Audeze has changed their earpad design for their LCD series headphones and use the new version on all LCD models now. It’s not a subtle change. They are shallower, and made with a radically different kind of foam. The old pads use dense memory foam, while the new pads use low density regular non memory foam. It’s a good choice, most memory foam actually does not have great acoustic properties. Though it does work in ear pads sometimes. Eearpads’ affect on sound is extremely complex and I believe is not a science for any headphone manufacturer but a matter of guess and check pretty randomly until something works. The new earpads still have the suspicious felt material between the adhesive ring and the earpads which seems to be an intentional filtered leak to increase soundstage. It seems to be there on purpose and this is what it would achieve. Better soundstage while holding onto bass response. The most important thing though is the difference in sound. Audeze has switched to these new pads on all their headphones for a reason. They sound much much better than the old pads. SOUND The new earpads elevate the typical recessed upper mid-treble FR range making them more neutral, though still an Audeze. Still on the warm side but the new pads pull them away from “too recessed” territory. They are also much more open sounding with bigger soundstage and sense of air. This is the biggest difference an its not subtle. The old pads sound very congested, closed in and veiled in comparison. Unfortunately for me, the new pads are too shallow for their Fazors and my ears touch the Fazors and it hurts. I pull the Faros off all my Audeze’s. They might do something good but it’s quite subtle. I believe it’s a measurement chasing thing like THD. They make the sound a bit smoother to my ears, but I cannot modify them without removing them and my mods do more for the sound than the fazors. But I’m guessing Audeze did their homework. I have big ears. For most people, I’m guessing ears touching the faros probably won’t be a problem. The only other unfortunate thing is Audeze is still using a thick fuzzy dust cover that kills a lot of the resolution their drivers are capable of. I have experimented with replacing it with panty hose material (the best dust cover material, it’s very acoustically transparent while still having a tight enough weave to keep out particles). This makes them much more resolving but does not work ultimately, because the headphones are tuned for this dust cover to lower the upper frequencies. When replaced with pantyhose material, the upper mids are actually too forward. Some would probably love this though. My point is that everyone with LCD headphones from the LCD-2 Classic to LCD-X and I imagine LCD-4 as well should upgrade. It’s a drastic and relatively cheap sonic improvement and even if they don’t work out because your ears touch the Fazors it’s worth the expense for the chance at the improved sound.