The King of Musicality: Audeze LCD3
As you may have read a few weeks ago, I have re-auditioned the Audeze LCD3 and I have been very impressed.
I had to get the HD800 to really understand the LCD3 . First time I have heard it, it impressed me, but I did not think it to be that much above LCD2.
In the last month with HD800 and LCD2 I found myself listening a little more to the sennheisers. LCD2 seemed to lack in dynamics, details and soundstage compared to HD800.
Darku was kind enough again to lend me his LCD3 for a week. I must say these days my impressions of LCD3 had completely changed from the first time I have listened to them.
It has exactly what I found to be lacking in LCD2.
They feel more refined than the LCD2. Also they are more comfortable. Their pads are softer, the zebra wood gives them a nice look and feel and they fit better on the head.
Let’s get to what is really important: the sound.
Here are my impressions on a few songs:
(The tests have been made with the Burson Conductor and the Toxic Silver Widow cable)
Leonard Cohen – Dress Rehearsal Rag
The first thing that popped out was the change of tonality and the soundstage. LCD3 seem more neutral to me. The sound really opened up to a level you cannot find the music to be congested any more. Leonards’ voice has an excellent texture and body. The guitars were much more apparent on LCD3 and had a tactile feeling on them.
Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon – Time
Again the soundstage was considerable wider. The positioning of the bells was better on LCD3 and they had more sparkle. The drums from the beginning had again a tactile feel on LCD3. You can feel the music with it.
ABBA, Mamma Mia Slipping Through My Fingers
I just loved this song on LCD3. All blended in with great musicality. The voice was brilliant and had wonderful texture and presence. The chorus and instruments behind had a very well placed position. The sound was so better layered and you could hear all the voices in the chorus distinctively. Excellent round sound. It was so good it gave me goosebumps.
Dire Straits, Brother In Arms – Ride Across The River
Wow, the dynamics are absolutely awesome on LCD3. You can really enjoy music on lower volumes because of this. And the bass…so deep, so well controlled so full & detailed …. mesmerizing. Somewhere on a back, a guitar told magical story that makes you weep of joy, while all the instruments around it make you feel there.
Franz Schubert -Piano Trio No. 1 in B flat Major D898 – Andante un poco mosso
The instruments are excellently put into space and have a lot air between them. You can hear every one of them and each with different intensity and feel. The instruments have great extension and a very important tactile feeling.
Infected Mushrooms, Army of Mushrooms – Wanted to
The bass is absolutely incredible. I think this is the best bass I have ever heard in a headphone and there is no doubt about it. It has an incredible body, goes incredible low and is very detailed! The sound is very well rounded, not too much of anything keeping a very good balance.
Is it better than LCD2? It definitely is. It will be hard going back to it knowing what these new babies can do.
You can feel that the LCD3‘s drivers are more thin and are faster.
The dynamics are one of the most important thing they bring over LCD2. You can hear the full extension of the instruments now. Every sound has a fuller life . You can hear it born and you can hear it disappearing in the dark.
The soundstage is considerably wider than LCD2, the instruments are better separated and have more air between them.
The bass is more detailed and refined than LCD2 and is the best bass I have heard in a headphone till date.
They are more neutral and the treble is more defined than with LCD2.
There are somethings that I like about LCD2 as well. The lower midrange and bass have a little more impact. Also the sound has a nice warmer color on them. The voices are a little fuller.
You will ask yourself if they are better than Sennheiser HD800. I, for one love them both and don’t consider one to be better than the other. They sound very different and both are excellent in their own way.
Even after LCD3 when you put HD800 on your head, the sound opens a lot.
HD800 is still more detailed, has a wider soundstage , better positioning, instrument separation.
However, LCD3 has a fuller sound with the best bass I have ever heard, a creamy, tactile sound and great musicality.
- Excellent dynamics
- King of the bass
- Good soundstage
- Detailed, yet very smooth and musical
- Tactile feel of sound
- Multi layered sound
- Good imaging
- Very expensive
- I do not own one :))
Great review !
Could you tell me which you prefer for watching movies between LCD3 and HD800 with the Burson Conductor ?
Thanks Robert. I prefer them both actually. It depends on the mood. Sometimes when I know there is a lot of fighting, like in Pacific Rim for example, I put LCD3 for the bass impact. When I want to feel like I am there, I put HD800.
I have been enjoying the new Audeze 3 F and found they to be very much a mature product now,
TH900 are way above in clarity and dynamics. I compared both at length. Audeze seems very restrained and flat confronted to TH900.
The treble has more energy on TH900, but it’s too bright. Did you hear them in comparison with LCD-3F or the old one?
I am not a big fan of the V shaped sound and the brightness of TH900 , this is why I would pick LCD-3f almost every time.
LCD3F. I found them flat and lacking speed especially with contemporary music. Same with HD800. The right sound, but boring.
They shouldn’t be flat or to lack speed. Actually, HD800 are very fast and have some tactile and fast transients.
LCD-3f is not as fast as HD800 but I don’t consider them slow. With a good amplifier, both should be quite nice.
But if you are speaking about music with heavy bass, the sub bass on TH900 is indeed better than on both headphones, especially HD800 which is quite lacking in that department and with that kind of music, indeed it can sound boring.