The VR market is still in its infancy, but it is taking the lion’s share in news these days. The fledgling industry involves not only the videogame and professional software industries on top of hardware manufacturers, but also the audio industry. The new Audeze iSine VR is one of the first high-end headphones to be specifically targeted at VR users.
The audio industry may greatly benefit from the VR boom: Sony already introduced their Platinum Wireless Headset, which is compatible with PlayStation VR. It will be interesting to see whether “wearable speakers” such as the LG Tone Studio will gain traction or if headphones will remain dominant. The Audeze iSine VR is instead made for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive users only, but compatibility with more systems is planned for the coming months.
The Audeze iSine VR feature the firm’s renowned planar magnetic technology, which already is at the foundation of the iSine 10 and iSine 20 earphones. The iSine VR seems to be a tweaked version of the iSine 10; the differences are mainly in the way it connects to devices, as the VR version only include HTC Vive- and Oculus Rift-compatible cables in addition to a standard 3.5 mm cable.
The company claims that the semi-open back of their iSine VR allows the user to better react to the VR experience: totally isolating headphones or noise-cancelling headphones can cause disorientation and nausea (a fact I can confirm), while headphones that allow a certain amount of ambient sounds to be heard should reduce these inconveniences. I suspect that the 20 g weight will enhance comfort and further reduce issues.
The Audeze iSine VR offer a 10 – 50,000 Hz frequency response, an impedance of 16 Ω and a THD that is less than 0.1%. The two drivers are matched within 1 dB of each other, a fact that should help improve spatial accuracy even more.
The Audeze iSine VR come with a 399$ price tag, with shipments expected to begin at the end of the month. You can reserve your pair on Audeze’s site.