Audeze excited the audiophile-headphone world in 2009 when it debuted the LCD-2 planar magnetic headphones, which the company quickly followed with its flagship LCD-3 model. The Southern California manufacturer, which is a relatively new name in the headphone game, has continued its momentum with the recent release of its LCD-X and LCD-XC headphones.
The $1,699 LCD-X features an open design, which will appeal to users doing the majority of their listening at home, while the $1,799 LCD-XC is a closed design that does not allow as much sound to leak into the surrounding environment. Both models exhibit nearly identical sonic signatures, courtesy of Audeze’s new Fazor driver, for which a patent is pending. The Fazor driver provides a slightly more detailed musical presentation than those employed in past Audeze designs, while requiring less amplification to achieve equally stunning results, making these premium phones more compatible with portable music players. While the LCD-X and LCD-XC headphones are certainly deserving of the world’s finest headphone amplifiers—which have become a complete market segment of their own—they still turn in a phenomenal performance when paired with a portable player, tablet, or smartphone.
The considerable size of these models is deceiving, as both the LCD-X and XC are easy to wear for long listening sessions, thanks to their oversized ear cushions, which can be ordered in a supple lambskin leather or microsuede. Both headphone models provide the ultimate personal-audio experience—whatever your music source. (657.464.7029, www.audeze.com)