Two of the most sort after headphones on the market today, probably doesn't need another thread dedicated to them. However I still see a need for a base to put all of this info in. Thought it would be helpful to try and build a bigger picture of these headphones for future buyers (specially with Xmas coming up). A lot of peeps will take there first dip into the "new high end" with these two hp's. Some may have one of them already, but find themselves constantly thinking about the other...
Please feel free to contribute useful info on either of these phones especially if you own or have heard both of them.
I wrote a mini review in another thread today, this is it below..
I had both for about 6 months now and I've tried them with a few different mid-price set ups. Mainly different amps, (Asgard, Xcanv3, Necosoundlab, Audiogd C2, Mistral 509) and I'd say that they both respond well to normal dedicated hp amps. I've no want to try speaker taps for now. They both also have such a strong sound signature that there is not a "great" lot of difference in changing amps unless you are going from from budget to mid to high end etc. I'm only stating this, because with normal dynamic headphones there can be huge differences in amps. So my point is, if anyone is looking at these phones and thinking that they need a certain amp, then don't worry because they both sound great out of most quality headphone amps.
To the sound differences. Although they both share the trademark orthos sound (dark, detailed, liquidy, real) there is more than enough light and shade for me to justify owing both and to also label them for my music taste. I use the HE500's for Classical and Electronic and LCD2's for Jazz and Acoustic. This is of course my preference and they both do very well with all of these genres.
The HE500's are a dark horse... What I mean by this is, they keep surprising me! Every now and then I'll get a real "thrill" with a piece of music and actually "feel it" more so than with the LCD2's. I think it comes down to the larger dynamics at both ends. Although the bass is simply not as good as the LCD2's it has more of a fun bloom, and I can feel the vibrations more in the sub bass. The HE500's sound like speakers with super quality tweeters and bass that vibrates through a wooden floor. They have the best treble on any headphone I've heard yet. Period.
The LCD2's took me a long time to fully appreciate (I bought the HE500's first). My experience with them over time, is that they grow and grow on you like a friend that you end up marrying haha. You do need to give them time.. Let your brain burn in with them! Me and my LCD2's will never part now, I love what they do and they do it so well. Yes they are dark and chocolaty, but they are the only headphone that I can wear for hours listening to Jazz without getting fatigue from Miles trumpet. We all know how good the bass is, but I love the sound as one whole. Its cohesive and natural to my ears, small soundstage but perfect for ensemble music. The treble is spot on, any more would ruin the whole. I'd compare them to a set of quality speakers on concrete flooring. Smooth and controlled from top to bottom.
The mids on both are exceptional. But my nod goes to the LCD2's because I find it hard to differentiate the bass, mid, treb as they seem to be all one whole and very cohesive. The HE500's you can easily study the mids and although they have such an addictive quality that is deep (deeper than LCD2) and rich, there is a little creep of bass onto the lower mids. This may possibly dissipate on higher end amps.
Imaging, is slightly better on the Hifimans as they do have a little more breathing space and air. Though on the rare occasion there is a little congestion sometimes in the mids when listening to very complex music.
I dont listen to much vocal music so don't want to comment on that.
So its happy days for me and my two babies! A year ago I had the 650's and RS1's, and there was maybe a little too much night and day difference between them. Now with my two orthos I seem to have struck a more welcome balance and change. I can't imagine someone sitting and swapping a K701 or HD800 over to listen to the LCD2's for an hour.... Because it would take your ears and brain a week to get used to the sound!
Both fantastic hp's, one is a bit darker and the other is a bit "zingy-er"