Out with the old and in with the new. My girlfriends always say this before dumping me for a hunkier, smarter guy. But that’s okay, because today Audeze announced their new LCD-i3. Poised as an addition to the LCD-i lineup, it opens a new chapter for the American headphone manufacturer.
New Audeze LCD-i3 Announced
Officially, this earphone will stand as a “little brother” model to the more expensive (and higher spec) LCD-i4. But it’s also the successor to both the iSine 10 and iSine 20 models, offering a significantly upgraded sound over the iSine 20.
Straddling both product lines, the i3 borrows bits and pieces from both. Some internals, lifted from the iSine 10 design, will allow the i3 to operate more efficiently than the iSine 20 or the LCD-i4, increasing volume output. However, the Magnesium housing and grill, identical to those found on the LCD-i4, will reduce unwanted resonance. What’s more, this copy of the i4 design also delivers improved resolution over the iSine20.
But it’s not just the sound that’s changed. The new Audeze LCD-i3 will also be the first Audeze earphone to feature the new offset ear hooks, as well as the new “ear fins”.
In addition to upgraded sound and comfort, the i3 also offers new included cabling. With the earphone, users will find Bluetooth, Lightning, and 3.5 SE cables – compatible not only with the LCD-i3, but with ANY iSine or LCD-i model. These cables will also be offered separately as the iSine Accessory Kit.
The End of iSine?
With its composite construction that steals design elements from both the i4 and the iSine family, the i3 offers an interesting addition to the Audeze catalog. But it may also offer an impressive coda to the iSine legacy.
While still gracing store shelves and the virtual aisles of online retailers, it’s not too far-fetched to see how the iSine models could be replaced. For one thing, this shiny new upstart earphone offers the same hook that originally had listeners flocking to the iSine models in the first place. With it’s impressive audio quality at a relatively low price, the i3 continues the iSine’s original mission of spreading good sound to anyone with ears.
Additionally, certain design aspects of the i3 were previously only found in the iSine lineup, like lower power requirements and more cabling options. Yet the i3 now boasts these aspects as well.
Nitty Gritty Sound Stuff
Wild theories aside, the LCD-i3 still offers sonic improvements that can’t be debated. Like the LCD-i4 before it, the LCD-i3 features a rich, dynamic tuning that will emphasize lows and highs.
Style: In-ear, semi-open
Transducer type: Planar magnetic
Magnetic structure: FluxorTM
Magnet type: Neodymium N50
Diaphragm type: Ultra-thin UniforceTM
Transducer size: 30mm
Maximum power handling: 500mW RMS
Maximum SPL: >130dB
Frequency response: 10Hz – 50kHz
THD: <0.1% @ 100dB
Impedance: 20 ohms
Sensitivity: 110 dB/1mW (at Drum Reference Point)
Minimum power requirement: >50mW
Priced at a low $899, the new LCD-i3 earphone will be available in late August.
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