$4k Worth of Headphones...

About four months ago a friend forwarded a link to Lumoid.com who now rents high end headphones (sadly, Lumoid is no more). It had just been covered in Lifehacker or one of the other high profile blogs so it took until last month for my order to come up. For $75 I had two weeks with three top shelf headphones: Audeze LCD-3 ($1,945) Sennheiser HD 800 ($1,599) Sony MDR-Z7 ($699) Of course for the majority of the time they were hidden in my closet so that my kids wouldn’t look at them or breathe on them. I also waited on writing this up until they were safely back in the Bay Area in case anyone considered doing an Ocean’s 11 heist with me actually having something of value in my home. If you’re in a hurry, the punchline is: I don’t think spending this much money on headphones is worth it. Yes, 2 of the 3 sounded amazing, but maybe 5% better than my Sony MDR-V6 headphones that cost under $200. For those still wondering what $4,243 (+tax, +shipping & handling) gets you… As you’d expect from headphones this expensive, the boxes were impressive. The Sony and Sennheiser were similar, opening like a trophy case. The Audeze come in a plastic travel case, like the kind you’d use to transport a monitor to a trade show. Basically about half a piece of luggage, leading to the first lesson – this is not stuff you travel with. Note that the Audeze and Sennheisers are open back headphones, the ear cup is vented so air flows in and sound flows out. These give them a much more natural sound, as if you are in a concert hall, but it means that on a noisy subway you’ll hear the train,...