I heard the Audeze LCD-XC for the first time last Saturday with with a Ayre QB-9 + Leben integrated + Synergistic Research PowerCell 4 SE + SR Active USB cable and also XCs + BMC PureDAC in balanced mode. In both cases I was very impressed with the XCs. Fantastic resolution, perfect tonal balance imo and very confortable, at least in the short time I listened to them. I am more of a speakers person, and the XCs are the best headphones I have yet heard.
There was also a Sennheiser HD800 to compare side by side. Not only the bass was a little thinner than the XCs in quantity, I much preferred the resolution of the mids and highs in XCs. The HD800s are very very good of course, but the XCs are just better, not only in my opinion but for all others there present.
If one takes into consideration all the cables and accessories that come standard, plus the fact that is very low impedance and high sensitivity, the XCs are easy to drive and I believe (I have not tested yet) that the XCs may be a killer match to high-end DAPs such as A&K and Calyx M.
I would only cite as inconveniences (not really cons) the weight and the appearance. I think the materials are all high quality but it looks rather bulky and simple compared to the the headband mechanics and construction of the HD800 or Beyers even. But soundquality is incredible, nothing missing or in excess imho.
I agree, the XCs are the best headphones I've ever owned and are able to bring me to an even greater sense of emotional involvement than my main speaker system. First time that's ever happened in over 30 years of being an audiophile with numerous headphone purchases.
I use mine with an AK240 and they sound great together. I did upgrade the stock cables to Double Helixes to take advantage of the balanced output of the 240.
Before the XCs, I was never a huge fan of the aesthetics of the Audeze headphones feeling they had a look that was more reminiscent of a hobbyist design instead of something coming from one of the big headphone makers. I feel the same way about Grados, however, it didn't stop me from owning a pair of RS1s. With the XCs, the wood cups and metal frames really ramp up the design. There are still little detail things that I wish were different such as the yoke design, but all in all, I'm extremely happy with my purchase.
Edited by jwbrent - 6/24/14 at 12:35pm