The uber high-end Audeze LCD-3 audiophile headphone features new 'LOTUS' planar magnetic drivers with special alloys in the conductive traces for excellent driver control and lower distortion specs. Expect precisely musical, liquidy headphone goodness with unsurpassed frequency extension taken to the furthest reaches of reference audio performance. There's no question about it, Audeze are revolutionizing the high-end headphone industry. Designed and manufactured in the USA. 3-year Audeze warranty.
What's In The Box:
The long-awaited Audeze LCD-3 headphones were first heard in early October 2011 at the Rocky Mountain Audio Festival and made available to a hungry audiophile public in early 2012. The most obvious differences between LCD-2 and LCD-3 models is a markedly deeper extension at the edges of the frequency range -- both high and low -- along with a more tactile sense of ambient textures and 'room sound' evident in the soundstage image presentation. For classical and symphonic fans in particular, the improved spatiality nicely opens up the orchestra and allows for near-perfect 'floating' placement of instrumental voices in the recording space. Jazz fans will delight hearing the sizzle of ride cymbals sans edge or grit anchored by the silky, potent pulse of upright double bass carried on transparent sheets of horns and reeds. Rockin' rollers into well-produced modern rock or prog will delve deep into the gauzy layers of electric guitars stratified within all your favorite recordings, making for a revelatory listening experience every time you use your Audeze LCD-3. Listeners can expect a beefier tone in the bass with a bit more low-end heft than before, but with improved tonal control of the lowest Adam's Apple-wobbling bass note. Dynamic quickness and detail resolution remains as acoustically impressive as ever with a tiny bit more air or 'breath' in between the notes during intensely busy musical passages. The headphone-gorilla-in-the-room question remains is this astonishing recovery of obscured low-level acoustic details worth ponying up the extra grand between the LCD-2 and LCD-3? Well, only your ears (and your wallet!) can tell you the answer to that big-time audiophile debate, but safe to say that for demanding music freaks and critical listeners needing to feel 'inside the music' with nuance, accuracy and true emotion as their deepest desires, the Audeze LCD-3 will not disappoint. Simply stated, another breakthrough headphone from the world-leaders in planar-magnetic sound.
The Audeze LCD-3 headphones are beautifully hand-built one at a time by highly skilled USA artisans. The LCD-3 earcups are made of genuine Zebrano wood which is both durable and resists vibrational artifacts from ingressing into the drivers or earcup frame. Ergonomically sloped earpad cushions are real leather and extremely soft; it sure feels like a much higher grade of soft leather versus most other headphones. The overall weight of the LCD-3 remains similar to the LCD-2 which can be a problem for listeners preferring lightweight headphones -- which these are not. The LCD-3's detachable headphone cable sports a wonderfully secure, easy-to-use 'push-pin' clip design that outclasses any of the other detachable cord systems we've seen in this multi kilo-buck terrain. The cable itself is an underwhelming flat-wound 'Y'-cord that extends about 8ft and terminates a full-size 1/4' stereo plug. We highly recommend upgrading to the superb Cardas headphone cabling for LCD-3. The free (and awesomely extended) 3-year LCD-3 manufacturer's warranty is serviced exclusively by Audeze in their own USA facility.
About Audeze Unique Planar Driver Headphone Technology Although speakers have been developed with many different technologies, the traditional cone speaker design still dominates audio. Audeze Planar Transducers are fundamentally different from conventional cone speakers or dynamic drivers. Planar Magnetic speakers use a flat, lightweight diaphragm suspended in a magnetic field as the driver -- rather than a cone -- which is attached to the voice coil. The diaphragm has a circuit pattern etched within that, when energized, creates the forces that drive the diaphragm to move into the magnetic field to produce sound waves. Planar magnetic speakers (when done correctly!) have inherent advantages over cone speakers. First, the driver moves in a more direct piston-like manner due to the even application of force by the magnetic field surrounding the diaphragm, which reduces distortion artifacts. Second, the diaphragm is evenly mounted on all sides, reducing mechanical fatigue points. Planar Magnetic speakers employ a tough polymer as the base material, which also makes it more durable than cone diaphragms. Third, because the diaphragm is uber-thin, it's also more responsive, leading to extremely accurate sound reproduction and a crispness of tone that is the hallmark of quality electrostatic speakers. And finally, because it is perfectly flat, planar-magnetic drivers can dissipate heat more quickly using the large surface area of the diaphragm itself, which reduces the chance of heat build-up or driver burn-out.
'Super Planar Magnetic'Audeze employs a number of proprietary techniques to improve upon the basic venerable planar magnetic design. Audeze design uses a very thin patented film type for the diaphragm. Once correctly etched, the diaphragm is mounted under extremely intense tension between two layers of deeply opposing magnets. This unique mounting process requires incredible precision, and Audeze has come up with proprietary methods and tools to effect very consistent and precise mount procedures. The serious diaphragm manufacturing know-how allows perfect fine tuning of the drivers to ensure a flat frequency response over a huge bandwidth while ensuring a very robust diaphragm construction along with maximum driver efficiency.
LOTUS - The New 'Ultra Thin' DiaphragmMost planar magnetics use Mylar (PET) diaphragms built with internal aluminum traces. Audeze transducers use new materials that offer substantial improvements for both diaphragm and trace design. Audeze's proprietary 'LOTUS' diaphragm is capable of handling maximum operating temperatures of over 400F. This allows drivers to stay responsive and smooth with resonance-free tone, a huge frequency response, excellent internal and edge damping, very low THD distortion and extremely fast transient quickness. In addition, Audeze transducer designs are versatile and relatively efficient for easy pairing with top headphone amps.
Audeze LCD 3 Frequency Response Measurement
View our full featured 'Build a Graph Tool' for headphone comparisons and in-depth measurements.
Manufactured in the USA by a specialty audiophile headphone company, the Audeze LCD-2 Bamboo is a planar-magnetic driver design (aka 'Orthodynamic') delivering richly detailed, full-toned accuracy that makes it highly...
Manufactured in the USA by a top specialty audiophile headphone company, the Audeze LCD-2 Rosewood is a planar-magnetic driver design (aka 'Orthodynamic') delivering richly detailed, full-toned accuracy that makes it...
The uber high-end Audeze LCD-3 audiophile headphone features new 'LOTUS' planar magnetic drivers with special alloys in the conductive traces for excellent driver control and lower distortion specs. Expect precisely...