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First Impressions: Audeze LCD-5 Headphones are a Very Worthy Upgrade

Do you have $4,500 burning a hole in your pocket? The new Audeze LCD-5 headphones have arrived and these are no minor upgrade.

Audeze LCD-5 Headphones Lifestyle

Update: See our in-depth Audeze LCD-5 Headphones Review.

When we spent some time with Audeze in NYC a few months ago, the Audeze LCD-5 headphones were not something that we were allowed to talk about. The new Audeze CRBN were about to be introduced and we left our private demonstration more than just a little impressed with the new electrostatic headphones and the version designed for MRI procedures. The California-based manufacturer of premium headphones was trying to put some distance between itself and the other innovative companies in the high-end category.

I own two pairs of Audeze headphones but the LCD-1 and Mobius are aimed at different markets and certainly not in the same conversation when it comes to pricing.

During a recent clean-up of my office, I discovered that I own 17 pairs of headphones; HiFiMan, Audeze, Meze Audio, Grado Labs, and 1More represent 75% of that total.

I was honestly shocked to discover that I owned that many headphones; including 4 pairs of true wireless IEMs.

When you have 3 kids; including one in college, $4,500 is a lot of money for a pair of headphones. As much as I would love to own a pair of the Audeze LCD-5 or Meze Audio Empyrean (I’ll leave the new flagship ELITE model for the rest of you), I could never justify the expenditure. Or live to tell about it.

I suppose I could sell all of them but who would want to wear my used headphones.

Audeze LCD-5 Headphones Angle
Audeze LCD-5 (MSRP: $4,500)

Do I need to sell a kidney to afford the Audeze LCD-5 headphones?

I have listened them. I even know which amplifier I would use with them. Enter Linear Tube Audio.

How do they stack up against the existing Meze Audio Empyrean or brand new Dan Clark Audio Stealth?

I suspect the Audeze booth at the upcoming CanJam SoCal 2021 is going to be really busy based on my initial impressions.

One of the things that I’ve always found issue with in regard to Audeze’s premium models is the weight.

The LCD-5 fixes that issue for me at 420 grams which is almost the same weight as the Stealth.

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Audeze LCD-5 Headphones with ear cups flipped

They also feel less like “suitcases” on your head which is something that I feel plagued earlier models. When you’re spending $3,500 – $4,500 on a pair of headphones, I want extreme comfort so it’s easier to listen for extended periods of time.

Audeze has done a superb job with the LCD-5 headphones. I could have listened to these for hours during my demo time. Unbelievably great headphones.

The LCD-5 sets a new standard for accuracy using a new driver design with Audeze’s own patent-pending Parallel Uniforce™ voice coils and new magnet assembly.

LCD-5 represents a completely new design made specifically for minimal reflections, improved frequency response, and a more open yet accurate soundstage.

Audeze LCD-5 Headphones Side

The LCD-5’s impedance is 14 Ohms, sensitivity is 90dB, and it weighs just 420 grams (1/3 less than the LCD-4). 

Handcrafted in California, USA, the LCD-5 has been meticulously engineered to provide unmatched audio for industry professionals and audiophiles alike. The LCD-5 is now available on Audeze’s website and through select dealers. Audeze will be demoing the new LCD-5 at CanJam SoCal on September 25th-26th at Irvine Marriott, and also at the Capital Audio Fest in November.

The LCD-5 features Audeze’s patented core technologies, and comes with new acoustically designed leather earpads, an improved and luxurious carbon fiber suspension headband, deep “tortoise shell” acetate rings, all-new magnesium housing, plus our latest premium audio cable made with high-purity copper, and an aluminum travel case.

Audeze LCD-5 Headphones with ear cups flipped closeup

Features:

  • New Parallel Uniforce™ diaphragms and Fluxor™ Magnets provide powerful sound, unparalleled sonic detail, and incredible accuracy without increasing the impedance
  • New internally sloped earpads that help to reduce unwanted resonances and interior reflections
  • Newly designed Fazors that are optimized to reduce diffractions
  • The LCD-5 cable is specially tuned with directional OCC high-purity copper strands that provide a low capacitance and low resistance path to maintain unsurpassed clarity and precision.
  • The LCD-5’s fully re-designed magnesium frame provides rigidity and ultra-light weight, while the acetate rings offer just the right touch of richness
Audeze LCD-5 Headphones Front

“Featuring our core technologies while adding some new innovations like our Parallel Uniforce voice coil, the LCD-5 incorporates decades of audio and technology research to deliver all the aspects of a truly reference audio experience,” stated Audeze CEO Sankar Thiagasamudram. “Our long term commitment to delivering reference products has led us to the LCD-5,” he added.

Specifications

StyleOver-ear, open-back
Transducer typePlanar Magnetic
Magnetic structureFluxor magnet array
Phase managementFazor
Magnet typeNeodymium N50
Diaphragm typeNano-Scale Parallel Uniforce
Transducer size90 mm
Maximum power handling5W RMS
Maximum SPL>130dB
Frequency response5Hz – 50kHz
THD<0.1% @ 100dB
Impedance14 ohms
Sensitivity90 dB/1mW (at Drum Reference Point)
Minimum power requirement>100mW
Recommended power level>250mW
Weight420g

For more information: Audeze.com

Read our in-depth Audeze LCD-5 Review.

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