Wanted a nice pair of closed-back headphones for my desk/office setup and decided to spring for an open-box deal on these. The hard travel case they came in is pretty amazing and far surpasses any expectations I had. First thing I noticed when picking up the headphones was the significant weight. I wouldn't say they are uncomfortable on the head but they don't "disappear" like my Sennheiser HD580s do. To be clear, the weight does not detract from the listening experience, it's just heavier than any other pair of headphones I've had before. The sound without EQ sounded a little weak on the bottom, just a touch too forward in the mids, and not much sparkle up high. This is where the EQ functionality on my RME ADI-2 FS really shined. +4 dB @ 100 Hz, Q 0.5 to bring up the lows. -0.5 dB @ 580 Hz Q 2.5 just to clear up a little mud in the mid-bass. -1.5 dB @ 2 kHz Q 0.5 to soften the mids, +1 dB @ 10 kHz Q 0.5 to add back some top end. I don't think I'd enjoy these headphones as much without the EQ - listening preferences are 90's alternative rock, jazz, pop, 80s-90s hip-hop, classic rock, and a little classical on occasion. Preferred sound in my main hi-fi rig is detailed mids/highs with a subtle but strong bottom end. Focal floorstanders with a pair of SVS subs to fill in the bottom. Full sound with amazing soundstage definition is what I really enjoy.
I used these in a professional recording studio setting as well as casual listening. They are very shouty and bass light. I found myself trying to turn them up but the upper mid-range is too much. It hurts to turn up. Tried them with my Fiio as well and they don't need much power. That's the good part. The low end is light on these. It's there but just not enough for me. In the studio it was just too much of a learning curve to get a decent mix. Exchanged for HEDD and am very happy now.
LOVE everything about this headphone--build, tuning, and how impressive it sounds right out of the box and how well it takes to EQ. Sound isolation is great for those needing it, but also the Audeze's sound treatment inside the earcups is an understated aspect of this headphone. Yes, this is still in the heavier side but as long as you know what you're signing up for, this is a 5 star headphone. And last but not least, Bloom Audio (and especially Andrew) provide THE BEST customer service ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Well...they DO NOT sound like a closed back LCD-X. The tonality is quite a bit different. These are punchy and detailed. They have a peak around 5.8k it sounds like, and that makes them extremely detailed sounding. Even when I pull that back a tad - they still quite easily hold their own with a Stellia when it comes to detail and slam. Actually, if you boost the 20-34 hz range, you get what might be the most bass slam I've ever felt from any headphone- and doing that to a Stellia will get you Focal Farts (the drivers rattle against the cup protector. These hit me right out of the gate as being very much not the typical Audeze sound. They aren't dark or veiled...quite the contrary. They take eq unbelievably well, but that isn't really required unless you want to tame the highs and bring the bass up a bit. They are remarkably balanced overall, and they strike me as the big brother "I can do it better" DCA Aeon 2 Noire. Those are still fun, but these are very likely the best closed back I've ever heard by quite a large margin. As beautiful and balanced as the Stellia is....it isn't anywhere close to this punchy, and it doesn't have this much "smack you in the face with details" going on. Honestly, they are fantastic! I'm listening to a lot of different genres on them, and really it is shocking how great everything sounds - I'm impressed on a level I've not been before. The LCD-X doesn't sound this good.. and I like those a lot. If someone was wondering if they should go for a Focal Celestee or an LCD-XC....I would say, no contest, the LCD-XC wipes the floor with the Celestee. EDM, Classical, Pop, Country, Rock...Jazz, Blues, Gospel... vocals are SO present, and acoustic guitars and pianos have a plucky realism that is phenomenal. Just WOW. Drums....especially cymbals and snares are poppy and clear, but not etched - no sibilance. You can't NOT hear everything with these...I'm not sure it is fair to consider these mid-fi...this is TOTL End Game performance for a closed back.
Shout out to Andrew and Stephen for the best customer service around. Thanks for working with me to get these!
Having tried the Focal Celestee and DC Aeon 2s, I much prefer the overall sound quality of the 2021 rev. LCD XC. Overall good tonality with an easy-to-EQ peak between 5-6k, but much better resolution and transient response than the competition, IMO. The one downside is that they’re heavy. I find that the leather headband stretches quickly, but it’s VERY easy to modify with new screw holes to give it more suspension and resolve the hotspot that forms when the leather touches the metal band. I find them pretty comfy for 2-3 hours, but they can get tiring for any longer. Overall, highly recommended.