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Audeze LCD-3

High-performance planar magnetic headphones

7 Reviews

Item # 884LCD3

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Overview

Our take on the Audeze LCD-3

Deep, tactile bass. Lush mids. Smooth, airy high frequencies. Headphones may not get any better than this. The Audeze LCD-3 are widely agreed to be among the best — if not THE best — headphones you can buy. That's exactly what Audeze had in mind when they designed these planar magnetic wonders. Their warm, spacious sound envelops you, for a musical experience that rivals many high-end loudspeakers. Audeze's continued efforts to perfect their product have led to an improved driver system, which delivers your music with both delicacy and impact. Dynamics are vivid and lifelike, responsiveness is fast and accurate, and the overall sound is inviting and rapturous. Pair them with a quality headphone amplifier for optimum sound quality with plenty of volume.

The pinnacle of headphone sound

Deep, tactile bass. Lush mids. Smooth, airy high frequencies. Headphones may not get any better than this. The Audeze LCD-3 are widely agreed to be among the best — if not THE best — headphones you can buy. That's exactly what Audeze had in mind when they designed these planar magnetic wonders. Their warm, spacious sound envelops you, for a musical experience that rivals many high-end loudspeakers. Audeze's continued efforts to perfect their product have led to an improved driver system, which delivers your music with both delicacy and impact. Dynamics are vivid and lifelike, responsiveness is fast and accurate, and the overall sound is inviting and rapturous. Pair them with a quality headphone amplifier for optimum sound quality with plenty of volume.

Please note: These large, solid headphones weigh in at over a pound and are built for a high level of performance rather than portability. 

Audeze LCD-3 planar magnetic headphones

Audeze's planar magnetic technology offers lifelike sound

Audeze has quickly become a leader in developing and improving planar magnetic technology in headphones. Their drivers are known for accuracy and extended frequency response. Unlike the dynamic drivers found in most headphones, planar magnetic drivers rely on a thin diaphragm with a large surface area to generate sound. The circuit is etched across the entire surface of an ultra-thin diaphragm, which is suspended between two large magnets. The LCD-3 headphones use a powerful and uniform magnetic field, which results in extremely low distortion even at high volume. When the circuit receives an audio signal, it interacts with the magnetic field, thus causing the diaphragm to move back and forth. This results in the breathtakingly lifelike and spacious sound these headphones produce.

Quality cables ensure accurate signal transmission

The LCD-3 comes with two high-quality headphone cables. One terminates in a balanced XLR connector for use with high-quality headphone amplifiers. This preserves a balanced signal throughout the circuit for precise sound with minimal interference. The other cable terminates in a standard 1/4" plug for connection to a home stereo. Both cables feature 4-pin mini XLR connectors for each earcup for a secure connection.

Exquisite craftsmanship

The meticulously crafted LCD-3 headphones are made in the USA. The earcups are made of African zebrano wood, for warm, natural tone. The headband and earcups are luxuriously appointed with soft padding covered with genuine sheepskin leather. To ensure a long lifespan for such fine headphones, Audeze includes a rugged travel case. Don't confuse this case with a soft zip-up case you might get with other headphones. This is a waterproof, hardshell case with a padded interior and a handle. It provides the ultimate protection for the LCD-3, whether you're storing them at home or taking them to a friend's house to introduce him to their tantalizing sound.

Product Highlights:

  • planar magnetic drivers offer low distortion, enhanced dynamics, and warm sound
  • Fazor driver technology offers improved phase response, three-dimensional imaging, and extended frequency response
  • open-back design offers spacious sound
  • African zebrano wood earcups with genuine lambskin leather earpads
  • includes two tangle-free cables with copper conductors and balanced 4-pin mini XLR connectors for each earcup
    • 98-inch cable with a balanced 4-pin XLR connector
    • 98-inch cable with a 1/4" plug
  • 1/4"-to-1/8" adapter included
  • a separate headphone amplifier is required to properly power these headphones for optimum sound quality
  • includes rugged, waterproof travel case with an ultra-durable polypropylene shell and padded interior
  • frequency response: 5-20,000 Hz; usable high-frequency extension to 50,000 Hz
  • sensitivity: 94 dB
  • impedance: 110 ohms
  • weight: 19.3 oz.
  • warranty: 3 years (planar drivers), 1 year (earpads, enclosure, headband, and cable)
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • LCD-3 over-the-ear headphones with black lambskin leather headband and ear pads
  • 8' Flat audio cable (dual 4-pin mini-XLR plugs on one end and 1/4" plug on the other end)
  • 8' Flat audio cable (dual 4-pin mini-XLR plugs on one end and a 4-pin XLR plug on other end)
  • 9" 1/4"-to-3.5mm adapter
  • Wooden display case
  • User Manual
  • Warranty documentation
  • Certificate of Authenticity

Outstanding headphones. I recommend upgrading the standard cable it comes with to a high end cable. It will open up the sound to a fabulous level.

Anonymous, Monterey Park, CA

Reviews

Audeze LCD-3 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(7 Reviews)

Audeze LCD-3

Anonymous from Monterey Park, CA on 2/14/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Outstanding headphones. I recommend upgrading the standard cable it comes with to a high end cable. It will open up the sound to a fabulous level.

Pros:

Cons:

Meh; I'd like more at this price range.

Matt from Tenino, WA on 12/27/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Overall: I found these to be very comfortable, good looking, and capable of reproducing great bass. But the sound just does not come across as natural in the way that many other earphones do, especially not at this price. I found them boring and lacking life. I compared these with the Focal Clears, which are ~$500 cheaper at the time of this reading, and tested them with a Marantz DAC. By comparison, the Focals were much more clearly detailed and alive. The LCD-3s certainly have beautiful bass, but it didn't come across as more audible or detailed than the Focals, which put less emphasis on it. The stereo imaging also seems particularly "narrow" by comparison to both these, my Grados, and my AudioTechnicas, but perhaps that is by design. Not sure. Overall, I can't give a higher rating because at this price they should have made me say "wow" after trying out the Focals, but just the opposite was true.

Pros: Great bass Great packaging and overall fit and finish

Cons: Good, but ultimately uninteresting or detailed sound.

Audeze LCD-3 Review

Shamimul from Fremont, CA on 7/1/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

There are many excellent reviews on AUDEZ LCD-3 on Internet by both users and professionals, and to my experience with these cans they are true and accurate. I better not dilate upon the usual attributes lest I end up in repetition of other reviewers. I wish to highlight, however the stellar performance of these cans for classical music whether occidental or oriental. I listened to my favourite erstwhile tracks and found great shine to their melody. Musicality was above the mark. It was like an old wine with new companion. Good news for baby boomers. Give new life to your old songs. I am using these cans with OPPO HA-1 and the combo is lethal. Agreed they are heavy but when on head and over the ears, the weight is well distributed and you can go for extended period of listening.

Pros: Excellent audio and sturdy build

Cons: Heavy and pricey

Audeze LCD-3

Anonymous from Westerville, OH on 3/9/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought these with the intent of getting the highest sound quality I could afford without having to buy new speakers, and for listening at higher volumes without disturbing the neighbors in my apartment complex. The headphones definitely lived up to their reputation and reviews; the sound quality is the best I've ever had access to.  Is that sound quality worth $2000? It was for me, but that's a question each person will have to answer for themselves. Considering that a pair of speakers with equal or better sound quality would cost several times what these cost, I thought these headphones made a lot of sense. Even then, the cost forced me to consider the purchase carefully, but I was able to save enough money in less than a year and Crutchfield's 60 day return policy let me try them risk free. You'll be asked to buy a headphone amplifier with these, but I don't think that is necessary IF you have stereo components as opposed to portable devices such as iPhones or laptops.  I use these with a Marantz PM-8005 integrated amplifier, but have also used the SA-8005 CD player, NA-8005 network player, and a SR7007 AVR. The headphone jack in each of these components provided enough power to drive the headphones with no issues. In any case, you'll need to look at what you have on hand and do your homework when deciding if you need, or want, a separate headphone amplifier to drive these. Again, Crutchfield's 60 day return policy can be your best friend if you are unsure.

Pros: Outstanding sound quality. Rugged storage case. Spare parts are available from the manufacturer.

Cons: One of the larger and heavier headphone sets. The price is significant, so make sure this is what you want.

Audeze LCD-3

Anonymous from Louisiana on 10/27/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

It's like being in another world!

Pros:

Cons:

Great!

Jared from Riverton, Utah on 5/17/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I've had hd650 with benchmark DAC and now I have the lcd-3, burson soloist, and grace m903. At first I was underwhelmed and as much as reviews mentioned the "smooth" sound I thought it was too laid back through the bass and mids and the highs seemed bright. After just a couple of days I now think otherwise. The headphones are great, very smooth, and they do indeed have a magical, musical behavior . No matter the song I find myself being thrilled with what I hear. Truly excellent headphones. Don't look to be amazed as soon as you put the headphones on but breath, relax and listen and the experience is very much worthwhile.

Pros: Smooth, magical, engaging sound.

Cons: Build quality was rated lower due to flimsy headphone cable, but I suppose most will get aftermarket--i am. Heavy headphones that felt like they were pinching my head which resulted in a headache on my first day with them, but the following days didn't have that probably and felt like I am used to the weight.

Impressive and quite an experience

Brent from Sacramento, California on 11/18/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I already own the Denon AH D7100 and am comparing them to it. The planar sound is different of course and is soft and a little muffled. The Denon's are very clear, precise and the bass is tight. The Audeze is definitely better at fullness of sound and creating a stereo on my head experience. The sound from the Audeze seems to be all around me and I can feel it more. I prefer more treble sound. The Audeze is like turning down the treble on a stereo...I guess it is just a matter of taste. I have listened to them for a week now and occasionally compare the Denon's to it just for reference. Bass is crazy good in these, it's exhilarating actually. It's tough for me to compare my Denon's that I have had and love for the past couple years. Hmmmmmm. I am kinda tempted to listen to the Grado PS1000e also. I do prefer a more sharp/higher treble sound, but I am going to give these a month to get used to. If you are not fond of the planar sound whether from floor speakers like Magna Planar or Martin Logan, then you probably will not be fond of these also. Its just a different sound. It's a lot softer sound and not punchy and like a said, a little muffled sounding. If they were more sharp, I would give them a 5 star. Overall, they are pretty cool. You will need at least a $320 headphone amp for these at a minimum. I am not saying buy these on buy these. I will have to hear the Grado's I think to compare. That's just me.

Pros: Full room filling sound on your head. Great for bass sound. Creates an experience on your head.

Cons: Sounds muffled and not as sharp as I wanted it to. Have to spend hundreds on a headphone amp to run them.

Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

General
Earcup Type Open
Earcup Width x Height 4.394" x 4.394"
Noise-canceling No
Bluetooth No
Mic For Taking Calls No
iPhone Control No
Lightning Connector No
Android Control No
Frequency Response 5-20k Hz
Sensitivity 102 dB
Impedance 110 Ohms
Weight 25.7 ounces
Cord Length 98", 98"
1/4-inch Adapter Included No
Volume Control No
Parts Warranty 1 Yr (3 Yrs drivers)
Labor Warranty 1 Yr (3 Yrs drivers)

Product Research

Features

Overview: The Audeze LCD-3 over-ear headphones feature high-performance planar magnetic drivers that provide a spacious, musical sound with powerful bass and detailed midrange and high frequencies. The LCD-3 features elegant wood composite and black aluminum enclosures, and black lambskin leather headband and ear pads. (A leather-free version of the LCD-3 with brown micro-suede ear pads and headband is also available.) The headphones include two detachable 8' cables: one with a straight 1/4" plug, and a balanced cable with a 4-pin XLR plug. Each cable attaches to the headphones by dual 4-pin mini-XLRs. A 1/4"-to-3.5mm adapter is also included. The LCD-3 headphones are handcrafted in the USA, and come in an elegant, internally padded display case.

Design: The LCD-3's open-back design lets you stay in touch with your surroundings. The ultra-thin planar magnetic drivers have high-grade neodymium magnets with a proprietary push-pull design that improves sensitivity. For best performance, a high-quality external headphone amplifier is highly recommended. Audeze's patent-pending Fazor elements, placed just outside the two magnet structures that surround the diaphragm in each capsule, guide and manage the flow of sound around the magnets, improving clarity and focus.

Specifications:

  • Frequency Response: 5Hz to 20kHz (with extension to 50kHz)
  • Transducer Size: 106mm
  • Impedance: 110 ohms
  • Efficiency: 102dB /1mW
  • Maximum Power Handling: 15W (for 200 ms)
  • Optimal Power Requirement: 1-4W
  • Sound Pressure Level: >130dB with 15W
  • THD: <1% through entire frequency range

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Read reviews that these are top notch - best bass on headphones- nice looking, well constructed [ BRUCE  Feb 01, 2018 ]
Reviews on the Internet and the savings from the outlet store. [ GLENN  Jun 24, 2017 ]
A long awaited upgrade to my HE-500! Amazing piece of audio bliss! [ Frank  May 11, 2017 ]
The reviews, the reviews, the reviews! Oh I heard them briefly too, of course. [ Lesly  Apr 07, 2016 ]
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