The Audeze LCD-3 Will Change YOUR Life!!

Updates:

  • 3/5/21. Article posted.

What about the Audeze LCD-3 stands out? Who is it for?

All of these answers and more, comin’ up in this Audeze LCD-3 Review and look back!

Greetings bass head, Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions leading to a beautiful audio experience that will make you fall in love with music (NOT gear), all over again, so…

At A Glance

Preview
Audeze LCD-3 Over Ear Open Back Headphone Zebrano Wood Rings with New Suspension Headband
Title
Audeze LCD-3 Over Ear Open Back Headphone Zebrano Wood Rings with New Suspension Headband
Color
Black/Brown.
Weight
21.2 Oz / 600g
Type
Open Back, Planar Magnetic
Fit
Circumaural (Around-Ear)
Materials
Wood, Lambskin.
Connector
4-pin Mini XLR
Headband Style
Traditional
Impedance
110 Ohms
Sensitivity
93dB/mW
Frequency Response
5Hz to 20kHz
Primary Use
Everything
Cable Length
8.2'
Cable Detachable?
Yes
Folding?
Amplification Needed?
Prime
-
Price
Price not available
Details
Preview
Audeze LCD-3 Over Ear Open Back Headphone Zebrano Wood Rings with New Suspension Headband
Title
Audeze LCD-3 Over Ear Open Back Headphone Zebrano Wood Rings with New Suspension Headband
Color
Black/Brown.
Weight
21.2 Oz / 600g
Type
Open Back, Planar Magnetic
Fit
Circumaural (Around-Ear)
Materials
Wood, Lambskin.
Connector
4-pin Mini XLR
Headband Style
Traditional
Impedance
110 Ohms
Sensitivity
93dB/mW
Frequency Response
5Hz to 20kHz
Primary Use
Everything
Cable Length
8.2'
Cable Detachable?
Yes
Folding?
Amplification Needed?
Prime
-
Price
Price not available
Details

In The Box

Audeze LCD-3 – High-Performance Planar Magnetic Headphone With Ruggedized Travel Case (Zebrano Earcups, Lambskin Leather Earpads)

8.2′ (2.5 m) 1/4″ (6.35 mm) to Dual 4-Pin Mini XLR Cable

8.2′ (2.5 m) 4-Pin XLR to Dual 4-Pin Mini XLR Cable

1/4″ (6.35 mm) to 1/8″ (3.5 mm) stereo adapter

Ruggedized Travel Case

Limited 3-Year Warranty

Audeze LCD-3 Review

Specs/Graph

Shoutout to Crinacle for the graph! This is Crinacle’s graph. There are many like it, but this one is his. 😂

  • Price: Check Amazon! Check Apos Audio! | Check eBay!
  • Type: Open Back, Planar Magnetic.
  • Fit: Circumaural (Around-Ear)
  • Frequency response: 5Hz – 20kHz.
  • Impedance: 110 Ohms. What is Headphone Impedance?
  • Sensitivity: 93dB/mW.
  • Driver Size: Not specified
  • Material: Wood, Lambskin.
  • Color: Black/Brown.
  • Cable: 8.2′ (2.5 m) 1/4″ (6.35 mm) to Dual 4-Pin Mini XLR Cable, 8.2′ (2.5 m) 4-Pin XLR to Dual 4-Pin Mini XLR Cable
  • Connector to Earpiece: Mini XLR 4-Pin
  • Weight: 21.2 Oz. / 600g
  • Amp needed: Yes.
  • Amp recommendation: Benchmark DAC1 HDR, Woo Audio WA7, Woo Audio WA6 SE, Bryston BHA-1, NAIM DAC V-1.

What about the Audeze LCD-3 stands out?

This is another headphone that left a really profound impact on me back when I heard it around 2017-2018. Its raw, visceral nature was one of the most startling things I’ve ever experienced; in this hobby or otherwise. I haven’t since felt anything like it, and I’ve demoed over 100 headphones at the time of this writing.

It was the first time I remember really coming to terms with the fact that headphones themselves can have a monumental influence on your own perception of how a track was recorded.

It went beyond feeling like I was hearing the track for the first time; no, it actually made me feel uncomfortable.

The LCD-3 can and probably will change your life, but perhaps not for the reasons you were expecting.

I remember vividly the track in question; Pink Floyd’s “Time” off of Dark Side Of The Moon – a song I’ve heard probably a thousand times at this point in my life. This time paired with Bryston’s venerable BHA-1.

It sounded different, sure. But there’s more to it.

This was like micro-detail on steroids. I honestly felt like I was catching a glimpse into David Gilmour’s soul. During the rhythm section and into the solo, there’s a seemingly inconsequential guitar that you can never really make out with any sort of clarity.

With other headphones and speakers, it always kind of sounded like an afterthought; something used to give the composition a little more body. For me, it was never articulate and really was only somewhat heard but never felt on an emotional level.

I could never understand where it was in the mix, but it was always there. I could hear it, but it sounded sort of distant and muffled; jumbled together with the other sounds.

Audeze LCD-3 Review

I’ll never forget how it sounded with an LCD-3 though. I could pinpoint exactly where it was – down and panned almost extreme right, which speaks to its imaging capabilities. Imaging on the LCD-3 is laser-like; another quality that makes high-end headphones really stand out. Not only do they all seem to do a fantastic job at placing sounds in exactly the right positions, but you’re actually able to hear and see exactly what they’re doing. It’s like the NSA or something. xD

It was almost as if the guitar took on a life all its own. As if it were actually breathing and pulsating. It sounded “jangly.” Kind of loose, but incredibly rich, clear, and raw.

It drew so much attention to itself, in fact, that I was forced to block everything else out and focus on it – as if it were an Ant under a microscope. It was like all of Gilmour’s pain, frustrations about life, his uncertainty, his doubts, his fears, and his attitude about time itself were all concentrated into that one esoteric-sounding guitar.

It sounded apathetic almost. As if the guitar had a distinct personality with feelings and emotions, but those emotions were kind of just ho-hum, or business as usual, or too laid back. As if it were existing, but didn’t care quite as much.

Its rhythm meandered, but still somehow stayed intact long enough for the solo to play out. It reminds me a lot of Syd Barrett, the founding member of Pink Floyd who, for much of his short career, meandered seemingly in and out of consciousness and seemed directionless; mostly due to a large number of psychedelics he ingested.

He held it together, but only for so long. It’s almost as if Gilmour used this mysterious guitar to describe Syd – a person with a lot of energy and life but who ultimately lost his way. A vastly important, founding member of the band, who never really received his due recognition – at least in comparison to Waters and Gilmour.

Who is it for?

The LCD-3 is most certainly a unique sound in every sense of the word.

All of what I described above was most certainly not “good” in the sense that I can say I actually enjoyed it.

It was more of a cerebral experience than anything, meaning it appealed to my intellect and my sort of analytical nature. I appreciated being able to dissect the song as I did, but it’s not a headphone you’ll want to kick back with to relax with; at least in my opinion.

Speaking of, check out my kickback and relax homie t-shirt. I promise I didn’t plan that. xD

No, the LCD-3 demands your complete and undivided attention. It’s like a blink and you’ll miss it type of thing. It forces you to be completely present with the music and in the moment; not thinking about something else or being distracted by the cares of this world – something we all are guilty of.

Speaking of… DON’T CLICK AWAY!! Lol.

If that sounds like you, the LCD-3 is still a relevant planar. What is a Planar Magnetic Driver?

Audeze LCD-3 Review

Speed

Even so, another thing to keep in mind about this headphone is its speed; or lack thereof.

Part of the reason I was able to clearly define every aspect of “Time” with unparalleled precision and accuracy is that it was almost moving in slow motion.

This isn’t quite a knock, but it’s also not really a compliment either. It just sort of, is.

It was cool in the sense that the song took on a different personality and I could focus more, but at the same time, the perceived speed almost altered it in a way that seemed sort of artificial and fabricated now that I look back in hindsight.

Even so, the Soundstage is also quite good here. You’ll get some out of your head moments for sure, but it doesn’t feel overly wide or anything. What is Soundstage? [Detailed Explanation]

Amplification

At 110 Ohm and 101dB/mW Sensitivity, an amp is highly recommended; not because it’s hard to drive, but rather it comes with an extremely bulky 1/4″ adapter which most higher-end amplifiers have. What is Sensitivity in Headphones? [Explained] This headphone was made to run with an amp of some sort. I used the Bryston BHA-1.

I may not recommend these for Metal, based on speed, but they’ll work with most genres regardless. The bass digs down incredibly deep, and for the most part, it’s a neutral-ish response with a non-fatiguing, detailed treble.

Comfort & Build

The build is incredibly rugged, but comfort will be a point of contention with many. I personally cannot wear Audeze headphones for more than an hour without having to take them off.

My neck issues certainly contribute to that, so your mileage may vary. They tend to sit pretty well on my head, but they feel like a bowling ball. Clamping force on the sides of your head is fine, but the headband may dig.

Video Discussion

Check out Metal 571’s Review. Pretty much everything he says in this video aligns with my own opinions, therefore, he’s right. LOL. Nah, but I really think this review was bang on.

Final Word

The LCD-3 was most certainly the most eye-opening experience I’ve had listening to headphones, with regard to clarity and detail. You could almost reach down and touch Gilmour’s guitar – that’s how articulate and real it sounded.

As for it being a sound purchasing decision? It’s hard to say. At its asking price of around $2k, I almost want to say yes based on its visceral nature alone.

Even so, if I were looking for a perfect-sounding end game type of headphone, the Utopia is it hands down.

Learn why:

 

If you want to go through my experiences in order:

 

Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Audeze LCD-3 Review and Discussion, and came away with some valuable insight.

If you love what I do here and want to support the blog and channel in a more personal way, check me out on Patreon and discover all the value I have to offer you.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

What do YOU think about the LCD-3? Have I described it well? Have you tried one? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,

 

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

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Be sure to also check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!

Audeze LCD-3

4.65

Build

5.0/5

Comfort

3.8/5

Sound

4.8/5

Imaging

5.0/5

Soundstage

4.8/5

Pros

  • Great Build
  • Insane detail and clarity; incredibly revealing
  • Excellent Mid-Range
  • Great Imaging & Soundstage

Cons

  • Speed is a tad slow for faster genres
  • Comfort is hit and miss

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