Released in 2010, the Dead Weather’s Sea of Cowards is one of my ‘Go To’ rock records for assessing rhythm, bass, PRaT, vocal purity, and musicality. Featuring tracks like “Hustle and Cuss”, “I Can’t Hear You”, “No Horse”, and “I’m Mad”, this album has outstanding sonics.
The LCD-4s let the rhythms on Cowards come forth with palpable energy and drive. They reproduced the complex dynamics of the transient information without imparting any sonic anomalies. They effortlessly unveiled subtle micro-dynamic details while still allowing the macro-dynamic slam of the bass and drums to come pounding forth.
Audeze’s LCD-4 let me *see* into the acoustical spacing of the studio where these songs were recorded. Soundstage height, width, and depth were all reference caliber. Alison Mosshart’s über-confident and unnerving vocals had more air and space around them than I previously remembered. Jack White’s frenetic drumming had an epic energy that was addictive to listen to. In particular, the attack, shimmer, and decay of his cymbal work had a startling real-life resonance and *feel* to it.
For perspective, I next listened to Venom’s landmark 1981 album Welcome to Hell. This album has a raw energy and an accidental musical synergy that’s undeniable. In particular, the low-end rampages forth like a demolition crew imploding a 40 story office tower. Venom’s early 1980s records were the basis for the entire genre of modern black metal.
With the LCD-4s, songs like “Angel Dust”, “Welcome to Hell”, “Schizo”, and “Witching Hour” pulsed forth with a manic aggression. Looking for some gentle music to soothe your jangled nerves? Look elsewhere. This is a merciless onslaught of brutal, repentless, and… at times… sardonic anger.
The LCD-4 HPs created such a profoundly deep resolution to Venom’s thundering songs that I felt like it was first time I’d ever heard this album reproduced correctly. I was drawn deep into the rampaging energy of this record and gained a new insight into, and an appreciation for, Venom’s music.
The LCD-4s presented the sounds accurately — without prejudice — and incisively revealed layered micro-dynamic details without being cold, harsh, or analytical. The low-end slam of Venom’s songs roared forth with an organic warmth and unstoppable electricity that was vivid and captivating.
Designed, engineered, and handcrafted in Audeze’s California factory, the $3,995 USD LCD-4 is the best pair of headphones I’ve ever heard. Nothing — repeat… nothing — I’ve yet listened to has so effortlessly managed to reproduce the profound resolution, jaw-dropping PRaT, goosebump inducing timbral accuracy, and overall musicality of these ear speakers. You want state-of-the-art sound quality from a pair of headphones? You want the best? As of September 2018, the LCD-4 is it.
Audeze LCD-4 Headphones
Price: $3,995 USD