I am writing a short review comparison of these 3 world-class headphones since I am listening to them all at once right now, and I believe this will be greatly beneficial to many people here who are looking for taking the "leap" into the 1k$> headphone range (in the case of D7000, 750$).
First off, I run all my headphones in this setup:
Laptop w/ foobar playing flac files-> CEntrance DacMini CX -> Lyr/w stock tubes (I am tube rolling soon) -> HD800/LCD-2
-> CEntrance DacMini CX (Internal Amp) -> D7000, HD800, LCD-2
I'll mention that the amp in the DacMini outputs 10ohms (stock) and is definitely less powerful than Lyr but has its good sides, especially for slow, resolving music. But as a DAC, DacMini is perfect, dead silent and has a high performance by USB.
OK, I begin the review:
Bass: The winner for bass-heavy songs is LCD-2. The impact is remarkable and when listening to rock and electronica it is breathtaking, leaves me in awe sometimes (they rival the speakers in my car!). The quality and texture is a bit less than the HD800's, I think the quality of the D7000 is lower than both headphones, but it has the impact to make you enjoy bass-oriented music. I have to reiterate, the HD800 have the bass but not really the impact apparent when listening, but the bass amount is not little it is as it was meant to have been by the recording. This is what I like about the HD800, the neutrality that it outputs, which I greatly appreciate.
Mids: The winner for me is HD800 followed by LCD-2 and then the D7000. HD800 again has a really high quality sound and the soundstage helps immensely in this regard. The LCD-2 does not have the advantage of the soundstage but it can match the clarity of the HD800, and the mids seem more natural, especially timbre of wooden instruments in an orchestral recording. The D7000 have, IMO, a nice sound but it doesn't separate the instruments as well as the other two. A shame because the D7000 were really my favourite headphones and I really love them.
Treble: Now, this isn't a tricky analysis for me, the HD800 is the maestro of the treble, again the soundstage, neutrality and the clarity come together to form a perfect union. I want to state this: to my ears, there is no spike as many people have mentioned here on the forums. This may be because I am accustomed to bright headphones or it just doesn't bother me much, but a few people, especially new owners of HD800 (serial numbers 14000 and above), do not experience this treble spike. I love the treble of the HD800, and when compared to my gone HD650s, they are 10x better and more lively. The LCD-2 is also neutral but less clear in the treble range. Now, there is the paradox of the LCD-2s being warm and dark at the same time. How is that possible? Well, in a metaphorical sense, I feel its like an oil lamp in a darkened room. You can hear and appreciate the treble but not as much as the HD800. The D7000 did really well in the treble region, but for some reason, I did not feel they were neutral. However the D7000 treble is more noticeable than the LCD-2 and probably more enjoyable in that regard because it has added warmth.
Soundstage: Winner: HD800. I guess we all knew that already, the airy sound and the huge soundscape is just amazing by the HD800s. LCD-2 have a little soundstage but it places the instruments well and clarity definitely helps. The D7000 has a similar soundstage but more "congested". Perhaps because its more of a U-shaped frequency response than the other two.
Fatigue: All headphones create little fatigue, and I recommend them all if thats what you're aiming at.
Comfort: HD800 is the champion. I can wear them for a week and still not take them off! Next comes the D7000, the pleather pads do become hot and sweaty which needs to be removed after a while to allow some air for your ears to cool off. The LCD-2 are comfortable, and my LCD-2 is very new and there have been a few design modifications such as the headband padding, but I do get figity when they are on my head, I keep adjusting them but they hold on strongly.
Hope you enjoyed this read. Ask me any questions you might have.
Here are some photos:
The Lyr and the HD800 sitting amongst each other.
The D7000 sitting lonely in their box.
The LCD-2 on top of the DACmini
Edited by dukeskd - 8/13/12 at 7:13pm