When comparing Superlux HD 681 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 30th while Superlux HD 681 is ranked 35th. 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 Bass and treble are emphasized
These headphones have what is called a V-shaped sound signature where the bass and treble is boosted while the mids take a backseat. The bass is powerful, deep and satisfying. Listening to bass heavy music will certainly be a good experience. The boosted treble makes audio detail up front, so nuances in the music can be clearly heard.
Pro Fairly wide soundstage
Due to the semi-open design, the sound is not completely trapped inside the ear cup housing. This gives the sound a wider, more natural feel.
Pro Not tiring to wear
The HD681 will not put a lot of strain to your neck and head, even for long periods. Coming in at around 220 g, they are relatively light. This is due to the use of plastic as the primary build material, along with small metal tubes on the headband frame instead of large plastic or metal parts.
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 Thin ear pads may cause comfort issues
The ear pads are made of cheap feeling synthetic leather which can get warm rather quickly. To potentially add more discomfort, the cushioning inside these ear pads is quite thin, and can hurt the area around your ears when worn for many hours straight.
Con May feel cheap and flimsy
The plastics used in the construction of these headphones are not of the best quality. They feel flimsy and will often flex and rattle.
Con Mids can be lacking
Some may find the mids to be inadequate. Vocals, guitars and other sounds in the mid-frequencies may sound distant or too soft.
Con Treble can be harsh
While the bass benefits greatly from the V-shaped sound signature, the highs are boosted by quite a lot, and can make the treble sound too harsh for some. Cymbal hits for example can be too washy and near distorted and can be fatiguing.
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.