When comparing AKG K81 DJ vs Audeze LCD-4, the Slant community recommends Audeze LCD-4 for most people. In the question“What are the best headphones?” Audeze LCD-4 is ranked 45th while AKG K81 DJ is ranked 68th. The most important reason people chose Audeze LCD-4 is:
The hallmark of the LCD-4's sound signature is the bass. The lower frequencies go quite deep and also have a lot of power. This sound is achieved without bloat or muddiness. Those who prefer powerful yet still fairly accurate bass will definitely love these. The mids are full, clear and are quite forward as well so detail from vocals or guitars can easily be appreciated. The highs take a bit of a back seat. While there is still a good level of detail and resolution on the sound, the highs are not as sparkly or airy as other high end headphones. This can be a good thing for some though as this gives the LCD-4 a smoother sound but with less shimmer up top.
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Pro Full bass with adequate levels of mids and highs
Despite the compact size. the bass is full, has great impact, deep extension yet is not loose. The low end also has a natural quality to it that makes these headphones great for music that is performed using real instruments.
The mids are slightly recessed, but also have a natural tone. The highs are the most recessed or rolled-off, but the detail and airiness of the music is not totally absent. This quality helps give the sound a smooth and pleasing tonality.
Pro Ear cups can swivel facing outwards
The K81 can be used “DJ style”, wherein only one ear cup is in contact with the head. The cups have a smooth swivel action so they can be rotated to face outwards. A user can choose to hold one ear cup up to his or her ear while flipping switches or turning knobs on the mix board with the other hand.
Pro Easy to travel with
While these are already quite compact, the ear cups can be folded into the headband to reduce their size even further. This makes them easy to stuff inside a bag and travel with.
Pro Comfortable to wear even with extended use
The clamping force is not too much at all, so acceptable levels of pressure will be applied on the ears. Also, the ear pads are thick with ample pleather padding on the surface. This combination provides adequate cushioning between the ear cups and sides of the head.
Pro Can fit a wide range of head sizes
The aluminum headband itself has some good flex. Combined with the sliding mechanism of the ear cups, K81 can be adjusted to fit a wide range of head sizes. Also notable are the numbered steps on each side of the headband, which allow for accurate and consistent ear cup positioning.
Pro Feels high quality
Although it's mostly made of plastic, the materials don't feel cheap at all. Aside from feeling sturdy, the plastics have a smooth rubber coating which makes them feel premium to the touch. Also, the headband is made out of aluminum which is significantly more durable than an all plastic one.
Pro Dark sounding headphones with powerful bass, full mids and slightly recessed highs
The hallmark of the LCD-4's sound signature is the bass. The lower frequencies go quite deep and also have a lot of power. This sound is achieved without bloat or muddiness. Those who prefer powerful yet still fairly accurate bass will definitely love these.
The mids are full, clear and are quite forward as well so detail from vocals or guitars can easily be appreciated.
The highs take a bit of a back seat. While there is still a good level of detail and resolution on the sound, the highs are not as sparkly or airy as other high end headphones. This can be a good thing for some though as this gives the LCD-4 a smoother sound but with less shimmer up top.
Pro Superb build quality
The build is a mix of metal, wood, authentic leather as well as carbon fiber. You can really tell that these headphones are expensive and are built really well.
Pro Soundstage has good width
The open back design gives these headphones good soundstage. Though not the widest, there is a good sense of space and separation to the sound.
Pro Heavy duty detachable cable with solid connectors
The LCD-4's cable is quite thick and hefty which should make it more resistant to breakage and other problems that most thinner cables have. Also, it uses mini XLR connectors which are much more secure as they lock in place.
Pro Ear cups feel really soft and smooth on the skin
It uses authentic leather on the earcups' surface which feel really smooth and supple on the skin. There is also a lot of cushioning thanks to the high quality foam material that is inside the cups. The foam also has acoustic properties that help seal in the sound really well.
Pro Includes a large, hard plastic shell case
The LCD 4 comes with case with ample room and padding inside for the headphones and the cable. While the case will most likely not fit in your travel bag, it will provide plenty of protection to your headphones should you decide to take them out of your home.
Con On-ear design can still be uncomfortable
While the ear pads are thick and give a lot of cushioning, some may still find this to be uncomfortable. Being on-ear, some pressure is applied onto the ears.Those who are sensitive to this may still feel some discomfort, especially when worn for several hours straight.
Con Highs may sound too recessed
People who prefer their music with sparkly highs and utmost clarity likely won't find these headphones to be a good listen.
Con Lengthy cable can be a hassle
The cable is 2.5m which is fairly long. Since it is not detachable and the cable tends to tangle quite easily, it may cause some problems with regular home use or when taking these headphones on the go.
Con Very heavy
It weighs around 700 g, and that's without the cable. This makes the LCD-4 one of the heaviest headphones in the market today and will most certainly put quite a strain on your head and neck if you decide to wear these continuously.
Con Leather material on ear cups trap heat
The leather material prevents heat from escaping effectively. This results in heat building up rather quickly around the ears when using the LCD-4, so it's likely that you'll feel uncomfortable after long listening sessions.
Con Requires a powerful amp for optimal volume and sound
Plugging these directly to your computer or smartphone will lead to poor sound, since it requires a powerful amp to get good volume and to output the optimal sound quality that they are capable of producing.
Con Leak a lot of sound
The metal grills on the sides of the earcups do next to nothing to keep the sound within the ear cups. Other people near you will most likely hear what you are listening to.