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AUDEZE LCD XC - Page 56

post #826 of 2642

Sigh. I'm just going to lay all this out honestly.

 

I had tried the LCD XC at a high end retailer a few weeks ago, and I decided to buy them new.

 

For background, I like bright and detailed headphones. I love, absolutely love, my Shure SRH940 headphones. I didn't like the Fischer FA-003 because they were flat sounding and muddy, and sold them. But I recalled the LCD XC being bright and very detailed and being impressed by them in the store.

 

So now I have them and after three hours . . . I think I hate them. First of all, I like good vocals, like dionne warwick, stevie wonder, late 80s singers e.g. tiffany, etc. But when I listen to such songs on this, the vocals seem completely drowned out behind the instruments. It's like the instruments are right in front of you and the singer is 10 yards away. That caused me to turn the headphones up which is a terrible thing to have to do with good headphones. After using them for a while, I put my SRH940s back on and I was like, wow, these are so much more spine tinglingly beautiful, detailed and better sounding. I can actually hear the singers instead of a bunch of instruments and they sound awesome. The problem was that I had to turn the SRH940s to about 75% higher volume than I normally use when listening to them because, by playing the LCD XCs at high volume I had temporary diminished my hearing.

 

Then I downloaded the frequency charts from innerfidelity (by the way, why are there two materially different frequency charts for this headphone on innerfidelity?), and set my equalizer so that the LCD XCs should have a similar sound profile as the SRH940s and they sounded better. But then I turned that off and I'm going to try to enjoy the LCD XCs using their own frequency profile.

 

I'm going to continue using them but so far I'm really really disappointed by how they drown out the vocals behind instruments in songs, how they're not as bright as I remember and how for this price there should be at least some WOW factor which is completely nonexistent in these. I also purchased them from a small audiophile store which I don't think takes returns, so I may have to sell them on Ebay. Overall this is really disappointing though. When someone buys headphones like these, they should be spending the first few hours noticing how much better their favorite songs sound.


Edited by ag8908 - 2/12/14 at 3:27pm
post #827 of 2642
Quote:
Originally Posted by ag8908 View Post
 

Sigh. I'm just going to lay all this out honestly.

 

I had tried the LCD XC at a high end retailer a few weeks ago, and I decided to buy them new.

 

For background, I like bright and detailed headphones. I love, absolutely love, my Shure SRH940 headphones. I didn't like the Fischer FA-003 because they were flat sounding and muddy, and sold them. But I recalled the LCD XC being bright and very detailed and being impressed by them in the store.

 

So now I have them and after three hours . . . I think I hate them. First of all, I like good vocals, like dionne warwick, stevie wonder, late 80s singers e.g. tiffany, etc. But when I listen to such songs on this, the vocals seem completely drowned out behind the instruments. It's like the instruments are right in front of you and the singer is 10 yards away. That caused me to turn the headphones up which is a terrible thing to have to do with good headphones. After using them for a while, I put my SRH940s back on and I was like, wow, these are so much more spine tinglingly beautiful, detailed and better sounding. I can actually hear the singers instead of a bunch of instruments and they sound awesome. The problem was that I had to turn the SRH940s to about 75% higher volume than I normally use when listening to them because, by playing the LCD XCs at high volume I had temporary diminished my hearing.

 

Then I downloaded the frequency charts from innerfidelity (by the way, why are there two materially different frequency charts for this headphone on innerfidelity?), and set my equalizer so that the LCD XCs should have a similar sound profile as the SRH940s and they sounded better. But then I turned that off and I'm going to try to enjoy the LCD XCs using their own frequency profile.

 

I'm going to continue using them but so far I'm really really disappointed by how they drown out the vocals behind instruments in songs, how they're not as bright as I remember and how for this price there should be at least some WOW factor which is completely nonexistent in these. I also purchased them from a small audiophile store which I don't think takes returns, so I may have to sell them on Ebay. Overall this is really disappointing though. When someone buys headphones like these, they should be spending the first few hours noticing how much better their favorite songs sound.


Sorry to hear that, did you try HD800 or HE6 ?

post #828 of 2642
Quote:
Originally Posted by ag8908 View Post
 

Sigh. I'm just going to lay all this out honestly.

 

I had tried the LCD XC at a high end retailer a few weeks ago, and I decided to buy them new.

 

For background, I like bright and detailed headphones. I love, absolutely love, my Shure SRH940 headphones. I didn't like the Fischer FA-003 because they were flat sounding and muddy, and sold them. But I recalled the LCD XC being bright and very detailed and being impressed by them in the store.

 

So now I have them and after three hours . . . I think I hate them. First of all, I like good vocals, like dionne warwick, stevie wonder, late 80s singers e.g. tiffany, etc. But when I listen to such songs on this, the vocals seem completely drowned out behind the instruments. It's like the instruments are right in front of you and the singer is 10 yards away. That caused me to turn the headphones up which is a terrible thing to have to do with good headphones. After using them for a while, I put my SRH940s back on and I was like, wow, these are so much more spine tinglingly beautiful, detailed and better sounding. I can actually hear the singers instead of a bunch of instruments and they sound awesome. The problem was that I had to turn the SRH940s to about 75% higher volume than I normally use when listening to them because, by playing the LCD XCs at high volume I had temporary diminished my hearing.

 

Then I downloaded the frequency charts from innerfidelity (by the way, why are there two materially different frequency charts for this headphone on innerfidelity?), and set my equalizer so that the LCD XCs should have a similar sound profile as the SRH940s and they sounded better. But then I turned that off and I'm going to try to enjoy the LCD XCs using their own frequency profile.

 

I'm going to continue using them but so far I'm really really disappointed by how they drown out the vocals behind instruments in songs, how they're not as bright as I remember and how for this price there should be at least some WOW factor which is completely nonexistent in these. I also purchased them from a small audiophile store which I don't think takes returns, so I may have to sell them on Ebay. Overall this is really disappointing though. When someone buys headphones like these, they should be spending the first few hours noticing how much better their favorite songs sound.

 

If there ever was an anti-Audeze headphone (like antimatter), it would most definitely be the SRH940s. If you like that sound signature (I happen to not), then I wouldn't be surprised with your findings.
post #829 of 2642

I'm going to give these more time for now. Hopefully they'll get better.

post #830 of 2642
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
 

If there ever was an anti-Audeze headphone (like antimatter), it would most definitely be the SRH940s. If you like that sound signature (I happen to not), then I wouldn't be surprised with your findings.

 

What do you like about the Audeze XCs (in comparison to the SRH940s I mean. I read your review.) Maybe you can teach me to appreciate them.


Edited by ag8908 - 2/12/14 at 3:55pm
post #831 of 2642
Quote:
Originally Posted by ag8908 View Post

Sigh. I'm just going to lay all this out honestly.

I had tried the LCD XC at a high end retailer a few weeks ago, and I decided to buy them new.

For background, I like bright and detailed headphones. I love, absolutely love, my Shure SRH940 headphones. I didn't like the Fischer FA-003 because they were flat sounding and muddy, and sold them. But I recalled the LCD XC being bright and very detailed and being impressed by them in the store.

So now I have them and after three hours . . . I think I hate them. First of all, I like good vocals, like dionne warwick, stevie wonder, late 80s singers e.g. tiffany, etc. But when I listen to such songs on this, the vocals seem completely drowned out behind the instruments. It's like the instruments are right in front of you and the singer is 10 yards away. That caused me to turn the headphones up which is a terrible thing to have to do with good headphones. After using them for a while, I put my SRH940s back on and I was like, wow, these are so much more spine tinglingly beautiful, detailed and better sounding. I can actually hear the singers instead of a bunch of instruments and they sound awesome. The problem was that I had to turn the SRH940s to about 75% higher volume than I normally use when listening to them because, by playing the LCD XCs at high volume I had temporary diminished my hearing.

Then I downloaded the frequency charts from innerfidelity (by the way, why are there two materially different frequency charts for this headphone on innerfidelity?), and set my equalizer so that the LCD XCs should have a similar sound profile as the SRH940s and they sounded better. But then I turned that off and I'm going to try to enjoy the LCD XCs using their own frequency profile.

I'm going to continue using them but so far I'm really really disappointed by how they drown out the vocals behind instruments in songs, how they're not as bright as I remember and how for this price there should be at least some WOW factor which is completely nonexistent in these. I also purchased them from a small audiophile store which I don't think takes returns, so I may have to sell them on Ebay. Overall this is really disappointing though. When someone buys headphones like these, they should be spending the first few hours noticing how much better their favorite songs sound.

What equipment did you use in the shop when you tested them and what do you use at home? I know there's been a lot of fuss made over their so called efficiency but they're orthos and they still need a good amp to sound their best.

The best headphones don't always give you that wow factor. They grow on you over time.
post #832 of 2642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony1110 View Post


What equipment did you use in the shop when you tested them and what do you use at home? I know there's been a lot of fuss made over their so called efficiency but they're orthos and they still need a good amp to sound their best.

The best headphones don't always give you that wow factor. They grow on you over time.

 

Same equipment, an MP3 player with a very good (but not outstanding obviously) Wolfson DAC. I liked the XCs because they were advertised as compatible with portable devices, unlike e.g. 600oh headphones.

 

I'll keep trying them. They're not clearly subpar like the Fischer FA-003s


Edited by ag8908 - 2/12/14 at 4:25pm
post #833 of 2642
Quote:
Originally Posted by ag8908 View Post
 

 

What do you like about the Audeze XCs (in comparison to the SRH940s I mean. I read your review.) Maybe you can teach me to appreciate them.

If you like the presentation of the SRH940s, I'm not sure I can. I found them to be too treble tilted and missing quite a bit of bass to make them sound "real" to my ears. I find the XCs very natural for a closed headphone (especially next to the ones I've owned in the past/currently own; namely TH900, D7000, Ed.8, DT770/600). 

 

Something else to consider is your upfront rig. While these are very efficient orthos, they still are orthos and do benefit from good amplification (though not as much as say the LCD-3s IME). Plus there's your source to consider too. But in the end, you're ears will have to do the work in appreciating them. I certainly do. :redface: 

 

One recommendation is to use them exclusively for a week and see how things go. You might just put your SRH940s on after that and find them the way I do.....or not?

post #834 of 2642

Yeah I'll keep trying them. At least they look good.

post #835 of 2642
Quote:
Originally Posted by ag8908 View Post

Same equipment, an MP3 player with a very good (but not outstanding obviously) Wolfson DAC. I liked the XCs because they were advertised as compatible with portable devices, unlike e.g. 600oh headphones.

I'll keep trying them. They're not clearly subpar like the Fischer FA-003s

600ohm headphones are often far easier to drive than current-hungry orthos. There's no MP3 player on the market that'll drive the XC to its full potential. I doubt whether you're even hearing a fraction of what they can do. You need a half-decent desktop setup or at the very least a very good portable amp to get the best out of these. Even a budget amp like the Schiit Asgard 2 would improve the sound drastically.

Being compatible with portable devices doesn't mean they'll sound good out of them. Mine sound awful out of my MP3 player or laptop.
post #836 of 2642

OK thanks. After macedonian's thoughts, I think I'll keep them regardless as my best "other flavor of music" headphone. There seems to be too much praise for these for me to give up on them, and my first impressions at that store were very positive I recall. Even now they're not terrible, I was just expecting them to blow away the SRH940s but they didn't probably due to a mix of sound signature preference and the fact that their planar

post #837 of 2642
Quote:
Originally Posted by ag8908 View Post
 

OK thanks. After macedonian's thoughts, I think I'll keep them regardless as my best "other flavor of music" headphone. There seems to be too much praise for these for me to give up on them, and my first impressions at that store were very positive I recall. Even now they're not terrible, I was just expecting them to blow away the SRH940s but they didn't probably due to a mix of sound signature preference and the fact that their planar

 

When I first fired up my LCD-Xs a few weeks ago, I did the same thing you did...I was excited about the fact that they were portable and easier to drive than other planars. The first two things I posted on head-fi about them were, 1) I was a bit underwhelmed when driving them with just my iPhone 5, but 2) holy crap did they sound amazing when I actually gave them some current. Like Tony said, you probably havne't even heard close to their full potential yet. And the portable thing is very easily remedied by just picking up a small portable amp to pair with the MP3 player. That's one thing I love about that Pelican case they come with...there's enough room to put a little portable amp in there with the headphones, so it's very easy to not only have amazing sound on the go, but also to keep things safe and sound in that case. 

 

If I were you I'd spend time with them driven from a legit amp, and then if you like what you hear just get a quality portable amp to use with them on the go. It's very easy to connect a portable player to the amp. 

post #838 of 2642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Focker View Post
 

 

When I first fired up my LCD-Xs a few weeks ago, I did the same thing you did...I was excited about the fact that they were portable and easier to drive than other planars. The first two things I posted on head-fi about them were, 1) I was a bit underwhelmed when driving them with just my iPhone 5, but 2) holy crap did they sound amazing when I actually gave them some current. Like Tony said, you probably havne't even heard close to their full potential yet. And the portable thing is very easily remedied by just picking up a small portable amp to pair with the MP3 player. That's one thing I love about that Pelican case they come with...there's enough room to put a little portable amp in there with the headphones, so it's very easy to not only have amazing sound on the go, but also to keep things safe and sound in that case. 

 

If I were you I'd spend time with them driven from a legit amp, and then if you like what you hear just get a quality portable amp to use with them on the go. It's very easy to connect a portable player to the amp. 

 

Thanks. Out of curiosity, I assume you played it at the same volume as you played it on the Iphone right? Just want to make sure we're not conflating volume/power. I'll get an amp and see how that works.

 

By the way, I just saw that Tyll from innerfidelity seems to have given the LCD XCs a bad review. But he also strongly dislikes the Shure full sized line as well . . .

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/innerfidelity-february-2014-update

 

Audeze LCD-XC - Measurements show some unevenness through the mid-range and a bit too excessive spike on the leading edge of square waves. Brief listening has me thinking they're a bit rough sounding and uneven...review uncertain as yet.

post #839 of 2642
Quote:
Originally Posted by ag8908 View Post
 

 

Thanks. Out of curiosity, I assume you played it at the same volume as you played it on the Iphone right? Just want to make sure we're not conflating volume/power. I'll get an amp and see how that works.

 

By the way, I just saw that Tyll from innerfidelity seems to have given the LCD XCs a bad review. But he also strongly dislikes the Shure full sized line as well . . .

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/innerfidelity-february-2014-update

 

Audeze LCD-XC - Measurements show some unevenness through the mid-range and a bit too excessive spike on the leading edge of square waves. Brief listening has me thinking they're a bit rough sounding and uneven...review uncertain as yet.

No, they sound fuller on my Meier Jazz and Classic at lower volume than they do on the iPhone at higher volume. 

post #840 of 2642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Focker View Post
 

No, they sound fuller on my Meier Jazz and Classic at lower volume than they do on the iPhone at higher volume. 


Oh good. I just discovered that the LCD XCs play the sound of a single guitar string being picked very well.

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