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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (8/22/2019: Audeze LCD-GX added added)

Discussion in 'Video Games Discussion' started by mad lust envy, Jan 17, 2011.
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  1. Mad Lust Envy Contributor
    I tried 16/44, still clips.

    My volume was already at 0% on Windows. Remember, I'm simply transporting data from the G6 to the optical out the Modi. Volume level doesn't affect the optical out.

    Even connecting the headphones directly to the G6 and lowering volume to minimal levels, you can hear the clipping. It's only fixed by lowering the music program volume, which means possible information loss. AT least if all I had was the G6 set to 5/7 channel. Again, if I set it to 2 channel, it doesn't matter if the music program is at 100%, it'll be fine.

    Anyways, issue is resolved. Just set the G6 to 2 channel when listening to music files. Considering I always go to the G6's software to turn spdif to direct when not gaming (direct = no processing), doing one extra step of moving back to 2 channel takes a little half a second. It's all in the same window.


    [​IMG]
     
  2. mindbomb
    If the program is internally using a high bit depth, like 32 bit usually, and the output is high bit depth like 24 bit, then I don't think you have to worry about information loss.

    I think that if lowering the volume in the player fixed it, then that points to volume as the culprit. But then idk why there would be clipping with just the g6 and headphones, when the volume is going to be controlled digitally. Like, I don't see why lowering the volume on the g6 would be different than lowering it in the player.

    You mentioned it doesn't happen in youtube, but it happens in music applications. I think what is happening there is that those applications, if you are using wasapi, you send 2 channel to the g6, and the g6 will possibly just upmix to 8 channels. So more channels, greater volume increase, more chance of clipping. When you use youtube, with windows set to 7.1, it is just the original 2 channels plus 6 blank channels, and it is effectively 2 channels.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  3. Fegefeuer
    mindbomb likes this.
  4. Mad Lust Envy Contributor
    So tinypic went under and now I have broken image links in some reviews. FANTASTIC.
     
  5. Vader2k
    That stinks. Are they at least offering an option to download your images before they completely shut down so you can relocate them somewhere else?
     
  6. Mad Lust Envy Contributor
    Ok guys, this one has been left simmering for a LONG time, and there may be some things I need to adjust or reiterate on, but I wanted to at least get it out there, as it is fresh for you guys. If I feel the need, I MAY edit in a few things. Especially the images where the host is going under, and I'll have to find a new place for them and edit those links in. We'll see how it goes. Anyways, here it is.

    I'll try and answer any questions that make any sort of sense and not answered in the review when they come up. These are NOT fresh on my mind, as I haven't had them at home in quite some time, so please be aware of that much.


    ----------

    Audeze LCD-GX
    [​IMG]
    $899 MSRP as of August 2019

    Where To Buy: Audeze
    Review first posted HERE

    Disclaimer: A special thanks to Audeze for sending these out for impressions and review. As always, whether products are sent to me or not, I do my best in being 100% honest with my views and opinions. If I don't like a product, I will refuse to write a review of it or at least mention what I don't like about them, though I like to focus on products that people would like or at the very least are interested in. The only bias I have is to my readers and making sure they know about good products.

    After the spectacular and incredibly versatile Mobius, you'd probably think that Audeze would sit back and let the Mobius stand out as their sole product that would target the gaming crowd. Well, it appears it was far from what Audeze was planning. They instead decided to tap into their LCD line and bring out a more conventional headphone-turn-headset with their new LCD-GX. Their aim was to bring out an LCD class quality headphone, albeit with lighter weight, incredible 100dB/1mW efficiency, and a brand new cable with embedded boom microphone. It looks like Audeze is quite serious about being a household name among gamers. That's a market sorely lacking in high level, audiophile products, saved only by a few products from companies like Sennheiser, Audio-Technica, and Beyerdynamic. Now we can add Audeze to that short list, bringing alongside it their superb take on planarmagnetic technology to the gaming market. Per Audeze, it uses a modified/different magnetic circuit compared to other their other LCD headphones, and has no fazor implementation. What that entails is something new and unexpected, though it is still unmistakably an LCD in name, looks, build and sound quality.



    Build Quality:

    The LCD-GX (I'll call it the GX for the remainder of this review) is essentially like all the other Audeze LCD headphones. A very distinct design that is 100% Audeze. You simply can't mistake the Audeze aesthetic for anything else. It is a very industrial, no nonsense, rugged, durable design. When I owned the LCD-2 (two times, mind you), I would have told you how much I wasn't a fan of the looks. Well, it seems that the older headband and wood were the culprits that just weren't suited to my tastes, because the simple change to a newer headband, rounded out cups, and black magnesium on the GX makes a world of difference to my eyes. It all visually flows better.


    Headband:

    [​IMG]

    Last time I had an LCD headphone, it used the questionably bumpy headband that leave really bad sore spots on top of the head. I had the default leather variant, then bought the leather-free variant of the LCD2, and then finally ended up buying an LCD-1 headband which while not as durable in terms of materials used, the foam was flat and spongy, and much more comfortable than the replacements used during the early days of the LCD-2. The LCD-1 headband was considerably better in comfort, but it was on the itchy side due to the exposed foam. I could see how that may have been a factor in changing the design and materials used.

    Thankfully, not long ago, Audeze once again upgraded their LCD headbands. Now they simply use a thin, flattened metal with a split in the middle, and beneath that, a suspended leather strap with perforations, presumably to allow for less heat buildup, and less contact surface. Regardless of the reason, the new headband system is an extreme improvement in both comfort and aesthetics. The headband alone would turn the LCD line into a, "deal with the comfort so you can get some magical sound" to, "oh my god, why don't all headphones use this headband"? Yes, it's that extreme a change in the best way. At the moment, I can't think of a better headband from ANY manufacturer. In terms of full size headphones, no other headphone's headband disappears off my head the way this one does. I've looked at my guide trying to find a headphone with better headband comfort and I believe the only two contenders off memory are the Stax SR-407's leather strap, and MrSpeakers Mad Dog's comfort strap.

    The Headband piece that attaches to the steel extension rods are held in place by 4 screws, so you know they aren't going anywhere. Very durable, and highly unlikely to ever break. On each square piece is the Audeze logo/branding, with L and R indicators on the inner side.

    [​IMG]

    The steel rods have notches for various size extensions. Each notch audibly clicks as you adjust. I quite like this design, really. It's functional, and durable, and will not show any real wear no matter how much you adjust the size. The rods also allow the cups to swivel outward 45 degrees or so, so there should be enough give to fit any head shape.

    The metal yokes that attach directly to the cups are painted black and have Audeze and LCD-GX printed on opposing sides. They allow the cups swivel vertically almost with enough freedom to swing the drivers outward.


    Cups:

    Not much has changed in terms of cup design from my long gone LCD2 of old. The cups are still humongous and head enveloping, the bottom still has angled mini-XLR inputs on each cup, and the pads are still glued on. The GX has changed to a plastic enclosure for the cups as opposed to metal or wood, which I feel is the correct choice. This isn't some cheap plastic. This is the kind of plastic you can toss about without ever worrying that it will so much as make a slight creak. It's built like a tank.

    The outer cups, like all LCD headphones have the Audeze 'A' grill design, with a red mesh backdrop, which contrasts beautifully, making the grill design stand out more than all the other LCD headphones before it, in my opinion. The black and red aesthetic is typical in the gaming world, yet Audeze somehow managed to make it look classy and elegant with the GX. It doesn't look like a gamer headphone. It looks like complete business, no games. No tacky, RGB bling bling here.


    Pads:

    [​IMG]

    The GX retains the leather pads Audeze has used for many years now, since they updated from the original, thinner pads. The pads are incredibly thick and dense, to where they have almost perfect seal even though the headphone is open backed. The openings are oval shaped, and are quite cavernous, and should provide plenty of space for most ears.

    My biggest complaint about the pads is that they are still glued on, so replacement isn't a simple affair. Considering I still have a pair of highly abused leather free LCD pads (and as some people may know, I have a slight aversion to leather/pleather pads), I would've liked to easily swap and test out. I truly hope Audeze finds a way to make LCD headphones where pads are easy to swap out without glue. Maybe the next one, Audeze?


    Cables:

    The GX comes with two cables. The standard headphone cable is around 2 meters long, braided from top to bottom with a black, shiny material finish. Dual entry mini-XLR on the headphone side that are easy to connect/disconnect as with all Audeze LCD headphones. On the end is a rather robust, large 1/4" Neutrik TRS plug. Unfortunately there is no 3.5mm plug hidden underneath, nor an adapter to find for this cable. Considering how efficient the GX is, I don't see it unreasonable to believe some people would likely connect the GX to small devices. They'll have to rely on getting an adapter of their own, though I advise on NOT getting barrels that change from 1/4 to 3.5mm as those can put a lot of stress on your 3.5mm inputs. I recommend buying an adapter cable with a female 1/4 side, a small cable run, and then the 3.5mm plug, like THIS.

    [​IMG]

    The second cable is what turns the GX into a headset. It is surprisingly longer than the standard cable (2.5 meters?), with a more typical, rubberized black material finish. It's pretty standard in thickness and flexibility. The headphone side comes with Rean branded mini-XLR dual entries, however, the left side holds the flexible gooseneck microphone, which is easy to bend and twist to your preference. There is a small puck at the split which is where you'll find the mic mute switch. On the opposite end is a small, thin, 3.5mm TRRS plug. As it is TRRS, don't try to use the 1/4 adapter without the splitter or you'll get messed up audio from your devices. This cable is for devices that have a mic channel like smartphones, and other combo headphone/mic inputs. Depending on device, you may have to use the included headphone/mic splitter. The review unit I was sent didn't have this, though luckily, I already had a splitter on hand.


    Final Build Quality Impressions:

    [​IMG]

    No surprises here. The LCD-GX is built like an absolute tank. Unlike the other LCDs that use wood, you're less likely baby the GX, as the magnesium body is less prone to accidental damage. The only thing I'd be cautious of is the standard audio cable's mini-XLR connectors which don't seem to have as durable strain reliefs like the headset cable. Not that they seem fragile, but I wouldn't rest the GX with the angled connectors faced down putting strain on them. The headband, the yokes, the pads, and the cups all look like they'll take everyday abuse. I'd consider the GX build quality to be well beyond excellent in nearly all regards.

    The sole negative being that the pads are still glued on, and replacing them usually means potential damage from the adhesive ripping off part of the pad upon removal. This is something Audeze's design team needs to update sooner than later. The headband and cables are already easily replaceable, there's no reason why pads should be semi-permanently placed either.



    Accessories:

    I received a pre-release model of the GX, and so I can't say for certain how the final package will look like or what it includes. Once the GX releases, I'll probably update the review to reflect what's included. For now, you can expect the two sets of cables, one standard, one with the microphone. I believe the final product has a headphone/mic splitter, and 1/4" adapter. Though I believe, that's for the boom mic cable, and would've liked to see some 3.5mm adapter cable for the standard audio cable, considering the high efficiency of the GX, for more versatility in what you can use it with. For example, the GX is definitely sensitive enough for my phone, but I don't want to constantly have the mic near my face when using it. This is why they should've had some 3.5mm adapter for the regular cable.

    I don't particularly care for items being included that may raise the price of a headphone that are unnecessary, so these bare essentials would be fine with me.



    Comfort:

    Disclaimer: I'm not the best person to talk about comfort, mainly because of the use of the choice in large leather/pleather pads. That immediately puts Audeze's LCD headphones in a steep, uphill battle for my personal comfort, as I really, really don't like that style of earpad on almost any headphone. I know many of you simply don't mind leather pads, which is why you have to take my thoughts here particularly with a grain of salt. Now you that understand that, please continue on!

    The GX's comfort is something that absolutely surprised me, considering my memories of the LCD2 and its...questionable comfort. The GX may look a lot like the LCD2 I remember, but the comfort is improved in some significant ways.


    Weight:

    At 420g, the GX isn't light by typical headphone standards. That being said, it is considerably light by LCD means, and if you've ever experienced any LCD headphone outside of their MX4, you'd know 420g is featherweight by comparison. Most LCD headphones run well over 500g to nearly 700g. In addition, the headband will make those 420g feel like a bit less.


    Headband:

    The headband is the LCD-line's saving grace for comfort. The suspension-style without typically accompanied strong downwards tension really helps in spreading the weight all around your head. I've had lighter headphones that feel heavier because their headbands didn't distribute weight this efficiently. The headband is also so comfortable, I rarely notice it on top of my head. I always felt excess padding wasn't necessary if a headband wrapped around the head properly. This proves it. Just a soft touch from the leather is all that was needed. To say this is one of my favorite, if not my favorite style of headband out of all full-sized headphones says quite a lot. I think headband comfort will be one of the last things you worry about with the GX. It really is that good.


    Ear pads:

    The GX's pads, like the LCD2 pads of old, are something I personally don't care for and would want to replace immediately with some leather free or, at the very least, fabric topped pads like Dekoni hybrids. I'm really the last person you should take advice from in terms of pads with leather material. They're all generally lacking for me.

    What I will say about the pads is that they're incredibly thick and dense, that you shouldn't worry about your ears bottoming out and touching the driver enclosure. The cavity is also very large, so you shouldn't expect any uncomfortable pinching of the ears.

    I do need to note that, while the GX is open-backed, the pads create a seal on the level of some of the best closed-back headphones, where you'll feel the pressure of a 'seal' almost as if the GX was closed-back. This may or may not be a point of discomfort, though with some time, the pressure does disperse. This may also be in part with the clamp. I'll quote what I said many years ago with the LCD2, as it also applies here:

    "My biggest issue is that even for an open-design headphone, they have that airplane cabin-pressure feeling once you put them on. It's as if the pads find a seal, and you get that suction feeling. It's a bit surprising and unpleasant, but the feeling goes away after awhile."


    Clamp:

    I'd consider the GX on the slightly clampy side as that is where most of the force keeping the headphone on your head will be. The thick, dense pads will be what tends to keep the GX completely secure to the head. You will feel the pads pressing towards your head.


    Final Comfort Impressions:

    I have to say the GX's headband makes weight a non-issue. The headband essentially disappears on your head, leaving almost all feelings, positive or negative to the clamp, and the pads. So headband comfort is bordering perfection to me.

    Weight-wise, the headband really makes the GX's heft irrelevant, so I'd consider the weight comfort good. The LCD2 in comparison was rather mediocre in comfort because the weight was absolutely noticeable.

    The feeling of clamp may change with different pads, but I'll say it's clampy to me. The pads really feel like they're putting some pressure on my head. Clamp comfort: Decent, not great

    Again, the pads affect my thoughts on comfort, and it could turn a decently comfortable headphone to something much more comfortable alone. In the end, I'll just say that for me personally, the GX's comfort is good. Better than the LCD2 especially in weight and headband comfort, around the same as the LCD2 for clamp and pad comfort. I theorize that with leather-free/velour pads or even something like Dekoni hybrid pads, the GX's comfort could be summed up as great or even better than great.

    My thoughts on comfort really should be taken with a grain of salt because if you're perfectly fine with leather/pleather pads, your impressions on comfort may be considerably more positive.



    Noise Control:

    While the GX is open-backed, it doesn't leak out as much as other open-backed headphones, particularly other planarmagnetic headphones like the Edition XX and Ananda by Hifiman. In terms of isolating from outside noises, don't expect miracles, but I do find it to attenuate external noises better than other open-backed headphones, so you may find it to work decently enough. As always, be mindful of others when listening to open-backed headphones, the GX included, but you can rest assured that one door closed between you and the next person is plenty of noise control here.



    Sound:

    The GX is as I've come to expect from an Audeze LCD headphone, and that is a good thing. The first thing that immediately jumps out at you is that wall of sound. The GX is in your face with a big beautiful, bold presence. It is rather surprising, considering gaming conventions would lead you to think that a more spaced back, spacious sound would be more ideal (and it does tend to be), but the GX does things in its own way that give it different strengths as opposed to typical, dry, gaming oriented headsets.

    It's very linear from bass to midrange, with a tilt towards warmth, and with a soft upper midrange. What is different from my expectations coming from the LCD2 is the shimmer and crispness in the treble range. Back in the old LCD2 days, I did mention that despite its obvious lean towards warmth and significantly smooth treble, the LCD2 was still a surprisingly potent headphone for gaming due to how it was still quite detailed and clear in most frequency ranges. The GX one ups that by also adding upper range sparkle in the mix, leaving it more ideal for gaming purposes. If Audeze was going to orient the LCD sound to work better for gaming, the GX comes close to achieving what I believe would have been the ideal tonal balance without sacrificing what makes the LCD sound so memorable. It is still 100% Audeze LCD underneath all the gaming nomenclature.


    Bass:

    The GX has what you expect of an Audeze LCD: big, bold, beautiful bass. And not in the "hey thump, thump, boom, boom basshead baby" bass. I'm talking about that, "I'm an LCD, and if you want bass impact, body, texture, speed, and control, here it all is, presented in a linear, non-disruptive manner. If you want energy, I'll give it as much as you'd like." Where it differs from the LCD2 of old is in that it feels even more controlled, and less omnipresent. It's here to work harmoniously with the delectable midrange, and upper end sizzle. Make no mistake, it can rumble and thump like you expect from an LCD headphone, but it does it when it is absolutely required. Bass heavy music, action games, etc. The bass is there waiting to be unleashed.

    It is cavernous, and subterranean. Even at 20hz you can just hear the grumble of the beast waiting to be unleashed, without so much as a whimper of it being strained. Nothing sticks out, and nothing is missing. Everything is in its place. Rest assured, the GX has the bass you've come to expect of a good planarmagnetic, particularly a good Audeze LCD. It's hard to come up with what to say about the GX's bass that hasn't already been said or expected. Personally, I believe Audeze has asserted itself as one of the best in the business when it comes to bass. The GX continues to prove why.

    The only downside is that the body of the bass does warm up the sound quite a bit, so don't expect it to lend itself to a big, airy, soundstage compared to less fluid, dry sounding headphones.


    Midrange to treble:

    The midrange is another aspect on the GX that I've come to expect from Audeze after experiencing the LCD2 so many years ago, and more recently, their Mobius. It's full-bodied, meaty, sweet, upfront, and just..organic. It is deliciously present. The GX has one the best midranges that I have experienced. If there is one aspect of sound I could take with me and transplant it to other headphones, it's the midrange. That being said, that upfront midrange may not be the most ideal spacing for gaming, but it does allow for sounds in that area to never be missed in the background among other noises. It does however, end up making the soundstage feel intimate and smaller than other, further spaced out headphones.

    As far as frequency tests go, I'd say that there is a slight dip between 1.4khz and 2khz, but it's only slight. After that, the rest of the midrange to treble up to 7khz is present without being overbearing or piercing. Just past 7khz there is a drop off to possibly the lowest point being around 7.5khz. After that, there is a rise to a very present 10khz point, which continues even to 12khz, with some noticeable extension up to 15khz to a lesser degree. What can be said of the GX's upper range, is that it's no slouch. It seems Audeze corrected the overly soft nature of the LCD2's upper midrange to treble here. This makes it a prime candidate for some good detail-orientation in gaming, without sacrificing the low end to achieve it. Based of my memories of the LCD2, is quite a stark difference. The GX is not a soft, sleepy headphone. It does have low range warmth up to the midrange, but it does not sacrifice the treble range, save for a 7.5khz dip, which isn't completely devoid of auditory information. It isn't a collapse of that range, just a slight blunting of it.

    In the end, the fantastic midrange paired with minor upper end sparkle is quite beneficial to detail oriented gaming, and I can see why Audeze have leaned towards making this the gaming sound of the LCD-line. Where it doesn't benefit gaming is in the soundstage ending up not being as big, so air and room space is more intimate.



    Soundstage and Imaging:

    With no processing:

    I'll be blunt in saying I feel the GX isn't the most open sounding headphone out there. It's not particularly wide in soundstage size. It is, however, equipped with good height, and depth, with excellent imaging properties. It paints a pretty vivid picture. The Edition XX in comparison has a larger soundstage, but imaging definition is hazy and diffused, whereas the GX defines objects more cleanly. So while the soundstage is not conventionally large next to more spacious sounding headphones, the imaging and object detail is strong, and as such, stereo soundstaging is perfectly suitable to my ears. I don't put much stock in soundstage size for stereo purposes, so the GX's innate soundstaging is perfectly adequate. That being said , the GX's strengths make it quite suitable for virtual surround conversion, which I place far more importance to when gaming.


    With surround processing:

    Virtual surround dsps help project the GX sense of space outward very convincingly. The GX's inherently strong imaging and soundstage depth aid it in being more natural, and less headphone-esque. This helps make the GX a very good choice for general gaming, and movie watching in virtual surround. This is not a surprise, as even though the LCD2 had a massive sonic wall that seemed to restrict soundstage in it's raw, unprocessed stereo form, the LCD2's soundstage opened up nicely with virtual surround dsps. The GX works even better in this regard, making it a far more ideal gaming headphone when surround processing is utilized.


    Clarity:

    The bold, upfront bass and midrange make it quite a simple affair for the GX to retrieve details down low and in the middle. It will expose flaws in these regions. The upper midrange is softer of note and less focused, but is still quite respectable. The GX's strength over my experiences with the old LCD2 are that the treble range is no longer fully blunted down and glossed over. There is some sharp bite at 10khz and above, offering more top crystallesque detail that would've been less obvious on the LCD2. The GX isn't aimed at being hyper clear headphones where upper midranges are emphasized. Instead, the GX ultimately leans on the thick, warmer, enveloping sound. Don't expect treble brightness, but do expect some presence.

    The GX is in a place where volume level will be important in either making the GX come off a bit soft, or strong in detail focus. If you're a low level listener, the GX may be lenient and full bodied where clarity isn't the prime importance. Personally, I believe the GX will appeal more to moderate to higher level listeners in terms of providing the clarity that it absolutely does have.


    Sound Signature:

    Warm balance, full, bold, thick, linear bass and midrange, softer upper midrange, sharp, present 10khz treble with good extension, without brightness. Overall warm tilted, not overly smooth.

    Bass: The bass has fantastic texture and clarity, despite its strength and body. The bass won't bloom or cave under enermous pressure given from today's electronic music. The GX will grab hold, and exude a commanding presence.

    Midrange: The lush, upfront, naturally voiced midrange puts you essentially in the front row. Upper midrange is below neutral line, but not overly so

    Treble: Below neutral, with 7.5khz softness, 10khz sparkle, good extension. Fatigue-free, no veil

    Soundstage: Intimate though tall with excellent depth/imaging



    Amplification:

    The GX is incredibly efficient even for a planar. It takes less on the volume pot compared to Hifiman's Edition XX and Ananda, both which are also highly efficient. The GX also seems to scale with some power, so amplification can also be warranted, though not necessary at all for great enjoyment out of the GX. I can barely touch the Schiit Magni 3's high gain mode due to how efficient the GX is.

    As for what flavor of amplification, I do believe a neutral solid state will be ideal due to the already forward, full-bodied sound. The bass is bold and quick, the midrange is full and forward, and the upper end does have some zest and shimmer, though its still a softer upper range than more detail oriented headphones. Something to enhance its sharpness and clarity seems best for the GX.



    Gaming:

    I'm not particularly worried too much about stereo soundstage for gaming, and the GX does not change this for me. As long as imaging is strong, stereo gaming will be just fine on any headphone, which the GX clearly has an advantage in. So if you're someone who doesn't use virtual surround dsps and prefer raw stereo when gaming, the GX with its excellent imaging and depth should suit you very well, as long as you're not expecting a bunch of air and space. Personally, stereo gaming tends to sound flat to me regardless of whatever headphone I use, so I don't really place much importance here. The GX does all that I would require of it well, like say...using it for the Nintendo Switch which is limited to stereo.

    As far as virtual surround gaming goes, I'll be completely real in saying it wouldn't be my first choice if hardcore gaming is the only priority, as I believe headphones with a more spaced back sound and wider soundstage are more ideal. The upfront nature of its sound is less ideal compared to headphones that I'd typically recommend for serious gaming. That being said, the GX offers a more, in your face, action-packed immersion. This would make the more casual, less competitive gaming quite a bit more fun. Things like horror or single player shooters would arguably be more impactful on the GX compared to other headphones. The virtual surround still benefits the GX greatly in providing a very good gaming soundstage. If you're someone who isn't overly competitive and play more for fun and other casual necessities, the GX is absolutely a blast to use. If hardcore/competitive gaming is your main purpose, I think there is better to be found elsewhere, where a dry, detail orientation is more ideal. You would sacrifice immersion and auditory enjoyment, for a calculated sonic advantage. Personally, I don't play games competitively, so the GX is well suited to my needs most of the time.

    For those who are used to my old method of gauging gaming performance...

    Fun: You will have great enjoyment out of fun/casual gaming where your performance compared to others isn't a big concern. The deep, atmospheric tonality really highlights how fun gaming with headphones can be. The GX's depth really allows for easy to discern positional cues whether in front or behind you, making it a great weapon for picking off targets hidden from sight. Make no mistake, the LCD-GX is a blast. Yes, a bigger sense of space would have made the GX nearly perfect, but it really isn't a necessity here.

    Hardcore/competitive: There are better options than the GX, simply due to the fact it's not a dry, bright, detail oriented headphone. The tonal balance just isn't ideal for this specific purpose, which, while not optimal for competitive gaming, is beneficial in nearly every other regard, so I'll glady take that loss. Not that the GX ain't detailed. It truly is, but it's not the main focus. The one other aspect that could've benefited hardcore/competitive gaming is a better sense of space and air, but that too, is at odds with its forward, intimate sound. You truly can't have everything.



    Microphone:



    Having done some basic mic recording tests, I found the GX's mic to be perfectly adequate for my needs. The voice is clear, there's no unbearable background hiss, or overly nasal compression. I'm not the final word on microphones and their quality, but I doubt there'd be many who would complain about the sound quality here.

    [​IMG]

    Functionally-speaking, there's not much on the GX mic. A simple mic/mute switch. No volume wheel or anything, and I'd guess it's likely to keep the signal path as clean as possible.



    Personal Recommendations:

    Media:

    Audeze is aiming the GX at gamers, and yes, it can game, very well in fact. However, I find myself having a hard time separating it from Audeze's roots with the LCD line's sultry, dulcet tones that lean more on musicality more than hardcore gaming. Yes, it tilts the tonal balance to be less so than before, yet it can't escape its innately warm, forward, lush sound.

    As such, if you're going to use it for gaming, I think it presents itself better with dark, moody games focused on ambience and atmosphere. Or games that better connect you to the characters and world, and less on multiplayer, frenetic, detail-mongering games where audio reproduction is less a pleasure inducing aspect of the game, and more a dry, impersonal, competitive necessity. It can still do that sort of gaming just fine, but I wouldn't reach for the GX if that was my priority. Even Audeze's own Mobius would be better suited at being less about enjoyment and more about getting a competitive edge, with its full suite of tools and sound enhancing presets.

    Get the GX for the beautiful sound it makes, not for the tasks of hyper detail retrieval and brute forcing sound cues.


    Real world practicality:

    These are definitely 'keep at home' headphones. While this is technically a headset, its open-backed nature makes it a poor choice for lan or public events due to lack of noise isolation, and its massive size. It is certainly rugged enough to throw in a bag if you wish to take it with you on your travels, but it'd be better suited to more private settings.



    Likes and Dislikes:

    Likes:
    • Forward, impactful, immersive sound
    • Deep, balanced bass
    • Luscious midrange
    • Headband comfort
    • Highly efficient
    • Light for an LCD headphone
    • Build quality

    Dislikes:
    • Glued on pads, not a simple process to replace
    • Intimacy of the sound may not be ideal for the specific purpose of competitive gaming



    Final Impressions:

    The Audeze LCD-GX is somewhat of a confusing headphone for me. Perhaps it's my own preferences and beliefs in what makes a headphone 'gaming-centric', but I do feel that calling the GX a gaming headphone first is selling it short.

    While I absolutely believe it's a good headphone for the targeted purpose of gaming, I believe it makes a better headphone for far more uses outside of just gaming. I think for the purpose of purely competitive gaming, Audeze would have to dramatically adjust its headphone design to something different. What that would be, I don't yet know. But then, it just wouldn't be an LCD.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019 at 8:23 AM
    halcyon, raband, Beagle and 4 others like this.
  7. Mad Lust Envy Contributor
    I'm having a problem adding it to the front page, so....... (no more than 40 images or something)_

    I'll see if I can figure it out later, right now sleep calls, and I have a long shift when I wake up, so it's gonna have to wait.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019 at 8:15 AM
  8. Beagle
    I guess all Audeze (and planars in general) are going to have this sound. Nature of the beast I suppose.
     
  9. Mad Lust Envy Contributor
    Yeah, it definitely retains what I'd consider to be the Audeze house sound, with minor tweaks to their general curve. I think if they strayed too far from it, it wouldn't be an LCD anymore, so I can at least understand why it retains some expected characteristics of their prior headphones.
     
  10. MattTCG
    Come on MLE, this headphone is still quite heavy. A well constructed headband might alleviate the hotspots but it won't magically reduce the 420+ grams parked on your head. I have no respect or interest in anything by Audeze until they create a headphone that weighs sub 400 grams and has a similar signature to the lcd-4. Wait...that headphone has already been made by another company. :)

    If it sounds like I'm giving them a little crap, I am. But it's deserved.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019 at 7:26 PM
  11. Mad Lust Envy Contributor
    Hahaha. I mean, you ain't lying, but when it comes to Audeze you have to give them some concessions. And believe me that headband IS a miracle. You know how much of a stickler I am for headphone comfort, but really, I could wear the GX all day and the first point of discomfort would never ever be the weight. The airplane pressure feel is much more noticeable than the weight. That took a while to get used to.
     
  12. MattTCG
    Nope. They get NO concessions until they get the weight down. Old people (me) can't hear bricks on their heads and still be able to enjoy music.
     
  13. Mad Lust Envy Contributor
    From over 700g to 420g. Come on. THEY'RE MOVING FORWARD. :o2smile:

    They'll have to drastically redesign the LCD line to get that weight down further without skimping on materials.

    I wonder if all the metal bits can have a plastic or other lighter material alternative.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019 at 8:23 PM
  14. MattTCG
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019 at 8:51 PM
  15. mightyKyn
    Gbb
     
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