I’m like a kid in a candy store. The other day, a reader of our fair blog asked what the difference was between the Final Audio D8000 and the Audeze LCD-4. I knew they sounded different from listening to both at separate times, but figured this was a good chance to dive into more detail. So I’m ready to go. I’ve set up an iFi Pro iCan to amplify as I listen. Today I’ll explore the question with this full Final Audio D8000 vs Audeze LCD-4 audiophile headphone review!
Final Audio D8000 vs Audeze LCD-4 Audiophile Headphone Review
First, a look at some facts…
In the Box – Final Audio D8000 vs Audeze LCD-4 Audiophile Headphone Review
|Final Audio D8000||Audeze LCD-4|
|D8000 headphones||LCD-4 Headphones|
|detachable cable (1.5 m, 3.5 mm plug)||detachable cable (6.3 mm to dual 4-pin mini XLR)|
|detachable cable (3 m, 6.3 mm plug)||professional travel case|
Specifications – Final Audio D8000 vs Audeze LCD-4 Audiophile Headphone Review
|Final Audio D8000||Audeze LCD-4|
|Style||semi-open, circumaural (over-ear)||open, circumaural (over-ear)|
|Transducer||AFDS planar magnetic||planar magnetic|
|Sensitivity||98 dBSPL/1mW||97 dBSPL/1mW|
|Impedance||60 ohms||200 ohms|
Design – Final Audio D8000 vs Audeze LCD-4 Audiophile Headphone Review
Both the Final Audio D8000 and Audeze LCD-4 have strong and supportive headbands, although, their designs are quite different from each other. The Audeze LCD-4’s headband, which is made with one layer of carbon fiber and one layer of leather, is thin and flexible. On the other hand, the Final Audio D8000’s headband, which is made of metal) is thick and has a solid form. It is flexible, but maintains its shape more than the LCD-4. It has a comfortable cushion which is coated with leather. Both headbands have a plastic piece which holds the extenders to the rest of the headband so it seems like this is the weakest point in both headphones’ constructions.
The Final Audio D8000 and the Audeze LCD-4 both have well built yolks which hold the ear cups and let them swivel freely. However, they accomplish this goal differently. The Final Audio D8000’s yolk sits in a metal joint that connects to the ear cup via a ball joint. By comparison, the Audeze LCD-4 has a screw which attaches to the metal yolk that connects to the ear cups with two more screws. Both feel strong and durable.
Both the Final Audio D8000 and the Audeze LCD-4 have large and circular earcups; the D8000 is semi-open and the LCD-4 is fully open back. However, the Audeze LCD-4’s cups are significantly heavier than the D8000’s. As a result, the LCD-4 is less comfortable for long duration listening.
Both headphones’ earcups are handsome in their own ways. The Final Audio D8000, which has a tightly stitched grill (almost creating a film or screen) has a classy, futuristic look. Additionally, the LCD-4 has a glossy and expensive, vintage look with a more obvious chrome grill.
I’m tempted to say that the headphones’ earpads are the most obvious differences between the two, but as I look through my notes I’m realizing they are, in general, such different headphones from each other design-wise. But alas, The Final Audio D8000’s earpads are airy but firm. They remind me a large Grado earpad, if that earpad was covered in stretchy spandex. The Audeze LCD-4, on the other hand, has super soft memory-foam-style earpads. They are coated with leather, contributing to their chic vintage design.
The final Audio D8000 earpads are fully symmetrical and circular with a circular hole in the middle. They fit completely and comfortably over my ear. On the other hand, the Audeze LCD-4 earpads are thicker in the back and get thinner as it moves towards the front of the head, which encourages the ear cups to sit at an angle on the ears. Additionally, their holes are shaped like ovals rather than circles. These earpads are comfortable as well, although maybe firmer pads would help support some of the weight of the heavy earcups?
Both the Final Audio D8000 and the Audeze LCD-4 have cables with proprietary connectors which fasten to both ear cups with a Y-style cable. The Final Audio D8000 comes with two cables (one with a 3.5 mm connector and one with a 6.3 mm connector). The cables split their wires into two isolated bundles. On the other hand, the Audeze LCD-4, which comes with one litz-style cable (with a 6.3 mm connector) which individually isolates all four conductors. Both are flexible, although the LCD-4’s is a little bit easier to manage.
Sound – Final Audio D8000 vs Audeze LCD-4 Audiophile Headphone Review
Both the Final Audio D8000 and the Audeze LCD-4 have pretty substantial and punchy low frequency responses. The LCD-4’s response is faster in the low end, but its big soundstage makes it a little bit less focused sounding. However, it has really dramatic separation between the lows and the mids. It’s particularly noticeable when focusing on drums because the kick drum feels miles apart from guitars. Although sometimes the bass feels subbier and then takes up a different space than it might normally.
The D8000’s low end is a little clearer and tighter because of its more intimate sound stage. However, its lows feel more gradually blended with the mids than the LCD-4. Additionally, It is less subby. However, while it isn’t as fast as the LCD-4, it still feels punchy and beautifully musical. It feels balanced, but still has a little extra fun energy around 60 Hz.
Both feel like they have equal energy in the low end, but thier low-end ranges have different relationships with their other frequency groups.
The midrange of the Final Audio D8000 is intricate, but somehow also very warm. Each instrument feels like a natural and accurate depiction but also super aesthetically pleasant and musical. Each instrument has good separation from others while maintaining fullness. Perhaps this is because of frequency cuts at 1 kHz, 1.5 kHz and 5 kHz? Additionally, vocals sit in a comfortable place in the mix with a boost at 4.5 kHz. The D8000 really sounds wonderful with any genre, although in some genres (particularly orchestral music) warmth sometimes wins over accuracy.
On the other hand the Audeze LCD-4 seems to have bigger low-mid energy (perhaps because of its relative relationship with the rest of the midrange and high frequencies). It has a little bit of a boxy response with a frequency boost at 600 Hz but this boost also helps contribute to its deep and wide soundstage. However, like the D8000, the LCD-4 has nice separation between instruments, although particularly between the lows, low-mids, and middle-mids. Additionally, the LCD-4 has frequency cuts at 1.5 kHz and 4.5 kHz. As a result, vocals tend to sit slightly lower in the mix. Their spirit is reintroduced with a frequency boost at 6 kHz.
While both midranges represent instruments fully and energetically, the D8000 feels more musical while the LCD-4 feels more spacious.
Both the Final Audio D8000 and the Audeze LCD-4 have expansive high frequency extension, providing airiness to mixes as a whole. The D8000 feels brighter in general, and has a result has a more natural relationship to the midrange than the LCD-4. However, boosts at 7 kHz and 9 kHz create sibilance with somet vocalists. Additionally, the D8000 has a cut at 10.5 kHz which leaves some space between the the actual resonant frequencies of high frequency instruments and their high harmonic overtones.
The Audeze LCD-4 is less sibilant than the D8000 but seems a bit less even. It has boosts at 8 kHz, 9.5 kHz, and 11 kHz with a cut at 7 kHz. As a result, sometimes the high overtones feel a little bit less natural than they would otherwise.
Both the Final Audio D8000 and the Audeze LCD-4 have high frequency responses with unique relationships to their respective midranges and as a result, would work better for some mixes over others. For example, brightly mixed female vocalists would sound better at louder listening levels on the LCD-4, whereas more standard mixes would work better on the D8000.
Both the Final Audio D8000 and Audeze LCD-4 high frequency extensions contribute marvelously to the height of their soundstages. As a result, both headphones have a similar sense of height.
The Audeze LCD-4 has a wider and deeper sound stage. Instruments seem to have a clear space front-to-back and it feels like an artist’s or mixer’s intentions are represented in space well.
The Final Audio D8000 on the other hand has a more subtle soundstage. It is light and intimate, but still portrays spaciousness in a tasteful way.
Both headphones use their soundstages in natural ways and it contributes to the musicality of their overall responses.
Overview – Final Audio D8000 vs Audeze LCD-4 Audiophile Headphone Review
While both the Final Audio D8000 and the Audeze LCD-4 are both GREAT headphones, I personally prefer the Final Audio D8000. It has a tighter bass response, a intimate and musical soundstage, and is more comfortable for long duration listening. However, it is more sibilant at times so if you particularly like to listen to bright female vocalists, I recommend listening for yourself to see how it sounds before making a decision.
This concludes the Final Audio D8000 vs Audeze LCD-4 Audiophile Headphone Review. Please feel free to reach out with questions. Both the Final Audio D8000 and the Audeze LCD-4 are available for the best price here:
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