AUDEZE LCD X Review – Comparison withe the LCD 2

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Video review here

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INTRODUCTION

After my LCD 2 review, I believe I was not the only one who had high hopes for the LCD X. Please be advised that according to some what reliable sources, LCD series vary in sound due to the fact that it is hand made. What I have reviewed here can be taken as the general ballpark of what the LCD X represents in the LCD series.

ABOUT AUDEZE

From their website:

Audeze’s origins go back to 2008 when founders Sankar Thiagasamudram and Alexander Rosson met engineer Pete Uka who developed specialized flexible circuit materials for NASA. They quickly realized the material might be perfect for headphones. That’s when Dragoslav Colich, who has 30+ years’ experience in designing planar drivers, joined the team as CTO to create the LCD-1 headphone.

Then we created the legendary, award-winning LCD-2 and LCD-3 headphones, and the higher-efficiency LCD-X and XC models. More recently, we made planar magnetic technology accessible to a wider audience with the EL-8 and SINE series headphones. Audeze turned to their strategic partner Designworks, a BMW Group Subsidiary, for the cutting-edge industrial design for the new headphones as well as the Deckard DAC/Amplifier.

Audeze feature proprietary planar magnetic designs with extremely thin-film driver materials and powerful custom magnets. Planars overcome many limitations inherent in typical cone drivers; our lightweight diaphragms are, for example, faster and more responsive than heavier moving-coil or dome drivers. Planar magnetic diaphragm also have a voice-coil circuit spread across the diaphragm surface. The diaphragm’s voice-coil circuit interacts with the magnetic field to produce an electromagnetic force that moves the diaphragm back and forth creating the sound you hear when energized by an audio signal.

DISCLAIMER

This review unit was lent to me by audio excellence, for a review. Nevertheless, my review will contain no bias

SPECS

Style Open circumaural
Transducer type Planar magnetic
Magnetic structure Proprietary push-pull design
Magnet type Neodymium
Transducer size 106 mm
Maximum power handling 15W (for 200ms)
Sound pressure level >130dB with 15W
Frequency response 5Hz – 20kHz extended out to 50kHz
Total harmonic distortion <1% through entire frequency range
Impedance 20 ohms
Efficiency 103dB / 1mW
Optimal power requirement 1 – 4W

THE BUILD QUALITY

Unlike the LCD 2 with its exotic wood, LCD X goes hardcore and is made of all metal/aluminum. Which brings to the outcome of “incredible build quality” but also incredible weight and discomfort, more so than the LCD 2.

Sound mechanism

The drivers used are planar magnetic drivers and to me, this is a plus because other than the fact that Audeze has great experience tuning these types of drivers, these types of drivers can make a more impactful sound.

Included is also their latest technology, the “fazor,” which is a wave guide to increase the clarity and lower distortion.

SOUND QUALITY

Lower Frequencies: With a satisfying amount of sub bass, LCD X presents more in quantity than the LCD 2 but falls short in controlling it. Thus, the tightness and punchy bass that LCD 2 posses becomes a little loose in the LCD X.

Mid Frequencies: Where as I found the LCD 2 to excel in micro detail in this range, I found the LCD X to be less micro detailed but more so euphoric like the HD650s with less vocal presence overall. The guitar and violin really stands out, which can be a plus for some people but for me, it felt a little too fatiguing. For example, Lindsey Stirling’s songs all sounded peaky.

High Frequencies: Falls short in the upper range compared to HD800s but excels in the lower ranges. Falls short in mid range and overall control than the LCD 2. Falls short in resolution and imaging compared to the hifiman edition x v2 but excels in tonality. In short, LCD X falls short to other TOTL headphones but still excels in some way to keep its place for people that really enjoy that bass quantity with added LCD’s house sound signature.

Soundstage/imaging: The soundstage was larger than the HD650 and tad smaller than the LCD 2 and Hifiman edition x v2. Imaging also felt short to the HD800s or Edition x v2.

Overall Thoughts

Bottom line, I would personally recommend the LCD 2 over the LCD X. Although LCD X is great for bass lovers.

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