A schedule that saw him overseeing the first shipments of the initial batch of $399 USD Mobius gaming/mixed-media platform headphones from Asia and the rollout of the newly-announced LCD2 planar-magnetic closed-back headphone at CanJam in London this weekend has had Thiagasamudram feeling a bit jet lagged.
Despite the gruelling pace, he managed to connect with me for a quick chat about the $899 USD LCD2, what sets it apart from the LCD-XC and what it means for Audeze.
“The LCD2 uses a very different magnetic structure compared to our other headphones and even most planar-magnetic designs, “ said Thiagasamudram. “It is a little less efficient having fewer magnets, but it has more linear flux distribution and has a more open radiating area than previous designs. “
Thiagasamudram elaborated that the closed cups on the LCD2 Closed Back are quite different from the XCs that I recently reviewed. “They have the same physical shape but are comprised of different materials.
“The LCD-XC uses highly decorative, machined solid-wood cups with special internal and external coating to provide rich and detailed sound. The LCD2 Closed Back use machined cups from specially chosen solid blocks of plastic to achieve the acoustically-neutral and non-resonant parts we required for the design. “
When asked what kind of aural impact using plastic instead of real rosewood ear cups makes to the LCD2’s sonic signature Thiagasamudram replied that differences were really rather minute and more comparable to the differences between the XC and its open-back brethren.
“The LCD-XC is little more efficient and consequently that gives it a little more ability to translate dynamics. While the LCD2 Closed Back is quite similar, it is less efficient, a little less dynamic, but this allows for a more linear response. Overall, the LCD2 is also little lighter than the XC since it is using fewer magnets, “ said Thiagasamudram.
I asked him why another closed-back model now as the LCD-XC is the flagship of Audeze’s closed-back designs. I wondered if it was simply a marketing decision of offering an entry-level model for consumers to start on (the LCD2 is half the price of the XC), or was there actual demand from recording pros/consumers for a lower-priced version since the EL8 is being phased out?
Thiagasamudram answered without hesitation that with the EL8 getting out of the picture, the company needed something in a closed-back design that came in at a lower price point than the XC.
Regarding the specific neutral and non-resonant sonic properties of the specially-chosen plastic blocks used for the LCD2 ear cups, I wondered if it was conceivable that Audeze may eventually switch over to all-composite ear cups/rings instead of real-wood cups or rings because of the sonic-tuning abilities composites can offer for design/manufacture, but Thiagasamudram was adamant that both options would be continued to be offered.
For more information on the LCD2, check the Audeze website.
- Style – Over-ear, closed-back
- Transducer type – Planar magnetic
- Magnetic structure – Proprietary magnet array
- Phase management – N/A
- Magnet type – Neodymium N50
- Diaphragm type – Ultra-thin
- Transducer size – 106 mm
- Maximum power handling – 15W
- Maximum SPL – greater than 130dB
- Frequency response 10Hz – 50kHz
- THD less than 0.1% @ 100dB
- Impedance – 70 ohms
- Sensitivity – 97dB/1mw (at Drum Reference Point)
- Minimum power requirement greater than100mW
- Recommended power level 1 – 4W