Have you got $900 burning a hole in your pocket? If so, you might want to check out the latest wireless earbuds from Audeze, which promise true audiophile sound combined with the convenience of Bluetooth connectivity.
The Audeze LCD-i3 wireless earphones go on sale from September 23 for $899 / £849 (around AU$1300), making them far more expensive than most models on our best wireless earphones round up.
So, what do you get for your money? Audeze says that these earphones deliver “superior sound”, without the need for a separate headphone amplifier, which many audiophiles would consider a crucial part of their audio setup.
The successor to Audeze’s popular iSINE 20 headphones, the LCD-i3 feature a magnesium housing and special grille design, which “reduces unwanted resonance”.
Inside the buds are planar magnetic drivers, which are made to offer better audio resolution that their predecessors, delivering up to 130dB of powerful sound. (You can see a top-class example of planar audio in our RHA CL2 Planar review.)
You have the option for wired listening too, with the inclusion of a Lightning cable and a standard 3.5mm cable. If you opt to listen wirelessly, you shouldn’t experience any connectivity issues thanks to the use of a Bluetooth 5.0 chipset, which also has integrated support for aptX and aptX HD.
This means you’ll get low-latency 24-bit wireless audio, which Audeze says is “optimized for even the most discerning ear”.
Design-wise, these earbuds stand out, with open-back grille-clad housings, and ear hooks that keep them securely in place. They certainly don’t provide the kind of subtlety you get from smaller earbuds like the Optoma NuForce BE Sport4, for example, but these are specialist audiophile earphones – with a price to match.