"The consequence of both changes has been what most have perceived to be a fairly different tuning to both headphones. You will probably see plenty of discussion on the merits of this change for the LCD-X on the internet. Surprisingly, less so for the LCD-XC 2021."
-Marcus Downey, Headfonics
"The second known change are the pads with a swap out of the previous memory foam for a different material a few have tentatively called a “half memory foam” substance which are vented though no traditional porous holes are present."
"Everything else on the Audeze LCD-XC 2021 has been given the 2020 upgrades. That means big cups with thick luscious angular leather (or leather-free) pads, wide gimbal composite arches with screws on both ends, pivot screws with blocks as well as an overarching headband with a pressure strap. "
"The LCD-XC 2021 is actually comfier than the LCD-2 Closed-back which came as a surprise. I presume it’s either down to the switch to the leather version or the change in the internal foam being used. Either way, it’s more supple than I was expecting. If you are used to using LCD headphones this is actually the most comfortable version I have tried to date. "
"The new black Economy case looks great though. It shoulders most of the older weather-sealed type case’s protective heritage but also included a bit more of a crafted box styling and a decent handle and latch on it. I am not entirely sure it is as tough as the older version or as weather sealed and I suspect that’s where the Professional case might be the wiser choice if you need it."
"The LCD-XC 2021 evokes a similar pleasing impression as the LCD-2 Closed Back. That means a much better staging quality than you would expect for a closed-back headphone and excellent clarity throughout. And yet, it is a different beast to the cheaper Closed Back with a decidedly more neutral cleaning tone, an uptake in perceived speed and articulation, and a general more midrange focused bias. The bass extension is excellent but it is not the main focus here and not as thick sounding as the LCD-2 version. You could argue that this is a headphone for those who like their female vocals front and center but there is more to the LCD-XC 2021 than that. There is energy in this performance and flexibility also to EQ to balance it for your own personal preferences without it falling apart. Should you get the Professional Edition? Debatable for the price jump if you have some good balanced cables anyhow and do not plan to be carrying it in a box everywhere with you. Is it still a heavy headphone? Yup, it is, no getting around that but the new designs and very comfy leather earpads help a great deal in getting the balance just right. Overall, this is a unique tuning with a cleaner, vocal-centric performance for an Audeze LCD headphone, but also one very impressive closed-back planar headphone. "