I am not an expert in what's forward and what's recessed but I have to say I enjoy my L2s much more than my X1s. Every music I listen to is simply more fun with the L2s (using HRT microStreamer in both cases). Yes, sometimes the X1s can be a bit more airy and the stage is bigger but overall the L2s somehow hit a sweet spot with clarity, detail, bass, sound stage and lots of fun. I am happy every time I use them.
Also, the L2s are not only beautiful, they're very comfortable for me. They are light and easily cover my entire ears which are not small. Also, it doesn't get warm. Of course, this can be different for each person.
And don't worry about the non-replacable pads. I posted earlier photos here about my old L1s which I wore almost every day for two years and no signs of wearing or anything.
Edited by whatisitsci - 3/13/14 at 8:14am