Audeze LCD-1 Review

Audeze LCD-1

The Box, Accessories & Price

 

 

The Audeze LCD-1 is selling for only $399 USD of that money the LCD-1 comes in a pretty yet straightforward box. On the inside you’ll of course find the LCD-1 headphone, but also a 2 meter 3.5mm to dual 3.5mm cable with reversible connectors, a 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter, a zippered travel case and a Certificate of Authenticity.

For a portable/transportable headphone, the 2 meter cable that comes with the unit is quite long. When your at a desk or mixing board using these that’s perfectly fine, but in some cases (like on the go) this will annoy you as it’s just not handy.

The travel case is nice and will protect your headphones at all time. At the same time it isn’t the smallest and it will take up quite a bit of space in your bag or back pack. Just throwing in the LCD-1 in your bag will take up a less space, but the headphone won’t be protected.

Design

According to Audeze, the LCD-1 blends Audeze’s coveted LCD sound quality together with improved comfort and portability. But to me it’s more than that, the LCD-1 simply is a beautiful headphone.

The double grill over the driver features the “Audeze A” on a mesh base and it’s sexy as hell. The well-placed silver Audeze logo below gives it a certain elegance and the headband with the Audeze A-logo is simple yet stylish.

To me the LCD-1 design is wonderful and I applaud the designer. For only $399 you get one of the most beautiful potable headphones on the market.

Audeze LCD-1

Build Quality & Comfort

Weighing only 250 grams and featuring a plush memory foam headband and ear pads, the LCD-1 is engineered for fatigue-free listening sessions both at home and in the studio. To achieve this light weight for an orthodynamic headphone, Audeze has used a lot of plastic in the design, but it actually doesn’t disturb at all.

The lambskin leather earpads are “over ear” but they are rather small, your ears most likely will touch the inside of the pads. At the same time this however doesn’t bother me at all.

The headband perfectly distributes the headphone weight evenly over your head and it on top sports a soft foam, making it very comfortable, even for long listening sessions. I suppose I have an average size of head, and the LCD-1’s headband is in the smallest position.

The ear pads are soft and the memory foam does magic, the clamping force on the side of your head is just right. All-in-all the LCD-1 comfort is excellent.

The LCD-1 is designed and handcrafted in their Southern California factory. Audeze uses their patented engineering techniques and state of the art laser-etching technology to ensure their headphones meet the exacting audio and production quality standards.

The result? A perfectly built, small, transportable, beautiful and very comfortable headphone. I just wish there was a vegan option for the pads and headband, as Audeze offers for some other models.

Cable

The specially designed cable has reversible connectors, so the LCD-1 will always deliver the correct left and right channel information.

While this is easy it at the same time makes it more difficult to use aftermarket cables, especially balanced ones. I have tried a couple of balanced cables on the LCD-1 to see how it would impact the sound, but all my cables resulted in only the left channel producing sound.

So unless you have a cable specifically built for the LCD-1, you’ll have to do with the (very) long stock cable. Microphonics are non-existent so that’s good. The only other downside next to the length is the stiffness of the cable, though some of you might actually like its “memory” foldability.

Sound and comfort-wise this cable does really well and that’s the most important in the end.

Audeze LCD-1

Sound

According to Audeze’s designers, the LCD-1 is a headphone engineered for critical listening, but to me it’s more than that as it is also very musical and fun to listen to at the same time. The LCD-1 won me over already after only a few seconds of listening. The LCD-1 sound is magical, combining great technicalities and musicality. For such a small headphone, you get a really big and impressive sound. The LCD-1 seriously impresses, right from the start.

General Signature

I wouldn’t specifically call the Audeze LCD-1 a warm sounding headphone, but it isn’t fully neutral either. The LCD-1 sounds balanced from top to bottom but what is always present is good body and full bass. At the same time the LCD-1 is transparent so if you’re using a bass heavier or warmer source, you will hear that.

The Mini LCD-1 sounds very open because of the typical design and you get a nice wide and deep sound stage. I honestly didn’t expect these 90mm drivers to impress this much in this regard, but boy do they! That being said, the width is better than the depth, but this often is the case with planar magnetic drivers.

The LCD-1 is a critical tool for anyone who values pure, neutral, and accurate sound. Its sound stage and pinpoint stereo imaging reveal the full depth and detail of the music, empowering producers to fine-tune their mix with complete confidence.

Also typical is the dead silent, pure black background and the clean and clear presentation from top to bottom. The LCD-1 sounds full and powerful, yet precise and detailed. The delivery is fast, fun and musical, and it will have you shaking your head and tapping your feet in no-time.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the LCD-1 is how effortless it mixes up technical excellence with musicality. At my day job’s office I keep going back to the LCD-1 whenever I can, it’s just too good not to use and listen to.

More on sound on the third page of the review, CLICK HERE

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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.

8 Comments

  • Reply February 4, 2020

    Robert

    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

      Lieven

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

      • Reply July 27, 2020

        Bobo

        How would you compare them to oppo pm3?

        • Reply July 29, 2020

          Lieven

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

  • Reply July 28, 2020

    David

    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

      Lieven

      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

    David

    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

      Lieven

      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.

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