Audeze LCD-5 - Official Thread

I’ll be sure to give that a shot, and hopefully off the Forge as well. At CanJam I heard it off the Weiss DAC502 I think it’s called, which is a suuuuper high end piece of source equipment. So I’ll need to see how it does on a wide variety of stuff.

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For what its worth, KMann from Audeze is driving his LCD5’s straight from a Chord DAVE.

Thanks for this, Andrew. Would you be able to post the plot of what the LCD-4 measures like with the new pads? Or maybe I am jumping the gun and that will be reserved for your full LCD-5 review.

While the LCD-4 improves with the new pads, it’s not like the LCD-X 2021. It kind of makes it more like the pre-2020 LCD-4.


Thanx for that. As you have mentioned some comparisons vs. the LCD-X 2021 in the treble you surely can say one or two words about how both compare in the rest of the fq-range, detail, stage - you know all those things :wink:

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How would you compare macrodynamics of lcd-5 vs lcd-xc 2021?
This would be the only thing stopping me buying them.

LCD-5 does that aspect better for sure.

I’m guessing I’m not the only one, and yes I know value is relative to each person, but the big question is:

Is the LCD-5 roughly 4x better than the LCD-X? I’d guess no, as diminishing returns always comes into play at a certain point. 2x?

Resolve will answer on his own of course, but once dimishing returns kicks in, you’re usually looking at smaller increases rather than “multiple times better performance.” For instance, I compared the Focal Elex to the Focal Clear. I found the Elex to be 90% of the Clear in performance, but at the time the Clear was more than double the price. Resolve said something similar regarding the Elex to Clear performance comparison.

Maybe the LCD-5 is truly 4 times better than the LCD-X, but it’s doubtful and would be the first headphone to truly be 4 times better than another in the kilobuck category.

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That point varies per your taste and components. The curve starts to bend somewhere around $200 headphones in the present market, but doesn’t stop until you reach many thousands $$$$.

There is no hard rule. With the evergreen $200 to $300 Sennheiser HD-600 and HD-650 (6XX), the point of diminishing returns is subject to inversions, transformations, debate, and sublimation. I really dislike the 6XX on a solid state amp, but like it on my Crack. In contrast, I like my HD-600 on the cleanest amps I can find.


Naturally. All hobbies have the same thing at top tiers. Hence the 2x question. Perhaps the LCD-X is 90% the 5. Curiosity.

The only way to know for sure is to compare yourself. :slight_smile:


Ha! Very true. Yet to hear any Audeze headphone, tbh. I know resolve and others would chastise, but the need for EQ always been a turn off… I don’t want to EQ stuff.


Exceptions include the 2021 LCD-X, which doesn’t need EQ.

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Nothing wrong with that. I admit, EQ - or rather being willing to do it - does make things easier, but there are large amount of people that don’t want to. In that case, the most natural Audeze I’ve heard thus far is the 2021 LCD-X. But even that benefits from a bump to the lower treble. Based on my experience with correlating measurements to my own sound perceptions, I’d wager the LCD-5 will be the most “natural” sounding Audeze.

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Both the above answers are why I am trying to compare the two that are wildly different in price bracket.

I agree that value propositions are fraught but there are 4 reasons a detailed comparison to the LCD-X is warranted

  1. Grover has compared the 2021 LCD-X’s signature to the LCD-5
  2. If you are an LCD-X owner the natural upgrade is the 5 because the 4 is (maybe?) technically inferior but still in a similar price bracket. The 3 isn’t in contention.
  3. I went for the X due to its bass when EQ’d. I am a basshead not so much in terms of quantity (harman is enough) but quality and range. I can’t think of many other than the 4, 5 or Susvara that would be relevant in this regard.
  4. Many mixing and mastering folk like myself who’s staple is the X will be craning their neck at the 5 for an upgrade

Regarding EQ hesitancy… Every single instrument track in a song will have an EQ on it. Then the stem group will have EQ on it. Then the whole mix bus will have an EQ on it. Then it will be sent to the mastering engineer who… will add EQ. So correcting your own headphone, when you know what you are doing, by a couple of db’s is much of a muchness. Add to that Audeze actively encourage it on their headphones. I certainly don’t have any issue if people don’t want to do it but it’s odd when people have an issue when I do.


Oh I totally agree and am looking forward to the LCD-X and LCD-5 comparo.

I’m quite the fan of PEQ - people just need to take the time to learn how to properly implement it, but many refuse or choose to use tubes or components to do so instead. When done correctly, though, it’s awesome.

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If lcd-5 is more like x than 4 I’ll probably run. I passed on x to go with 3 and then upgraded to 4.

Do you mean that you prefer a headphone with less of a presence region, like what the LCD-4 has? If so, based solely on measurements, you may not like the LCD-5.