Audeze LCD-5 - Official Thread

Thank you very much.

Can you share your experience with LCD-5 with me, please? What software are you using for EQ, if any? What genres of music you find them the best suited for? What DAC and amp are you using and what is the amp strength you’d recommend? Do you have any EQ preset to recommend?

Sorry for barrage of question. I wish to learn as much as I can about them.

Thank you for welcoming me. I thought it could only be beneficial to someone thinking about purchasing headphones.

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Hey not a problem-

So to begin this is my general review of it after 6 months that I’m copying and pasting from a Reddit post I made a while ago:

It is worth mentioning how I weigh aspects to sound. (Note this is my modified order of importance from Resolves ranking- just want to cite him at this link: Resolve's Headphone Ranking List)

  1. Tonal Balance - deficiencies in a headphones stock tonal balance can be righted by EQ for free so this factor is mostly a wash. I’m going to EQ every single headphone that comes my way.
  2. Imaging and Separation - Being able to isolate individual instruments in the mix
  3. Detail/Resolution - The headphone is incisive, well-controlled during busy passages, and retains good clarity for the finer nuances in the music.
  4. Contrast/Punch - The headphone has good contrast for large volume swings, the opposite being a compressed kind of sound.
  5. Soundstage - Kind of meaningless to me. It’s a headphone not a stereo. If I want soundstage I’ll listen to my stereo (which I do :D)
  6. Timbre - The headphone sounds sufficiently ‘natural’, whatever that means. I played saxophone for 3 years, what a saxophone should sound like will be different to me than what it will be for you. So saying a headphone has more timbre is just a product of the tonal balance matching how instruments should sound based on your personal experience.

First impression: I chose the LCD-5 after auditioning them at a hifi store against my pair of Verite Opens I had at the time, my HD660s, DCA Stealth, and Meze Elite. They were the only headphones of the bunch that gave me that out of body audio experience that we chase after. The level of clarity they delivered to my ears over the other cans is comparable to the time I first got glasses as a kid and being able to see individual leaves on trees for the first time. I am cognizant that some might label this as hyperbole but this is what the experience was like. And I hope everyone can experience it.

Note: I haven’t heard any electrostats, but no other headphone I’ve heard has replicated what the 5 does to my ear. Also I haven’t heard Abyss headphones but they’re never going to get my money.

My comparison of aspects of sound will be done in comparison to the HD660, the only other overear headphone I still listen to. In general, the LCD-5 sounds clearer and cleaner. For a visual analogy, it’s like the difference between a LCD TV and an OLED. Like a dirty window vs a clean one.

LCD-5 has an absurd razor sharp imaging capability. This razor sharp imaging also improves the resolution and tactile feel of music as it hits my ear. Example, Vicarious by Tool in the first 40ish seconds before the drop. On the 660, the electric guitar in both the channels comes from one blob in each side and pushes sound over the entire ear. On the LCD-5, the guitar notes are swirling clockwise in each channel. So it’s actually 6 or 7 spatially different sources of sound. Because of how pinpoint accurate this is, music is more tactile and resolved. Extrapolate this capability to every other piece of music and you can imagine how addicting it is.

(Also to note, my friend has a Magnepan 30.7 stereo setup that I’ve spent hours with. This $30k pair of speakers can’t image Vicarious this well. I’ve tried to hear it in more than a dozen listens but I simply can’t.)

Now onto Hardwired by Mitch Murder. The intense portions of the song beginning at 2:10 and 4:44 sound compressed on the 660. There’s no contrast in the cacophony of the synthesizer and the notes bleed together. On the LCD-5, each note has a distinct end and there’s a perceivable background between notes. Worth noting that a pair of Harbeth 30.2 monitors ($7k/pair) also sound compressed to my ear on this song.

Is the detail and technicalities that the LCD-5 achieves worth it to most people? Probably not. But I’m a detail oriented person to the max and the 5 has been my favorite headphone I’ve heard.

In the process of writing this and reading impressions on the subreddit, I firmly believe the perception of technicalities (aspects other than tonal balance) is subjective like everything else in this hobby. If you can’t hear it or don’t care about technicalities, there are far cheaper headphones that can accomplish what you’re looking for. But also don’t denigrate people’s subjective impressions involving these aspects.

  • What software are you using for EQ, if any?


  • What genres of music you find them the best suited for?

All the genres I normally listen to: prog, prog metal, electronic (think James Blake and synthwave style electronic), R&B, and rock. These are the best headphones I’ve heard for metal.

Worth mentioning that I do not listen to K-pop or pop music in general as I find it too energetic (it sounds like sugar covered cereal tastes). Just me and I tend to enjoy broodier music haha. Oh I also don’t listen to classical because I live near the National Symphony Orchestra and I just opt to go see it live

  • What DAC and amp are you using and what is the amp strength you’d recommend?

Schiit Bifrost 2/64 and a Ferrum Oor/Hypsos & Benchmark HPA4. At the minimum I recommend a Topping A90. I’ve heard the LCD-5 out that, the Soloist 3XP, and the two amps I have at the moment. Oor is my favorite pairing so far because it adds a little bit of tube like distortion.

  • Do you have any EQ preset to recommend?

Start with Resolve’s EQ: Audeze LCD-5 - Official Thread - #574 by Resolve. But you will need to adjust and just play around with EQ. It’s highly personal and I can’t speak for what for work with your ears. I actually use a couple different EQ’s depending on my mood. I also use Audeze’s presets they make available in Roon, and I also listen to stock sometimes.


I was lucky enough to get these. I don’t think I would have ever afforded them otherwise. Thanks @MRHifiReviews!

My 3 day notes:
Day 1:
[me] Were they worth it?
[also me] How much would you pay for the comfort and staging of your Sennheiser HD 800 S together with the slam and bass of your Hifiman HE6se V2?

Day 2:
[me] Were they worth it?
[also me] How much would you pay for hearing new details in music you’ve listen to for years?

Day 3:
[me] Were they worth it?
[also me] How much would you pay for a religious experience?


I am glad you are enjoying them @AudioTool, and they went to a loving home!!


I should also mention that I am currently enamored with the Audeze Roon EQ preset together with 1db of tilt.

Second is Resolve’s preset with 1-2db of tilt. Third is oratory1990’s preset (no tilt needed). But it is early days and I haven’t decided much other than for me, it definitely needs some. < insert subtle hint that a 5128 preset is eagerly awaited >



Very nice reporting with questions for questions.

If you enjoy those, I recommend you try chargedcap’s convolutions he made recently too or if you are brave enough Mitch Barnett’s got a free trial of his which I use.

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I’m not familiar with Mitch Barnett. Where can I find more info?

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May I ask what Bryston amp it was?

I am not sure; it was quite a while back at CanJam.

I even like the stock tuning, but for sitting back and enjoying music I’ve recently been enjoying the Summer '23 update to the Oratory1990 EQ preset.

Detailed, spacious, engaging and fun!