Have my pair of LCD-5 in house! Burning in now. Pictures to follow. Follow my YouTube for first impressions.
I am SUPER eager to see this review. I know you often do comparisons, but would love to have the RAD-0 included in the comparing if possible!
No RAD-0 on hand to compare A/B that was given back to HP dot com team. I will do A/B comparisons to other headphones though for sure. I can also give some brief comparisons based on audio memory vs. the RAD-0 since I did have it about 6 months and was a daily driver.
Can’t wait for this brother!
Finally, they changed the headbands, I had an older version and it always slides. Good
Oh man, where’d you get that stand?
Stop teasing me!
I need to fire sale half my collection for one. Thoughts on picking us a cheap lcd4 used instead? Wondering where prices will drop to on them.
My hunch is to keep an eye out for a Black Friday sale if you’re in the US, especially with the trade-in program
This… i’d imagine they’ll have some around that time on b-stock sale.
He is the best Brandon! @Nuance
Awesome - thank you! I may have to order the one in curly maple and zebrawood
That Alien version is outta control!
If i had the extra $ i would have been all over that one! love it…
For those of you on Instagram that enjoy LCD-5 auidoporn.
Okay guys, we were finally able to get one in for review. I imagine the demand for these is pretty high right now so it’s been tricky to get ahold of one. The following are my first impressions of the Audeze LCD-5 after listening last night in the studio, along with measurements done on the GRAS 43AG and KB5000 anthropometric pinna.
I had shared this with some friends to get their thoughts as well, and the consensus seemed to be that this is one of the better measuring Audeze headphones, and I’m inclined to agree. But why is that? Well… for starters, there’s ear gain! This is a big improvement over some of the previous Audeze planars, including the LCD-4 with 2021 pads, and in keeping with some of the improvements made for the LCD-X 2021 (although not quite in the same way).
Now, you’ll notice that the treble is a bit subdued, not unlike what you get with the Sennheiser HD650 or HD6XX - and… it’s actually even a bit darker in the treble than the HD650 (I think Jude over at head-fi did that comparison confirming it). But there’s something else to keep in mind here, and it’s that the bass level, while well-extended, also isn’t as bloomy. So if you consider the relative bass and treble levels, the LCD-5 isn’t actually that dark sounding, because it doesn’t have that thicker presentation in the upper bass or lower mids (like what you get on the HD650). Rather I’d characterize it as more mid-forward as a result of not having a bass boost nor a treble boost.
So while I still prefer the default tonal balance of the LCD-X 2021 in the lower and mid treble, the LCD-5 has a decent tonal balance overall that shouldn’t be difficult to EQ. I was worried it would be a bit shouty, and the upper mids are definitely quite present, but so far it seems to be on the right side of that for me, and personally, on first listen, I find it to be more enjoyable than the CRBN. With that said, I’m still in the process of dialing in my EQ, which is still something I absolutely recommend doing for those getting into Audeze headphones - even if only because these can take it so well.
- Very detailed sounding. The LCD-5 is up there with the bigbois, even though it’s not a bigboi physically. Super impressive that they’re able to do this with such a small form factor. Diana Phi now has strong competition for “small but technically impressive”. I’ll still need to assess for clarity of trailing ends of tones, but so far the incisiveness is all there.
- Bass detail… wow. Dare I say some of the best bass detail I’ve heard? I added a bass shelf by 3-4dB around 90hz and oh my god… words fail me.
- Contrast vs Compression (macrodynamics): not as “take-your-head-off” as the original HE-6, but surprisingly not bad on the LCD-5. It’s surprising because most planars generally aren’t great at this. Between HE-6 (good) and Susvara (meh), it’s maybe closer to Susvara, but still satisfying. More listening and EQ tinkering is required here to make a full assessment of that.
- Soundstage: No major issues, no three blob, generally good lateral definition. I’ll need to compare with the LCD-4 we have on hand to see if it’s an improvement, but I have no complaints on this front.
- Comfort: It’s very lightweight (hooray!) and for those with small to average-sized heads this will be a joy to wear for long periods of time. For my pumpkinhead, however, there’s definitely too much clamp pressure going on. I think I saw somewhere that they’re working on a headband for us bigheads? Maybe someone can confirm this if true - but if I were buying the LCD-5, I’d need that.
For those wondering about comparisons to Susvara, Utopia, LCD-4 and so on, I’m still in the process of doing that, so I’m not able to give a thorough judgment until that’s done in a level-matched situation.
Yes, KMann (from Audeze) at head-fi has confirmed they’re working on a headband for larger heads. He said they will offer a free trade-in for anyone who isn’t happy with their current LCD 5 headbands. He said previous Audeze alternative headbands will not fit the 5s. They still haven’t finished the prototype but they recognise the clamping force is too much for head sizes over a certain size. Here
Awesome of them to be so receptive to that feedback. Audiophiles often have big heads hahha. Now that would be a fun study.
Finally, a person who has EQ’d the bass and reported back! Really looking forward to your review.
I’m guessing you will get bombarded with requests for thoughts on good amp pairings. personally would be interested in how it pairs with your Kenzie. I currently have a Rebel amp and am thinking of upgrading. However I get it if amp pairings are not within the scope of the review.