Audeze made a ribbon. Oh my, the clouds in sky parted. God reached down his hand. I was touched by the hand of God! Nope. I have a big head. Note maximum extension. I do like to wear the LCD-R low and forward. However, the LCD-R more than holds its own. It's solid offering which is a bit of break from their standard lineup. And dare I say it: it's also quite a steal. How could $2500 be a steal you may wonder. Well, the package comes with the Jotunheim A, an amplifier which was specifically made for the super low impedance load of the LCD-R which is around 2.35-ohms. I mean all of you guys in the market for this kind of product would already cough up $1k minimum for an amp right? And we're talking about a special amp too. While the LCD-R is super sensitive to voltage, requiring barely any potential to move that ribbon, the LCD-R loves that massive firehouse sized stream of electrons. Unfortunately your amp is more than likely a garden hose. At best we'll get increased distortion. At worst, the output devices will catch on fire. Word of warning: if you want to try it on your regular heads amps, monitor temperatures with with a FLIR. You will also need to re-terminate because the LCD-R uses the SR1A's style of termination (female 4-pin XLR). Another option I think could work would be to add a resistor in series because of the LCD-R's sensitivity. That would result in effectively higher output impedance and also throw most of the power from the amp away into heat. I'll get to it quickly with respect to the burning questions. Is this better than the other ribbon headphone, the SR1A? Nope. However, we would really be comparing apples and oranges. The voicing of the LCD-R and SR1A are almost opposite. The SR1A are ear speakers whereas the LCD-R is headphone. The impedance of the SR1A is 0.2-ohms. The SR1A is a true ribbon a la RAAL - a metal strip, that requires the use for a transformer before the Jotunheim R. The LCD-R is a pseudo-ribbon. It has a bunch of paralleled fine traces densely laid over a diaphragm. As such, the LCD-R doesn't have quite the transient response of the SR1A. I'd say it moves in that direction from a traditional Audeze, like 20-30% in that direction. Is this better than the LCD-4? In my opinion no. But then again, it's like comparing apples and oranges. The LCD-4 remains one the best headphones which I have heard, rivalling the Utopia and Susvara. (We've yet to see how the LCD-5 performs). Also, I don't think Audeze would price the LCD-R (with amp) at $2500 while the LCD-4 remains at $4k. I think it's fair to say that the LCD-R is about the LCD-X level, but slightly different, maybe better depending upon your sonic priorities. Slam and heft goes to LCD-X. Smoothness and transients go to the LCD-R. I only have one complaint about the LCD-R which I want to get out of the way early. Those damn phasors. They touch the end of my ears. Audeze, could you please do something about this? One of my coworkers had this exact same problem along with the XC. Those edges are kind of sharp feeling too.