Eargasmic: Audeze’s $1299 LCD-2 headphones reviewed
4.3Overall Score
Price (RRP): $1299 Manufacturer: Audeze

There are people out there who love big speakers, and who spend a fortune on them, but if you need to cut the sound out or just want to listen to a recording intimately, a pair of $1300 headphones might be just what you need to look for.

Features and performance

Headphones can sure cost a pretty penny, but there’s something special about a pair that costs over a thousand dollars.

Well out of reach of most people, the Audeze LCD-2 are an unusual pair, not just because they’ll attract attention from their rather unusual design, and not just because the materials used in their construction look a little unorthodox, but because they use a rather unusual magnetic design to achieve the sound the headphones are offering.

The technology is called “Fazor” and essentially it’s an element that sits on the edges of the magnets used in a headphone along the diaphragm, with these elements used to spread the flow of sound in a more balanced way, as opposed to letting the sound resonate the way it normally would.

As a result of this larger headphone technology, the sound waves are apparently less disturbed, better acoustically, and fairly balanced due to the way the sound patterns occur.

A very thin diaphragm is also a part of the technology, something Audeze says is “significantly thinner than other planar designs on the market”, which together with the Fazor technology and Audeze’s magnetic design creates a “uniform magnetic field” to minimise the distortion, suggesting loud volumes that don’t buzz out are possible here.

That’s essentially what the $1299 price tag is paying for, as well as a comfort level that isn’t normal in headphones, we can tell you that.

And for the price, you even get a special casing, which is worth noting only because so few headphones ever see anything like it.

Yes, even from the packaging, we can tell you that you’ve probably never seen anything like the Audeze LCD-2, a pair of headphones that arrive in their own little Pelican hard case and aren’t made for someone with a fleeting interest in audio technology. Inside is a certificate of authenticity — just in case you think someone has sold you a pair of fake $1300 headphones — and a wood care kit, because the LCD-2 is a wooden pair of headphones that you need to treat right.

Take them out and you’ll see just what we’re dealing with here, with large pieces of wood encasing the cans, metal grills, and a very lush, plush, and lovely feeling the microsuede neck-band and ear pads offer. It’s hard not to see this pair of cans as anything but luxurious from the get go, and upon first glance, we’re already impressed.

Stick them on and that feeling continues, because while they’re a little heavier than you might be used to, Audeze’s LCD-2 are insanely comfortable. If you’re ok with some larger headphones, you’ll move beyond the feeling that there’s a weight around your ears quickly, and just get into the comfort, with large soft pads that surround the ear.

Circumaural is the name of the game here, and our lobes didn’t feel like they were even touching the pads here, which is very good.

You may find the proprietary cable a little disheartening, which can be separated from the headphones, though relies on a very unusual port found on the headphones connecting to a flat but still very well built cable executing in a 6.25mm amplifier jack, though they do arrive with a converter to bring this back down to the more common 3.5mm jack.