I wouldn’t call myself an audiophile. I have a love of music and sound but I’ve never been one to get into the nitty-gritty of frequency response, impedance and the like. To me, if it sounds good, that’s good enough.
However, after spending time with the Audeze LCD-GX and the Burson Conductor 3X amp, I might start to turn my nose up at lesser headsets. With a combined RRP of just north of $5,000 AUD, it’s clear that in some cases, money does buy happiness.
Well, maybe not happiness, but it certainly buys an incredible audio experience, unlike anything I’ve had before. The Audeze LCD-GX Gaming Headset totally analog and wired and comes with a few different options. The headset unit itself is completely removable from the cables and each earcup connects via a 4-pin mini XLR connector and comes with one standard cable without the microphone and the boom mic cable.
The boom mic cable ends with a 1/8” TRRS 4 conductor plug, while the standard cable ends with a 6.3mm (1/4″) connector. The Audeze LCD-GX also comes with a 1/8″ splitter for separate headphone and mic inputs and an additional 1/4″ stereo plug adapter.
Basically, this headset comes with just about every connection you’ll need.
Audeze LCD-GX Gaming Headset
The build quality of the Audeze LCD-GX is top-notch and also quite minimalist. The earcups connect to floating hinges which in turn connect to the “suspension headband.” The speakers are housed in magnesium and are cushioned with memory foam which fits gently and snugly against your head without ever-growing uncomfortable.
Despite being constructed almost entirely of metal, the Audeze LCD-GX is incredibly lightweight, with the bulk sitting inside the earcups supporting the phenomenal sound. The headband of this headset is thin metal with a leather cushion in between it and your head. The leather is soft and breathable and prevents any discomfort. The tightness of the headband is controlled by the two adjustable prongs connected to the hinges.
It’s really easy to find a setting that suits and once you do, you’re able to wear the headset for extended periods without even noticing they’re there. This is easily one of the most comfortable headsets I’ve ever used.
Continuing with the minimalist theme, and being analog, there are no controls on the earcups themselves. Increasing or decreasing volume needs to be done via software or hardware, whichever platform you’re using. If you have the boom mic connected, you can mute it via the toggle where the cables meet, but that’s it.
Connecting the LCD-GX directly to your PC, DualShock 4, Xbox One GamePad, Switch console, smartphone or any other device, you’ll immediately be greeted by far better than average sound. This headset may be marketed for gaming, but Audeze claims it’s also of a high enough quality so as to be used for monitoring, mixing and editing audio.
I’m no expert, however, after using them and hearing the crystal clear quality, the deep, expansive bass and the enormously wide and deep experience of the overall sound. Listening to music directly from your PC or smartphone is great, though the LCD-GX is a touch on the quiet side. Even when cranked up to max, it feels like the headset is a touch soft.
The exact same can be said of gaming. Plugged directly into your console, the LCD-GX delivers an immaculate sound that is a little quiet. The differentiation between sounds is what really separates the LCD-GX from other gaming headsets and shows what a crazy amount of money can buy. Every sound in-game is crisp, clear and separate. Even during hectic firefights, explosions, super-powered battles and more, the Audeze LCD-GX easily delivers sound of a high resolution and easily distinguishable.
It’s still a little bit too quiet though.
And that’s where the recommended amp comes in.
Audeze sent me the Burson Conductor 3X amplifier to use with the headset and it’s clear to see why. Burson says;
The Conductor 3X is for those who go all the way. Fully balanced with one DAC chip per channel. Pure Class-A and fully discrete with top quality components throughout, including Neutrik XLR connectors, the C3X is the perfect command centre for any XLR audio systems.
While this isn’t a review of the amp, the overall quality of the Burson Conductor 3X is part of what made using the Audeze LCD-GX so good for me. The amp connects via USB, Bluetooth, Digital Optical and RCA so you can feed sound to it from a variety of devices. I opted to connect via Digital Optical from my consoles and USB from my PC as it was the easiest and both achieved brilliant results.
The difference between using and not using the amp is like day and night. Although the LCD-GX is an amazing headset without the amp, with it is like suddenly discovering you were only seeing half of the available colour spectrum or realising your car has more than two gears. The amp improves upon the already brilliant sound profile by making it louder, clearer and richer.
Of course, using an amp is always going to improve the quaity of sound, no matter what you’re listening with. It is important to note that Audeze recommends an amp for this headset and I concur, which means you can’t take the cost of the headset at face value.
I can certainly recommend the headset without an amp but if you’re going to spend that kind of money, it makes sense to already own an amp worth using or be willing to fork out the cash for one.
At $1799 AUD with “Audeze’s patented Fluxor™ magnets and ultra-thin Uniforce™ diaphragms” it’s no wonder that the LCD-GX delivers flawless sound. And, it also makes sense that the microphone is excellent too.
When in use, your voice comes through clearly and again, separate to other sounds being played. It comes with a foam cover, however, if you find this gets in your way, you can simply remove it and use the mic au naturel. If you want to remove it altogether, simply unclip the mic cable and use the standard cable instead.
Overall, I’ve been ridiculously spoiled with the Audeze LCD-GX headset. It looks, sounds and feels better than any other gaming headset I’ve ever used, and for the price, it should. And that’s the thing, this is a true audiophile’s headset with an added boom mic. Technically, it’s a gaming headset but it could be argued that it’s just a high-end set of cans instead.
Either way, its sound profile, clarity and depth is something to behold, with or without an amp. If you have the cash and are looking for the best possible gaming headset money can buy, the Audeze LCD-GX is the one.
The Audeze LCD-GX Gaming Headset and Burson Conductor 3X amp were loaned to PowerUp!.