The Audeze LCD-MX4 are open-back, full-size isodynamic headphones from the top-end LCD Collection series that can be an excellent choice for mixing, monitoring and other studio work. According to Audeze, the model is an excellent combination of such well-proven stereo phones as the LCD-X and LCD-4. The lightweight, ultra-thin membrane borrowed from the LCD-X is combined here with a powerful magnetic system borrowed from the LCD-4. The new model is lighter in weight and has a slightly different approach to stage construction, simulating sound delivery in a control studio room.
The Audeze LCD-MX4 headphones are equipped with large 106 mm planar magnetic drivers. The driver uses two serious Double Fluxor magnetic systems with a magnetic induction of 1.5 Tesla, between which there is a very thin Uniforce film diaphragm with conductive tracks applied to its surface. The diaphragm acts as a voice coil, and also boasts lightning-fast response and smooth, seamless sound with minimal distortion.
Durable, laconic headphone housings are made of lightweight magnesium alloy, and the headband frame is made of carbon fiber and has a wide perforated leather insert for a comfortable fit. The soft ear pads are trimmed with genuine leather and have a specific shape that guarantees a comfortable fit. The cup holders are attached to the headband using a metal rod that allows for step-by-step adjustment to the desired size.
The Audeze LCD-MX4 headphones have a low impedance of 20 ohms, i.e. In this case, the presence of a specialized amplifier is not necessary, since even a laptop or mixer can drive them, which is important for working in the studio. Audeze has developed a professional suite of free REVEAL plugins that allow you to simulate monitor sound in an acoustically treated room, and also help with mixing, mastering, mixing and other studio work. The plugins are compatible with a variety of DAWs (ProTools, Logic, Ableton Live, Digital Performer, etc.) and software players, including Foobar2000, JRiver and Audirvana Plus.
The Audeze LCD-MX4 comes with a detachable double-sided braided cable that connects to the earcups using 4-pin mini XLR connectors and to the source via a 6.3mm jack. A solid, professional-grade plastic case is provided for storing/transporting monitors.
The LCD-MX4 was based on the design of the top model LCD-4. To make the headphones more comfortable to use for hours on end, the first step was to reduce their weight. For this purpose, lightweight magnesium alloy cups and a carbon fiber rim were developed. As a result, compared to the original LCD-4, we managed to gain 125 grams – with an equally solid design, the LCD-MX4 weighs 570 grams.
The second task is to achieve optimal matching of headphones with a wide variety of equipment and, above all, with laptops, modern mixing consoles and devices with low-voltage autonomous power supply. For this purpose, a new ultra-thin (0.5 micron thick, i.e. approximately 200 times thinner than a human hair) Ultra-thin Uniforce diaphragm was developed, onto which a lightweight aluminum coil with an active resistance of 20 Ohms was applied. Its shape and location are calculated so that for any vibration amplitude, all parts of the diaphragm experience the same force and do not deform. Preserving the piston-like nature of the movement with minimal distortion is the essence of the proprietary Uniforce principle. The diaphragm is fixed between two Fluxor stator plates, on which neodymium magnets are attached, creating an induction of 1.5 Tesla. Branded Fazor grilles cut through the air flow created by the movement of the diaphragm and thereby eliminate turbulent noise. It is important that the sensitivity of the LCD-MX4 has been increased to 105 dB, so that the new model does not require a large amplitude of the signal at the output of the telephone amplifier to drive.
All components of the headphones were designed using the finite element method, analyzing their behavior under various operating conditions. The finished emitters are thoroughly tested, and for each headphone they are paired according to their characteristics with an accuracy of 1 dB.
The new LCD-MX4s have an open design with elastic, wrap-around ear pads covered in fine genuine leather and neatly stitched together with the side surfaces of the ear cups. The outer grilles are black, underneath there is a woven material with a large structure. The supporting arc is made of carbon fiber; a flexible perforated arc is in contact with the head. The cups have two degrees of freedom and are fixed in height in recesses machined into steel axles. Detachable 1.5 meter cables connect to 4-pin mini-XLR jacks with latch.
The LCD-MX4 is supplied in a reinforced travel case made of impact-resistant plastic with a foam insert. A cord woven from three cores – with conductors made of pure copper in Teflon insulation. The 6.3 mm plug is solid, with gold-plated contacts.
The fit of the new headphones is comfortable – the lightweight design has a favorable effect; you can work with such monitors for a long time, without putting much strain on the neck muscles. In addition, the headphones make a solid impression with their solid manufacturing and quality of materials. The force of the headband is calculated correctly – the elastic ear pads fit tightly and do not cause a feeling of discomfort. The leather is pleasant to the touch, and the height adjustment of the cups provides a comfortable and optimal fit for any user in terms of sound.
Like all open-back headphones, the LCD-MX4 allows you to hear what is happening outside and, most importantly, does not create the effect of a sea shell, when tinnitus appears when completely isolated from the outside world. The sound coming out from the headphones is not too loud, and should not disturb those around you.
The first stage of testing is with the Aurender N10 streamer and the Mytek Manhattan DAC, which has its own headphone outputs. Listen to streaming audio from Tidal Hi-Fi and high-res from your computer hard drive. It was not by chance that I called LCD-MX4 monitors – they can rightfully be called that, and in the best sense. The tonal balance is so precisely adjusted that you immediately begin to pay attention to the nuances – the overall nature of the reproduction does not have the slightest deviation that could distract attention. The bass is low, from the very limit of audibility, fast, with a well-readable structure. The blows of the bass drum are conveyed especially effectively: sharply, with a lot of accompanying reverberations and harmonics. No headphones, either with dynamic drivers or armature ones, are capable of revealing life in such depths without simplifications and loss of intelligibility. Large area diaphragms create a real piston effect and have a powerful effect on the eardrums. And, since the volume of the cups is not closed, there is no boom and intermodulation due to reflections. The fabric laid under the outer mesh slightly dampens the membrane, eliminating its “extra” inertial vibrations.
But lowercase is only part of the picture. The middle harmoniously complements it with a mass of small details that are presented very delicately; All timbres are recognizable, but not overheated. This is a sure sign that the nonlinear distortions of the emitters themselves are very, very insignificant. Vocals, strings and wind instruments are transmitted analytically enough for the sound engineer to evaluate the quality of the recorded (or recorded) material, and not at all boring for a music lover who is far from technical aspects. The upper range is also calm, but informative.
If we switched to high-res (we connected a MacBook Pro to Mytek Manhattan via USB), the highs became noticeably more interesting – upper “atmospheric” components appeared, the range of cymbals expanded noticeably, and real copper began to be felt. The headphones already show spatial nuances in a different way – sounds with a high spectrum seemed to go beyond the cups, and the difference between different recordings was more clearly defined by the amount of air.
The LCD-MX4 leaves a lasting impression with its non-fatiguing, bass-rich, and highly dynamic sound, whether connected to stationary devices or smartphones. With an 8 dB increase in sensitivity, it effortlessly pairs with various amplifiers, resulting in a more open and liberated soundstage. Regardless of the music genre, these headphones ensure extended listening sessions without causing listener fatigue.
Characteristics of Audeze LCD-MX4
Type open monitor isodynamic headphones for studio use
Headband material carbon/real leather
Cup material magnesium alloy
Ear pad material high-quality filler, genuine leather
Emitters 106 mm planar magnetic emitters, ultra-thin Uniforce membranes, neodymium magnetic systems Double Fluxor ( N50)
Magnetic induction 1.5 T (Tesla)
Maximum power 15 W
Maximum sound pressure level more than 130 dB
Sensitivity 105 dB/mW
Frequency range 10 Hz – 50 kHz
Harmonic distortion less than 0.1% (100 dB)
Impedance 20 ohms
Recommended power amplifier more than 100 mW
Straight cable, braided, double-sided, removable
Mini XLR cable plugs for cups, 6.3 mm jack
Adapter cable for 3.5 mm jack included
USB flash drive with instructions included
Professional-grade hard, high-strength plastic case included