Sennheiser HD800 vs Audeze LCD-2 (Rev 2) vs Denon D7000 Shootout
May 7, 2012 at 8:24 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 155

dukeskd

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I am writing a short review comparison of these 3 world-class headphones since I am listening to them all at once right now, and I believe this will be greatly beneficial to many people here who are looking for taking the "leap" into the 1k$> headphone range (in the case of D7000, 750$).
 
First off, I run all my headphones in this setup:
 
Laptop w/ foobar playing flac files-> CEntrance DacMini CX -> Lyr/w stock tubes (I am tube rolling soon) -> HD800/LCD-2
                                                -> CEntrance DacMini CX (Internal Amp) -> D7000, HD800, LCD-2
 
I'll mention that the amp in the DacMini outputs 10ohms (stock) and is definitely less powerful than Lyr but has its good sides, especially for slow, resolving music. But as a DAC, DacMini is perfect, dead silent and has a high performance by USB.
 
 
OK, I begin the review:
 
 
Bass: The winner for bass-heavy songs is LCD-2. The impact is remarkable and when listening to rock and electronica it is breathtaking, leaves me in awe sometimes (they rival the speakers in my car!). The quality and texture is a bit less than the HD800's, I think the quality of the D7000 is lower than both headphones, but it has the impact to make you enjoy bass-oriented music. I have to reiterate, the HD800 have the bass but not really the impact apparent when listening, but the bass amount is not little it is as it was meant to have been by the recording. This is what I like about the HD800, the neutrality that it outputs, which I greatly appreciate.
 
Mids: The winner for me is HD800 followed by LCD-2 and then the D7000. HD800 again has a really high quality sound and the soundstage helps immensely in this regard. The LCD-2 does not have the advantage of the soundstage but it can match the clarity of the HD800, and the mids seem more natural, especially timbre of wooden instruments in an orchestral recording. The D7000 have, IMO, a nice sound but it doesn't separate the instruments as well as the other two. A shame because the D7000 were really my favourite headphones and I really love them.
 
Treble: Now, this isn't a tricky analysis for me, the HD800 is the maestro of the treble, again the soundstage, neutrality and the clarity come together to form a perfect union. I want to state this: to my ears, there is no spike as many people have mentioned here on the forums. This may be because I am accustomed to bright headphones or it just doesn't bother me much, but a few people, especially new owners of HD800 (serial numbers 14000 and above), do not experience this treble spike. I love the treble of the HD800, and when compared to my gone HD650s, they are 10x better and more lively. The LCD-2 is also neutral but less clear in the treble range. Now, there is the paradox of the LCD-2s being warm and dark at the same time. How is that possible? Well, in a metaphorical sense, I feel its like an oil lamp in a darkened room. You can hear and appreciate the treble but not as much as the HD800. The D7000 did really well in the treble region, but for some reason, I did not feel they were neutral. However the D7000 treble is more noticeable than the LCD-2 and probably more enjoyable in that regard because it has added warmth.
 
Soundstage: Winner: HD800. I guess we all knew that already, the airy sound and the huge soundscape is just amazing by the HD800s. LCD-2 have a little soundstage but it places the instruments well and clarity definitely helps. The D7000 has a similar soundstage but more "congested". Perhaps because its more of a U-shaped frequency response than the other two.
 
Fatigue: All headphones create little fatigue, and I recommend them all if thats what you're aiming at.
 
Comfort: HD800 is the champion. I can wear them for a week and still not take them off! Next comes the D7000, the pleather pads do become hot and sweaty which needs to be removed after a while to allow some air for your ears to cool off. The LCD-2 are comfortable, and my LCD-2 is very new and there have been a few design modifications such as the headband padding, but I do get figity when they are on my head, I keep adjusting them but they hold on strongly.
 
 
Hope you enjoyed this read. Ask me any questions you might have.
 
Here are some photos:

The Lyr and the HD800 sitting amongst each other.

A close-up.

 

The D7000 sitting lonely in their box.

The LCD-2 on top of the DACmini

The End.
 
May 7, 2012 at 8:31 PM Post #2 of 155

GL1TCH3D

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I tried the HD800 and LCD2 at a show using the same amp and again I did prefer the HD800. I've also tried the D5000 (never the D7000) and I recognize the D7000 is an improvement but the D5000 didn't wow me too too much, definitely not as much as the HD800 from a nice amp/dac.
 
May 7, 2012 at 8:47 PM Post #3 of 155

dukeskd

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Quote:
I tried the HD800 and LCD2 at a show using the same amp and again I did prefer the HD800. I've also tried the D5000 (never the D7000) and I recognize the D7000 is an improvement but the D5000 didn't wow me too too much, definitely not as much as the HD800 from a nice amp/dac.

Yeah the HD800 are astounding because they have so many positives on their side. The detail and dynamic levels are what shines in the HD800 but equal in the LCD-2. How did you like the LCD-2?
 
May 7, 2012 at 8:54 PM Post #4 of 155

GL1TCH3D

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Yeah the HD800 are astounding because they have so many positives on their side. The detail and dynamic levels are astounding in the HD800 but equal in the LCD-2. How did you like the LCD-2?


I personally didn't like the LCD2 as much but they were playing classical so of course the HD800 win in that fight. Maybe I'll get to try them with other music. It's not that they sounded bad, they just didn't excel like the hd800.
 
May 7, 2012 at 9:02 PM Post #5 of 155

dukeskd

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I personally didn't like the LCD2 as much but they were playing classical so of course the HD800 win in that fight. Maybe I'll get to try them with other music. It's not that they sounded bad, they just didn't excel like the hd800.


You have to try them with some good electronic or hard rock if thats your cup of tea (it is for me). You'll fall in love at first note.
 
May 7, 2012 at 9:13 PM Post #7 of 155

GL1TCH3D

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You have to try them with some good electronic or hard rock if thats your cup of tea (it is for me). You'll fall in love at first note.


Yea, I never really considered the LCD2 for classical =/ It wasn't really a fair fight. If I could I would have tried a bunch of different genres, I listen to many different ones anyway.
 
May 7, 2012 at 9:18 PM Post #8 of 155

rawrster

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Those are some nice headphones there. I really like my HD800 where I've only use the HD800 when I'm at home even though I do have other gear since it's so good to me. The D7k is also quite nice but not at the same level but they look so damn good and do very little wrong sonically.
 
imo the HD800 is the best of the three but not sure if I heard the LCD 2 rev 1 or 2 but the HD800 is my preference in terms of sound signature and paired with a good dac and amp I can't ask for anything more :)
 
May 7, 2012 at 9:33 PM Post #9 of 155

dukeskd

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Quote:
Those are some nice headphones there. I really like my HD800 where I've only use the HD800 when I'm at home even though I do have other gear since it's so good to me. The D7k is also quite nice but not at the same level but they look so damn good and do very little wrong sonically.
 
imo the HD800 is the best of the three but not sure if I heard the LCD 2 rev 1 or 2 but the HD800 is my preference in terms of sound signature and paired with a good dac and amp I can't ask for anything more :)

The HD800 is great but the problem is that its not an all-rounder for music types like heavy rock and electronica. It is great with subgenres like trance and melodic rock IMO, but the LCD-2 I believe complement them well.
 From the three I think the D7000 is great for all music from what I've been listening to but the HD800 is miles better in classical/soundtrack. That can sometimes be worth it at the end of the day.
 
May 7, 2012 at 10:13 PM Post #12 of 155

jerg

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When I compared them, yes. But factor in that LCD-2 need a good amp to bring out the goods whilst the D7000 sounds good without an optimal amp.

 
What about the HD800 in that respect (amp pickiness)?
 
May 7, 2012 at 10:19 PM Post #14 of 155

rawrster

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The HD800 is great but the problem is that its not an all-rounder for music types like heavy rock and electronica. It is great with subgenres like trance and melodic rock IMO, but the LCD-2 I believe complement them well.
 From the three I think the D7000 is great for all music from what I've been listening to but the HD800 is miles better in classical/soundtrack. That can sometimes be worth it at the end of the day.

 
I haven;t found a headphone that i would be interested in to complement the HD800. I have the AD2000 as well but don't see that getting much head time. I have yet to try the T1 however.
 
The HD800 works as an all rounder for me in my setup however.
 
May 7, 2012 at 11:42 PM Post #15 of 155

johangrb

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I found my D7000 is perfect complement to the HD800s. To me, the Denons are my fun goto's for rock/pop/hiphop & electronica. The Hd800 for jazz, classical, accoustic etc.
 
I do prefer the comfort of the HD800s though. As stated above, the Denons pleather can get sweaty/hot (esp. in summer).
 
Both are keepers imho.
 

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