Audeze, pronounced “awh-deh-zee”, was founded by two sci-fi fans back in 2008. After discovering a technology created for NASA spacecraft, Alex Rosson and Sankar Thiagasamudram naturally did what any audiophile would do: they installed the same cutting-edge technology into headphones!
The creators were quick to realise the enormous potential of this unique NASA technology for their planar magnetic transducers. Today, Audeze is the top producer of planar magnetic over-ear headphones in the world. The firm, which is passionate about authentic sound, designs and hand-builds almost every pair of headphones they produce at their Southern California plant in the USA.
The most popular and best-selling over-ear headphones from the brand are sought-after by audiophiles who value having the most accurate sound money can buy. Although the company sells audiophile-grade headphones at several price points, its most popular over-the-ear models are the LCD-X, LCD-XC, and LCD-3, which cost less than $2,000 per pair.
If you’re wondering whether such a set is worth your money, read on to discover some compelling reasons why Audeze headphones are the most popular models among audiophiles.
Better Overall Sound
The neutral sound profile of these headphones is one of their finest features. Planar magnetic headphones from the brand are extremely transparent. They typically have excellent detail retrieval, a flatter, neutral frequency response, and a tendency to make music sound more authentically like the creator meant for you to hear it.
Together with the overall sound, this is arguably the biggest justification for buying high-end headphones made by Audeze. The sound produced by these headphones is often extraordinarily lush and real – akin to butter. Everything is effortless, silky, and smooth.
Their planar magnetic profile has a significant role in this. You genuinely get the impression that you are hearing the song as the artist intended. The difference between how an instrument sounds through a gadget and how it might sound in real life.
Instead of having the sound sent directly into your ears, it almost feels like you’re in a real location. The soundstage and imaging produced by the headphones are both excellent. It’s impossible to deny that such a set has a lifelike quality. When you hear it, you’ll recognise it. They are unquestionably a pair of headphones that merits the overused “musical” label.
You can expect perfect bass from these headphones if that’s your thing. You’ll get a great degree of sub-bass extension and lots of impact without ever feeling like it’s drowning out the lovely mid-range tones. This is a feature that many audiophiles look for in their headphones.
Another characteristic that makes planars—and Audezes in particular—stand out is that they strike powerfully but never sound unnatural. This is the most intelligent and accurate bass there is. Bass can often thud but sound dry or needle-like. While without sounding sloppy or sloshy, the bass on these headphones has a luscious, wet flavour.
What’s more, the kick drum and bassline seem incredibly realistic. So much so that you’ll get the impression you’re hearing someone actually push the kick pedal in real life rather than simply hearing the thump of it through a pair of headphones.
This is a result of the kick’s attack and fade, which is another area in which Audezes frequently outperform other headphones in terms of overall sound quality. Unlike those dumb Beats by Dre noobs that sneer at you believing they’ve found the holy grail of headphones, this bass is for bass head snobs who know what good bass is meant to sound like.
The mids often sound a little too relaxed and recessed, but that is the only minor drawback. The majority of the LCD line have this tiny flaw, but generally, the presentation is excellent. Not at all like your mid-forward K702, for example. After 1,000, there is a steady roll-off that resembles a Sundara and can occasionally be problematic.
These high-end headphones have another feature that tends to set them apart from products in the lower tier or even mid-fi category. You almost always get a device that sounds almost flawless from both sides when you purchase an Audeze headset.
For obvious reasons, this is crucial to the listening experience. Even a slight inconsistency can ruin a listening session when it’s cheaper because you can almost immediately see if something doesn’t match.
The micro-detail you’ll hear with these premium headphones is another outstanding feature. Consider examining a fire ant under a microscope. That kind of specificity is what these headphones are known for – everything appears to be greatly magnified and rendered in crystal clear detail.
However, some might not like the realistic replication of nuances in sounds that sometimes might be overpowering. But if you want to truly become immersed in the listening experience, this is something that really adds to it.
Making the diaphragm as thin as possible is key when it comes to planar magnetic headphones, which is why the brand’s planar magnetic headphones all have unique diaphragms. In essence, the faster the diaphragm can move back and forth, pushing and pulling air around it to produce music, the lighter and stronger it must be.
Similar to a piston, the diaphragm’s ability to accurately replicate even the most minute transients as they happen naturally in the actual world depends on how quickly it moves. Consider the quick “attack” of a snare drum or the minute, micro-dynamic subtleties concealed in the Pizzicato finger-picking technique of a master bass player.
Comfortable to Wear
All of the brand’s products offer full-sized earcups that fully enclose the ears for a spacious soundstage and extended ear-cooling comfort. In addition, all of the more expensive versions use the brand’s unique, patented “Fazor” waveguide technology, which minimises diffraction inside the ear cup chambers for the most accurate and detailed sound reproduction.
With their thick, “beefy” ear pads and headbands that are incredibly well-padded to distribute the weight equally, these best-sellers are among the most comfortable headphones on the market. The earcups almost “hug” your head.