REVIEW: Audeze LCD-XC Headphones

by | Nov 3, 2021 | Best Studio Monitor Headphones

Let’s not bury the lede – these are the best headphones we’ve ever listened to here at Performer.

Audeze sent us a pair of their LCD-XC headphones and quite frankly, it took about 10 seconds using them for a mix session to tell they were hands-down the best things we’ve ever experienced here in our project studio.

Sure, they’re not cheap, but the design and comfort are second to none (I know this review sounds shill-y so far, but keep in mind Audeze doesn’t advertise with us – so take that for what it’s worth).

So, what’s so good here? Sonic separation, for starters. Mixing music is tough, made even tougher when your monitoring system muddies up the works. And while these headphones aren’t specifically being marketing as studio cans, they should be. Instrument separation across the spectrum was absolutely astounding — perfectly separating vocals, drums, cymbals, synths, bass all into their appropriate bands.  Stereo imaging was spot-on, as well, and coupled with the excellent isolation provided by the comfy earcups, and you’ve got your studio’s next must-have upgrade. Stereo imaging can sound awfully artificial using headphones, but this is the first time we ever heard a natural-sounding 2-channel soundstage in our heads. Truly wonderful.

Even for general listening for pleasure, they continue to amaze. Sure, we picked out some reference material to help stack the deck (Donald Fagen SACDs and freshly re-issued Blue Note vinyl), but they also excelled at detail retrieval for albums we always thought were, shall we say, less than ideally recorded. It’s not hyperbole to say we were hearing elements in the music we never heard before, even on familiar tracks.

So, what’s at the heart of these headphones? Audeze has employed a custom planar magnetic design, which is definitely what’s adding to the overall weight (we didn’t have an issue with this, although some more sensitive users may find them heavy) along with a proprietary magnet array inside, utilizing Neodymium N50 magnets. The specs are even more impressive from there – and look, we could regurgitate all of them here and it wouldn’t change a thing.

If you’ve even remotely toyed with the idea of treating yourself to a pair of ‘end-game’ headphones, the new LCD-XC’s should be at the top of your list to check out.

The baseline configuration comes with a stellar hard case, high-quality detachable single-end to mini-XLR cables, and a hand-signed warranty card.

If you couldn’t already tell, we can’t recommend these highly enough. Enjoy!


excellent sound reproduction, instrument separation, frequency response and presence


some users may find them heavy