The Audeze LCD-1 are open-back planar magnetic over-ear headphones with a sleek design that's more reminiscent of casual headphones than most other typical audiophile-centric over-ears. Their sound profile is well-balanced, and they look and feel premium thanks to their mix of good quality plastic, metal, and leather. They're a suitable choice if you're looking to try a pair of open-back reference-grade headphones while maintaining a casual look and without breaking the bank.
The Audeze LCD-1 aren't recommended for mixed usage, as they're designed for use at home or in the studio. Their sound profile is very well-balanced, making them suitable for a wide range of genres and content. Due to their wired-only and open-back design, they aren't the best choice for commuting or use at the office, as they block no ambient noise, and people around you can hear what you're listening to. They also aren't the most stable, making them a poor choice for taking to the gym.
The Audeze LCD-1 are designed for a well-balanced and neutral listening experience while at home, and they excel in this regard. They're very well-balanced, with only a minor recess in low-bass that likely shouldn't be too audible to most people. They also have very consistent audio delivery. Due to their open-back design, their soundstage sounds very open and spacious, though it still seems like it's coming from inside your head.
The Audeze LCD-1 may not be the best choice for commuting or traveling, as they're for listening to music at home. Due to their open-back design, they block no ambient noise, meaning you'll hear the rumble of engines or chatter of people around you. They also leak quite a bit of audio, and people sitting next to you on a plane will likely be able to hear your music. On the upside, they're smaller than most other headphones of this type and are comfortable and breathable enough to wear for an entire flight without getting too warm or uncomfortable on the ears.
The Audeze LCD-1 aren't designed for working out. Their over-ear fit isn't the most stable, and their wire is likely to get in the way at the gym. On the upside, their open-back design means you can still clearly hear your surroundings unless listening to music at very loud volumes. It means they may be a good choice if you want to have music while running outdoors but still be aware of your surroundings.
The Audeze LCD-1 are open-back headphones, and therefore leak a lot of audio by design. It means that they aren't recommended for use in the office, as people around you can hear what you're listening to, even at moderate volumes. They also block almost no background noise, so they wouldn't help block out chatty coworkers to keep you concentrated at work.
The Audeze LCD-1 are wired-only headphones and you can't use them wirelessly.
The Audeze LCD-1 don't have a microphone, and therefore likely aren't the best option to use for gaming. That said, if you don't play online games and only want to hear your game's audio, they should work well when plugged into the controller of a PS4 or Xbox One. Their open-back design means they breathe fairly well, so your ears shouldn't get too sweaty during longer gaming sessions. However, they leak a lot of audio and don't block out any ambient noise.
The Audeze LCD-1 don't have a microphone and can't be used for phone calls.
The Audeze LCD-1 are a sleek and modern-looking pair of over-ear reference headphones. They're small and stylish compared to other open-back reference headphones and are composed of dense matte-black plastic with leather ear cups and headband padding. Their ear cups swivel so the headphones lay flat, or you can also fold them in for transport.
These headphones are lightweight and quite comfortable. They clamp fairly well but don't feel too tight on the head and should be comfortable enough for long listening sessions. While their ear cups are smaller than many other audiophile-oriented headphones, they should fit around most ears without any problems.
These headphones don't have any controls.
The Audeze LCD-1 are decently breathable thanks to their open-back design. The grilles on the rear of the ear cups allow for decent airflow, but their over-ear design won't be as breathable as in-ears.
While the Audeze LCD-1 aren't the most portable, they're still less bulky than other open-back reference headphones. The ear cups fold in to fit into their included hard case, making them easy to stow in a bag or purse.
The Audeze LCD-1 come with a hard case for transporting them that feels well-made and should provide good protection against light drops and minor water exposure.
The build quality is very good. Despite their lightweight build, they feel sturdy, and their dense plastic and metal construction should withstand some small accidental bumps or drops. Their weakest point is where each ear cups swivel, but even that still feels quite solid.
The Audeze LCD-1 are decently stable on the head and only move slightly around the ears when you shake your head. While they're unlikely to fall off during light movement, they may not be the best for more strenuous workouts. Overall, these headphones are designed for use around the house, where their stability shouldn't be an issue.
The Audeze LCD-1 have a fairly well-balanced sound profile. While their low-bass is recessed, this is common with open-back headphones. On the bright side, the mid and treble ranges' accuracies are excellent, with only some minor dips in mid-treble, though they shouldn't be audible to most.
The Audeze LCD-1's frequency response consistency is excellent. This means that you'll experience the same sound reproduction every time you use them, and different people should experience the sound the same way.
The Audeze LCD-1's bass accuracy is great. Like most open-back headphones, they lack low-bass but are very accurate for the rest of the ranges. While our unit had a slight mismatch in the bass range, it's in a low enough range that it likely won't be noticeable during regular listening sessions. It's also worth noting that L/R imaging is specific to individual units, so your unit may not have this same issue.
The mid-range accuracy is great. They follow the neutral target curve almost perfectly and are only slightly overemphasized in the low-mid range, though this likely won't be enough to make an audible difference to most people.
The Audeze LCD-1's treble accuracy is great, with most peaks and dips in high enough frequencies that likely won't be too audible to most people. However, their mid-treble range is recessed for most of the range, which may make some leads and vocals sound slightly dull and lacking in brightness.
The Audeze LCD-1's peaks and dips performance is very good. Most of the peaks and dips are in higher frequency ranges, which shouldn't be audible to most people. Unfortunately, most of the mid-treble range is recessed, which may veil leads and vocals.
The stereo imaging is excellent. The GD graph is below the audibility threshold for almost the entire frequency range, except for low-bass, where our unit has a slight L/R driver mismatch. However, this mismatch is in a low enough range where it's likely to be less noticeable to most people. It's also worth noting that these measurements are valid for our unit only, and yours may perform differently.
These headphones have decent soundstage performance. The PRTF graph shows a good amount of pinna interaction, so the soundstage seems quite large. Unfortunately, the PRTF distance is quite low, which means that although these are open-back headphones and may feel more spacious sounding than closed-back ones, their soundstage won't be perceived to be located outside of the listener's head to create a speaker-like experience.
The Audeze LCD-1's weighted harmonic distortion is good. It's within good limits throughout the entire range, and while the treble frequencies are a bit higher, this shouldn't be audible to most people, and audio should still sound clear and pure. There's also no big jump under heavier loads, which is good.
Like all open-back headphones, the Audeze LCD-1 have bad noise isolation by design. They're open on the back so they let in all outside sounds, and you'll hear everything around you unless you turn the volume of your music up. This is great if you want to be able to stay aware of your surroundings, or want an open listening experience.
The leakage performance is bad, but this is by design. Their open-back design means that audio leaks right out, and people close to you can hear what you're listening to, even at moderate volumes.
These headphones don't have a microphone.
These headphones don't have a microphone.
The Audeze LCD-1 are passive, wired-only headphones that don't require a battery.
These headphones don't have a dedicated companion app.
The Audeze LCD-1 are wired-only headphones that you can't use with Bluetooth. The wired connection means they don’t have latency issues, so you won’t have any delay between audio and the image from when watching video content or gaming.
These headphones are wired-only.
The Audeze LCD-1 come with a 7-foot cable that plugs into each ear cup and ends in a standard 1/8" plug. The cable itself is braided and feels well-made.
These headphones can be plugged into your PC or PS4 controller's AUX port. Due to their lack of a microphone, you can only receive audio.
These headphones can be plugged into the controller of an Xbox One. Due to their lack of a microphone, you can only receive audio.
The Audeze LCD-1 are well-balanced open-back headphones with a very stylish design that looks much more like an everyday pair of casual headphones than most audiophile-centric over-ears. They look and feel quite premium, and offer good value for their price.
The Audeze LCD-1 are slightly better open-back headphones for neutral sound listening than the Sennheiser HD 600. The Audeze have a much sleeker and more premium-looking design, are more comfortable, and have a slightly better-balanced sound profile that's much more consistent among different users. On the other hand, the Sennheiser are much more stable-feeling on the head.
The HiFiMan Sundara 2018 are slightly better open-back, planar magnetic headphones than the Audeze LCD-1 for neutral sound listening. Their sound profile is more accurate in all ranges, and the HiFiMan have a larger sounding soundstage. On the other hand, the Audeze have a much sleeker and smaller design, and their frequency response is more consistent among different users.
The Audeze LCD-1 are very similarly performing headphones as the Audeze LCD 2 Classic/LC2C. They both have well-balanced sound profiles, though the LCD-1's treble and mid-range are both more accurate. The LCD-1 also have a much sleeker and more premium look, with smaller ear cups that are just as comfortable. The LCD 2 do feel better built, however, as they have more metal in their build.
The Audeze LCD-1 are better headphones than the Oppo PM-3 for a neutral sound listening experience. They both have fairly well-balanced sound profiles, but the Audeze are much more accurate in the treble range. They also produce a much more consistent frequency response amongst users, so different people are more likely to hear them similarly. On the other hand, the closed-back design of the Oppo means they isolate a lot more background noise and leak much less audio.