I've never heard anything quite like the Audeze LCD-2 before. This headphone somehow produces extraordinary clarity, openness, and articulation, but without exaggerated detail or annoyingly overdone treble. The Audeze LCD-2 is a game changer; no wonder it's getting raves from the online high-end mavens at Head-Fi. Audeze's co-founders, Alex Rosson and Sankar Thiagasamudram, are onto something.
The headphones feel great in your hands. Build quality is robust, but the design is nowhere as sleek as Sennheiser's high-end headphones. The LCD-2's impedance is 50 ohms, and the maximum power handling is a remarkable 15 watts, which corresponds to a superloud 133 decibel output! You'd be hard pressed to blow this headphone up by playing it too loud. The LCD-2's tonal balance is noticeably warm, but I never felt it was smearing detail or lacking in resolution. It also sounds great at quiet listening levels. Sure, one of the advantages of headphones is you can play music as loud as you want, but it's still nice to have the option of listening low, without losing detail or presence.
The LCD-2's unusual technology (planar magnetic, or orthodynamic) is currently only used by one other headphone manufacturer, Hifiman, and I raved about its HE-5 headphones last year. The LCD-2's huge headphone drivers (6.17 square inches each) are many times the area of any dynamic headphone I know of. Audeze's very large drivers project sound over most of your outer ears, and that may be the reason why the LCD-2 sounds more speakerlike than other headphones. It weighs a rather hefty 19.4 ounces (550 grams), but I found it comfortable over very long listening sessions. The LCD-2 is handmade in the U.S., with real lambskin leather-covered earpads, and real Caribbean rosewood earcups.
The LCD-2's headphone cable is detachable, via very secure mini-XLR plugs, and is therefore user replaceable. I opted for a Chain Mail 8, an audiophile upgrade cable from ALO. It seemed to enhance everything about the LCD-2's sound, which was awfully good with the stock cable.
The LCD-2's big drivers make bass, oh boy, do they make bass. If you really want to hear amazing bass, you have to get "Kodo: The Heartbeat Drummers of Japan" CD. The drums' big sound is beyond the abilities of most headphones, but here, over the LCD-2, the drumbeats were clear and powerful. Not the sort of flabby, thick, or overdone bass you get from DJ headphones, no, I'm talking about pitch-accurate, highly defined bass that also digs deeper into the very low bass regions than other full-size 'phones.… Read more