EL-8 Titanium

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published: Jul-4-2017, updated May-24-2021

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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 Titanium (closed)

Audeze EL-8 closed
This Audeze EL-8 Titanium is a closed orthodynamic headphone. There is also an open version of this headphone.  This one has a metal enclosure. There is also a version with fake wood cups which retails for a lower price. As far as I know the only difference between these versions is the enclosure. They sound (and measure) the same, so I am told. The headband has soft pleather padding and feels comfortable.
The clamping force is rather high which is essential for portable usage so it does not move around on the head that easily because of its weight.
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.
The cable is slightly microphonic and the cable touching clothes can be heard in silent and quiet passages.

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, closed
Usage: Portable, office and home.
Driver type: orthodynamic
Pads: pleather (fake leather)
Foldable: Yes
Headphone connector: proprietary
Cable entry: dual
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.: (122dB)
Impedance: 35 Ω
Efficiency: 95dB @ 1mW
Sensitivity: 109dB @ 1V
Weight: 460 g.
Clamping force: medium/high

Sound description:

This headphone has a dynamic sound as in ‘lively’. Even though the measured response looks quite flat the sound is not really ‘neutral’. The reason for this is the treble emphasis.
This headphone can get a bit ‘shouty’ when the volume is turned up a bit.
When it isn’t played loudly this effect isn’t that obvious but does show some ‘edge’ in some recordings. Despite the small bass boost this headphone subjectively is missing ‘body’ to the sound.


Below the frequency response of the closed EL-8 Titanium (Left, Right)

EL-8 closed

The frequency response is remarkably flat. Just a very mild (+3dB) bass boost and a small treble boost. No large dips and excellent (realistic) performance on the mids.
The treble peak does not consist of a lot of peaks and dips and is well extended (24kHz) and is responsible for the sharpish ‘edge’.
(Sub)bass goes very deep (< 10Hz). This is one of the better measuring headphones in this aspect.
The perceived lack of ‘body’ is caused by the upwards sloping mids (from 200Hz to 2kHz).
Headphones with more ‘body’ in the sound tend to slope downwards from 200Hz to 2kHz. A 3dB slope is audible.

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

DIST EL8 closed R

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

DIST EL8 closed percent R

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 Titanium (Left and Right channel are superimposed)

CSD EL-8 closed

Aside from some short-lived ringing at around 5kHz there is little to worry about. Even the mids are damped quite well.

Below the spectrum plot of the EL-8 Titanium.

Spectr EL-8 closed R

This plot too shows some small issues around 5kHz. 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 Titanium. (Left channel)Step EL8-closed L
This can be called an almost exemplary step response. Very little and short lived ringing and an impressively flat response. Below the Right channel.Step EL8-closed R.png


The EL-8 closed (Titanium) is a headphone that measures quite well. Almost exemplary.
The CIPHER cable may give you even more options for tuning the sound.
Recommended for portable usage.

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