LCD-XC

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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-XC

LCD-XC
The Audeze LCD-XC is a closed orthodynamic headphone.
It has a 4-pin mini XLR connector on each cup and thus has a cable with a Y-splitter in the middle.
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.
In reality the high gloss lacquered wood looks even better than on the picture.
It really should be driven from better DAP’s or from decent headphone amplifiers etc.
A phone or tablet will not cut it.
This headphone is designed to be driven directly from portable sources. Because of this the impedance is quite low (around 22Ω). Therefore just a small voltage is already enough to create a decent SPL.
In pricing it is between just a bit higher than the LCD-X

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, closed
Usage: Home, office, traveling
Driver type: orthodynamic with Fazor
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: 20 Ω
Efficiency: 100dB / 1mW
Weight: 650 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-XC (Left, Right)

FR LCD-XC

The frequency response shows a neutral-ish tonal response from 10Hz to 2kHz. Bass as well as sub-bas is there and of high quality.
While the mids are quite neutral it does have a very slight ‘character’.

As the LCD-X and LCD-XC are both designed to be driven from a low output voltage source (needs to be able to provide enough current) below a comparison between the 2 models.

LCD-X vs LCD-XC

To be a bit more complete in comparisons below the LCD-2, LCD-3, LCD-X and LCD-XC combined into one plot.

All LCD in one plot

As can be seen the differences in tonal balance differs between 400Hz and 2kHz. .

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

Dist LCD-XC R

The distortion is impressively low. About the same levels of the LCD-X
Below the same plot except shown in percentages.

Dist LCD-XC R 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-X (Left and Right channel are superimposed)

CSD LCD-XC

The LCD-XC is a little less well damped than the LCD-2 and LCD-3. The ringing at around 5kHz is not seen in the LCD-2 and LCD-3 measurements. The LCD-XC also has some ringing (cup coloration) around 1.8kHz

Below the spectrum plot of the LCD-XC (Left channel).Spectr LCD XC L

This plot shows little issues in the time domain. Bass and mids are quite clean. The issues around 1.8kHz are barely visible in this plot.

By lack of oscilloscope shots (not enough time to measure that) below a step response plot of the LCD-X. (Left channel)
STEP LCD-XC L
Some (short) lived ringing. The sub-bass extension is excellent. The 1.8kHz ‘peak’ is visible in this trace. Attack/impulse response of the LCD-XC appears to be better in the LCD-XC than the other LCD versions. A bit more ‘forward’ and ‘clearer’ sounding than the other versions perhaps but less ‘neutral’.
Below the Right channel.Step LCD-X R

summary

The LCD-XC is a headphone that doesn’t measures as well compared to the other LCD versions when it comes to flatness of the frequency response. It is quite good in the distortion department, especially in the lows. It’s just as good as the other versions.
Recommended for home usage and in the office because this is a closed headphone. It is a bit of a bulky and expensive headphone to be used for commuting but is a good candidate for ‘portable’ usage. It can be driven directly from a phone, tablet or DAP. Connecting it to a decent amp may still be somewhat beneficial.  Some people may not like the rather high weight (the highest of the LCD models). 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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