Before diving into the Audeze LCD-2 review, I need to present you the overview of these headphones.
These headphones are not really meant for mass-market. It's specially meant for audio enthusiasts who work in studios or mixing tracks hours together. These are essentially open-design reference headphones, that do come with a hefty price tag of below $1000.
The Audeze LCD-2 are essentially open design headphones. Meaning that that there are no relative barriers between the drivers and the real world. This design enables the headphones to sound more natural and offer good soundstage experience. In conventional kind of closed headphones, the sound appears to be originating in the head, and whereas in the case of open headphones, you feel like you are hearing to an external speaker and feels like you are in a concert or an orchestra.
Open-back headphones are not suitable to be used in public places. Because these headphones tend to leak the sounds on both the sides. It offers no privacy, people around you can easily hear what you're listening to, and vice versa. It's meant for listening in a silent environment, it's for just-sit-down-and-listen kinda things.
Let's jump right into the review.
As I told you earlier these headphones are of open-backed. They leak out of the sound to the surrounding, and they offer no noise isolation. If you willing to use these are pure listening and studio purposes then it would be fine.
As they come with Bamboo and Carribean Rosewood variants, they offer a retro kind of artistic look. The headphones are themselves bulky and somewhat heavy. But that doesn't mean that compromise with the comfort. The Bamboo version of the headphones is somewhat lighter than the Rosewood one. But I personally like Rosewood version as they are visually appealing.
The Rosewood version of the headphones I'm reviewing are about 544 Gms. Although they come with a carrying case, they are not meant to wear in the subway or in a coffee shop.
The headband is adjustable and comes padded with soft leather. The leather is not soft as that of LCD-3 version of these headphones which costs almost double than these.
There are two cables that these headphones come with, that connect to each side of the earcups. They are quite durable, especially than that of the popular Sennheiser HD800.
Overall, the build and durability are great.
They offer unmatched sound quality. The main strength factor here is that the usage of planar magnetic drivers.
The traditional dynamic drivers use voice coils in a magnetic suspension that works essentially on the same principle as stereo speaker. Whereas, in the case of planar magnetic drivers, the driver is very thin made of Mylar material and is induced in the strong magnetic field. The electric current pushes and pulls this diaphragm in the magnetic field, causing them to vibrate uniformly getting rid of unwanted vibrations especially in very high frequencies. If you are interested in knowing more about how these work, refer to this article by InnerFidelity.
The earpad cushions are slightly angled so that the sound appears to be more natural and tend to be not producing inside your head.
The bass response is incredibly good and tight. They are well balanced and definitely not overpower the music. They are in line with mids. Unlike other headphones which add bass in inappropriate places, these does the job well of producing an accurate bass response.
These headphones have a frequency range of 5Hz - 20KHz. This offers a flat frequency response. That's especially helpful for microscopic listeners and mixers who need no emphasis or coloring on some frequency ranges.
The mids are where these headphones really shine. The vocals come out alive as if you are in a concert. With these headphones on, it is easier to hear even the most sharp sounding trebles for hours with ease. It offers you the excellent balance between the flat response and the comfortable hearing experience.
It offers you the excellent balance between the flat response and the comfortable hearing experience.
The soundstage is not too wide as like that of Sennheiser HD800. But however, you can feel the presence of the recording space. Soundstage is decent and it turns out to be what most of the audiophiles are looking for. And yes! It is the optimal soundstage for any reference open-back headphones.
Considering these headphones are bulky, they offer great comfort. You can easily wear these on for hours without getting stressed out. The earpads are made of thick soft pure leather that don't induce sweat. They make some room for your ears to breathe and stay cool throughout your working session. The headband is made of somewhat soft leather that comfortably rests on your head, without causing much stress like a tight clamp.
They are rated at an impedance of 60 ohms. Although they can be driven by your smartphones or iPods, I prefer not to do it. If you don't have or are not willing to buy a decent amp for driving them, don't buy these headphones. Because for these headphones to shine with its full potential a good amp is needed for driving them.
Magni 2 Headphone Amplifier is the preferred amp of choice for driving these headphones. They are good portable and highly rated headphones amp for the price. Remember that these headphones can handle even more than what these amps can deliver.
If you are looking for the best amp and are willing to shell some extra money go buy Audeze Deckard Headphone Amplifier.
Along with the headphones, you get a cable and a hard case and that's greatly durable. It's of military-grade, and air-tight. There is a valve in the case so that they will be adjusted to the varying altitudes and pressure conditions. It offers great protection to the headphones.
The hard case is of military-grade, and air-tight. There is a valve in the case so that they will be adjusted to the varying altitudes and pressure conditions. It offers great protection to the headphones.