Greetings friend and Welcome aboard!!
Before we get into the Audeze LCD-XC Review, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this review
- Video Review
- Amp/DAC requirements
- Who these headphones benefit?
- Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
- Final Word
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!
- Type: Closed back, Planar Magnetic.
- Fit: Circumaural (Around the Ear).
- Impedance: 20 Ohms. What is Headphone Impedance?
- Sensitivity: 100dB/mW. What is Sensitivity in Headphones?
- Transducer size: 106mm.
- Sound Pressure Level: >130 dB with 15W. What is SPL?
- Max power handling: 15W (for 200 Ohms).
- Optimal Power Requirement: 1 – 4 W.
- Frequency response: 5 Hz – 20kHz extended out to 50kHz.
- Material: Wood, leather.
- Cable: Mini XLR. What is XLR?
- Cable Detachable: Yes.
- Color: Brown, Black.
Wow. What a mammoth headphone the closed-back LCD-XC is. Closed back vs. open back headphones? Like the LCD-X, this is like a bowling ball for your melon. That said, I thought this model fit a little bit more secure than its brother. You likely will be taking breaks, however, as the weight will affect you in one way or another. There’s simply no getting around it.
Build-wise, the XC’s are pretty much built like a boulder. Nothing else needs to be said. The combination of wood, metal, and leather complement this set exceptionally well, and there isn’t a hint of plastic to be found as far as I can remember.
But what about the sound?
The overall sound is almost identical to the LCD-X with one exception: The mid-range. It’s something I’ve been struggling with for quite a while. Is it too forward? Too sibilant? What exactly is going on here? What does sibilant mean?
Because two separate graphs + my ears have confirmed this, I can’t ignore it. There’s a rather large bump between 1-2k, and it can make for a painful experience at times. It might just be because I had the volume up a bit too much, and I will have to demo them again and see if that’s indeed the case. I’ve tried these out on a few different occasions, and even plugged into the absolutely phenomenal NAIM DAC V-1, I found the same issue appears with some very good source files.
That said, the overall sound aside from that is stunningly clear, crisp, and accurate. Bass continues in the vein of the LCD-X. Learn more: Audeze LCD-X Review. It’s ridiculously crisp, tight, controlled, buttery smooth, and has impact while still remaining phenomenally articulate and textured. The bass rumble is probably my single favorite aspect of this headphone, with the mid-range coming in at a close second (aside from that weird bump).
- Lively and engaging sound.
- Phenomenal bass.
- Built strong like oxen.
- Great instrument separation.
- Soundstage is wonderful for a closed back. What is Soundstage?
- Mid-range can be grating at times.
You don’t necessarily need an amp, but one is highly recommended if your phone’s DAC, or PC’s laptop Soundcard isn’t very good. What is a Soundcard?
- First: Audioquest Dragonfly Red. Learn more: Audioquest DragonFly Red Review.
- Second: Oppo HA-2. Learn more: Oppo HA 2 Review.
- Third. If you plan on getting into the hobby more seriously, a desktop solution like the Magni/Modi combo provides a perfect starting point. Learn more: Schiit Magni 2 Review.
Who these headphones benefit?
Everyone. They do well with all types of music. The genres I tested:
Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
Here are my notes that were jotted down:
- Headphones are comfortable but very heavy. They feel like they’re going to slide forward off of my head.
- Built like a tank.
- Articulate sound. Bass very natural, but slams when called to.
- A bit shouty (Mid-range).
- Incredible instrument separation and clarity with a lot of subtle detail.
- Lively sound.
- Background atmosphere present. The stuff you rarely hear going on behind the scenes. Adds a lot of depth and layering. Extremely enjoyable to be able to discern.
The Audeze LCD-XC is a magnificently built headphone that is a bit heavy on your noggin. The sound is incredible, but the rise at 1-2k is a bit overwhelming at times. Astonishing bass response, crisp treble, and an overall very satisfying listening experience. A bit pricey.
If you’re in the market for an upper-echelon closed back, I would recommend them as long as you EQ that mid-range hump down by a few decibels. Interested in reading a few reviews?
Well, that’s about it for today folks! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Audeze LCD XC Review.
What do you think about them?? Let me know!!
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Let me know in the comments below or contact me!! I would love to hear from you.
Until then, all the best and God bless…
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Build & Aesthetic4.7/5
- Great For Quiet Listening/Isolation
- Smooth, Detailed Sound
- Pretty Good Sounstage for a Closed Back
- Good Build
- Mid-range is a bit too forward
- Too Heavy and Uncomfortable