HEADPHONE SHOOTOUT - Audeze LCDX vs HEDDPhone vs FOCAL Clear Pro

 

VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION

Hi! all. It's me, Streaky. Today is the big shootout. We are going to listen, compare and contrast the Focal Clear Pros, the Audeze LCDX, and the new HEDDPhone from HEDD. We're going to compare these three headphones. I have my personal favorites. I also know the order that I personally would want them in, but I'm going to test my thoughts and my theories by putting these to the test. First of all, we're going to go for looks, then we're going to go for feel, then we're going to go for durability. Then we're going to go for the stereo image, clarity. And then we're going to go for the overall sound. I'm going to mark them from one to five on each of these points. At the end, we'll total them up and see which one is one. And then I can compare those true results to my personal thought that I had before we even started this whole process.

So first the HEDDPhone. So how do they look? I think they look pretty mega. They are very Star Wars, princess layer looking. They look like the tweeter on the side. I liked that a lot. I think they look pretty cool. A bit chunky. But overall, I think they look pretty good. I'd say 5/5, definitely for these on looks. So how do they feel? Well on the head, they aren't massively heavy. They fit around your ear nicely. They sit quite well. They are a little bit heavier than what I would want. I think, would I want to sit in these for a long period of time. I'd say probably 4/5 for these. I wouldn't give them 5/5. I think just because of the weight. Because the headband is just a little bit weighty. But yeah, 4/5 for the feel.

So durability wise, how do the heads shape up? Well, they are a little bit on the clunky side, a little bit rattly. There's a couple of that sort of area. There is a little bit kind of clumsy, but it's fine. It's not going to fall apart. I don't think. But they don't twist that much. So they might snap maybe, but they're under guarantees, so that'd be fine. But they do feel a little bit clunky. There's this thing where as you push them, as you move around the tweeters inside, kind of making noise. They have said on the manual, that's not a problem. They know all about that. That should be fine. It's just when the suction to do with that. So I don't have a problem with that. But I just think the overall kind of feel of them just because of the clunkiness and that kind of noisiness, I'll probably give them a 3/5, I think.

So now let's talk about the stereo image. Now, when we're talking about stereo image, we want things to be wide, but not over wide. We want to be a clarity in there. So where do these go? Well, when I'm listening to them, they're all open back. So they all are quite wide compared to closed headphones, but these sound perfectly in the right place. They're not too tight, they're not here, so that you'd get this congested sound in your head. They're sitting here, which is where I want them to be. So it feels like they're speakers. So like speakers that come at you, then these are exactly the right place. Things are sitting in the right place. So these are spot on. Perfect to my ears for stereo image. That's 5/5 for these on stereo image.

Now the overall sound of these. Now, the overall sound, they aren't bright. They aren't bassy. They are seem really flat to my ears. They don't sound like there's anything going on that's wrong. They're not too hard. They're not too soft. They sound absolutely brilliant. I love these for their sound quality. I could sit and listen to them all day. They're the type of headphones you put on and you want to listen to your whole record collection again. So, because the stereo image is so nice and then because I can hear low down, I can hear really high. You can hear all the frequencies. There's a lot of space in the mix. It sounds like a really good set of speakers that I've listened to a lot. So I could listen to these all day. So, because I think they're really good on the sound quality, I'm definitely giving these a 5/5.

The only downside I would say about these, if we're using them in a consumer environment, is that you probably would need a headphone amp for these because they don't play as loud as some of the others. Because if you're on say a MacBook Air, which I tested them on, as well as testing them on a headphone amp before, much better. They were a lot quieter on the MacBook Air. But it's not really a problem. But I still think the sound quality was spot on. So still 5/5.

Now we're onto the Focal Clear Pros. Let's kick on with the looks of these. These look beautiful. Don't they? They're open back, like the others. They just made so well. They just look really posh. They look posh wherever you go. Just the way it's designed is really lovely. All of this outer casing is really expensive looking. Nice bit of red muff. We all like a red muff in there. And so they are just super looking. They just look good on. They're just lovely. They are just lovely. So these get 5/5 as you can tell for the looks.

Now the feel. How do they feel when they're on? These are super comfortable. These aren't leather, the bit of muffage around the outside. They are like a fabric. It's like a suede fabric and they're really comfortable. They fit around your ear nicely. They're on there. I could probably wear these all day long. They're not too heavy. These are really comfortable. Can't really feel them on my head. A bit weighty. Nothing major. Really nice. Look good. Feel good. Love it. Five out of five. Can't really take anything away from these. Just look at them, they're cool. Sort of moving around, they move around. They don't come off. They're not wiggling. They're not making any noises. They're absolutely fine. They're really comfortable. Don't even feel like I've got them on. Really good. 5/5, definitely for feel.

So durability, how are these going to stand up after a while? You're spending a few quid on them. So you want them to last a while. Now I like the heads before them. You can't move them around. So that's got the opportunity to probably break. They haven't got the same thing as the heads there. So there's only one bit that could probably sort of mess up at some point there. This band's pretty sturdy. I think these might get scratched up and maybe dented, which would be a choker if you've got that dented. Because it looks so nice at the moment. So I think from that point of view, they're still lovely. I don't think they’d break. If you might be able to tread on them and bend this a bit and like I say, that might break. So I think because of that, I'll give them a 4/5. They don't get 5/5. I think they probably could be a little, get a little bit smashed up over time. They do give you extra air pads though in the box when you get them. So that's quite a nice feature because even if these wear out or get a bit soggy and messed up, you can change those. That's nice. But yeah, 4/5, because I think that, just denting those and maybe, moving them around, they might just get broken a bit.

So stereo image on these and clarity. Now, what's that like? Now when I put these on fresh, they sounded like really good, really open and really nice thorough images in the right place. Everything was good. But when you're then put on the other ones, they start sound a little bit compressed and a little bit like tighter. So it was more to do with like listening to these. After listening to these, these are great when you first put them on, but then when you start hearing other headphones and realizing actually there's much more space going on and the stereo image sits in a better place. These just feel a little bit compact and don't have as much space and detail as the others. So I think for that, I'm going to give these a 3/5.

So what's the overall sound of these like? Well, they are lovely. They do sound really nice. I think they're quite lively in the mids and in the high tops, they sound sort of quite exciting to listen to. They're not smoothed out. They're not sort of. They're not made to sound too high fi. They're quite sharp and they're good. They're fast headphones. They're really nice. I can hear really low down, which is great. I can hear all the frequencies similar to the HEDD. I think really though, because of that clarity and because of that stereo image, I think I'd probably give them a 4/5. But they are lovely headphones. Don't get me wrong, they sound great. But I just think that clarity lets them down a little bit compared to the others. So yeah, 4/5 for these.

So now onto the Audeze LCDX. So these are the Audeze LCDX. I did a video on these recently or link that at the top here, but how did this look? The look of these? They're quite industrial looking as you can see. They've got big thick kind of plastic-y air pads, which are really big. They have a different structure to the other two when it comes to how they sit on your ears. Now they have this system that a lot of people use, which I really like. And it's more of like a pad that goes over your head and then they sit. So I like the look of that. They look quite industrial. I liked the look of these. They are cool. I think they look pretty smart. So I'd definitely give these a 4/5 for their looks, just because they look quite industrial and hardcore.

So how do these feel when they're on? Well, they are beasts. These are big, heavy things on the side. The weight distribution across the band is really good on them. So I liked that a lot. I think they've done well there. But if you're going to sit in for a long period of time, I think it's going to give you a headache because they're big, it's like having a set of speakers on your head basically. They're just big speakers on the side of your head. I think they look pretty cool, but there is just the weight and the feel of them. They just feel a little bit kind of, whoa, they're big, heavy, sort of beast. So just because of this and they're quite heavy and they're bulky and stuff, I think I've got to give them a 3/5 for feel. They're a bit sticky as well on the ears because of these air pads. Sure you can change them. But this set that I've got, I've got a go on what I've got. They’re 3/5.

So durability on these, now, are these going to last you? Well, these are rock solid. They remind me, I've got a Land Rover Defender at home and this is what these remind me of. Because you can literally unscrew and unbolt every single part of them. So if anything was to snap, break or buckle, you could literally unscrew everything on them, all of this, these unscrew, if they break, that breaks. They're pretty tough anyway. You can sling them around and I don't think you'd break them at all. So these definitely got a 5/5 just because these probably are the most durable headphones that you can buy really I think. You can't get better than being able to, these have got kind of hidden bits that you'd have to send off and get someone to fix. This one, hey, just get out your little screwdriver and off you go, you've done it yourself. So, 5/5, definitely on durability.

So stereo width and clarity on these. Now they're really clear and they have got a good stereo width. It’s very nice. But the way that they sound, they're very accentuated in the kind of low-mids and sort of just a little bit in the upper mid. So what happens is when it comes to the focus, when it comes to the stereo image, you kind of end up listening to those parts of a tract rather than the whole track and the way the whole track’s sitting. So because of the stereo image, the stereo image is great. The clarity is great, but because of the way it focuses more on the low-mids and stuff, I think it kind of makes this lets the stereo image down a bit. So these are getting a 4/5 for the stereo image.

Now the overall sound of these, these are great sounding headphones, like all of these three that I'm comparing today. They really nice, like they sound to me a little bit smooth in the top end. A little bit pushy in the bottom end. So the bottom end just sounds like it's pushing out a little bit more than it wants to, not in the same way as say, beats headphones or something. It's still done in a very controlled, nice way. But it's just accentuates the low end. As I said, the sort of low mids are a little bit too much in the stereo image. So for me, they're very smooth sounding. They're very easy to listen to. They're very easy on the ear because it's giving that kind of bigger, low end. It gives you that feeling that they are sounding better than they are flat, really. So I don't think I'm feeling and hearing all the things I want to hear in the track, how the track was done. Especially when I'm listening on title to the mastered versions. I'm hearing things that I'm hearing more low-end, more low-mids and things like that.

But I think when I'm listening to comparing to the others and from what I know, they just sound a little bit too pushed in that area. Because of that push low end though, you can hear really super, super low. I can probably hear more lows in these than I can hear in, especially the Focal, and the HEDD. Because it's more accentuated whether that's right or wrong, whether I want to actually, is that true or is that not true? I can hear really low in these. For me, I'd give these a 4/5 for overall sound.

So there you have it. That's the three headphones compared one at a time. Now you won't be disappointed if you buy any of these, if I'm totally honest, because they're all about the same price, about 1500. We are talking about my new differences. I think what you've got to do is, when you're looking at these results is, okay, what do I want these headphones for? Am I commuting a lot with them? Am I just sitting in a chair not for long periods of time? Am I working on them? Different scenarios suite these headphones in a different way. The sound quality wise, you're going to kind of get on with all of them. I don't think you're going to hate any of them, especially when they're on their own, out of the context of the other three.

My favorites before we got going, because obviously I've listened to them a lot. These are my favorite ones, the HEDD. They're my go to. My second go-to is normally the orders,the LCDX. And then the last one is the Focal. So that would be my kind of general three that I have. But let's see how the scores add up and see if I should change that opinion.

So yeah, Matthew, can I have the results? So here we are in reverse order. So in third place, surprisingly is the Audeze with 20 points. In second place is the Focal Clear Pros with 21 points. And so our winner is the HEDD headphone, which my personal favorite too. So there's very minimal where there was only one point between each of these. So as I say, you won't be disappointed with any of them. I hope you've enjoyed this. If you've got any questions on these or if you've heard any of these, I'd love to know what you're thinking in the comments below.

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