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"Based on subjective expectations at this price point. there’s really just one caveat to the high performance of these headphones: While they may have “decent” sensitivity for planars, compared to dynamic headphones they require a lot of power. This becomes an issue if you try and run the LCD-1s directly from a phone or tablet, the result sounds anemic. But the moment you hook up an amp (even a USB dongle) and provide some juice to get ‘em going, they transform into one of the most satisfying-sounding sub-$500 headphones out there.

Planar magnetic headphone technology has rapidly evolved from a niche product category serving hardcore enthusiasts to this, the LCD-1, a headphone that’ll please anyone looking for an under $500 option that delivers excellent fidelity plus high build quality. Yes, you’ll need an amp for your phone or tablet or PC if you want to get the most out of them. With that one caveat, it is an easy Top Choice for anyone looking to buy just one pair of open-back headphones in this price range."