If you don’t like using the 3.5mm headphone jack on your iPhone but demand high-end audio, you’re a rare beast. But a rare beast whose dreams have come true, in the shape of Audeze’s new headphones, which combine audiophile luxury with an integrated Lightning connector.
The Audeze EL-8 Titanium headphones are claimed to be the world’s first with a fully integrated Lightning cable. That cable also contains a digital signal processor, digital-to-analog converter, and an amplifier, which suck music from your iPhone or iPad and pipe it straight into your ears. There, the headphones use a 100mm planar magnetic driver to create their output.
The headphones do feature an in-line microphone and remote control that’s Siri compatible, but that seems unlikely to be why you’d buy these closed-back cans. More likely, you’ll be buying them for sound quality, which is said to deliver “a lifelike listening experience with an extended frequency response that opens up a new breadth of sound.”
At $800 they’re not cheap, though actually they are at the lower end of the Audeze pricing spectrum.
You can buy them from the Apple store now.
Correction: An earlier version of this story claimed that you would need to buy an extra cable if you wanted to use the headphones with a 3.5mm headphone jack. That is not the case: the headphones ship with a Cypher Lightning Cable, a 2m Audeze headphone cable, and a 3.5mm to 1/4in stereo adapter. You need an extra $50 balanced cable if you want to use the headphones with Astell and Kern or PONO Players.