You will probably find these compared over at "head-fi.org"...ABSOLUTELY the best place for all info on headphones!
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I had the Audeze LCD-X (and LCD-XC) at the same time that I had the Ether C -- and ended up selling the Audezes. Heaviness and comfort aside, I found the Audeze LCD-X ultimately to have too much bass emphasis and not enough resolution (though resolution was still very good.) Yes, the bass was delicious at times, along with the fullness and weight imparted to music, but it was too much of a good thing, imo. When I switched to the Ether C, the additional detail was readily discernible - the old cliche "I heard things I never heard before" applies. The Ether C was truer to the music and much faster - the LCD-X was lusher and slower. Also, while less in absolute amount, the bass on the Ether C was faster and tighter and also may go deeper into the sub bass category. It was a clear cut decision imo, and several others on Head-Fi have posted similar comments in choosing the Ether C.
However, note that in April, 2016, Audeze modified its entire headphone line (except for the new Sine) and stated they changed the drivers and made some other changes. I don't know what the new ones sound like -- my comments above relate to the "old" Audeze versions from 2015.
Additionally, note that the Ether C requires up to 200 hours of burn-in to achieve its maximum sound quality -- especially in the bass. The manufacturer has stated this on the Head-Fi site and there are numerous posts by owners attesting to this. This is because the pleats in the planar ribbon drivers need more time to flex to achieve their designed specs.
When new without break-in, the sound is constrained with light bass. Don't worry, as they burn in the sound continues to improve until the 200 hour mark or so, when the sound is superb.
Also, strangely enough, the soundstage on the Ether C, a closed headphone, is larger than in the LCD-X, an open headphone.
I have the Audeze Sine also, and if you change from one to the other, you will hear the Audeze heavier bass v. the faster but lighter and more natural bass in the Ether C. Some may prefer a heavy bass (esp. for rock or hip hop) - I didn't - but the Ether C also responds extremely well to EQ if you want to add some bass to it.
I would just say that as with any TOTL headphone, the better the amp (and DAC), the better the sound. The Ether C is reasonably efficient -- even an iPhone drives it using max volume, and a good portable amp can do a very good job. Do mean the Fostex HPP1? If so, I had one and it is a very good portable DAC and amp -- should be fine with the Ether C. For a portable DAC/amp I'm using a Chord Mojo and the sound with the Ether C is amazing, with enough power to play so loud you would damage your brain let alone your ears.
I sold the HPP1 not because it wasn't good -- it was very good - but because I wanted what was considered the best at the time (3 years ago) - separate amp (ALO) and DAC (Cypher Lab) using an iPod as a source. But the Mojo is better than all of them. iPod cannot be used with Mojo, a separate "transport" is needed, such as a DAP using the digital out into Mojo. Suggest you look at the various threads in Head-Fi, but there are many and it's much reading.
Hey dne: we are clearly on the same path; I got the EtherC's and love them. I like what I'm hearing about the Mojo Chord...is it that much better than the HP P1? And what is the DAP you are using. If I'm using the Chord for DAC and amplification, it doesn't seem like I need a great DAP since it's just a transport? But I need something with lots of capacity, since I have 3 Terrabytes of music on my computer...and have been putting the greatest hits on three old iPods. Suggestions? Thanks.