Compendium updated February 24th, 2021
Audeze is a company that values incremental progress. Rather than flooding the market with new models quarter after quarter, the California-based company makes technical improvements to their existing models, bettering them over time.
Because of this, the Audeze LCD-X of 2013 is not the same headphone as the LCD-X of today. If anything, its fandom has only grown.
We’ve compiled reviews from across the web for your reference. What you’ll find here are the TLDR versions of the full reviews (which you can access with the provided links). We’ll continue updating this compendium as reviews come in.
From Forbes' review of the Audeze LCD-X, first published on November 10th, 2013:
“Though they’re similar in price, I’m not sure if it’s fair to compare the XC and X, since closed-back and open-back headphones have such different uses. If you’re looking for something more versatile (like, you can use it in an open office or "in public") the closed-back LCD-XC is the obvious choice between these two.
“If you’re just looking for something to enjoy at home, then it’s between the X and the 3. Personally, I like the 3 just that tiny bit better, and when you’re spending this kind of money, I don’t think the extra $300 is a deal breaker. However, the LCD-X are brilliant, and if you're in the market for this level of headphone, definitely try out both before you decide. Either way you're getting one of the best headphones on the market today.”
From Stereophile's review of the Audeze LCD-X, first published on February 25th, 2014:
“Although, to my surprise, the Astell&Kern AK100, with its output impedance of 22.5 ohms, could still drive the Audeze LCD-Xes to satisfactorily high levels, I will stick with the Ultimate Ears and JH Audio IEMs for music on the move, as both models provide the necessary suppression of external noise. But for listening at home, the beautifully finished and equally beautiful-sounding Audeze LCD-Xes have seduced me away from my allegiance to Sennheisers. Highly recommended!”
From Sound Stage Experience's review of the Audeze LCD-X, first published in May, 2014:
“The continued efforts of Audeze’s design team have resulted in headphones with tremendous strengths. The LCD-Xes’ bass goes deeper and plays stronger than any other open-back design I’ve heard, while remaining faithful to the character of the instruments that produce those low frequencies. They are as responsive to microdynamic shading as to macrodynamic swings -- equally essential characteristics of real music. Their only, minor weaknesses are that the bass has a touch of extra resonance, and clarity isn’t quite at the level of the very best available. Like previous Audeze headphones, the LCD-Xes imbue every recording with a little extra glow, but their enhanced high-frequency performance, and the fact that they’re more easily driven, will likely broaden their appeal beyond Audeze’s current fan base. Last, the LCD-Xes’ materials, build quality, and accessories embrace both luxury and utility. For anyone truly serious about headphones, the Audeze LCD-Xes are a must audition.”
From Z Review's review of the Audeze LCD-X, first published on February 26th, 2016:
“Everything is garbage compared to these. You should stop whatever you’re doing and start doing your accounting to figure out how to afford some LCD-Xs.”
From Pro Sound Network's review of the Audeze LCD-X, first published on February 26th, 2018:
"The Audeze LCD-X headphones are a sonic chef-d’oeuvre. Their sound is unmatched in any under $2K headphone that I’ve encountered. While there are sadly no perfect headphones (nor is there a perfect speaker, microphone or mic pre for that matter), the Audeze LCD-X come closer than anything I have encountered. They are amazingly comfortable while providing near perfect sound and requiring minimal power. Regardless, whether you are listening to improve the quality of your work or to enjoy your music library more thoroughly, the Audeze LCD-X is a perfect headphone solution.”
From Joshua Valour's of the Audeze LCD-X, first published on October 15th, 2018:
“The sound is beautiful yet aggressively detailed. There is information everywhere, in every sense of the word.”
“In my personal taste, this is a nearly perfect headphone.”
“This is a 10/10 for me. This is a nearly flawless headphone.”
“This is the complete package.”
“If I believed in an endgame headphone, this would probably be it.”
From Headphone Dungeon's review of the Audeze LCD-X, first published on May 27th, 2019:
“Overall, the high quality of the Audeze LCD-X has withstood the test of time and my experience as a reviewer. It has warmth, detail, and a soundstage to die for! It works well with a wide variety of genres, and has an aesthetically pleasing sound. So long as you don’t have weak neck, the LCD-X is an incredible option for the price point.”
From Headphones.com's review of the Audeze LCD-X, first published on May 14th, 2020:
“There are two knocks against the LCD-X that are worth keeping in mind. The first is that due to its somewhat strange frequency response, getting the most out of it means making use of Audeze's Reveal+ preset, or adding a bit of EQ. The second knock against the LCD-X is its weight. At over 635g, for those of us sitting upright at a desk working all day, the LCD-X may not be the best choice.
“On the other hand, it's nice to know that when you buy an Audeze headphone you're not left having to EQ blindly just by ear. For listeners comfortable using the Reveal+ preset, either through Roon or EQ software, the LCD-X is a great sounding headphone. If you're comfortable doing this, and the notion of a slightly heavier headphone doesn't turn you away, the LCD-X is an excellent technical performer and I highly recommend trying it. Is it better than the HiFiMAN Ananda? If you prefer a more intense kind of sound with a bit more punch to it, then the price increase may be worth it for you, but I could see a compelling reason to prefer either one.
“Weighted Score: 7.8/10
“Weighted Score with Reveal+ or Roon preset: 8.4/10”
From Audio Science Reviews' review of the Audeze LCD-X, first published on October 16th, 2020:
“I watched a bunch of video reviews of LCD-X online. At least a couple swore that this is the "end-game" type of headphone with sound that is better than anything else by far. I heard none of their accolades of "speed," "resolution," etc. How on earth do you get resolution when a good chunk of your mid-range is gone? As for speed, it seems people confuse lack of bass with speed. Yes, if you take away the bass notes, the sound is flatter and seems to linger less. But that is just a frequency response error, not any kind of speed thing. The base notes all have the same frequency and move very slow anyway. If you sped them up, they would change their sound! Anyway, we digress. Kudos to a few reviewers who noted the errors in mid-range.
“Out of the box, the response error is so large that I would say LCD-X is a failed design. Whether that is intention or what, I don't know. Fortunately equalization is very effective and completely transforms this headphone. Combined with extreme power handling, efficiency and super low distortion, this becomes one nice headphone once signal processing is applied.
“Alas, selling a headphone for $1,200+ that doesn't remotely sound right out of the box doesn't sit well with me. So I am going to give the Audeze LCD-X my first thumbs down of any headphone I have tested. If you own it, equalize it. Otherwise you and I are not going to be friends!”
From Audio Advice's review of the Audeze LCD-X, first published on October 30th, 2020:
“If you love to hear all of the tiny subtle details in your music and enjoy a super wide headphone soundstage, the Audeze LCD-X may be just what you’re looking for. With its incredible efficiency, you can enjoy them with your phone on the go or really make it shine by pairing it with a great headphone amp. Like many good things in life, it comes at a price both from a cost and weight standpoint, but their luxurious build means they will still feel pretty comfortable, and they just sound awesome.”
From Ken Rockwell's review of the Audeze LCD-X, first published on November 16th, 2020:
“These professional, American-made planar magnetic LCD X headphones are extraordinary. These LCD-X have far better bass, more clarity and smoother response than any conventional headphones like the old-fashioned Sennheiser HD800.
“The LCD X sound like music itself. Nothing's added and nothing's removed. It's uncanny how these take me back into the studio or original performance. Put these on and you're there; you're hearing everything there is to hear.
“Unlike any other audio product, the LCD-X has me enjoying and exploring more of my music library than ever, even loving pieces that I hadn't really liked before. That's amazing! They take me back to the original performance, more of the original magic shines through. I can't take them off. They're so good they make me like a lot of music that I've never liked before. I don't know that I can sing any higher praises for the LCD-X for enjoying music.
“For creating music and other audio content, what you hear is what you got. These are completely transparent. The only potential gotcha is that nothing other than the most advanced speakers or other planar magnetic headphones can reproduce deep bass as flawlessly as these headphones do, and otherwise they are completely neutral and uncolored.”
Editor’s note: Emphases ours.