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Audeze’s dramatic weight loss will leave you speechless

  • What goes into a pair of flagship headphones? If you’re planar-magnetic headphone manufacturer Audeze, it’s an all-new driver design supported by a revised ‘Fluxor’ magnet array, ‘Fazor’ waveguides and a reworked ‘Parallel Uniforce’ voice coil PLUS inward sloping earpads designed to minimise internal reflections and improve the upper mids for which Audeze claim “a more open yet accurate soundstage”. So runs the Cliffs Notes summary on Audeze’s new LCD-5, announced last week.

    A pair of LCD-5 will set you back a not insignificant sum: US$4500. That’s five hundred bucks more than the two recently announced flagship headphones from Dan Clark Audio and Meze, which are both going for US$4000.

    However, our story today isn’t the slow-ratcheting of flagship headphone pricing but their weight. Many headphone enthusiasts – yours truly included – have been wowed by the Audeze sound over the years but have also been put off by the on-head weight and its distribution. The LCD-4 tip the scales at a whopping 690g. At 560g, even the lighter (but still heavy) LCD-4z cut short listening sessions for yours truly, especially when sat next to the 331g Sennheiser HD800S or the 430g Meze Empyrean.

    Weight matters. And Audeze knows it. The big splash of the LCD-5 announcement is that their incoming flagship offers “transparency, resolution and speed @ 420g” to make them one third lighter than the LCD-4. That puts them between the DCA Stealth and the Meze Elite.

    How about we take a look at the weight of a broader range of 2021 flagship headphones, whilst keeping in mind that weight distribution also contributes to a headphone’s comfort factor?

    HEDD Audio HEDDphone 718g / 25 Ounces

    Audeze LCD-4 690g / 24 Ounces

    ABYSS AB-1266 Phi TC 680g / 24 Ounces

    Grado PS2000e 680g / 24 Ounces

    Rosson RAD-0 650g / 23 Ounces

    Audeze LCD-4z 560g / 20 Ounces

    Focal Utopia 490g / 17 Ounces

    HiFiMAN Susvara 450g / 16 Ounces

    ZMF Verité (open) 430g / 15 Ounces

    Meze Empyrean 430g / 15 Ounces

    Audeze LCD-5 420g / 15 Ounces

    Dan Clark Audio Stealth 418g /15 Ounces

    Sony MDR-Z1R 385g / 14 Ounces

    Beyerdynamic T1 (3rd Gen) 360g / 13 Ounces

    Sennheiser HD800S 331g / 12 Ounces

    Audio Technica ATH-ADX5000 270g / 10 Ounces

    (The headline isn’t clickbait but a satire on that seen in celebrity gossip mags)

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has also contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

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