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Article: Audeze LCD-4z Review

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16 minutes ago, skatbelt said:

But I did not come across any negative rating of owners of this headphones and this includes the very critical head-fi .org community. You stand alone in this

 

Someone has to be first. 

 

 

 

 

16 minutes ago, skatbelt said:

Come to think of it and acting very suspicious for a moment: why the Hifiman promotion in your review? Does Chris do background research?

 

Sonis reviewed the HiFiMAN for us earlier and loved them. That’s why he recommended them in this review. Your skepticism knows no bounds. 

 

Do do you have a hidden agenda that includes keeping resale value above s certain point for LCD-4z owners?

 

This is one person’s opinion. Not that big of deal if he doesn’t like a pair of headphones. Your resistance to his opinion is puzzling. 


Founder of Audiophile Style

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13 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

 

Someone has to be first. 

 

 

 

 

 

Sonis reviewed the HiFiMAN for us earlier and loved them. That’s why he recommended them in this review. Your skepticism knows no bounds. 

 

Do do you have a hidden agenda that includes keeping resale value above s certain point for LCD-4z owners?

 

This is one person’s opinion. Not that big of deal if he doesn’t like a pair of headphones. Your resistance to his opinion is puzzling. 

 

 

I am not a skeptical person. And seldom flabbergasted but now I am...


Roon server (Mac Mini/i7/SSD/16GB/Uptone DC mod/external SDD via firewire/Uptone Audio JS-2 LPS) Streamer dCS Network Bridge DAC Chord DAVE Amplifier / DRC Lyngdorf TDAI-3400 Speakers Lindemann BL-10 | JL audio E-sub e110 Cables CAT6 UTP ethernet, Transparent premium AES/EBU, Nordost Leif Red Dawn analog RCA, Kimber 8TC speaker cables, custom power cables Head-fi and reference Bakoon HPA-21 | Audeze LCD-3 (f) | Audio-technica ATH-M50 Software High Sierra | Roon 1.6 | Tidal hifi Power and isolation Dedicated power line | Xentek extreme isolation transformer (1KVA, 0.0001pf, balanced) | Vibex one 6R power distributor | Uptone EtherREGEN | Emo Systems EN-70HD network isolator | Jensen CI-1RR isolator

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51 minutes ago, skatbelt said:

 

 

I am not a skeptical person. And seldom flabbergasted but now I am...

Not a skeptical person, but because you don’t like his opinion, you start throwing around the idea he has an ulterior motive for his bad review. 

You know, sometimes people just have opinions. There are even people that have an opinion that isn’t a result of some sort of conspiracy. 


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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2 hours ago, wgscott said:

 

There must be something seriously wrong with my Videudeze LCD monitor; I can't make heads or tails of this randomized word-salad gibberish. 

 

Glad to see I deflected unwanted disruptions while acutely touching on an issue the article author anticipated and was openly willing to address.  This could have gone so much worse if you had been capable of interfering.  I'm actually thankful for your reply and those caught by upvoting it. 

 

2 hours ago, Sonis said:

Frankly Rando, I was expecting a heck of a lot more of this kind of attitude following the LCD-4z review than I have received (so far). I feel pretty comfortable with my conclusions as they are an honest assessment of this product’s performance as experienced by two very experienced audiophiles, who, under very different sets of personal circumstances (equipment, musical tastes, etc.)came to exactly the same conclusions about the sound of these headphones

 

I don't refute your assessment (or the owner's).  The article balanced on a consumer good not a manufacturer demo.  That alone stands out in the field.  I think there was value in your approach and both of your patience wore thin... as consumers with justified expectations.  A little more input from someone reading this beforehand might have greatly changed how the article was received with minor revisions.  That's all, smoothing a wrinkle some are getting upset about.

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1 hour ago, skatbelt said:

 

In my first comment I already stated that I did listen to the LCD-4z. So I have a good view on its position in the field of higher-end cans. And I auditioned quite a few. In this price category it is all a matter of taste but I would - without any hesitation - take the 4z over the HD-800S, every Focal and also over the LCD-3 (which I own myself).

 

My problem with your review is that it isn't really a review. You basically say 'This thing sucks and sounds no better than any entry level headphones. If you want to know why? Well, figure it out yourself. And btw, the company sucks too!'. I am aware of the fact that a lot of reviews are commercially driven and have an editorial character. But I did not come across any negative rating of owners of this headphones and this includes the very critical head-fi .org community. You stand alone in this.

 

Come to think of it and acting very suspicious for a moment: why the Hifiman promotion in your review? Does Chris do background research?

I have no ties to HiFiMan but I do have a number of HiFiMan ‘phones in my collection. Every one, from the $299 HE-400s to the $2600 Jade 2 electrostatics, and everything in between sound far better, and are far more comfortable than the Audeze LCD-4z.

The phones do suck, and I succinctly explained how they sucked. And I didn’t say why, because I don’t know why. And apparently neither does Audeze. They said that they fixed them when they were returned to the manufacturer for testing. Yet the fix sounded exactly like they did before they were “repaired”. Nowhere did I say that Audeze sucked, nor did do any more than suggest a failure on their part as a possible reason why sounded so bad out of the box and why, perhaps that the factory couldn’t (or wouldn’t) repair them. I have had other pairs of Audeze phones in my hands (like the LCD-2 and the LCD-3) and they sounded excellent. I also owned a pair of Isine 10s by Audeze and thought that they sounded superb. Unfortunately, I sold them because they didn’t fit in my ears very comfortably.

 

All I care to say about your other comments is that we must have WILDLY different views about what sounds good. Believe me if I had spent $4000 on a pair of phones that sound that bad, I wouldn’t just be disappointed, I’d be majorly PISSED (and this pair’s owner certainly and rightly is).

 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m neither intimidated nor bothered by your contrary view. As a recording engineer, I think I know what real live music sounds like, and I also believe that I know when A piece of audio gear does not sound like real music. I trust my experience when evaluating these products. The LCD-4z’s are the worst really high-end headphones that I have ever heard. Period!

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In some sense, this review makes me want to demo the headphones now more then ever.  If anything, this is what consumers have to deal with everyday.  I'm sure we've all bought something that we thought was going to work or be fantastic, only to be extremely let down.  Then thinking it was broke or malfunctioning returned it, tried a new one and were let down again.  Unfortunately it happens, and it often leaves a sour taste in your mouth towards that product or manufacture.  Such is life.  

 

Ever heard of the REL subwoofers catching fire? 😉

 

 


PC/NAS/JRiver/Roon - PS Audio P5 Regenerator - KEF LS50 Nocturne - Rel 328 subwoofer - PS Audio AC5 Power cables 

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40 minutes ago, Sonis said:

But that “wrinkle” is good. Bad components should be discussed just as openly and often as good components. Chris seems to agree. Anyway, I would not have liked for him to change the review with editing. editing fixes spelling and grammatical errors as well as technical and informational errors, not review conclusions.

 

Doubt many here, myself included, have any issue with a packaged complimentary 'review' simply not existing here.  Nor was I suggesting anyone else do touch up work by injecting the idea faulty behavior on part of product (twice) and whatever repairs were claimed provided inroads you might explore if faced with a similar review example. 

 

Since I've gone this far I'll offer one example.  Before sending them off for repair.  Noting the drivers serial numbers (or some other significant mark) is an experienced move that may not have occurred to you.  This simple addition to the article is damning if proven unchanged when returned.  End of story unless you care to pursue it during, or by forcing Audeze to respond after publishing.  This one canny move establishes any negativity as factual instead of debatable.  Blunts any attempts to blame the victim from discrediting yourself or the equally experienced owner.

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I appreciate the review and the opinions expressed. Any chance that this model requires a lot of break in?  Any chance of a cable issue?  I’ve observed a dramatic change in phones’ sound from break in and also have had cable issues.  Finally, did the Hugo 2 owner advise if his pair sounded the same as the review sample? 

 

I’ve never heard these phones, but I do own LCD-3’s, among a few other good phones, so I can’t vouch for the reviewed model from my own experience. Just wondering about the issues I noted.

 

I’m not at all criticizing the review and think the reviewer seems very competent. Also, ironically, I agree with another comment that I’m now more intrigued to listen to these phones at the next CanJam or at another show. 


- Mark

 

Synology DS916+ > SoTM dCBL-CAT7 > Netgear switch > SoTM dCBL-CAT7 > dCS Vivaldi Upsampler (Nordost Valhalla 2 power cord) > Nordost Valhalla 2 Dual 110 Ohm AES/EBU > dCS Vivaldi DAC (David Elrod Statement Gold power cord) > Nordost Valhalla 2 xlr > Absolare Passion preamp (Nordost Valhalla 2 power cord) > Nordost Valhalla 2 xlr > VTL MB-450 III (Shunyata King Cobra CX power cords) > Nordost Valhalla 2 speaker > Kaiser Kaewero Classic /JL Audio F110 (Wireworld Platinum power cord).

 

Power Conditioning: Entreq Olympus Tellus grounding (AC, preamp and dac) / Shunyata Hydra Triton + Typhoon (Shunyata Anaconda ZiTron umbilical/Shunyata King Cobra CX power cord) > Furutec GTX D-Rhodium AC outlet.

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25 minutes ago, MarkS said:

I appreciate the review and the opinions expressed. Any chance that this model requires a lot of break in?  Any chance of a cable issue?  I’ve observed a dramatic change in phones’ sound from break in and also have had cable issues.  Finally, did the Hugo 2 owner advise if his pair sounded the same as the review sample? 

 

I’ve never heard these phones, but I do own LCD-3’s, among a few other good phones, so I can’t vouch for the reviewed model from my own experience. Just wondering about the issues I noted.

 

I’m not at all criticizing the review and think the reviewer seems very competent. Also, ironically, I agree with another comment that I’m now more intrigued to listen to these phones at the next CanJam or at another show. 

The review samples WERE the property of the Hugo 2 owner. They were one and the same. We all know that most headphones need some running-in before they sound their best, but the owner let these run at a good volume for about a week, as I understand it , before bringing them to me to see what I thought. Headphone cables, like speaker cables, can have an eff ct, but I don’t think a cable could have wrought this much damage to the sound. Besides, the cable was that supplied by the manufacturer.

 

I too have heard the LCD-3s and thought them excellent. I’ve  heard the plain LCD-4, only briefly at a hi-Fi show, and they sounded fine to me, but, that’s at a show with a high background noise, so I can’t really comment on those.

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5 hours ago, firedog said:

I guess you could claim that to be “fair” Chris should have had another reviewer listen to the phones and see if he confirmed Sonis impression. 

But do we see that done here or in other places when a review is overwhelmingly positive? Don’t we sometimes criticize the audio press for printing only positive reviews? 

So when someone finally publishes a negative review we are upset about it?

You have a point, however I've always enjoyed reviews with more than one opinion.

 

Headphones seem especially subject to listener bias. I own Grado and Beyerdynamic headphones that some love and some hate. I don't know what these Audeze headphones sound like, and I would never spend this much on headphones, but it would have been interesting to me to hear another opinion, because a pan is, as I said, surprising.

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1 hour ago, Sonis said:

I would like very much for Audeze to respond, but they declined to do so and their technical director said on the phone (after a bit of hemming and hawing) that there is no way that the Audeze LCD-4z would sound as good as a pair of Sennheiser HD-800s phones, which I found to be an incredible confession. IE that they cannot build a pair of phones costing $4000 that’s as good as a competitor’s offering costing less than half as much!

 

That is truly remarkable (and I appreciate his candor).

 

1 hour ago, Sonis said:

I popped the ear pads off and saw no way of getting the ear cup apart without voiding the warranty, and I saw no serial numbers that I could access without taking each cup apart. Not my phones, didn’t want to do that...

 

A bit of 32P radio-label would have been perfect.  


--

Do facts matter?

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Excellent review. I LOVE reading a review that doesn't dance around the "what if's" like so many here are implying. Maybe the Emperor has no clothes. I was interested in these at one time and my go-to is checking what they are selling for used.on eBay, Audiogon, or HeadFi and these were going for around $2500 which is a Red Flag to me for a $4,000+ phone'. Same for the Chord Qutest Sonis reviewed (I asked this question at another forum and they were not happy about my observation) . Why so many for sale at a discount?

Thank you Sonis. Please reveiw the Meze Empyrean!


Furutech GTX-D>J River 23>Cardas Clear USB>Wyred4Sound DAC2v2 SE>Moon Audio Blue Dragon IC>Cavalli Liquid Fire>Q French Silk Headphone cable>Audeze LCD2rev2>my ears>audiophile brain

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22 hours ago, Sonis said:

The review samples WERE the property of the Hugo 2 owner. They were one and the same.

 

Again, not a criticism, but did the owner agree with you?


- Mark

 

Synology DS916+ > SoTM dCBL-CAT7 > Netgear switch > SoTM dCBL-CAT7 > dCS Vivaldi Upsampler (Nordost Valhalla 2 power cord) > Nordost Valhalla 2 Dual 110 Ohm AES/EBU > dCS Vivaldi DAC (David Elrod Statement Gold power cord) > Nordost Valhalla 2 xlr > Absolare Passion preamp (Nordost Valhalla 2 power cord) > Nordost Valhalla 2 xlr > VTL MB-450 III (Shunyata King Cobra CX power cords) > Nordost Valhalla 2 speaker > Kaiser Kaewero Classic /JL Audio F110 (Wireworld Platinum power cord).

 

Power Conditioning: Entreq Olympus Tellus grounding (AC, preamp and dac) / Shunyata Hydra Triton + Typhoon (Shunyata Anaconda ZiTron umbilical/Shunyata King Cobra CX power cord) > Furutec GTX D-Rhodium AC outlet.

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36 minutes ago, MarkS said:

 

Again, not a criticism, but did the owner agree with you?

Absolutely. He's the person who first brought my attention to  how lousy these things sounded. He was upset because they cost him a lot of money and were, in his opinion, useless. He just brought them over one day and left them without comment. He just said: "give these a lesson, will you and let me know what you think. Several days later when we compared notes, we found that we heard exactly the same thing and both of us agree that to sound that bad, they almost had to be defective. 

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As a proud owner of LCD-X myself, their QC (or lack thereof) seemed to be a concern a few years back

 

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/no-shame-on-audeze-buyer-neednt-beware.753171/

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/how-many-times-have-your-lcd3-headphones-been-returned-to-audeze-for-servicing-rma.771760/

https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/are-audeze-really-that-bad-quality-wise.576/

 

Like what their technical director said, stick with Sennheiser etc. and save quite a few backs on top of that.

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4 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Hi Guys - I was contacted this afternoon by Audeze's Karthick Manivannan, Ph.D., Research Director - Signal Processing. He kindly asked that Audeze be allowed to publish a response to this review. I stated that I would absolutely publish an uncensored response from the company. Here is a link to that response, directly below the review. 

 

https://audiophilestyle.com/ca/reviews/audeze-lcd-4z-review-r833/#1

 

 

Thank you. I will rest my case... ;)


Roon server (Mac Mini/i7/SSD/16GB/Uptone DC mod/external SDD via firewire/Uptone Audio JS-2 LPS) Streamer dCS Network Bridge DAC Chord DAVE Amplifier / DRC Lyngdorf TDAI-3400 Speakers Lindemann BL-10 | JL audio E-sub e110 Cables CAT6 UTP ethernet, Transparent premium AES/EBU, Nordost Leif Red Dawn analog RCA, Kimber 8TC speaker cables, custom power cables Head-fi and reference Bakoon HPA-21 | Audeze LCD-3 (f) | Audio-technica ATH-M50 Software High Sierra | Roon 1.6 | Tidal hifi Power and isolation Dedicated power line | Xentek extreme isolation transformer (1KVA, 0.0001pf, balanced) | Vibex one 6R power distributor | Uptone EtherREGEN | Emo Systems EN-70HD network isolator | Jensen CI-1RR isolator

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2 hours ago, skatbelt said:

Thank you. I will rest my case... ;)

 

What case 🤨. Someone didn’t like one headphone and rant about it.

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So basically Audeze is trying to say Sonis is lying about what went on. 
I'd like to hear what he has to say. 


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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