Audeze LCD-5 Review, Measurements, Interview
Sep 21, 2021 at 2:18 AM Post #226 of 1,627

BassicScience

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That is true, actually, 200-300mW is enough to drive pretty much anything, aside from the likes of HE6, Susvara, because there would be no headroom left for quiet music, have tested it myself with balanced cable + switch box and level matching. The only amps that sound different are tube and hybrid amps. But i would be carefull with hybrids, because one i have tested sounded pretty much the same as ss, could not really tell it apart. Another one i could tell apart 10/10. Unless you got the option to compare like this its hard to tell the difference without level matching :)

There is also an dac/amp around 70$ you can buy, which is enough to drive any headphone on the market with headroom left for almost all songs and one for around 299$ i belive from Topping, EX5 that is everything anyone could ever need, if EQ/Bass Enhancement (without PC) is a thing.



Well, i had a couple of people blind testing the Susvara against an LCD-2 with oratory EQ + slight EQ changes from myself and the LCD-2 won most of the time with 20 tracks from different genres and personally, i find the LCD-2, as well HD800S with EQ and ZMF Auteur with EQ better than the Susvara with and without EQ. Regardless of that its still one of the best sounding headphones i've heard without any EQ applied, very well balanced. Only thing i dislike about the susvara is, that the sound seems to be vibrating to me at lower levels, especially the bass seems to be not clean because of that. But it got beaten by much cheaper headphones in my opinion, if EQ is not a problem and your head/earshape fit&comfort is okay.

I did the blind tests because i wasn't sure if my opinion is super unique and the persons i have tested didn't know anything about the price.
Maybe I'm old school, but I'm of the opinion that it's the headphone manufacturer's job to voice the product well, not mine. And as others have pointed out, once you introduce EQ as a variable, it becomes (even) more difficult to have a discussion about the relative merits of headphones. While I agree with @number1sixerfan that CanJam is not the venue to form definitive impressions of a headphone, I do think that useful and valid relative assessments are possible. Based on an admittedly cursory listen to the LCD-2 a few years ago, I was somewhat impressed by the bass response, but really nothing else. Seems to be a consistent theme with me vis-a-vis Audeze cans... so far. As I said, I'll be giving their new offerings a listen this weekend.
 
Sep 21, 2021 at 2:23 AM Post #228 of 1,627

LongBeforeShort

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Which matches exactly what I originally said, if you're doing so for your own pleasure it makes total sense. I totally get it. But there's no scientifically reasonable way to make such comparisons with any valuable meaning, and hence presenting 'blind EQ'd tests' with definitive outcomes to the rest of us on this site doesn't really do much. Again, all for people doing their own thing and nothing against EQ :)

For me a headphone is just a pair of speakers and if i know that mechanical stuff won't do any trouble, so EQ should be good to go, i gladly try it out. Don't have a measure rig myself, which is why i trust the EQ profiles from oratory, which worked great for me so far. I do have pretty good hearing for my age and can still hear fine until 16-17khz and don't have major flaws. Not sure about my ear/headshape though.

So, if a headphone with EQ sounds much better to me, why not? Unless you don't want to be chained by the need of EQ all the time.

In my case the susvara and zmf auteur were the closest to what i like without any EQ involved.
 
Sep 21, 2021 at 2:25 AM Post #229 of 1,627

hawk13

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Evaluations with EQ will need to be more specific, I agree. Without EQ, however, and without an adequate amp (more than the 500mw mentioned earlier), you simply cannot determine what the headphone is truly capable of, and whether it will be a good match for you. One man’s opinion.
 
Sep 21, 2021 at 2:42 AM Post #230 of 1,627

vsg28

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Engineering club checking in. Computer here, with a Master's. This is why I too would love if Dr. C could join Sankar and they can do a super deep dive on the tech behind LCD-5 and LCD-R
Oh are we flaunting degrees? I'll join the engineering club too (PhD in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science). Love when companies use novel materials, as well as standard materials in a novel application.
 
Sep 21, 2021 at 2:54 AM Post #231 of 1,627

DarginMahkum

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Not sure if you’re serious or trolling…

Stealth so far hasn’t enamored me. I love their fit and feel as well as aesthetics, but that’s about it.

Prefer the D9200 and TH900 Sapphire over then and those are voiced against my preference.

Anyway, LCD5 tuning looks encouraging, back on topic :)
No, not trolling at all. Just from the objectivity point of view: 4's tuning is a complete disaster, if you are not listening to any genre that either lacks significant midrange information (e.g. EDM), or need easy going and recessed mids because the recordings often sound too harsh (metal). With 5 it will be an interesting experience with that weird upper mids tuning and recessed treble. A compromise to keep both metal listeners and vocal listeners happy? Maybe.

From the objective measurements and technology point of view, Stealth managed to achieve much better results for both frequency response and distortion, and that is in a closed back form. That pretty much means that there is a higher level of engineering in Stealth than LCD5. So where does this place LCD5 relative to Stealth?

From the subjective point of view, I don't buy HPs for any genre or album. Firstly, Stealth sounds excellent for well made vocal albums (e.g Lhasa de Sela / Living Road). piano and other instrumentals with good amount of midrange information. It sounds extraordinarily good. Second, albums differ widely on their production. Especially in metal the differences are massive, where you have very prominent guitars and cymbals (Cynic / Traced in Air), or everything is well balanced for a more "musical" experience (Necrophagist / Epitaph). I cannot listen to the same album with the same tuning, and use EQ, for example, to tune down the upper mids and treble. Stealth is pretty dependable with that. Why? Because it does not have those dips and peaks other headphones have. But that is not the case with LCDs.

Anyway, from my subjective point of view, I don't plan on spending money on any headphone that cannot prove hat they did their job well on the engineering level. Otherwise there are headphones around that place an off-the-shelf driver in a wooden box and sell it for many times the price, and are praised for their "sound". There is too much BS in this industry.

I hope you all enjoy your LCD5s.
 
Sep 21, 2021 at 2:54 AM Post #232 of 1,627
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Sep 21, 2021 at 3:18 AM Post #234 of 1,627

Alcophone

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I think I shall be leaving them to stretch across one of my (relatively thin) ELAC speakers.
I hereby grant you a license to my patent.

unnamed (3).jpg
 
Sep 21, 2021 at 3:42 AM Post #236 of 1,627

betula

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I waited 2 years for a new LCD-4 successor but today when I look at the measurements I'm not very confident that It has the Audeze bass I love and It looks very bright.
And the distortions are way higher then the Stealth. I am a bit disappointed today
Reading a few posts and looking at 4 graphs made you (and some others) say that. Congratulations.
 
Sep 21, 2021 at 3:47 AM Post #237 of 1,627

Sajid Amit

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I wrote up a short summary about the LCD-5, after taking a bunch of photos. Getting a good shot of the acrylic rings (which usually appear quite dark) was challenging.
Helpful. Awaiting impressions on their macro dynamics / punch and slam / “tactility” across the frequency spectrum, and of course, the ever-so-important bass. 🙂
 
Sep 21, 2021 at 3:47 AM Post #238 of 1,627

Deceneu808

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I wrote up a short summary about the LCD-5, after taking a bunch of photos. Getting a good shot of the acrylic rings (which usually appear quite dark) was challenging.
How is the comfort on them ? Are they cell foam pads like on the 2021 LCD-X/XC or memory foam ? And how deep is the enclosure for the ear ? I almost sold my new LCD-X due to the new pads which squished too much that my ears would touch the fazors and hurt. Thank God for Dekoni
 
Sep 21, 2021 at 4:10 AM Post #240 of 1,627

LongBeforeShort

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Well, I think his idea is simple and valid. Have a target, ideally something comparable or a rig, EQ your headphones to your target and compare them. With FR impact minimized, other features should stand out. Apparently, for him, they didn't. I personally like EQ, because I like some headphones I couldn't listen to without (eg. LCD-4, 1266, SR-007).

Do you mean me? If so, i have described what the other people told me, what they hear. As for me, with same FR target, headphones still sound different to me, which is why FR alone is not important to me. For example i could not listen to rock music, or anything with heavy impact with the Hifiman Arya, because it sounds just dead and lifeless to me. No EQ will change that.

Do you live nearby by any chance? (Hannover). There is no LCD-4, 1266 or 007 anywhere nearby to listen to. If its not too far away, or if you would be interested to compare amps, there is maybe a small meeting up ahead with 3 people, me included between hannover/berlin, we got LCD-2, ZMF Aeolus, Auteur, Verite Open, 1000V2 and Headamp GSX Mini, Qudelix 5K, Burson Soloist i believe there together :)

Maybe I'm old school, but I'm of the opinion that it's the headphone manufacturer's job to voice the product well, not mine. And as others have pointed out, once you introduce EQ as a variable, it becomes (even) more difficult to have a discussion about the relative merits of headphones. While I agree with @number1sixerfan that CanJam is not the venue to form definitive impressions of a headphone, I do think that useful and valid relative assessments are possible. Based on an admittedly cursory listen to the LCD-2 a few years ago, I was somewhat impressed by the bass response, but really nothing else. Seems to be a consistent theme with me vis-a-vis Audeze cans... so far. As I said, I'll be giving their new offerings a listen this weekend.

Well, it would be boring, if every headphone would have the same FR target. For example the LCD-2 as it is, is a good fit for very harsh old music in my opinion, otherwise, the noise floor alone would be a killer. Of course, people need to know the settings for the eq, if that's involved, but my testing was done locally under the same conditions, which is why i haven't published my EQ here. Could do a screenshot from my EQ, if anyone is interested to know?

Evaluations with EQ will need to be more specific, I agree. Without EQ, however, and without an adequate amp (more than the 500mw mentioned earlier), you simply cannot determine what the headphone is truly capable of, and whether it will be a good match for you. One man’s opinion.

Why? For Headphones like Susvara, HE6 you need plenty of power (with that i mean 1W without clipping/degrade in sound performance), otherwise 200-300mW is enough for pretty much anything out there, if the device can handle up to a certain voltage as well (sustained of course) and having low output impedance.

For example you could level matched a 300$ DAC/SS AMP 1.5W against something with 6W for xxxx$ and will not hear any difference if both devices has no major flaws with the hifiman susvara in any kind of music :) I would have invited you, if you would live nearby, otherwise i encourage you to buy a switch box, let someone else make you balanced cable for the amp to the switch box and to the headphones to keep everything balanced and use a multimeter or so to volume match the amps and listen for yourself :)

Anyway, from my subjective point of view, I don't plan on spending money on any headphone that cannot prove hat they did their job well on the engineering level. Otherwise there are headphones around that place an off-the-shelf driver in a wooden box and sell it for many times the price, and are praised for their "sound". There is too much BS in this industry.

I hope you all enjoy your LCD5s.
While i agree with the rest you wrote, i don't agree with this part, because if there are good EQ Profiles out there to be used, why not trying? Same FR Target + Volumen matched and headphones comes much closer to each other in sounding, but there are things that still remain different enough in my experience, for example comfort, impact, soundstage.
 

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