Audeze LCD-GX - Official Thread

Great write up without any of that unnecessary fluff, exactly what I was looking for. How is the bass slam compared to the other LCDs?

I was going to get the schiit stack, until I realized… oh yea I need a mic input. Would the schiit hel be better than going with the magni/modi stack + an audio interface.

I have the opportunity to grab them for $800, but I wish I could demo the headphones first, unfortunately I have no way of doing so

Thanks man, enjoyed the headphone show episode today :slight_smile:

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I really enjoy the Hel… but yeah the Schiit stack with an audio interface is probably slightly better? But, you’re splitting hairs here, I think.

As far as LCD slam? I really enjoy the LCD-GX it might be a little less than the classic LCD series (outside of the X) but very enjoyable, at least for me.

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Thanks for the review man, I was a pleasant read indeed. I still need to figure out if I want to pull the trigger or not. They sure look amazing and, from what you’ve said, seem similar enough to my favorite IEMs, the U12t !

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I think they are similar in smoothness, but lack the overall quality and detail that the U12t has… but, yeah they are an easy listen for sure.

Excellent writeup Tyler. Those picture are delicious.

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Nice post.

I think it’s a little too soon for the gamer-audiophile market to emerge. Hardcore gaming became a thing with Generation X, while high-end audio is the realm of an independent hardcore audience and spendy retirees (currently Boomers and before).

When I was in my prime gaming buying era (prior to age 30 in my case), the thought of spending more than $100 on headphones was neither possible nor a priority versus the many other things I wanted and needed. Only a small percentage could/would pay $899 for any headphones at all.

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Just so everyone sees it, @DarthPool’s review of the Audeze LCD-GX has now been published on the main page here:

Gotta love those photos!

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Hey guys and gals! I’m internet famous!!! :wink:

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@DarthPool @Resolve
I can see here that you Tyler seem to prefer the GX over the X and if remember correctly, then the two of you also agreed upon this in The Headphone show (Great idea, please keep doing these, they are very enjoyable).

Currently I use the DT 1990 Pro for my gaming and I really like it, but I have been looking at the LCD X for some time and was planning a purchase.
But is the GX better for gaming that the 1990 also if I am not going to use the mic that much and also better than the LCD X overall?

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I wouldn’t say that the GX is “better” it is targeting a different customer base.

The GX is more versatile than the two headphones you mention. It is also more enjoyable of a listen in comparison for “me”
I found the Beyer too bright and the LCD-X too bland (the LCD-X is going for a studio neutral sound).

As far as gaming, if you aren’t playing competitively I think the GX is the better headphone for enjoying games and media. Plus the GX comes with more stuff and is a great bang for the buck headphone!

Also, the GX would be a good companion/alternative to your Beyers

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Thanks!
I like the versatility you are mentioning and I don’t play competively so no problem there. The LCD-X has been the Audeze choice for me, as there is a big step to the next tier re price. But if it is a more neutral, even bland sound, then the GX is more my kind both re sound, price and content in the box.

I will look into where to get it here in Europe :+1: :+1:

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My GX came in today and man the red looks great in person. Didn’t think I’d like it, but its growing on me.

Looking forward to seeing how I end up liking them, but so far it’s good. The comfort and weight beats the other Audezes I’ve tried. At the moment I got them powered from my mobo, have the 789 and Modi coming in.

Used the EQ @metal571 posted on twitter awhile back and it definitely made the headphones more lively with +3 gain @ 105hz. Going to mess around with the EQ some more later, but so far I don’t feel the need to.

I’m looking forward to seeing what new products Audeze will be introducing in the future. I love the wood rings, but the magnesium housing works wonders for the comfort which I think is more important. Also looking forward to the interview with Sankar tomorrow :slight_smile:

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I don’t review things often so sorry if I miss some things other reviews might have! This will be a long one as I will also be talking about my journey on how I finally ended up with the -GX.

Feel free to go to the TL;DR at the end.

Background

My previous headphones were the Sennheiser HD6XX and the HD58X which I have been happily content with. I am also running these headphones with the THX 789 and Modi 3.

I’ve always wanted to branch out and see what else was out there and so begins my journey.


The Journey

Now when it comes to purchasing new things, I like to do my due diligence and heavily research. Regardless, in the end everyone has their own preference so you won’t really know how you’d like something until you actually try it.

I wanted something different and fun. Something that would be a worthy step up from the Sennheisers.

The Focal Elex was something some said were a worthwhile upgrade, however how hard it is to get replacement pads the price of them made me hesitant.

Planars were something that always interested me.

This brought me to the HiFiMan Sundaras and the Audeze line. So before diving right into the $600+ range, I wanted to try out the HiFiMan Sundaras. Now when it comes to getting new headphones, initial impressions will change as you spend more and more time with them. However, right when I put on the Sundaras I could already hear the difference. The bass was just clean, fast and punchy. They were definitely brighter than the Sennheisers that I was used to. I felt that planars were something I could really get into, however, I also realized I don’t enjoy bright sounding headphones. I decided to return the Sundaras and try out the Audezes.

Fast forward a few weeks I got the opportunity to try out the LCD-X at E-Earphones in Japan. Awesome place by the way and I encourage anyone to stop by if they get the chance to. They have a demo area and wasn’t the most ideal environment since it was really crowded, but it was good enough. They were heavy, but the weight was distributed well. I could see myself getting tired of them within an hour after using them for around 10 minutes. As for the sound, I understand why they’re the goto reference for many producers because everything sounded so clear. You could hear every detail with blackness in-between notes. The treble and bass extension was there, you could tell these have the resolution a reference headphone should have.

As I came back, my friend allowed me to try his LCD-2C for a bit to see how it compares to the LCD-X. Same great looks as the LCD-X, but the weight was something I couldn’t keep thinking about as I was using them.

This made me realize - comfort was something that I needed to prioritize as I’m planning on using them as my daily driver. Your headphones could sound great, but if you’re unable to wear them what’s the point?


The LCD-GX

That’s when I came across the LCD-GX. The LCD-GX is an odd one because it’s marketed as a gamer headphone, but at a price point most gamers wouldn’t have the budget for so it fills a really small niche. Most audiophiles wouldn’t even consider the -GX because of the audience Audeze tried to market to as well as the red gamer aesthetics that could be off putting for most.

Now what’s really interesting is how the -GX uses the magnesium housing from the -4z and -MX4. This makes it the lowest-priced model to use this housing. From what I understand the -GX takes the diaphragm from the -X, Fluxor magnets from the -4 and -4z (single sided instead of double) and magnesium housing from the -4z/-MX4. After adding all of this up, this results in a very unique full-sized LCD.


Comfort

Man these are really comfortable compared to the other LCDs. I was hesitant to get an Audeze because of the weight. After getting the -GX in, that quickly became a non-issue. Initially, the first few days consisted of trying to adjust the rods and getting the pads to fit right around my ears. Once I dialed in the right settings, it’s been a matter of putting it on and forget. The leather headband suspension works, which I heard is a huge improvement compared to the older style headbands. The pads are a nice thick memory foam, extremely roomy for my ears so they don’t touch anything at all! I also didn’t get the ear suction effect that I did from the LCD-X, at least not as much that bothers me.

Something to note: I never thought the comfort of the Sennheisers was bad, but after using the -GX for a few days and then putting back on the Sennheisers I immediately noticed how my ears were touching the pads. Something that’s never crossed my mind! I got used to how free my ears felt with the giant -GX pads.


Build Quality

The magnesium housing feels extremely solid. Nothing jumps out that would make me think it’ll break besides the thin diaphragms you need to be careful with when it comes to planars.

I will admit, I wasn’t really sold on the red mesh but man it looks amazing in person.

Also - I highly recommend this headphone stand for the LCDs. You should hang them by the metal band so you don’t stretch the leather.

Works great


Sound

Relaxing best describes the sound. Nothing feels elevated nor missing, it’s just smooth from the lows all the way to the highs. The planar bass that I love is there. Compared to the LCD-X, it was not as airy/sterile and has more of a warm sound signature. The sound was rich and lush compared to the airy nature of the LCD-X.

The dynamics are there. Two of my favorite tracks for testing the dynamics are both from Hans Zimmer.

“Mountains” from Interstellar and “Mesa” from Bladerunner 2049. They both sound amazing from the low-end to the highs.

The imaging and soundstage is wonderful.

Yosi Horikawa’s “Letter” and “Bubbles” are great tracks to test imaging. In “Letters” I could hear the pencil moving all around my head. The pencil on the paper sounds so realistic I can’t get tired of playing this track.

I would say the sound would be between the LCD-2c and LCD-X. It doesn’t have the technicality of the -X, but what you get is a less fatiguing headphone.

I haven’t really messed around with EQ as much as I found them to be really good stock. However, /u/metal571 posted his EQ setting on twitter awhile back and here it is if you’re interested:

LS +3 @ 105 Hz

PK +2 @ 4500 Hz

I personally changed 105 Hz to +4 and man, the extra kick in the bass makes it extremely satisfying for watching movies.


Gaming

Now as these are “gamer” headphones, I decided to try gaming with them. Some people have stated that the imaging was terrible for gaming, but I had no problem pinpointing enemies or detail. There was no deadzone.

As for the mic - I haven’t really used it since I have a dedicated mic, but it works fine.

Will gamer headphones make you play better? No. Unless you’ve only been using speakers, then sure any headphones will allow you to play better. It really all comes down to getting used to your gear. Getting gamer headphones won’t make you play better, it comes down to personal skill and something you have to work on. You can game on $20 IEMs.

Something to note: I can see these headphones being really good for the PS5 when it comes out. They are introducing HRTF which looks really promising. At RMAF16, Dr. Fang Bian briefly talked about how planars are really great when it comes to HRTF/DSP because of how accurate they are. You can hear about it here https://youtu.be/1zQA5_fN998?t=1239

You can see how Audeze has already used the planar drivers to their advantage and combined it with DSP, which resulted in the Mobius. However, since the LCD-GX is fully analog - this means that you won’t have to sacrifice anything since all the DSP is going to be done on the PS5 if I understand correctly. I’m very excited to see how that turns out.


Conclusion

These headphones are really great and are underlooked because of the way Audeze marketed them. The value you get is great since it comes with the mic cable, pelican case and a
really nice braided cable.

This actually has me excited for what they might have in store for the future because it seems like they are working towards making their future headphones more efficient and comfortable. I feel like the -GX is a sneak peek on what they could bring to us in the future. I love the wood rings of the -2F and -4, but losing them for the magnesium housing is worth the weight reduction in my opinion.

I really want to try the LCD-4 one day and compare, but until then I’m very content with the LCD-GX.

TL;DR -
There’s nothing I can complain about with these headphones. They’re just extremely easy to listen to. They have that planar bass and the comfort is the best when it comes to the full size LCDs. The sound was rich and lush compared to the metallic airy nature of the LCD-X.

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Great write up! I feel very similar to my LCD-GX ! It is a smooth enjoyable headphone for sure! I’m surprised not more people are picking them up…

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Clipping isn’t an issue unless you listen at very (unsafely) loud levels. Pads are indeed only sporadically available. This biggest issue with the Elex is its sometimes piercing intensity.

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I also read that it could occur in songs with lots of low frequency at lower volumes, but it seems to be mixed feedback everywhere.

I would still love to try out the Elex or Clears in the future because they certainly seem fun.

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The clipping “issue” on Focal headphones has been basically talked up to mythological levels. It wasn’t a great idea for Focal to make that one headphone post as people took it as “clipping is a normal thing, not a defect” when in reality, if your headphones are clipping at regular levels, your headphones are defective and will be repaired or replaced under warranty.

Back to the GX though, that was a wonderful review and pretty much lines up with my thoughts. If they released a version without the mic cable at $799 and just marketed It as a good, lightweight LCD headphone they would sell a bunch.

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Again excellent review. It didn’t register when I read your review on Reddit that you were also a member here. Great write though.

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They should offer one without the mic cable or the case for $699. Tuning is better than the 2C and the whole thing is lighter. That’s just a no brainer to start offering

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on-point. (I think that’s today’s word of the day)

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