OK here is my LCD-2 vs HE-400 vs HD650 quality comparison with my low-end Fiio e09k (keep my amp choice in mind when reading). I didn't feel like anything was underpowered. Perhaps the hd650 was, but I'm not sure.
Big difference - >>>>>
Moderate difference - >>
Small difference - >
Equal - =
Timbre: LCD >> 650 >>>>> 400
Bass quality: LCD >> 400 >>>>> 650 (the bass was not tight on 650, got sloppy in complex stuff)
Bass quantity: LCD >> 400 >>650
Bass punch: LCD >> 400 >>>>> 650
Mids: LCD >>>>> 650 >> 400 - the LCD's mids melt my face off. 400s mids are nice but female voices sound off.
Treble quality: LCD > 400 > 650 - the 400s treble is fun and detailed, but can be harsh without EQ
Treble presence: 400 >>>>> 650 > LCD the LCD might be darker than 650?
Soundstage height: 400 >> 650 >> LCD
Soundstage depth: 400 >> LCD > 650
Soundstage width: 650 = LCD = 400 I've heard people saying the LCD-2 soundstage sounds somewhat closed-in. I can't disagree. However, it is still enjoyable and larger than most closed HPs. Also, I like the stage better than 650 because the 650 has that 3-blob stage going on. LCD has a stage more like the 400, just smaller generally.
Imaging: LCD > 400 >>>>> 650
Instrument separation: LCD >> 400 >>>>> 650
Engagement: LCD = 400 >>>>> 650 - the LCD and 400 are engaging in different ways. the LCD being more transparent and milky smooth, while the 400 has this zing! to it. 650 was boring.
Detail: LCD >> 400 >> 650
Sense of space: 400 > 650 >> LCD - this one is tricky with the LCD. sometimes it seems really deep, but mostly its a closed-in feeling I get.
Transparency: LCD >>>>> 400 > 650
Listening fatigue (left is least fatiguing): LCD > 650 >> 400
Straight up Electronic music: LCD > 400 >>>>> 650
Electronic music w natural instruments and vocals: LCD >>>>> 400 >>>>>> 650
Rock music: LCD >>>>> 650 > 400
Efficiency: 400 > LCD = 650
Comfort - not going to do this bc i think this is mainly subjective. But I'm not bothered by the weight of the planars and I have a 14.5 in neck size. which is really small. But i'll do a couple fit aspects below.
Clamping force: 650 > LCD >> 400
Small-ish head like me? 650 = LCD >>>>> 400 (I had to get aftermarket padding for the 400 to fit correctly)
As you can see, I'm a planar fan. I like that BASS baby, and the LCD-2 bass bests the 400 in every way. I was curious about this.
I've had the LCD for 8 hours now. I'll report back if I notice any burn-in effect. At the black-friday sale price I got the headphone, I think it's a good value. I do like the LCD-2 a lot. It's really cool sounding. It is dark but I think I'm getting used to it. If there are any other categories you want me to compare these 3, let me know.
Edited by mogulmaster - 12/11/13 at 11:33am