Audeze LCD-XC x Ether CX x ZMF Atticus

-~-~-~- NOT A VS THREAD -~-~-~-

Hello friends. I’ve been researching a bunch the last few days and I think I’ve decided these are the three HPs I’d like to try out in the upcoming months (-years?).

My rationale: I want to try a high-end not-super-analytical HP, but I am also super curious about the Ether CX as an upgrade to my Sundara, which I really like (my current DD). Yes, I’m focusing on closed HPs, for now.

With that in mind, in what order do you think I should attack this?
IE, which one do you think I should buy next?
I’d be buying blind and would use the refund policy if I end up not liking them.
I expect to do ~1 HP per year, roughly - I got the Sundara last ~July.

To be honest, I’m leaning towards the Ether, because they are so lightweight and an HP is only good if you can wear it… But I’m willing to take the risk and try the LCDs because I suspect I’m gonna like them a lot.

Current HPs: Sundara (DD), DT770PRO250, 6XX, Airpods Pro, XM3

I owned one, one of 2 headphones I regret buying.
it’s not bad, and it even works well with some material, but the sound is heavily compressed, too much for me to enjoy.

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Ooof, regret is not good :slight_smile: Even after burn-in? Apparently these need it.

Even after a couple of hundred hours of burn in.
They can sound great on simple instrumental pieces, but they are just not good when mixes get complex.
They are the most compressed sounding headphone I have ever heard.
To be fair as you increase the volume the compression does reduce somewhat, but you’d have to get them way louder than I’d be comfortable listening at to reduce it enough for my tastes.
I really wanted to like them and just couldn’t get there.
It’s unfortunate because they are among the most comfortable headphones I’ve owned.

Darn it, that’s discouraging. I’m trying to keep sane listening volume levels. Alright, thanks for the feedback.

I would recommend against the Ether CX as well. The are quite comfortable but their sound is not very exciting. I enjoy them more on a warm amp like the Flux Lab Acoustics FA-12 than the 789 but it’s not enough to make me want to listen to them more than my other headphones. However if what you’re looking for is something very neutral with good comfort then maybe you’d like them.

I’ve never tried a ZMF headphone but they sure look nice and I’ve heard good things about the sound too. My recommendation would be the LCD-XC. I own the LCD-4z and I thought the weight would bother me but it doesn’t. I get a bit of a hot spot on my head but my neck never gets sore. The Audeze, if you can still find it in wood, can be had for a good price (less than a wooden ZMF) and still looks nice imo.

If you’re open to other headphones you might consider a T60 Argon or one of the new Focal closed backs.

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Darn these things are so polarizing. It kinda makes me want to try them out more :sweat_smile:

I’ve looked around but the wood cups seem to be out of stock, and Audeze told me they have no plans to re-introduce them any time soon (or fix that silly AUDEZE they currently have). I’m only considering new.

T60 looks interesting, and apparently they are planning to accept orders by end of May.
I’ll do some research, thanks!

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btw what’s the other one?

Depends what mood I’m in, but usually the T50RP3, to my ears it’s a terrible headphone, the only headphone I can’t listen past the Frequency Response.
To my ears it has a discontinuity between the upper Bass and lower Mids, that sounds like a bad speaker crossover (how they managed that with one driver I don’t know), and it irritates me enough to not want to listen to them.

I know lots of people love them, just goes to show how people value different aspects of a sound.

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The Ether CX is the SJW of headphones. They make sounds but 100% will not sound offensive or risk sound enjoyable.

Counter argument, they can be played very loud and ideal to be treated as crappy computer speakers with a good headphone amp.

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That is probably the best analogy for an Ether CX.

Contrary to this I think there is quite a bit of variation between Ethers. I had one that was painfully bright and this one I have now is much more treble relaxed. I wonder if they revised tuning as the first one wouldve been a really early Ether and my new one is 4 months old

It really is between the LCD CX and the ZMF Atticus.

If it’s anything like my Aeolus. If go for the ZMF