LCD-3 (Fazor)

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NO SMOOTHING is applied to the shown plots. Most measurement sites have some smoothing applied which ‘irons flat’ sharp peaks and ‘wiggles’. I do not use smoothing because some info about sound quality is lost when plots are smoothed.

Aside from a small correction of the microphone itself also some correction in the lowest frequencies is applied to the plots to compensate for the perceived loss of bass when using headphones. This is described HERE in more detail.
A ‘horizontal‘ frequency response curve on the shown frequency response plots on this website thus indicates a perceived ‘flat’ tonal signature.

ALL measurements are made with a good SEAL on a flatbed measurement rig.
The shape of your head, bone structure, pad size, pad ‘softness,  (compliance), hair or no hair and or wearing glasses may (drastically) change the frequency response of some headphones, so… your personal experience may differ substantially from these plots.

Frequency response (tonal balance) is the most sound-determining aspect of headphones. A horizontal line shows audible neutral response in the plots on this website. Deviations in different severities at different frequency bands have an effect on the sound character.
The bigger the deviation the stronger the effect.

Below an aid to help determining the sound character of headphones with relation to the frequency response.

sound descriptions mine

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Audeze LCD-3
LCD3F

The Audeze LCD-3 is an open orthodynamic headphone. The LCD-3 has undergone some revisions and this is the late 2016 version. Some of the early ones seem to have issues with one of the drivers giving up the ghost. The later models don’t seem to be afflicted and warranty appears to be generous.
It has a 4-pin mini XLR connector on each cup and thus has a cable with a Y-splitter in the middle. These are easy to source unlike the connectors on the EL-8 and headphones like the HD800 for instance.
This headphone is quite heavy in weight which may put some people off.
It is intended for home usage. The headband and pads are soft and made of real leather or micro-suede (your choice).
The cups are made of real solid wood and is available in a few different wood types.
It really should be driven from better DAP’s or from decent headphone amplifiers etc.
A phone or tablet will not cut it.

Note that this headphone was measured at ears-unlimited-logo where unavoidable background noises were present in the demo room. Distortion levels and spectrum plot performance may thus be better in reality than shown on the plots.

specifications:

Type: Over ear, open
Usage: Home.
Driver type: orthodynamic with Fazors
Pads: Lambskin leather or micro-suede
Foldable: No
Headphone connector: 4-pin mini XLR
Cable entry: dual
Cable: 2.5m with 6.3mm TRS plug
Driver size: 106mm
Max power rating: 15W (< 200ms)
Max. S.P.L. > 130dB
Impedance: 115 Ω (older versions are 45 Ω)
Efficiency: 102dB / 1mW
Weight: 540 g.
Clamping force: Medium
Accessories: 3.5mm TRS to 6.3mm TRS converter, ruggedized travel case

 

Sound description:

Will be added later on

Measurements:

Below the frequency response of the LCD-3 (Left, Right)

FR LCD3

The frequency response shows a neutral tonal response till 2kHz. Bass as well as sub-bas is there and of high quality. While the mids are quite neutral it does (very slightly) lack some ultimate ‘clarity/presence’. The dip around 3.5kHz is responsible for this. That dip is smaller in reality than it measures because the so-called Concha-gain will make this measured dip smaller than it looks. It is still there though, just not as deep as the plots suggest. Treble extension of these Fazor versions is quite good.
The treble level is slightly higher in amplitude than the LCD-2.

The LCD-3 is more expensive than the LCD-2 but you get slightly more ‘laid-back’ sound and somewhat less distortion for that. Below a plot that compares the LCD-2 with the LCD-3.FR LCD3 vs LCD2

 

As can be seen the differences in tonal balance are not very big between 10Hz and 2kHz. Most differences can be found in the area between 2kHz and 7kHz. Also the LCD-3 has a few dB more upper treble and is slightly ‘airier’ and detailed (partly) because of this.

Below the distortion plots of the LCD-3: (only left channel shown)
The distortion products are shown in dB.

DIST LCD3 L

The distortion is impressively low.
Below the same plot except shown in percentages.

DIST LCD3 L percent

Do note that some of the distortion ‘spikes’ may well have been caused by sounds in the demo room from ears unlimited when it was measured there. When it would have been measured in a very quiet room the results may well have been somewhat better.

Below the CSD of the LCD-3 (Left and Right channel are superimposed)

CSD LCD3

There is very little to worry about here.

Below the spectrum plot of the LCD-3 (Right channel).

Spectr LCD3 R

This plot too shows little issues. Between 10kHz and 20kHz it isn’t as clean as same other T.O.T.L. headphones. Bass and mids are quite clean.
The small signals around 1.5kHz may well not be coming from the headphone but are most likely sounds present in the demo room it was measured in.

By lack of oscilloscope shots (not enough time to measure that) below a step response plot of the LCD-3. (Left channel)Step LCD3L
Very little and reasonable short lived ringing and a fairly flat response. The fact that the rising edge does not reach the 0dB line also is evidence of the slightly ‘dark’ sound signature.
Below the Right channel.

Step LCD3 R

summary

The LCD-3 is a headphone that measures quite well. Excellent in the distortion department, especially in the lows. Good in tonal accuracy but somewhat lacking in clarity/presence and upper treble level.
Recommended for home usage only, needs a decent headphone amp or output stage. Some people may not like the rather high weight. Comfort on the ears is good though. The pads do seal quite good which some find uncomfortable as it kind of ‘sucks’ to your head when you pull the headphones from your head.

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