X5 vs. DX90 >>> LCD2
This is a tough one for me as I have been spoiled by my Mjolnir as well as m2man's 10K setup, so I know what the LCD2s and the rest of the Audeze family are capable of. Having said that, to be fair, for this comparison I will only focus on how the LCD2s compare to other headphones plugged into the DAPs which mainly for me would be my HD595. I know in advance that they blow other options away so this is not fair, but I promise not to wine too much about how much more LCD2s get out of a 10K setup. I will tell you right now, the LCD2 provides the best sound I have gotten from either DAP.
- X5: Volume 95 of 120 is my normal listening level, but I can turn the volume all the way up to 120 on high gain without any distortion nor shoutyness. While the signature stays warmer with the X5, it seems to be able to pull of a blacker background at the same time. The X5 feels like it powers the LCD2 better, but both DAPs are very capable. The sounds stage feels normal for an LCD2 on the X5 while the DX90 widens it. The top end is all there, but in a smoother more natural integration while the DX90's more apparent top end draws out the layering and details. The X5's more congested soundstage can make some of the messy songs sound noisy while the DX90 spreads them out making it more forgiving of poor masterings. Bottom line is that this combination rocks and would make most anyone - but the most fussy high-end desktop owners - happy.
- DX90: Volume 225 of 255 is comfortable but higher than my normal listening level, but there is distortion at about 240 on. I would probably listen at 215. Yes, the LCD2 rocks with the DX90 so let me focus on characteristics. The first thing that stands out is the wider sound stage that catches me off guard every now and then as it is not a normal characteristic of the LCD2s. The LCD2s are a very euphoric HP so the euphoric DX90 signature plays very well with it bringing it closer to the LCD-X signature adding a more euphoric mid section sweatening the vocals. The other thing that stands out is that the top end is more apparent - like when I use my Mjolnir - brightening the typically darker signature. Bottom line is that this is a very nice sounding pairing that I could listen to for hours.
Thank you so much for the insight.......It helps to make certain decisions understanding that subjective is the word. Your volume levels and headphone matching helps dramatically. I waited until the 3rd batch on the DX50 and passed on the X3. Happy with said decision. However, with the DX90, I passed on the initial offering and went for the X5.......Most satisfied. I shall wait for the DX90 FW upgrades to reach a satisfactory level before I try the unit and do my own comparison. Again Thanks and enjoy!