Audeze LCD-2 Classic review |


Few companies have the seriousness of Audeze. The Californian brand has been a leader in planar magnetic headphones for years, and when it moves, the audio industry shakes. Its headphones cover the full range of gaming headsets at flagship sets which cost just under $5,000. In this edition of Golden Ears, we take a look at a headset considered by many to be one of the best on-ramps to the world of high-end headphones, the LCD-2 Classic. At $799, let’s see exactly what these headphones have to offer the budding audiophile.


  • Current price: $799 (Amazon)
  • Style: ear hook, open back
  • Transducer type: planar magnetic
  • Magnetic structure: proprietary magnet array
  • Phase management: No Fazor
  • Magnet Type: Neodymium N50
  • Diaphragm type: Ultra-thin
  • Transducer Size: 106mm
  • Maximum power handling: 5W RMS
  • Maximum SPL: > 130 dB
  • Frequency response: 10Hz – 50kHz
  • THD:
  • Impedance: 70 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 101dB/1mW (at drum reference point)
  • Minimum power required: > 100 mW
  • Recommended power level: > 250 mW
  • Weight: 544g

Audeze LCD-2 Classic – First impressions and key features

At $799, it’s only fitting that expectations are high and the LCD-2 doesn’t disappoint with first impressions. It arrives in a monster box. As is Audeze tradition, the headphones come in a lockable pelican case. Inside, the headphones are securely held in thick, custom-fit foam. Another cutout contains the cable, case keys, and a credit card-like certificate of authenticity.

Taking out the headphones, they are classically Audeze. The cans are perfect circles and have thick memory foam cushions filled with leather. The exterior of the cups uses flat metal grids, with the iconic “A” shape in their center. They are open, but you can see another woven metal grid underneath to protect the conductor. The headband uses a leather hanging strap under a metal headband. The yokes are metal and the adjustment mechanism is metal. The rings around each earbud are made of crystal-infused nylon for added durability. Integrated mini-XLR connectors are angled downward to connect to the cable.

The entire construction combines minimalism and industrial aesthetics. Even the font used to stamp “AUDEZE LCD-2C” and “PLANAR MAGNETIC TECHNOLOGY” is reminiscent of something you might see stamped on a printed machine in the 1950s. It’s understated and very, very cool. Even when you’re wearing them, although the headphones are big and heavy (544g / 1.2lbs), they don’t look silly like many others in this space. I hesitate to call headphones with cushions as luxurious as these sleek, but they actually turn out to be.

The headphones also feel sturdy and sturdy. There’s no flex or rattle to be found here. I would never recommend dropping a $799 headset, but this pair definitely seems up to the rigors of everyday use. You’re supposed to wear them and fall in love with them enough to dive deeper into Audeze’s lineup (an “on-ramp” has to send you somewhere, after all), and the design doesn’t lend itself to being a piece of jewelry. display – it lends itself to being listened to often without worrying about failure.

As you might have guessed from their name, the LCD-2 Classics are a variation of the modern LCD-2 and are intended to return to Audeze’s original sound, while saving you a few bucks over the normal LCD-2 ($995). The standard LCD-2 features the classic (and stunning) wooden rings found on Audeze’s most expensive headphones, as well as its popular Fazor waveguide system. The LCD-2 leaves both of these elements on the cutting room floor, bringing the sound, if not the look, back to a place much closer to the original pre-Fazor Audeze signature.

Comparing the two side-by-side, it’s easy to see that the Classic is the scaled-down version. In fact, when it was initially released it didn’t even include a travel case – that now included $120 accessory adds to the overall value here. While the differences are certainly visible at a glance (the LCD-2’s wooden rings are dripping in quality), the most significant difference lies beneath the surface. Audeze’s Fazor system essentially guides sound waves after they leave the magnet array, smoothing the sound signature and reducing distortion. Removing the system reduces some of the silky quality you can perceive on the company’s post-Fazor headphones. On the other hand, it has the advantage of impact and punch in the bass.

The main takeaway? The absence of a Fazor system is a different flavor of the Audeze sound, not less.

Like the LCD-2 (and most of the Audeze line), the Classics use planar magnetic drivers to create their sounds. Planars are incredibly popular in the audiophile world and Audeze is an absolute leader in their development and implementation in modern headphones. Here you get all the benefits of planar magnetic design: incredibly low distortion, exceptional timbre, and the kind of crisp HD sound that only planar can deliver. A well-designed planar magnetic headset can deliver the best of all worlds: exceptional bass, exceptional detail, a wide soundstage with excellent imaging (which makes it a great choice for gaming) and satisfyingly rich sound. The LCD-2 Classic is a wonderful introduction to what the world of premium headphones has to offer.

It also has some disadvantages that the LCD-2 is susceptible to. The most important of these is size and weight. The Classics’ drivers are huge: 106mm, about double the size of competing dynamic speakers. This means that the headphones themselves must be physically larger. Due to how the technology works, two rows of magnets flank the driver in each ear cup, adding weight that you can feel and eventually tiring my head after about an hour.

Planar magnetics are also more expensive to produce, especially when done well. $799 is expensive, but also consider that Audeze manufactures each of these products in-house at its California facility. You don’t get an assembly line helmet produced by the thousands in some no-name factory in China. These are built with top quality materials, vetted and supported by a team here in the USA. You pay a premium for Audeze headphones, but it comes with more than a brand name.

Image Credit: Crinacle

Which brings us to the most important part of any helmet test: how do they sound? Audeze is known for its house sound, focused on the midrange. The LCD-2 Classic is tuned for warmth, with treble roll-off and a flat bass response. This is clearly visible in the frequency response graph above, but I actually find the squiggles slightly misleading.

By appearances, you might think that the low on this earphone is rather light, but I don’t find that to be the case at all. The bass from these headphones hits bass and is presented with quality and detail. The classics aren’t going to blast your ears with a rumble, but you can hear the depth of bass guitars, synths, and game and movie soundtracks. It sounds wide and resonant without being overbearing. Some might want to EQ it to hear even more, but it’s the way the bass transcends the mids that really gives these headphones a lush, warm feel.

The mediums push the vocals forward and make them soft. I listened to a lot of Coheed and Cambria Vaxis II album recently, and Claudio’s tracks are so enjoyable. They don’t get lost in the mix at all. Even when listening to older songs, like star pearl, the voices are rich and pleasant. This mid-avant-garde also attracts guitars and makes rock music a general pop.

The triple the roll-off on the LCD-2 Classics is real and not something I enjoy very much. The roll-off quiets the guitars playing in the background on songs like love murder one enough to make them harder to hear. You lose some air and detail in the harmonics of the music. I found myself having to crank up the volume to hear those guitar lines in the background.

I suspect the roll-off also impacts the sense of space in the music, which is wide but more constrained than the LCD-GX in my ear. The imaging, however, is quite good, so even if you don’t have such an extensive sense of width and depth, you can still choose where different audio sources come from in the mix.

These qualities also make the LCD-2 Classic an excellent choice for gaming. The warm sound signature will make games feel full, rich and lively without causing the fatigue that comes from too much high mids and highs. The stage is not as spacious as the GX Where HIFIMAN Ananda, but it’s still wide enough to deliver an immersive gaming experience. You’ll have no trouble knowing where the enemies are either. These headphones are dynamic and detailed enough to let you hear your enemies before you see them, so strap on a ModMic and you’ll be good to go.

With all that in mind about its original sonic signature, I’d be remiss if I didn’t touch the EQ. As the HarmonicDyne G200, the LCD-2 Classic is incredibly responsive and transforms with the use of the EQ. In fact, many forum posters on r/helmet considers it necessary for the Classic to reach its true potential.

Test this myself with Oratory1990it is suggested Harman Target setting, the sound has become absolutely exceptional. The bass opened up giving me After of what was so good in stock form. The mids have been tamed somewhat, but not too much, and the highs have been boosted to bring out more of the air and detail that the original signature lacked. The EQ is not required to enjoy these headphones, but I would strongly suggest anyone considering them try it out for themselves as it’s like a the veil peels off and it’s hard to go back on a sound that originally sounded great but has become great.

General impressions and final thoughts

At $799, the Audeze LCD-2 Classics are an expensive but effective way to experience what the world of high-end planar magnetic headphones has to offer. They sound great on their own and come to life with a custom EQ. While it’s true that they’re more expensive than some competitors in this space, the experience is nothing short of impressive and delivers a great listening experience whether you’re spending hours listening to your favorite tunes or slipping into a virtual world. .

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes. Articles may include affiliate links from which we may earn a small commission to help support the site. Authors do not earn income or affiliate commissions.


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