Audeze LCD-X (2021) with or without EQ?

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Audeze LCD-X (2021) with or without EQ?

Post by Guitarking »

Hello everyone,

Got my hands on the Audeze LCD-X 2021 version.
I have also installed Audeze's Reveal+ plugin. I am only using the LCD-X 2021 eq curve (so no Aural Map: room simulation or limiter etc...). The use of Reveal makes the headphones come alive. Especially when listening to classical music it's great to get more depth and ambiance.

As much as I like the eq curve, it also stresses me out: what is neutral? When I'm hearing the headphones without EQ? But they sound a bit dull/lacking high mids/high end. I love using the EQ curve, but almost feel 'guilty' because some voice in my head says: it's not good to use because it's 'fake'.

Are there more people who use reveal + with the LCD-X 2021. Do you use them while mixing? Or also when listening to music?

And does anyone have a FR chart of what reveal+ LCD-X 2021 curve is doing?

Thanks.
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Re: Audeze LCD-X (2021) with or without EQ?

Post by sonics »

They do seem very deficient in low bass and low treble, like they were never designed to be used without equalisation. After correction they would seem to sound great. Use it and be glad! :)
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Re: Audeze LCD-X (2021) with or without EQ?

Post by Zukan »

I have the X and don't bother with any correction. It is fine as it is. Excellent low end, magic on mids and highs.

However, I am one of these people that doesn't use correction. I prefer to adapt and get used to the headphone's' response rather than shape it for my needs.
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Re: Audeze LCD-X (2021) with or without EQ?

Post by tea for two »

I'm with Zuke and Sam on this.
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/audeze-lcd-x-el8

When I auditioned LCD-X mk1 2015 few months earlier without any eq software, it was a revelation compared to my K712.
Particularly for Rock, Metal, Reggae, Dub, HipHop, Bass Heavy, Beats, EDM.
It was also no slouch for Orchestral, Choral, Folk.

Has mk2 2021 changed from mk1 2015?
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Re: Audeze LCD-X (2021) with or without EQ?

Post by ore_terra »

I own a pair of the closed cousins. New version with carbon fiber caps.

I used to use Sonarworks before these, and I decided to try without. It’s been a year and a half now and I love everything of them (except for the weight!). I can mix and master consistently with these headphone. That deson’t’ mean I can do it well, just consistently average :mrgreen:
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Re: Audeze LCD-X (2021) with or without EQ?

Post by Guitarking »

Thanks everyone.
I was thinking. How about using no eq when mixing? And how about using some eq when using them for fun listening. Like having 2 headphones. Or would that not give me the opportunity to get to know them?
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Re: Audeze LCD-X (2021) with or without EQ?

Post by ore_terra »

for me it's all about getting used to them. spending hours on them listening to music.

I don't see the benefit in using 2 headphones unless one of them offers different features than the other, apart of a different EQ. i.e., one of them has much lower distortion than the other, or one of them is much more comfortable than the other.
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Re: Audeze LCD-X (2021) with or without EQ?

Post by RichardT »

Guitarking wrote: Thu Jun 01, 2023 10:28 am Thanks everyone.
I was thinking. How about using no eq when mixing? And how about using some eq when using them for fun listening. Like having 2 headphones. Or would that not give me the opportunity to get to know them?

I think you will be fine with or without EQ as long as you give yourself time to get used to the sound.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with using EQ if the intention is to get a flatter response. No need to feel guilty. No phones are flat, and some are an enormous distance from flat!

The benefit of using EQ for me is that there is much less tonal difference between phones and speakers, and also that recorded instruments do sound, to me, more like the real thing with EQ than without.

But if you work in many places, not all of which have Sonarworks or Audeze’s proprietary system, you are better off working without EQ.
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Re: Audeze LCD-X (2021) with or without EQ?

Post by Drew Stephenson »

RichardT wrote: Thu Jun 01, 2023 1:31 pm The benefit of using EQ for me is that there is much less tonal difference between phones and speakers, and also that recorded instruments do sound, to me, more like the real thing with EQ than without.

This is why I use Sonarworks on my headphones.
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Re: Audeze LCD-X (2021) with or without EQ?

Post by Guitarking »

Using EQ to make them comparable to speakers; do you mean headphones are generally darker voiced?
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Re: Audeze LCD-X (2021) with or without EQ?

Post by Wonks »

Monitor speakers tend to have a lot flatter response, (though affected by the room) whilst headphones can vary from quite flat to quite coloured. This could be a lot brighter or a lot more middle, and some are chosen because of an extended bass response. Sometimes the colouration helps you find problem areas in the mix that you wouldn’t find so easily on speakers, but having headphones that match the monitor sound can be beneficial to your working practices e.g. you may gave to finish a mix for a deadline on headphones because it’s late at night and you can’t have the monitors on.

Not everyone needs flat response headphones, but quite a lot of people do benefit from them.
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Re: Audeze LCD-X (2021) with or without EQ?

Post by Guitarking »

What is it on the LCD-X 2021 that makes them so good for mixing?
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Re: Audeze LCD-X (2021) with or without EQ?

Post by ore_terra »

I'm no specialist but I'd say extremely low distortion, good bass extension, detailed mids and highs (other than the response being flat-ish or at least flatter than the average)

and, being planar, low impedance which makes them very easy to drive (you don't need a powerful headphone amp)

Drew Stephenson wrote: Thu Jun 01, 2023 1:48 pm
RichardT wrote: Thu Jun 01, 2023 1:31 pm The benefit of using EQ for me is that there is much less tonal difference between phones and speakers, and also that recorded instruments do sound, to me, more like the real thing with EQ than without.

This is why I use Sonarworks on my headphones.

Since I'm 90% on headphones now, I ended up doing the opposite: using Sound ID to make my monitors sound closer to my headphones :bouncy:
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Re: Audeze LCD-X (2021) with or without EQ?

Post by Guitarking »

Why LCD-X is good for mixing: could it have to do something with that it's tuned according to the Fletcher-Munson curve? And maybe the fact that some people miss the fun factor has something to do with it no being tuned according to the Harman curve?

Would the Reveal+ eq curve introduce a more Harman like eq-curve?
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Re: Audeze LCD-X (2021) with or without EQ?

Post by ore_terra »

What’s that reveal+ thing?
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Re: Audeze LCD-X (2021) with or without EQ?

Post by Guitarking »

It is Audezes own eq correction curve
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Re: Audeze LCD-X (2021) with or without EQ?

Post by Wonks »

Guitarking wrote: Thu Jun 01, 2023 4:34 pm Why LCD-X is good for mixing: could it have to do something with that it's tuned according to the Fletcher-Munson curve? And maybe the fact that some people miss the fun factor has something to do with it no being tuned according to the Harman curve?

Would the Reveal+ eq curve introduce a more Harman like eq-curve?

You don't tune headphones for Fletcher-Munson curves, at least not foe mixing on or accurate listening. If you did that, you end up with a big smile curve EQ, which means your mixes would then end up bass and treble heavy.

Maybe you've read something like this review with frequency response measurements. https://www.audiosciencereview.com/foru ... one.25271/

If those measurements are anything near accurate (there is no common/standard test method for headphones), then they are definitely not flat. In fact they don't look very good at all to me!

But that's an audiophile web site, where science and logic goes out the window. You do not ever want a Fletcher-Munson style curve for the frequency response if you want to hear sounds accurately. It might be nice for listening (though I wouldn't like it as it would be too exaggerated for me) and I think the reviewer has totally misunderstood the whole F-M curve thing.

You don't listen to a piano or an orchestra or a band with a F-M curve matching EQ somehow superimposed on your ears. You hear it flat. It's how we are used to listening to things and our brain compensates.

The only time you might want to invoke equal-loudness EQ contours for hearing is if listening at very low volume, when you might want to use the difference between say the 50dB SPL line and the 80dB SPL line to construct a corrective curve to get the response that we hear at louder volumes (basically the loudness button on some hi-fi amps).
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Re: Audeze LCD-X (2021) with or without EQ?

Post by tea for two »

Guitarking wrote: Thu Jun 01, 2023 10:28 am Thanks everyone.
I was thinking. How about using no eq when mixing? And how about using some eq when using them for fun listening. Like having 2 headphones. Or would that not give me the opportunity to get to know them?

For me, as long as you mix master on LCD-X without EQ, becoming used to its sound characteristics, thereafter it should be fine to listen back to your mix mastered completed pieces on same LCD-X EQed to sound similar as somewhat hyped Hifi sound of Audeze EL8 open back.

My own stuff I've mixed on K712 sounded a bit wow on Audeze EL8 open back due to EL8 open back being a somewhat hyped Hifi sound to my ears.
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Re: Audeze LCD-X (2021) with or without EQ?

Post by James Perrett »

One of the reasons I like the HD600s is that they sound like my monitors with no additional eq.
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