Audeze LCD-2C Classic - Impressions Thread
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Couple of more things:
I do love the comfort of my NHs. Lightweight and the most comfortable headphones I have ever touched. I am a bit worried of the Audeze weight. This held me back from trying any of their headphones before. Some consider the 2C an improvement, some still complain, so this pushes me towards the AFO.

Might worth mentioning too, that my first and only introduction to planars was the 400s. (Not the i.) I was utterly disappointed by the lack of character and total lack of bass. Voices were nice and natural, but that's about it. I know the LCDs are on another planar level, but thought I share to give a better picture of my preferences.

I am really excited about the LCD2C at the moment, but don't want to miss out the AFO if that is better for my taste.

Edit: I will use my beloved Chord Mojo which I prefer even to the iDSD BL due to its more natural sound. More than one of you like this combo with the LCD2C, so I am not worried about that. Yet to find out how Mojo drives the AFO, probably similarly well.
 
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The afo and lcd2c are quite similar sonically.
 
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I have pretty much read through the thread. Some useful info, lot of rambling around.

I am considering buying these headphones, but I am at a phase where I am trying to collect as many first hand experiences as possible.

I am a one headphone guy for several reasons, wouldn't go into it. LCD2C/AFO is pretty much the highest end of my wallet.

For 18 months I own the Nighthawks. I know, it is a very controversial pair of headphones, but I like it a lot. Once your brain adjusts to the sound and you have a proper DAC, it is very likeable. Organic, lush, smooth, natural. Good depth. I like my bass, so the bass quantity the NH gives is sufficient for me. Mids are organic and lifelike due to the biocellulose membrane. Highs are natural, but quite laid back. People who need sparkle or shiny treble hate NH by default. I like it as I am pretty treble sensitive, I hear nothing over 15k.

Since I know NH will be discontinued, after the initial thought of buying a second pair the upgraditis bug bit me and I had a look around what else is available which might be a subjective upgrade for me over my beloved NH.
After reading and watching the available reviews and considering my wallet the choice basically came down for the Aeon Flow Open and the LCD2C.

It is a bit confusing to read so many controversial opinions over the LCD2C. Even here in this thread some say the 2C treble is piercing, some say treble is too rolled off. Bass too much, bass not enough... etc...
Unfortunately here in the UK it is not as easy to try out all these headphones before purchase as it is in the USA.

In the past I owned X00. I loved that bass, still miss it. NH was a compromise on bass compared to X00. But the treble on the Fostex was piercing to me, fatiguing almost painful. Also the sound is cramped, too much in your face. I need a more laid back sound. X2 was mentioned a lot in this thread. I did like them a few years ago a lot, but there are superior cans. And although the bass quantity was quite good, it did roll off as it does with almost all open cans.

I listen to all sorts of music, vocals too, but maybe 60% of my music is ambient, electronica, downtempo, slower type of EDM where bass and sub-bass is important. I do love lush and lifelike mids, I don't mind if mids are slightly forward. I am treble sensitive, so I need a laid back and smooth treble which is rather natural than sparky.

AFC might be better for EDM due to the closed bass, but I read everywhere that AFO is superior to AFC. So I need to decide between AFO and LCD2C.
I don't mind a little coloration, I don't want my headphones to be audio microscopes for detail hunting. I also prefer a little excitement over neutrality. I want to enjoy my music and get lost in it instead of monitoring. I want fun and happy hours instead of a precise measurement graph.

So, here I am hopefully provided enough background for you to give me a useful advice. AFO or LCD2C? Or I shouldn't bother and keep the NH? (unlikely)

I will probably share this post in the AFO thread too once I read that too.

Many thanks and happy listening! :)
I find that the LCD2C’s treble can seem a bit rolled off or not-so-rolled off depending on the amp/dac. To me it is somewhat rolled off on my Meridian Prime, but less so on my McIntosh MHA100 (clearer; not muffled but not piercing). But in both (to me) the treble is smooth and not harsh. Very pleasing. Bass-wise, again it varies with both setups. More defined on the McIntosh for me than the Meridian. It’s there but never bass-heavy. I listen mostly to jazz and some rock.

I have never heard the NH so can’t compare, and of course you may perceive the treble differently with your own equipment. Just my take on why there are such different opinions on the LCD2C’s treble.

Comfort-wise, I the LCD2C is more comfortable to me than the LCD-X (with the newer head-band). Not because of the weight, but because of the ear-pads.
 
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The mojo is not ideal with the lcd2c, but the impadence on the Aeon Flow open is only 13ohms. Ideally i would not run either on the mojo. I find the Lcd2c quite comfortable, but if you are that sensitive to weight i think the afo would be the better choice.
 
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That's why I ask these questions. I can only buy one of them.
I have em both, they are both different enough from each other to keep both imo. the AFO is far warmer than the LCD2C, the LCD2C has better bass imo. the LCD2C has more detail in the high end. All IMO of course.
 
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The comfort is Excellent very comfy cannot tell you got them on after an hour or so. Can understand the weight thing with some though. But these never move once in the position you want them to light i would find these not as good if they was lighter comfort wise that is
 
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Sound Eq

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can i ask please, i read that mids are a bit receded is that how most perceive lcd2 c to be, i am asking to make sure male vocals do not sound thin or recessed or hollow

i am after an LCD that has full rich mids especially for male vocals and I do not know if lcd2 c fits the bill
 
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nicknack40

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Thing is when it comes down to alot of questions peoples ears. Hear things differently what id say if you can get to Audition them then only your ears would be able to tell if Vocals are good or not some say there very dark i don't find that at all with these cans
 
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Couple of more things:
I do love the comfort of my NHs. Lightweight and the most comfortable headphones I have ever touched. I am a bit worried of the Audeze weight. This held me back from trying any of their headphones before. Some consider the 2C an improvement, some still complain, so this pushes me towards the AFO.

Might worth mentioning too, that my first and only introduction to planars was the 400s. (Not the i.) I was utterly disappointed by the lack of character and total lack of bass. Voices were nice and natural, but that's about it. I know the LCDs are on another planar level, but thought I share to give a better picture of my preferences.

I am really excited about the LCD2C at the moment, but don't want to miss out the AFO if that is better for my taste.

Edit: I will use my beloved Chord Mojo which I prefer even to the iDSD BL due to its more natural sound. More than one of you like this combo with the LCD2C, so I am not worried about that. Yet to find out how Mojo drives the AFO, probably similarly well.
So I've got both the 2C's and AFO's now, testing them back and forth to decide which to keep. I'm running them off a Lyr3 amp then alternating between a Bimby and RME ADI-2 DAC to also see which fits better for me. So of course your equipment will probably give you a different experience.

I see chef8489 above mentioned they are similar sonically, but my experience is very different, I feel they're much more complimentary than similar. I got the AFO's because of other reviews I read thinking they would be similar, just with a touch more mid-high presence. But to me it's not close (for good reasons to which I'm torn on which I like more), they sound completely different across the board, I've only had the AFO's for a few days so I'm still trying to listen carefully.

I don't think the 2C's are as dark others say, but if you pair them with another dark sounding amp/dac I could see why it would be too much.

So from my ears....

The AFO's are more lively, more bass, more acoustics, brighter across the board. There are no quiet areas, there just seems to be music coming from everywhere. Because of the brightness it does seem like more clarity. But then I do hear more sibilance in the highs, a bit more screechy or less refined I guess. When a cymbal gets played it hits you. And vocals just sound farther away, but brighter, if that makes any sense.

The 2C's sound cleaner, warmer, relaxed, more balanced sound, bass is tighter, mids and highs seem smoother, while still hearing every detail possible.

In sound separation I feel they're both the same, but with brightness of the AFO's the instruments pop a bit more.
With soundstage I find it tricky, since the AFO's sound more live/acoustic to me it also feels like a bigger soundstage, but I can't really tell if it's because of the acoustics or because it actually has a wider soundstage.

In general the AFO's sound like you're in a big live concert, the 2C's sound like a more intimate stage.

Comfort wise, AFO's win no question, they're as light and comfortable as you can get. You can definitely feel the heft of the 2C's, but... they are still comfortable enough and fit very nicely where you shouldn't worry about it, IMO.

Build quality: I loooove the way the 2C's feel, they're so solid and feel great to handle. Just from look and feel it makes you appreciate more of what you're getting for the money compared to the AFO's. I handle the 2C's more delicately like a quality expensive product. The AFO's are super sturdy and flexible, but also more toy-ish feeling. They're much more (toss them on the table), as opposed to the 2C's which are more (place them on the HP stand). I know it sounds odd, but I find myself just holding the 2C's and placing them on my head even without music because they feel so cool. So much so that it's becoming a factor in my decision when I originally told myself it's 100% about SQ and I wouldn't pay attention to that stuff.

For some perspective, I have literally fallen asleep countless times listening to the 2C's, I don't think that'll happen with the AFO's.

If you have any specific questions let me know, maybe even listen to specific tracks. I'm still far from deciding for myself so I'm happy to test out any recommendations.

Back to the listening board.....
 
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Can someone explain to me the power requirements of these? With 70 Ohms and 101db/mw sensitivity why would you need 100mw min requirement? wouldnt that result in ear deafining 125db+++? Yes i know that planar magnetics need juice i just dont get why the got such a high sensitivity then. I only got one planar so far which is the t50rp3 which needs a lot of juice (low sensitivity though!). They sound great on my Arcam rHead, which I will use with the LCD 2 C when they arrive here in 2 days :D
 
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betula

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So I've got both the 2C's and AFO's now, testing them back and forth to decide which to keep. I'm running them off a Lyr3 amp then alternating between a Bimby and RME ADI-2 DAC to also see which fits better for me. So of course your equipment will probably give you a different experience.

I see chef8489 above mentioned they are similar sonically, but my experience is very different, I feel they're much more complimentary than similar. I got the AFO's because of other reviews I read thinking they would be similar, just with a touch more mid-high presence. But to me it's not close (for good reasons to which I'm torn on which I like more), they sound completely different across the board, I've only had the AFO's for a few days so I'm still trying to listen carefully.

I don't think the 2C's are as dark others say, but if you pair them with another dark sounding amp/dac I could see why it would be too much.

So from my ears....

The AFO's are more lively, more bass, more acoustics, brighter across the board. There are no quiet areas, there just seems to be music coming from everywhere. Because of the brightness it does seem like more clarity. But then I do hear more sibilance in the highs, a bit more screechy or less refined I guess. When a cymbal gets played it hits you. And vocals just sound farther away, but brighter, if that makes any sense.

The 2C's sound cleaner, warmer, relaxed, more balanced sound, bass is tighter, mids and highs seem smoother, while still hearing every detail possible.

In sound separation I feel they're both the same, but with brightness of the AFO's the instruments pop a bit more.
With soundstage I find it tricky, since the AFO's sound more live/acoustic to me it also feels like a bigger soundstage, but I can't really tell if it's because of the acoustics or because it actually has a wider soundstage.

In general the AFO's sound like you're in a big live concert, the 2C's sound like a more intimate stage.

Comfort wise, AFO's win no question, they're as light and comfortable as you can get. You can definitely feel the heft of the 2C's, but... they are still comfortable enough and fit very nicely where you shouldn't worry about it, IMO.

Build quality: I loooove the way the 2C's feel, they're so solid and feel great to handle. Just from look and feel it makes you appreciate more of what you're getting for the money compared to the AFO's. I handle the 2C's more delicately like a quality expensive product. The AFO's are super sturdy and flexible, but also more toy-ish feeling. They're much more (toss them on the table), as opposed to the 2C's which are more (place them on the HP stand). I know it sounds odd, but I find myself just holding the 2C's and placing them on my head even without music because they feel so cool. So much so that it's becoming a factor in my decision when I originally told myself it's 100% about SQ and I wouldn't pay attention to that stuff.

For some perspective, I have literally fallen asleep countless times listening to the 2C's, I don't think that'll happen with the AFO's.

If you have any specific questions let me know, maybe even listen to specific tracks. I'm still far from deciding for myself so I'm happy to test out any recommendations.

Back to the listening board.....
Very helpful reply, thanks!
I listen to all sorts of music, vocals are important. However maybe 60% of my music is ambient, electronica, downtempo like Solar Fields, Entheogenic, Asura, Carbon Based Lifeforms, Koan, Bluetech, Vibrasphere and many others.
Bass to me is maybe even more important than mids. I like the bass articulated and with some weight, but not overpowering. Punchy enough but clear, layered and precise. I don't mind a bit of fun but would avoid a woolly bass cloud.
I know 2C's bass is more linear and goes deeper than the AFO, and that AFO has a slight mid-bass emphasis. Theoretically I wouldn't mind either, if it works with my music. At the moment however I don't have a chance to try myself...

I am also interested, which one you would say sound more organic, natural and lifelike.
 
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Can someone explain to me the power requirements of these? With 70 Ohms and 101db/mw sensitivity why would you need 100mw min requirement? wouldnt that result in ear deafining 125db+++? Yes i know that planar magnetics need juice i just dont get why the got such a high sensitivity then. I only got one planar so far which is the t50rp3 which needs a lot of juice (low sensitivity though!). They sound great on my Arcam rHead, which I will use with the LCD 2 C when they arrive here in 2 days :D
You have a volume knob for a reason. Power brings stability and drives them properly.

So I've got both the 2C's and AFO's now, testing them back and forth to decide which to keep. I'm running them off a Lyr3 amp then alternating between a Bimby and RME ADI-2 DAC to also see which fits better for me. So of course your equipment will probably give you a different experience.

I see chef8489 above mentioned they are similar sonically, but my experience is very different, I feel they're much more complimentary than similar. I got the AFO's because of other reviews I read thinking they would be similar, just with a touch more mid-high presence. But to me it's not close (for good reasons to which I'm torn on which I like more), they sound completely different across the board, I've only had the AFO's for a few days so I'm still trying to listen carefully.

I don't think the 2C's are as dark others say, but if you pair them with another dark sounding amp/dac I could see why it would be too much.

So from my ears....

The AFO's are more lively, more bass, more acoustics, brighter across the board. There are no quiet areas, there just seems to be music coming from everywhere. Because of the brightness it does seem like more clarity. But then I do hear more sibilance in the highs, a bit more screechy or less refined I guess. When a cymbal gets played it hits you. And vocals just sound farther away, but brighter, if that makes any sense.

The 2C's sound cleaner, warmer, relaxed, more balanced sound, bass is tighter, mids and highs seem smoother, while still hearing every detail possible.

In sound separation I feel they're both the same, but with brightness of the AFO's the instruments pop a bit more.
With soundstage I find it tricky, since the AFO's sound more live/acoustic to me it also feels like a bigger soundstage, but I can't really tell if it's because of the acoustics or because it actually has a wider soundstage.

In general the AFO's sound like you're in a big live concert, the 2C's sound like a more intimate stage.

Comfort wise, AFO's win no question, they're as light and comfortable as you can get. You can definitely feel the heft of the 2C's, but... they are still comfortable enough and fit very nicely where you shouldn't worry about it, IMO.

Build quality: I loooove the way the 2C's feel, they're so solid and feel great to handle. Just from look and feel it makes you appreciate more of what you're getting for the money compared to the AFO's. I handle the 2C's more delicately like a quality expensive product. The AFO's are super sturdy and flexible, but also more toy-ish feeling. They're much more (toss them on the table), as opposed to the 2C's which are more (place them on the HP stand). I know it sounds odd, but I find myself just holding the 2C's and placing them on my head even without music because they feel so cool. So much so that it's becoming a factor in my decision when I originally told myself it's 100% about SQ and I wouldn't pay attention to that stuff.

For some perspective, I have literally fallen asleep countless times listening to the 2C's, I don't think that'll happen with the AFO's.

If you have any specific questions let me know, maybe even listen to specific tracks. I'm still far from deciding for myself so I'm happy to test out any recommendations.

Back to the listening board.....
I think it is very amp dependent. Many of use feel just the opposite. The Aeon Open are a bit darker and more laid back than the Lcd2c and the 2c are a bit more on the neutral side of dark. 2c have a bit more detailed highs. The Aeon being more laid back and a bit more fun. Aeon upper bass and midrange is a bit more focused while the lcd2c lower bass has more impact and goes deeper. This is why I say they are quite similar as I really feel it is source dependent. I really think it would hard pressed not to be happy with one or the other if you had never heard the either. You would not be missing out.
 
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Very helpful reply, thanks!
I listen to all sorts of music, vocals are important. However maybe 60% of my music is ambient, electronica, downtempo like Solar Fields, Entheogenic, Asura, Carbon Based Lifeforms, Koan, Bluetech, Vibrasphere and many others.
Bass to me is maybe even more important than mids. I like the bass articulated and with some weight, but not overpowering. Punchy enough but clear, layered and precise. I don't mind a bit of fun but would avoid a woolly bass cloud.
I know 2C's bass is more linear and goes deeper than the AFO, and that AFO has a slight mid-bass emphasis. Theoretically I wouldn't mind either, if it works with my music. At the moment however I don't have a chance to try myself...
From your explanation I think the 2C wins there. For me it's a tiny bit less powerful overall bass than the AFO's, but noticeably cleaner and articulated as you say, the AFO's I hear a bit more rumble.

I think that's more of the minority in genres I listen to, lol, but I'll put some of those on today and see what differences I can hear.


You have a volume knob for a reason. Power brings stability and drives them properly.


I think it is very amp dependent. Many of use feel just the opposite. The Aeon Open are a bit darker and more laid back than the Lcd2c and the 2c are a bit more on the neutral side of dark. 2c have a bit more detailed highs. The Aeon being more laid back and a bit more fun. Aeon upper bass and midrange is a bit more focused while the lcd2c lower bass has more impact and goes deeper. This is why I say they are quite similar as I really feel it is source dependent. I really think it would hard pressed not to be happy with one or the other if you had never heard the either. You would not be missing out.
Agreed, there's no wrong decision with either of these, they're both excellent. And depending on the amp/dac your experience will certainly vary. My amp/dacs for example are at least neutral, maybe a bit towards the brighter side. I do agree with the upper bass and midrange being more focused on the AOF.
 
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From your explanation I think the 2C wins there. For me it's a tiny bit less powerful overall bass than the AFO's, but noticeably cleaner and articulated as you say, the AFO's I hear a bit more rumble.

I think that's more of the minority in genres I listen to, lol, but I'll put some of those on today and see what differences I can hear.




Agreed, there's no wrong decision with either of these, they're both excellent. And depending on the amp/dac your experience will certainly vary. My amp/dacs for example are at least neutral, maybe a bit towards the brighter side. I do agree with the upper bass and midrange being more focused on the AOF.
I am using Vali 2 with several different tubes, definitely not neutral tubes though.
 
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