Audeze has a tradition of putting out high-end headphones for those who want great sound. This has been largely for the high-end section of the market for professionals, audiophiles and those who can afford to pay over $1,000 on headphones. The company has expanded its offerings to in-ear headphones, albeit at a similar expensive price point. In the past few years, it has looked to expand into the average consumer base, most notably with the LCD-1 headphones, which are in the same lineage as their flagship LCD line, which goes up to the premium LCD-4 or the classic LCD-2. We have been living LCD-1 for about a month now, which deliver on quality sound, but at a much better price.
What Are They?
The Audeze LCD-1, which are among the cheapest headphones that Audeze offers. Normally, a consumer could expect to pay around $1,000 for Audeze, but these are only $400, bringing them down to a wider swath of consumers. They are foldable, open back and come with a travel case to take on the go. They are wired headphones with durable feeling and long wires over six feet long in total.
How Do They Sound?
So the big question. If Audeze made the headphones cheaper does that mean they made the headphones worse? I haven’t used some of the more high-end Audeze products, so I can’t compare them, but I can contrast them to other over-ear headphones at a similar price point from other brands.
With that in mind, these sound excellent. As advertised and in the tradition, the bass is deep and quite full. The sound give you an immersive feel to them. You put them on and you are one with the sound. They aren’t noise cancelling, but you do get the sound all around you without it being binaural or having any special effects. The mids feel rich and the highs are nice and detailed. It works with just about every genre I tested out from deep ambient tracks, jazz, rock, synthwave and the latest Porter Robinson album. If you want to nitpick slightly, maybe the bass could be slightly more detailed, but that is something you would get at a higher price point and it should work for those who want to listen at home and take these on the road.
How Do They Feel?
These feel good on your head. I have a pretty big head, so most over-ear headphones can get pretty tired on me after about two hours, but they have nice cushion for the top of your dome and on your ears. There is space is you adjust for your ears and keeping them on the right and left ear is key. The chords are thick, but are pretty good to not get in the way. The sound is clear so it doesn’t give you a headache.
How Much Do They Cost?
They cost $400, plus whatever taxes and shipping.
You know the quality you will get from Audeze is going to be outstanding. With the LCD-1, they have brought their studio-quality headphones to the larger market without making large sacrifices in quality. They may not be as flashy as some of the higher end models, but designed to sit on your head or be in use for 10 hours of tuning a snare, but it works for life in the office or train rides. At this price point, you will be hard pressed to find better headphones than these from a brand you know.
Get yours on their website here.