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Audeze LCD-X Over Ear Open Back Headphone Review

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RAA is probably the worst database out there. They have zero information on their proprietary "HDM-X" system (which looks to be a DIY rig) and the unit-to-unit consistency seems to be near-unreadable.

1602862277660.png


The general rule of thumb is this: if the database doesn't publish their methodology, system, rig and whatnot, their data is next to useless. I'm looking at you, SoundGuys.
 

DualTriode

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Note the LCD-X have a distortion minimum right around the frequency tested here, 40 Hz, so this result may be under-representative of their average distortion across the rest of the frequency range. See Innerfidelity's distortion measurements of them here:

View attachment 88126

Conversely, the HD650's distortion is highest in the bass, so its distortion may be over-represented by these results. Again see Innerfidelity's measurements:

View attachment 88127

(I think I read the spikes at 200 Hz and 2 kHz in Innerfidelity's graphs are just artefacts of the measurement process, so can be ignored.)

And then there's the fact that we are are least sensitive to distortion in the bass frequencies. Headphones need a full-frequency distortion sweep really to determine if there is significantly audible distortion in areas our hearing is more sensitive like the mids and treble.
@SolderDude.Did you see that?

The Headphones have much higher distortion than the amplifier!
 

odyo

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FR is so skewed it's even out of any personal taste argument in my opinion. You can accept an LCD 2 with the argument of personal taste, easy listening etc but LCD X is like defective.
 

DualTriode

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RAA is probably the worst database out there. They have zero information on their proprietary "HDM-X" system (which looks to be a DIY rig) and the unit-to-unit consistency seems to be near-unreadable.

View attachment 88172

The general rule of thumb is this: if the database doesn't publish their methodology, system, rig and whatnot, their data is next to useless. I'm looking at you, SoundGuys.
@crinacle,

Perhaps you take a rest and back off the blatant advertisements?

Thanks DT
 

DualTriode

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It means that if you look what part of the spectrum of music on average is loudest, it is 40 Hz. So if something is going to induce distortion due to loudness, it would be the notes around 40 Hz.


I do not as that goes beyond the scope of my testing. It is possible that the driver in 650 is much smaller and goes through much more excursion causing distortion to sharply increase. But I am guessing as the technologies here are very different. As we test more headphones this way, we get more insight.
We are speaking open loop testing here.

I suppose that we should test the headphone raw FR add inverse equalization, plus add Harmon Curve equalization then test for distortion on the final equalized Frequency Response.

Thanks DT
 

3125b

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The Headphones have much higher distortion than the amplifier!
The human hearing doesn't have the same sensitivity over the whole frequency spectrum. While 5% distortion aren't really audible at 40Hz, they sure as hell are at 2kHz. And the HD 650 (or any headphone wirth a damn for that matter) don't have 5% distortion in those frequencies - unlike said amps.
 

DualTriode

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The human hearing doesn't have the same sensitivity over the whole frequency spectrum. While 5% distortion aren't really audible at 40Hz, they sure as hell are at 2kHz. And the HD 650 (or any headphone wirth a damn for that matter) don't have 5% distortion in those frequencies - unlike said amps.
You are not on point.

Leave human hearing out for the moment. Headphones typically have more distortion than the amplifier that drives them. If you hear distortion the amplifier is the last place to look.

Now back to the ear-brain; the program material will mask fairly high levels of 2nd and 3rh harmonics and to some extent IM distortion.

Thanks DT
 

raistlin65

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Would appear so- I am not sure at all this is a good thing, but as long as readers understand that is one of the key deciders for the panther- so be it.
I agree. I'm not particularly a fan of one size fits all solutions. I have an XXL head, and one size fits all hats don't fit me. lol

But more seriously, the Harman Target Response (HTR) doesn't suit me either. I don't understand how you guys like the steep slope on the bass. Midbass is too lean for me. And treble doesn't need as much emphasis either. But to each their own :)

Not to mention that HTR doesn't take into consideration how soundstage and imaging might allow someone who is in the HTR demographic to be more forgiving of deviations from HTR.

So I'm kind of disappointed that ratings will be based on a subjective preference measure. I liked it better when ASR ratings were based on more objective metrics.

Which makes me wonder @amirm, should there be a two tier rating system? Most here know that EQ is pretty essential to get the best out of almost all transducers. A headless panther feels right for the stock performance, but not for what this (or perhaps any) HP can do.

Maybe headless should be reserved for a HP that is neither well made, bad FR as stock and also cant easily be EQ'd to something far closer to target without distorting?

Im overly complicating and as a subjective fan of the LCD-X should just take it on the chin . :rolleyes:
I wonder if ratings couldn't be based on distortion evaluation, any significant dips or peaks, cup resonance: stock tuning headphone characteristics that are a problem for pretty much everyone regardless of if HTR suits someone or not.

And then like you say, how it responds to EQ and how difficult it is to EQ (jagged peaks that are hard to smooth out). And if it has significant dips, does it maintain reasonable levels of distortion up to 100db once EQd? 110db?
 
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@crinacle,

Perhaps you take a rest and back off the blatant advertisements?

Thanks DT
What?

Where on earth do you get the "blatant advertisements" from?

What I see here is crinacle making a valuable contribution to the discussion - a completely factual, valid point.

RAA publish compensated measurements without giving a target curve, or disclosing their measurement rig.

Sure, If I cannot find other measurements of a headphone I will take a quick look at RAA, but just to see whether any truly insane things are happening with the frequency response.
 

DualTriode

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What?

Where on earth do you get the "blatant advertisements" from?

What I see here is crinacle making a valuable contribution to the discussion - a completely factual, valid point.

RAA publish compensated measurements without giving a target curve, or disclosing their measurement rig.

Sure, If I cannot find other measurements of a headphone I will take a quick look at RAA, but just to see whether any truly insane things are happening with the frequency response.
The exception is not the rule.

Look at the past posts and count the times his logo appears.
 

franspambot

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The exception is not the rule.

Look at the past posts and count the times his logo appears.
Who the hell cares? Is he running some sort of pyramid scheme? Is he a former crack addict selling crappy pillows? (Americans will get this, unfortunately.) There are plenty of reviewers actively engaging with the site.

More, Amir's reviews seem to match up well with those of Crinacle's. So he is force-selling you free reviews????

Thanks,
franspambot
 
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RAA is probably the worst database out there. They have zero information on their proprietary "HDM-X" system (which looks to be a DIY rig) and the unit-to-unit consistency seems to be near-unreadable.

View attachment 88172

The general rule of thumb is this: if the database doesn't publish their methodology, system, rig and whatnot, their data is next to useless. I'm looking at you, SoundGuys.
Thanks for the insight, I have noticed a lot of their measurements don't align with other reputable sites. I mostly go to them to look at the waterfall plots, impulse response, etc. when I can't get those graphs from other sources.
 

maverickronin

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It is not a bad target curve, and something that a lot of people work with nowadays
Well, that's mostly in the ear of the beholder. I prefer the Etymotic curve.

In any case - any target curve that I have seen so far has had a rise at 3kHz, so the LCD-X is way off according to all of them
Yeah but its deficiencies can be easily fixed with EQ. It's strengths, high SPL and low distortion, can't be fixed with DSP on a different headphone. Over in the Wharfdale thread Amir asked if the un-EQed response should even count.

The real problem with the LCD-X (the LCD line in general) is that they are so poorly differentiated. The LCD-2 classic makes most of the rst of their line completely redundant.
 
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