I don’t review things often so sorry if I miss some things other reviews might have! This will be a long one as I will also be talking about my journey on how I finally ended up with the -GX.
Feel free to go to the TL;DR at the end.
My previous headphones were the Sennheiser HD6XX and the HD58X which I have been happily content with. I am also running these headphones with the THX 789 and Modi 3.
I’ve always wanted to branch out and see what else was out there and so begins my journey.
Now when it comes to purchasing new things, I like to do my due diligence and heavily research. Regardless, in the end everyone has their own preference so you won’t really know how you’d like something until you actually try it.
I wanted something different and fun. Something that would be a worthy step up from the Sennheisers.
The Focal Elex was something some said were a worthwhile upgrade, however how hard it is to get replacement pads the price of them made me hesitant.
Planars were something that always interested me.
This brought me to the HiFiMan Sundaras and the Audeze line. So before diving right into the $600+ range, I wanted to try out the HiFiMan Sundaras. Now when it comes to getting new headphones, initial impressions will change as you spend more and more time with them. However, right when I put on the Sundaras I could already hear the difference. The bass was just clean, fast and punchy. They were definitely brighter than the Sennheisers that I was used to. I felt that planars were something I could really get into, however, I also realized I don’t enjoy bright sounding headphones. I decided to return the Sundaras and try out the Audezes.
Fast forward a few weeks I got the opportunity to try out the LCD-X at E-Earphones in Japan. Awesome place by the way and I encourage anyone to stop by if they get the chance to. They have a demo area and wasn’t the most ideal environment since it was really crowded, but it was good enough. They were heavy, but the weight was distributed well. I could see myself getting tired of them within an hour after using them for around 10 minutes. As for the sound, I understand why they’re the goto reference for many producers because everything sounded so clear. You could hear every detail with blackness in-between notes. The treble and bass extension was there, you could tell these have the resolution a reference headphone should have.
As I came back, my friend allowed me to try his LCD-2C for a bit to see how it compares to the LCD-X. Same great looks as the LCD-X, but the weight was something I couldn’t keep thinking about as I was using them.
This made me realize - comfort was something that I needed to prioritize as I’m planning on using them as my daily driver. Your headphones could sound great, but if you’re unable to wear them what’s the point?
That’s when I came across the LCD-GX. The LCD-GX is an odd one because it’s marketed as a gamer headphone, but at a price point most gamers wouldn’t have the budget for so it fills a really small niche. Most audiophiles wouldn’t even consider the -GX because of the audience Audeze tried to market to as well as the red gamer aesthetics that could be off putting for most.
Now what’s really interesting is how the -GX uses the magnesium housing from the -4z and -MX4. This makes it the lowest-priced model to use this housing. From what I understand the -GX takes the diaphragm from the -X, Fluxor magnets from the -4 and -4z (single sided instead of double) and magnesium housing from the -4z/-MX4. After adding all of this up, this results in a very unique full-sized LCD.
Man these are really comfortable compared to the other LCDs. I was hesitant to get an Audeze because of the weight. After getting the -GX in, that quickly became a non-issue. Initially, the first few days consisted of trying to adjust the rods and getting the pads to fit right around my ears. Once I dialed in the right settings, it’s been a matter of putting it on and forget. The leather headband suspension works, which I heard is a huge improvement compared to the older style headbands. The pads are a nice thick memory foam, extremely roomy for my ears so they don’t touch anything at all! I also didn’t get the ear suction effect that I did from the LCD-X, at least not as much that bothers me.
Something to note: I never thought the comfort of the Sennheisers was bad, but after using the -GX for a few days and then putting back on the Sennheisers I immediately noticed how my ears were touching the pads. Something that’s never crossed my mind! I got used to how free my ears felt with the giant -GX pads.
The magnesium housing feels extremely solid. Nothing jumps out that would make me think it’ll break besides the thin diaphragms you need to be careful with when it comes to planars.
I will admit, I wasn’t really sold on the red mesh but man it looks amazing in person.
Also - I highly recommend this headphone stand for the LCDs. You should hang them by the metal band so you don’t stretch the leather.
Relaxing best describes the sound. Nothing feels elevated nor missing, it’s just smooth from the lows all the way to the highs. The planar bass that I love is there. Compared to the LCD-X, it was not as airy/sterile and has more of a warm sound signature. The sound was rich and lush compared to the airy nature of the LCD-X.
The dynamics are there. Two of my favorite tracks for testing the dynamics are both from Hans Zimmer.
“Mountains” from Interstellar and “Mesa” from Bladerunner 2049. They both sound amazing from the low-end to the highs.
The imaging and soundstage is wonderful.
Yosi Horikawa’s “Letter” and “Bubbles” are great tracks to test imaging. In “Letters” I could hear the pencil moving all around my head. The pencil on the paper sounds so realistic I can’t get tired of playing this track.
I would say the sound would be between the LCD-2c and LCD-X. It doesn’t have the technicality of the -X, but what you get is a less fatiguing headphone.
I haven’t really messed around with EQ as much as I found them to be really good stock. However, /u/metal571 posted his EQ setting on twitter awhile back and here it is if you’re interested:
LS +3 @ 105 Hz
PK +2 @ 4500 Hz
I personally changed 105 Hz to +4 and man, the extra kick in the bass makes it extremely satisfying for watching movies.
Now as these are “gamer” headphones, I decided to try gaming with them. Some people have stated that the imaging was terrible for gaming, but I had no problem pinpointing enemies or detail. There was no deadzone.
As for the mic - I haven’t really used it since I have a dedicated mic, but it works fine.
Will gamer headphones make you play better? No. Unless you’ve only been using speakers, then sure any headphones will allow you to play better. It really all comes down to getting used to your gear. Getting gamer headphones won’t make you play better, it comes down to personal skill and something you have to work on. You can game on $20 IEMs.
Something to note: I can see these headphones being really good for the PS5 when it comes out. They are introducing HRTF which looks really promising. At RMAF16, Dr. Fang Bian briefly talked about how planars are really great when it comes to HRTF/DSP because of how accurate they are. You can hear about it here https://youtu.be/1zQA5_fN998?t=1239
You can see how Audeze has already used the planar drivers to their advantage and combined it with DSP, which resulted in the Mobius. However, since the LCD-GX is fully analog - this means that you won’t have to sacrifice anything since all the DSP is going to be done on the PS5 if I understand correctly. I’m very excited to see how that turns out.
These headphones are really great and are underlooked because of the way Audeze marketed them. The value you get is great since it comes with the mic cable, pelican case and a
really nice braided cable.
This actually has me excited for what they might have in store for the future because it seems like they are working towards making their future headphones more efficient and comfortable. I feel like the -GX is a sneak peek on what they could bring to us in the future. I love the wood rings of the -2F and -4, but losing them for the magnesium housing is worth the weight reduction in my opinion.
I really want to try the LCD-4 one day and compare, but until then I’m very content with the LCD-GX.
There’s nothing I can complain about with these headphones. They’re just extremely easy to listen to. They have that planar bass and the comfort is the best when it comes to the full size LCDs. The sound was rich and lush compared to the metallic airy nature of the LCD-X.