The Audeze LCD-4z are open-back, full-size headphones with planar magnetic drivers that are a modified version of the LCD-4 model, which heads the LCD Collection series. Their main difference from the flagship is their lower impedance value (15 Ohms versus 200 Ohms), i.e. Such stereo phones are less demanding on the amplifier, so they can be connected to portable audio equipment – smartphones, tablets, players, etc.
The Audeze LCD-4z headphones feature a classic proprietary design, with cups crafted from lightweight and durable magnesium alloy instead of wood. This material ensures rigidity and effectively suppresses unwanted resonances. The headband is designed with a flexible carbon arc and a leather insert, offering step-by-step adjustment for a customized fit using special rods. The matte black finish, accented by golden elements like the outer mesh, logo, and rod attachments for the metal cup holders, exudes a sense of sophistication and underscores the model’s elevated status. The beveled shape of the genuine leather ear pads enhances ergonomics, ensuring a comfortable and snug fit.
These headphones are equipped with planar magnetic drivers featuring a Double Fluxor neodymium magnetic system with an induction of 1.5 Tesla. An ultra-thin Uniforce membrane, coated with conductive tracks, serves as an analogue of a traditional voice coil, delivering rapid response for exceptional accuracy, high detail, and clarity of sound. This setup minimizes distortion and creates a spacious three-dimensional soundstage with accurately placed musical images. Special acoustic elements, known as Fazor technology, are incorporated to control the direction of sound waves and eliminate resonances, thereby enhancing transparency and overall sound quality in the high-frequency range. Each pair of drivers is meticulously selected for sensitivity, ensuring consistent performance with a tolerance of +/- 1 dB. Audeze emphasizes that the distortion level of the LCD-4z is significantly lower compared to headphones in a similar class with dynamic drivers.
The Audeze LCD-4z headphones feature a reversible, detachable cable with 4-pin mini XLR connectors for easy connection to the earcups. They are equipped with a 6.3 mm plug for connecting to the signal source. The headphones come with a professional plastic case designed for secure storage and transportation.
These planar magnetic headphones represent the latest and most advanced development from Audeze. Marketed as a lower impedance version of the flagship LCD-4 model, the LCD-4z boasts an impedance of only 15 ohms compared to 200 ohms. This optimization allows for versatile compatibility with various headphone amplifiers, including direct connection to professional audio mixers.
However, the true innovation of the LCD-4z lies beyond its impedance rating. The headphones utilize a new nanofilm membrane with reduced weight, which significantly improves the performance and accuracy of medium and high frequencies. Despite the reduction in mass, the membrane’s rigidity is maintained, ensuring cohesive and dynamic bass reproduction. In terms of distortion, the LCD-4z achieves approximately 10 times less distortion compared to mass-produced headphone models, setting a new standard for audio fidelity.
To enhance the performance of the lightweight diaphragm with minimal electromagnetic force (EMF), the Audeze LCD-4z utilizes a robust double matrix of neodymium magnets (N50 Fluxor) with a magnetic field induction of 1.5 Tesla. This innovative design not only increases headphone sensitivity but also enhances transient response while reducing overall weight.
Additionally, the LCD-4z incorporates Audeze’s signature Fazor plates, a key feature found in all previous models of the line. These structural elements are essential for the planar magnetic circuit, preventing air turbulence by ensuring that the moving diaphragm remains isolated from the magnet’s edges. As a result, mid frequencies benefit from improved clarity and precision with the Fazor technology.
As with previous models, it’s crucial not to exceed the maximum power output of the amplifier, as doing so may cause damage to the headphones that won’t be covered under warranty. Avoid using a 5W amplifier with your headphones and never set the volume to that level. Opting for a high-quality 500mW amplifier is a safer choice, providing ample volume even for quieter recordings.
Unlocking the full potential of the Audeze LCD-4z doesn’t require maximum power output, but rather a focus on quality. These headphones are exclusively manufactured in the USA at Audeze’s own facility in California. Each pair of drivers undergoes a meticulous four-week “growth” process at a nanofactory to ensure consistency and precision. We’ve verified this claim using measurement equipment, confirming that there’s no discernible difference in frequency response between the right and left channels.
The design of the Audeze LCD-4z headphones impresses with its use of modern materials, such as magnesium for the ear cups and carbon fiber for the headband, borrowed from the LCD-MX4 studio model. This not only reduces the overall weight significantly but also enhances comfort, making them feel much lighter than typical isodynamic headphones. The headphones also feature classic elements like genuine leather and a woven metal mesh under the grille, adding a touch of luxury.
Adjusting the fit of the headphones is done using Audeze’s signature recessed pins, providing a secure and stable fit. The package includes a high-quality branded 1/4″ TRS cable and a storage case, with connectors that allow for easy switching between standard and balanced (4-pin XLR) cables.
As the flagship model, the Audeze LCD-4z delivers exceptionally clear sound with no audible distortions or shortcomings. From the moment you start listening, the music sounds beautiful and reveals new details in familiar compositions, inviting you to rediscover your favorite tracks. Unlike younger models, the high frequencies in the LCD-4z are smooth and free from aggressiveness or coloration, ensuring a truly transparent and refined listening experience without any compromises in sound quality.
According to our findings, many headphones lack sufficient clarity, often leading listeners to increase the volume in search of finer details. However, this usually results in increased distortion and unpleasant sound, ultimately causing listener fatigue. The Audeze LCD-4z headphones, on the other hand, offer exceptional clarity that eliminates the need to raise the volume, allowing listeners to hear every detail without strain. This advantageous feature enables extended listening sessions without discomfort.
From our extensive listening sessions, we found the Audeze LCD-4z to be truly outstanding. Not only does it deliver superb sound quality, but it also boasts compact dimensions and an ultra-lightweight design, particularly for planar headphones. Paired with the comfort of its large ear pads, these headphones stand out as one of the few models that truly live up to the phrase “listen for hours” without it feeling like a tired cliché. It’s important to emphasize that this comfort is achieved through exceptionally clear sound reproduction, not just a comfortable fit on the head.
Specifications of the Audeze LCD-4z:
– Type: Open-back planar magnetic headphones
– Connectivity: Wired
– Headband Material: Carbon fiber and genuine leather
– Ear Cup Material: Magnesium alloy
– Ear Pad Material: High-quality padding with genuine leather covering
– Drivers: 106mm planar magnetic drivers with ultra-thin Uniforce membranes made of nanomaterial, equipped with neodymium magnetic systems (Double Fluxor N50) and Fazor acoustic elements
– Magnetic Induction: 1.5 Tesla
– Maximum Power Handling: 15 W
– Maximum Sound Pressure Level: >130 dB
– Sensitivity: 98 dB/mW
– Voltage Sensitivity: 107 dB at 1 V
– Frequency Response: 5 Hz – 20 kHz
– Harmonic Distortion: <0.1% (at 100 dB)
– Impedance: 15 Ohms
– Minimum Required Power: >100 mW
– Recommended Amplifier Power: 1-4 W
– Cable: Straight, double-sided, detachable, with mini XLR connectors for the ear cups and a 6.3mm plug for connection to the audio source
– Included Accessories: Rigid, high-strength plastic carrying case