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Audeze LCD-X Review (2021 Edition Headphone)

tential

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https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-open-back-headphone-review.16777/post-541640

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-open-back-headphone-review.16777/post-541655

Thanks for adding the sources. Ya.... Amir isn't God or something, this was known. It just doesn't matter in the subjective community. If a few influencers say it's good, people bandwagon. I suggest you reread this info again Nango since you seem to be quite off/behind.
 

Nango

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https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-open-back-headphone-review.16777/post-541640

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-open-back-headphone-review.16777/post-541655

Thanks for adding the sources. Ya.... Amir isn't God or something, this was known. It just doesn't matter in the subjective community. If a few influencers say it's good, people bandwagon. I suggest you reread this info again Nango since you seem to be quite off/behind.
Dont think you can compare these. One is a measurement, different thing is a scientific approach to a measurement like ASR conducts. I reaffirm, it was first sensed, then we knew it.
 

JDS

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I have plenty of content down there. Indeed I have a long playlist with them. We also had a recent thread where members post their favorites. I have RME ADI-2 DAC and so see the spectrum real-time as I play them.
Most people have never experienced a playback system that is flat to 20Hz or below. They would be amazed at how much information is down there, and how much it can add to the overall experience.
 

Jimbob54

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Jimbob54

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Dont think you can compare these. One is a measurement, different thing is a scientific approach to a measurement like ASR conducts. I reaffirm, it was first sensed, then we knew it.

Given they use essentially the same measurement rig, once you are competent to measure on it I dont think it cares one jot whether you are approaching it as a scientist or a humble measurerbator. Now, I believe Oratory does average over multiple seatings whereas I think Amir adopts the "take the most representative single measurement" but that massive dip in the FR doesnt care who is operating the machine.
 

don'ttrustauthority

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However, given the bare headphones are priced at about $1000 (no box, no cable) the price of the premium box really makes the value of all their other products look suspect. If the markup on the box is that much, one wonders how extreme all of the product markups are.
One wonders? They charge up to $4k for a set of headphones. Wonder no more.
 

Robbo99999

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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.
To me soundstage is simply the physical layout in & around me of the perceived/imagined soundscape that the headphones create whether it be for music or gaming (& movies if I watched them through headphones), as well as the more defined positioning of instruments/voices/sounds within that "sphere". So to me there's the element of total physical size of the entire soundscape, and then there's the definition of positioning within that soundscape, so to me "soundstage" encompasses both of the those elements/qualities.
 

Jimbob54

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One wonders? They charge up to $4k for a set of headphones. Wonder no more.

Ha. They are in the higher end audiophile market. I thought the (lack of )correlation between price and performance, nevermind the silly markup had long been taken as given
 

Jimbob54

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To me soundstage is simply the physical layout in & around me of the perceived/imagined soundscape that the headphones create whether it be for music or gaming (& movies if I watched them through headphones), as well as the more defined positioning of instruments/voices/sounds within that "sphere". So to me there's the element of total physical size of the entire soundscape, and then there's the definition of positioning within that soundscape, so to me "soundstage" encompasses both of the those elements/qualities.

Perhaps - and thats a definition I can recognise. Helps not one iota measuring it. How wide / deep is it? Whats the space between the guitar and the piano on the other side. Those dimensions exist entirely in your brain, even if everyone agrees the guitar is panned further left than the trumpet and the piano is at the other side of the stage .
 

Robbo99999

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Perhaps - and thats a definition I can recognise. Helps not one iota measuring it. How wide / deep is it? Whats the space between the guitar and the piano on the other side. Those dimensions exist entirely in your brain, even if everyone agrees the guitar is panned further left than the trumpet and the piano is at the other side of the stage .
That's true, you can't quantify it in metres or feet the size of the total physical soundscape, nor can you do the same for the distance between the guitar and the piano in your example.....but you can get some relative spatial cues in terms of if one is closer or further away as well as the angular geometry from ourselves the listener. One interesting exception is if you're doing fps gaming with Virtual 7.1 surround activated, then you get hard feedback on where sound is coming from re distance / angle / front / behind & even things like occlusion from walls or reverberation characteristics of surfaces & spaces that players are running & walking through.....and then you get to correlate what you hear with what you see, so there's an element of brain training taking place to help your mind picture sound locations more accurately beyond what is initially possible when first exposed to that environment. So in a virtual 7.1 surround environment it is possible to start corresponding it to real distance (well in game distance) and definitely 360 degree angular position. When listening to 2 channel music different headphones expand or contract the total size of the physical soundscape, and some can pinpoint positional cues in the music better than others within that space. For gaming I think you want both a large enough total physical soundscape, and if that first variable is satisfied to the minimum then the deciding factor is the second variable which is the pinpointing of positional cues within that space. My K702 for variable #1 has that really large soundscape and for variable #2 the positioning it is also good, whereas my HD560s has a noticeably narrower/smaller soundscape for variable #1, but variable #2 the positioning it is very very good........so really they're about equal as gaming headphones, but I seem to be doing a bit better with the HD560s. For music listening they definitely deliver a different spatial experience as you can expect from my description, but both deliver good spatial enjoyment that I don't get in my other headphones.
 

MayaTlab

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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?

The main problem being that "soundstage" remains undefined :D.

But I actually think that it's the one term that has the most chance of becoming operational defined in the future. Intuitively, we all know what "soundstage" is : if you're blindfolded, in a typical room, and someone talks to you, there's a pretty good chance you'll be able to move near that person's location just by ear.
The fundamental problem being that headphones are but a small part of the chain of elements needed to be able to re-construct all the cues we use in that case to locate that voice in that space.
I think that an interesting test would be to design a virtual space and ask people to move to a sound's location without any visual cues, and score them. Think blindfolded video game. But I'm not certain that this can become a reality without a combination of at least a few of the following - and perhaps all of them to be truly convincing : object based formats, individualised HRTFs, head-tracking, headphones with a predictable FR at someone's eardrum.
Video games have made quite a few strides lately in that regard so perhaps someone with more experience in that area than me could chime in. I've recently been able to try Returnal on PS5 with 3D audio enabled and it was... quite something.
 
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don'ttrustauthority

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Creating the illusion of soundstage is easy. Lots of treble. And very low distortion. And carefully matched drivers. And down the chain. You wanted closely matched parts, here low distortion is important but also important is similar distortion in each channel. One imagines Audeze controls for this.

I am curious about Grado's new headphones to see if the treble has been tamed but their open design could maintain the great sense of openness Grado have.
 

Jimbob54

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The main problem being that "soundstage" remains undefined :D.

But I actually think that it's the one term that has the most chance of becoming operational defined in the future. Intuitively, we all know what "soundstage" is : if you're blindfolded, in a typical room, and someone talks to you, there's a pretty good chance you'll be able to move near that person's location just by ear.

Agreed ;-) https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...view-2021-edition-headphone.25271/post-860090
 

keebz28

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Creating the illusion of soundstage is easy. Lots of treble. And very low distortion. And carefully matched drivers. And down the chain. You wanted closely matched parts, here low distortion is important but also important is similar distortion in each channel. One imagines Audeze controls for this.

I am curious about Grado's new headphones to see if the treble has been tamed but their open design could maintain the great sense of openness Grado have.

from the subjective reviews I’ve seen on the net there hasn’t been much of a change on the new Grados except for changes to the cable and some material changes. TBD on how they sound.
 

Robbo99999

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The main problem being that "soundstage" remains undefined :D.

But I actually think that it's the one term that has the most chance of becoming operational defined in the future. Intuitively, we all know what "soundstage" is : if you're blindfolded, in a typical room, and someone talks to you, there's a pretty good chance you'll be able to move near that person's location just by ear.
The fundamental problem being that headphones are but a small part of the chain of elements needed to be able to re-construct all the cues we use in that case to locate that voice in that space.
I think that an interesting test would be to design a virtual space and ask people to move to a sound's location without any visual cues, and score them. Think blindfolded video game. But I'm not certain that this can become a reality without a combination of at least a few of the following - and perhaps all of them to be truly convincing : object based formats, individualised HRTFs, head-tracking, headphones with a predictable FR at someone's eardrum.
Well that is what you'd need to define a 3D-space and to simulate that in headphones. I suppose 2 channel music listening through headphones "should" just be a simulation of listening to 2 speakers in a room with speakers and listener being at the corners of an equilateral triangle - Harman Curve is an approximation of that to some extent and then there's the Impulcifier Project and also the Smyth Realiser. Then there's Virtual 7.1 surround processing from companies like Creative Soundblaster that must use a generic HRTF that is perhaps slightly modifiable by it's Surround (0-100) variable, and then you've got the object based formats coming from the game engines. It's all being done to some degree, me personally (in terms of music) I find a lot of spatial enjoyment in 2-channel music listening combined with Harman Curve in headphones if choosing the right headphone (and I also keep the Harman Curve EQ activated when gaming). I keep saying I'm gonna try the Impulcifier Project....lol! Soundstage exists in one form or another no matter which way you use headphones......it's just a spatial representation of what you hear.
 
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AVKS

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More like a neck brace

Maybe I'm just an outlier but I've been wearing my 612g LCD-2 closed for about 4 hours straight now and they're still perfectly comfortable with zero neck fatigue. I also have Aeon Flow RT closed as a contrast, so perhaps discomfort in the past was amplified by their old headband system and is mitigated by the new suspension system?
 
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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.
There is such immense variation in look, feel, comfort, brand, playback dynamics, spatial qualities, etc. that there is plenty of room for differentiation. We have seen speaker design gravitate toward flat on-axis response and that hasn't dampened the variations in the market.
 
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amirm

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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 did evaluate them in the original LCD-X review which I had linked to in the review: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-x-over-ear-open-back-headphone-review.16777/

index.php


I did not do that testing again because I am assuming the profile in Roon has not been updated for this revision.

Anyway, correlation is good with my EQ so if you can't develop your own, you can try to use theirs.
 
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amirm

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Most people have never experienced a playback system that is flat to 20Hz or below. They would be amazed at how much information is down there, and how much it can add to the overall experience.
Well said. I know it was eye opening for me as well the first time I heard it. It is something special as compared to speakers as there are no room modes so you hear an incredibly pure execution of it with headphones.
 

Francis Vaughan

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A big problem with sound stage arguments is that there very little to correlate the perceived changes in SS across headphones with what is actually recorded. How much is just an artefact of the headphones and how much is in the recording isn’t well quantified.
It is going to depend dramatically on the music style. So much stuff is close mic’ed and pan potted. Any spatial localisation you hear beyond that isn’t in the signal but is created in the headphones. Even a room mic to add ambiance is typically only a single mic and so devoid of location information. Which gets us into questions about euphoric distortion versus accuracy.
But other recordings do carry much more location information. Your basic Blumlein or OTRF pairs, Decca Tree, Jecklin Disk up to ambisonic and dummy head recordings contain valid spatial and location information. But in very different ways. These should not require any special magic in the headphones to create a real spatial result. But given most are recorded and mixed assuming ordinary speakers and room, things are going to sound different. In the end, either the headphones are accurate to the recording or their spatial effects are due to some form of distortion of the sound.
There was a moment when it looked as if a messy group delay might have been at least partly responsible, but this has not proven consistent. Maybe there is still something there.
The ear/brain has limited mechanisms to determine location. HRTF is mostly a matter of frequency response changes with angle and distance. Phase is there as well but is only captured by some recording techniques. It isn’t hard to see how frequency response anomalies in the HP can turn into otherwise non-existent location cues, especially if they line up with particular instruments. This may be particularly important for manufacturing the illusion of depth. Distortion pumping energy into specific bands may have a hand in this as well.
Overall I don’t think we have anything like enough understanding of the issues to be able to make sensible quantitative determinations of good or bad spatial reproduction in headphones. Qualitative metrics may be affected by a wide range of issues that we don’t have a good handle on ascribing causation to. More data please. I wonder if listening with synthetic HRTF created as part of evaluation might shed some light on the relationship between known encoded spatial information versus anything additional from oddities in the HP implementation.
 
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