The Audeze LCD-2 is known for its bass, being one of the largest physical planar driver phones out there. (I should really be talking about the newer LCD-3 but I just don't own one. I am informed the bass is similar.)
In both phones, the LCD-2 and the Hifiman HE-6, the bass is extremely deep and creates a pretty good illusion of the chest-thumping bass you get from speakers. You don't get the chest thump of course, but I'm just saying it's so deep and powerful that you get a physicality from it.
this is remarkable in the Hifiman HE-6 as its driver is considerably smaller than the LCD-2 and not really any larger than most planar magnetic headphones out there.
I'm driving both headphone in balanced mode from my Hifiman EF6. The DAC is a Grace m903. I'm using WyWires Red cables on both headphones.
My previous bass reference was the LCD-2 but I must say now I am very enamored of the HE-6. The primary difference has to do with the "thud" of bass drums. They are much more physical in the HE-6. I'm listening to two recordings right now. One is Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy. The other is Aaron Copland's Rodeo on Argo. And I'm primarily focused on bass drums right now. In Led Zeppelin it's a drum kit bass, and in Copland it's an orchestral bass drum.
I'm also focused on the differentiation between bass drums and other low bass instruments such as the bass guitar in Led Zepplin and the stringed basses in Copland.
The differentiation is slightly better in the HE-6.
The only thing the LCD-2 does better I think is leading edges. The whack is better in the LCD-2. While the "thud" is better in the HE-6.
Edited by markheadphonium - 5/17/14 at 7:31pm