"My Favorite Headphone Ever"
The reference-level LCD-X is an exciting addition to the Audeze LCD planar magnetic headphone collection. The LCD-X features a newly developed and processed transducer made of a thinner and lighter alternative material with new Fazor technology.
"Simply put, it’s my favorite headphone ever," raves Brent Butterworth in an About.com posting. "It’s an open-back model so it doesn’t isolate you from external sounds."
"The LCD-X is now my favorite headphone for recreational listening and studio monitoring," reports Michael Mercer in his Positive-Feedback.com review for November/December 2013.
"A Real Thrill"
"The subtle gradations of dynamics in piano recordings are a real thrill," notes Steve Guttenberg at CNET.com. "You'll realize how most headphones gloss over that aspect of sound reproduction."
"The sense of space is enormous, sounding more like speakers in a room than drivers next to your ears," reports Geoffrey Morrison, Forbes, November 10, 2013.
"The smallest details, the shortest transients, were all a clear and well defined as I could imagine possible. There was not a hint of over-sibilance," marvels John E. Johnson in a November 18, 2013 review for Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity.
Patent-pending Fazor elements are unique to the LCD-X and LCD-XC and help guide and manage the flow of sound in the headphone. The result is improved phase response, greater frequency extension, smoother frequency response, and remarkable 3D holographic imaging.
The LCD-X transducer is specifically designed to work with a wide variety of driving sources. From portable players to studio use, the LCD-X provides high volume without a headphone amplifier, even though all LCD-series products benefit from a high-quality amp.
Luxurious Ear Cups and Ear Pads
The LCD-X earcups are made from polished anodized aluminum with sloped ear pads of premium lambskin leather. The earpads are designed with specially-crafted foam offering the proper firmness and acoustic balance.
The LCD-X 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 'Ruggedized travel case' 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.
"Simply put, it’s my favorite headphone ever… It’s an open-back model so it doesn’t isolate you from external sounds."
- Brent Butterworth, About.com
"The LCD-X is now my favorite headphone for recreational listening and studio monitoring."
- Michael Mercer, Positive-Feedback.com, November/December 2013
"The subtle gradations of dynamics in piano recordings are a real thrill... you'll realize how most headphones gloss over that aspect of sound reproduction."
- Steve Guttenberg, CNET.com
"The sense of space is enormous, sounding more like speakers in a room than drivers next to your ears."
- Geoffrey Morrison, Forbes, November 10, 2013
"The smallest details, the shortest transients, were all a clear and well defined as I could imagine possible. There was not a hint of over-sibilance."
- John E. Johnson, Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity, November 18, 2013