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Audeze LCD-1 Open-Back Headphone Review

Uncompromised, immersive sound for budget-conscious professionals and audiophiles

The Audeze LCD-1 open-back foldable headphones bring premium quality sound and comfort to your listening experience. These hand-crafted cans are perfect for discerning audiophiles or studio and mixing professionals looking to level up their audio delivery gear.

    • Incredible sound immersion
    • Comfortable earcups and inner headband
    • Lightweight

  • Sound Leakage
  • No wireless option
Audeze LCD-1 Open-Back Headphone (image credit: Audeze)


The LCD-1 headphones have been meticulously engineered and feature some of Audeze’s most powerful planar magnetic technology. The 90mm Over-Ear Planar Drivers in the LCD-1 headphones deliver frequency extension from 10Hz up to 50kHz with flawless precision and clarity, helping to deliver the rich, clear sound expected from Audeze headphones.

The open-back design produces an expanded soundstage that pulls the ear deeper into the music, and Audeze utilizes their patented Fluxor™ magnets and Uniforce™ voice coil in tandem to “articulate fine-tuned, distortion-free audio with visceral power and impact.”

The LCD-1 does indeed open up the sound incredibly for the listener, but it also makes it audible to others in your immediate vicinity to some degree. This makes it hard for us to recommend the LCD-1 for shared-office use and commuting as we found they leak sound quite liberally. Sharing is caring, but not in this instance.

Open-back headphones are great for enjoying the soaring vocals and full sound of instruments, especially for professionals who need that function for critical listening, but, for everyday use, it might make your partner or roommate not like you so much as the leaking sound intrudes on their personal ear-space.

Audeze LCD-1 Open-Back Headphone (image credit: Audeze)

While these professional-grade cans are strictly wired, the thick, specially designed cable removes from the headphones completely, extending cable life and making storage easier. We especially appreciate that the cable has reversible connectors going to the earcups, so no matter how you connect the cables, the LCD-1 will always deliver the correct left and right channel information. Additionally, if you want to only listen through one earcup, you can unplug one of the jacks and focus on that input.

Audeze LCD-1 headphones are designed and built in the USA with imported and US made parts, and each LCD-1 driver is precision crafted by hand at Audeze’s Southern California facility. Simply holding the LCD-1 headphones in your hands gives you a good sense of the quality, exacting production standards and care Audeze puts into each of these headphones.

Audeze LCD-1 Open-Back Headphone (image credit: Audeze)


The first thing we noticed when we began testing the Audeze LCD-1 headphones is how comfortable they were. The earcups and inner headband have memory foam padding covered in soft lambskin leather, and the LCD-1 apply the right amount of pressure without clamping down on your head uncomfortably. The headphones weigh 250 grams and the earcups fold down flat for convenient storage.

Loading up some favorite tracks from our deep audio library, we sat back in a controlled environment free from external noise and pressed play. Having tested many closed-backed ANC and open-back headphones over our career, we thought we knew what to expect, but the Audeze LCD-1 surprised us right from the get go.

It was an amazing experience.

Among our test tracks, we found ourselves melting for Selena – with the LCD-1 somehow making her breathy vocals even more sultry – in I Could Fall In Love, fighting alongside Frodo and Aragorn with the sweeping heroic sound from Howard Shore’s Lord of the Rings soundtracks and trying hard to resist dancing along with the electronic dance beats of Sia’s Chandelier.

We were surprised at how the LCD-1 presented older recordings, particularly tunes from crooners like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, as the clarity from each section of their bands made it feel like we had a front row seat at the club.

Audeze LCD-1 Open-Back Headphone (image credit: Audeze)

Because of the incredibly tuned technology engineered into the LCD-1, sound is allowed to breathe, making it possible to hear what the composer and musicians originally intended you to hear. It was as if the LCD-1 pulled sounds from the forgotten recesses of songs we had obviously heard, but somehow missed out on for decades with lower performance headphones or speakers.

That being said, because of the incredibly clear and transparent sound quality of the LCD-1, prepare yourself to be disappointed as you may discover your favorite tracks have some recording limitations, only noticeable by using professional quality headphones like the LCD-1.

Audeze LCD-1 Open-Back Headphones and included accessories. (image credit: Audeze)


We had an incredible listening experience with the Audeze LCD-1 open-back headphones. The richness and depth of the sound they produce are amazing, and discerning audiophiles and professionals will relish the full sound. We highly recommend the Audeze LCD-1 headphones if you are planning to use them in a controlled listening environment, or to mix or edit sound where ultimate performance is key, but not if you are wanting wireless and ANC features for your commute or to shut out the world.

See also: Enclave Audio CineHome II Review