About the Audeze LCDi3 in-ear headphones
The world's first wireless planar magnetic earbuds
You place the LCDi3's earbuds inside your ear, while the planar drivers sit outside.
The world's first wireless planar magnetic earbuds
Audeze's LCDi3 headphones are their first set of in-ear monitors (IEMs) that can play music wirelessly from your phone. That's a big deal to those of us who are spoiled by the convenience of Bluetooth — but love Audeze's spacious, detailed sound. They've shrunk their cutting-edge planar magnetic drivers into a compact in-ear design and created a Bluetooth adapter cable powerful enough to drive them.
This wireless adapter connects the left and right ear pieces and sits behind your head during use. It includes Bluetooth 5.0 — the strongest, most-reliable Bluetooth yet. It also features aptX HD® technology for improved sound quality with devices that support this advanced wireless audio codec.
Three cable options for multiple uses
Along with the wireless Bluetooth adapter, Audeze includes two other cables for different listening situations. One is a wired option terminated with a traditional 3.5mm miniplug. This works well for connecting to a phone that still has a minijack, but also a portable high-res player or portable headphone amp/DAC.
The other is Audeze's "Cipher" Apple® Lightning cable. It can connect directly into your iPhone®, without an extra adapter. The cable features its own built-in 24-bit DAC and headphone amp that are both precisely matched to these drivers. This gives you some extra punch and clarity, just by plugging into your phone.
Listening impressions: I heard crystal clear, wide-open sound
I auditioned the LCDi3s with the Bluetooth adapter first. The idea that I could listen to Audeze IEMs wirelessly was too exciting to pass up. Connection to my Samsung Galaxy phone was quick and the in-line remote/mic had raised buttons that were easy to find behind me.
The remote is on one side of the cable and a module housing the Bluetooth and audio circuitry is on the other. These modules were a little bulkier than the ones you find on more traditional wireless headphones, but the weight was distributed in a way that I didn't really notice. Audeze includes some ear hooks that took me a few tries to master, but really help keep the earbuds in place.
Listening with the Bluetooth adapter
As expected, the sound is transparent, and the highs have real sparkle. It was a neutral tuning that sounded clean, but not clinical. Bass was realistic and finely detailed, yet not overly emphasized.
"Keep on Growing" by Derek and the Dominoes really played to these headphones strength. This delightful jam session occupied every bit of the "outside-the-head" soundstage, with the bass line off to the left, keyboard to the right, vocals dead center, and the three lead guitars coming from all directions. And the percussion really lept out at me. On IEMs with a more condensed soundstage, the track can sound conjested — but through the spacious LCDi3s, it was pure fun.
A separate headphone amp for added punch
When listening to certain hip-hop tracks wirelessly, I was a little underwhelmed by the low end. I'll admit, I auditioned these IEMs after testing some less sophisticated, bass-heavy 'phones. So maybe I was too accustomed to the artificial "boom."
But then I connected these headphones to the powerful, portable iFi Audio hip-dac and fired up Quboz on my laptop. Listening to a CD-quality stream of "Hot Damn" by the Clipse, I definitely heard some extra bass knock for the classic Neptunes production. And when I pressed the hip-dac's "Xbass" button, it lifted the sub-bass significantly without distorting or overbearing the rest of the track.
Planar-magnetic drivers: the basics
So how do planar magnetic headphones usually work? A large yet ultra-thin diaphragm is suspended within a magnetic field. It is covered with a flexible circuit. When the circuit receives an audio signal, the diaphragm moves back and forth to create sound. It starts and stops rapidly for clean and accurate sound across a wide frequency range.
How did Audeze fit that technology into an earbud?
The diaphragms used in the LCDi3 are a fraction of the size used in most planar magnetic 'phones. Still, you can probably tell from the pictures that these headphones are bigger than most in-ear models. You stick the earbuds in your ears while the planar drivers actually sit outside.
To make up for the loss in diaphragm size, Audeze uses their super-powerful Fluxor magnets to provide quicker movement. These magnets are nearly double the power of a traditional magnet, making the LCDi3 drivers incredibly efficient.
- planar magnetic in-ear headphones
- open-back design for spacious soundstage
- tuned for accuracy and transparency
- includes one detachable wireless Bluetooth 5.0 adapter cable and two wired cable options
- requires less powerful amplification than typical planar magnetic headphones
- lightweight magnesium housing with gold screens
- 30mm planar magnetic driver in each earpiece
- ultra-thin diaphragm starts, stops, and moves swiftly within a powerful magnetic field
- offers enhanced dynamics and detailed sound
- Fluxor™ magnetic technology increases efficiency to keep headphones smaller and lighter
- Uniforce™ diaphragm technology greatly reduces distortion
- voice-coil etched across entire diaphragm to eliminate movement variations within the magnetic field
Included cables for wireless and wired listening:
- Bluetooth 5.0 adapter cable for wireless music listening and phone calls
- aptX HD® and AAC decoding provides high-quality music streaming from compatible devices
- built-in rechargeable battery offers up to 10 hours of listening (USB charging cable included)
- built-in microphone for phone calls
- detachable Lightning listening cable included for high-quality sound with an iPhone or iPad
- cable includes built-in DAC and headphone amp
- 47-inch OCC silver-plated cable with 3.5mm connector
General Info and Specs:
- selection of ear hooks keep headphones stable and comfortable
- 6 pairs of silicone ear tips included
- 3 sizes of smooth ear tips
- 3 sizes of grooved ear tips for extra security
- storage wallet included
- hand-made in Audeze's Southern California headquarters
- designed by BMW DesignWorks USA
- frequency response: 10-50,000 Hz
- impedance: 20 ohms
- weight: 0.81 ounces (without cable)
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # 110-IE-1030-01
What's in the box:
- Left and right in-ear ear buds (black)
- 51" CIPHER Lightning cable with in-line remote/microphone (Dual 2-pin proprietary connectors on one end and an Apple Lightning cable on other end)
- 58" Auxiliary cable (Dual 2-pin proprietary connectors on one end and a straight 3.5mm plug on other end)
- CIPHER Bluetooth module with 26" connecting cable (2-pin proprietary connectors on each end)
- 20" USB charging cable (Type A USB on one end and Micro-B USB on other end)
- 3 Pairs of silicone ear tips (1 pair installed)
- 3 Pairs of Groovy Spiral silicone ear tips
- 1 Pair of silicone ear fins
- 4 Pairs of ear hooks
- Clothing clip
- Ear bud cleaning tool
- Hard folding case
- Travel case
- Quick Start Guide
- Cipher Bluetooth User Guide
- Certificate of Authenticity card
- User Guide and Driver Downloads card
- FCC compliance sheet
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More details on the Audeze LCDi3 in-ear headphones
Features & specs
|Earcup Width x Height||1.293" x 1.594"|
|Mic For Taking Calls||Yes|
|Voice Assistant Access|
|Frequency Response||10-50k Hz|
|Cord Length||58" + 51"|
|Parts Warranty||1 Year (3 Yrs drivers)|
|Labor Warranty||1 Year (3 Yrs drivers)|
Overview: The Audeze LCDi3 in-ear headphones feature the same design as the award-winning LCDi4, but with the lower impedance of the iSINE series. The LCDi3's Planar Magnetic transducers give you audiophile sound from any device, including your smartphone, tablet, or portable digital music player. The headphones come with a standard cable with a 3.5mm plug, a CIPHER cable with an in-line remote and an Apple Lightning connector, and Audeze's CIPHER Bluetooth module for wireless listening. Also included are four pairs of ear hooks and a pair of ear fins for a secure fit, an assortment of silicone rubber ear tips, and a handy travel case.
Planar Magnetic Technology: The LCDi3 headphones are a miniaturized, in-ear version of Audeze's flagship LCD collection of planar magnetic over-ear headphones. The LCDi3 features large 30mm (1-3/16") transducers with ultra-thin Uniforce diaphragms and a Fluxor magnet array with N50 neodymium magnets. Each unit is hand-assembled at Audeze's facility in California, and the drivers are matched to within +/- 1dB of each other. The headphones deliver a wide, accurate soundstage and superior transient response.
CIPHER Bluetooth Module: For wireless listening, Audeze includes the CIPHER Bluetooth module. The module features Bluetooth 5.0 support with aptX and aptX HD, and Audeze's proprietary DSP to optimize the sound for wireless listening. With the LCDi3s connected to the CIPHER Bluetooth module, you'll enjoy high-quality 24-bit wireless audio from your favorite device. The CIPHER Bluetooth module's 3-button remote works with iOS and Android devices. Functions include power, Bluetooth pairing, play/pause, next/previous track, volume up/down, answer/end call, reject call, switch calls, and voice assistant. The CIPHER Bluetooth Module has a rechargeable battery with a USB charging cable.
Cables: The LCDi3 includes Audeze's award-winning CIPHER Lightning cable that can deliver up to 24-bit audio from your Apple iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. The 51" cable features a high-quality inline amplifier, a D/A converter, DSP, and Apple-compatible controls. The module has a microphone that is useful for making phone calls and accessing Siri. For non-Apple devices, a 58" auxiliary cable is included with a straight 3.5mm plug, but no remote/microphone.
Fit: The LCDi3 is designed to fit into the ear canal. It comes with three pairs (small, medium, large) of silicone ear tips, and three pairs of Groovy Spiral Eartips made of silicone. The package includes four pairs of ear hooks that curve inward along the back of the ear to ensure a secure fit. Also included is a pair of Ear Fins that tuck behind the folds of your outer ear to hold the ear buds in place. For cable management, a clothing clip is included.
- Frequency Response: 10Hz to 50kHz
- Type: Semi-open back planar magnetic headphones
- Magnetic Structure: Fluxor magnetic array
- Magnet Type: Neodymium N50
- Diaphragm Type: Ultra-thin Uniforce
- Transducer Size: 30mm
- Maximum Power Handling: 500 mW
- Minimum Power Requirement: >50 mW
- Maximum SPL: >130dB
- Sensitivity: 110dB/1mW (at Drum Reference Point)
- Total Harmonic Distortion: < 0.1% @ 100dB
- Impedance: 20 ohms
- Dimensions: Width 1.293", Height 1.594", Depth 1.133"
- Weight: 0.85 ounces (both ear buds, without cable)