Audeze LCD-1 Open-Back Foldable Headphones – Studio Monitor Quality at Home and Elsewhere

As we find ourselves more often at home these days, getting the best sound quality while at work or play becomes paramount. If you aspire to sound quality enjoyed by audio engineers, but want to stay below the $400 price point, the Audeze LCD-1 is just the ticket.

The open back foldable design means the unit will still provide the presence of being in the room, compared to closed cup design that essentially creates its own soundstage. Note that there will also be some audio bleed; those around you will likely hear what you are.

What is noticeable after lengthy use is that the LCD-1 are more comfortable and lighter than other models in the Audeze lineup, and likewise compared to other brands. It is a design tradeoff, a heavier headset will allow for heavier magnets (better sound) and larger ear cups and cushions (improved comfort). But that weight becomes tiring for many folks, and the desire for a lighter set of headphones becomes obvious. Audeze achieved this lighter weight with plastic that at first touch feels less than high-quality, but that sentiment is overcome with a modicum of listening.

The transparency delivered by the LCD-1 is remarkable. The separation is impressive. Folks by now have discovered that certain consumer brands toy with the sound (I am looking at you Beats, with your annoying boosted bass profile).

The LCD-1 headphones have been engineered as a sound monitor, so you will be getting significantly accurate sonic reproduction. The open-circumaural design incorporates elements of Audeze’s most powerful planar magnetic technology via 90mm over-ear drives. The sound is driven by the company’s patented Fluxor™ magnets and Uniforce™ voice coil.

Intriguingly, each ear cup has a separate removable cable, to ensure no mix-up of channels.

Whether your goal is audio mixing or quality listening, the easy portability of the design is a definite plus. If you are looking for the benefits of improved and pleasurable audio reproduction, the Audeze LCD-1 is great investment.


Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.