The Audeze LCD-5: Another Overpriced Flagship?

Audeze LCD-5
Audeze LCD-5

Audeze has attracted praises for its latest flagship but there is also a current of criticism for its price point.

Critics are blasting Audeze for their LCD-5 headphones, which cost $4500 as a high-end flagship device. But is it justifiable?

About Audeze

The LCD series dates back to 2009 and has since been dedicated to their flagship devices. (From: AUDEZE)
The LCD series dates back to 2009 and has since been dedicated to their flagship devices. (From: AUDEZE)

Audeze is a California-based headphone company that has been around for quite some time now. For the past five years, they have focused on the gaming market, with their Mobius and Penrose being their most successful gaming headsets so far.

But now Audeze is back in the flagship game with their LCD-5 being what they call the “new standard in accuracy”.

Their first flagship device, the LCD-2, was established in 2009 and kicked off the development of many more to come. Although, with their LCD-5’s Audeze decided to change up quite a lot when it comes to technology and materials.

About The Audeze LCD-5 Headphones

The new LCD-5 (From: AUDEZE)
The new LCD-5 (From: AUDEZE)

In September 2021 Audeze finally decided to continue their LCD series with the Audeze LCD-5 (shipping in early October 2021).

According to the Audeze Press release, the headphones will feature new parallel UniforceTM diaphragms and FluxorTM magnets which provide “powerful sound, unparalleled sonic detail, and incredible accuracy without increasing the impedance”.

They also improved the structural design incorporating magnesium, acetate, and carbon fiber to accomplish a lighter weight (⅓ less than the LCD-4) and therefore more comfortability.

The Fuss over The LCD-5 Price

Just one of the many mixed opinions in the Facebook group. From: FB/)
Just one of the many mixed opinions in the Facebook group.
From: FB/[facebook Head-Fi.org])
As with every new addition to the headphone market, there were immediate responses to this product, not all of them being good. In the Facebook group Head-Fi.org, the headphone community voiced its opinions.

While some audiophiles are defending the Audeze LCD-5 headphones and stating that they expected an even higher price point, many headphone lovers were outraged. Comments like “This is seriously getting out of whack” or “turning worse than the haute couture fashion industry” portrayed some of the outrages.

From: FB/)
From: FB/[facebook Head-Fi.org])
On the other hand, people are second-guessing the value of these headphones stating that, apart from the build quality, the preferred sound quality can and surely does vary between people, which brought up the question if those $4500 headphones really do sound better.

Of course, it isn’t possible to build single-perfect headphones for everybody due to subjective preference, so this argument falls short. But what about the price point? The voices complaining about the price are loud and numerous, some stating they would “much rather buy 5 or 6 pairs of good headphones for this amount of money” others complaining about companies “trying to rip off consumers with these prices”.

From: FB/)
From: FB/[facebook Head-Fi.org])
And while $4500 is quite a lot of money there are also many defending the high price point with comments like:

“… wow can’t believe so many of you are so ignorant and choose to be. Sorry you can’t afford it, doesn’t mean it’s worthless”
From: FB/)
From: FB/[facebook Head-Fi.org])
“The amount of hate in this post is absolutely shocking for a headphone group. Audeze increases their pricing by $500 of their previous flagship after 5 years and everyone is losing their minds”.

A commenter went in a completely different direction by complaining that “the flagship scene is oversaturated right now. What I would like to see is, yesterday’s flagships become today’s mid-tier. Which is what usually happens”. All in all the main controversy seems to be the price. So much even, that most people don’t seem to even care for the stats of the headphones.

From: Facebook/head-fi.org
From: Facebook/head-fi.org

Conclusion

The Audeze LCD-5 headphones are Audezes latest flagship device aimed towards professionals and audiophiles, with the price point of $4500 being the main focal point of the recent controversy.

It is to say that of course, $4500 is a lot of money and that everyone should carefully consider their pros and cons when buying anything for that amount. But what also has to be taken into account is that the technological advances made for and used in flagship devices sure do have their price.

In the end, it comes down to how much one is willing to spend on headphones and then finding the right ones for you. If the Audeze LCD-5 headphones are within your desired price range and they sound and feel good to you there sure is nothing wrong with getting them.

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