In this episode of First Look Sunday we check out the $2,495 planar-magnetic In Ear from Audeze – the LCD-i4! Even after almost three years it is still one of the very best monitors money can buy.
Disclaimer: This post is part of our First Look series, in which we give our first impressions on gear that we have in our queue.
We all know that the LCD-i4 is not a new product. It has been introduced in 2017. So why review a product two years after it has been launched? Because the LCD-i4 is still very relevant today. Even after all this time, it has held up as one of the top candidates for best earphone.
In the past years since its introduction, it has been standing very much alone in a field without competition. Yes, we did see some open-back planar magnetic monitors from other brands. But none could ever de-crown the mighty LCD-i4. To this day, the Audeze stands proud as the reference monitor for headphone like listening experiences. The LCD-i3 comes very close to it in my opinion, but the i4 still stands above it.
For those that have not heard about the Audeze LCD-i4 I‘ll give a brief introduction. The i4 is a semi open-back, 30 millimeter planar-magnetic earphone. Its nature of design limits the i4 heavily to home-use, but make no mistake, the LCD-i4 is probably the most spacious sounding, finest rendering monitor available today. It creates a sound stage that mops the floor with traditional IEMs. Even the best of the best In Ear Monitors don‘t come close to the feeling and experience you get with the Audeze to me.
However, the i4 has flaws. It is not perfect. Nothing is. But Audeze even says so. That‘s why they provide the Reveal Plugin and DSP cables with the i4. In the package you have a Cipher, Apple lightning terminated, cable that corrects some of the i4‘s mistakes. It pushes the 2-5kHz region a bit further up-front to create a more balanced signature. With the DSP cable you get an even better sounding i4.
For the past two months I have been immensely enjoying my LCD-i4. Some of you might remember that I also reviewed the LCD-i3 just a few weeks ago, and it right out fascinated me. Well, the LCD-i4 takes things even further. Although it didn’t catch me off-guard like the i3 did. Simply because I already knew what I was getting into.
This is my last article for the year of 2019, and I want to take the chance to thank each and every one of you out there. It’s loads of fun to bring you new content through this website. Even though it is a lot of extra work next to the day-job and the family. To every reader of Headfonia a big thank you!