My dad got the M50 coiled cord version a while ago, and I was thoroughly impressed by them, enough that I almost got a regular M50S from another Head-Fi'er, but then a family emergency came up, and just last week, I saw the LE of the M50S, and couldn't resist.
So they finally came today, and here are some quick impressions compared to my dad's M50, after a quick listen the last hour to Blue Man Group's How To Be a Megastar! 2008 Blu-Ray on my MacBook Pro with an external BD drive:
1) Bass was less "clogged" in the LE vs the regular. It sounded cleaner, though not necessarily tighter. In fact, I think it lacked the impact of the regular. Low bass was equally good on both.
2) Mid was less recessed. Voices were more "in your face" than the regular version. During "Sing Along", the regular version sounded like the singers were further away.
3) High was a bit more detailed, and noticeably less sibilant. It sounded like the graph of an exponential function (the f = 2^x function). Like this:
4) Fiio E7 added into the mix made bass even cleaner, with more punch. The same with the regular version, but the LE was still noticeably cleaner.
5) Soundstage was slightly different. The regular version had more space, while the LE seemed a little bit more constricted. I hope this would be remedied after burn in.
6) The pad was a lot more comfortable than the regular. The clamping force was strong, being that the LE was brand new, just fresh out of the box, but the regular was still a bit more uncomfortable to me even with less clamping force. In fact, I think less clamping force reduced noise isolation in the regular version.
7) Noise isolation seemed better with the LE vs regular, and I think due to there being more clamping force.
8) LE leaked a lot less than regular as well, and I think also due to there being more clamping force.
So overall, I think the LE actually has improved sound signature and comfort compared to the regular (coiled cord version) to my ears. Sound stage is the only thing that I found the LE to lack compared to the burned in regular version, but I'm very hopeful that this would be remedied after another 100 hours of listening.
Overall, came away even more impressed than the first time I put the regular version on. Definitely worth every penny of it in my opinions.
I forgot to mention. My dad's M50 is white box. Output was via my MacBook Pro's headphone port, then through Fiio E7 as a DAC and then Fiio E7 as an amp for the MBP's headphone port. E7 as DAC sounded best to me.
After just 3 hours of listening, the sound stage has now improved drastically. So have details. Now the LE sounds noticeably better than the regular M50 to me... in just about every way except that bass still lacks impact.
Edited by Bill-P - 2/6/12 at 5:11pm