Soundstage Fine Audio

Where Music Matters

Soundstage Fine Audio
© 2018 Soundstage Fine Audio
Site last published: 2018-12-23
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So the first dilemma is how to pronounce Audeze. Initial inclination, seeing it is a proud made-in-America outfit was to emphasize the 'zee', as in Aud-ee-zee. And that would be incorrect. Audeze is supposed to be a rip on Odyssey. Go figure. And figure might be the operative word. That said here's what What Hi*Fi had to say on that score, "There's no denying [they] are expensive but such is the quality of their performance that they almost seem like good value." You need only handle them, no you need only to see the boxes they come in to realize this is no ordinary pair of 'phones.
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LCD-2  1399
The Original High Performance Planar Magnetic Headphone. The LCD-2 is Audeze's original game-changing headphone, the planar-magnetic design that catapulted Audeze into the spotlight. It's an open-backed headset that is finished in bamboo and lambskin leather. It’s the most forgiving of bad recordings and presents a beautiful sound with the same powerful bass as all Audeze headphones, a tonally-rich midrange and a simply beautiful treble region. The addition of the Audeze patent-pending Fazor technology makes the LCD-2 sound more dynamic and focused top to bottom. So what is Fazor technology? Two Fazor elements are placed just outside the two magnet structures that surround the diaphragm in each capsule. They guide and manage the flow of sound around the magnets while loading the diaphragm with a symmetrical acoustic load. Audeze’s innovative, patent-pending Fazor elements improve clarity, focus and the already spectacular holographic imaging. The LCD-2 must be driven by an external headphone amp or integrated amp. You must hear them.
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LCD-3  2699
The wood is called Zebrano or Zebra Wood, for obvious reason. The leather is lambskin. The case is almost reason enough to buy the LCD-3's. Seriously, wait until you see it. But the case is just an indication of the over-the-top quality of these headphones. What Hi*Fi gave these 5 out of a possible 5 stars. The LCD-3 employs planer magnetic drive units. A conventional drive unit consists of three main parts – a diaphragm, voice coil and motor assembly (which includes the magnet). In the Audezes, the voice coil is printed on a flat diaphragm thus reducing mass and mechanical complexity. This diaphragm sits between an array of magnets and so is driven across its entire surface as the music signal flows through the voice coil. This approach reduces distortion and improves resolution compared with conventional driver technology. This is their patent-pending Fazor technology. While you must hear these to believe them let's readdress the price point. Once again on this What Hi*Fi says, "While the price may understandably be a big stumbling block for many, it's worth considering that it would take tens of thousands of pounds to buy a pair of speakers that can even approach the LCD-3's level of sound quality. Even then chances are that you'll have to spend more to optimize your room to get this level of performance." Just did a quick check,
1 pound = $1.85CDN.
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EL-8  899
If you’re thinking, this is a fine looking headphone, you’d be right. Audeze worked hand in hand with BMWDesignWorks USA to achieve this, dare we say, sexy look. As well as incorporating the LCD based Fazor technology Audeze uses a uniforce diaphragm that creates a uniform driving force across the the entire diaphragm surface making the EL-8 a planar magnetic headphone. Alongside this Audeze added its new flexor magnet technology which results in reduced weight (only 480 grams) and greater efficiency. Consequently they are much easier to use with portable devices than the LCD series. That said Audeze correctly says that connecting these to an external amplifier will produce better results. Still it’s nice to have the option. EL-8’s are exceptionally comfortable even for long listening sessions and the closed back offers superb noise isolation even in loud environments. The sound has been described as ‘monitor’ grade as in these headphones reveal everything .
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A powerhouse of a Class-A headphone amplifier combined with a high-performance DAC, the Deckard drives any headphone with power to spare. The DAC has impressive specs and handles 16 to 32-bits and sampling rates from 44.1kHz to 384kHz. There’s a volume control and front-panel switches to choose gain and input so you can also use the Deckard as a great line-level preamp. The sound is exciting and dynamic with beautifully rendered tonal colours that make music come alive.