To be blunt, putting on the LCD-X is like strapping a bowling ball to your melon. Seriously. It’s almost that heavy. Don’t make any sudden movements or you’ll find yourself with a face full of floor. Lol. Just kidding, but seriously. They use planar magnetic drivers which are heavier than your standard dynamic driver. What is a Planar Magnetic Driver?
It’s also the first in the LCD line to take a departure from the usual Wood finish found on both the LCD-2 and LCD-3. Instead we get an all Metal finish but with the same leather padding.
Weight wise, the LCD-2 should probably go on Weight Watchers. This mammoth elephant sized headphone is even heavier than both the LCD-2 and LCD-3. I didn’t think it was possible.
Wow. With that, let’s talk about build.
Build continues the greatness of the LCD line, and by now I feel like I’m beating a dead horse.
The same grilles are present, the same headband adjustments, the same sized ear cups, the same Mini-XLR termination, and the same 1/4″ plug at the business end.
The only real difference is color and weight. This time around instead of an elephant on your head, you’ve got a jetliner. Lol.
It’s pretty much Groundhog Day otherwise though.
Speaking of weight on your head, let’s talk comfort.
Again, this is not a comfortable headphone no matter how you slice it.
Clamp force is good, and the ear-cups are plenty large enough, but they are just so so heavy.
I’d wager that the average listening time you’ll be able to tolerate is about 30-45 minutes. Maybe an hour if you’re a bit more forgiving.
For me it’s around 30 because of my herniated disc in my neck. I have to at least make an adjustment, and often times I’ll simply take them off for a minute or two.
Overall, not completely horrible but also not ideal, even in a studio environment.
COMFORT SCORE: C
What about Sound?
I used it with the stunning Naim DAC V-1, and I just couldn’t get enough. I’m telling you, put a well mastered CD into a receiver with the NAIM, and get taken away to another place.
I tested Chon’s “Homey” my favorite summer album, and it was a real treat. Guitars sounded crisp, alive, and had a startling sense of body and fullness. The bass on the LCD-X is refreshingly accurate, detailed, articulate and textured. It’s smooth like baby’s bottom. Lol.
The whole sound signature is velvety, buttery, and amazing. You want flat? The LCD-X is flatter than a pancake homie! You’re going to hear things you never thought possible with these babies. Even the most insignificant sound becomes noteworthy. That’s the best way I can describe it.
The overall sound of the treble is crisp, but never sibilant. What does Sibilant mean? This is a headphone that you can groove to for hours without listening fatigue.
Soundstage is pretty incredible with the LCD-X. Like Timbre, I would rate Soundstage in the Top 5 as well. Normally when people say, headphone ______ has a good Soundstage, I’m a bit skeptical. Headphones simply cannot adequately mimic surround sound speakers, try as they might. What is Soundstage?
However, I can honestly say that the LCD-X breaks this trend to some degree. NO, they still aren’t speakers, but the Imaging and Staging is so convincing that it comes darn near close.
There are subtle differences between the LCD-2, LCD-3, and LCD-X as far as amplification goes.
The LCD-3 most certainly needs A LOT of power from an amp at 91dB. In fact, you’d be surprised just how much you have to crank up the volume. You’re also going to need an amp with plenty of power.
I’d advise you to be very careful when switching headphones and remember to turn the volume back down with something like a NAIM DAC V-1.
The LCD-X kind of sits somewhere in the middle.
At 20 Ohm Impedance, it doesn’t resist power, but still requires a bit from an amp at 96dB. Still, this is a headphone that will work fairly well with your phone, and certainly better than the aforementioned.
If it was up to me, and after all that said, I still wouldn’t rely on my phone to power even an LCD-X. You’re going to want the most from your purchase given that these still hover around $2k.
The good news is that you’re not going to need a real beefy amp to power the LCD-X given that it can in theory be powered with your phone.
The Dragonfly will allow you to use the LCD-X with your PC or phone, giving you a true upgrade from a crappy internal Soundcard or DAC. What is a USB DAC? The Objective 2 is my favorite desktop solution and at around $100, it cannot be beaten.
Check out the Fly!
But what genres are best?
I would recommend them for almost all genres due to their extremely flat response and crisp tonal character. I would rate their Timbre as Top 5 as well that I have personally heard. What is Timbre?
The usual suspects are involved. Rock, Acoustic, Folk, Jazz, Classical, Rap, Hip-Hop, Indie, R&B. The LCD-X’s sound signature is conducive to all of these and more.
There’s not a genre that I wouldn’t consider for these actually, which echoes my sentiments with the LCD-2 and LCD-3.
If you’re in the market for this type of headphone, I would wholeheartedly recommend it. It’s a buttery smooth listen, with a near perfect bass response, mid-range, and treble.
There’s very little about the LCD line that I don’t like, and the LCD-X is no exception. The only problem is comfort. You’re going to be adjusting these pretty frequently on your head, but I still think the overall sound is worth it.
This headphone is still priced very high, so I would take a look at the LCD-2C first. It’s a revamp of the original LCD-2 as discussed in this article.
It’s a bit lighter than the original, and now more affordable while still retaining that incredible sound.
Stu is determined to provide the truth about all things audio, and strives to deliver excellent content to you the reader! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, attend church, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His attention to detail and perfectionist attitude are what allow him to excel, but it can be both a blessing and a hindrance at times.