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Black Friday Dilemma -- LCD-2, HE-400 or HE-500

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Some great Black Friday deals going on and I am stressing over which trigger to pull. I currently have a pair AKG  Q701 which I just play out of my Marantz receiver (no dedicated head amp) and VModa M-80s for portable, both of which I love.


I have wanted a pair of LCDs for a while but always balked at the price.  The sale price for the LCD-2s is very tempting.  However, the ones I really love are the LCD-3 and LCD-X, neither of which I am willing to drop the cash for. But the LCD-2.2 is very good and I think I would enjoy them a lot (if not as much as either of the more expensive models). For that I would also need to get an amp.


AC Gears is having a sale on all their HiFiman line so I can get either the HE-400 or HE-500.  Since they will price match I can get the 400s for $299 from them (or buy online from HiFiman) or get 20% off the 500s. The 500s are better and more neutral IMO (I have listened to both) but would also require an amp and are heavier.  While I am generally a neutral-ish kind of listener I have always found the 400s to be a very fun headphone and they seem like they would be a good complement to the 701, which I intend to keep.  But most people I have talked to at meets and whatnot have said to go for the 500 if you can afford it. But I do love the fact that I can just plug the 400 into my IPad and they will still sound excellent (if not optimal). And at $299 I really cannot go wrong and can always resell with very little if any loss (probably true for all of these though at these discounts).


My headtime has been pretty limited lately as my evening time after the family has gone to sleep has been focused on guitar playing (and my expenditures have leaned that way as well). But these sales are so attractive I feel like I should get something. Any thoughts are appreciated.

post #2 of 9

You won't find a discount for the LCD-X soon. Razoraudio offers 20% discount on the HE-500, but if you say you care more about plugging directly to your apple devices, then don't waste your time and get the HE-400 and save some money for the future :-)


In any case, why don't you go and listen what they have in AC gear to demo instead? You're willing to pay for the LCD-x and yet, troubled about the HE-400... I know my ears are not that refined and I won't really take avantage of the hi hi hi-end, but who knows, maybe your ears are perfectly fine 

Forgot to mention:

Modified service for line R.
"Modified Service - R No trains between Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn Service changes affect City Hall, Cortlandt, Rector, Whitehall, Court Sts and Jay St-MetroTech. This service change affects one or more ADA accessible stations."

Edited by squallkiercosa - 11/29/13 at 10:18am
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Actually, not willing to pay for the LCDX, wish I could. Willing to pay for discounted LCD2 or HE500. Anyway, I am heading off to AC Gears soon. I have heard both cans before. They are just different. Will be a tough decision. I am leaning towards the 400 as I cannot go wrong at that price. I would hate to spend $800 on the LCD-2 and still be a bit disappointed because I had been spoiled by listening to the LCD 3 and X. Ugh I don't know. The LCD-2 is pretty sweet from memory.
post #4 of 9

I own a pair of LCD-2 and I would like to get a more balanced sound, (haven't heard the HE-400 or the HE-500 to be honest). Tell me later which one you liked the most. 

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
AC Gears was sold out of the HE 500 by the time I got there including the demo model, so I couldn't compare the 400 against the 500. Nice surprise was they now have the Senn HD 600 in the store, which they had not carried before. Unfortunately none of their portable amps were charged and my Iphone does not drive it terribly well. But they said they would charge one and I am going to go back in a bit to give that some consideration.
post #6 of 9
At the around $700 price tag for the lcd2s, I wouldn't waste too much time considering he400/500s. I haven't seen anyone will both ever prefer the HEs to the audese. I haven't heard the HEs to compare, but I can tell you that the LCD2s are one of very few end game HPs. The are no perfect HPs, but these are as close as it gets for me. They are very euphoric keeping you coming back for more. And no I don't have any fancy dac/amp setup to get them there, they sound that great straight out of my dx50 or iPod. The beauty is that they scale very well with every upgrade you make in your chain. Adding my $100 bh2 to my dx50 even makes a significant improvement.

IMO, If you can afford the lcd2s, just get them - the HEs would just be a temporary step leaving you wanting more.
post #7 of 9
Plenty of people prefer the HE-500 to the Lcd2.2 so I wouldn't make that a general statment.
post #8 of 9

Do you listen to a lot of female vocals in your music? I've noticed with the HE-400 it has a bit of a treble spike to it and some have been successful at apply some EQ adjustments to correct the sound a bit.  As to female vocals, I've found them to be a bit sibiliant to the point it bothered me.  If you listen to other genres of music without female vocals, all might be OK for you.


I've actually owned the HE-400s 3 times now.  Each time, I had hoped going back to them would change the issue with the vocals, but that wasn't the case.  Then again, if one can have more than a single headphone in their setup, then one could balance out the HE-400s with another pair of different headphones to mix up the listening a bit.  Or, just opt for the HE-500, which can deliver most of what people desire in a single headphone.


I know I wouldn't exactly place the sound signature of the LCD-2 to the HE-500 headphones.  Both have their differences.  I've had the HE-500 twice, but have had a chance to hear the LCD-2.2 and liked what I heard.  I've never heard the first iteration of the LCD-2, which was supposed to be a bit darker in sound - from the readings I've come across.


Also, if you opt for the HifiMan headphones, don't get too crazy for boutique cables that can cost $300+, as it certainly may not equal that much of a sound improvement.  I've always had a rule on cables - utility and function over cosmetics and a potential small sound increase.  As to the HE-400, it has a Canare cable which is actually pretty good.  The HE-500 features the braided cable with Teflon coating over silver coated copper wire.  It is a bit stiff.  It also creates quite a bit of microphonics if you move the cable around when you listen - or if it brushes against your body, your desk, etc.  In that case, you can opt for reasonably priced cables that cure most issues that the standard cable has.


Best of luck!

post #9 of 9
Maybe you should listen to all the HP before deciding which one to buy. I own HE500 and later bought LCD2r2 because I saw a lot of headfiers praise them. I can't say which one is better but all I can say is that they're quite different in sound signature. And I kept the Hifiman because I felt that the LCD is too dark for me.
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