Am I crazy for preferring the HE-500's over the LCD2.2's?
May 23, 2013 at 6:47 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 18

guitarlp

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I was torn between both headphones so I picked up both and am trying them out to see which one I want to keep. I swore I'd prefer the LCD2's based on the overwhelming great reviews over all other headphones except for maybe the LCD3's, HD800's, and even HE-6's. I'm not a bass head, but I do like some bass when a tune calls for it.
 
I do like the LCD2's, but I really prefer the HE-500's. Besides the fact that the headband on the LCD2's really hurts the top of my head (the clamping pressure is fine however), the sound just doesn't get me excited. The bass is great, but everything blends in a little bit too well. It's harder for me to hear the separation between each of the instruments. The LCD2's have a very silky smooth warmth to them that I love, but they also sound a bit sterile/dull.
 
Maybe it's because I've been using studio monitors for music for the past 5 or so years and I'm used to that type of sound now? What I mean is, being able to hear all the instruments in great detail, as well as a nice even sound from lows to highs.
 
The HE-500's make it easier to track each instrument. While I can hear guitars on the LCD2's, I can hear the 5 different guitar tracks with the HE-500's. The HE-500's get me more into the music and I find myself tapping my feet and bobbing my head on each song. The LCD2's sound good, but I'm usually just sitting there listening. The HE-500's are brighter and more open. I actually like the darkness of the LCD2's, but I think I prefer the openness of the HE-500's. While the bass is better on the LCD2's, it's not that much better. But the treble on the HE-500's is much better then the LCD2's.
 
I guess this is a good thing as it will save me a couple hundred dollars (maybe to spend on some cables!). I know there are people out there that don't like the LCD2's, but I was pretty confident that I would prefer them over the HE-500's based on everything I read online. Just goes to show that reading about other peoples experiences is helpful and educational, but you can't rely on that to make a decision on a pair of cans. You really need to try out the ones that fit your budget and go from there.
 
Just as a reference, I used both headphones through a Lyr amp as was as an Apogee Duet 2 (the Lyr was much better on both headphones).
 
May 23, 2013 at 8:04 PM Post #2 of 18

DenonBeaver

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There is an entire thread comparing the two, lots of people prefer the 500's over the LCD-2's.
 
IMO the HE-500's are the best set of can's in that price range The 500's are brighter out of the box and unless you run the proper amp, dac, tubes,cables I feel like the LCD-2 can be too dark. Where it gets fun is if you do properly pair the LCD-2's with the right amp, dac, tubes, cables it gets pretty incredible. The darkness goes away and the meatyness of the LCD-2's really separate them from the 500's. I listened to both and purchased the LCD-2's. You can check my profile to see what i'm running them through.
 
May 23, 2013 at 8:18 PM Post #3 of 18

guitarlp

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Quote:
There is an entire thread comparing the two, lots of people prefer the 500's over the LCD-2's.
 
IMO the HE-500's are the best set of can's in that price range The 500's are brighter out of the box and unless you run the proper amp, dac, tubes,cables I feel like the LCD-2 can be too dark. Where it gets fun is if you do properly pair the LCD-2's with the right amp, dac, tubes, cables it gets pretty incredible. The darkness goes away and the meatyness of the LCD-2's really separate them from the 500's. I listened to both and purchased the LCD-2's. You can check my profile to see what i'm running them through.

Looks like we have the same setup (Lyr + Bifrost), except I'm using the stock cable on both the LCD2 and HE-500. I won't pay for that until I've settled on headphones.
 
Unless you're running some different tubes then me (stock GE), the HE-500 just sounds better to my ears with this setup then the LCD2's. The LCD2's are meatier then the HE-500's. The LCD2's are more forward, warmer, smoother, and focused. I like some of those qualities, but the HE-500's have a similar bass response (not quite as deep but close to it), but a much better high end with similar mid's. If I was listening to modern pop and hip-hop I'd stick with the LCD2's. But I'm mostly listening to singer/songwriter, indie rock, and a bit of jazz as well. They're both great cans and I am going to spend more time with both of them, but with the genre's I like I'm digging the HE-500's.
 
I have seen some people prefer the HE-500's, but it seems like the overwhelming majority are LCD2 fans in the sub $1k headphones.
 
May 24, 2013 at 1:12 AM Post #4 of 18

DenonBeaver

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Quote:
Looks like we have the same setup (Lyr + Bifrost), except I'm using the stock cable on both the LCD2 and HE-500. I won't pay for that until I've settled on headphones.
 
Unless you're running some different tubes then me (stock GE), the HE-500 just sounds better to my ears with this setup then the LCD2's. The LCD2's are meatier then the HE-500's. The LCD2's are more forward, warmer, smoother, and focused. I like some of those qualities, but the HE-500's have a similar bass response (not quite as deep but close to it), but a much better high end with similar mid's. If I was listening to modern pop and hip-hop I'd stick with the LCD2's. But I'm mostly listening to singer/songwriter, indie rock, and a bit of jazz as well. They're both great cans and I am going to spend more time with both of them, but with the genre's I like I'm digging the HE-500's.
 
I have seen some people prefer the HE-500's, but it seems like the overwhelming majority are LCD2 fans in the sub $1k headphones.

Ditch the stock GE tubes. I'm running Tungsram E88CC[size=small], the sound [/size][size=small][size=12pt]Well… imagine the drive, punch, dynamics, and sheer SOLIDITY of the NOS Russian 6H23N (Voshkod “rocket logo” or 1970s Reflektor 6H23N/6N23P) coupled with a strong twist of treble delicacy and extension, and most of all terrific depth of soundstage. I must caution that the Tungsram 6922 is a bit on the “bright” side sonically, so if your system needs to be “cooled down” in the treble region, absolutely do NOT look to Tungsram! However, the Tungsram 6922 is so sweet yet simultaneously so focused and coherent in its’ stereo imaging that it is worth giving them a try even if you might prefer a slightly more “mellow” sonic signature.[/size][/size]
 
May 24, 2013 at 1:13 AM Post #5 of 18

DenonBeaver

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http://www.upscaleaudio.com/products/Tungsram-6922.html
 
May 24, 2013 at 1:27 AM Post #6 of 18

DenonBeaver

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Also I'm running the Bifrost w/ the Uber upgrade using the coax input, it's a big difference compared to USB w/ the original Bifrost chipset.
 
May 24, 2013 at 1:52 AM Post #7 of 18

robm321

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I like the HE-500 better than the LCD-2 also.
 
May 24, 2013 at 9:50 AM Post #9 of 18

davidsh

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As a owner of the HE-500, having tried the lcd, I think it takes some time getting used to the lcd. I would need to spend weeks to make a proper decision between the 2. 
 
Which pads are you using, you should really consider trying some different pads, and maybe modding if you choose the HE-500?
 
Actually, I considered the lcd to be slightly better technically when hearing it, but idk. The treble is definitely better on the 500, also if the lcd treble wasn't recessed (that was my thought at least). The 500's treble is very smooth
 
"HE-500's get me more into the music and I find myself tapping my feet and bobbing my head on each song" 
 
I could not agree more, that was my exact feeling when I tried both! The lcd sounded nice, but the 500 made me want to rock out. So I am set on the HE-500, as it is cheaper too.
I really love AiC unplugged with the HE-500. 
 
May 25, 2013 at 3:53 AM Post #10 of 18

fccn75

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OMG, I've found the thread, you guys do exist!  I have the HE-500 but like to go on over to the LCD's but the consensus at least in this thread likes the 500.  Just wondering for those of you who have the 500, does the microphonics bother you at all?  It just bugs me so much when I move my head.
 
What am I giving up on the 500 if I move over to the lcd's?  I can only imagine the upper end but will gain that sub bass and upper bass quantity and quality.  Can you all confirm that for me because I have been going out of my mine trying to decide to go for it or not.  Most of the music I listen to is acoustic guitar and vocals i.e. Diana Krall and Pat Metheny.
 
Should I even bother for the move and spend an additional $300 +  (I have a buyer for my 500 already!)?  I am only imagining more liquid warmth with full body in the vocal range more so than the 500 with the lcd2.2's. Yes?
 
Jeez, curiosity will always get us...
 
May 25, 2013 at 6:06 AM Post #11 of 18

davidsh

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lcd - Slightly better bass, less treble, more forward vocals, more focused sound of vocals etc.(better imaging in the center), not as wide sound stage ( a bit more closed in), more depth
 
HE-500 - More relaxed vocals, more open sounding, better (relative) treble response (very smooth too), a bit fuzzy way of representing sound in the center/in front of you
 
May 25, 2013 at 10:09 AM Post #12 of 18

knights

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Quote:
lcd - Slightly better bass, less treble, more forward vocals, more focused sound of vocals etc.(better imaging in the center), not as wide sound stage ( a bit more closed in), more depth
 
HE-500 - More relaxed vocals, more open sounding, better (relative) treble response (very smooth too), a bit fuzzy way of representing sound in the center/in front of you

 
My addition
 
LCD2 - smoother mids, though heavier but i find the pads more comfortable, slower in pace
HE500 - open and bigger soundstage (width and depth), faster and tighter bass (but not by much), better and impactful slam of midbass...
 
HE500 is a better all rounder… IMO
 
and thats why i bought the 500 over the LCD2...
 
May 25, 2013 at 11:01 AM Post #13 of 18

davidsh

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Don't agree with you on the he-500..

It does not have a deeper sound stage. It does not have tighter bass either.
 
May 25, 2013 at 1:22 PM Post #14 of 18

Whitetriton

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Quote:
OMG, I've found the thread, you guys do exist!  I have the HE-500 but like to go on over to the LCD's but the consensus at least in this thread likes the 500.  Just wondering for those of you who have the 500, does the microphonics bother you at all?  It just bugs me so much when I move my head.
 

Yes, the microphonics from the original HE-500 drove me crazy.  I purchased a new cable, not one of the super expensive ones that can be found that may/may not improve sound quality, but a somewhat reasonably priced cable off Ebay with a rubber-like sleeve and am very happy with the change.  No more microphonics at all. 
 
I will say I had no issue with the sound from the HE-500 stock cable as long as I didn't move. 
 
May 25, 2013 at 2:57 PM Post #15 of 18

3rdear

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Female vocals sound more liquid and emotional on the HE500s, while the LCDs can sound a bit dry and dull at worst.  There isn't a significant difference in the bass response to me to warrant choosing one over the other, unless one's really particular about that. LCDs has timbre and texture that keeps it at the top; it seems like phones with a natural tonality excels better here than others.
 
They're both headphones everyone should try at least once in their life, if they have the means. There's no clear cut winner but one that works better with the music you listen to that helps you enjoy it better.
 

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