EL-8 open

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NO SMOOTHING is applied to the shown plots. Most measurement sites have some smoothing applied which ‘irons flat’ sharp peaks and ‘wiggles’. I do not use smoothing because some info about sound quality is lost when plots are smoothed.

Aside from a small correction of the microphone itself also some correction in the lowest frequencies is applied to the plots to compensate for the perceived loss of bass when using headphones. This is described HERE in more detail.
A ‘horizontal‘ frequency response curve on the shown frequency response plots on this website thus indicates a perceived ‘flat’ tonal signature.

ALL measurements are made with a good SEAL on a flatbed measurement rig.
The shape of your head, bone structure, pad size, pad ‘softness,  (compliance), hair or no hair and or wearing glasses may (drastically) change the frequency response of some headphones, so… your personal experience may differ substantially from these plots.

Frequency response (tonal balance) is the most sound-determining aspect of headphones. A horizontal line shows audible neutral response in the plots on this website. Deviations in different severities at different frequency bands have an effect on the sound character.
The bigger the deviation the stronger the effect.

Below an aid to help determining the sound character of headphones with relation to the frequency response.


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Audeze EL-8 (open)

Audeze EL-8 open
This Audeze EL-8 is an open orthodynamic headphone. There is also an closed version of this headphone.  This one has a plastic enclosure with a wood print on it.
The headband has soft pleather padding and feels quite comfortable.
It is intended for portable usage. It can be connected via a special cable (CIPHER cable) which includes a 24 bit DAC and DSP and gives much more functionality when using this cable. This cable can be connected to the digital output of Phones etc.
For the measurements this cable isn’t used, instead a standard 3.5mm TRS jack cable (with special connectors on the headphone side) is used. This means the DSP and what it can do for the sound is not measured. Only the headphone itself in passive mode.

Note that this headphone was measured at ears-unlimited-logo where unavoidable background noises were present in the demo room. Distortion levels and spectrum plot performance may thus be better in reality than shown on the plots.


Type: Over ear, open
Usage: Home.
Driver type: orthodynamic
Pads: pleather (fake leather)
Foldable: Yes
Headphone connector: proprietary
Cable: 2m 3.5mm TRS + 6.3mm adapter, or CIPHER cable.
Driver size: 100mm
Nom. power rating: (3W)
Max. voltage: (10V)
Max. current: (estimated 0.3A = 300mA)
Max. S.P.L.: (125dB)
Impedance: 35 Ω
Efficiency: 98dB/mW (111dB/V)
Weight: 460 g.

Sound description:

Will be added later on


Below the frequency response of the  EL-8 Open-Back (Left, Right)

FR EL-8 open

The frequency response shows a somewhat ‘cool’ response. Bass is there but not a bit on the ‘lean’ side boost. No large dips and decent performance on the mids. The upper mids, however, are somewhat subdued and because of this is lacking slightly in the clarity department. This is somewhat ‘masked’ by the ‘cool’ tonal balance of the mids which gives it a forward but not ‘harsh’ sound signature.
The treble is well extended. No large dips and peaks in the treble area usually means a decent treble quality as well.
(Sub)bass goes very deep (< 10Hz) but is just slightly subdued compared to the mids.

Below the distortion plots of the EL-8 open: (only right channel shown)
The distortion products are shown in dB.

Dist EL8-open R

The distortion is impressively low.  Below the same plot except in percentages.

Dist EL8-open R percent

Do note that some of the distortion ‘spikes’ may well have been caused by sounds in the demo room from ears unlimited when it was measured there. When it would have been measured in a very quiet room the results may well have been somewhat better.

Below the CSD of the EL-8 open (Left and Right channel are superimposed)

CSD EL-8 open

There is very little to worry about here. The mids are damped quite well.

Below the spectrum plot of the EL-8 open (Right channel).

Spect EL-8 open R

This plot too shows little issues. Bass and mids are quite clean. The small signals around 1.5kHz may well not be coming from the headphone but are most likely sounds present in the demo room it was measured in.

By lack of oscilloscope shots (not enough time to measure that) below a step response plot of the EL-8 Open. (Left channel)step EL8 open L
Very little and very short lived ringing and a fairly flat response. The ‘bump’ on the left is the raised upper mids showing its brighter than ‘flat’ tonal signature.
Below the Right channel.

step EL-8 open R


The EL-8 open-back is a headphone that measures reasonably well. Quite good in the distortion department but less so in tonal accuracy.
The CIPHER cable may give you even more options for tuning the sound which may well have settings to correct the tonal balance.
Recommended for home usage, not so much for outdoors usage as it lacks the bottom end somewhat for this and due to its open nature would let in too much sounds from the outside and would leak too much sound to those around you.

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