Audeze Euclid Planar IEMs – Closed Back Magnificence
When a company decides to go all-in and work for years on a single IEM, they create something like Euclid. This is what absolute high-end looks and sounds like, and they are priced at 1300 USD, so they will get compared to other flagship IEMs like Campfire Dorado 2020, Rhapsodio Zombie, iBasso It07, Final Audio A8000, and Meze Rai Penta. The pairings list will include HIFIMAN R2R2000, iBasso DX300, and Lotoo Paw 6000.
Audeze made a full blown declaration about the amount of work and effort that went into creating the Euclid, effectively increasing all of our expectations for it. It is the first of its kind, a closed-back IEM (vented), with a 18mm driver, with Audeze’s unique Fazor tech that eliminates phasing and distortion typical of closed-back designs. The Euclid also embeds the Fluxor Magnets with a Uniforce Voice coil, basically effectively incorporating all of Audeze’s Ace technologies to create the world’s best closed-back Planar IEM. Audeze has an excellent customer support and nowadays has representations all over the world. They are USA quality, and I know for a fact that Euclid was really carefully designed for a long period of time, and I’ve noticed many steps in the development even over the past few months.
It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with Audeze, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. I’d like to thank Audeze for providing the sample for this review. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it. The purpose of this review is to help those interested in Audeze Euclid find their next music companion.
First things first, let’s get the packaging out of the way:
The package of the Euclid is actually funny. I was initially quite disappointed, as it is a cardboard box filled with foam, in which you can find the carrying case with the IEMs inside.
Even entry-level IEMs like Unique Melody 3DT have more creative packages, but once you open that carrying case, you see the mastery that Audeze did with their Euclid.
The fun part starts once you really unbox them, because Euclid has three complete sets of eartips, with Audeze’s own silicone tips, and Spinfit too. There is also a pair of comply foamies, if you prefer foam, and the cable is of a really good quality too.
The carrying case itself is a full blown peli for IEMs, so everything is top notch, except for the initial unboxing experience.
It is very hard to say that we have a standard for flagships, and everything above 1000 USD tries to be as creative as possible in every way. Euclid has a very unique design, different from all IEMs out there.
I’m talking about both their driver tech, but also about the fit and comfort. The IEM shells are big, and initially I would’ve assumed they would have a poor fit, but after putting them in, I forget that I’m wearing IEMs. The secret is in the way the IEM bore and connectors are angled, so that all of the weight of the IEM sits inside the ear and rests on the cable, practically providing extreme comfort for the wearer. All the parts that don’t fit inside the ear go out, so you won’t be sleeping on the side with the Euclid, but you won’t feel them either if sitting normally, walking, or even running.
The original Audeze silicone tips were so nice that I didn’t even bother trying Spinfit this round, and I really fell in love with the overall fit / ergonomics of the Euclid. Foam tips will be an excellent fit for those who want a thicker and warmer sound. Most foam tips tend to consume after a while, so I avoid getting too used to them, but the ones Audeze included are not chinese cheap variants, but proper high-quality comply. The cable is a non-tangle, non-microphonic cable, with 4 strands, but ended in a 3.5mm connector. Someone with very basic soldering skills may be able to cut the ending and solder a 4.4mm balanced cable, but that may void the warranty, so do it at your own risk. As far as I know, Audeze is planning to soon release Bluetooth and Balanced cables for the Euclid too, so no need to rush to experience the ultimate sonic with them.
Speaking of Single Ended, they are really easy to drive, and they take a ton of volume with zero distortion, so Audeze felt the need to state that you should listen responsibly, and not overdo it with the volume. On Lotoo Paw 6000 I am around 70 volume, and it is far too loud, with absolutely zero distortions. There’s a huge amount of headroom with the Euclid, which indicates both excellent driver tech, and the possibility to EQ them if you like to dabble in custom response frequency graphs.
The IEMs are actually properly closed-back. I noted this in my video review, but when inserting them, you can get driver flex / void if you push on the IEM face. This is because right bellow the A logo, there’s a mini hole for ventilation. This ain’t no issue for actual wearing comfort, but Euclid, and covering the hole with my hands doesn’t change the sound much, except for the bass. The vent is there for comfort and fit, but also for a deep, full, proper bass.
The MMCX cable connectors are excellent since they futureproof the Euclid, and they are of a great quality. Fully Gold Plated, and with a satisfying click, they will last your average usage. Using aftermarket cables like the Sakeishi or Dunu Hulk did not improve the sound that much with the euclid, so despite looking rather average, the default braided cable is sonically really potent.
The passive noise isolation is actually great, and despite the design of the Euclid being semi-open, they offer anywhere between 15 and 20 dB of passive noise isolation, depending on the frequency of the external noise. In this aspect, they would even make good recording / performing IEMs, but their heavier physical weight makes them less ideal if you’re the type to dance a lot on stage.
The sonic signature of the Euclid can be described as musical, really detailed, clean, transparent, slightly bright, well extended both ways, slightly wet in character, revealing and exciting. To properly determine their overall sonic performance, I used a ton of sources, from entry-level DACs like BTR5, all the way to the best flagship DAPs like DX220 MAX. I also compared the Euclid with other flagships, even stuff like Lime Ears Aether R, Audeze LCD-MX4, Rosson RAD-0, HIFIMAN HE6SE, Clear Tune Monitors Da Vinci X, and more.
The bass of the Euclid is really deep and full in the sub-bass. The mid bass and upper bass have less presence and less body than the sub-bass, which is the rumbly type offering excellent slam and impact. The bass is not really the focus of the entire sound and in general the treble and upper midrange are slightly more in amount than the bass, while the lower mids are recessed compared to both the bass and the treble, meaning that the Euclid is slightly V-Shaped with a bright tilt to their signature.
As I presented earlier, the sound is slightly wet in character. This means that there is zero harshness, and while most Audeze full sized headphones are known for a dry and quick character, Euclid goes for a wet and quick character. This means that both the midrange and the treble leans more towards musicality and expressiveness rather than raw detail alone. I am in love with the overall resolution and revealing ability of the Euclid, but I do also think that they are musical. They are not the forgiving type, and they will play a song as it is, but even if you’re mainly listening to pop, I noticed a ton of background activity going on in songs from PSY like “New Face”. Female voices are sweet and realistic, while male voices also have the right texture and hoarse presentation when the song asks for it. This means that Johnny Cash sounds like he’s singing in your ears, and REOL sounds sweet.
The soundstage of Euclid is something else entirely. It is widely extended, but also deep. Instrument separation is absolute and insane. The stereo imaging is excellent too. All in all, it is a full delight to listen to the Euclid, and both EDM, Pop, and Orchestral music sounds impressive. I absolutely love the way Euclid presents textures, vivid and slightly forward, but with a good edge for musicality. This works for all music styles, including EDM, Pop, Rock, Metal and pretty much everything.
When it comes to the high-end of Euclid, the treble, it is well-extended, and is airy. The treble is also slightly wet, so no chance of harshness or sibilance, but the tonal balance of the Euclid is slightly bright, so they won’t shy away from revealing if a song is brighter. This means that I would often lean towards heavier music styles, like Country, Death Country, EDM, Dubstep, Rap, and Rock while listening to Euclid. Mori Calliope never sounded sweeter yet alive. Even bands like Alesana or Asking Alexandria are delightful with Euclid, and I’m in love with their presentation of Post-Hardcore, along with how they play Metallica, even the infamous St. Anger album. The slightly lesser body and slightly brighter presentation doesn’t work perfectly for all classical types, where you need a thicker smoother presentation sometimes.
And then comes the dynamics. Euclid is not a typical IEM when it comes to their dynamics. Usually, I rate dynamics from compressed, to expressive. Euclid is in a class of its own, where dynamics are the pinchy type. When a strong chord is hit after a long quiet passage, it is like someone is strongly pinching your entire skin, so they are extremely dynamic. This also means that they’re engaging, but can be a bit fatiguing, surely not a smooth listening experience. Since they can take a ton of EQ, decreasing the upper midrange and treble can smooth and soothe their sound a lot, and darken it too, making it a more typical thick and lush Audeze Experience.
Euclid has an ultimate coherency, which is natural since they have only one planar magnetic driver. All sound is coherent, and they are coherent relative to volume too. They sound the same, and excellent quiet, medium and loud. No distortions, no favors for any listening type, so coherency is a 10/10.
With a strong price point comes strong competition and a strong need for me to compare the Euclid to other flagships. The list of flagships includes Final Audio A8000, Campfire Dorado 2020, Rhapsodio Zombie, iBasso IT07 and Meze RAI Penta. I also wanted to compare the Euclid to Audeze full sized headphones, but the closest in price was LCD-2C, which Euclid is far more detailed than.
Audeze Euclid vs Campfire Dorado 2020 (1300 USD vs 1100 USD) – This is by far the hardest comparison I have to make, because both are top favorites of mine. Dorada 2020 has a much smaller body, so it is more comfortable, especially for smaller ears. The closed-back design isolates more on Euclid, and it also leaks less on Dorado 2020. The overall sound is more playful, with more mid bass, more bass and a warmer tonality on Dorado2020. It is also slightly smoother with less analytical edge on Dorado2020. Euclid is more peppy, more neutral, with less body, and a colder, brighter tonality. The detail level is comparable, with a slight edge to Euclid, which manages to pull a bit more detail from music. In the end if you want a more playful sound with more bass and which is more V-Shaped, Dorado2020 is still your option, while if you want a neutral sounding IEM, the Euclid should be your main choice.
Audeze Euclid vs Rhapsodio Zombie (1300 USD vs 2000 USD) – When you go for bass, you go for RSD Zombie. Their bass is far better than that of the Euclid in terms of quantity, raw impact and overall fullness of the sound. The comfort is actually a bit better on the Euclid, with more ergonomic and somewhat smaller shells. Also, Euclid has no driver flex, and is better for long-term wearing. The sound is impactful, clean, sparkly and V-Shaped on the Zombie. It has so much bass and impact that you know it sounds live. It is great at both loud and quiet volumes. Euclid has less body and is more refined, can pull more detail from music, and can be enjoyed quieter more, thanks to their more gentle and controlled sound. The coherency of Euclid is also better, thanks to the driver design. If you want tons of bass, and if you want to still have audiophile levels of details, the zombie is still heavily recommended, while if you want to have a natural, clean, crisp sound, with a more neutral tonal balance, the Euclid is better.
Audeze Euclid vs Final Audio A8000 (1300 USD vs 2500 USD) – You get a slightly better comfort with Final thanks to their smaller shells, but Euclid isolates better from external noise. Final A8000 is much more picky with the source, as it sounds much brighter, and is much easier to get harsh, where Euclid has a more natural sound, with more body and better overall impact. The detail is a huge thing, because Final A8000 manages to have a slight edge over the Euclid in raw detail, but Euclid presents that detail better, it is easier to listen to, thanks to the smoother, more natural sound. Euclid is also better for background textures and information, and Final A8000 can easily turn detail into noise if it wasn’t mastered properly, so it is dependent on the source material, where Euclid works great with almost anything, so even music that’s recorded poorly can sound awesome.
Audeze Euclid vs Meze Rai Penta (1300 USD vs 1300 USD) – Rai Penta is smaller than the Euclid, and it is open, so more comfortable. On the other hand, Euclid is far more detailed, has better impact, and even a wider and deeper soundstage. The overall sound feels more resolute and has more definition on the Euclid, and the only reason you may want Rai Penta is if you really want a smoother sound, or if you are easily agitated by details. Euclid is easily more worth the asking price of 1300 USD, while Rai Penta sounds like a very nice speaker-like sound, but the Euclid manages the same thing, with added resolution, detail and clarity. In fact, Euclid is mostly comparable to the sound of the Meze Empyrean, which is their flagship, and which costs ~3000 USD.
Audeze Euclid vs iBasso It07 (1300 USD vs 900 USD) – If you want something that’s more bodied, and with a smoother treble, that is the It07. iBasso managed to do a ton of damage to their competitors with the release of IT07, especially when it comes to the detailed yet full sound it has. Euclid is actually even more detailed, has a more holographic soundstage, with better overall dynamics too. Euclid is thinner, and more snappy, with less sub-bass and bass in general, while the treble is more sparkly and with more air on the Euclid. The Euclid costs more, but if you like a more sparkly and lighter sound, it is a nice upgrade even from something as nice as IT07.
The main pairings will be with HIFIMAN R2R2000, iBasso DX300, and Lotoo Paw 6000. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get ear time with FiiO’s M15 which is not available anymore anywhere as they are phasing those out for a different DAP generation. This being said, Euclid just likes a detailed source, but surprisingly works well with entry-level sources too. They are not very sensitive to hiss, and right now only shipped with single ended cables. I loved them via SE of all the sources above, but using Balanced improved the experience even more.
Audeze Euclid + HIFIMAN R2R2000 (1300 USD + 2500 USD) – If there’s one thing that R2R2K managed to do well, that is the dynamic presentation. It has probably the best dynamic I’ve heard from a portable over the past few years, and even now that holds true. The details are also excellent, while the bass is controlled and the treble is sparkly and exciting.
Audeze Euclid + iBasso DX300 (1300 USD + 1200 USD) – There’s a much better body with DX300 driving the Euclid than with most other sources. It also manages to push a much better overall clarity, while keeping the sound natural and well-bodied. The soundstage is both wide and deep, with excellent sense to the micro-details and micro-dynamics. The treble is natural rather than the typical slightly wet of the Euclid, which works well, making DX300 the most natural source to drive the Euclid.
Audeze Euclid + Lotoo Paw 6000 (1300 USD + 1200 USD) – I am in love with the finer, more gentle response I am getting from LPG6K. The best part is that Paw 6K manages to have one of the best EQ implementations, that’s also easy to use. Fine tuning could be needed for the Euclid, if you want a thicker sound, or if you want more body, or less treble. That’s all good with Paw6K as it has its own set of EQ profiles that work actually well with the Euclid. I am also a huge fan of the soundstage and holographic presentation of the pairing, along with the refined yet deep and rumbly sub bass of the Euclid when driven by the Lotoo.
Value and Conclusion
I usually talk about how little value most flagships pose when compared to their entry-level counterparts, but things are different with the Euclid. I know first hand how interesting and surprising Planar Magnetic drivers can be, and this made me a huge fan of them and their overall value. Just the driver tech inside, which is akin to the main GPU or graphical processing unit in a video card, is extraordinary. While there will be many Chifi that will try to also do Planars, it takes many years for them to come close to what Audeze is doing with their in-house designed planar tech.
The case of the Euclid is the only part that was slightly disappointing and this is because I’m used to flagship unboxings. But once you unbox them, you remember that Audeze never really cared about flashy marketing and flashy packages. Even their LCD-MX4 came packaged in a huge peli plastic case, with no cardboard and no fluff attached. And this is ok, this is how high-end products should look like, just the bare cutting edge piece of tech that we like and enjoy.
The sound of the Euclid is also a surprise. Coming from a long history with Audeze, I wanted to remember their house sound as always slightly thick, slightly dark and slightly dry, but the Euclid is pretty much an usurper to all of the above. Euclid is smart, it is slightly bright, slightly wet, quick and musical. It is a truly revealing experience and an IEM you need to experience to truly understand.
Before the end of today’s review, I think I made a new favorite in 2020, and this is just mere months after I reviewed the Dorado 2020. Euclid is slowly becoming my new favorite this year, and I can’t contain my excitement to hear what else companies will manage to push this year. I have to add the Euclid to Audiophile-Heaven’s Hall Of Fame, for being one of the best sounding IEMs I ever heard, and the best sounding Closed Back IEM, and the Best Sounding Planar Magnetic IEM I heard to date.
Bravo to Audeze, and if you’re looking for a closed-back IEM, something to offer good isolation from the outside noise, and something that sounds really detailed, revealing, dynamic, has excellent sub-bass extension, and an airy treble, and with a delicious musicality, then Euclid should totally deliver and give you years of fun ahead.
— Please remember to stay safe, and always have fun while listening to music!—
Full Playlist used for this review
We listened to more songs than those named in this playlist, but those are excellent for identifying a sonic signature. PRaT, Texturization, Detail, Resolution, Dynamics, Impact, and overall tonality are all revealed by those songs. We recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you’re searching for new music!
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