Preliminary Investigation of the Audez'e LCD-3 and LCD-2 Page 3

It wasn't easily apparent, but I eventually found that with female vocals the 2312341 and 2312454 sounded a bit more present than 2312260 and 2312476, which did sound a bit veiled in comparison. It was at that point that I decided I needed to average all the measurements of each headphone and compare them. The next two plots are the left and right channel of all four headphones. Each headphone frequency response shown is the average of all measurements taken of that headphone.

Audeze_LCD3_graph_AvgLeftChan Audeze_LCD3_graph_AvgRightChan

Though more apparent in the left channel, both plots show about a 4dB difference in level between 2kHz and 3kHz. I believe this may be showing the difference between what some have called the "veiled" and "non-veiled" versions of the LCD-3. I do find the "veiled" sample a little too treble reduced and overly-smooth for my liking. The thing that's a little strange to me is that if harmonic distortion was rising around 1.5kHz, you'd expect it to sound a little brighter or harsher in that region ... and it doesn't. The more distorted headphones sound smoother. Maybe it's even-harmonic distortion?

Unfortunately, the variability of product seen here is too much for me to move forward with a full review. My understanding is that Audez'e has been working on improved driver quality --- though I believe it was more focused on problems with failing parts as opposed to the symptoms brought out above. My understanding is that these drivers are just now becoming available. I will be contacting Audez'e to learn more, and will report as I do.

I should mention I've seen significant variances in numerous new product offerings from other headphone makers (HiFiMAN and beyerdynamic have come to my attention) but because the Audez'e LCD-3 is a world class headphone, one that I very much want to review (because I like the sound of the Audez'e headphones generally), and it's a hot-topic at the moment among headphone geeks, I felt I needed to pursue it further and write an article.

A Last Tidbit
I did spend a bit of time comparing the LCD-3 with the LCD-2. I've averaged the response of three LCD-2 (Rev1, late Rev1, and Rev2) and the response of all the LCD-3 above, and plotted them to create a frequency response comparison between the two sibling headphones.


As you can see, the LCD-2 is a few dB higher in level between 4kHz and 10kHz, and a few dB lower in level from 10kHz on up.

None of this article will come as a surprise if you've been following the threads on these headphones. I'm constantly amazed at how well the general consensus eventually develops purely through listening and dialog around a fairly accurate understanding of a headphone. I do think it's nice to find ways to confirm the general opinion with data, however.