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The LCD-X

A Review On: Audez'e LCD-X

Audez'e LCD-X

Rated # 192 in Headphones
See all 7 reviews
Review Details:
Audio Quality
Comfort
Design
Value
Purchased on:
Price paid: $1,699.00
SnowReborn
Posted · Updated · 14493 Views · 23 Comments

Pros: Amazing Details, Amazing instrument seprartions, and the typical Audeze, Neutral, opened up the wall of LCD-2

Cons: Not worth the 1699$, doesn't worth to upgrade from LCD2 or LCD-3, neither fun nor engaging. Heavy and comfort issues

Hello hifi communities. This is my very first thread on head-fi as well as the first review. So please chill if you dislike my opinions and ignorant. I just received my LCD-X, paired up with Burson Conductor running through foobar on ASIO with flacs, excited and unboxed......... 

 

Pictures:

 

LCD-2 with LCD-X

 

 

Burson Conductor / AKG Q701

 

The Razor edge hurts my ears inside the earcup 

 

My first impression was................. really disappointed, the LCD-X is opposite of my expectations. I am fairly new to the hi-fi world as well as this forum, but i had my LCD 2.2 for good 4 months, i also heard HD800 and He500 for a period of time, also own ATM M50, AKG-Q701. My first impression comparing LCD-2.2 and LCD-X was, LCD-X has a lot more details, instrument separations and more air, more height which are good things. The reason i bought LCD-X was to complement to LCD-2.2s. Before i buy LCD-X, i been reading reviews and threads on this forum. I heard some people say it's better than LCD-3 with lower price (never had experience with LCD-3), and it has fairly good detail and imagine to compete with HD800 (which i heard, very cold and dead to my ears, disliked) , and ultimately, it opened up LCD-2's wall (trying to say LCD-2 was not good at treble and feels closed-back headphone, and in fact, LCD-2 doesn't pass lots air through the back, you will notice it when you compare to Hifiman He-500, LCD-2 has lowered volume when you put them next to each other without put them on your head  and sound doesn't change much when you put your hands over the back of the headphone). Note that I got my LCD-X about 3 days now, i been continuously listen to them, when I sleep I still feed them with soundtracks for break-in. The LCD-X has higher volume in general because they are had less impedance compared to the LCD-2s. 

 

Appearance:

I bought my LCD-X with the black ring version and the leather pads.

Although i thought the LCD-X came with same cable as any others did (LCD-2 / LCD-3) but i did notice the cable is softer compare to LCD-2s, which are more tough and durable. the LCD-X's cable are more easy to tangle up

It came with the same travel box as LCD-2.2, extra cables as 3.5mm adapter and balanced cable

didn't include frequency response chart which is weird, instead they put some Audeze stickers.... wut? really?

The headphone looked fairly nice, but has very strong leather smell which bothers me bit (maybe just mine?)

It doesn't has the annoy chi-chi noise when you adjust headband compare to the wooden ring LCD-2s and LCD-3s.

Ear pads are waaaaaaaaay softer than i expected which i was told it's same as LCD-3's ear pads. In fact, i didn't like them..... they are comfortable, but they are too soft that pressed headphones towards my head more, so my ears touched the "razor edge" of the plate (Did i forget to mention that, LCD-X has different plate inside the earcup compare to LCD-2s, they are sharp... so they hurt my ears, like .. .physically)

Personally, after looking tones photos from facebook and head-fi members picture, i liked black version. I was a big fan of gun-metal, but i decided to buy black after all.

 

Comfort:

AWwww, these are more heavier than my LCD-2s, but who cares?! as long as it has good sound? the headband is unacceptably uncomfortable, but i found a solution toward this problem, i bought a seat bell cover on amazon that made the headband feel really soft and comfy.

Don't worry, for those who came from LCD-3s, you had the same earpads. Personally i disliked them, due to their softness they make my ear touch the driver inside, which has some razor edges (new design).

The handband can extend fairly long that can fit most of the heads, and the earcup are huge and im pretty sure it will be no problem to put your ears inside. 

 

Soundwise:

I had very high expectation on vocal performance on LCD-X which suppose to be huge improvements over LCD-2. Because i really really really enjoyed to listen vocals on He500, which i just returned for LCD-X.............I really really regret on that part.

 

 I will upload my testing tracks, i bought all the albums legally, but please delete them after listening, due to the copyright.

Song #1: EGOIST - Extra terrestrial Biological Entities - Supercell   download link

The differences was clear starting at beginning. The intro was well favored on LCD-X side due to it's very clear trebles and mids, the background's tapping on my ears and the instrument separations was well presented as well.

After 0:34 the vocal begins, I say both headphone did well on that part, but i slightly favor the LCD-2s due to it's tight bass and more refined vocal.

The LCD-X had very tight and well separated instrument background music and the vocal, due to the forwardness and the treble, the vocal sounded very forward, in a way i disliked compared to LCD-2s. The vocal wasn't clear and sweet as the LCD-2s, LCD-2 is more refined and engaging.

At 1:31, it's where LCD-X sounded completely masked and muddy on the vocal, feels like the singer went to a huge space where you don't really know what she was mumbling, and later on everything just blended together.(Sometimes the vocal hides the instrument, sometimes instrument hides the vocal.) Where as LCD-2 was more well balanced and engaging. You can feel the singer's voice is coming out of your heart instead of next to your ears and having some distance.

If i'd conclude the differences between the LCD-X and LCD-2s on this song, i'd say LCD-X has very good imaging and separations, but it's not engaging like LCD-2s dragging you to the music and make you become emotional. When i listening this song with LCD-2s, i was whispering the lyrics, but with LCD-Xs, my facial expression didn't even move at all. just like..........hummmmmmm...... ok............. -__-. LCD-X sounded like you are in a concert hall, there's no walls or any limitations, and the sound can travel as far as they want. The singer are singing next to your ears, but her voice fades in space far away. The LCD-2s sounded like the singer is in front of you and you are surround by the instruments, which is very engaging. I also found out a very interesting way to reproduce the sound of LCD-2s on LCD-X, just put your hands on the back of the headphone, and it will sounded more like LCD-2. At this point, i really miss my returned he500....

 

Song #2 DystopiaGround ∧ugΦEidEs (Augoeides)     download link

LCD-X has very good separation and imaging, again, I noticed some micro details that i haven't noticed on LCD-2s. (at 0:18 continue, 0:36 left, 0:44, 0:54 right ) LCD-X soon falls after the main melody came. They blended together again...... my brain can't decide if i should focus on the instrument, or the vocal, as they both sounded like overlap each other and sometimes at similar level. where as LCD-2s are punching good beats and making me ignoring parts of the music, and focus on one and enjoy it.

At this point, i asked myself, is it because LCD-X's separation made too much information for my brain to process? or it was because the forwardness that hides and blended everything together? hum...........

 

Song #3  Dulcet Series Summer Special Collection 2nd - Lost Time and Lost Memory: When The Day Breaks by α·Pav  download link

Surprisingly, LCD-X wins on this one, not so much to say on this song, the LCD-X sounded really breath taking, life like..... i closed my eyes and i can imagine being inside of the music every note hits my heart....... where as LCD-2s are more like... a music....

 

I did listen to few classic music, mozarts, but since i am not big fan of classic, i won't comment too much on this genre, over all LCD-X was better compare to LCD-2 on this area.

 

Headphone comparisons:

LCD2: It does has a lot of improvements over the LCD-2s, i can't comment on the LCD-3 because i never heard it. It is very good to listen to instrumental only, or vocal only (still can't be so positive on this part). If I'd listen to music to explore what's really in it, i'd pick up the LCD-X, if i'd enjoy music, specially instrumentals or rocks, music. I'd go for my LCD2.2 hands down, it made the music so much more engaging and fun to listen at, made me emotional in many songs and well balanced between all the factors (except the treble falls compare to my other headphones) and it has a wall (i may refer to it sounded really like a closed-back headphone, in fact it is actually pretty close to closed-back headphone as it doesn't leak much sound, and doesn't pass so much air)

 

AKG Q701: I don't really want to put too much time on this, Bass wise, LCD-X hands down, vocal wise, i would vote q701 for the clearness and crisp. Imaging and instruments, mids are all on LCD-X

 

He500: One of my favorite headphone! I was deciding between he500 and lcd-2s. I bought it 2 times, returned 2 times. due to the budget. Probably going to buy this baby back for the third time... Very Very Very well balanced neutral sounding headphone. Compare to my old LCD-2s, it doesn't have the darkness and the wall which LCD-2 had, and the bass are more controlled and defined on he500 compare to both LCD-2 and LCD-X, very quality bass. Mids wasn't as detailed as LCD-X and LCD-2s, but still very very close. Trebles are the best part of this headphone, due to it's openess, the airy treble really give me the vocal i been looking for. originally i thought the LCD-X would be a combination of both LCD-2 and the He500. but oh no... they are totally different. LCD-X still Audeze headphone, still very very similar to LCD-2. What he500 lacks compare to LCD-X was instrument separation and imaging, but who cares about all the details while you can enjoy your music!?! seriously...

 

HD800: Very very cold headphone. I returned it after 15 days of listening. I bought it due to it's popular and high rating on both hi-fi community and head-fi forum. It was not the headphone for me. It's very very detailed, and bright headphone. I don't hate bright headphones, but with a neutral amp, like objective o2, or schiit lyr, it will hurt your ears at some pitches, which means they are too bright at particular songs. LCD-X had it's detail, imaging and instrument separation, while kept Audeze's sound. It's like LCD-2 and HD800's mix. It's more fun to listen compare to HD800.

 

In conclusion of this brief review, i'd thank dan.gheorghe giving me useful information about amping and setups. I usually won't spend time writing review like this, but i'd contribute bit this time. i'd say LCD-X is a brilliant headphone. It's great for instrumental, classic and vocal alone(i doubt that lol), it really shines on particular song, but falls off on particular songs too.(not forgiving i guess)  Does it worth your extra 700$ to upgrade from LCD-2 to it? I'd say no......... I was overwhelmed by the reviews (too exaggerated in many ways, specially positive parts.) Since headphones reach their limit on certain price point, you won't get much more improvements after certain price, but instead you get different tastes. Lifeless but detailed HD800, a mixed version of LCD2 and HD800 ---- the LCD-X, the dark and engaging beats ---- LCD-2, and my favorite headphone ----He500. (I returned it 2 times because I kept reading comparisons on head-fi where other people think LCD-2 is superior than HE500, while my ears says no, so i had to force myself to like the LCD-2 and convenience myself that LCD-2 did sound better on many ways compare to HE500. After returning them, i missed their sound so much and buying back again, like right now. )  For the people who are looking for high end headhpones. The only suggestion is go to a local shop or go to www.headphone.com, listen to them and pick your favorite and be happy. For those who already had their favorite headphone and looking for upgrades. I am telling you, stop being greedy! Hi-fi is big blackhole that suck all your money in. Just be happy with what you have. In the end, i still highly recommend He500 since it's my favorite headphone atm, i prefer it over any headphone on the market at moment. It has very affordable price and amazing performance that well beyond it's price point, at least compare to many others. It seems like there will never be a perfect headphone, ever.. you won't be able to cream every good things of other headphones into one, even i was expecting and thought LCD-X was the one.

23 Comments:

Interesting review, though it does bring out my wallet hiding tendencies. I was looking at the LCD-X as a logical upgrade path from the HE-500, but perhaps time for a rethink.
Seems to me that this was a case of unrealistic expectations. You can blame those who reviewed it before you or you can understand that people view 'value' in different ways. What might be worth the $700 to one is not to another. I have personally found the X's to be very engaging and a significant upgrade to my LCD-2's...which I still enjoy.

I did note in my review that driving them with warm sounding amps can bring out a 'think' sound through the midrange that might match your description of vocals blending with the instruments. I don't have any experience with the Burson amps, but it found the Schiit Lyr to demonstrate this 'thickness'. The Mjolnir, on the other hand did not. Nor did the RWA Isabellina.

It also seems that you have an affinity for the HifiMan house sound. Nothing wrong with that! I really like the HE-6's. But they are a different sound signature than the LCD's. If you prefer the HE-500, then that's what you should own. Follow your own advice and stop chasing after the hype. Enjoy what you enjoy and be happy! But because it's not your preferred sound or because it didn't meet your high expectations, does not mean it's an average sounding product.
Nothing wrong with not liking a product. Giving it a pathetic rating when it's obviously a very good product however....
Interesting read. Can't agree or disagree, since I've not actually tried the LCD-X myself. Brave rating, considering the number of Audeze loyalists round these parts.
The rating is not pathetic but subjective and personal....and exactly this is what a review on HeadFi should be.Well done!
By the way,I do like the headphone but I also like people's honest opinions.
I like your conclusion. Good Job. I realized that too after i own HD800. I have stopped being greed though sometime i am still browsing around in Head-Fi, stalking around... Haha.
No need to be apologetic for being disappointed with the Audez'e headphones, you are not the only one. There is so much hype about them that I believe some people are a bit reluctant to offer the sober views on these Audez'e headphones. There is a human tendency to try not to be unpopular and be safe within a crowd. I was familiar with raving reviews and good rating of LCD2 V2 when I had a chance to listen to them on two occasions. I was shocked at the basic incompetence of their sound presentation. Thanks for honestly describing what you heard, for not following blindly hyped up expectations
Haha "Stop Being greedy" , well that is going to be hard anyways I will be alert when its time for Summit-Fi
Thanks for your review. I'm sure folks will accuse you of being overly harsh on the LCD-X because you didn't give it four or five stars, but personally I wasn't particularly taken by it either. It loses a lot of the charm other Audez'e models had for me personally, though I'd give it a 3.5 rather than a 2.5 myself. It's still a good headphone to my mind, and in particular I think it has the most pleasing overall tonal balance of the various Audez'e models, but I found after careful scrutiny that it's actually about on par w/ the LCD-2 in detail extraction and less detailed than LCD-3; it just gives the illusion of being more detailed due to its increased treble emphasis. Also I found the bass to be a less textured than the other models. The biggest issue for me however is the midrange suckout which compels me to turn the volume up louder than I normally do. There's also some upper mid hardness, so at higher volumes it gets a bit fatiguing, making me turn it back down again. The volume adjustment up and down and up and down gets annoying quickly.
 
Overall, the LCD-X strikes me as a sister headphone to the LCD-2, a different flavor that will appeal to a lot of folks more due to its more balanced tone. At its current price however it seems to be marketed as a competitor for the LCD-3, and personally I just don't see it competing. It's actually a little tricky to compare the two, because the LCD-3 has a lot of product variation, and the LCD-X actually sounds quite a lot better than the more veiled pairs of LCD-3 I've heard. If you get a "good" pair of LCD-3s however, they really outclass the LCD-X in most respects in my humble opinion.
I see it quite above LCD-2 in almost every aspect. As for LCD-3 vs LCD-X, I love them both but in the end I chose LCD-X. However, LCD-3 will be missed. 

"it just gives the illusion of being more detailed due to its increased treble emphasis. "

It is no illusion. LCD-3 is more detailed from the lows to the middle of the mids, but from the upper mids, I found LCD-X to be more detailed. 
 
" There's also some upper mid hardness, so at higher volumes it gets a bit fatiguing, making me turn it back down again."
 
While I don't file LCD-X tiresome it is not like LCD-3 in that department. I could have listened to lcd-3 with a headache or at 5 am. However, I don't find LCD-X that tiresome. I can easily go with 5+ hours of it with no problems.
Finally read your review. Good job man. I know you're kind of new here and I can totally tell that you tried your best. I hope you continue to do reviews and get even better as your first review was pretty good read. I've had the LCD-2 and HE-500 since 2011, both of them multiple times. On my current set up I slightly prefer the HE-500. So you're not alone. They're amazing when driven by a speaker amp fronted by a good source. I'm sort of heading toward HE-6 next given my conclusion.
3 posts, hasn't been back on since early Jan. Perhaps we can assume that this was a troll review, seems like it.
Magick Man, aren't trolls the inhabitants of a Magick kingdom ?
I think he got a bad unit, at least that is what he told me on a private message. 
zorin, apparently not, he doesn't appear to be an inhabitant of any community. It was just a drive-by troll review.
I doubt it. Trolls generally don't put that much effort into their trolling. I think it's just that he thought he would meet Christ when he put them on. When he didn't, he was crushed.
He has 1 review (this one) and 3 posts to the forums, all of which were in the LCD-X thread. He states they're better than the LCD-2, "15-20% better", which he liked a lot, but a 2.5 doesn't reflect that at all.

Some may ask, "Why do you care?" Well, I know when I started headphone shopping I placed a decent amount of stock in the Head-Fi ratings, especially the top 50 or so. It's unfortunate that these are now permanently weighed down by a negative score that, for all intents and purposes, seems unwarranted. Personally I don't believe anyone should be able to directly rate headphones until they've been here for a certain period of time and/or have a certain number of posts, maybe 50 or so. The ratings here could be a very valuable resource, but this type of incident throws a rather large "shadow of doubt" over the whole process, IMO.
Magick Man : "...It's unfortunate that these are now permanently weighed down by a negative score that, for all intents and purposes, seems unwarranted."
Not really, the Audez'e headphones are overrated and the review by ' SnowReborn' is a necessary, even though a small, correction. On head-fi a kind of a cult developed around the Audez'e line of headphones and more reviews like this one are needed so that the naive and ignorant folk can get a more balanced view of them and do not waste their money buying them.
Oh horse hockey. Your opinion might have some merit if the reviews before and after were all 5 stars that were devoid of content, and contained nothing more than fanboy fawning, but they aren't. There are (3) 5-stars and (2) 4-stars, with a fair bit of analysis in the mix. If you'd bothered to read and compare, you'd see that in this instance, Audeze isn't being "overrated" at all. Your snide "waste their money buying them" comment is quite telling, because these most certainly are NOT a waste, unlike 80% of the headphones that litter the Summit-Fi landscape. This is an exceptional product, IMO their first truly exceptional product, and weighing it according to your disdain for its predecessors is plain old ignorance. If I had simply pre-judged these according to my dislike of the LCD-2 and 3 I would have been the poorer for it, because the LCD-X is one of my favorite sets now. Fortunately I have more sense than that.
+1 Magick Man. I actually love their headphones especially LCD-X and then LCD-3 . If you wanted to say they are a little overpriced, what summit fi product isn't, or how many are?
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