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Audeze LCD-X Review (2021 Edition Headphone)

Jmm22

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I’m about to order the 2021 LCD-X. I mostly listen to hip hop and film scores. I have dynamic driver headphones, but want sub bass and the ability to get a lot of it (through EQ). With EQ does the LCD-X outperform the LCD-2 and LCD-2C in bass/sub bass? I don’t care about the price difference, just what provides the best rumble with EQ. If it’s very close I’ll go with LCD-X because it is easier to drive and seems like it is easier to EQ for different genres.
 

Robbo99999

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I’m about to order the 2021 LCD-X. I mostly listen to hip hop and film scores. I have dynamic driver headphones, but want sub bass and the ability to get a lot of it (through EQ). With EQ does the LCD-X outperform the LCD-2 and LCD-2C in bass/sub bass? I don’t care about the price difference, just what provides the best rumble with EQ. If it’s very close I’ll go with LCD-X because it is easier to drive and seems like it is easier to EQ for different genres.
Maybe consider the following Audeze headphone that was measured today by Amir, it measures a lot better, and also in the bass:
 

Jmm22

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Maybe consider the following Audeze headphone that was measured today by Amir, it measures a lot better, and also in the bass:
Thanks, it does look good. Unfortunately, I’m looking for open back.
 

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!

Posted EQ Graph Update 032622 B.jpg


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
 
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Robbo99999

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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

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
I quite like that track, did you create that yourself? Aren't the LCD-X too non-neutral to use for creating music, as in it might not sound balanced as a finished piece of work? Your EQ looks quite V-shaped if I look at it casually.....I don't know if I detected excess 1kHz energy in your track (just a quick impression & I'm not a music maker by any stretch!), which might be a result of you balancing your track using headphones that aren't linear? I don't know what your process is for controlling overall balance, but well done if you created that track, I quite like it!
 

Robbo99999

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Yet they have the best sounding headphones. So much for your charts.
That's a highly debateable statement, and not very convincing. Measurements are the best way of comparing headphones, and then subjective reviews & opinions from people are an added variable to be added onto the measurements to try to gain an overall impression of the headphone.....but measurements are the most reliable way of comparing headphones.
 

Jonne Haven

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I quite like that track, did you create that yourself? Aren't the LCD-X too non-neutral to use for creating music, as in it might not sound balanced as a finished piece of work? Your EQ looks quite V-shaped if I look at it casually.....I don't know if I detected excess 1kHz energy in your track (just a quick impression & I'm not a music maker by any stretch!), which might be a result of you balancing your track using headphones that aren't linear? I don't know what your process is for controlling overall balance, but well done if you created that track, I quite like it!
@Robbo99999 Yes it is an original track I composed myself. I'm glad you like it!

I'll be honest, I was ready to reject your opinions out of pride and the fact that I'm very close to this song, which in the end turned out to be the problem. You were spot on in saying that there was excess at 1 kHz. I put a filter on it and voila! The drums were brought out and more of the nuances in the track were audible. Basically the overall sound was much more appealing.

The oversight was not the fault of the HPs. It was just bad engineering on my part, the fault clearly came through on the LCD-Xs (even more so than on my external Dynaudio monitors), I was just too close to the project to notice.

You have a magical ear my friend!

Blessings,
-J
 

Robbo99999

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@Robbo99999 Yes it is an original track I composed myself. I'm glad you like it!

I'll be honest, I was ready to reject your opinions out of pride and the fact that I'm very close to this song, which in the end turned out to be the problem. You were spot on in saying that there was excess at 1 kHz. I put a filter on it and voila! The drums were brought out and more of the nuances in the track were audible. Basically the overall sound was much more appealing.

The oversight was not the fault of the HPs. It was just bad engineering on my part, the fault clearly came through on the LCD-Xs (even more so than on my external Dynaudio monitors), I was just too close to the project to notice.

You have a magical ear my friend!

Blessings,
-J
Cool, that's good that you did indeed create that track, good job! Well I'm pleased I was able to help improve the balance of your track, I really don't have experience in music creation at all, but recently I have been listening to tracks whilst watching a spectrum analyser so I can link elements I'm hearing in the tracks with their associated frequencies - to aid me tweaking headphone EQ's (which are first based on the backbone of headphone measurements)......so praps that helped me identify the excess 1kHz in your track.....albeit my spectrum analyzer is associated with my music player so I wasn't able to see it when I was listening to your YourTube track.
 

Jonne Haven

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Cool, that's good that you did indeed create that track, good job! Well I'm pleased I was able to help improve the balance of your track, I really don't have experience in music creation at all, but recently I have been listening to tracks whilst watching a spectrum analyser so I can link elements I'm hearing in the tracks with their associated frequencies - to aid me tweaking headphone EQ's (which are first based on the backbone of headphone measurements)......so praps that helped me identify the excess 1kHz in your track.....albeit my spectrum analyzer is associated with my music player so I wasn't able to see it when I was listening to your YourTube track.
If I may ask, what spectrum analyzer are you using? I want to use one for the very same reason you are and to hone my frequency identification skills for the sake of my studio work/play.

Thanks,
-J
 
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odyo

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@Robbo99999 @Jonne Haven Did you guys check out Harman How To Listen app ? It's nice. I scored pretty i high score at identifying frequencies. I wasn't expecting it. http://harmanhowtolisten.blogspot.com/
 

Robbo99999

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If I may ask, what spectrum analyzer are you using? I want to use one for the very same reason you are and to hone my frequency identification skills for the sake of my studio work/play.

Thanks,
-J
I think you want something fine-grained so that the bars are narrow enough that you can see what's going on. If the bars are too wide then you can't identify the "harmonics" across the frequencies associated with each instrument and voices. I find I need a relaxed alertness to absorb what's happening in the music and to link it with the quick/constant changes that happen in the spectrum analyser, maybe you need "quick eyes" attuned to picking out short-lived patterns, probably some cross over to computer gaming & sports in that capacity, but it's easier the more you do it re Spectrum Analyzer. Neutron Player is what I use for that. Foobar2000 has one too, but it's not very fine-grained.
 
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Robbo99999

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@Robbo99999 @Jonne Haven Did you guys check out Harman How To Listen app ? It's nice. I scored pretty i high score at identifying frequencies. I wasn't expecting it. http://harmanhowtolisten.blogspot.com/
Yep, I did a bookmark to that link months ago, I say to myself it's worth trying, but haven't wanted to dedicate a big chunk of time to it.....I do think it's worth trying though, just I haven't felt like dedicating a chunk of time to it, feels too much like taking a formal class to make me want to do it in my free time....I should absolutely try it though.
 

Rayman30

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Using these with Oratory EQ, they image phenomenally (Everything is well layered and separated) it's tonally balanced with a very complete image. They are a bit relaxed in the upper mids, but overall provide a rich tonality with high levels of detail and separation, their sound stage is not wide but its not narrow either, bass is textured, deep and impactful. Treble is detailed and airy, but can be a bit sibilant at times. Overly compressed tracks seem to open up a bit on these, its uncanny. I gotta say, these beat my Ananda in every area other than soundstage.

These are planars in dynamic drag...
 
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odyo

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Yep, I did a bookmark to that link months ago, I say to myself it's worth trying, but haven't wanted to dedicate a big chunk of time to it.....I do think it's worth trying though, just I haven't felt like dedicating a chunk of time to it, feels too much like taking a formal class to make me want to do it in my free time....I should absolutely try it though.
So true lol. I did it in one sitting and never touch it again. I still keep the app sitting there.
 

Rayman30

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I found this EQ profile to be preferable for me, I took my favorite settings from Amir, Oratory and other places. I found the mids to be a little dark on these, but this brightens it up.

Preamp: -6.0 dB
Filter 1: ON LS Fc 80 Hz Gain 3.0 dB Q 0.7
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 3700 Hz Gain 5.0 dB Q 4.5
Filter 3: ON HS Fc 1800 Hz Gain 3.5 dB Q 0.7
Filter 4: ON HS Fc 9000 Hz Gain -4.0 dB Q 0.7
Filter 5: ON LS Fc 31 Hz Gain 5.5 dB Q 1.0
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 2542 Hz Gain 3.0 dB Q 2.5
Filter 7: ON LS Fc 127 Hz Gain 3.0 dB 0.7

If you find the above to be a little to shouty, this one is a bit more chill.

Preamp: -6.0 dB
Filter 1: ON LS Fc 80 Hz Gain 3.0 dB Q 0.7
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 3700 Hz Gain 4.0 dB Q 4.5
Filter 3: ON HS Fc 1800 Hz Gain 3.0 dB Q 0.7
Filter 4: ON HS Fc 9000 Hz Gain -5.0 dB Q 0.7
Filter 5: ON LS Fc 31 Hz Gain 5.5 dB Q 1.0
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 2542 Hz Gain 2.5 dB Q 2.5
Filter 7: ON LS Fc 127 Hz Gain 2.5 dB 0.7



1649340135371.png1649340168280.png
 
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Jonne Haven

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Using these with Oratory EQ, they image phenomenally (Everything is well layered and separated) it's tonally balanced with a very complete image. They are a bit relaxed in the upper mids, but overall provide a rich tonality with high levels of detail and separation, their sound stage is not wide but its not narrow either, bass is textured, deep and impactful. Treble is detailed and airy, but can be a bit sibilant at times. Overly compressed tracks seem to open up a bit on these, its uncanny. I gotta say, these beat my Ananda in every area other than soundstage.

These are planars in dynamic drag...
Everything you've said here is spot on accurate. I also graduated from Anandas and agree with you about the LCD-X superiority overall. And the way it seems to open up over compressed material is uncanny. From an engineering standpoint I actually find myself leaning towards grabbing my DT1990s because I'm afraid the LCD-Xs make my mixes sound TOO good! Any other engineers experience this?

-J
 

Jonne Haven

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Here is an update to my song "Big Bad World" that I mastered with the LCD-X. This time my song has been altered per @Robbo99999 's above suggestion of decreasing the energy at 1kHz. I think it sounds way better now!


Comments are most welcome!

Blessings,
-J
 
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