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Audeze LCD-X Review (2021 Edition Headphone)

solderdude

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What about sensitivity? Can that be frequency dependent?
sensitivity is frequency dependent and shown in the frequency response.
This plot kind of shows the sensitivity relative to 110dB/V at 400Hz between 200Hz and 8kHz.
So at 400Hz sensitivity = 110dB/V, at 1kHz = 109dB/V, at 4kHz = 99dB/V

index.php


Power into a headphone is irrelevant.
The only important aspect is the lowest impedance and overall sensitivity (dB/V) and what the maximum voltage is into the minimum load impedance.
For listening at impressively loud levels 120dB should be the target level.
For loud listening 105dB is the target.
For normal listening levels (one can endure for hours) 90dB is the target.

For this headphone sensitivity = 110dB/V and efficiency = 93dB/mW.
You thus only need 1V to reach loud levels and you will need 3V to reach 120dB SPL.
1V in 20ohm = 0.05W (50mW), 3V in 20ohm = 0.45W (450mW)
When one wants to raise the bass levels to Harman target one needs 4.3V (1W) in 20ohm.
Most people listening to this headphone to enjoy music will reach peaks of maybe 10mW and average levels of 0.5mW or so.

Music is dynamic so power levels are too.
 
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iamsms

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sensitivity is frequency dependent and shown in the frequency response.
This plot kind of shows the sensitivity relative to 110dB/V at 400Hz between 200Hz and 8kHz.
So at 400Hz sensitivity = 110dB/V, at 1kHz = 109dB/V, at 4kHz = 99dB/V

index.php


Power into a headphone is irrelevant.
The only important aspect is the lowest impedance and overall sensitivity (dB/V) and what the maximum voltage is into the minimum load impedance.
For listening at impressively loud levels 120dB should be the target level.
For loud listening 105dB is the target.
For normal listening levels (one can endure for hours) 90dB is the target.

For this headphone sensitivity = 110dB/V and efficiency = 93dB/mW.
You thus only need 1V to reach loud levels and you will need 3V to reach 120dB SPL.
1V in 20ohm = 0.05W (50mW), 3V in 20ohm = 0.45W (450mW)
When one wants to raise the bass levels to Harman target one needs 4.3V (1W) in 20ohm.
Most people listening to this headphone to enjoy music will reach peaks of maybe 10mW and average levels of 0.5mW or so.

Music is dynamic so power levels are too.
Two follow up questions, I am probably missing something simple.

How do you get the 110 db/V number? From that plot, I see that response of lcd-x matches that of Harman target at 400hz.

You say that the lowest impedence and overall sensibility are important. I guess I get the lowest impedence part (v^2/r - so highest power). But wouldn't we need to know the lowest sensitivity? Or sensitivity at lowest impedence?
 

solderdude

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How do you get the 110 db/V number? From that plot, I see that response of lcd-x matches that of Harman target at 400hz.

the dB/V number is a standard number.
It can easily be calculated from the measurements Amir posts.
For some reason Amir only posts mV values to obtain 94dB at 400Hz (because his fixture was calibrated at that frequency and SPL level).
Most senstivity numbers are measured at 500Hz, 1kHz or band-noise levels.
Some publish dB/mW (which requires an impedance) or simply post what the manufacturer states.
Some just publish a number without telling how the measurement was made.

It is a mess.

In my reviews I always post dB/V and dB/mW numbers (measured when possible) and these sometimes deviate from those of the manufacturer.

There are standards but not everyone seems to follow them.

You say that the lowest impedence and overall sensibility are important. I guess I get the lowest impedence part (v^2/r - so highest power). But wouldn't we need to know the lowest sensitivity? Or sensitivity at lowest impedence?

People gauge loudness between 300Hz and 2kHz.
Headphones that are rolled off in the bass can be 15dB down and treble spikes may be 15dB higher.
That would only make that headphone to be as 'bass light' and the one with the treble peak as 'sharp' but not as 'louder'
So band noise between 300Hz and 3kHz or single value between 400Hz and 1kHz makes sense as well.
Of course there could be a peak or dip at the measured frequency throwing off the measurement.
Less chance with noise or averaging (by eye) the latter is what I do.

So take the efficiency numbers as indicative and not absolute.
It will give a ballpark number.
 

iamsms

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Ty @solderdude. I didn't notice the mv for 94db measurement (from which the 110 db/v can be calculated). Should have waited till morning to ask questions :).
 

Jonne Haven

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People gauge loudness between 300Hz and 2kHz.
Thanks for sharing your vast technical knowledge. I know I tended to judge loudness within that range but I did not know that it was universal. That knowledge is very helpful to me, thank you. It explains and justifies a lot of my audio decisions.

Blessings,
-J
 

Jonne Haven

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I’m a little embarrassed to share this profile because it may not be mixing/mastering normal or your typical audiophile’s profile but I think you’ll find it hella fun! I mean if I’m going to own these gigantic planar magnetic headphones I may as well test its limits!


So for those of you like rumbling sub bass that doesn’t encroach upon the mids too much and crystal clear highs that don’t sacrifice the LCD-X’s natural, stellar imaging and separation…unlocking and unleashing the fun sides of the LCD-X 2021 here’s an EQ that leaves nothing to the imagination!

View attachment 195555

As you can see from the overlay-ed, inverted chart of Oratory1990's FR (yes PEACE can do that!) I have stuck with his mids calculations even more religiously than he did. My curve (green) deviates most from his (red) in the bass and the highs, adding a couple shots of bass slam and sparkling highs that makes vocalists more realistic and up close and personal.

Pre Amp: -14.75 (Be sure to enter this value to avoid clipping)


Band 1: Freq 29.8 Gain 2.91 Q 0.69 Filter Low Shelf
Band 2: Freq 35 Gain 0.93 Q 3.3 Filter Low Shelf
Band 3: Freq 70 Gain 5 Q 1.5 Filter Peak
Band 4: Freq 90 Gain 10.75 Q 0.7 Filter Low Shelf
Band 5: Freq 130 Gain 0.5 Q 0.6 Filter Peak
Band 6: Freq 540 Gain 0.5 Q 2.7 Filter Peak
Band 7: Freq 810 Gain -1.85 Q 2.2 Filter Peak
Band 8: Freq 1235 Gain -1 Q 2.4 Filter High Shelf
Band 9: Freq 1500 Gain 7.9 Q 0.71 Filter High Shelf
Band 10: Freq 1910 Gain 1.3 Q 5 Filter Peak
Band 11: Freq 2730 Gain -3.6 Q 2.2 Filter Peak
Band 12: Freq 3700 Gain 4 Q 1.4 Filter Peak
Band 13: Freq 5775 Gain -5.3 Q 4.7 Filter Peak
Band 14: Freq 7350 Gain -2.3 Q 7 Filter Peak
Band 15: Freq 8150 Gain -1 Q 8 Filter Peak
Band 16: Freq 12450 Gain 1.25 Q 1.7 Filter High Shelf
Band 17: Freq 20000 Gain 1 Q 0.6 Filter High Shelf


To increase or decrease sub-bass, adjust gain to Band 4 to taste.
To increase or decrease treble/air, adjust gain to Band 16 to taste.
If the tracks you’re playing have a bit too much “bass body” change Band 4’s Frequency from 90 to 70-80 and you’ll get more of a “planar typical” bass sound that extends just as deep.


If you’d like a version that uses less bands just ask!


Here’s an original track of mine that I mastered with the LCD-X 2021 to try out this profile with that really pushes these cans to do things previously not thought possible by me. These cans are an indispensable tool in my studio work/play:


Jonne Haven - “Big Bad World”


It’s been said already, but I must add that I’ve been working on EQing the LCD-X 2021 everyday for over 3 months now and I find that it responds to EQ settings superbly and with the greatest of resolution. Even the smallest of changes are reported, with minute detail and without distortion, the best of any headphone I have EQ’d.

Enjoy!
-J
EQ Revision (06-04-22)
For more punch and slam


For those of you interested the EQ profile I posted in February it has under gone several silent revisions. The latest can be found below in the 18 band version iteration.

And so for deep, tight bass that sounds more resolving and moves quickly out of the way of the honestly crafted mids and meticulously shaped highs, that accentuates the LCD-X’s "punch and slam" effect with kick drums and snares.

LCD-X EQ Post Update 060422.jpg


As you can see from the overlay-ed, inverted chart of Oratory1990's Harman Compensated FR (yes PEACE can do that!) I have stuck with his mids calculations even more religiously than he did. My curve (green) deviates most from his (red) in the bass and the highs, adding a couple shots of bass slam and sparkling highs that makes vocalists more realistic and up close and personal. 90Hz is exaggerated in order target bass drums and make them cut through the mix. The dip before 36.5Hz is there to give sub,sub bass some slam to bass guitars.


Pre Amp: -14.5 (Be sure to enter this value to avoid clipping)

Band 1: Freq 36.5 Gain 4.2 Q 0.69 Filter Low Shelf
Band 2: Freq 37.5 Gain 0.93 Q 4 Filter Low Shelf
Band 3: Freq 90 Gain 4.5 Q 1.41 Filter Peak
Band 4: Freq 110 Gain 9.2 Q 0.7 Filter Low Shelf
Band 5: Freq 120 Gain 2.2 Q 1.41 Filter Peak
Band 6: Freq 220 Gain -1.85 Q 1.7 Filter Peak
Band 7: Freq 535 Gain 0.55 Q 2.1 Filter Peak
Band 8: Freq 810 Gain -1.85 Q 2.41 Filter Peak
Band 9: Freq 1235 Gain -1 Q 2.4 Filter High Shelf
Band 10: Freq 1500 Gain 8.4 Q 0.71 Filter High Shelf
Band 11: Freq 1910 Gain 1.3 Q 5 Filter Peak
Band 12: Freq 2800 Gain -3.5 Q 2 Filter Peak
Band 13: Freq 3400 Gain 3 Q 2.1 Filter Peak
Band 14: Freq 5780 Gain -4.75 Q 4.75 Filter Peak
Band 15: Freq 7350 Gain -2.65 Q 7 Filter Peak
Band 16: Freq 10000 Gain 0.25 Q 1 Filter Peak
Band 17: Freq 13250 Gain 1.85 Q 2.2 Filter High Shelf
Band 18: Freq 20000 Gain 1.05 Q 1 Filter High Shelf

To increase or decrease sub-bass, adjust gain to Band 4 to taste.
To increase or decrease treble, adjust gain to Band 16 to taste.


Here’s two original tracks of mine to try this profile out with that I mastered with the LCD-X 2021 that really pushes these cans to do things previously not thought possible by me:

Jonne Haven - “Big Bad World”


Jonne Haven - “Swing”



It's been said already, but I must add that I've been working on EQing the LCD-X 2021 everyday for almost 7 months now and I find that it responds to EQ settings superbly and with the greatest of resolution. Even the smallest of changes are reported, with minute detail and without distortion, the best of any headphone I have EQ'd.


5 Band EQ (06-04-22 Revision)

Simplified for punch and slam

LCD-X EQ 5 Band EQ Post 060422.jpg

Pre Amp: -14.5 (Be sure to enter this value to avoid clipping)

Band 1: Freq 37.5 Gain 2.04 Q 2.5 Filter Low Shelf
Band 2: Freq 90 Gain 2.4 Q 2 Filter Peak
Band 3: Freq 125 Gain 10.5 Q 0.95 Filter Low Shelf
Band 4: Freq 3700 Gain 8.35 Q 0.9 Filter Peak
Band 5: Freq 12000 Gain 13.6 Q 0.8 Filter High Shelf

For those of you using dedicated amps with 5 band equalizers in them here is an EQ profile that accentuates the LCD-Xs natural punch and slam. An easy to input 5 band iteration of the profile just plug in the numbers and zoom!

One caveat and I probably don't have to tell you this but this 5 band iteration does not sound as detailed as the 18 band. If your main source is a computer than I recommend getting software EQ that won't limit your filter count like Equalizer APO with the PEACE Interface.

https://sourceforge.net/projects/equalizerapo/
https://sourceforge.net/projects/peace-equalizer-apo-extension/


Blessings,
-Jonne
 

JanesJr1

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Debatable, especially considering DCA's planars are very sensitive to how the pads fit your head. Got glasses or a beard? Say goodbye to bass and lower mids.
I've read that about DCA's but I have two DCA phones (Closed X and Noire) and have no problem at all getting a good seal with glasses on, and get so much bass that I have to EQ the low end down a bit. I've fiddled with this (i.e. glasses, no glasses) but there's rarely any noticeable difference if I'm minimally careful about placing the earcups around my ears (which I do anyway because it affects imaging and soundstage).
 

Neftun

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Late to the party here.

This is an interesting headphone.

Anyone done measurements of the LCD-2c, is there a review coming?
 

Phoney

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Late to the party here.

This is an interesting headphone.

Anyone done measurements of the LCD-2c, is there a review coming?

Are you looking to equalize it, or are you just curious about maybe buying it? I liked it way more than LCD-2F personally (both comfort and sound). They are actually quite different. The 2C is a fun and wide sounding headphone, and just like most headphones it really shines after some eq. Equalizing it was a challenge as I had to do it by ear. It's very hard to find measurments for it with the new pads from 2021, which changes the tonality quite a bit in my experience. Especially the lower mids and the 1-3khz is elevated in comparison to the old pads. Took me 1 month to make the sound as balanced as possible with eq without introducing fatigue, but in the end the result was great to me. If you're interested in trying my eq profile for it, you could PM me.
 
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