The Audeze Mobius has already convinced us as a gaming headset, and now Audeze is adding to this and pushing the gaming headset concept even further with the LCD-GX: just under 1,000 Euros (RRP) will be charged for this luxury model! We look into whether these open over-ear headphones live up to their high-end claims.
The Audeze LCD-GX are designed to bring high-end audio to the ears of gaming fans who want top-notch sound. Since these headphones are priced in the premium market, we are justified in having high expectation of this device. Let’s see how Audeze keeps its promise to deliver the highest quality with the LCD-GX. I’d compare the Audeze LCD-GX in some respects with the Audeze LCD-2, which (only) resembles it visually. But more about this in the review …
The Audeze LCD-GX comes in a very robust plastic carrying case, which allows the headphones to be transported from LAN party to LAN party without the owner having to worry about the condition of the expensive device. Besides the headphones, the main cable is included. This is an audio feed line that is plugged directly into both ear cups. At the other end of the braided cable, there is a large jack plug with which the headphones can be used as a hi-fi tool. If you want to connect the LCD-GX to a small jack plug, you have to use the exchangeable cable. A microphone with a flexible gooseneck is integrated into it. A pop guard is also included in this package. This cable also contains an on/off switch for the microphone. The cable’s four-pin mini jack plug is suitable for combination connections as used in tablets and Smartphones. Using the included adapter cable, the connections of microphone and headphones can be split so that they can be plugged in separately at the inputs and outputs of a sound card or laptop.
At first glance, the Audeze LCD-GX appears to be basically identical to its little brother the LCD-2, with matt black metal on the ear cups and headband. Individual details are finished in silver. The red wire mesh grille visible from the outside immediately catches the eye and protects the inner workings of the headphones. The headphones are handmade in the USA and have a mega-robust construction. The phrase ‘p
redetermined breaking points’ has no place here. In addition, all the important seams are screwed in a service-friendly manner in proven Audeze quality. Audeze lettering and model name are not printed on the arms of the ear cup holder, but engraved (!). The two connection sockets for the supply line are equipped with a mini XLR socket with a restraint device. The choice of materials and production of the ear cushions are also first-class. Here, super-soft imitation leather has been ergonomically processed so that each pad is asymmetrically designed and also ensures that the LCD-GX fits the head well. The design of these headphones fits seamlessly into the range of previous Audeze models and is not only unique but also timeless.
Audeze are known for using planar-magnetic drivers in their headphones. And this is exactly what the LCD-GX does. The membrane, which measures an immense 10.3 cm in diameter, is constructed using the company’s own Uniforce technology. The term “Uniforce” comes from “uniform magnetic force” and refers to the fact that the diaphragm has a magnetisation that is evenly distributed over the entire diaphragm surface. This should result in an even lower degree of distortion.
Although the exterior of the LCD-GX is similar to the Audeze LCD-2, its internal qualities have a unique personality. Its audio transmission range extends from ultra-low 10 Hz to dizzying 50 kHz. Its impedance, as measured by us, is not even 20 ohms, but lower than that of the LCD-2. Nevertheless, it is a little quieter than the LCD-2 and reaches a maximum sound pressure level of “only” just under 95 dB SPL. And the sensitivity of 100 dB/W specified by the manufacturer is also slightly lower than that of the LCD-2. So you mustn’t be deceived by their appearance into expecting an almost identical pair of headphones.
The headband size adjustment is ratcheted and must be adjusted with both hands on the headphones. But it stays in place securely and does not adjust itself accidentally. The rotating and swivelling ear cups can be adjusted so extensively that I cannot imagine that there could be any head shape to which they cannot be adjusted. The ear cushions with memory foam are ultra-soft and wonderfully comfortable on the ear. The headband, on the other hand, lacks any real padding. Instead, there is an underlying strip that is only connected to the ends of the headband, which means it can move against the metal headband if it slips on your head.
The metal ear shells are made of magnesium and are therefore ultra-light compared to their size. At just over 550 g including cable, the LCD-GX is even about 200 g lighter than the LCD-2. This is a significant difference. Accordingly, the contact pressure of the headphones doesn’t have to be quite as great. Nevertheless, the LCD-GX still grips sufficiently and sits quite securely on the head even in the most exciting gaming moments. Its cable measures 2.60 m and the included second cable even aches an impressive 3.60 m (!). For gaming fans, this means that their computer does not have to be right next to them at a LAN party.
The gooseneck microphone can be aligned very easily and then reliably stays in position. The sound of the microphone itself has a fine resolution and is very high frequency sensitive. A negative factor is the audio crackles that occur when the microphone is switched on and off with the slider.
How open these open headphones actually are becomes immediately clear when you put them on. The sound hitting the ear is only slightly attenuated in its volume. I would even say that it almost sounds as if you don’t have headphones on your ears when you wear these headphones(!). As unbelievable as that sounds: You have to actually experience it to know how impressive it is.
With open-back headphones, I expect subtle bass and the LCD-GX are no exception. They do a good job in this frequency range, but despite good sub-bass reproduction they are less suited to making shots, explosions and crashes in computer games sound impressive. In fact, gamers will find a relatively solid bass foundation here, which attractively underpins these headphones’ other frequency response. The LCD-GX are especially strong in the mid-range because of their differentiated sound. When it comes to using the headphones as hi-fi monitors, the detailed reproduction of guitars is therefore very much in the forefront. Gaming fans, on the other hand, should be pleased that speech intelligibility also benefits from this fine resolution in the mid-range frequencies. Especially in multiplayer games, where headsets are used, the LCD-GX can differentiate between speech signals and game sounds.
The fact that the headphone playback reaches up to 50 Hz is also noticeable with preamps that cannot handle this bandwidth. The LCD-GX simply makes it clear in the listening test that they do not limit the sound output. The trebles sound open and wide, the super-high frequency range gets along without hissing and hype. If you want to exploit the sound potential of these headphones, you can use an audiophile DAC instead of a conventional sound card. Really, the low volume output of these headphones is the only thing I personally don’t like (at least not at first sight). If you want to hear really loud, then this is not the place for you. But the dynamics of the reproduction are as impressive here as with other Audeze models. Transients are reproduced sharply. Due to their well-positioned trebles, these headphones not only offer a high subjective signal resolution, but also a good stereo impression and a depth gradation that I would describe as “plastic”.
Thanks to their removable cable and the sonic characteristics of the Audeze LCD-GX, gaming friends won’t just buy these headphones to get great sound at LAN parties. Rather, these headphones are also fantastic for hi-fi use and can do a great job when used for mixing in the home studio. The headphones are not only super-robustly built and superbly manufactured, but they also convinced with a range of features. The gooseneck microphone with its on/off switch impressed us with its sound, but unfortunately, it makes a lot of crackling sounds when switched on and off. In terms of sound, the LCD-GX otherwise offers exactly what you would expect from open Audeze headphones. Here a sound with fine resolution in the treble meets subtle bass and offers a detailed mid-range reproduction between these frequency ranges. The well-balanced and near three dimensional sound of the Audeze LCD-GX is perfect for audiophile gaming fans with the necessary coins who are looking for a headphone solution for HiFi and home cinema and/or who would like to acquire a high-quality tool for their home studio at the same time.
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Transducer principleplanar magnetic
- Frequency response (headphones)10 - 50.000 Hz
- Impedance19,7 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)94,96 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head860 g
- Weight with cable555 g
- Weight without cable484 g
- Cable length260 and 360 cm
What's in the box
- Exchangeable cable with gooseneck microphone
- Y-split adapter cable to audio and microphone mini jack
- Carrying case