Audeze is a logo that wishes no advent; the American audio producer makes one of the ideal planar headsets, and its merchandise are utilized in recording studios world wide. Whilst the emblem has different its choices lately — introducing gaming-focused headsets and price range choices which might be to be had for less than $500 — the LCD collection bureaucracy the core of its portfolio.
And in that collection, the LCD-X reigns superb; presented just about a decade in the past, the LCD-X is Audeze’s best-selling headset, and the emblem rolled out a brand new model in 2021 with a fairly lighter design and higher weight distribution, tweaks to the sound signature, and new ear cushions.
The end result? The LCD-X is one of the ideal — if no longer the most efficient total — headset you’ll be able to to find on this class, and that is the reason not likely to switch anytime quickly.
Audeze LCD-X: Pricing and availability
Audeze unveiled the LCD-X again in 2013, however the model I am checking out as of late is a redesigned fashion that was once presented in 2021. The redesign does not alternate the visible aesthetic of the LCD-X, with Audeze as an alternative specializing in tweaking the sound. Together with the ones adjustments, Audeze now provides the LCD-X in two variants: a Author Bundle that prices $1,199 and comprises the headset and a braided 2-meter cable with a single-ended 6.35mm connector and a regular LCD laborious shell case to be used at the street.
There is additionally a Top rate Bundle that retails for $1,699, and this model has two braided cables — one with a 6.35mm connector and the opposite with a balanced 4-pin XLR — in addition to a 6.35mm to a few.5mm plug, and a top class commute case. Each variations are to be had in leather-based and leather-free fabrics, and are bought immediately on Audeze’s website online as well as Amazon (opens in new tab) (the place it is marginally decrease at $1,139) and all main audio outlets.
Audeze LCD-X: Design and luxury
Earlier than I am getting to the design, the very first thing I wish to speak about is the burden, as that in the long run is a deciding issue for your buying determination. Even supposing Audeze shaved off 50g from the unique model, the LCD-X 2021 nonetheless is available in at a hefty 612g, and it’s the heaviest headset in my assortment via a sizeable margin.
The burden is noticeable while you get started the use of the headset, and whilst I first of all figured it will be a subject, that hasn’t confirmed to be the case. I used the LCD-X for simply over a month now as my day-to-day motive force, and in that point, I have never felt any fatigue even after prolonged listening classes of six hours or extra. I am at my table for 12 hours an afternoon on reasonable, and I pay attention to track for no less than part of that length, and having used the LCD-X broadly, the burden hasn’t been an issue in my use case.
One of the vital causes for that’s the weight distribution; Audeze did a super activity distributing the burden flippantly around the scarf, and the result’s that you do not really feel the heft whenever you put the headset on. The redesigned ear cushions additionally cross far in making the LCD-X relaxed for prolonged use, and whilst they are no longer as breathable as velour pads at the likes of the HD6XX, they do not get too heat both.
At the entire regardless that, I might recommend making an attempt at the LCD-X at a shop earlier than selecting it up; whilst I did not have any problems with the burden, that would possibly not be the case for everybody.
With that out of the way in which, let’s get to the design. The LCD-X is all about creating a observation, and the outsized grilles along side the large ear cushions give it a particular glance that is right away recognizable. The headset is comprised of steel, and the visual screws give it an commercial glance — and enable you transfer out any portions down the road must the desire rise up.
I additionally just like the stylized design over the grille that bureaucracy a big A; there is no mistaking who made this headset. The LCD-X is not intended for outside use, however the bundled laborious shell case manner you’ll take it at the street with none problems. The cables connect with the earcups by way of mini-XLR plugs, and so they securely lock in position.
The ear pads are some of the maximum relaxed I have used so far, and whilst the headset is heavy, the clamping pressure is delicate. This is going far in making sure the LCD-X is relaxed for prolonged listening classes.
Construct high quality is beautiful — as you’ll believe — and I don’t have any doubt that the headset will ultimate a long time. The headscarf makes use of a suspension-style design and is comprised of steel, however simply beneath you’ll be able to discover a perforated leather-based band that does a good activity with weight distribution. That mentioned, I’d have appreciated extra padding at the scarf itself, and a fairly more uncomplicated mechanism for adjusting the sizing.
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Rather than that minor quibble, I don’t have any issues of the design or convenience of the LCD-X. Like I mentioned previous, that is the heaviest headset of the dozen or so in my assortment, so if you are eyeing this fashion, I strongly suggest making an attempt it out earlier than making a purchase order.
Audeze LCD-X: Sound high quality
I knew earlier than I were given began with the LCD-X that it will sound large, however I did not notice simply how nuanced the sound could be till I in truth used the headset. I am not exaggerating once I say that this is one of the best-sounding headset you’ll be able to to find within the sub-$2,000 phase.
Numerous that has to do with the bass reaction; the LCD-X delivers a quick assault that is generally a function of all planar headsets, nevertheless it accomplish that with a lot better emphasis and numerous element. You get a pleasing rumble and texture, and the LCD-X does extremely smartly within the sub-bass phase, and you are assured to listen to notes for your favourite tracks that you just overlooked earlier than.
In a an identical vein, mids are detailed, and also you get superb software separation with a forward-facing vocal presentation that sounds large. The treble has just right extension total, nevertheless it misses out on slightly of sparkle. The whole sound signature is impartial, and that is the reason no longer astonishing taking into account the LCD-X is designed for mastering.
Audeze nailed the technical main points right here, with the LCD-X providing superb imaging and dynamics. In truth, as opposed to a fairly laid-back treble, there is no unmarried flaw to indicate right here. The impartial tuning manner the LCD-X works smartly throughout quite a lot of genres, and I will attest to that, having listened to vintage rock, heavy steel, people track, classical, and a large number of DnB within the month I used the headset.
With a sensitivity of 103dB/mW and coming in at 20Ω, the LCD-X is remarkably simple to pressure — you’ll use it with with regards to any moveable supply. I used the headset predominantly with the Fiio K9 Pro and the Fiio R7 network streamer, and the use of a supply with slightly extra energy makes the headset actually shine.
Slightly serendipitously, I began the use of the LCD-X on the similar time I arrange Roon, and that became out to be a just right factor, since the instrument has customized presets that liberate the whole attainable of the headset. Roon’s preset provides the LCD-X a lot more airiness and element, and this can be a fabulous pairing. If you are purchasing the LCD-X or any Audeze headset and feature a big offline track assortment, I suggest signing up for Roon and giving it a take a look at — you’ll be able to love the adaptation it makes.
After all, you’ll all the time manually tweak the EQ to reach a an identical impact, and the LCD-X provides a large number of headroom on this space due to the low distortion. The one problem (because it have been) in the case of sound high quality is that the treble is slightly at ease, however that may be simply corrected, and the terrific bass and mid-range provides the LCD-X a simple merit.
Audeze LCD-X: The contest
There are many choices within the high-end phase, and if you are after a great-sounding planar headset, the HiFiMan Arya ticks a large number of the precise bins. It makes use of massive planar drivers, has a in a similar fashion strong design because the LCD-X, and has a great sound that pairs smartly with numerous genres. It additionally has a quick bass that is lively, and has just right total answer and a large soundstage. Coming in at $1,299 on Amazon (opens in new tab), it’s in the similar neighborhood because the LCD-X, however the only consider its choose is that it weighs 404g, over 200g lighter — so if you end up no longer liking how heavy the LCD-X is, you must check out the Arya.
Focal’s Transparent may be a sensible choice to believe, with the headset handing over a elegant sound and a beautiful design that is consistent with the French logo’s different merchandise. The headset is delicate to be pushed via moveable assets, you get a large number of equipment within the field, and at 450g, it’s relaxed to put on. The Transparent is now to be had for $1,249 on Amazon (opens in new tab), so you are no longer paying that a lot more than the LCD-X.
Audeze LCD-X: Will have to you purchase it?
You must purchase this if:
- You need a high-end planar headset with a balanced and impartial sound
- You want a sturdy construct high quality that may ultimate many years
- You are searching for a headset with plush cushions which might be relaxed
- You want a planar headset that is simple to pressure
You should not purchase this if:
- You need a light-weight planar headset
In the long run, Audeze were given so much proper with the LCD-X. Positive, the sheer measurement and weight of the headset could be a deal-breaker for a couple of, however truthfully, having used it for over a month, I do not thoughts the burden in any respect. The truth that it’s allotted flippantly guarantees the heft is not a subject right through prolonged use, and the construct high quality is exceptional — this factor is constructed like a tank.
There is lots to love in the case of the sound as smartly, with the LCD-X handing over a impartial sound that permits your track to polish. The low-end and mids are extremely detailed, and the treble has no sibilance in any way and respectable extension. However it is the soundstage and imaging that set the LCD-X aside; this is without doubt one of the largest explanation why the headset is so very talked-about.
Whilst $1,199 is so much to pay for a headset, you might be getting so much to your cash, specifically with the Author Bundle. I am not going to mention this can be a just right worth, however what is apparent to me is that the LCD-X is an outstanding headset that is constructed to ultimate for many years, and the sound signature is improbable. The one factor this is the burden; if you do not thoughts that, the LCD-X is a simple advice.
The LCD-X combines a powerful design with relaxed leather-based ear pads, and the redesigned sound signature manner they ship a impartial sound that permits you to get probably the most from your track.