You don’t need a fancy amp to make Audeze’s LCD-4z sing. But you do need $4,000

audeze lcd 4z headphones news

Acclaimed headphone manufacturer Audeze has spent a considerable amount of research, time, and money developing some of the best-sounding planar magnetic headphones on the planet, but for the longest time, the top models the company made required special headphone amplifiers to enjoy them.

Planar magnetic drivers differ from the traditional piston-like dynamic drivers found in most headphones in that the sound is created by a thin membrane that’s excited by a magnet, which produces more accurate reproductions of your favorite sounds than dynamic drivers. While it seems like planar magnetic headphones would have immediately taken over the market following their creation due to their increased fidelity, there is one major technological hurdle that has long plagued them: They require a high amount of power to play back your tunes, often forcing listeners to buy dedicated high-output headphone amps.

This is the problem that Audeze appears to have solved with a new special-edition version of its LCD-4z over-ears. Where the original LCD-4 model had an impedance rating of 200 ohms — and therefore needed a powerful headphone amp to drive them — the new LCD-4z has been re-engineered with a 15 ohm voice-coil, which means that it can be powered by virtually any headphone amplifier, cell phone, or stereo receiver with a headphone output.

In addition to the new voice coil, the LCD-4z also features a lightweight magnesium housing and a sleeker aesthetic than ever. The special edition model comes in a sleek black colorway with gold accents, which should appeal to the well-heeled listeners that can afford them. The new model will set buyers back a cool $3,995, which would be a staggering amount to spend on 10 pairs of headphones, let alone one.

Collectors may go after the LCD-4z for the technological advancement alone. After all, how many planar magnetic headphones in this price bracket can actually be powered with as little as a cell phone? If you still have the audio jack to plug them into, that is.

We’re excited to try out the new LCD-4z when we get a chance, as we’ve had spectacular experiences with the company’s more affordable planar magnetic models in the past. Plus, how cool would it be it to listen to your favorite band with a set of headphones that probably cost more than the speakers they mixed the album on?

Mobile

You can now use the innovative Red Hydrogen One on Google Fi

The Red Hydrogen One was first announced in 2017 and has been delayed a few times since then. Now, the Red Hydrogen One is finally available, featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.
Computing

USB4 will be the fastest and most uniform USB standard yet

USB4 is on the horizon and alongside a massive boost in speed it's also unifying with the Thunderbolt 3 standard to help finally create a singular wired connection protocol that all devices can enjoy.
Mobile

iPad Air vs. iPad Mini: Which new tablet from Apple is best for you?

Apple has unveiled two new iPad models, including a new iPad Air and a new iPad Mini. Both devices have a lot to offer. But which iPad is right for your needs? We put the iPad Air and iPad Mini to the test to find out.
Gaming

New character Octane makes an entrance with the first Apex Legends Battle Pass

Apex Legends' first season kicks off March 19 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The Battle Pass comes in two versions, with the base version costing around 10 bucks. Seasonal rewards include a bevy of new loot such as legendary skins.
Movies & TV

Disney completes its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox

Now that Walt Disney Company has closed its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox's movie and television assets, what does this future hold for franchises like X-Men, the Fantastic Four, The Simpsons, and the rest?
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what movies and shows are leaving in April 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for April 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Home Theater

Pandora now lets you mess with the secret sauce for its music playlists

Pandora introduced a new feature called Modes, allowing subscribers to pick between six different algorithms that determine what the popular music streaming service will decide to play.
Movies & TV

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the Final Four online

Whether you want to watch the Big Dance on your phone or on your smart TV, we have the lowdown on all the ways to watch March Madness you can handle. Grab your foam finger and some nachos.
Movies & TV

Study up for season 8 with the best Game of Thrones theories

Season 8 of Game of Thrones is still on the horizon, meaning there's still time to brush up on the best theories about the show. Whether you're one of the last adherents of the Cleganebowl or a King Aerys truther, here are our top theories.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Computing

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.
Deals

Building a 4K home theater? Grab a discounted Denon A/V receiver from Amazon

Denon makes some of the best 4K A/V receivers on the market, and a handful of Denon’s latest models are on sale on Amazon now. If you’ve been thinking about building a home theater and are looking for a 4K receiver that doesn’t cost…
Home Theater

Apple’s new AirPods bring only minor updates to the much-loved originals

Apple has announced its new AirPods, the much-anticipated follow-up to Apple's wildly popular AirPods. With optional wireless charging and hands-free Siri, it's a minor update, but a welcome one.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.