Audeze LCD-1 Review

Audeze LCD-1

The portable Audeze LCD-1 is Audeze’s latest LCD headphone, selling for only $399 USD.




Disclaimer: The Audeze LCD-1 was sent to us by Audeze in exchange for our honest review. Audeze is not related to Headfonia in any way.


If you’ve been following the personal audio world for the last 10 years, then Audeze will ring many bells. The California, USA based company completely changed and upped the headphone game to new levels. Bio from the Audeze site:

Audeze’s origins go back to 2008 when founders Sankar Thiagasamudram and Alexander Rosson met engineer Pete Uka who developed specialized flexible circuit materials for NASA. They quickly realized the material might be perfect for headphones. That’s when Dragoslav Colich, who has 30+ years’ experience in designing planar drivers, joined the team as CTO to create the LCD-1 headphone.

We’ve reviewed almost all of the Audeze products here on Headfonia, the latest one being the LCD-i4, Mobius, LCD-MX4 and the LCD-2 Classic. Today we’re looking at the first real transportable planar technology Audeze: the LCD-1.

Planar Magnetic Technology

A short summary of the tech for those not familiar with it.

Audeze feature proprietary planar magnetic designs with extremely thin-film driver materials and powerful custom magnets. Planars overcome many limitations inherent in typical cone drivers; our lightweight diaphragms are, for example, faster and more responsive than heavier moving-coil or dome drivers. Planar magnetic diaphragm also have a voice-coil circuit spread across the diaphragm surface. The diaphragm’s voice-coil circuit interacts with the magnetic field to produce an electromagnetic force that moves the diaphragm back and forth creating the sound you hear when energized by an audio signal.

If you want to read more about the technology, you can do this here:

Audeze LCD-1


The new LCD-1 probably is Audeze’s cheapest and most portable headphone up to today. You can find the LCD-1’s dedicated web page right here:

According to Audeze, the LCD-1 headphones have been meticulously engineered for comfort, convenience, and premium quality sound. Featuring some of Audeze’s most powerful planar magnetic technology in an open-back, foldable and light-weight design, the LCD-1 delivers masterfully tuned audio in a compact and travel-friendly package perfect for audiophile listening and mixing.

And that actually is an excellent description of the LCD-1 and its performance.

The LCD-1 is an open design headphone and it sport circumaural ear pads. Underneath you’ll find the 90mm planar drivers featuring the Audeze Ultra-thin Uniforce™ Diaphragms, Fluxor™ Magnets and Fazor Waveguides. Of course the LCD-1 is a USA made product.

The Audeze LCD-1 is transportable, light (250g) and well packageable. You can fold the earcups to the inside so they perfectly fit in the transport case which comes provided with the headphone.

Standard the LCD-1 come equipped with a 3.5mm premium cable for tangle-free connection, with reversible headphone connectors for ease of setup. Yes you read that correctly, there are no L/R marks on the Audeze provided cable.

Technical Specs

Style:                                                   Over-ear, open-circumaural

Transducer type:                              Planar Magnetic

Magnetic structure:                         Single-sided Fluxor™ magnet array

Phase management:                        Fazor

Magnet type:                                     Neodymium N50

Diaphragm type:                              Ultra-thin Uniforce™

Transducer size:                               90 mm

Maximum power handling:            5W RMS

Maximum SPL:                                 >120dB

Frequency response:                       10Hz – 50KHz

THD:                                                   <0.1% @ 100dB

Impedance:                                        16 ohms

Sensitivity:                                         99 dB/1mW (at Drum Reference Point)

Ear Pads:                                            Memory foam, genuine lambskin leather

Weight:                                               250g

The article continues on Page Two, after the CLICK HERE or by using the jumps below

4.2/5 - (130 votes)

Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.


  • Reply February 4, 2020


    First question, does the sound leak out so that those around you can hear it?

    Secondly, with an iPhone and an Audioquest Cobalt setup would the LC1’s perform as well?

    • Reply February 4, 2020


      1. Of course it leaks out, it’s an open headphone.
      2. Yes, no worries there. Cobalt rocks

      • Reply July 27, 2020


        How would you compare them to oppo pm3?

        • Reply July 29, 2020


          Do those still exist? 🙂
          I don’t have it here with me, sorry.

  • Reply July 28, 2020


    Hello, I have read your review of the Audeze LCD-1 and wanted to ask you if the LCD-1 sound better than the sine with cipher? I am looking for headphones to connect to my iphone and I want to know which of the two sounds better. Thank you.

    • Reply July 29, 2020


      The DX is still available, but the Sines are not being built anymore. SO I think the LCD-1 kind of replaces it. I unfortunately don’t have any of the Sine’s here with me.

  • Reply July 29, 2020


    I have also been recommended the hifiman sundara above the lcd-1. But I don’t know if an iPhone will be enough (with a 3.5mm lightning dongle). What do you think?

    • Reply July 29, 2020


      I have both here and I never understood the huge praise the Sundara receives. I reviewed it and it was ok, but not extraordinary. I would choose the LCD-1 over it any day, and it’s the better straight from a phone if you ask me. The LCD-1 is in our recommended buy list, the Sundara isn’t.

  • Reply October 17, 2020

    Paul B.

    I had the opportunity to audition these very briefly today and was very impressed. The question is, these or the HD650? Different beasts, I know…

  • Reply October 24, 2020


    LCD-1 no doubt. HD 650 doesn’t really beat LCD-1 in anything but soundstage. LCD-1 is more comfortable, its easily portable, you don’t need an amp to drive them, but they do benefit from amping ever so slightly… With HD 650 you need a good amp to make them sound their best, they are not as portable and even when you push them to their fullest they sound overall worse than LCD-1. I think it’s easy choice imo.

    The real question is should you buy LCD-1 or save up for LCD-2. That comes down to personal preference and really how much money are you willing to shovel for a headphone. LCD-2 does sound better, but it is not really portable and you’d wanna get decent amp to get them sound their fullest.

  • Reply November 20, 2020

    Eduard Resalt Sabata

    Hi! How pairs the LCD1 with the Chord Mojo? I have the Sundara and the HD660S. The Sundara it’s very very detailed and refined but sometimes it’s a little boring.
    The HD660S it’s much less detailed, less refined but in some songs more fun, I think it’s for mids are more prominent.
    I’m searching the combination of the two, the refine and the detail with the Sundara and the fun of the HD660S.
    The LCD1 is this headphone or it’s better other options like the Anandas for example?, the source will be the Mojo
    Thanks for this excelent review.
    Cheers ;);).

  • Reply December 10, 2020


    why did you place meze 99 classic above LCD 1 in your best headphone gear list?

    Do you think that 99 classics outperform LCD 1?

    Happy to know your thoughts

    • Reply December 10, 2020


      The list is sorted on price……

  • Reply February 11, 2021


    Hi! I’ve just been dipping my feet into the world of audio and audiophiles, and one thing I’ve always read is that balanced > unbalanced almost all the time 🙂

    Given ur review of the LCD-1s and ur mention that it’s hard to use aftermarket cables, what effect wld it have given that we can’t use our own 2.5/4.4 cables (or wld be hard pressed to)! Is the audio ‘unbalanced’ since it’s coming from a 3.5mm connector?

    Wld appreciate ur expert view (well def better than mine HAHA)

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