Audeze LCD-MX4 Stream of Consciousness

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Mithrandir41, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. Mithrandir41

    Mithrandir41 Friend

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    The LCD-MX4s are headphones that I hadn't heard much about before. I think most members here are at least passingly familiar with the LCD-2, 3, 4, or X models.
    I had a chance to check these out a couple weekends ago and was very impressed with their overall detail retrieval and what i perceived as a better overall tonal balance than most other Audeze open-backs.

    Build Quality
    These headphones use the newer sleek/lighter weight magnesium frame system, pretty much identical to the LCD-4z (minus the gold trim). They are lighter weight than the LCD-4, but still not really light, despite the lighter frame, because of the still-heavy magnet array. I've never had a problem with comfort with Audeze cans: maybe i just have a stiff neck. The leather pads feel great, and the carbon fiber/leather headband distribute the weight well.

    Sound Quality
    The MX4s utilize the diaphragm of the LCD-X along with the Magnet structure of the LCD-4. In detail retrieval, they are just about on par with the LCD-4, despite not using the ultra light nano-diaphragm. I know these were designed as monitoring headphones, but i was still surprised at their slightly bass-light nature. the low frequencies are resolving, but because these are mid-centric headphones they are just lower in level than i would like on some bass-light tracks. On JRMC 26 I use a low shelf EQ at 120hz to makes these a little more fun. The bass transients are really fast. faster than on the 2, 3, or X. definitely on par with the LCD-4 or focal cans like the clear and Utopia (not the same, just similar).

    The midrange is pretty awesome. These are not as tuned to the low mids as the LCD-4. There is still a long downslope, but it doesn't sound like there is massive amounts of upper midrange missing (though it is still recessed). That planar "liquid" quality is there, but with no sense of blurring: these are very detailed and resolving mids: similar to my stock hd-650s, but not pushed forward quite as much.

    I really like the treble quality on the MX4: it doesn't emphasize the low treble much at all. Rather, they have a good sense of shimmer and air and haven't made me wince, even on tracks that usually do: Duran Duran's is there something I Should Know? or Rush's Dreamline. The treble extension is excellent if not class leading. They don't have a clarifying emphasis like the HD800s but if you listen to something like the Return of the Jedi Fanfare, Beethoven's 5th by Carlos Kleiber, or Couldn't Stand the Weather by SRV, it sounds like everythings there: just a good natural sense of extension, that nothing is being truncated.

    I've had these for 3 days now, i'll add more as i do more listening.

    I bought these B-stock for $1800. I don't think I'd buy them for full price, but they are a solid deal at this price
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
  2. Jinxy245

    Jinxy245 Vegan Puss

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    Thanks for your thoughts! A little surprised that they come across as bass light, it didn't strike me that way, but you know, show conditions & unfamiliar material.

    Just for clarity I'm assuming your chain was Schiit Gungnir MB A2 via USB, > Schiit Lyr 3, right?

    Thanks again
     
  3. Mithrandir41

    Mithrandir41 Friend

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    Man, i need to change my gear profile: bifrost 2 (unison) into Magni 3+ (for now). My second rig is custom OTL or Crack in to Hd6xx. The magni 3+ is plenty adequate because of the very efficient nature of the MX4.
     
  4. nnotis

    nnotis Rando

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    Mithrandir41, after 2 months, any further insights on the MX4?
     
  5. Mithrandir41

    Mithrandir41 Friend

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    More like a little less than a month. These things have a great resolution in the lower mid-range; good resolution throughout, but particularly in the lower mids. The bass also has excellent resolution, but is lower in level than I would like, so I usually use EQ. The treble FR is such that on cymbals you hear the initial strike, but it's not pronounced. They are very detailed, but don't punch you in the face with it.
     
  6. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Sorry to revive this old thread.

    Anybody got more impressions of this headphone? I’m interested in a comparison with X’21 and R, as they are the last two Audeze I’ve owned (still own the R, don’t worry).

    @rhythmdevils ?
     
  7. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    I own a pair of the LCD-MX4, but It's hard for me to comment on their sound stock because I don't listen to them very long stock. I remember them having very veiled and recessed treble stock. That's about it.

    I can comment on their drivers and potential though.

    The LCD-R has by far the most potential out of the 3

    The LCD-MX4 has better technical performance than the LCD-X but I can't get them to sound as open as my LCD-X because I can't replace the grills on the magnesium housing of the LCD-MX4. I also can't get the bass to extend all the way down with the MX4 though I have some custom pads on the way that I hope will fix this. Bass goes plenty deep for virtually al music though you wouldn't be complaining if they were speakers, it's just some test tracks where it's noticeable.

    I think the bass extended all the way down in stock form.

    Honestly, if you have the LCD-X 2021 and the LCD-R I wouldn't bother with the LCD-MX4. It will sound a bit different, if you just want a different flavor but I don't think it will do anything better than those two.
     
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  8. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    That’s great, thank you!

    I was mostly interested in the fact they supposedly don’t need an amp to sound good, unlike the X’21.

    I sold my X’21 a long time ago, shortly after I got the LCD-R.

    I think I won’t bother, though :)
     
  9. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    I guess I haven't tried these headphones out of an iPod or dongle or anything, but I'm not sure this is true. I'm not sure why it would be, they have similar specs if I'm not mistaken.
     
  10. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    They have the much stronger magnets of the LCD-4 and the same diaphragm as the LCD-X. They’re low impedance and very efficient. All the reviews I read mention this as one of their strength.
     
  11. lagadu

    lagadu Facebook Friend

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    If it's anything like the 4z, which suffers from the same claim, it's a lie. I mean sure, the 4z is entirely listenable out of a dongle or 3.5mm out but it sucks compared to an amp that's capable of feeding them properly. Even good dongles like the ru6 leave a lot behind when compared to a desktop amp.
    Granted, it's not as sensitive as the X and MX4 and has lower impedance so it's not directly comparable but it's close enough to make me skeptical of any such claims.
     
  12. elwappo99

    elwappo99 Friend

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    I've got a pair I've had for awhile. I'd pretty much agree with RD, not much to add. Strong technical performance (for a planar). They are more efficient, but their technical performance is also revealing of upstream. Also their sensitivity revealed a noise floor in some of my amps, which wasn't an issue with other headphones.

    Frequency response is pretty wonky from upper mids and up. Lots of odd peaks and valleys. Think 2018 LCD-X if you've heard them.

    I think they sit in an odd spot price wise. They're better than the LCD-X, but at double the price, there's other headphones I'd go for first.

    Didn't Audeze release a new LCD-X rehash recently?
     
  13. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Don't they rehash it every single year? Maybe it's just easier to call it a new release than admit to manufacturing variance...
     
  14. elwappo99

    elwappo99 Friend

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    If they had an MX4 that had the tuning of the 2021 LCD-X, that would be a pretty interesting headphone! Unfortunately, I found the 2021 LCD-X to have less technical performance compared to the older version I have (like 2013 or something old), but the frequency response was much more even keeled.

    I was thinking of the MM-500 (https://www.audeze.com/pages/mm-series). I didn't pay much attention to it though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2022

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