Audeze LCD-X Review
The Audeze LCD-X headphones are one of the older models of headphones, but near the end of last year they have had an upgrade and its worth evaluating now. The LCD-X are high quality in function and sounding.
- Bulletproof Build
- Comfortable headband and earpads
- Smooth sound with top-tier coherence
- Technically impressive throughout
- eQ presets provided by Audeze themselves
- Weight is still felt by the wearer
- Laid-back sub-bass can sap dynamics
- Lacks energy in general
- Very Expensive
BUILD & DESIGN:
Audeze LCD-X headphones might be built a little bit too well. Most people want sturdy-built headphones so they don’t worry about damaging or breaking them if they aren’t in a protective case. But in our case these headphones have too much weight to them, they weigh over 635g. This is due to the magnetic structure in place and quite a bit of metal that the headphones are made of. The cable that comes with the headphones in our benefit is so lightweight and tangle free, the microphones as well works flawlessly. Apart from them weighing a lot, they provide excellent comfort. They have a snug fit when you put them on, and no one has complained about it. The only down side to their slight overweight is that if you wear them for a long period of time, they would cause neck pain. Performance wise, they are being questioned if the price jump in comparison with the LCD-2 is appropriate. The Audeze LCD-X have double sided array along with Fazor elements.
In my opinion these headphones have been designed with music creators to make the sound amazing with a wide range of source equipment. They also benefit from a good headphone amplifier and you wouldn’t run it from a phone. These headphones have great image clarity and it’s a big change and step-up from the other lower priced planar magnetic headphones. They have more clarity and quality in the treble above the consonant range, anything above 9 khz. This also helps cymbal hits to come through with incredible clarity and texture. The LCD-X is a bit more expensive than the Ananda; most people can’t give them a higher mark because they are ever so slightly better but there is nothing better with this price at the moment so they can have a high rating anyways.
Audeze LCD-X headphones have snappiness and great quality that is expected from a planar magnetic high-end headphone set. The bass comes through strongly and controlled, it also has an easy time with handling busy passages and complex layers. The LCD-X headphones have good dynamic slam and they don’t hit as hard as Focal clear. The slam in modern day planar magnetic headphones doesn’t really show up especially with the lighter ones. But the traditional LCD-X design helps retain it. When someone discussed with Audeze’s CEO about why ” The slam ” shows up in some planar magnetic headphones and not i others, his response was that everything depends on the number of factors along with driver’s ability to displace air, diaphragm thickness, magnetic force and the seal of the earpads.
When it comes to imaging and soundstage the LCD-X in not that great, it’s not as spacious and open sounding as the HiFiMAN Ananda. The sound stage is wide but it doesn’t sound quite open, this can be because of the additional mesh covering the back of the grille whilst with the Amanda’s window shade grille is more open. This could also be because of how the pads seal around the ear, and can give out a claustrophobic sound but it’s not such a big deal. Imaging is also evenly distributed across the stage, it’s not that well represented but it’s okay for the front left and front right.
With the Audeze LCD-X headphones its quite hard to measure the MiniDSP rig. This rig helps with showing comparative differences. Most adjustments made seem to have been skipped by the measurement rig in its entirety in some places. But all of this will eventually be updated at some point in the future. Planar magnetic headphones do have minimal unit variance when it comes to frequency response and tonality. The tonality in the LCD-X headphones is weird out of the box, because when you get high end Audeze headphones you also get the option to apply their EQ profiles. Doesn’t matter if it’s done in Roon or Equalizer APO, the Reveal+ makes an okay improvement with the tonality.
These headphones have linear bass extensions that go down into the sub bass and there’s no substantial bass roll off below 50hz and its out of the human hearing range. This ultimately mean that for some people the bass might be a little light, but however it still does have an amazing bass response. In regard of the midrange there is some forwardness that’s roughly about 1khz that can cause a compressed sound. This also is more noticeable by a substantial recession in the upper mids that begins around 3khz and ends with 5khz. The Audeze LCD-X have more recessed in the upper mids and its enough to cause harmonic tones so the instruments sound a bit muffled and muted. All in all, the treble in these headphones is the most agreeable with everything. They don’t have percussion that would be caused with a 5-6khz peak, the constant range is 8khz and a little energy above 12khz.
There are a few ups and downs to these headphones of course. The up side is that with that weird frequency response, making it work and getting the most out of it means making use out of the Reveal+ and adding a bit of EQ. The down side has to be its weight, when headphones weigh over 635g using them at a desk job might not be the best option for you. Other than that, the Audeze LCD-X headphones perform amazingly and they are well recommended.