"The Voice of God"
Audeze's design goal for the LCD-3 professional reference headphone was very clear: it must be the absolute best. The LCD-3 has astonishingly dynamic enveloping sound with powerful bass, an attractive, inviting midrange and open extended highs.
The Audeze research and development team took the popular LCD-2 headphones and created the Audeze LCD-3 with a thinner planar magnetic diaphragm controlled by an even more efficient magnetic structure.
"We don't know what the voice of God sounds like, but we imagine it sounds a lot like the Audeze LCD-3," raves Ryan Waniata in his May 13, 2013 review for DigitalTrends.com.
"These are inexpensive when you realize that you'll probably be enjoying these for decades to come. Notes Ken Rockwell at KenRockwell.com. "Play your cards right, and your kids will be fighting over these long after you're gone. They're that good."
"I Want It"
"I'm pretty hard to impress, especially when it comes to headphones, and these impressed me. They're that good," notes Geoffrey Morrison in a Forbes review for July 17, 2013.
"That's what the LCD3 is - a pure, unadulterated indulgence. And I want it," reports Andrew Robinson, HomeTheaterReview.com, March 12, 2013.
Luxurious Ear Cups and Ear Pads
The ear cups of the LCD-3 are made from precision-crafted hand-selected Zebrano wood with sloped ear pads of premium lambskin leather. The ear pads are designed with specially-crafted foam offering the best firmness and acoustical balance.
The LCD-3 comes with an ADZ6SE single-ended 1/4” TRS to 2x4-pin mini XLR cable, an ADZ6B4 balanced 4-pin XLR to 2x4-pin mini XLR cable, and a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter. It also includes a wood care kit, your choice of a 'Ruggedized travel case' or premium presentation case, a personalized frequency response graph, and warranty documents from Audeze.
Audeze Planar Magnetic Transducer Technology
Planar magnetic speaker technology is a dramatic departure from traditional dynamic speakers. The unique design and functionality of planar magnetic transducers (or drivers) overcome many limitations inherent in cone drivers.
Planar magnetic transducers typically consist of two main components: a diaphragm with circuit and magnet arrays. The 'planar' in planar magnetics refers to the magnetic field that's distributed in the same plane (parallel) to the diaphragm. Planar magnetic diaphragms are thin and lightweight compared to much heavier moving-coil or dome diaphragms found in 'dynamic' drivers. This thin diaphragm is suspended in the magnetic fields created by the magnetic arrays.
Unlike a dynamic driver with a cone or dome attached to a voice coil, a planar magnetic diaphragm has a printed circuit spread across the surface of a thin-film substrate. When the circuit is energized with an audio signal, it interacts with the magnetic field and produces an electromagnetic force that moves the diaphragm back and forth creating sound.
Audeze employs a number of proprietary techniques that improve upon basic planar magnetic design, including the integration of unique, ultra-thin diaphragms and stronger and more optimized magnetic fields and circuit patterns. Audeze's goal is to bring the best in planar magnetic design and continuing to improve the personal audio experience.
Planar Transducer Advantages
Planar magnetic transducers offer numerous benefits compared to dynamic drivers, beginning with enhanced responsiveness. Since the force created by the magnetic field is distributed across most of the diaphragm surface, the planar magnetic diaphragm moves faster and with far greater accuracy to the input signal.
The magnetic force that drives the lightweight diaphragm delivers rapid acceleration thus achieving a wide frequency response, low distortion and excellent sound quality.
Planar magnetic transducers also offer added durability compared to conventional dynamic drivers. Because the circuit pattern is spread flat across the diaphragm surface, it can dissipate the heat generated by the current passing through it more efficiently. Additionally, planar magnetic transducers have few moving parts and can maintain performance without any sonic degradation. Dynamic drivers continuously degrade in performance over their life due to a multitude of moving parts and use of glue joints.
Amplifier friendliness is another attribute. The circuits found in planar magnetic diaphragms present an almost purely resistive load to amplifiers, making the transducers easy to drive. The impedance over the entire frequency range is completely flat vs. dynamic speaker, which could have variances in impedance values over the frequency range.
"We don't know what the voice of God sounds like, but we imagine it sounds a lot like the Audeze LCD-3."
"While we can't tell you whether any headset is worth $2,000, we can assure you that time spent with the Audeze LCD-3 is a revelatory experience that will elevate your music to a level beyond what you can find in almost any other listening environment. Even with top-tier, professional-grade monitors, it's rare to come this close to the actual birth of sound. For the audiophile, the professional musician, or the rabid fanatic in particular, we highly recommend experiencing the LCD-3 for yourself – but that goes for everyone else out there, too."
- Ryan Waniata, DigitalTrends.com, May 13, 2013
"These are inexpensive when you realize that you'll probably be enjoying these for decades to come. People think nothing of buying a DSLR camera for even more money, and that camera will be nearly worthless in a few years. Unlike imported consumer electronics, American audio gear is forever. Heck; I'm still enjoying my Hafler DH-200 today that I built from a kit back in 1980!"
"When you own the best, the quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten. Play your cards right, and your kids will be fighting over these long after you're gone. They're that good."
- Ken Rockwell, KenRockwell.com
"I'm pretty hard to impress, especially when it comes to headphones, and these impressed me. They're that good."
"I'll finish with this. When the LCD3s first arrived, I plugged them in to make sure they survived the shipping. I ended up lying down right there on the floor and listening to music for over an hour. I can't remember the last audio product that elicited that kind of reaction."
- Geoffrey Morrison, Forbes, July 17, 2013
"That's what the LCD3 is - a pure, unadulterated indulgence. And I want it."
- AndrewRobinson, HomeTheaterReview.com, March 12, 2013