Audeze Introduces New Planar Magnetic Reference Headphone

October 5 2015, 03:10

Audeze introduced new products at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, October 2-4 at the Marriott Denver Tech Center. The unveiling of the LCD-4 Reference Headphone was a major highlight at the CanJam section of the show, proving the Costa Mesa company continues to advance planar magnetic technology, improve its transducer design and magnetic arrays to produce new reference headphones.

As Audeze CEO Sankar Thiagasamudram explained at the RMAF show, “the LCD-4 is the result of dedicated research, development and advancements in materials science. It features our amazing nano-scale Uniforce diaphragms and unique Double Fluxor magnet arrays for the most powerful magnetic flux density in existence, an incredible 1.5 Tesla. It also features a new comfortable suspension-type carbon fiber headband and delivers breathtaking high-resolution sound, imaging and transparency, with unmatched dynamics. It sounds incredibly open and transparent in the midrange and treble, and coupled with Audeze’s powerful bass removes the boundaries between artist and listener.”

Like other LCD series headphones, the new LCD-4 model continues to be an open circumaural design, carrying on Audeze’s tradition of extra-large transducer size at a full 106mm with neodymium magnets, achieving a maximum power handling of 15W (for 200ms) and >130dB sound pressure level with those same 15W. Frequency response is 5Hz to 50kHz, and its impedance is 100 ohms, so the new reference headphone will need a quality headphone amplifier to drive it. Audeze says the LCD-4 will outperform any other in its class like electrostatics or dynamic driver headphones.

The LCD-4 is equipped with standard 4-pin mini-XLR jacks and ships with a 1/4in to dual 4-pin mini-XLR premium LCD headphone cable and professional travel case. It will be available in late October by special order at   $3,995 MSRP. Audeze offers a 30 days trial for free to clients in the USA and free shipping on all orders of new, direct-sale products including cables and accessories.

Designed-for-Audeze Bascom King Headphone Amplifier 
At the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2015, Audeze also unveiled its new The King Headphone Amplifier designed by Bascom King for Audeze. The project began when the Audeze team met the legendary electronics designer Bascom King in his design lab. Bascom has designed acclaimed amplifiers for Infinity, Marantz, Constellation Audio, PS Audio and others. He demoed a prototype headphone amplifier that incorporated elements of all he’s learned over the years. “Even in prototype form it was the best headphone amp we ever heard, and we’ve heard just about everything,” said Sankar Thiagasamudram. “We were so excited that we signed Bascom on the spot to continue developing the new amplifier exclusively for Audeze. It absolutely sounds even better in its production form!”

“The King produces a beautiful, natural, open, expansive sound with awesome power in the bass. It’s so clean and engaging you’ll find yourself turning the volume up to enjoy the immense transparency,” says Thiagasamudram.

The King is a two-stage hybrid design featuring two twin triode tube inputs (E88CCs), a differential P-MOSFET driver and MOSFET output devices. It uses NPN MOSFET output devices delivering perfect device matching for faster response times, far better than typical PNP/NPN output designs. The King’s symmetrical circuits won’t ring at high frequencies keeping it very stable, it’s servo-DC-coupled, and will offer years of trouble-free, adjustment-free use. The result is a low impedance, low distortion, wide frequency response with immense musical transparency, a real emotional experience.   

Audeze decided to get the word out to as many people as possible, and Indiegogo works well for that. “We also wanted to offer a great price to those Audeze fans who’ve supported us as a way of saying thanks,” explained Mark Cohen, VP Sales. “It is not just about money to manufacture the Bascom King amplifier, we’ve already paid for all the development. The big news is we can ship in about 8 weeks. Since R&D is already done there is no risk to the customer, they’re not buying an experiment,” he continued. 

The retail price of The King is set at $3,995 USD. Audeze is offering it through Indiegogo for 30 days only at $2,950. But the first 10 buyers get an even better deal, only $2,750 with shipping beginning in December.
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