Audeze lcd-1 hype train getting ready to leave the station?

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Ice-man, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    To gain traction against a well established product in the market I suppose. But you're right, they are not very comparable.
     
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I blame SG and metal5678 for bringing in the HD650 into the mix.

    The LCD-X comparison might sense. I felt the LCD-X, or at least some unit samples sounded dry and thin, not from a strict FR point of view, but from a timbre pov.

    It's fun trying to triangulate from various impressions.
     
  3. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    This, exactly. I was watching this release and when I saw SG and Metal's video making very similar comparisons against the 650 it was compelling enough for me to buy it and try it myself.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
  4. HHS

    HHS Rando

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    I suspect the HD 650 comparison came up just because the 650 is a common reference for the $300-400 range that people are broadly familiar with. It's not really a great point of comparison, these don't sound like Audeze was trying to build their own HD650 or anything like that.

    I have to say that I'm enjoying the LCD-1 but I can understand why some might find them cold. I feel like they present music well and what I'd call correctly, so I'm enjoying them, but they don't have much of a particular flavor while Sennheiser definitely has a house sound for the 600 series that is recognizable and pleasant.

    The LCD-1 really does feel like Audeze was going for "neutrality" more than flavor and timbre.I wouldn't say they're lacking in the enjoyment factor, the bass is well extended, there's a nice energy in the upper mids, and the highs are very detailed but smooth in an impressive way, but I would say the LCD-1 sounds more technically correct than it sounds highly musical
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
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  5. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Non Voting Friend

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    It’s a damn shame analog design sucks so bad with most manufacturers that USA made gear with old parts like Lavry, Apogee (the non dongles), Dangerous, MOTU, and some Schiit are able to smoke them.

    What gives @purr1n ? A few of my friends, after suffering through Focusrite hell, have Presonus interfaces that cost a few hundred dollars. I opened up the hood of one that was clipping and all the opamps were jrc4580 like Behringer. Of course they all sound rather off like everything, even very expensive, shilled, and renowned brands, made in China. I know brands like Focusrite moved to China. UK vs China Focusrite is WTF.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
  6. Degru

    Degru Rando

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    I would like to comment on Sine and needing DSP dongle - I measured it; all the Sine DSP dongle added was a low bass boost shelf, presumably to cater to consumer tastes or compensate for on-ear seal. The rest of the frequency response was untouched. Different from the iSines in this regard, which did indeed require compensation in the mids and highs.

    Note that this is different from the Reveal plugin EQ for Sine, which attempts to correct some of the low treble response as well..

    I feel sine is quite underrated sound-wise, most seem to dismiss it due to a) comfort and b) not actually being very suitable for most built in portable sources; it really needs a good amp to sound good, much more so than the 6x0 series .
     
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  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Oh yeah, I was probably thinking about the Reveal plugin EQ. I'm generally not a fan of these part on-ear, part over ear headphones.
     
  8. Scubadude

    Scubadude Almost "Made"

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    Sine works much better with adapted rings and M50x pads, or at its most comfy and transparent with SRH1540 pads.
     
  9. jazglers

    jazglers Rando

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    What can cause a headphone (like the LCD-1) to sound dry and thin?

    Overdamping, like with a loudspeaker room? I know that FR can contribute to it, along with long decay times, and needing better amplification. Like, with cheaper headphones, they can sound wet, bloomy, or muddy because the decay times are relatively longer.

    And also why overdamping would be desired over say, underdamping (or, why would audeze make it sound that way--Ice Man said it sounds like a monitoring headphone). I'm kinda guessing overdamp = sins of ommision (leaves out sounds), underdamp = sins of commision (exaggerates sound).

    I did hear an LCD-X a good couple years ago, and it was one of the drier sounding headphones I've heard in terms of dynamics. It didn't want to hit higher peaks and instead exaggerated the steepness of the initial rises, as has been said here about planars. So dry timbre = lower macrodynamics (?).
     
  10. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Gearmaster

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    **note: I will not specifically mention any possibility of variance in drivers, which is pretty well-documented with Audeze stuff. I'll only talk about what I have in-hand.

    First of all, build quality ain't bad. The other LCDs weigh a lot more and don't necessarily feel better built. The LCD-1, while lightweight, doesn't convey the sense it'll fall apart, or was put together thoughtlessly despite its mostly plastic design. I think the job there was pretty well-done. However, Audeze really has to label the cable; the cable has no markings to designate left or right. It’s confusing and impossible to remember which side is which, so I resorted to sticking a wire tie around the right plug.
    The cable is actually reversible. Guess I'm dumb.

    Speaking of the cable, the LCD-1 comes in a nice little case similar to the Clear’s case, but not as hard/stiff as that case. The LCD-1 folds up nicely and stores in this case. However, you have to unplug the cable to fit the headphones in there, making the fact that L-R isn’t marked on the cable more egregious of an oversight.

    Comfort on my head is actually quite good (note that on the Auteur and Clear, I extend the yokes out all the way. Verite and Utopia are on the penultimate notches). I think my size head is the largest that the LCD-1 can accommodate, and despite that, clamp isn't super snug; it's tight enough to not fall off while doing some light headbanging or household chores, but light enough that I didn't feel like my head is in a vice. Top of the headband has enough padding to be comfy for me, but those with a prominent crown may have a negative experience. My ears fit in the earpads nicely (I think my ears are roughly average for my head size). Your experience obviously will vary here, etc, but honestly comfort on the head for me was one of the major pluses of this headphone. Also, its diminutive size made it a great “lying in bed” headphone.

    I actually do like the way the good Audeze LCD samples sound, and the LCD-1 adheres somewhat to the same house sound. In my very limited time with the headphone, no part of the frequency response struck me as annoying. It’s somewhat dry-sounding (if the HD650 is neutral, the LCD-1 is dry), and it’s a touch unrefined throughout the registers (especially prominent in treble), but it should be said that I find none of this annoying; in fact, none of the octaves strikes me as piercing or annoying. The dryness, combined with some other traits that I’ll bring up later, do make it sound a bit analytical and a touch lifeless, but nothing major. For those familiar with the other Audeze LCD headphones, it’s worth noting that in comparison to the other LCDs, the LCD-1 backs off the lows quite a bit; the other LCDs lay the lows on pretty thick in comparison.

    I'm going to bring up the HD650 since it has already been brought up here. The LCD-1 has some of the Focal Clear's tendency to sound "moar hi-fi than HD650." The Clear can get away with this because it does have a lot of things it does better than the HD650, and right now I don't think the LCD-1 can claim the same. It feels more open, but the stage is the same size with maybe slightly better imagine (I was able to easily use this as an Overwatch headphone). It clearly has better macrodynamics. has better bass by far, and is more athletic, but the HD650 has better nuances and is just the more resolving and detailed headphone. The LCD-1 might sound more detailed upon first listen and is definitely more impressive, but it's just not the HD650, and I’m going to refrain from using it as a comparison unless necessary.

    For example, take pretty much any Evanescence song. There's a pretty hefty use of harmony in Amy Lee's vocals (in most choruses anyhow). On the LCD-1, the harmony is squished together so it sounds almost like one note. The HD650 is able to separate these sounds out. I'm also detecting some amount of grain and roughness in the metallic percussion, although it should be said that there at least don't seem to be any annoying peaks or unnaturalness.

    In fact, most songs that have some swing in dynamic range seem to showcase the LCD-1’s “moar hifi” sound. The highs are indeed high, and the lows low, but it seems to play all the highs at the same volume and same with the lows. So while it initially does come off as impressive, it’s a little bit flat dynamically. To me, this makes the engagement factor a bit low; good for having music play in the background, but ultimately, not for those who really like to critically listen or for those who like to immerse themselves and cry in a whirlwind of sound.

    However, one of the things I’ve noticed is that in terms of amp pairings, this headphone hardly scales. I actually find this to be a positive thing; the LCD-1 is satisfying to listen to even when plugged straight into a phone. At risk of looking like an imbecile, I did take a walk outside with these, and it actually was okay. I certainly don’t recommend this in a quiet library, unless you really want to advertise what you’re listening to, but its light weight and comfort mean it could be used in a limited fashion out and about.

    Overall, I feel the LCD-1 isn’t as easy to get along with as some other headphones, but it’s certainly not bad. The dry analytical sound certainly comes off as “hifi" (especially given the emphasized macrodetail) and I actually do enjoy this headphone for what it is. Just don’t expect it to be a giant killer, or your “OMFG favorite thing ever!!!”

    and if any Audeze rep is reading this, PLEASE LABEL THE CABLE!!! LIKE WHY ISN'T IT LABELED?!
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
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  11. tommytakis

    tommytakis Friend

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    This might be why: (Source: Audeze's website)
    "3.5mm premium cable for tangle-free connection, with reversible headphone connectors for ease of setup"
     
  12. redrich2000

    redrich2000 Acquaintance

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    [deleted]
     
  13. PacoTaco

    PacoTaco Friend

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    I'm curious to hear this headphone in the loaner tour. A lot of Orthos just sorta "appeared on the market." You got that Blon B20, the Monoprice M570, and the Sendy Aiva using all the same driver. Then the other million options Monoprice is shoving into the market using drivers that are either new or they've used in prior headphones. Hifiman is shoving the Sundara out there and doing the Hifiman XX headphone for $600. Now you have this Audeze can.

    Has anyone heard any of the headphones with the Aiva's driver compared to the LCD-1?
     
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  14. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    @rtaylor76 brought these over yesterday and it took all of 3-5 minutes to understand them. I listened via a Modi 3/Vali 2 setup.

    They're fine.

    Really.

    The main drawback for me was that the vocals were slightly withdrawn and pinched sounding.

    On the positive side, they're very easy to drive and aren't overly offensive in any way that I could find.

    We both agreed that we're simply not the market for this type of headphone. If I want a portable open headphone I'll just grab my Porta Pros, thanks. For a home rig, these headphones serve zero purpose. The 600 and 650 both slay these for cheaper and they don't need the extra power that home rigs offer. We had several things we were listening to yesterday, and the LCD-1 got a few minutes of head time before being tossed to the side and ignored for the next few hours.

    But, for people who are drawn towards a more luxurious package for a pair of headphones on the go, I can see these fitting the bill. The earpads are small, but worked for me and seemed comfortable. The compact size is a plus. But, you know...cheap-ish IEMs are even smaller and sound at least as good while also providing isolation on the go.

    One word review: *shrug*
     
  15. rtaylor76

    rtaylor76 Can't wipe his tag

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    Skyline was right. I think the first thing you have to notice for these things is the intended market. The "know your audience" portion. I'm not going to speculate too much on intended demographics or market segment for the LCD1's, but we can go over the facts…

    It’s:
    • A sleek headphone
    • Build quality is nice
    • Small
    • Portable/foldable
    • Comes with a nice case
    • 1/8” jack with 1/4" adapter
    • Small headphone
    • Detachable cable with dual ⅛” connectors on both drivers

    So, I can surmise this is a headphone with someone who does not have amps to drive heavy planars, wants something portable or transportable, a planar, and something that looks/feels luxurious.

    All the above can be the pro’s, so let’s look right quick what is NOT:
    • NOT a HD600/650 killer (whoever started this is wrong, plain and simple)
    • NOT anywhere close to the LCD-2C
    • NOT one that should be compared
    Note: the closest I could compare this to in terms of type of headphone is the Oppo PM-1

    You can tell right away these headphones are trying to present themselves as a high-endy type luxury. Super nice box, super nice case, headband is nice, design is superb, cord is braided type of nice quality. I really like this plush and secure case.

    The headphones themselves are lightweight and not the standard Audeze heft. The earcups are quite small, so bigger ear people beware. Despite the small size, it is an around the ear headphone. Headclamp is slightly tight, but not headsqueeze - nice and secure for portable headphones. Build quality is sturdy, padding is nice and plush - I wish my LCD-2C’s were like this instead of looking like an industrial project.

    Minor quips I would say that the L and R indicators are on the inside of the headband screened in white against sliver - kind of hard to see, even in good light. Also, the two ⅛” driver side connectors are not indicated with L and R. Something that worried me at first, until I saw they are TRS plugs and not TS plugs, meaning they can be plugged into either side and will give you proper L/R presentation.

    Now for sound quality:

    Sources tested with:

    • Bifrost MB + Lyr 2
    • Bifrost MB + Vali 2
    • Fiio X3II + A3
    • Computer headphone out
    • Portable FM radio
    • Samsung S10+
    Yes, they are easy to drive. The only one that had issues driving these was my Samsung S10+, but the volume was not bad, just have to crank it. Phones are not for volume anyway and still sounded decent enough in a pinch.

    Ok, so here is the bad news...they do not have the Audeze planar bass that everyone loves. They are more low-mid centric with the bass and sounds like it has a rolloff similar to HD650s (this might be why some say they were 650 killers). Low end is kind of there, but softer, not-dominant, and you can tell there is some missing information.

    They are also rolled off slightly in the high end, not letting all the details through. It made their presentation very acceptable to a vast majority of LCD (lowest common denominator) types.

    Mids are slightly recessed. Some might say very recessed. I have not seen the FR for this yet, but would not be surprised to see a dip in the mids. Not quite M50 territory, as the high-mids can come out and sometimes get shouty in that upper-mid range.

    Soundstage is pretty much not existent. Details and layering also get lost. Drums and acoustic guitars can sound plasticy, reverb trails are hardly there. More power helped here and certainly sounded better with my Lyr, but still flatter and way less layered than my LCD-2C’s and still with some missing bass.

    Nothing sounds terrible or sticks out. Skyline was right with the *shrug* review. I did compare them with some Porta-Pros, and they do have more details than the Koss and less all over sound signature. The Porta-Pros sounded more mid-centric and way more exciting overall, but on long listening sessions if putting a gun to my head, I’d take the LCD’s for being more relaxed and more forgiving.

    One last note: Sound leakage is probably on par with the Sennheisers. The LCD series are quite open and will fill the room with your small ear speakers, but LD1 drivers are smaller and not too bad. Of course the same goes for leakage of sound blockage.

    So just remember these have a different price point and a different market they are going for. They will sound pleasing to most non-audiophiles and the luxury will suffice.

    I think the HD598/599/59x likely sounds better if you really want an easy to drive open headphone. Not as luxurious and not as portable, but still.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
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  16. Outerspace Wasabi

    Outerspace Wasabi Friend

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    Yes, and I think it's the LCD-1's biggest shortcoming. To give readers an idea of just how non-existent the soundstage is--the m50x is more spacious by comparison.


    You know, the 598/599 does come to mind when thinking of a sound reminiscent of the LCD-1 but better executed.
     
  17. PacoTaco

    PacoTaco Friend

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    I got the LCD-1 very, very late on Monday night. For reference, my set up is an Eitr, Modi Multibit (both in normal and NOS mode,) and the Asgard 3. My main headphone is the HE4XX modded with kitchen drawer liner, the grill filter removed and ZMF universal pads

    Anyway, to save you guys time reading the impending rant, I kinda like them but my immediate reaction to them was to order the Sundara.

    Anyway, I start with the negative: I know these are suppose to be portable, but the build is...disgustingly bad. It looks great and sturdy, but, upon picking it up, it feels like a cheap toy. My mobius feels more sturdy than the LCD-1, and it's held together by pieces of styrofoam, ducttape, and pure optimism that it will sorta keep some kind of clamping force.

    Now, I've used the Mobius for a good year now exclusively. I'm use to the smallish pads on them. Yet, against all odds, Audeze's LCD-1 pads are worse. I've never had to put on a headphone by starting from the back my head and sliding my ears into it. Unlike the Mobius, the comfort doesn't fit my head and there's too much pressure on my jaw. Basically, I'm saying this headphone is definitely not made for big heads.

    As far as sound goes, I can't really give a full set of impressions until I've spent some more time with them. So far though, it's pleasantly neutral. Nothing stands out too much. Honestly sounds like an open Mobius that mixed the flat and default profiles.
     
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  18. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    When did Modi MB get an Nos mode (other than files already natively at 176/192 khz)?
     
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  19. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    I read Taco's bit about that as playing high res stuff, yeah, but in hindsight good call not making presumptions :))
     
  20. PacoTaco

    PacoTaco Friend

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    It's been there on the original Bifrost Multibit and Modi Multibit since forever.

    NOS mode, unless you have stuff that reaches that high of resolution, just works on DirectSOund (Windows driver.) At that point, it’s really just turning off the filter and Windows does the Oversampling. Transients aren’t as sharp and Bass is a bit leaner...that’s about it. It makes no different on Tidal or Foobar unless you have tracks that go that high.

    edit: I had a massive brain fart and was wrong about how it worked. I took out the explanation and replaced it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019 at 12:59 PM

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