When it comes to attention-grabbing, heart-stopping, wallet-crushing good looks, few headphones will compete with the new Audeze LCD-GX. If you thought this svelte honey looked sexy in those cheesecake press release photos, hold onto your stack, audio nerds. The $899 GX features a contrasty red-on-black color scheme that will leave you panting. As Audeze's latest foray into the world of gaming headphones, it can also pull double duty as an all-around-awesome headphone. But how does it sound?
Audeze LCD-GX Review
The LCD-GX comes in your standard Audeze box - huge and imposing. Inside the box, there's a huge carrying case that looks like it should be strapped to a Bond villain's wrist. Inside that case, you'll find the headphones and the cables.
I was kind of worried that the GX would only come with a single cable - the one with a gooseneck microphone that terminates in a 3.5 mm termination. But in addition to that cable, you also get the usual stock Audeze jobber, replete with a 1/4'' stereo adapter. A 1/4'' to 3.5 mm adapter and a 3.5 mm TRRS adapter (for microphone and headphones) are also included.
Perhaps the first thing you'll notice about this Audeze is how light it feels. While most headphones from this manufacturer have a justified reputation of landing on the heavier side, the GX feels downright airy in comparison.
I also think the yokes are different, as the headphone feels more comfortable than any of the other Audeze LCD models I've tried (which includes every model except the LCD-2 Classic). Basically, the LCD-GX feels lighter and more comfortable than any other Audeze headphone, while sacrificing no quality in build or materials. At 17.4 ounces, you could wear this headphone all day and never feel a thing.
Microphonics on the gaming cable are about what you would expect from Audeze - clean and clear with solid pickup that won't leave teammates guessing.
A low nominal impedance allows the LCD-GX to operate fairly well from computers and smartphones, sans amp. However, for my listening sessions, I did enjoy the GX with just a little bit of extra power. Though whether it was the driver benefiting from that extra bit of juice, or my ears loving the sound with a bit more volume, I can't say.
In the lows, the LCD-GX feels deep but articulate - it's warmth almost bordering on darkness. There's some great bass to be heard here, punctuating the lows with an impression of gravity and finality. When people tell you a headphone has a planar magnetic driver, this is the low end you picture in your mind. Full and vibrant, heavy but not cumbersome - a low end that fills every track with sense of dynamism.
A gorgeous midrange compliments the overall sound of the GX. Reminding me of the LCD-X in terms of accuracy and resolution, the mids offer an illuminating listening experience. Vocals seem to breathe with a life of their own, jumping out around instruments and samples. Just a little forward, it easily holds pace with the lows and highs, leading to an overall sound that never seems to mid-centric, but still delivers an impressive level of focus in this part of the frequency range.
Unlike other, higher-end Audeze models like the LCD-3 or LCD-4, the highs never seem too intense - even when a track would strain another headphone. Instead, they feel just slightly rolled off, complimenting the natural warmth of the GX's planar driver. Again, I'm reminded of the LCD-X, but I don't remember that headphone's high end sounding this mellow. And while the GX may render female vocals with buttery smoothness, strings never seem any duller or less vibrant.
Dimensional and deep, the soundstage on the LCD-GX offers a highly realistic listening experience. Every instrument and note feels isolated enough to pinpoint. And, with that lack of overlap, but clear positioning, it's very easy to close your eyes and feel like you're right in the middle of a band, or a symphony, or seating next to your favorite solo artist.
Most gamers will tell you that you could just adapt a solid headphone for gaming use, and they're right. There is absolutely no way in Hell that the LCD-GX is going to make you better at any game. As a gaming headphone, the GX falls nothing short of a luxury. But with it's impressive, hand-crafted build quality and lusciously open and realistic sound, it may constitute a luxury worth having.
Because, while it won't make you or me any less sucky at PUBG or Dota 2, it can increase the enjoyment of any game with a half-decent soundtrack or even mildly-immersive audio.
As mentioned before, the comfort is through the roof on the GX. I can wear it for hours and not feel a thing - no small feat when it comes to Audeze headphones. The deep pads and suspension-style headband feel great, though they may increase the tendency to sweat if worn for several hours on end.
Looks: I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The GX constitutes one good looking headphone. Featuring the same grill design as that found on the Audeze LCD-4z and MX4, the GX features a red mesh backing, creating for an attention-grabbing look that leaves me swooning.
I've steadily recommended the Beyerdynamic Custom Game headphone for anyone looking for a gaming headphone that will last for years. But thanks to Audeze's incredibly good design, excellent materials, and warranty (3 years on the drivers and 1 year on all the other parts), I now recommend this to anyone who can afford it.
Okay, if you need a basic gaming headphone that will give you great audio on a budget, don't buy the Audeze LCD-GX. Instead, pick up the Audio Technica ATH-G1 ($169).
However, if you're looking for a headphone that will sound, look, and feel fantastic whether listening to music or gaming, the GX may be perfect for you. With it's premium build quality and materials, this headphone feels like as much of an accomplishment in American craftsmanship as it is a triumph in sound engineering. And while the $899 price tag may discourage cash-strapped budget gamers, folks who want the best audio under $1000 should jump at this deal.
You won't find many gaming headsets price at $899, but the Audeze LCD-GX looks, feels, and sounds like a dream. Rest assured, if you can afford the cost of this work of art, you need it in your life. Our take? Audeze's new headphone delivers the final word in gaming headsets - and one damn fine sound.