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Audeze LCD-X Over Ear Open Back Headphone Review

briskly

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Question- do headphones typically have any RLC filters built in or do we just hear the drivers connected directly to the source?
Supraaural and circumaural headphones are usually fullrange directly plugged into the amplifier. No RLC filtering past the motor. This is apparent in typical headphone impedance traces. You would see filtering more commonly with in-ear headphones.
 
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maverickronin

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Question- do headphones typically have any RLC filters built in or do we just hear the drivers connected directly to the source?

Passive circum and supraural headphones almost never do. There are a few such which are multiway and have crossovers just like speakers.

Balanced armature IEMs are often multiway and have crossovers as well.

Active noise canceling models usually have built in DSP to EQ the response.
 
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amirm

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The exception is not the rule.

Look at the past posts and count the times his logo appears.
Please report any issues you see rather than trying to moderate. In this case, he is definitely fine and he has certainly made a lot of contributions to the community at large. So let's move on.
 

Jimbob54

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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
@Thomas savage i see no issue with @crinacle posts in this or other threads but maybe there needs to be some avi marker to designate fellow interweb reviewers.
 
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amirm

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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.
Speaking of which, I forgot to include my impressions of soundstage in the review. Just added them there and here is a copy:

---

EDIT: forgot to include soundstage evaluation in the original review. So here it goes.

Soundstage was kind of interesting. Most of the instruments in the test track would dangle behind my head and a few inches to the left whereas mono content (vocals for example) would land in the middle of my head. Of note, equalization had a large effect on this causing more openness, showing that frequency response is what determines a lot of this, not any kind of inherent effect by itself.
 
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Well, that's mostly in the ear of the beholder. I prefer the Etymotic curve.



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.

I use EQ on pretty much any headphone or IEM (the Etymotic ER3XR being an exception ;)). A lot of people do not want to go through the hassle (e.g. absent any system-wide parametric EQ on Android, I use a Qudelix 5k for listening), so I think un-EQ'd should be considered. Personally, I am somewhat lazy, so use oratory1990 or autoEQ settings. If a manufacturer has poor consistency regarding FR then this makes things harder for me.
 
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amirm

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amirm

amirm

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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 :)
I use the Harman curve as a loose target. As with room EQ, the slope of bass versus treble is to taste. This is why my EQ is not trying to hug the curve. But rather, just making up for gross deficiencies.

So far I have tested some 10 headphones using Harman curves and I am quite warming up to its correctness based on equalization and hence listening tests. Directionally then it seems quite right.
 

Dana reed

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I can also confirm with LCD-2. They weren't my favorite headphone until I started to eq them. But now with the Roon Audeze presets, they are up there amongst my favorites to listen to. The midrange comes back and you still get that bass that goes all the way into the depths of humanity
 

Jimbob54

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What tag do we want to give him?
Don't think any of the existing ones work.

Fellow Traveler? Frenemy? Or just keep it straight. "audio reviewer".
 
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amirm

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@amirm For the dashboard, wouldn't it be better to display just THD without noise? Also what exactly is the gain figure measuring?
It would be. It would actually be wonderful. Alas, in that mode of operation, the AP software will not give me that option! Only in its batch mode of operation does it have pure THD metric. And there, I can't get a dashboard. I have no idea why they limit what you can see in the interactive mode.

On Gain, it was going to be a measure of efficiency. Using fixed output level, I measure the end to end gain including that of the headphone amp. Then on relative basis, we could easily see the efficiency difference between headphones (at that frequency). Alas, it is causing some complications in the testing procedure and hence the reason it got partially lost. I will see if I can resurrect it in future testing.
 

maverickronin

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Of note, equalization had a large effect on this causing more openness, showing that frequency response is what determines a lot of this, not any kind of inherent effect by itself.

EQ-ing closer to your own HRTF can help with that a lot. Even though I'm not a fan of the Harman curve, it is a lot closer to an average HRTF than the the LCD-X's uncorrected response so it's no surprise that it helped. There's only so much you can do with basic PEQ based of measurements from a standard test rig though.

The size of the drivers and their positioning relative to the pinna also have a very large influence. Usually the more of your own pinna transfer function that gets though the larger the soundstage becomes. These are still just variations in frequency response, but you'd need personalized measurements to even get tarted on replicating that kind of thing.
 
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Robbo99999

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When I first saw that crazy frequency response with the massive & wide dip around 3k I thought well there's got to be something wrong with the measurements here! But then I saw the listening tests and the positive effect of EQ as well as Audeze's admission that there is a massive error around 3kHz by working with Roon to create an EQ that has a large boost in that region. I find if quite amazing the frequency response is so far off, I've seen many headphone frequency responses, and I've never seen a massive & wide dip like that in a response. So a flawed headphone, it can't be denied, an error of that magnitude in a critical section of the frequency response is not forgiveable/usable, but it's good to know that EQ can go a long way to fix it. The bass performance was impressive though in terms of very low distortion, and that Dashboard that Amir used, which we're so used to seeing in speaker reviews, was interesting to see here in the context of a headphone review (or indeed speaker review if it had been). Particularly the contrast with the Sennheiser HD650 in terms of that Dashboard and the difference in distortion as well as the visualisation of the harmonic peaks that follow the bass note.

(Not read any comments yet, just read the review, so this is just my take on it....will read them now).
 
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amirm

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I don't know who commented on the loudness level in the dashboard. I actually wore the headphones and it was fair loud but definitely not over the top. It is remarkable how low our sensitivity is at that frequency of 40 Hz. I wanted to make sure the dashboard level was realistic yet revealing of differences over the noise floor of the room.
 

Jimbob54

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When I first saw that crazy frequency response with the massive & wide dip around 3k I thought well there's got to be something wrong with the measurements here! But then I saw the listening tests and the positive effect of EQ as well as Audeze's admission that there is a massive error around 3kHz by working with Roon to create an EQ that has a large boost in that region. I find if quite amazing the frequency response is so far off, I've seen many headphone frequency responses, and I've never seen a massive & wide dip like that in a response. So a flawed headphone, it can't be denied, an error of that magnitude in a critical section of the frequency response is not forgiveable/usable, but it's good to know that EQ can go a long way to fix it. The bass performance was impressive though in terms of very low distortion, and that Dashboard that Amir used, which we're so used to seeing in speaker reviews, was interesting to see here in the context of a headphone review (or indeed speaker review if it had been). Particularly the contrast with the Sennheiser HD650 in terms of that Dashboard and the difference in distortion as well as the visualisation of the harmonic peaks that follow the bass note.

(Not read any comments yet, just read the review, so this is just my take on it....will read them now).
Not sure I would agree with "not useable". Flawed by almost any measure but that line of thought (judging a transducer solely by measurements) is as subjective as raving about a deeply flawed device without measurements.

Edit, judging a transducer solely by its STOCK measurements.....
 
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