AT A GLANCE
Planar magnetic drivers
Made in the U.S.
Lacks mic and phone controls
The Audeze EL-8 may be the first planar magnetic headphone sensitive enough to come alive with portable music players.
I’ve reviewed a lot of headphones, but I’ve never encountered anything quite like the Audeze EL-8 before. It’s the first high-end planar magnetic headphone to come alive and sound fully transparent with portable music players. Now, sure, we’ve heard similar claims for other high-performance, full-size headphones; and yes, they play, but too much of the headphone’s potential is forfeited with portable devices. The EL-8 sounds scary good with my humble little iPod classic.