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What are your favorite headphones in the mastering room.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #871
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Shaggy2039's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
I heard these at aes yesterday. Really nice actually. Heard them with the Hugo 2 which seemed kinda edgy to me. But anyway they sounded nice and are worth checking out.

Also tried the lcd-i3. They sound like the i4 but not nearly as fast. Transients are not the same, definitely not on the level of the i4.
Yo Thermos - I'm copying my question from above to see your thoughts. I'm trying to decide between the LCD X and Focal Clears....What's your take on these two assuming I've already got the HD600 with Sonarworks?

--------
"Alright guys...So I have the HD600's and I like them for one reference point. If you had to choose between the LCD-X or Focal Clears to compliment the HD600's as another reference point - what's the best option?

In terms of speaker monitoring I'm mixing on Focal Twins - but I'm demoing a pair of Adam S3X-H's soon as well as the KH310's.

I'd like to have something that really shows bass / kick drum relationships well and from what I'm reading the LCD's are better. That being said the Clear's apparently have better mids. This is such a tough choice!

Side note - I'm running Sonarworks on the headphones."
Old 4 weeks ago
  #872
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thermos's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy2039 View Post
Yo Thermos - I'm copying my question from above to see your thoughts. I'm trying to decide between the LCD X and Focal Clears....What's your take on these two assuming I've already got the HD600 with Sonarworks?

--------
"Alright guys...So I have the HD600's and I like them for one reference point. If you had to choose between the LCD-X or Focal Clears to compliment the HD600's as another reference point - what's the best option?

In terms of speaker monitoring I'm mixing on Focal Twins - but I'm demoing a pair of Adam S3X-H's soon as well as the KH310's.

I'd like to have something that really shows bass / kick drum relationships well and from what I'm reading the LCD's are better. That being said the Clear's apparently have better mids. This is such a tough choice!

Side note - I'm running Sonarworks on the headphones."
HMM, tough one. At this point I really feel I hear dynamic representation better with Audeze. I didn't ever get enough time with the LCD-X to be totally sure which I'd pick. If you already have the HD600s though, maybe the LCD-X as the 600s will tell you the 4-6k range glare thing that Audeze may miss. The planar bass is so great.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #873
I still think the Beyer 1990's are fantastic especially for the price.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #874
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Shaggy2039's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
HMM, tough one. At this point I really feel I hear dynamic representation better with Audeze. I didn't ever get enough time with the LCD-X to be totally sure which I'd pick. If you already have the HD600s though, maybe the LCD-X as the 600s will tell you the 4-6k range glare thing that Audeze may miss. The planar bass is so great.
That's my thinking as well, honestly. I'm going to try and swing by AES tomorrow and listen to both but I'm leaning heavily towards the Audeze based on the fact they do low end so well. Thanks.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #875
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Question about powering the Audeze LCD-X since I'm pulling the plug on a pair soon...

I have an Apogee Symphony IO MK2 and the headphone amp is the same as their portable Groove headphone amp (which I also have for my small home rig). Would the Symphony be adequate power for the LCD's or do you all recommend I go with something like the Little Labs Monotor? If the difference is nominal then I'm not going to bother and save the money.

I realize they were made to work on smartphones etc but I'd like to give them a little juice to really get the benefit of their sound / design.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #876
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They can play off of anything, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. I am at the moment using SMSL Sap II and that works quite well, but I will have it until I receive AAA THX 789.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #877
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Seriously considering a pair of LCD-1 so that I can do some more reliable work away from my One15s. I’ll certainly use CanOpener with them and I bet it’ll be a significant upgrade from my good old K-702.
Any thoughts ? Cheers!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #878
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elcct View Post
They can play off of anything, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. I am at the moment using SMSL Sap II and that works quite well, but I will have it until I receive AAA THX 789.
The LCD X has a really low impedance - 20ohms. The Symphony Mk2's headphone amp has these specs so I think you're right. I should be fine.

THD+N:
-110dB @19dBu into 600 Ohm (=80mW)
-101dB @14dBu into 32 Ohm (=470mW)
Dynamic Range: 121db A weighted
Output: Apogee’s proprietary Constant Current Drive™ provides smooth frequency response with any headphones
Old 1 week ago
  #879
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Update: The LCD-X paired up with the Little Labs Monotor is simply stunning. I know there are plenty of more expensive options that yield some more returns on their investment but for the money spent here I'm just blown away. We're talking $1700 for the combo and it truly sounds like a premium pair together. I A/B'd them against my old HD600's and there's just no competition. The LCD-X's paired with the Monotor gives weight to the instruments in a mix that I've never heard in a pair of cans before. I can hear (finally) the way a well mixed sub bass and kick work together in a pair of headphones. Albums like Billie Eilish's latest really shows off these headphones beautifully. Pop on something like "Bury A Friend" and you can hear so many details that I've missed in the past.

Can't recommend the LCD-X and Monotor combo more!
Old 1 week ago
  #880
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You use eq correction with this ?
Old 1 week ago
  #881
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirito View Post
You use eq correction with this ?
I'm using Sonarworks but at 50% wet just to help a touch with the LCD's upper mid range dip - which already was noticeably better after I plugged it into the monotor vs going from my Apogee Symphony IO MK2 amp. For others out there who read the manual and marketing materials about the LCD-X's - when it says it can be powered through a laptop or tablet: it's not a lie - it can certainly work with those and it's a great feature for when you're on the road BUT these headphones, like most, turn into a whole other animal with a proper high quality headphone amp. It's like jumping up from a Mustang to a Ferrari.

I've read a few impressions from folks in this thread that say the LCD's make everything sound great and that's why they're not the best headphones for mixing but in my short time with them, they absolutely show flaws in the mixes I'm working on and they make them readily apparent too.
Old 1 week ago
  #882
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I think the new " Heddphone " will be the new competitor for LCD X.. i hope they will release it soon !
Old 1 week ago
  #883
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I did a small shootout between the LCD-MX4, the UE Pro Reference Remastered and UE Pro 18+.

The UERR sounded better to my ears than the 18+. The MX4 had some fairly nice bass but sounded slightly distant in the highs.

The UERR was the winner in the shootout as far as overall frequency response was concerned. It had a fairly smooth dip-free and peak-free midrange and still had reasonable treble response. The bass and lower mids were also good and the sub bass was not as emphasised as the 18+ and was about the same as the LCD-MX4.

UERR would be good for doing some reference checks on mixes. Not sure about the other two. One being an IEM and the other being full sized.

Still haven't heard the LCD-GX even though I wanted to. The MX4 had a luxurious sound but was still not as comfortable as I wanted it to be. The Focal Clears I own are still quite a bit more comfortable, at least for me.

And the UERR beat the UE18+ which was surprising to me.
Old 1 week ago
  #884
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thermos's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by barbital View Post
I did a small shootout between the LCD-MX4, the UE Pro Reference Remastered and UE Pro 18+.

The UERR sounded better to my ears than the 18+. The MX4 had some fairly nice bass but sounded slightly distant in the highs.

The UERR was the winner in the shootout as far as overall frequency response was concerned. It had a fairly smooth dip-free and peak-free midrange and still had reasonable treble response. The bass and lower mids were also good and the sub bass was not as emphasised as the 18+ and was about the same as the LCD-MX4.

UERR would be good for doing some reference checks on mixes. Not sure about the other two. One being an IEM and the other being full sized.

Still haven't heard the LCD-GX even though I wanted to. The MX4 had a luxurious sound but was still not as comfortable as I wanted it to be. The Focal Clears I own are still quite a bit more comfortable, at least for me.

And the UERR beat the UE18+ which was surprising to me.
I have some of these, the mids aren’t close in my opinion. I tried working with them for fun but the results weren’t great. Highs also kinda not all the way there. 64 audio a18 is the best reference iems I’ve heard yet.
Old 1 week ago
  #885
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
I have some of these, the mids aren’t close in my opinion. I tried working with them for fun but the results weren’t great. Highs also kinda not all the way there. 64 audio a18 is the best reference iems I’ve heard yet.
The UERR?

The universals had some nice mids. The highs are a little laid back but still very good.
Old 1 week ago
  #886
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thermos's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by barbital View Post
The UERR?

The universals had some nice mids. The highs are a little laid back but still very good.
Yes uerr, quite recessed I felt.
Old 1 week ago
  #887
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Can anyone here settle this one for me....Does burning in Audeze cans really make a difference or is that all conjecture? I keep reading mixed messages. My hunch is that hours and hours of music playing through them would absolutely affect it.
Old 1 week ago
  #888
Guys what's your opinion on the Focal Utopia? I'm really liking it so far...

Focal lent me a pair of Clear Pro and Utopia, I'm listening to them right now just on my macbook pro headphone output cause I haven't received my Grace M900 yet and I'm not in my studio, but anyway I find there's a huge difference between those two Focal; I really like the Utopia, the openness, the stereo width, the punch/transients, the balance seems nice too but I'm laking references right now. The details in the granularities/distortions/saturation effects is nice too. You can feel the Utopia can stay linear without a problem even at high volume.
Plus it really sits well on the head, really comfortable and I can see myself working long hours with it.

In comparaison Clear is nice but the balance is off to me, this really needs eq to shine, as Thermos stated repeatedly. But already I can say that the details, punch/transients, openness and depth aren't at the same level, nor the punch and stereo width. Utopia is really a clear step up for me, and yes I know the price is crazy too but not that much if you consider other high-end headphones like Audeze or else. You can feel the "Beryllium Focal touch" in it, really like finding this in a headphone form.

I'm also listening to my Inear Prophile PP8, and it lacks the openness, obviously due to being closed IEM (in opposition to Lcd-I4, which everybody knows is also another tech, open & planar). The stereo field isn't as wide as on the Utopia but still I prefer the PP8 to the Clear pro for some reasons.
The PP8 brings the mids, details and crunchiness forward, with a natural sound and without pushing things in a forced way. I'm more into the sound than with the Clear Pro if it make sens, like a lens zooming in the sound.
Plus I suspect that with better conversion/amp the PP8 will shine way more; it seems really dependant of what gear it's connected too, as I remember how it sounded connected to a Chords Mojo like 3 weeks ago, ie way better clarity...
The lows seems less natural on the PP8 than on the Utopia, but preferred it to the Clear too.

I'll have to give the Focal back middle of next week which is a pity because I'll receive my LCD-1 by the end of next week so I won't be able to do a real live comparison.

Anyway just wanted to share my little test with you guys if it can help anyone... And if you can try the Utopia I'm curious about your finding
Also I could try the Stellia a month ago, it was cool but being a close headphone I wasn't blown away even if it was cool, but for mixing/mastering the Utopia is really the best option of the two, no doubt.
Old 1 week ago
  #889
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
Yes uerr, quite recessed I felt.
That's interesting. Reading the frequency response graphs would have one believe the UERRs are very slightly mid-forward.

Were yours custom or universal?
Old 1 week ago
  #890
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Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy2039 View Post
Can anyone here settle this one for me....Does burning in Audeze cans really make a difference or is that all conjecture? I keep reading mixed messages. My hunch is that hours and hours of music playing through them would absolutely affect it.
On mine there was a note that they were already burned by Audeze and ready to use out of the box.
Old 1 week ago
  #891
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Justin P.'s Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy2039 View Post
Can't recommend the LCD-X and Monotor combo more!
+1

So good, I had to get the same setup for my home rig. Anything less now feels like a compromise.
Old 1 week ago
  #892
sm5
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I picked up a pair of the Raal SR1A's and think they are great! Even with sonarworks/eq'ing the other headphones I have: I still feel like the Raal's are flatter and faster. The Raals are the first headphones I've heard that don't really have a tone of their own.
I admit they sound weird with them angled out far - but if they aren't angled too much and are right against your ear like regular headphones they will sound like regular headphones but just faster/cleaner.

Everyone's hearing preferences are different though. I don't really like LCD-X's or LCD-2's. Too dark/slow for me.
Even though the Rtings critical listening reviews say the HD800 is best: for me I'd say it's a tossup between the Elears (Sonarworks blog says the Elears are flatter than the clears) and Sundara and HD800 with the Stax L300 to me actually being the best.

I'm selling or sold all my other headphones and am just sticking with the Raal's.
Though I definitely suggest Stax L-300 headphones.
Old 1 week ago
  #893
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sm5 View Post
I picked up a pair of the Raal SR1A's and think they are great! Even with sonarworks/eq'ing the other headphones I have: I still feel like the Raal's are flatter and faster. The Raals are the first headphones I've heard that don't really have a tone of their own.
I admit they sound weird with them angled out far - but if they aren't angled too much and are right against your ear like regular headphones they will sound like regular headphones but just faster/cleaner.

Everyone's hearing preferences are different though. I don't really like LCD-X's or LCD-2's. Too dark/slow for me.
Even though the Rtings critical listening reviews say the HD800 is best: for me I'd say it's a tossup between the Elears (Sonarworks blog says the Elears are flatter than the clears) and Sundara and HD800 with the Stax L300 to me actually being the best.

I'm selling or sold all my other headphones and am just sticking with the Raal's.
Though I definitely suggest Stax L-300 headphones.
Those Raal's are over $3K for the pair so comparing it to LCD-X's which are a $1200 isn't really a fair comparison.

The LCD's sound cozy to me. They're definitely not bright but they do show you when a mix sounds exciting which is a very important thing. Conversely, mixes that don't sound exciting are very apparent on them. When you hear a very well EQ'd / produced vocal on the LCD's it is night and day vs. hearing one that isn't, for instance. Same with the low end information.
Old 1 week ago
  #894
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sm5 View Post
I'm selling or sold all my other headphones and am just sticking with the Raal's.
Though I definitely suggest Stax L-300 headphones.
Were these the standard 300 or the LE?
Old 1 week ago
  #895
sm5
Here for the gear
The standard ones. $650 I think you can get the SRS-3100 kit with an amp new from Japan for so not a bad price! I didn't think the amp was under-powered either.
There's some measurements of the L300 vs the L300 LTD and L700 and they are all pretty close with the regular L300 actually measuring the flattest anyways.
I used Equilibirum to EQ the bottom end and with EQ it actually had bass that was pretty close if not better/cleaner than the Sundara's/Planars. For mixing/mastering I'd personally trust the L300's the best. You can use Innerfidelity's or Rtings eq to sort of have an idea of how to EQ it too (Doesn't need much besides the bottom) You can also add blue-tak behind the earpads and the low end improves.

I doubt spending more on the higher-end LTD or L-700 Lambda models will do that much - a tiny bit of eq or the blue-tak will probably make them all sound the same anyways unless you get a 007 or 009: but then you might as well be looking into the Raal's at that price point.

As far as LCD's being an unfair comparison: Yeah, the Raal's are expensive!
But if you're looking at headphones in the high end: 007's and 009's are 3-5k and Hifiman and Sennheiser has ESL headphones as much as $50k or so and decent ESL amps are $3-6k alone anyways. So in the high end - the Raal's are actually well priced. (A lot of mastering engineers have 10k-100k speakers so $3500 isn't that bad when you compare to that too)

But price doesn't mean everything
I'm using a cheap $100 icepower amp with the Raal's (I didn't know if I'd like them or not - so I wasn't going to blow a ton on an extra amp I'd never use again if I didn't like them) But even with a $100 power amp they sound better than any other headphones I have so I don't even intend to buy a more expensive amp. I know people buying them are buying $3k Benchmark amps for them (Which measure really flat!) but for me - I'm happy with the $100 amp I have with them so price definitely isn't everything.

As far as the LCD's: I've had those too - but I personally prefer the Sundara's to the LCD's as far as Planar's go and they are $350. But everyone's hearing is different.

L300's + Sundara's or some other decent planars wouldn't be a bad mix under 1k to have. (But the L300's are the first headphones I heard where I felt if I only had one set of headphones or even speakers - I could live with just them)

Having multiple headphones isn't a bad thing to do - just extra sources to compare to. Take up less room than 2nd or 3rd pair of alternate speakers or running to your car to check a mix :p
For $1400 you can get L300's + Elears + Sundara's and have a ESL + Dynamic + Planar headphones. Probably a better investment than one single headphone at $1500ish.

Then again I'm also the same person who is selling all my headphones and keeping only the Raal's :p But even with the Raals - I'd be okay with just sticking with the L300's though.
Old 1 week ago
  #896
I tried the Raal and while I can get why it's great for some, I didn't gel with it at all.
The fact that they can be put at different angle feels like it'll be strange to perfectly set and add a factor that can vary too much for me.
When placed closer to the ears I like dit but flet strange, and the openness is too disturbing for me.

Also I'm not sure in the long term i'd like the highs as much, kinda feel like (in a way way better) Adam ribbon tech; I mean for jazz and classical music it must be amazing but for electronic and pop music heavily compressed with lots of high I would feel tired faster than on Audeze or Focal.
I also felt it sits strangely on the head, it wasn't that comfortable to me, I would be kinda afraid to move a tiny bit too much with it if it makes sens...
Plus it demands a special amp.

So for my own personal goal of having an on the go workstation based on headphones this won't cut it; I would go Audeze or high end IEMs any days.
On the other hand for listening in a studio or a calm room in a comfy chair, without outside noise and for acoustic & dynamic music it's one of the best on every other aspect I agree.

Last edited by E Artsy Moods; 1 week ago at 03:59 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #897
sm5
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Have you checked out any Electrostatic headphones? They even make portable power supply amps for them now you can carry around with you on the go. They are sort of a good middle-ground between Planar/Raal's. I was actually looking into Jade II ESL headphones or 007's and a cheap ESL amp before I got the Raal's.

Speaking of Adam ribbon tech:
I am interested in hearing the Hedd headphones with AMT drivers! curious how they would sound compared to the Raals side by side - and also the Ora Graphene headphones. When they come out I might have to suck it up and buy them to compare :/

On a side note: If anyone is looking for headphone amps - Geshelli Archel2 Headphone AMP - Look up the review on Audio Science Review - seems to be a pretty great performing headphone amp for a great price - Only RCA but probably better than some lower performing amps with XLR. I ordered one as it seemed like a decent price to just use it on the go to drive some of the closed-back planars I have. I actually like the Audeze Sine's - Prefer them over the Oppo PM-3's ... Monoprice M565c's aren't bad either for on the go closed-back at reasonable prices - The Monoprices are my regular on the go, throw them in a bag-type headphones. They are pretty great at blocking out outside noises so if you're recording a click track or something they are good for that too. I actually like the high end on the Sines the best, - maybe even the overall sound but the Monoprices are full over-ear so they are more comfortable.
Old 1 week ago
  #898
I didn't check Electrostatic headphones, I'll try in the future good idea thanks I saw the Hedd being noticed here also, it seems interesting too.

I know I won't have too much time in the very near future, so I'll stick with my PP8 and LCD-1 plus Grace M900 to begin, and I'll see if I can translate correctly my mix/master on the next months. If I'm happy with the results I may don't look back and just continu to work
Old 1 week ago
  #899
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Riccardo's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sm5 View Post
The standard ones. $650 I think you can get the SRS-3100 kit with an amp new from Japan for so not a bad price! I didn't think the amp was under-powered either.
There's some measurements of the L300 vs the L300 LTD and L700 and they are all pretty close with the regular L300 actually measuring the flattest anyways.
I used Equilibirum to EQ the bottom end and with EQ it actually had bass that was pretty close if not better/cleaner than the Sundara's/Planars. For mixing/mastering I'd personally trust the L300's the best. You can use Innerfidelity's or Rtings eq to sort of have an idea of how to EQ it too (Doesn't need much besides the bottom) You can also add blue-tak behind the earpads and the low end improves.

I doubt spending more on the higher-end LTD or L-700 Lambda models will do that much - a tiny bit of eq or the blue-tak will probably make them all sound the same anyways unless you get a 007 or 009: but then you might as well be looking into the Raal's at that price point. .
Thanks.
How bad was the headband/gasket since the 300 is the only one left with the plastic one as opposed to the other now made of light metal?
Old 1 week ago
  #900
sm5
Here for the gear
They are super lightweight ... maybe the lightest feeling headphones I've had? Maybe the most comfortable too? (Perhaps that's why they haven't changed the design much since the 80's?) HD800's I thought were pretty comfortable too but I don't have a pair around to compare anymore. Sundara's clamp the sides of your head more: definitely annoying. Elears sort of do but it's not too bad but noticable. The Raals if you have them next to your ears: they are touching the metal grate which is weird but I guess it's okay for me so far. AKG K701's or Q701s ... I can't remember which version exactly it was: they were comfortable except the headband had some pads on top or a design that after time got really uncomfortable! The worst headphones for comfort I've ever had were some of the original Focal closed-back headphones ... before the Elear came out: They clamped your head like a vice! Sony MDR-7520's were the sweatiest I think I've ever owned. The least reliable are the low priced Hifiman 400i's: broken yokes in a brand new unopened box! and a new 4xx with an ear much lower in volume than the other. For the price and if you get a good pair they are about as good as it gets for $100-200. - definitely need EQ though.

As far as the L300's they are great for listening to for a long time - the top of my head or sides never had any problems and since they are pretty air-y you don't get sweaty ears or a headache from pressure. Maybe you don't get as much bass as some that press on the side of your head to create a good seal: but with EQ it's fine - and I'd rather trade a little of the very low end for not having a headache. The headband for me was pretty great - I never had problems with it.
The only thing that can be annoying is the inside plastic part (Perhaps that's the gasket? - it's solid black plastic) ... right behind the pads can sometime touch your ears depending on position but for me it never bothered me much and it rarely happened unless I was wearing them wrong. If your ears stick out far it might be more bothersome. I think the higher end models just have a bit more padding in the earpads so your ears are less likely to touch it. The plastic build I admit sort of worried me at first but I never had problems - I suppose the weight reduction was a good tradeoff compared to other headphones. They've lasted me for years. The cable ... That's the the single reason I could see wanting to get the newer mkii L500's or L700's: Since it's an attached cable and pretty long I was always worried about rolling over it with my chair - so the new ones with detachable cables would be nice. But not sure if they are worth the price difference though.

As far as comfort between Raal's and L300's ... I like the L300's weight better and it's more of a regular headphone so they don't fall of your head if you lean forward. Ears possibly touching the plastic inside isn't as bad as touching the cheese-grater metal design of the Raal's.

Not sure if that answered your question but hopefully it did!
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