About the Audeze LCD-5
The new pinnacle of Audeze planar-magnetic headphones
The new pinnacle of Audeze planar-magnetic headphones
Meet the new planar magnetic flagship from the headphone masterminds at Audeze. On the surface, the LCD-5 headphones sport the familiar, oversized design of their previous-generation audiophile models. But Audeze examined every material and design choice from scratch, creating their most tonally accurate planar-magnetic headphones yet. And their lightest at this size — over 30% lighter than their predecessor, the LCD-4.
That's a win-win for personal audio aficionados: uncompromised Audeze sound in a set of headphones that's more pleasant to wear. The re-tooled planar drivers deliver the company's signature traits, like the immense soundstage, textured bass, striking dynamics, and precise impulse control. And thanks to breakthroughs in material science, the LCD-5s offer even better imaging, clarity, and detail — particularly in the highs.
The Audeze LCD-5 headphones use an all-new carbon fiber and leather headband to comfortably distribute the weight.
Lightweight and well put-together
I've long been a superfan of Audeze's over-ear LCD Series headphones for their performance. But as great as they sound, I'll admit I've cut listening sessions short with older models due to strain on my head and neck. Audeze tackled this problem head-on with the LCD-5 headphones.
A flexible carbon-fiber headband binds the extra-large magnesium earcups together, and a new suspension system helps better distribute the weight. The leather lining hugs the crown of your head, while the strong frame holds the headphones firmly in place. And new sculpted leather ear pads — thinner and more sloped than Audeze's traditional pads — conform to your head and properly position the drivers to your ears.
Planar magnetic drivers — the basics
Before I get into what makes the Audeze LCD-5 headphones extra special, let me break down how planar magnetic drivers work. Audeze uses them to create their signature soundstage with a wide-open sense of depth and space. Unlike the dynamic drivers found in most headphones, planar magnetic drivers rely on an extremely thin diaphragm with a large surface area to generate sound.
A flexible circuit is etched across the entire surface of the diaphragm, which is suspended within a magnetic field. When the circuit receives an audio signal, it causes the diaphragm to move back and forth — moving air and creating sound.
Ultra-thin, smooth-moving diaphragm
The LCD-5 diaphragms are 90mm in diameter and 200 times thinner than a single strand of human hair and thinner than a red blood cell. That means they take less energy to move.
New voice-coil pattern for fluid movement and low distortion
Audeze also developed a new parallel pattern for the voice coil circuit. They use a slow, careful process to cover the entire diaphragm to keep the motion fluid and even. This helps greatly reduce distortion, even in super-high frequencies above the range of human hearing. That's important, since the slightest resonance in that range can be perceived as sharp or grating. But the LCD-5s can deliver detailed highs without sounding harsh.
This cutaway view shows Audeze's patent-pending parallel voice-coil pattern.
Extra-strong magnet array
Audeze also figured out how to greatly increase efficiency by laying out their magnet array in an asymmetrical pattern. In other words: fewer magnets, yet stronger magnetic attraction. The diaphragm starts and stops incredibly quickly, resulting in true-to-the-recording sound across a wide frequency range.
In fact, they're so efficient that they can be driven by a portable high-res music player. But I would still recommend a separate headphone amp/DAC to really open up that massive soundstage and handle those lifelike dynamics.
Hand-built and tested in California
Audeze still hand-assembles their high-end headphones at their Southern California headquarters. That includes the earcups and headband, but also the drivers. We've seen them in action!
It's a laborious process that involves great attention to detail and ends with a series of measurements inside a sound-proof chamber. Audeze won't let a pair of LCD-5 headphones leave the building without a proper match between the left and right driver. They even keep measurement records for every individual LCD-5 that they ship.
- Featured in our article: Best audiophile headphones for 2023
- large over-the-ear headphones with high-grade planar magnetic drivers
- 30% lighter than Audeze's previous-generation flagship headphones
- open-back design allows air to move more freely for spacious, transparent sound
- tuned for superior accuracy across a wide frequency range
- require less powerful amplification than typical planar magnetic headphones
- a separate headphone amplifier will produce optimum sound quality
- designed and assembled in Audeze's Southern California headquarters
- planar magnetic drivers offer low distortion, enhanced dynamics, and detailed sound
- nanometer grade diaphragm (less than 0.0005mm thick) for wide dynamic range
- Parallel Uniforce™ voice coils greatly reduce distortion
- Fluxor™ magnet array for precise and accurate music reproduction
- magnetic flux density of 1.5 Teslas
- updated Fazor™ driver technology manages phase response for three-dimensional imaging and extended frequency response
- large, open-back design offers spacious sound
- lightweight magnesium earcup rings with gold screens
- sculpted leather earpads comfortably conform to your head
- acoustically designed for better upper midrange response
- carbon fiber headband with split-band suspension system for easy fit and comfort
- leather lining cradles top of the head
- sturdy headband sliders for proper adjustment
General info and specs:
- premium oxygen-free cable with balanced 4-pin XLR plug
- unbalanced 1/4" adapter included
- includes premium aluminum carrying case
- driver size: 90mm
- frequency response: 5-50,000 Hz
- sensitivity: 90 dB
- impedance: 18 ohms
- weight: 14.8 oz.
- warranty: 3 years (planar drivers), 1 year (earpads, enclosure, headband, and cable)
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # 100-L5-1025-02
- Large, yet lightweight
- Snug fit
- Good for focused listening
What's in the box:
- Over-ear headphones
- 8.25' Braided cable (dual 4-pin plugs on one end and a balanced XLR-4 plug on other end)
- Female XLR-4 -to- 1/4" plug adapter
- Pair of white cloth gloves
- Black aluminum travel case
- 2 Keys for case
- Certificate of Authenticity
- Card with URLs for User Guide and Driver downloads
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More details on the Audeze LCD-5
Features & specs
|Earcup Width x Height||3.94" x 3.94"|
|Mic For Taking Calls||No|
|Voice Assistant Access|
|Frequency Response||5-50k Hz|
|Parts Warranty||1 Year (3 Yrs drivers)|
|Labor Warranty||1 Year (3 Yrs drivers)|
Overview: The LCD-5 is Audeze's new flagship audiophile planar magnetic headphone. The all-new LCD-5 over-ear headphone (100-L5-1025-02) has been re-engineered from the ground up, including the drivers, ear pads, and frame. The headphones feature lightweight, but rigid materials, including a magnesium frame, aluminum yoke posts, carbon fiber suspension headband, and tortoise-shell acetate rings. Because of its new structural design, the LCD-5 weighs about 1/3 less than the LCD-4. The headphones are hand-assembled in the United States (California), and come with a premium braided balanced cable, a 1/4" adapter, and a new, redesigned aluminum travel case.
Drivers: The 90mm (3.54") planar magnetic drivers on the LCD-5 feature strong Fluxor magnet arrays and redesigned low-profile Fazor waveguides extend the frequency response out to 50,000 Hz. The patent-pending Nano-Scale Parallel Uniforce™ voice coils, with their varying width parallel traces, provide increased voltage headroom, while keeping the impedance low. The uniform magnetic force provides better controls the movement of the diaphragm, which results in lower distortion and higher resolution.
Ear Pads: The earpads are made of supple, premium leather for ultimate comfort and lower fatigue during long listening sessions. The scuplted earpads are internally sloped to reduce interior reflections and unwanted resonances. The earcup is ergonomically designed to place the drivers in the optimal position for the best sound quality.
Cable: The 2.5-meter (8.2 feet) cable included with the LCD-5 is made of high-purity OCC (Ohno Continous Casting) copper strands. This braided cable uses silver-plated, single-crystal OCC copper with a combined cross section equivalent to 20 gauge wire for each or the four conductors. Crystals within the strands are oriented in a specific pattern for best signal transmission, low resistance, and negligible signal loss. The flexible copper and black braided jacket makes the cable tangle-free and resistant to contact noise transmitted through the cable. The cable has two 4-pin mini XLR connectors for the headphone earcup connection and a straight 4-pin XLR balanced plug for connecting to your DAC or headphone amplifier. For convenience, a short 4-pin XLR-to-1/4" (6.3mm) adapter cable is included for connecting to your home components or pro audio console.
- Frequency Response: 5Hz to 50kHz
- Transducer Size: 90mm
- Impedance: 14 ohms
- Sensitivity: 90dB /1mW (at Drum Reference Point)
- Maximum Power Handling: 5W
- Recommended Power Level: >500mW
- Minimum Power Requirement: >100mW
- Maximum SPL: >130dB
- THD: <0.1% @100dB SPL
- Ear Cup Dimensions:
- External: Diameter 3.94" Depth 2.19"
- Internal: Width 1.779" Height 2.4" Depth 1"
- Weight: 14.81 ounces
- Cable Electrical Specifications:
- Resistance: 12 milliohms per foot
- Capacitance: 10 picofarads per foot
- Inductance: 0.15 microhenrys per foot
- Dielectric Strength: 1000V