Audeze LCDi4 open-back planar magnetic in-ear Headphone - Official Thread

audeze

#1

This is the thread to discuss all things LCDi4!


#2

I’ll start this one. I spent about a month with the LCDi4’s. They’re such a cool idea, and I love that Audeze is constantly pushing into new territory.

For an in-ear, the sound is incredible. It took some time to wrap my head around the idea of an Open-back in-ear. I’ve never experienced such a wide soundstage in an in-ear and it first it’s a bit of a psychological trip.

Detail was also outstanding.

I have one minor complaint. The ear clips they provide are really uncomfortable (at least for me).


#3

I have read some reviews about these. I would love to hear more about your and anyone else’s experience. Can you even compare them to similar priced iems or open backed cans? Is this a end game portable rig? Or sit in house? I feel like its uniqueness is a double edged sword. A part of me thinks that it is a good idea. Another part wants me to call out blasphemy.


#4

Good questions.

I haven’t written up a full review, but I’ll post it here when I do.

On the portability front, I would say they are endgame in the sense that they are easy to pack up and carry and they sound fantastic. However, because they are “open-back” ish they don’t have enough isolation to be enjoyed many places other than home.


#5

The LCDi4s have one of the best soundstages I’ve ever heard in an IEM. They offer detail and imaging that is on a whole other level and in that respect, I really enjoyed them. I found them to be a little lifeless though which was disappointing. With all that detail and clarity I was really hoping to be kept engaged and yet, I wasn’t.

I’ve come to learn though that the cable we had on the LCDi4 was defective which through their tuning out of whack. I’d to try them again with a new cable and see what my thoughts would.

I did use them in multiple situations though. I used them on Vancouver’s Skytrain, the buses and for walking around outside. The sound leakage from them wasn’t nearly as much as I expected. And even though they obviously let in noise around me, I kind of enjoyed it because it let me enjoy good music while still being aware of my surroundings. One of the things I find when I am using IEMs is that I sometimes feel like I’m completely shut out from the world (which is a nice feeling) but it can also lead to situations like getting hit by a car.

The Earhooks are also pretty uncomfortable if you’re walking around. I found that they chafed the top of my ears quite a bit. I didn’t have the same issue with the iSine 20s but they are also heavier than the iSine 20s so that was expected.


#6

most everything sounds great. I have owned the LCDi4s for about a month and can only play them at. home. What bothers me is the short cable since I have it plugged into the Oppo 205 player. Everything sounds great. I am in the process of buying a longer cable made for it and I just hope it sounds as great or even better. Wish me luck.


#7

i use the lcdi4 with a sony wm1z off the balanced output, and it’s simply wonderful.

it sounds even better when it terminates a roon -> lcdi4 preset -> yggdrasil -> ragnarok chain.


#8

I attached my new and expensive cable yesterday. It is eight feet long so I can sit in my comfortable chair and really enjoy the music. I played a brand new version of the Beethoven violin concerto played on the piano (transposed by Beethoven himself). I have heard this CD on my Martin-:organs as well as the short cable LCDi4 so I was quite surprised when it sounded slightly improved even though I was told that the new long cable would take about 100 hours to break in. My Oppo 205’s headphone amp continues to do a great job. The CD sound seemed to have more air around it and I actually heard the drum beats at the beginning of the work and most importantly, at the end of the first movement.


#9

I got these on the recent b stock sale for around $1000. These are a steal. They are AMAZING, and I don’t say that lightly.

I’ve never heard any iem that sounded as airy, effortless, and realistic as these. The soundstage is off the hook and competes with my Hifiman Edition X V2. I have nothing but good things to say about these. Fit is a little off for my baby ears, but I can manage. These have got to be one of the best IEMs available. I cannot imagine anything sounding as good. These are better than my Andromedas for sure. I run this off a Cipher v2 cable to my iphone 6s. I can’t believe how good these sound without the $1000 daps. Hot diggity, these are gems.

I love the fact that I could bring a TOTL sound to my work environment without the need for amps or full sized headphones.

My only concern, how does the iSine20 stack up. It’s alot cheaper and I could downgrade if it gives me 90% of the performance.


#10

I got the iSine 10 and iSine 20 during the Black Friday sale. I should be receiving them today. I had the same experience with the LCDi4 as you and the same questions about the iSine line afterwards.


#11

Nice, definitely want to hear your thoughts. I did buy the isine20 bstock but cancelled my order shortly after because i’ve been spending an unnecessary amount of money on another hobby


#12

I haven’t heard the LCDi4 but have owned the iSine 20’s. With the Cipher cable the iSine’s sounded really good. I just couldn’t get to grips with the fit. Try as I might. If it weren’t for that I would still own them.


#13

I’ve got about 30 minutes with the iSine20 so far. The i20 is a pretty awesome bit of kit. Tuning is similar to the i4. Using the Reveal Plug In settings for the i4 with the i20 has the same improvements for the FR. The i4 has far better extension at both ends, with subbass extension being especially noticeable. The i20 doesn’t seem to take HeSuVi virtualization as well as the i4, though this is a super-preliminary impression.

The i20’s soundstage is smaller and imaging isn’t done with as pinpoint accuracy, though it might just be the smaller soundstage affecting the separation. The i4 has this startling transparency, approaching the Stax SR009+DAVE+BHSE, that the i20 does not match. It’s probably due to the sheer speed of the i4’s drivers.

The i20 is a lot easier to drive with a mobile phone (Note 9) than the i4, which may make it a better choice for mobile users that don’t want to carry around a DAC/amp.

I bought the i20 with the thought that I’d sell the i4 if the SQ were close enough. They’re not. The i20 sounds amazing and I would have been perfectly happy with it if I didn’t own the i4. I would say that the i20 is 90% of the i4, but that 10% that you’re missing is exactly what makes the i4 such a trancendent experience.


#14

I got some more time on both the i4 and i20. They’re actually a little further apart than I initially thought. An example is in I Needs To Be Bee’d With - Count Basie Live at the Sands. At 0:35 you can hear a lady in the crowd say, “You know what?” With the i20, it’s hard to make out what she says after that. With the i4, you can clearly hear her say, “I gotta go to the bathroom.”

The i20 is a fair bit punchier. The attacks hit pretty hard. The i4 sounds more natural and smooth. That made me think that I’d enjoy EDM more with the i20 than the i4. It’s not the case. The subbass extension alone makes the i4 more enjoyable. The i4 gets my head bobbing every single time. Definitely worth the price difference.