The Spectacularly Yummy Audeze LCD-2 and LCD-3 Page 2
Audeze has done a spectacular job of making these headphones comfortable given the size and weight of this type of headphone. Both the LCD-2 and LCD-3 use lambskin leather, though the LCD-3 earpad and headband leather is a more supple and higher grade material. For those who would prefer leather-free pad covering, there is an optional faux suede (polyester microfiber) earpads and headband available at no extra charge when ordering. Users who prefer this type of material report sonic results very near that of stock pads. Because of the large pad size and contact area on the side of the head, I would consider these a "hot" headphone--sweltering days in the humid South would be a bit tough to bear. I suspect the leather-free option would work best in hot, humid climates. The inner foam of the slightly larger LCD-3 earpad is somewhat softer than that of the LCD-2; the net result is very similar positions on the head of the ear pieces angling the drivers nicely in what seems a natural position.
I have read some complaints that the design puts too much pressure on the forward part of the pad in front of your ears. This happens because the attachment point of the headband adjustment post is centered on the bail, but because of the significant angle of the pads that attachment post is somewhat forward of the center of the headphones as they rest on the head. I do feel this greater pressure in front of my ears relative to the pressure behind, but don't find it bothersome. Given the heft of these cans, I think some moderate clamping force is needed to have them feel secure on the head. I'll also add that to a surprising degree the fit of a headphone's earpad is quite important to sound quality, and the Audeze cans do a very good job of achieving a reliable seal. I think, however, they could probably move the bail's attachment tab aft about a half-inch and possibly improve the fit.
Headbands use the same leather covering as used on the earpad of each model. I found the padding of the LCD-2 a bit softer than that of the LCD-3, but both pads are fairly wide and I found little difference in the relative comfort of the two headbands.
The main capsule housing of the Audeze headphones is wood--the LDCD-2 is available in Rosewood and Bamboo; the LCD-3 is Zebra wood. Housings are machined, and holes drilled for driver, grill, and headband mounting. Both have similar multiple felt layers for damping behind the drivers, and sport the same outer grill with the LCD-2 writing in white, the LCD-3 in gold.
In the original LCD-2, the connector was housed in a feature that was machined out of the wood of the housing, but this area seemed quite prone to cracking. In both current models a metal connector housing is provided. It's painted black on the LCD-2, and chromed on the LCD-3. I find this a significant improvement, which again shows Audeze working hard to respond to customers comments and improve the headphones.
I didn't attempt to disassemble the drivers on these headphones as that can prove a rather calamitous affair (ask me how I know...RIP HE-6), but as you can see from the photo above, the LCD-3 has 8 bar magnets per side as opposed to the six of the LCD-2. The driver diaphragm is also about half the thickness of the LCD-2.
Both headphones include an 8 foot cable terminated with 1/4" headphone plug on one end, and a "Y" split with two mini-xlr plugs that attach to each earpiece on the other. The LCD-2 headphones come with a cool Pelican carry case; the LCD-3 is available with either the Pelican case or a nice wooden presentation box. I'd take the Pelican case every time...handy for transport to Head-Fi meets.
I reckon it's time to talk about how these cans sound...