs up and a recommendation from me

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I am having a hard time choosing these (the titanium version) over the sendy Aiva, do you got any pointers for me ?

I find the El8 titanium to be very irritating at times. They are very difficult to actually position to get a clear sound because of the pressure build up making every movement change the sound. Also, after a while the fazor array will cut into your ear (not literally) making it uncomfortable to wear.

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These have pretty bad reviews and are more expensive. unless closed back is really important to you, get the aiva’s

Just received the Audeze EL 8 Closed today. After a thorough cleaning with 80% alcohol solution (ended up taking a little bit of the paint off :grimacing:) i tried them out. initial impressions. very nice. I’m impressed. I got this cause i heard it was V shaped. Its not really, more balanced. has a good amount of bass but not as much as you’d think for a closed back. And a good amount of treble despite that fact thats its a Audeze headphone. treble is not painfull at all. midrange is very good.

Close/medium soundstage. good imaging and separation but not great. very detailed headphone. all together sounds like a pretty classy headphone. very nice sound. i’d say it comes close to the Elex all around. but not quite on the same level. i paid 175$ for it. Its been discontinued. but ive seen it go on sale used for 300 - 400$, new for 700$. i’d say its worth about 400$ now.

the usb like connectors to the headphones are strange but i heard thats cause it was built to play off phones. yet the volume off my V20 is not satisfactory. At first i thought it had a simple wood veneer on the sides but its actually a pretty nice real wood covering. thin pieces layered on top of each other and placed sideways around the cup. looks and sounds like a very nice headphone indeed.

Sounds like theres a little bit of a warmth here. i tiny bit dark.

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Does anyone know how these compare to the other Audeze headphones? for instance how do they compare to the LCD 2 or 2C? Cause i heard they where dark but if they are dark like the EL8C then i might not have a problem with them

The el-8c isn’t considered dark by anybody that I know of. Most reviews and impressions say bass lite and neutral bright actually. Just because they aren’t extremely treble boosted and not your preference doesnt make them dark…you overuse that word a lot.

If you consider them dark to your ears, then you should never ever consider buying any Audeze as the EL-8 is is one of their brightest offerings.

Maybe warm or veiled then. they do have good treble. but when i put on the elex after listening to them for a while it seemed the Elex was unusually bright.

That’s not unusual. Anytime switching from 1 headphone to another, there is an adjustment period. Your ears and brain have to recalibrate to the sound.

Yeah but the treble on the Elex is not that high. i mean not as high as most balanced headphones

It’s on the slightly brighter side of neutral, but not crazy. The thing is that each headphone has different emphasized frequency regions, so if you did some listening for 30 minutes on one and switch mid listening to another, the emphasized portions stand out more. Particularly the EL-8 with it’s huge drop from 4 to 5 KHz…then switching to the elex which has a peak at 4 to 5 KHz. Basically polar opposites at that frequency range. It would make adjusting to the elex more difficult and take more time to adjust.

Side note, I tend to wear 1 headphone when listening and only switch if I am comparing the 2 or if there is an issue forcing me to have to switch (like comfort).

What’s the difference between the 8C and the 8 Titanium, besides the looks? Is it just the Lightning cable? Can one run the Titanium off of a traditional 3.5 mm jack?

So, the answer is that the Ti is the same thing as the closed, only with a spiffy lightning cable. But it also comes with a 3.5mm. I just picked one up off of Ebay because I wanted a new closed back with good isolation for working in noisy places, as my standby IEMs were beginning to hurt my ears from overuse. And I have lent someone my DT770s. I’m pleased: The reviews all said the EL-8c is a great headphone, just not worth its circa $700-800 MSRP. I paid about a third of that. I’m expecting them to below the DT770s out of the water. Will report in when they arrive.

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Right. So, they arrived and now are on my head.

First impression: heavy. Second: yeah, I get what people are saying about comfort. There’s a bunch of weight pressing down on one place on my head, and I have a hunch this is going to be a problem. Keep in mind I routinely wear my HD-650 and HD-650 all day long w/o and issues at all.

But how does it sound?

Really good.

I plugged the cans into my ES100. That’s my standard dac/amp for when I’m on the road.

The point of these is to be an upgrade for my DT770/32 ohms headphones and an alternative to my IEMs, which normally are my travel buddies, but I find that they can irritate my ear canal if I use them too much. Are they better than the DT770s? By a country mile.

Without a doubt. I’d say they are on a par with my HD600 and HD650 only more fun thanks to a touch more and better bass response despite an otherwise neutral presentation. The treble is just a tad better. Mids are fine. I think the Senns are better at classical sopranos, but the Audeze do a slightly better job with orchestral music in that they add to a very clear and relatively neutral presentation just a bit more power to the bass, but not too much. I hear the double bass and lower cello notes a touch more. When I switch over to rock music, that bit more translates into a big smile. Same thing with classical music that features an organ, like the Saint-Saens organ symphony. Really high quality bass, and with none of the rest of the spectrum diminished in exchange.

The bottom line is that for the $275 I paid on Ebay, I got a terrific pair of closed headphones. They may be better than my 600/650 in some ways, though I don’t perceive the difference to be radical. Are they worth their original MSRP, which was something like $800? I don’t really know what an $800 pair of cans are supposed to sound like, but I find it unlikely. $800 should make me forget my 600/650s. These don’t do that. Or at least I don’t think so. Maybe I just need to listen some more. But the comfort factor alone will make me keep the Sennheisers for home use.

What the EL-8s do achieve is that they whet my appetite for big-boy Audeze. I think I see an LDC-2 in my future.

Edit: I’ve been listening nonstop for a few weeks now. Plus I just got a BTR5, which I find a tad more “full” than the ES100. Honestly, I love the sound. It will be interesting to see what happens when I get home from my lengthy trip and switch back to my HD600s. What will I miss?

I think what these do better than my Senns is placement, and the illusion that the person performing or singing is in front of me, with the sound coming from ahead rather from these things on the sides of my head. It’s lovely.