The planar itch... Hifiman Arya vs HE-6SE vs LCD-X

So i’ve narrowed my choices down to one of these 3 headphones. Originally I had my heart set on the Hifiman Arya after hearing a lot of rave reviews about them but after listening to my HE-500 recently and thoroughly enjoying them, its thrown a spanner in the works so I’m also considering the HE-6SE if its a significant step up over them. I have a preference towards a more balanced sound not too bright but I also want good low end extension with minimal roll-off. LCD-X is there because when I auditioned them some time a go I was very impressed with the low end. Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated.

So if you go for an he6se, I would highly suggest you invest in a nice speaker power amp, most headphone amps I have really don’t do it justice tbh, and honestly I don’t think it’s worthwhile without one. Also you have to watch out for potential bad units that have come from adorama camera, as they have a bit of a quality hit compared to the first units direct from hifiman from my experience. But if you are willing to invest in a speaker amp it’s a really enjoyable can that is def a good buy

The arya are pretty nice, different from the he500 for sure, but still pretty nice. They don’t quite have the slam as the he500 but they have better detail retrieval, a larger and more grand presentation, and imo a more speaker like presentation. It is more neutral bright though but I think it isn’t too bright

The lcd x is pretty enjoyable, a bit more neutral, slightly more intimate, good impact with pretty solid timbre, but from my experiences had issues with bass under 30hz, but that comes down to batch variance I think. Personally prefer the arya here but the lcd x is still a solid choice


I have access to a Rega Elicit R I could run the HE-6SE off which is a fairly nice integrated amp. My only fear with the HE-6SE is that they will be too similar to the HE-500 to justify the cost. The Arya doesn’t sound as though It will be as much to my tastes as the HE-6SE or the LCD-X then but its hard to quantify without actually having auditioned them. Normally I would be able to but Melbourne where I live at the moment is going to be under a Covid lockdown for quite some time. That being said its interesting you note the batch variance in the LCD-X. I wasnt actually aware of this at all, when you say issues are we talking clipping/distortion or just sudden roll-off? I really liked the ones I auditioned and thought they’d have been a relatively safe buy.

Yeah no issues there, that would be pretty nice imo. I use this cable, it works pretty nicely for speaker amps

You can use the he speaker adapter but you take a slight quality hit vs running it directly off the amp

Personally I don’t think this would be the case, the he6se is a fair bit higher preforming imo, also slightly different signature (but still you can tell they are in a similar family)

Yeah makes sense

I have heard some pretty different lcd x, some are somewhat neutral, some are slightly v shaped, it can vary more than you would think from unit to unit from what I have experienced and others have as well. Generally you won’t get a bad unit or anything, but they all aren’t the most consistent. If you can, I would try and go for the unit you heard and liked if you end up going for the lcd x. Also personally if you can find a good price used I think it might be worthwhile to skip the x and go to the mx4 if the price is right, those have had less variance from what I have demoed (although not the same signature/voicing as the x)

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Dan clark Audio is maybe a good and better pic.
Zeo have rewiev it last week about the new open and closed version.Maybe another and better choise in question from the Hifiman Quality house.
What do you think about?

Interesting to see that you have observed such variance between units with the LCD-X. You wouldn’t think that be the case given the cost of them, you’d think there would be more consistency. I’m leaning more and more towards the HE-6SE now… thanks for the input.

Especially since it’s aimed towards studio/professional work lol

Have you experienced driver variance with any other Audeze products?

Outside of different revisions nothing super significant, the LCD x has just stood out to me as just having more variance than their other lines (if you compare units in the same revision)

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@M0N are the lcd-x night and day different to the edition xx? Or they like a straight upgrade

They might share some similarities but they are somewhat pretty different. I actually prefer the xx, but I would say the LCD x is generally the higher tier headphone than the xx. A straight upgrade to the xx would be the hex v2

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compared to his headphone selection, where would the Dan Clark Audio Aeon’s be?
open and closed?
better than Hifiman series or tends to be worse?

I think they are different sounds, in this case let’s consider the open, I think they would be pretty enjoyable in this case, but it also depends on the sound to go after. For what has been listed, I generally prefer the hifiman like the arya or the he6se over the aeon 2 mainly because of their more engaging presentation with better impact and a bit more detail retrieval, but I think the aeon 2 open has better timbre and tonal balance, and is more masterfully tuned, kinda sounds more coherent. Also the aeon has much better build than the hifiman, but I actually find the larger driver hifiman somewhat comfy, but the aeon 2 probably wins in this regard. I actually might prefer the aeon 2 open to the lcd x because of the more natural sound and my preference in tuning, although the LCD x is a bit more resolving. I would mention the ether 2 but I don’t have enough time with it to say too much, but I might prefer it over the Arya and LCD x