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Audeze LCD-X Review (2021 Edition Headphone)

Robbo99999

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If you can sit through 10 minutes of Zeos you can see

I'll save you from it, yes they do.
I skimmed through it, a couple of times he picked them up & rotated them, so yeah it does look like they're angled pads. They look more angled in the video than they do on Thomann website. It's good that they're angled, I think this is a positive omen for soundstage.
 

Robbo99999

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@amirm
Roon DSP has built in filter settings designed for Audeze headphones. Including for this model. They were made in cooperation with Audeze. I'm surprised you didn't try these and report on the results.

(I didn't read through the whole thread. Sorry if this was already asked.)
A person could also apply the Roon DSP filters to the headphone measurement and see what it looks like vs Harman for example.
 

Jimbob54

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I skimmed through it, a couple of times he picked them up & rotated them, so yeah it does look like they're angled pads. They look more angled in the video than they do on Thomann website. It's good that they're angled, I think this is a positive omen for soundstage.

LCDs have always (I believe) had angled pads. I think it was one of their original selling points/ design features
 

Robbo99999

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LCDs have always (I believe) had angled pads. I think it was one of their original selling points/ design features
Good good, and they've improved the frequency response on this LCD-X now, so it's a better basis for EQ than it was before. I mean it's not the epitome of a smooth EQ'able frequency response, but it's a lot better than it was. I'm less wowed about the super low distortion than some people, I think it doesn't matter past a certain point, but it's obviously not a negative point.......just I don't really think the super low distortion makes it a better blank canvas than some other headphones that have higher distortion but a smoother & closer matching frequency response as a starting point. I think soundstage potential of a headphone is to some extent baked into the design of the headphone, but I'm not particularly convinced that this headphone is necessarily better on that front than quite a few other headphones. All-in-all I think this is a pretty expensive headphone to use as a blank canvas for EQ, but I could understand how it could give decent/good results when done so.....as to how good I don't think it would sit right at the pinnacle, so a little expensive then.

EDIT: as a bit more qualification, I'm not convinced the soundstage would be really that great in this headphone. I'm saying this mainly because I have a Hifiman HE4XX that is EQ'd to Harman and the soundstage is pretty good, but not as good as my HD560s and K702 for example, and the HE4XX is a planar headphone with large round earcups and angled pads (so similar to LCD-X)......is there any big difference in the structural/size of the earcups that differ largely between HE4XX and the LCD-X that might explain how the LCD-X might have better soundstage?

EDIT#2: I do like the accurate channel matching of the LCD-X in this review, it's an often underrated & not often mentioned variable....my EQ experiments with exact channel matching through the frequency range from 20-10000Hz have shown me that it improves overall clarity and makes a noticeable difference to an extent that I've been able to tell while blind if channel matching was activated or not when used with my K702. So that's a good plus point for this LCD-X.
 
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stalepie2

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It is probably supposed to be deficient in lower bass, because people like their bass to start around the kick drum, around 100 Hz. Music is produced this way so the beat stands out. Like Armin van Buuren says here in this "Master Class" ad I just got before a video: Armin van Buuren Teaches Dance Music | Official Trailer - YouTube "We roll off all the low end... if your kick is not working, it won't rock a crowd. You'll find that out the hard way."
 

Jimbob54

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It is probably supposed to be deficient in lower bass, because people like their bass to start around the kick drum, around 100 Hz. Music is produced this way so the beat stands out. Like Armin van Buuren says here in this "Master Class" ad I just got before a video: Armin van Buuren Teaches Dance Music | Official Trailer - YouTube "We roll off all the low end... if your kick is not working, it won't rock a crowd. You'll find that out the hard way."

Start having dance parties in these bad boys and wait for the whiplash claims to come in.
 
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Jimbob54

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Good good, and they've improved the frequency response on this LCD-X now, so it's a better basis for EQ than it was before. I mean it's not the epitome of a smooth EQ'able frequency response, but it's a lot better than it was. I'm less wowed about the super low distortion than some people, I think it doesn't matter past a certain point, but it's obviously not a negative point.......just I don't really think the super low distortion makes it a better blank canvas than some other headphones that have higher distortion but a smoother & closer matching frequency response as a starting point. I think soundstage potential of a headphone is to some extent baked into the design of the headphone, but I'm not particularly convinced that this headphone is necessarily better on that front than quite a few other headphones. All-in-all I think this is a pretty expensive headphone to use as a blank canvas for EQ, but I could understand how it could give decent/good results when done so.....as to how good I don't think it would sit right at the pinnacle, so a little expensive then.

EDIT: as a bit more qualification, I'm not convinced the soundstage would be really that great in this headphone. I'm saying this mainly because I have a Hifiman HE4XX that is EQ'd to Harman and the soundstage is pretty good, but not as good as my HD560s and K702 for example, and the HE4XX is a planar headphone with large round earcups and angled pads (so similar to LCD-X)......is there any big difference in the structural/size of the earcups that differ largely between HE4XX and the LCD-X that might explain how the LCD-X might have better soundstage?

EDIT#2: I do like the accurate channel matching of the LCD-X in this review, it's an often underrated & not often mentioned variable....my EQ experiments with exact channel matching through the frequency range from 20-10000Hz have shown me that it improves overall clarity and makes a noticeable difference to an extent that I've been able to tell while blind if channel matching was activated or not when used with my K702. So that's a good plus point for this LCD-X.

Has it been established soundstage is largely /purely a function of cup size /driver angle /pad angle?

I'm not sure as saying "headphone X doesn't have it so neither will Y with a different design from a different manufacturer". Any studies to go with that?
 

Robbo99999

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Has it been established soundstage is largely /purely a function of cup size /driver angle /pad angle?

I'm not sure as saying "headphone X doesn't have it so neither will Y with a different design from a different manufacturer". Any studies to go with that?
No it's not been definitely established what contributes to soundstage. Some of it will be measured frequency response (which gives the flexibility that this is slightly different when you put it on your own head), some of it seems to be angled pads or drivers and large earcups......there's a lot of "seem".....it would be truly awesome if it could be worked out. When I think about it further, all of it ultimately comes down to frequency response at your own eardrum, but I think there are some design cues in headphones that imprint a certain "fingerprint" of your own HRTF when angled drivers (& large ear cups?) are used, which due to incorporating this snippet (incomplete) ("fingerprint"/"signature") of your own real HRTF onto your eardrum then I think it enables you to make more spatial sense of what you are hearing, but that's just my theory. I don't know of any studies to get to the bottom of soundstage.....I do know that RTings tried to characterise it & put a number on it, but they have the HE4XX quite high up in their listings right near the top and for me it has a good soundstage, but lesser ranked headphones on there have better soundstage for me......so I don't think they have it right. So that question in my last post about comparing HE4XX to LCD-X in terms of driver cup dimensions & layout was kind of a rhetorical question to myself when I was thinking through the comparisons.....and my thinking that the LCD-X wouldn't have great soundstage due to physical comparisons with HE4XX. I could look into more detail about the inner pad/cup dimensions between HE4XX & LCD-X, but I've not done that. I also think that dynamic drivers have more potential to produce good soundstage than planar drivers, maybe because dynamic drivers have a more point source sound emanation (I'm supposing), which fits with my very small sample of testing where HE4XX being planar driver is worse re soundstage than my K702 & HD560 for instance (whilst all of them have angled pads or angled drivers).
 
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Jimbob54

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No it's not been definitely established what contributes to soundstage. Some of it will be measured frequency response (which gives the flexibility that this is slightly different when you put it on your own head), some of it seems to be angled pads or drivers and large earcups......there's a lot of "seem".....it would be truly awesome if it could be worked out. When I think about it further, all of it ultimately comes down to frequency response at your own eardrum, but I think there are some design cues in headphones that imprint a certain "fingerprint" of your own HRTF when angled drivers (& large ear cups?) are used, which due to incorporating this snippet (incomplete) ("fingerprint"/"signature") of your own real HRTF onto your eardrum then I think it enables you to make more spatial sense of what you are hearing, but that's just my theory. I don't know of any studies to get to the bottom of soundstage.....I do know that RTings tried to characterise it & put a number on it, but they have the HE4XX quite high up in their listings right near the top and for me it has a good soundstage, but lesser ranked headphones on there have better soundstage for me......so I don't think they have it right. So that question in my last post about comparing HE4XX to LCD-X in terms of driver cup dimensions & layout was kind of a rhetorical question to myself when I was thinking through the comparisons.....and my thinking that the LCD-X wouldn't have great soundstage due to physical comparisons with HE4XX. I could look into more detail about the inner pad/cup dimensions between HE4XX & LCD-X, but I've not done that. I also think that dynamic drivers have more potential to produce good soundstage than planar drivers, maybe because dynamic drivers have a more point source sound emanation (I'm supposing), which fits with my very small sample of testing where HE4XX being planar driver is worse re soundstage than my K702 & HD560 for instance (whilst all of them have angled pads or angled drivers).

I would love there to be a definitive known cause of SS, as well as a reliable way of measuring but I think one of the problems is I think we all perceive and define it differently. See for eg your impression of HE4XX soundstage vs RTings. Im sure they would tell you they are right, but without a reliable yardstick we are in the weeds still.
 

Jimbob54

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As taken from @Jimbob54 consumers will think it is a feature, a renown mfr "cant seriously sell such behavior in the frecuency range" as correct. They trick them. Until ASR appeard.

You obviously missed the sarcasm inherent in my comment. And the dodgy FR of the LCD X was known about long before Amir measured them . Didnt stop the hype train of course. The facts rarely do.
 

Nango

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You obviously missed the sarcasm inherent in my comment. And the dodgy FR of the LCD X was known about long before Amir measured them . Didnt stop the hype train of course. The facts rarely do.

It was only sensed before, it became a fact with his measurements.
 

tential

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You obviously missed the sarcasm inherent in my comment. And the dodgy FR of the LCD X was known about long before Amir measured them . Didnt stop the hype train of course. The facts rarely do.
I know You were being sarcastic but it seems like he understood that. Seems like a lot of Manufacturers refuse to hit the curve because if they did, they would all sound the same and so they purposely have these weird variation so that way their headphones sound unique.

That's my theory anyway, either way, so many of these manufacturers have insane response curve that without amir having tested it I would have made a lot of horrible mistakes trying to find a good sounding headphone.

I hope the dca headphones are up next soon.

I think the he6se is a better deal than this unless I'm missing something. Also, I heard channel imbalance when I tested these in person.
 

Jimbob54

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I know You were being sarcastic but it seems like he understood that. Seems like a lot of Manufacturers refuse to hit the curve because if they did, they would all sound the same and so they purposely have these weird variation so that way their headphones sound unique.

That's my theory anyway, either way, so many of these manufacturers have insane response curve that without amir having tested it I would have made a lot of horrible mistakes trying to find a good sounding headphone.

I hope the dca headphones are up next soon.

I think the he6se is a better deal than this unless I'm missing something. Also, I heard channel imbalance when I tested these in person.

I think you are right about the HE6SE being a better proposition TBH. Which DCA are you waiting for ?
 

Nango

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I know You were being sarcastic but it seems like he understood that. Seems like a lot of Manufacturers refuse to hit the curve because if they did, they would all sound the same and so they purposely have these weird variation so that way their headphones sound unique.
.
But now Audeze reacted and corrected the issue so your argument cant be valid.
 

tential

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I think you are right about the HE6SE being a better proposition TBH. Which DCA are you waiting for ?
All the open backs. I already ordered the closed back mod house argon that I should probably send to amir first to see if I need to buy another closed back or if that's good. I should have got the Dan Clark instead since that's known to be good. Too late now.

Since Dan Clark has said that the line above the aeons have better bass and I'm a base head, I really want to see the ethers. But so far, Dan Clark is the only one to have very good headphones across multiple headphones. Can't understand why others can't just do what he's doing but at the same time, many consider his headphones to be "boring".

That's why I think the manufacturers PURPOSELY screw with the headphones to make them sound unique. Anything that amir tests to be good, the "reviewers/influencers" find boring. But the abyss, Beyer, etc. Anything that has an oddity with it, they love. I can just NEVER trust subjective reviewers.

If the modhouse aren't already on amirs list, I need to send to him and just bite the additional wait time.

But now Audeze reacted and corrected the issue so your argument cant be valid.
They did a slight improvement. You still need to eq these. This is NOT hitting the curve. They could definitely have done better out the box.

Did we read the same review? "What is there now is improved in that regard from tonality point of view but is still far from ideal response."

It's right there in the conclusion. Dca and the he6se are far better representations of what should be happening.
 

tential

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It was only sensed before, it became a fact with his measurements.
Amir isn't the first person to measure these. It was known before this. Audeze even gives out an eq on roon to fix these.
 
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