Audiophile by accident . The Hobby: An Unexpected Journey
Oct 24, 2013 at 5:42 PM Post #421 of 466
  Agreed after small correction.
But that's me.

Stacking benefit etc.
Oct 24, 2013 at 5:46 PM Post #422 of 466
Nov 4, 2013 at 7:01 AM Post #423 of 466
Look what arrived today for review :

Nov 4, 2013 at 7:46 AM Post #425 of 466
U got 2 be kidding me. Good luck!
Nov 4, 2013 at 5:47 PM Post #426 of 466
U got 2 be kidding me. Good luck!

Thanks :D
Send them to me after you've finished your review :)

To say something about them before getting into detail. They are a wonderful product. Even though they are not over lcd3 overall, they have some things above the flagship from my perspective. Listening to LCD-X makes me think LCD4 will sound amazing! :D
Nov 11, 2013 at 11:32 AM Post #427 of 466
Chord Signature USB - Review

Audeze LCD-X Review

Hey guys,
You may know from what I have written before that I have waiting for LCD-3 for a while now.
A few weeks ago, I managed to get my hands on pair of LCD-3 and I was really happy about it. At last, together with my HD800 I have the best of all the music genres.
I got it on Wednesday and Friday I thought I would have at last time to get acquainted to my new LCD-3. While driving home I heard my phone whistling that I have new mail. I looked at it and saw “New Audeze Lcd-X“. I smiled and thought a friend was trying to pull a prank on me.
When I got home I saw that it was no joke. Headfi had already a thread dedicated to LCD-X and a few guys describing their first impressions about it. My jaw was on the floor. I just bought LCD-3.

Ok…. I knew that in audio world it takes a few good years before a new flagship was due to appear.
Nobody knew the place the LCD-X was going to take on the market. Was it going to be better than the 3? Some people were already stating that LCD-X was better!?

I got a little depressed, as I just bought the LCD-3, but on the other hand I was happy as I really think that this industry needs faster progress. But what about my wallet? Well… I have been through this before. The first thing you are tempted to do is enter a wallet defense  state, ignoring the possibility of the newer product being better than what you  have.
I like to think that I got to be more objective than that, so I got pass that state, and I focused on the possibility of listening to the new product and share my honest impressions.
I would like to thank Sankar, Mark and Audeze support on their fast responses, and the opportunity they gave me to listen and review the LCD-X.

I don’t know if you guys are aware of this, but one of the reasons I started the blog is because of Audeze LCD-2 and the impact those headphones and Audeze had on me. I absolutely fell in love with them  and had to write about it.
When I heard LCD3 for the first time, the wallet defense system activated as they didn’t seem to make a huge difference from LCD-2 to my ears. Meanwhile I have discovered HD800 which made me understand better the dynamics, micro-dynamics, transients, details, layering, etc. After that , I understood the value brought by LCD-3 and heard the big difference between the two from a more educated perspective.
Audeze will always have a special place in my heart as they really got me much deeper into this hobby. I just love how they can can take you from your life and make you enter the euphonic world of music. Who is Audeze? If you ask a old audiophile, he would probably evade the answer as he doesn’t know much about it. I love what Audeze did in such short time! When did they start? A few years ago. What did they do? Well, the answer is simple: a lot, in a very short time:
  1. They became one of the most spoken brands on headfi
  2. Produced world class products that compete with the best headphones in the world and companies that have decades of experience behind them
  3. Didn’t stop R&D as they are continuously trying to improve their products and bring the best on the market and did a good job from my perspective
Considering the above, I was very, very anxious to hear their new products, Audeze LCD-X and XC, and I chose to put my efforts into the X as I like open headphones much more than closed ones, so here we are.
I have seen a lot of very happy and psyched opinions on headfi about LCD-X , some users saying that the LCD-X are even better than LCD-3. I have tried to keep my hype to the minimum and hold my thoughts on LCD-X until they reach a mature state.
However, I now understand the general hype on headfi. LCD-X, while still not better than LCD-3, it brings some very exciting stuff over it to the table. They sound different, and different in a good way, presenting the opportunity to attract new fans, fans that would appreciate them more than LCD-3, while others would still prefer LCD-3. I am not going to compare them to LCD-2 as the Xare quite better from all points of view.
LCD-X has new drivers called Fazor which have an efficiency of 96 dB/ 1 mW compared to LCD-3 that has 91 dB/ 1 mW. LCD-Xalso has a smaller impedance of 22 ohms. This makes them much easier to drive and my FIIO E17 proved that.

The Fazor part prevents the delays from the sound that is produced the membrane because of the magnets (because they are in  between the membrane and the ear)  creating an uniform sound-wave leading to better instrument separation and imaging.
Looks & Build Quality
I was counting the days to hear these babies. When they reached my home, I barely stopped myself from tearing the package apart, to get to them faster. The packaging is the same as with LCD-2. The same sturdy travel case. The headphones look very nice and have a very good build quality.
Audeze replaced the wood with metal this time, but the they still have style and very good finishes. Even if they may be a little heavy for some, they have almost the same comfort as LCD-3 from my perspective. LCD-3 has 548 g and LCD-X has 600.
If you liked the looks on the older models, I am sure you will like and enjoy the new looks of LCD-X.
Actually they feel even more sturdy than the previous models. You don’t have to worry about the wood and the wood care any longer.
You may already think that we had talked enough and didn’t get to what it really matters, the sound. So let’s get down to business.

Sound Impressions
You know the drill. We will get through some impressions one some songs and then conclude impressions on portions of sound and overall.
The tests have been done with Burson Conductor,Audiobyte Hydra usb interface, PowerInspired AG500Audeze LCD3Sennheiser HD800Audeze LCD-X Chord Usb Silver plusFiiO E17 .

Hugh Laurie – Unchain My Heart
Wow…the voice…is just awesome. It  has a lot more presence  than LCD-3. The sound seemed like it opened up from the 3. All the upper mids & treble were more in front  and I am saying that in a good way.The trumpet was just amazing as it had excellent texture, feel and presence, the piano was clearer and crispier. The drums were faster and had more impact.
ACDC- The Razors Edge – Thunderstruck
Does Audeze know how to rock? You know it does! But does the new model stand up as the older brothers? Hell yes! It is still anAudeze headphone! I feel that LCD-X has a better and neutral balance than the older siblings. However it seems to be faster, with more bass impact and better PRAT . All the sound is binding together in a very good harmony. I cannot say that the mids are recessed, that the bass needs something more or the treble is too bright or not present. No…it is just as it should be. The voice was always between the instruments, playing through them, without getting lost between them as it had very good texture, feel and presence.
Bon Jovi – Wanted Dead or Alive
Again, the first impression was that the sound opened. There was a lot of air on top. The voice was again much more present than on LCD-3. The treble was more forward, pleasant and detailed without being bright. The drums were fast and with good impact.
Silent Strike – Keys For Silent Doors
This song has amazing bass and sub bass. Is this still an Audeze headphone? Yes, of course, it still has the house signature. However, the bass was not as meaty, as LCD-3, but it had more impact and still went very deep. The sound seemed faster and  the bass more controlled with a better punch.  Again, it gave more air on top than LCD-3. Some details on upper mids and treble are more obvious on LCD-X.
Coldplay – Spies 
You just get lost in the music. The transparency is amazing. The voice and whole sound is so clean, so clear. The guitars, drums and voice were amazing in this song.
Infected Mushrooms –  Becoming Insane
I liked the bass on LCD-3 more on this song as it had more body and the guitars from the beginning had more texture and extension, but LCD-X did a very good job as well as it had a faster in your face sound and better PRAT with better instrument separation and imaging. The bass didn’t had so much body but it was faster and had  more punch.
Leonard Cohen – Banjo
I just love the voices with LCD-X. They have a whole new presence than with LCD-3. All the upper mids and treble are more forward , not recessed as with the 3,  making you rediscover your music. The voice integrates a lot better throughout the instruments and the song with LCD-X.  The guitars had better extension with LCD-3 but the instrument separation was better with LCD-X.
Johan Sebastian Bach – Sonata in C Major – Allegro
It has been one of the rare moments when the  treble fascinated me. LCD-X has an amazing treble. It is more forward and better integrated balance wise in the song adding air on top. The flute was amazing and it played effortless throughout the song.  I have never heard such clean and transparent treble with no sign of sibilance or brightness.
Westminster Choir – Festival Te Deum
I think this song slapped me back to reality. I thought that LCD-3 had a wider soundstage at first, due to a more laid back sound, but  knowing the size of the cathedral I can now say that LCD-X has better soundstage than the elder brother. The height of the soundstage and the voice separation are amazing with it. The chorus is a pleasure to listen to and it fills the scene with an incredible presence and transparency.
This is still an Audeze headphone. It has amazing bass. It seems to be faster than the LCD-3, with more impact but less body. I love both presentations, and I didn’t decide yet which one is better as both are different and very good.
Even though LCD-X doesn’t have all the magic LCD-3 has in the mids, they have better clarity and the upper mids are more present and more enjoyable with LCD-X. When I said magic I was referring to the instrument extension for example which is better with LCD-3. For example the guitar chords have a fuller life.
The treble here is very interesting and because of LCD-X, I started to be fascinated about it as it is more forward and present, giving a more balanced presentation to the sound. You cannot say about LCD-X that they are dark headphones like it’s brothers.  It gives the music a sense of clarity and air on top. It is also very transparent and clean.
I just love  voices with LCD-X and I consider this to be a very strong point for them. LCD-X brings the voices in front or actually they don’t put them in the back and they are not lost between the instruments like sometimes with LCD-3. After LCD-X, I found myself wanting to turn up the volume with LCD-3 to reach the same presence with the voices.  LCD-X make the voices sound with amazing clarity.
I have chosen this word very carefully.  Initially I was fooled by the more laid back sound of LCD-3 and considered it to have bigger soundstage than LCD-X.  However LCD-X is more opened than LCD-3 with more air on top and better positioning. The height of the soundstage is amazing and in some ways the sound opens up with  it even after HD800, the X having a taller soundstage.
Imaging & Instrument separation
Having faster transients, the instrument separation is very good. At first I thought LCD-3 has better instrument separation because of the more laid back sound and better instrument extension. However LCD-X betters the 3 here because the instruments are better contoured and their position are easier to pick because of this. The more I listened, the more I was astonished by the performance of LCD-X in this department.
Clarity & Transparency
The sound is very transparent and very clear on the whole spectrum. I feel that this is a very strong point of LCD-X and it really managed to impress me with it. The headphones become a window to the music.
This headphone packs a lot of details in the whole audio spectrum, so the resolution is very good. LCD-3 has the upper hand here overall but not by much and the details are more apparent with LCD-X on the upper mids and treble .
I find the transients in LCD-X to be faster than LCD-3. The attack has more impact and the decays are faster. I love this about LCD-X. It gives more energy and PRAT to the music.
LCD-X seems to be more neutral and more natural than LCD-3 and LCD-2. However it still has the magic and fun Audeze headphones have.
Easy to drive
I have tried the LCD-X with both my Samsung Galaxy S4 and FiiO E17 and they performed very, very well compared to LCD-3.
Compared to LCD-3
Is this the new Audeze flagship? This is hard to decide, as both have very strong points, and I am sure there will be people preferring one before the other. However, the more I listen to LCD-X, the more I like it and it makes it very hard for me to decide between the two. I may find myself leaning in favor of LCD-X after a few more days or worse…I may love both, and that is not good for the wallet.
I have said several times that LCD-X has more air on top. The height of the soundstage  is incredible and makes the sound open even after HD800 in some regards.  Sometimes I felt that LCD-3 had a little more depth in the soundstage but I think that was because of the more recessed mids and treble, because of the longer decays and better instrument extension on LCD-3. And I do think that sometimes, on some songs LCD-3 can sound a little more spacious because of those aspects.
The instrument separation and imaging are amazing with LCD-X and are a step up over it’s older brother.
Also I find that the X has better transparency and clarity making the headphone a clean window to the music.
It is hard to decide between the bass from LCD-X and LCD-3. LCD-3 has more body, more weight and LCD-X has more impact and it is faster. I love both in this aspect  but I find myself mostly preferring the meaty bass of LCD-3.
I feel that LCD-3 has better resolution overall, especially until the upper mids and treble, where the sound is more present in LCD-X and the details more apparent. With lcd-3 the instruments seem to have better extension living a fuller life.
The attack is more powerful on the X and the decays faster, leading to better transients and more energetic sound.
LCD-3 has a warmer, fuller, more organic and refined sound with better instrument extension which gives the magic to the sound.
Audeze really did some magic here from my perspective. They made the sound more neutral, very balanced overall, keeping the house signature, not loosing too much from the euphony and making them suitable for every music genre out there.
I found it sometimes hard to decide which of the two models I like more, but the more I listen to LCD-X the more I love it and I feel that it is technically superior to LCD-3.
I very much like the direction Audeze is heading with these new headphones and technology and I keep wondering if this is only a beginning of a new line of products.
LCD-X is proof that Audeze listens to it’s customers and respects their opinions. I feel like X marks the spot, in the essential places the fans said that LCD-3 could be improved.
I am torn apart between LCD-3 and LCD-X but I know something for sure. I could live happily with either of them but I am inclined more and more to the X.
  1. Fast bass with good punch
  2. Very good details
  3. Excellent transients
  4. Excellent instrument separation & Imaging
  5. Very opened sound and very good soundstage with amazing height
  6. Very good and clean treble, present with good texture without being bright
  7. Excellent voices
  8. Very engaging PRAT
  9. Love the mids and the presence on the upper mids
  10. Excellent transparency
  11. Very good dynamics
  12. Easy to drive
  13. Good build quality and looks
  1. I tried to find some cons but I couldn’t

You can find more photos on HeadMania’s Facebook page.

Audeze LCD-X vs Sennheise HD800
Nov 11, 2013 at 9:04 PM Post #428 of 466
Wow awesome review! From a quick perusal of this feedback it is apparent that the correct thing to do is just wait for when ever they release the new flagship, whatever that might be. Apparently Audeze is progressing rapidly with product quality innovations and even though this "X" is enticing the LCD3 really is all that (still). Just imagine how completely over the top the new flagship could be and how imminently worthwhile it will be to wait and sit tight with the LCD3 I now have. Such a sacrifice I know ;0) but such is way of a rational thinking audiophile...
Again thanks for the great review. Well done.
Nov 14, 2013 at 9:44 PM Post #429 of 466
  Wow awesome review! From a quick perusal of this feedback it is apparent that the correct thing to do is just wait for when ever they release the new flagship, whatever that might be. Apparently Audeze is progressing rapidly with product quality innovations and even though this "X" is enticing the LCD3 really is all that (still). Just imagine how completely over the top the new flagship could be and how imminently worthwhile it will be to wait and sit tight with the LCD3 I now have. Such a sacrifice I know ;0) but such is way of a rational thinking audiophile...
Again thanks for the great review. Well done.

Thanks commtrd. I love the X. It led me to a lot of sleepless nights.
Nov 25, 2013 at 3:49 PM Post #430 of 466
Previous :
Audeze LCD-X Review

Audeze LCD-X vs Sennheiser HD800


Hey guys,
I know that I already did a review on LCD-X, but I am sure that a lot of you will ask yourselves how does the X stand next  to  Sennheiser  HD800. Well, this is what this review is for, as I will explain my perspective on the matter.
So, consider this  the Part 2 of from the original LCD-X review.
I have now spent days  with LCD-X, trying to determine  which I like more between the LCD-3 and it. I really didn’t managed to reach a conclusion in that department.
Just when I thought LCD-3 was it, the X pulled me back in ( read that with Al Pacino‘s voice ) and the other way around. I also tried to make my mind between LCD-X and HD800 with the same results.


Sound Impressions

The tests have been done with Burson ConductorAudiobyte Hydra usb interface, PowerInspired AG500,  Sennheiser HD800Audeze LCD-X Chord Usb Silver plus.
I have used the Toxic Silver Widow with LCD-X and I found to be a very good match for it, as it puts you a little further in the scene. It actually relaxes the treble a little more but gives it more extension and detail, improves the bass impact and makes it faster, the instrument separation is better and the sound is more detailed overall.
With HD800 I used a diy cable made by a friend from rectangular occ copper which i found to be very good with HD800 improving the lower end and relaxing the treble a little, without loosing from attack and details.
Let’s get into the heart of the sound and explain it on some songs.

Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky – Waltz of the Flowers from “The Nutcracker”

Audeze LCD-X
LCD-X never seizes to amaze me with it’s treble, air at the top and soundstage height. The treble is extremely clean and doesn’t have any touch of grain or sibilance. The harp has a great sense of tactility,  giving me goose bumps. It is so clear as I think of a clean mountain river with fresh, cool water and I get thirsty. The instruments positioning is well determined they are well separated in space. What I find amazing is that the sound opens up in some ways even compared with HD800, as LCD-X has more air at the top and a taller soundstage which gave me a more precise image of the concert hall sometimes.  The sound had overall more tactility than with HD800 on this song.
As I thought, this song sounded excellent with HD800. The treble was very good here too but not so smooth and tactile as with LCD-X. Also when the trumpets began to sing at the end, the treble was a little dirty and peaky with “ss”-s in it compared to X.
The soundstage was wider , deeper and the sound had more layers, but doens’t have the height of LCD-X, and I have the impression that sometimes the depth and width are not well determined with HD800 compared to LCD-X, as they seem endless.

Mike Oldfield – Runaway Son

Audeze LCD-X
The energy  LCD-X starts  with is very engaging and makes me dance. The PRAT is just awesome. The trumpets have a very good extension and clarity without  being bright at all. The instrument separation is amazing. I never feel that the instruments blend into each other. The bass is fast, punchy and still has a good body. The voice is very clear and I felt that it integrates very good between the instruments, not being surpassed by any of it in tone.
Sennheiser HD800
The first thing I observed is the bigger depth and better layering. When the voice from the beginning started to sing it was further in the back than with LCD-X.  The guitars are more detailed with hd800 with a better extension. However the treble was again more peaky and sibilant and not as linear and present as with LCD-X. The voice was quite good but the sibilance took away some of the fun.

Coldplay – Sparks

Sennheiser HD800
The guitars are amazing with HD800 in this song. They have amazing body with excellent extension, good tactility and texture. You can hear the plucks and the fingers on the chords. HD800 is excellent with details. The voice is very clean, and in this song it has no  sibilance.
Audeze LCD-X
The guitars are very impressive here too, but they aren’t as clean as with HD800 or as detailed. The voice is excellent with the X too. I felt that it had more presence and better texture and it was brought closer to you. The treble was again better extended and present here than with HD800.

Silent Strike – Keys For Silent Doors

Sennheiser HD800
This song has a lot of sub bass going on so I felt it was interesting to test it against LCD-X. The details are of course as you would expect very good with HD800. Overall the bass was good, very fast, punchy but lacked  some body.
Audeze LCD-X
Well this is what I am taking about. This is the bass presence I felt it was missing on HD800. The sub-bass here is much more present and fun. Again, the sound opens up as there are a lot of details on the upper mids and treble that are better extended and more present on X.

Pink Martini – Taya Tan

Audeze LCD-X
When the voice started it literally sent shivers down my spine. That voice is amazingly transparent and clear, with  very good texture. The cymbals are very sparkly but not sibilant or bright. The instruments dance around the voice with grace and enough space between them but a little closer to each other than HD800.
Sennheiser HD800
The voice starts amazing with HD800 but is a little more laid back than with LCD-X and lacks some of the presence. On some parts it even presents a few more “ss” than needed.  The cymbals are a little too sharp and tend to have a start of sibilance.

Rebecca Pidgeon – Grandmother

Sennheiser HD800
HD800 puts you a few seats back in the room. The depth incredible with it, the sounds going and going into depth without a delimited end. The guitars have a wonderful extension and all the instruments are incredibly detailed and well separated.  The voice is clean with some “ss”-s from time to time. The dynamics and micro dynamics, details and micro details are wonderful. Every instrument is well extended and can be heard clearly, no matter how further in the back it is and even it isn’t so loud.
Audeze LCD-X
The sound is very smooth and it flows with ease and musicality. The x brings you closer to the scene and especially to the singer as the voice is more forward with more presence and better texture. Even if the depth is not as deep as with HD800, it is still enjoyable as I can get a better understanding of the room, as the X delimits the room’s ending better. The instrument separation and positioning is excellent here too. The dynamics are very good, but HD800 still wins in the micro department.

Massive Attack – Mezzanine

Audeze LCD-X
The piano at the beginning is amazing. You can immediately here it as further in the back and pinpoint it’s position. The notes have tactility even if the piano has a lower volume. The voice is as you would expect with X a pleasure to listen to. The bass has very good impact and body, but I thought it to bee too much on this song compared to HD800 ( it may be the song’s fault with the bass here) .
Sennheiser HD800
The piano in the back was on par with LCD-X. The bass was faster, but still with a good impact and body, making the sound clearer than on LCD-X. The voice, even if not so in front, still was very detailed and had  very good texture.

Infected Mushroom – Project 100

Sennheiser HD800
The guitar begins strong impressing me with it’s body, extension and detail. The details come from every direction and you can hear any one of them. The bass is very engaging being very fast with a very good impact and a good depth. If there wouldn’t have been the ocazional “ss”-s in the treble it would have been close to perfect.
Audeze LCD-X
The guitar begins strong here too. It  has better body and impact than with HD800 but it is not so well extended and detailed. The prat and energy are awesome with the X. The bass has more weight and depth and the treble doesn’t have signs of sibilance.



I am surprised  and happy to say that LCD-X competes with HD800  in this department . I said I am happy because it takes a lot to pull something that competes here so well with the HD800s in the dynamic headphones world. And to us, the headphones lovers, there’s even more choice now.
It doesn’t have the depth of HD800 and all that air between the layers, but the sound is still opening in some ways compared toHD800.
LCD-X has more air at the top and gave me a more precise image of the room. With HD800 the sounds go  further in the depth than with LCD-X, but sometimes they loose themselves in the back. With LCD-X the sounds hit the ending wall in the room and come back, giving you a more accurate presentation of the room. This could be from the treble, as overall, it is more linear and present on LCD-X than on HD800. The treble reflects more easily from objects, in this case the scene’s wall.
Both have a very good soundstage in my opinion, and it is incredible that LCD-X competes with HD800 in this department and even surpasses it in some ways.
Imaging and instrument separation
The instruments still have more air between them on HD800 which overall has better layering. However, I feel that the instrument separation is comparable, as they are very well delimited on LCD-X as well. Sometimes I feel that instruments that live in the upper mids and treble are more present and more easy to distinguish and separate on LCD-X. Even if HD800 is still best here, LCD-X is very close to it and is a very strong contender here.
The treble on LCD-X is excellent and doesn’t have the annoying peak from HD800. One very important aspect here is that the treble is linear compared to the senns. I feel that before the peak and after the peak from HD800 the treble is more present on LCD-X. This can also be seen if you compare Tyll’s measurements on LCD-X and HD800.
The X gives an incredibly smooth, clean & transparent treble which I absolutely love. I very much like the treble on HD800 but the sibilance and brightness ruins the fun sometimes, and it isn’t as present on all frequencies as LCD-X.
The mids on the LCD-X have some of the magic from LCD-3 and are more smooth than on HD800. I feel that the upper mids are more present on LCD-X. However, overall, HD800 has more extended and detailed mids .  I like them both.
The bass is faster on HD800 having a quicker decay. LCD-X however has more impact, better depth and more body. Overall, I enjoyed the bass on both but favor the X.
Both have very good transients being very good in the attack department. The decays are smoother on LCD-X giving a smoother presentation to the sound than on HD800 (which have faster transients overall) but still very energetic.
Even if the details are more apparent on LCD-X in the treble department, the details and micro details are still quite better onHD800.
The dynamics are very good on both headphones but HD800 still wins in the micro dynamic department.
The voices are amazing with LCD-X as I stated a lot of times before. They are more forward than with HD800 with more presence, texture and incredible transparency. The voices are very detailed with HD800 too, but are a little more laid  back and sometimes the sibilance takes away the fun.
I think that LCD-X is very close to the neutrality of HD800.


I am going crazy here. Why can’t I just prefer a type of sound and go with it? No… I must be the guy that loves all of them…
Ah…The voices on LCD-X, the smooth and transparent treble, clean as a whistle, the incredible openness due to the air at the top and the treble, ah..the very engaging and deep bass from the X.
Then HD800 invades my mind :  Ah, the details & micro-details, the layering and depth, the dynamics and micro-dynamics.
And then it gets “better” as LCD-3 gets into my head too and it starts to become crowded there: Ah… that excellent deep bass, that euphonic, organic & visceral sound with wonderful instrument extension .
I am going nuts here:

I don’t know how Audeze managed to pull  this, but X hits a very interesting spot against the HD800 and LCD-3 without actually replacing any of them, making all of them complementary to each other. However, in the end,  the X  can be seen as a compromise between the two, but for me it is not that simple it seems  .

However, if I would be forced to pick just one from the 3, I  would go with the because it excels at all genres from classical, jazz to rock and electronic.
LCD-X is a wallet killer. I really think that we will start seeing people owning LCD-XHD800 and even LCD-3, all at once, yes .  I am talking about hardcore audiophiles here. So don’t worry, as any of those 3 would make you happy depending on what you are looking for.
Audiophile and Proud
Nov 27, 2013 at 3:55 AM Post #432 of 466
He's not a student :) He's taking his doctorate :)
Nov 27, 2013 at 7:17 AM Post #433 of 466
Just finished first 5 chapters. They are very interesting

You must have one hell of a part time job as student

Thank you santacruise. Glad you liked it. I know that some of the stuff here are childish, but I am not a student any more :))
Dec 7, 2013 at 11:30 AM Post #434 of 466

Audiophile and Proud

December 7, 2013

Hey everybody,
In the past years I have noticed a negative trend towards our wonderful hobby. I have been hearing a lot of people saying something like “no, you don’t understand, I am not an audiophile”. This was said like an excuse, implying that being an audiophile is a bad thing. This shows that our hobby is misunderstood by many.

My hobby started a few years ago “by accident”. I was a student in my third year and, at that time, recently got a job as a software developer. My most important expenses were, at that moment covered by my parents, so in my first months I found myself with some money I could use to buy myself what I desired.
So, I had 170 Eur to spend on whatever I wanted. Just to be clear, with my first salary I bought an entry level bicycle which I used every day to get to work, so at that time I had other hobbies like biking, swimming, etc, nothing serious in the sound/music department.
One year of college I lived by myself in an apartment in Bucharest. After that, my parents moved in with me. I already had a Technics sound system which I thought to be very good . After they moved in, I couldn’t listen to music at night on the speakers, so I needed a pair of headphones. I started looking for a 5.1 headphone from Creative if i remember right. One night I started talking with a friend of mine from childhood and made him aware of my intentions. I found out that he is very passionate about headphones and he has studied this domain for a few years already, never actually getting to buy something serious. He wanted to buy Sennheiser HD800 and Meier Audio Symphony 2 directly. He told me to look for Sennheiser HD595. Well, this is how it all started.
When I got at the Sennheiser dealer and listened to HD595 directly from a laptop I fell in love with them and bought them instantly. I never thought headphones can sound this good. I have always seen headphones as something you should use only when you are restricted from listening to speakers.
This perspective changed dramatically in the next years and I understood that headphone can be used in a stand alone dedicated sound system.  From there things escalated pretty fast and got where I am today.
I must say that I am really happy with my journey into this hobby. I have felt and been satisfied with almost every upgrade. Sometimes I took the plunge without hearing the product first, but most of the times I was lucky enough to hear it first and make my impressions before buying it.
With every upgrade I made, I rediscovered my music collection. Every song had a different presentation. I was happy as listening to them for the first time. One important fact you must know about this hobby is that your ears and brain are getting better and better  in time and perceive subtleties in different ways and with more joy.  You will feel the texture of the voices better, the extensions of chords, violins, guitars and instruments generally better.
This is hobby that grows on you and you get to appreciate it more and more in time.
You will see the music and the listening experience with different eyes. Sometimes I can’t wait going home to have a glass of wine while listening to my favorite music. There have been times when I really get lost into the music, loosing touch with reality for a few moments being there between the instruments, between the chords,  with the artist, living the moment with them and sometimes singing along. This is what this is really about, and the more I get into better audio equipment, the deeper I get into the music.
Aside from the above, this hobby got me to meet very interesting people, some of which are now very good friends of mine. This is how I met DarKu,Razvan Traian and became friends sharing the same joy with this hobby. Not to mention the guys from Jack-Fiand Avstore. Jack has 4 audition rooms and I go often to them just to listen to music and talk to the guys. It is like an audiophile club where people share the hobby & their impressions and passion.
So getting back to the reason I started this post, I think people may have a misguided  impression about this hobby and what it is really about. There is nothing wrong with being an audiophile. You don’t have to spend huge amounts of money to be one. You can get a Fiio E10 and a Creative Aurvana Live with less than 150$ and still enjoy the music and the listening experience.
The fact that you may get into more expensive gear to get more out of your music, well… that is another story, but that is not a requirement of being an audiophile. And if you do that, there is nothing wrong with it, as long as you try to keep your feet on the ground and you don’t waste your life savings or your children’s college founds in the process.
Also, make sure you listen to the gear before you buy it and see if it is worth it. There are cases when the price doesn’t quite reflect the performance and if you buy it without listening to it first, you may end up justifying the price and convincing yourself and everybody else that it is worth it.
I see people that don’t understand why headphones can get so expensive and why people buy them, but the same people spend more money on other stuff which they find more important, like tvs, computers, tablets, phones, cars, motorcycles, bikes, even clothes, etc.
Some spend more on one item from just one shot than an audiophile spends in 10 years. I am not saying that is wrong, but everybody has their hobby and priorities. Just trying to point out there are a lot of more expensive hobbies out there that people seem to justify more easily.
A lot of the audiophiles I met are reluctant to say how much they spent on their systems as they fear they will be judged / misunderstood. There is nothing wrong with wanting to perfect your audio quality in your system as long as it brings you closer to the music!
Other audiophiles are not sure if what they hear is true and don’t trust their ears/brain. I saw that lately the “placebo” bid is used too much as explanation or excuse. While there are cases when placebo kicks in, if the differences are big enough, trust yourself.
If you are not sure there are audible differences then you have to be more careful, even do some blind tests to be sure. But if you are sure of the differences don’t let an untrained ear or somebody who  doesn’t know your system or  music insert doubts in your thoughts.
I conclude saying that I am an audiophile and cannot be more proud of it.
So, sit down, enjoy your music and be proud of your hobby.

Focal Spirit Classic & Spirit Professional - Review
Jan 1, 2014 at 10:13 AM Post #435 of 466

Focal Spirit Classic & Spirit Professional – Review

Hello everybody,
I have been waiting for this for a while now. If you remember, I have been very impressed with Focal’s first headphone, the Spirit One .
From that moment on I was really curious to see what Focal will come up with next in the headphone department.
Well, the time has come, as I have both new models from Focal on my desk, the Focal Spirit Classic and Spirit Professional.
This review is dedicated to the first one, but at the end I am making a short comparison to Spirit Professional.
Both look very nice, but the Spirit Classic is something else. They have an extraordinary finish with a luxurious feel. The headband is softer, the ear cups are bigger & the clamping force is not so strong as with the spirit one, bringing the comfort to another level.

Both headphones come with a gold plated 3.5 to 6.35 jack, a 1.4 m detachable cable for phone usage that also includes a microphone and another 4 m detachable cable (spiral for Pro).
In terms of isolation both do a great job, Spirit Professional coming a little on top here as it has a better grip letting less sound getting in or out.

Listening Impressions

The tests have been done with Decware Taboo MK3Focal Spirit OneFocal Spirit Classic, Focal Spirit Professional Simaudio Moon 300D v2,  Burson ConductorAudiobyte Hydra-X.
While you could listen to them from a phone, I wouldn’t recommend it as both need more power than a normal phone can provide. FiiO E17 did a fine job with both of them, but they scaled pretty nice with Conductor and Taboo.

Mike Oldfield – Cochise
What I noticed immediately was that the soundstage was deeper and the sound was smoother. The bass has more weight and goes deeper than on the Spirit One. The treble was kind of sweet and very pleasant. Doesn’t have the same attack of Spirit One, but the sound is more refined and smooth  reminding me  of HD650.
Robbie Williams – Feel
I love the bass on the Classic. It is more detailed than on Spirit One. It also goes deeper and it’s fuller. The voice was is better textured on Classic and better extended.
Hugh Laurie – Six Cold Feet
Wow the drum is just amazing with the Classic. It really has an impressing impact showing a very strong and quality mid-bass. The sound was very pleasant and laid back. I could listen to them them for hours and hours. Again, the voice was more present  and better extended. I also loved the smooth presentation of the trumpets. Even if the plucks are more apparent on Spirit One, the extension of the chords is better with classic.
Coldplay – Sparks
Again the bass had a wonderful and sexy body. The guitar plucks have more attack and impact on the Spirit One, but the extension is better on the Classic. The bass on the Classic reminds me of LCD-2.
Infected Mushroom – Ration Shmatio
The bass on the Classic is amazing.  It knows how to hit hard and deep with excellent control and speed. Never heard a better bass in a closed headphone before.
Leonard Cohen – Here it is
I love the voices on the Classic. They have a better presence and texture. They are also better extended. Compared to it, the Spirit One leaves the impression of incomplete voices, which in the chorus were better layered and easy to distinguish.
Mozart – The Magic Flute – Overture
This headphone sounds quite good with classical music. It has a good soundstage for a closed headphone. The instruments don’t blend in the same layer as there is enough air between them.


The bass on Spirit Classic is awesome. It goes very deep, it has very good control, punch and speed. I never felt it bled into the mids like with Sennheiser Momentum for example. It gives a wonderful full sound that  reminds me of LCD-2.
The mids are very smooth and pleasant. The voices are well extended and are more present than with Focal Spirit One. I also think that the upper mids are better and don’t fade out like on it’s smaller brother. The instruments don’t have the same attack, but they have a better extension.
The treble doesn’t have the spark as on Spirit One, but I feel that it has better extension and is more balanced and linear.
The soundstage is bigger than on it’s little brother and I really think it is quite decent for a closed headphone.
Fast transients with exploding attack

These headphones have excellent transients with exploding attack. Sometimes I feel like the instruments , especially drums and guitars are inside the headphone.

Instrument Separation 
The instruments have enough air between them and don’t blend in the same layer. They are not as well contoured as on it’s brothers but it does a fine job
Smooth without being slow
It also has a smooth & sweet presentation that I could listen for hours, but this doesn’t make them slow headphones.

Focal Spirit Professional small comparison

I find it very interesting that Focal launched 2 headphones that are quite different in their sound signature. The Classic doesn’t have too much of Spirit One’s signature but the Professional does,  and it sounds like a very good evolution from it, while Classic is a ramification in another direction.
The Pro version sounds more aggressive with faster transients and better attack.
The treble is more present on it, with more spark and better extension leading to a more opened sound as there is more air on top.
I feel that Classic has is fuller and deeper bass  while Pro has a stronger punch.
The male voices have a better presence and texture on Spirit Classic  while female voices are cleaner and crispier with the Spirit Professional.
Spirit Professional didn’t get the name for nothing, as it has better imaging and is better detailed.
On long listening sessions the Spirit Professional tends to get a little tiresome while with Classic I can listen for hours.

I always felt that Focal did a very good job with their first headphone and I expected their new products to be very good. I was not mistaken.
Both headphones are very good and I loved them both.
If I had to pick one, I think I would go with Spirit Classic as I love it’s refined and euphonic sound with deeper and fuller bass.
It has a smooth presentation reminding me of Sennheiser HD650 with added energy, extended treble and a full sound with a wonderful, deep and full bass that reminds me of LCD-2
On the other hand Spirit Professional has a more transparent and detailed sound with better imaging & treble extension.
These headphones have excellent transients with exploding attack. Sometimes I feel like the instruments , especially drums and guitars are inside the headphone.
I love the Spirit Classic so much that I couldn’t resist and I bought a pair for myself!
Focal Spirit Classic
  1. Excellent, fast deep punchy bass
  2. Excellent transients with exploding attack and quick decays
  3. Smooth, detailed and very pleasant mids
  4. Very good extended vocals with good texture and presence
  5. Well extended and linear treble
  6. Smooth without being slow
  7. Good soundstage (quite bigger than Spirit One’s)
  8. Excellent build quality and looks
  9. Much more comfortable than Spirit One
  10. Good price for what it offers
  1. I think the cable is too long. What am I going to do with 4m? That cable is everywhere on my desk.
Focal Spirit Professional
  1. Excellent, fast deep punchy bass with more impact than Classic but less body
  2. Very detailed
  3. Good transparency
  4. Excellent transients with exploding attack and quick decays
  5. Good clean female voices
  6. Better imaging than Classic
  7. More present treble with more spark and better extension
  8. Bigger soundstage than both it’s brothers
  9. Good build quality
  10. Ergonomic cable
  11. Good price for what it offers
  1. Can get a little tiresome after a while
Both of them have worked their way up in the top of my sealed headphones department.
Audiophile and Proud

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