Our pal Richard Metzger of Dangerous Minds, one of the most serious music lovers and audiophiles I know, got his hands on a review unit of the Audeze LCD-3 planar magnetic headphones this weekend. I was there when he put them on for the first time, and snapped the photo above. This, ladies and gents, is his happy-face. He was listening to Nico. I put 'em on myself for a while, and listened to a high-quality file of "Tomorrow Never Knows." I heard things in that song I've never heard before.
Holy crap. Jason Weisberger wasn't kidding when he wrote this earlier Boing Boing review, and described them as life-changing. My colleague David Pescovitz liked 'em too. Yes, they're like ~$2K a pair, and I personally wouldn't be able to afford them right now. But they're more like a ~$20K super high-end sound system, crammed into a mobile form. I totally get it. Suck it, haters.
Richard says he spent the rest of the evening listening to the Clash's Sandinista, the Beatles' Abbey Road, George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, and others. I bet he heard things in those records he's never heard before, too.
I am not an audiophile, and I don't even own a proper stereo system. But for the rest of us, I'd say the best way to explain how these headphones transform the listening experience is this: think of HD television or movie downloads, compared to watching something on a VHS tape. You just experience greater fidelity, and the resulting experience is so much more immersive and rich.
* Disclosure: No, I do not own a pair. No, I have not received a pair as a loan or as a gift. No, I am not even sucking up to Audeze so that they will give me a pair. I just thought they were notably dope.