If you like a lush and engaging sound, the LCD2 Classic would be right up your alley. The highs never sound harsh or shrill, and the mids are incredibly smooth and intimate. And like most Audeze headphones, the LCD2 Classic has fantastic bass that goes very deep. Its bass isn’t boosted or accentuated; it just sounds amazingly clean, punchy and textured. The LCD2 Classic is also very detailed and clear. In short, they sound pretty awesome.
They do, but - and this is a huge but - only if you have them both with you and listen to one after the other. Even then, you might strain to hear the differences.
Nevertheless, here’s what I heard:
To conclude, I must emphasize that the differences between the two headphones are very, very slight. And I suspect that if I didn't have the two headphones on hand to compare against each other, I probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference at all.
Since the two sound so similar, I think there are other factors that are more worthy of consideration.
The short story is this: The LCD2 Classic offers about 90% to 95% the performance of the LCD2C for about 65% the price.
At any rate, you really can’t go wrong with either pair of headphones. They are stellar performers and are some of the best headphones that you can get at their respective price points.
Other headphones that you should consider at this price point are the MrSpeakers Aeon Flows. Priced identically at S$1,099, the Aeon Flows come in closed-back and open-back forms and also utilize planar magnetic drivers. However, the Aeon Flow headphones sound vastly different from the Audeze LCD2 Classic. In fact, the two Aeon Flow headphones don’t even sound like each other at all!
The closed-back version of the Aeon Flow is remarkably neutral in its sound. It sounds accurate, but it can also sound a little too polite and unexciting for some people. The Audeze LCD2 Classic and LCD-2 are more dynamic and engaging.
The open-back version, on the other hand, has a warmer signature even when compared to the Audezes. For an open-back headphone, its bass response is surprisingly strong. There’s a slight bloom in the mid-bass that bleeds very slightly into the mids, which gives it a thick almost gooey sound. It’s an inviting and alluring sound that compares well to the Audezes’ slightly warm signature.
Another planar magnetic headphone worth considering at this price point is the Oppo PM-2. Priced at S$999, the PM-2 is more affordable and also considerably easier to drive than both the MrSpeakers and Audezes. This means you won't need a headphone amplifier to get the best out of it - though having one would definitely improve its performance.
The PM-2 sounds great too. It's more neutral than the Audezes and the open-back Aeon Flow, but has a slightly harsh treble that can be off-putting to those who are treble sensitive. Bass goes deep and is clean and snappy, and the mid-range is well balanced. However, the PM-2 isn't as intimate as the Audezes and the open-back Aeon Flow.