Audeze LCD-5 headset review: Are they worth $4,500?

2021-11-29 07:29:10 By : Ms. Linda Chi

Hello, what are you looking for?

The Audeze LCD-5, valued at $4,500, is added to a very short list of flagship headsets and is actually good value for money. But are they the best of that group?

The Head-Fi community expressed support for the price of the new LCD-5 this month, and we hope our Audeze LCD-5 headset review will help clear some of the air around these excellent flat magnetic headsets.

It is understandable that some people in the community are uncomfortable with pricing; flagship headset models are becoming increasingly unaffordable, and Venom is not only aimed at Audeze. Meze Audio, Kennerton, Dan Clark Audio, HiFiMan, and Abyss are also considered by some to be high-end headphone brands that are quickly becoming their brothers in the 2-channel category.

In recent years, the price of top flagship models has risen to more than US$4,000, which was unthinkable a few years ago.

At the same time, audiophiles are willing to spend $20,000 or even $50,000 for a pair of speakers; not to mention all the electronic equipment needed to make these speakers not sound like a lot of garbage.

This does not make money investment wise, but it is up to the purchaser to decide and deal with it according to his own financial situation.

Over the years, Audeze has taken huge risks in developing its latest CRBN technology, many of which have penetrated into cheaper products such as LCD-1, Mobius and Penrose gaming headsets, LCD-2, etc.

No one forces anyone to buy anything, the product must emit sonic fireworks, otherwise consumers will not buy it. I think many criticisms are mistaken for frankness. The success of Audeze drove innovation in this category and forced other brands to develop better products. After all, as listeners, we all have a better life. Audeze LCD-5 inner shell Ho-Ho-Ho

Speaking of Audeze Penrose-the aforementioned gaming headset should be the subject of this review, but someone from Audeze (your tip is in the mail) accidentally sent the LCD-5 to me. I reached out and asked if they want to get it back right away, because it may have been promised to others before us, but the answer was that our review before the holidays would be great, and we are here.

Honesty is a good way to do things; I can’t wait to travel again on the calendar for the first and second quarters of 2021 with some new headphone amplifiers in 2022.

Audeze was founded in Southern California in 2008 by Sankar Thiagasamudram and Alexander Rosson, and began selling LCD-2 shortly thereafter. The LCD-2 is a flat magnetic earphone with an incredible film. It paved the way for 13 years of excellent earphones; there were some mistakes along the way. The weight remains the same?

EIC Ian White has been a customer of Audeze for many years, but he always complained about one aspect of Audeze products, which I think is very real and related to our discussion about Audeze LCD-5.

The LCD-2 weighed 580 grams when it was first launched; the sound quality is very good, but no one wants to wear a "suitcase" on their head for more than 20 minutes.

As models became more complex and driver technology developed, the weight of the LCD-4 jumped to 690 grams. In this evolution of the product, the headband has been significantly improved, because it needs to face many new high-end headset startups that challenge Audeze for the first time. advertise. Scroll to continue reading.

The floating headband and new design of the LCD-5 show that Audeze has heard the criticism from customers and developed a flagship full-range flat magnetic earphone, which weighs only 420 grams, which is impressive.

In contrast, Dan Clark Audio Stealth weighs 415 grams, but it is also a closed planar magnetic design. Meze Audio ELITE weighs 430 grams and feels very light in the hand.

The Audeze LCD-5 feels much lighter than the previous generation, which is a very good thing; considering its $4,500 price tag, it is almost mandatory. Engineering or living room skills?

The most interesting part of the new design is the new driver at the core of Audeze LCD-5s.

LCD-5 uses a 90mm sensor instead of the 106mm version used in older LCD models and MX4. Magnetic flux or magnet structure and Fazo waveguide are still used in the new driver, but a new parallel Uniforce™ voice coil design has been added. This new technology changes the width of the trace to change the current density at different points along the length of the trace.

This allows for a higher voltage margin than traditional traces, and solves the same problems of using staggered magnets in the original LCD-2, but with much smaller space and no extra weight associated with earlier solutions.

The result is that the nominal impedance of the driver is only 14 ohms, the sensitivity level is 90 dB/mW, and the THD at 100 dB SPL (note that this is not THD+N but only THD) <0.1%. Structure and ergonomics

The LCD-5's shell is similar to the MX4, with rounded edges, which helps to fuse the panel and the cup side together, and is enough to confuse the eyes, and it looks like a whole from a distance.  

The micro XLR connection has also moved to the rear, directly below the gimbal connection point on the cup. This allows the cable to exit almost vertically, instead of the 45° angle exit point of the previous model at the bottom of the cup. 

At some point I have collected most of the LCD models, and I really like this new positioning of the connector rather than the old design. It looks and feels like an integral part of the design, rather than the old style that feels almost clumsy.

The headband has also been redesigned. The carbon fiber band is rectangular with a groove in the middle to reduce weight. The leather suspension is very similar to the previous model, but the connection between the headband and the suspension has been improved and does not look so "Grado-esque" because it no longer has a box and spindle adjustment device.

This design works well on the Grado model, but it doesn’t work with the $4,500 full-size flat magnetic headset.

The adjustment rod is now tilted from the inside through the headband, and the outer box with the old logo is nowhere to be found. The old system works well, but the new system looks more upscale and more suitable for the product at this price point. It is simple and elegant.  

The ear pads are a new design, and although it seems obvious if the overall driver diameter is new, the ear pads have been redesigned not only to fit the new frame, but also to improve the sound quality, especially according to Audeze.

I have an LCD-3 in my collection and an LCD-4 lent to me. I can clearly say that when you take the LCD-5 out of the case and put it on your head, you will immediately notice these improvements. Compared with the previous model, these changes are huge. We are talking about headphones that sell for thousands of dollars and are considered a category leader.

The initial clamping force is a bit high, but it tends to weaken over time, so I very much agree with the decision to make them fit the box slightly. These will never make you feel loose or shaken on your head. advertise. Scroll to continue reading. We have two types, rural and western...

With so many changes in Audeze LCD-5, many people may wonder how it compares to LCD-4. The cruel fact (people won't like this) is that LCD-5 not only sounds like an evolution of a rather expensive old model, but a completely different headset. I found that the sound difference is quite significant.

Audeze recommends 48 hours of aging under pink noise, which is exactly what I did. I usually do this for almost all the headphones we review, but I am particularly interested in hearing how this changes the sound out of the box and after 48 hours.

I exercised quite rigorously on the Audeze LCD-5, listening for more than 90 hours; before I wrote down my thoughts, most headphones could only reach 45. Considering the price of $4,500 and the high level of interest in the product, this feels very appropriate.

Since the impedance is much lower than LCD-4 or even LCD-3, I hope LCD-5 is easier to drive than previous generations and less picky about pairing, but I soon discovered that I was only partially correct.

The LCD-5 is a bit picky about what you use to drive it, and still requires more power than the specifications might lead people to believe in order to achieve its absolute best performance.  

It works perfectly with Bel Canto 2.7/Pass Labs HPA-1, and is almost as good as RME ADI-2 and Burson Conductor 3XR.

I found that most mid-to-high-end portable devices (Cayin N6ii, Sony WM1A, A&K Kann Alpha, A&K SP1000) have no problem when driving LCD-5, but none of them are similar to the Bel Canto/HPA-1 provided on the desktop. combination.  

I applaud Audeze for working so hard to make this flagship headset and other models more compatible with portable audio equipment, but the truth is that unless you use a truly top-notch desktop or rack-mounted DAC/headphone amplifier combination.

I know that our EIC Ian White really likes the Audeze series of linear tube audio headphone amplifiers. I know from other members of the Head-Fi community that Ampsandsound amplifiers can really work with Audeze. Confession is good for the soul

I have a confession. I am not a big fan of Audeze LCD-4. I tried it, but I didn't like it better than my old LCD-3 model, and decided to send it back because it didn't improve for me.

I don't like the LCD-4's bass and low-treble emphasized tuning. I am a little worried that the new and smaller drivers of the LCD-5 will "dear, I have reduced the driver", which is not even to my liking.

The fact is that my fears are completely unfounded. The LCD-5 is a more linear pair of headphones, probably one of the best high-fidelity products I have ever heard-including speakers. advertise. Scroll to continue reading. The sound of music

The low-end of the LCD-5 is not emphasized, but it has good speed and texture and enough impact, which is pleasant and does not distract other music. If this is what you are looking for, they are not bass monsters; the focus is on clarity and speed, which you can hear clearly through different types of percussion.

In contrast, the low-end effect on LCD-4 is stronger, but LCD-5 is tighter and more textured. The mid-bass is very detailed, but again, the grand slam is there when needed, it will not take over or obscure any other details in the music.

I especially like the sound of the string bass, it is difficult to be absolutely true, and the sound of the LCD-5 is as close as I heard in Koussevitzky's double bass concerto.

A typical Audeze tuning, I really like the gradual rise of the low and mid frequencies, because it improves the weight of the bass instrument and improves the vocals. This is where I really think LCD-5 shines, because the strings have a wonderful tone and energy, and the sound has an organic nature that allows you to sit up and interact emotionally with the music.

If you like to listen to a composer like Aram Khachaturian, Audeze LCD-5 can do something very special with his music; music has so much texture and body, your head moves up and down with the rhythm of the concerto or symphony .

Not only the nuances and texture of the midrange are good, but it also benefits from the amazing speed of the new driver. When you input a piece of music to the LCD-5, you will really feel the separation of the instrument and the solution of transients. The headset was found by accident.

This is definitely one of the most interesting aspects of its performance; how easy it is to handle dramatic dynamic changes and complex arrangements. I have heard that many other expensive headphones have completely tripped up in these music, and this is the price you have to pay; being able to unravel the music and recreate it as exquisite and incredible when needed Something complicated and explosive.

Although I usually use Serkin to play Beethoven's concertos, LCD-5 requires me to use Chopin's etude Op. 10 No.4 is played by Valentina Lisitsa. It may not be my favorite piano work, but it is very demanding and challenging for both speakers and headphones. Her fingers work quite fast, and a smaller headset can barely keep up with her.

The same is true for "La Campanella" in Paganini Etude No. 3 played by Alicia de Larrocho; for those who cannot keep up with the rhythm of the music or cannot reproduce their beauty For the texture and nuance of the headset, this performance is too much.

The midrange is not as rich as Audeze LCD-4 or Meze Empyrean, but the resolution is definitely better than these two headphones. In terms of resolution, LCD-5 is probably the best I have heard.

If you like the treble performance of the LCD-4, you will find that the top of the LCD-5 sounds a little dark. If you prefer to slightly reduce the treble energy without loss of detail, then you will definitely like the tuning of the LCD-5. Overall, it is smoother and less tiresome, and if you listen for a long time, you will learn to appreciate the difference in resolution and less avant-garde presentations. The whole world is indeed a stage

If you look forward to the Audeze LCD-5 fireworks in terms of imaging and sound field size, I think you will leave the party with great satisfaction. The width and depth are great; although I will give the advantage of the width of the sound field in this regard.

The image heights of the various recordings are very good, and the artists sculpted neatly in their respective spaces on the stage or in the recording studio. I am not prepared for the excellent improvement in stereo separation of large-scale orchestral works, which is one of the best qualities of LCD-5s. In contrast, other headphones sound very small.

Binaural recordings such as The Trinity Sessions of Cowboy Junkies are reproduced with amazing accuracy, and the echo is clear and audible, making the distance and angle between the wall and the stage very clear. advertise. Scroll to continue reading. Final danger

Is the Audeze LCD-5 worth $4,500? I'm pretty harsh on flagship models because I think they need to be better than anything else (or the same as other headphones in the same class) to justify their very high asking prices.

Is LCD-5 my favorite casual headset? No, they are not.

I heard that another headset is better in some respects, but I don't think they are better than Audeze LCD-5 overall. They just use more of my music to impress me emotionally in different ways, which must make a difference.

I also don't think that Audeze LCD-5 is a headset that you can listen to and really appreciate during a short audition. They won't shock your bones with crushed bass, nor will they dazzle you with their brisk treble and large amounts of detail.

After all, LCD-5 will present your favorite music with resolution, texture, attenuation, nuance, and incredible speed.

It absolutely loves to challenge with complex music, and I find it soars in Dvorak, Strauss, Liszt and other music with multiple layers of instruments.

Although my rock, blues, and funk music sounds great, they are simply not enough to challenge the LCD-5 to demonstrate its amazing transient and mid-frequency capabilities.

After using LCD-5 for a period of time, you will find that neutrality and speed are its strengths. Although it may not attract you to music like Empyrean or Rognir, it can more faithfully present the recording in full compliance with expectations, and It has better resolution than any excellent headset.

Audeze LCD-5 followed its first electrostatic headset CRBN, which we introduced in detail earlier this summer. CRBN provides incredible speed and clarity, and is one of the best in its class.

The amazing thing about LCD-5 is that it is very close to CRBN's performance, which is quite an amazing feat for flat magnetic headphones.

In terms of power supply, you cannot short-circuit the LCD-5, which definitely needs to be part of the equation. If you are looking to build the most advanced headphone system, then LCD-5 is definitely a must.

In the final analysis, I would buy Audeze LCD-5 because I think it represents the best design of the brand since the original LCD-2 was launched in 2008 and placed it in some very elite companies.

Where to buy: $4,500 ad on Scroll to continue reading.

Home> Latest> Reviews> Headphones> Over-Ear Headphones> Audeze LCD-5 Headphone Reviews: Are they worth $4,500?

Provide more equipment for 1%. It must be pretty good. 45 dollars for one person is 4,500 dollars for another. This is the American way. Nevertheless, it is not wrong to read.

This is why I use 500 dollars headphones.

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