If you’re a serious gamer, nothing gets more serious than the Audeze LCD-GX. And if you also happen to be a die-hard audiophile, then you’ll probably fall in love with these cans. That being said, I’m a big fan of Audeze’s sound signature, so this review is coming from a biased perspective. Still, Audeze has certainly taken gaming to the next level since the release of the Mobius. And now, they’ve gone one step further by producing an LCD open-back model for gaming applications. What can you expect in terms of sound and design? Let’s take a closer look in this Audeze LCD-GX Gaming Headphone Review.
Audeze LCD-GX Gaming Headphone Review
The only complaint I ever hear about Audeze headphones is their significant weight. And I sometimes wish they would include a neck brace in the box. But the LCD-GX is much lighter than other LCD models I’ve tried. So, it’s clear that that Audeze had hard-core gamers in mind when creating this model. And if you’re the kind of gamer who has bottles of yellow water scattered around the room, rest assured that you can play for hours on end with minimal discomfort. And given the plush and luxurious earpad design, you can expect a snug, yet comfy feel around the ears.
Besides the massive drivers, (which are certainly unique in the gaming market), one big advantage to owning these LCD cans is that they’re extremely easy to drive. Often, planar magnetic drivers require quite a bit of power to get the volume you need. But the LCD-GX produced enough volume even from my mobile device. That being said, to really optimize the richness of sound from the LCD-GX, it’s worth buying a headphone DAC/Amp. But for the purposes of this review, I decided not to go overboard with the amplifier. So, I used the tiny Dragonfly Cobalt to give an extra touch of juice.
In the box, you’ll find two interchangeable cables. One with a boom mic and mute switch (¼ inch termination), and one standard LCD cable for pure listening enjoyment (¼ inch). You’ll also find a splitter with 3.5mm connectors for the separate audio and mic connections. In addition, Audeze has thrown in an ¼ inch to 3.5mm adapter.
I was happy with the clarity of the mic as well. It sounded impressively clean and crisp. So, be warned, your gaming competitor will hear your nervous panting loud and clear.
In the very lowest frequencies, you can expect a lot of presence. So, kick drums or bass guitars in the lowest octaves have ample punch. But as the bass reaches the higher frequencies in this range, it becomes a little more tempered. For example, listening to Bruno Mars’ That’s What I Like, you’ll get tons of bass impact, since the bass sits in the lower part of this range. But when you move to a track with a more melodic bass like you hear in Van Morrison’s Into the Mystic, the bass becomes more moderate and falls more naturally into the mix. So, the balance in this range makes for a versatile sound profile; it works just as well for folk or acoustic rock as it does for pop or hip-hop. And yes, in terms of gaming, violent stuff, such bomb explosions, should knock you out of your bean bag.
The midrange is beautifully balanced, at least for my listening tastes. The low mids have plenty of presence, giving rock and pop-rock tracks ample body and fullness. And the upper mids avoid too much emphasis, so vocals don’t sit artificially forward in the mix. So, in true Audeze fashion, the LCD-GX delivers a rich and meaty profile. And this type of balance is also easy on the ears, allowing you to listen for long periods of time without fatigue. At the same time (as in the lows), percussion in this range feels very energetic. Snare drums, for example, hit hard and really add to the vibrancy of fast-paced rock tracks.
The level of separation is especially impressive in this range. Guitar strums in the low mids, for instance, sound well delineated, which is a feat that’s often hard to achieve even in the priciest headphones. And layering in heavy arrangements is clean, giving the mix and all-encompassing or comprehensive feel. Listening to strings in this range, there wasn’t a tremendous amount of texture, but the timbre still sounded natural and note progressions felt cohesive, lending smooth and fluid character to the instrument. So certainly, in terms of listening enjoyment, the LCD-GX checks all the boxes.
There’s a slight extension in the highs. So, listening to pop, percussion feels crisp and snappy. But the highs avoid becoming too bright. So again, this is a headphone you can listen to for long stretches of time without piercing your ears yet. Still, because of the slight sparkle, sound effects in this range, like shattering glass, will have a realistic and impactful effect. The sound also remains quite rich in this range. So, vocals, for example, have more weight and color than they do airiness. But the level of detail in this range remains solid, so you’ll still hear plenty of breath and nuance in female vocal performances.
Unsurprisingly, you can expect a spacious soundscape from these open-back cans. Instrument placement in the vertical axis soar far over your head, and you’ll get a full sense of depth as well. And again, the richness is undeniable. Distant instruments, which often sound faint on other cans, have plenty of color and thickness on the LCD-GX. So, especially in terms of gaming, you can expect a very holographic experience.
The LCD-GX is 2 headphones for the price of one. Yes, it does produce emphasis in all the right places with respect to gaming sound effects. But it would be a crime not to use these cans for music as well. The sound signature is luxurious, but at the same time, it avoids being overly indulgent; lots of bass impact where it’s needed, yet not too heavy for more delicate genres, like folk, jazz or classical. Fleshy and full-bodied with a balance that’s highly versatile, these cans are perfect for folks who listen across all genres and appreciate flavorful and vibrant sound.
Five skulls. Nothing to complain about.
You can find the LCD-GX for the best price here: