The Audeze LCD-GX is a prime example of a really premium gaming headset. And it's very worthy of a closer look given what it offers, where it's aimed in the headset market, and what actually makes it so premium. All this is interesting enough to see what makes the headset tick, but with Black Friday gaming headset deals arriving with us in a matter of weeks, it's also a great time to examine whether the LCD-GX - and other high-end headsets - offer strong value for money.
We generally see the most premium, and most expensive items receive the hardest and deepest price cuts during these larger sales periods. With prices crashing on top shelf devices, then, this could be the time when folks choose to go ultra-premium, for something at the very highest end of the best gaming headset spectrum.
And the Audeze LCD-GX is one such premium item. With gaming headsets covering a vast range of prices and value points, could it be that maybe, just maybe, the best value approach to your next set could be one that could beat them all, a headset that could last the ages, is truly unique, and offers something that others just can't.
Audeze LCD-GX - design
The LCD-GX is a headset that's been out for a while from audiophiles Audeze, but it might not be on most people's radar. There's also the fact that it comes in at $900 / £850. This makes it the most expensive gaming-focused headset we've ever tested - but not the most expensive headphones that Audeze actually makes: their unique headphones can reach into the 'Many Thousands' territory.
Anyway, this headset features a lot of what gives the most elite gaming headsets their considerable price tags. First off the LCD-GX comes in a kind of bond villain suitcase for storage. Plush foam encases the headset and sturdy snap locks keep it safe within. Pulling it out of said suitcase and you soon find a gaming headset that feels like it was designed in the Art Deco period, or perhaps by a 1950s Danish furniture designer - it's a unique looking thing that will divide opinion, but it certainly gets points for being different - and its premium design is immediately apparent. A sturdy framework and a robust headband combine to hold together two enormous leatherette earcups that fit neatly over your head.
The reason for those ear cushions being so massive is the magic and power that's within them. Residing inside are some of Audeze's most premium drivers and audio diaphragms. Specifically, the LCD-GX merges Audeze's Fluxor magnets with Uniforce ultra-thin diaphragms for unreal sound and immersion, while the 106mm LCD Planar drivers offer transducers that are way bigger than on any other gaming headset. It's pertinent to also know at this stage that the LCD-GX is strictly analog - there is no digital processing; "for the purist who wants the best possible sound" according to Audeze. These massive earcups are also open-backed - an important note. This provides the headset with a better soundscape but also means that sound leaks both out and in - something I'll touch upon a bit below.
Audeze LCD-GX - features
The cable system is also notably different here too. Each cup has mini XLR connections, the left side with an integrated mic, that feeds down to one audio jack connection, making it ready for any platform, with a mic mute button as the sole on-line control. There are no controls on the headset otherwise - simplicity is key in this respect, and it's all about letting the audio do the talking.
While the audio jack means the LCG-GX can be used on any platform almost - probably something you'd want from a headset you've just dropped so much money on - I can tell you that this is clearly a PC-focused gaming headset or at least a headset you'll get most out of on PC. This is because, out of the box, this is a quiet headset. Very quiet. On both PS5 and PC I had to turn the systems' volume levels up to near maximum to get some proper volume out of the headset. This is because, in order, to get the most power and juice to the massive drivers, you'll be better off adding an extra amp to get the most out of the LCD-GX - without such a thing you may find that they'll never be quite as loud as you want.
Now, there could be two schools of thought on this. The first could be that if you've spent so much money on a headset that offers as high-quality sound as it does, then you shouldn't have to spend further money on an extra bit of kit just to get higher volume levels (as well as other benefits) out of the LCD-GX; and the second is that if you can afford the LCD-GX you can probably afford an amp, or at least wouldn't mind the concept of teaming it with another high-quality bit of kit.
Audeze LCD-GX - performance
If you can see (or hear) past this, though, what you will have is a headset that offers some of the finest quality audio you'll ever here. Every detail is picked out and delivered to you, from the thunderous basses of tanks and booming weapons to leaves fluttering in the wind, and every word of dialogue is free of tininess - everything is rich, rounded, and awesome.
Throwing another premium feature into a premium headset setup, you can then enhance your experience by using Audeze's own app, or, like I have, using the Immerse HIVE companion app. The latter in particular really does enable you to get some further features and customisations out of the headset, and adds to the premium nature of it. There's a chance to record and input your own ear shape and audio profile preferences, as well as the chance to shift around the spatial audio delivery of the soundscape offered to you. Combined the headset and the app do make a great combination, and do go a long way to show why you should buy a premium gaming headset this Black Friday.
All in, a set like the Audeze LCD-GX means you can see how gaming headsets can indeed get so premium - though the real proof is in the audio - and it also shows that any price reductions during the big sales seasons could be the best time ever to get such a headset into your life.
Audeze LCD-GX - is it good value for money and should you buy it this Black Friday?
Out there somewhere are folks that really do find themselves in the middle of the Venn diagram circles of 'videogame fans' and 'audiophiles' - for those such people I imagine the LCD-GX is already on their radar and is definitely worth some consideration. The value to those folks already attuned to such high-grade audio is definitely tangible here. Especially if the headset is used in quiet spaces and primarily for single-player games - this would be the perfect fit; even for its MSRP.
For those eyeing up a premium headset like the LCD-GX and hoping for a price cut this Black Friday? You may be disappointed. Audeze's headsets and headphones rarely get discounts - the cheapest we've seen the LCD-GX on Amazon is just over $800, and that really was a flash in the pan event. However, this would represent a 10% discount, which is pretty substantial for something of such high quality.
If you're looking for a premium set of cups but don't want to spend more than $300 / £300, we'd feel much more comfortable directing you to something like the Astro A50 for around $250 or the SteelSeries Arctis 9X for under $200. Discounts will never bring the LCD-GXs down to a competing price point (and they don't have to for the everyday gamer looking for a plush audio experience). However, if you are looking to invest, and have the audiophile ears to make good on your investment, we'd recommend keeping an eye out for any discount that hovers around the 10% mark.
Today's best deals
If you are looking to get your eye in, or want to explore those early prices, then you'll find a bunch of the lowest prices just below.
We are keeping abreast of all the audio options this winter sales time, so be sure to be prepared for the Black Friday PS5 headset deals, the Black Friday Xbox headset deals, and for other peripherals and accessories check out the upcoming Black Friday PS5 SSD deals, and Black Friday Xbox controller deals.