There’s a night scene in Battlefield I, a solo recon mission in a sleepy French village filled with enemy soldiers. Alone, you crawl head-down through a backyard, hoping to make it to that old red barn before anyone sees… wait. STOP. Is that a dog growling… behind you?
We can so easily picture George Martin wearing LCD-Xs back in the day at Abby Road. (He would have loved them.) Or Max Martin for that matter, who, BTW, now has more #1 Billboard singles than anyone in history, save for Lennon and McCartney. But we digress:
"Mobius Headphones (Audeze, $399.99) — Dads immersed in virtual worlds such as “Call of Duty” or “Doom Eternal” and in need of a more robust gaming headset will appreciate the enveloping aural assault provided by the Mobius. Planar magnetic drivers in each cup promise superior sound quality and when combined with its head tracking, three-dimensional sound technology, the package makes for a potent, almost dizzying experience when in the throes of multiplayer battles."
I’ll be the first to admit that when I first saw the launch of the Audeze LCD-GX headphone/headset, I was quite skeptical. This was a $899 open-back headphone, made for gamers, with a red and black trim and a giant boom mic. It almost felt like it was a money grab to me, especially after they already had just released the Audeze Mobius at the time, which I was an early adopter for. But time went by and I started hearing some good feedback for it. I was also impressed that they got the weight down to a more manageable and wearable weight, something that I feel is the biggest flaw of the Audeze LCD series lineup. I can’t wear any of them for more than a 30 minutes without physical pain! At least until this one came out….
In terms of design, we have to say that Audeze’s iSINE LX takes the top spot. It features a new, innovative design that hasn’t been seen in headphones before — which is why we think it’s one of the best headphones out in the market today.
Audeze, based out of Orange County, is an audio company with a very particular focus. Not concerned with speakers or amps or earbuds, it instead focus on a headphones, and ones of a very specific kind. It’s cans use planar magnetic drivers (as opposed to conventional dynamic drivers), in order to achieve a greater range of sound than other approaches can match. The result? “Extremely low levels of distortion and very high-fidelity over the entire frequency range,” according to Sankar Thiagasamudram, the co-founder & CEO. “It’s a very clean-sounding headphone.”
"In terms of design, we have to say that Audeze’s iSINE LX takes the top spot. It features a new, innovative design that hasn’t been seen in headphones before — which is why we think it’s one of the best headphones out in the market today."
The Audeze LCD-XC are part headphones, part mahogany library. That burly look and their superb sound quality will set you back $1,799. But think of it this way: They're 3% the price of the Sennheiser Orpheus.
But there is one key benefit to using their Lightning cable instead. Audeze calls it the “CIPHER” cable, and it has many of the key audio components required to drive high quality headphones built right into it. Where you would normally find a control module with a mic and playback controls, the CIPHER cable has an inline digital-to-analog converter, a headphones amplifier, and of course a Siri-compatible mic for calls. Your iPhone has more than enough juice to power these, and being plugged into the Lightning port gives the EL-8s access to all of it. Of course, these are high end headphones. Even without the iOS compatibility they wouldn’t be cheap. But if you’re getting tired of carrying large DACs and headphone amps, these are a sleek all in one option.
Audeze doesn't make one-off high-end headphones for fun; the company has the track record (and loyal customer base) to prove it. So why take the step up from the company's LCD-3 and LCD-4 headphones to the newest flagship set, the LCD-4z (pictured)?
The AUDEZE LCD 4 Reference Headphones are hand crafted to perfection. AUDEZE has years of work and research into this headset to give you a truly luxurious and high-quality audio experience. AUDEZE LCD-4 uses the planar magnetic technology to reproduce most accurate sound signals. The Nano scale diaphragm of AUDEZE LCD-4 is super lightweight.
Safe indoors means more time for activities like video gaming, binge movie and TV-watching, and, depending on who you are quarantined with, drowning out external noise. When it comes to how we are tuning in (and tuning out at the same time), look no further than California-based audio manufacturer Audeze. Audeze’s Mobius gaming phones blew my mind. In our latest podcast, we spoke with Audeze Founder and CEO Sankar Thiagasamudram about the Mobius headphones. In this episode, he explains the history of this stunning piece of tech, while teaching us about how to shop for a new set.
If you are in the market for a high-end headphone that will serve as both an audiophile experience and a brilliant studio headphone, then the closed-back LCD-XC is worth your consideration. This is by no means the newest headphone in the lineup, but after hearing it at NAMM in January 2020 at the Audeze booth, we had to get our hands on a pair to test in the studio and at the home turntable lounge aka the sanctuary.
The first thing you will notice about them is that they are massive. They combine wood and polished metal, coupled with leather and carbon-fiber, resulting in a modern, unusual design. Every material in this amalgam has been chosen for its properties and features, rather than for how it looks.