When Planar Magnetic headphones first hit the scene, there were three significant barriers to entry. First was the size. Most were big and bulky, and some couldn’t handle the weight wearing them for long periods. Audeze is a U.S. based manufacturer (California to be exact) that does one thing. They make impressive Planar Magnetic headphones. Most of their models are of the big, power-hungry, expensive variety, but they have also come up with smaller, more portable designs like the SINE on-ear and the iSINE in-ear. The SINE (now discontinued) was their first portable planar magnetic headphone. It was designed to take the spacious and detailed sound Audeze is known for on the road, but it got mixed reviews due to comfort and tuning. Regardless, it was still a massive shift in PM headphone design and had plenty of potential. First of all, comfort is no problem with the LCD-1. Unlike the SINE, it’s an over-ear model, so the pads go around the ear instead of resting directly on them. The pads and headband are also heavily cushioned, and the clamp is just about perfectly judged, even for a big head like mine. They are snug but without undue pressure on the head."

"Despite being light, the build seems stable and built to last. According to Audeze, each one is fully assembled in the U.S.A, which shows a deep dedication to quality control. In the box, you get a nice zippered hard-case to carry the LCD-1 in, a detachable cable with a 3.5mm plug, plus a 3.5mm to 1/4″ Plug adapter for use with a dedicated headphone amp. The LCD-1 gives me many of those same vibes except without the same amount of bottom end slam and depth. As I expected, the smaller LCD doesn’t have the same dynamic weight of its bigger LCD brothers, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t “bring it” when it needs to. The LCD-1 is the most lightweight, compact, and versatile planar magnetic headphone out today. It’s also one of the most comfortable and technically proficient when it comes to sound. I can’t believe it’s only $399. At that price, it may be the best headphone value out today. Highly Recommended, especially if you’re into neutral-sounding cans."