Audeze LCD-XC over-ear planar magnetic Headphones - Official Thread

The harshness wasn’t even offensive most of the time. I just noticed it. I was trying to learn why it would happen where the Zen had minimal issues (minimal but not zero). I was also trying to figure out what production changes went in at the end of last year. No luck so far.

To be honest, I think I have reached the point where diminishing returns aren’t worth the price. In the brief period I had them, they shot to the top of the list for over ears. While I would take them over the arya, largely for the bass response and slightly more engaging sound, they have the problem that my Dunu Zen beats them on both those fronts.

If not for the isolation issue, I likely would have kept them as a wonderful leaner and more open/airy sound compared to Zen. This use case required isolation. I may re-buy them if I am ever looking for a headphone that doesn’t need isolation. (Assuming I haven’t found something I like more)

One more thing: the he6se + appropriate amp may be a better buy for the same money. However, the he6se bass response is not as impactful. The sound signature is otherwise more to my liking. The XC beats it more on function by being usable on many amps (including portable). With the diablo out now, the he6se is tempting again.

hey @Resolve, did I see you using a ZMF pilot pad on your XC’s during one of the recent live streams? do you find that helps with the weight?

Yes but it only partially fits.

did you use the regular pilot pad, or the co-pilot pad?

@Resolve, would you be willing to post raw measurements as well as compensated? I know some find the raw measurements easier to read/understand.

Thank you.

Mainly just raw measurements.

Here they are:

Keep in mind that the bass roll-off is due to ear and cheek simulators not being an actual human head.

Here’s a more realistic representation of the bass.


Sorry, I guess I meant uncompensated.

Thanks again.

Raw measurements are uncompensated. I don’t think I’ll be posting the compensated ones - generally not a fan of that because it can be misleading if you don’t know what the target is.


For anyone wanting the LCD-XC Carbon 2021 EQ, here it is:


Side note… I REALLY like this haha.

You can tame the upper treble to taste if you like. And keep in mind the bass response doesn’t fully roll off like that.


Looks great. Really hoping you get a revised 2F to test soon!

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Thanks for this Andrew, I bought a new pair of XC Carbons at the end of February and was unaware of the tuning changes before your livestream.

I’d been using the Oratory1990 profile for the previous iteration, but this revised EQ seems to suit the current version better.


Good morning,
I would like to ask your advice. I have an LCD-X 2021 here for about 3 weeks, it is a B-stock, so it has played many hours I assume.It sounds super good, I really like this headphones. Inspired by the good reviews of the LCD-XC, I also ordered this headphone to try and I want to keep one. They arrived yesterday and are brand new. My hope was that it would sound just as good as the open LCD-X (If we sit in one room as a family, everyone doing their thing, reading, chatting, TV, etc, a closed KH would be better for everyone). But already after 2 songs (Doin’ it right, Daft Punk and “Ausklang” of the Alpine Symphony (with organ)) it was immediately clear, something is missing. The bass is not transparent, does not resolve as well. No punch compared to the LCD-X. The organ is very restrained. In “Doin’ it right” it goes down very low, but the sound usually resonates and is below the rest. It’s like a kind of reverberation, but in the positive. This is clearly audible with the LCD-X (and with the reference speaker system, Genelec 8260, too). I used both times the EQ settings from Andrew @Resolve , partly approximated because of. 5+2 band EQ (with the LCD-XC I’m still waiting for an answer from Audeze support about the FR graph). I use the RME ADI2 DAC.

With the LCX-X the bass is not boosted. With the LCD-XC, I had to use a bass shelf of about 6 dB to get a similar sound in the bass as with the LCD-X. I find this strange, I always thought the burn-in/break-in can’t be that relevant, but now it’s my only hope because I really want to like and keep the XC. If that doesn’t improve, then the LCD-X would be clearly superior imho. After all, that would contradict everything you read, or that the contrast is so great.

Ran pink and white noise tonight and will try again later. What is your experience with XC/X and break-in?

Regards and have a nice weekend, Stefan

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This sounds like what happens when a balanced plug isn’t pushed all the way in.

But, I would say something is wrong with one of those headphones. Having heard both, I can’t imagine the xc coming across with weaker bass.

Do you wear glasses?

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Hi, yes I wear glasses, but with both HP;) Have to check if it makes a difference. Things seem to improve with playing time. The bass isn’t weak with the XC, it’s kind of intransparent. But yes, it’s weaker than with the X…

Glasses on the X may not make as much difference as the XC. I would assume the seal matters much more with a closed back.

In my experience, the XC was not very isolating. You should check that it works well in the situation you want to use it.

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Yes, you’re right on this. But the new softer pads seem to seal quite good also with glasses.

After torturing the xc with pink and white noise I can say the situation has really improved compared to the first listening.

The isolation is sufficient. But I like the X more, it sounds better to my ears. There is much more air between instruments … I guess it all comes down to the question of prefering open or closed back.

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… but on the other hand, I have the FiiO FD5 here and the price difference between the 2 of more than 1000€ needs to be justified. At the moment I don’t see this … To the X, yes, I would say you get much more … Still hoping that break-in sets in stronger …

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I feel the same about dunu zen and the lcd-xc. $600 more for an over ear that doesn’t beat the Zen to me seems silly. (I don’t EQ or maybe I could have helped with the XC)

Only reason I am looking is my ears have started to reject most iem tips. I need a break. And, I like the audeze mobius, but it’s not what I want to listen to all the time.

Getting impressions today to start the custom tip/iem process.

Yeah, I’ve followed your impressions about both the XC and the Zen, thanks for sharing. Sometimes reading isn’t enough, so it seems I have to explore it by myself. On the other hand this got me buying the FD5 that I really like. Maybe the 2nd best DD iem out there ;)))

I’ve just AB-ed some songs on X/XC again … XC and me still no friends … Pink noise torture goes on …
I wish you the best for finding the right tips … I can feel your pain, with the FD5 there was only one pair of tips that works up to 80% for me … need to try some spinfits …

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It’s less the tips and more my ears. Lots of them work from a sound perspective but that generally means a deep seal. And a deep seal can irritate me between 90 seconds and two hours. And it seems to be more to do with the specific time used. I have some cheap amazon triple flanges that can work marvelously sometimes and can make my ears burn other times. :frowning:

I wish I could try more iems more easily. They really fit my life better than over ears.