LCD-XC Snags Highly Recommended Badge from TechPowerUp
October 18, 2021
"This is because Audeze made a few updates to both the LCD-X and LCD-XC late last year, but these changes ultimately ended up favoring the LCD-XC more in even the company's own words"
V. Shenoy, TechPowerUp
This is my third Audeze product review to date, and all three belong to different product segments. The LCD-2 Classic (2021) is from the company's LCD Origins series that has a warmer sound signature to begin with, which the LCD-2 Classic then bumps up a notch. The Euclid is an impressive set of closed IEMs with good tuning and a very wide soundstage for the form factor. Today, we examined the LCD-XC (2021) that now ends up being potentially better at meeting the target curve for a reference set of headphones than even the extremely popular LCD-X.
"The whole audio-monitoring aspect is also where the LCD-XC really shines, which is why I decided to pair coverage of both products. When we do get a new preset, this combination will be quite potent in replacing far more expensive audio setups for professionals on the go, including DJs and sound engineers for movie studios. The LCD-XC is already very good in this regard, so much so that I am not sure whether it is currently an underrated Audeze reference product relative to the LCD-X, which I admittedly have not heard. However, it is more expensive, and also weighs more. You may well get a closer response to the target curve, but had best be sure you want the increased passive isolation that is the bigger difference between the two, no doubt. The LCD-XC (2021) does take DSP and EQ very well too, which helps address some of the technical issues with ear gain and ungainly peaks in the treble response."
The use of EQ may be blasphemous to some, especially for a $1300 set of headphones, although that number also includes all the accessories and the personalized testing that comes with it. In fact, you can contact Audeze with your serial number and get the factory measurements for your specific device. With that raw information in your hands and knowing the LCD-XC takes very well to EQ, why not try to customize the sound signature to your specific desire? There is no set target curve that will perfectly match any one person's needs and desires, and the LCD-XC (2021) work well as-is and can be made exceptional with some minor work. Whether or not you agree that Audeze should have done the work is a different matter, but given the low effort it takes and the massive potential available here, I am happy to recommend the LCD-XC (2021) for meeting the set goals for professionals and being a canvas for consumers to mold in their image. Just remember that this thing weighs ~675 grams, so get the fit and seal right and take breaks even then for the sake of your neck!