Pros: Everything not in cons
Cons: Long and stiff cord, bass is a bit lacking
I've been wanting a bassy open headphone for a while and after a bunch of research I decided on the HE-400. I normally have no interest in high end headphones because they lack bass, but from what I've read the HE-400 will give me a decent amount.
This is a quick impression from a basshead's point of view since there's already plenty of reviews, but most reviews are from audiophile who don't normally use and listen to bassy headphones.
I used the new FiiO E12 (the no bass version) for this impression with flat EQ on my iPod video 5.5G.
I use this set up because I have multiple listening spot in my house.
Definitely worth the $400, I got mine from Justin @ headamp.com for $335 shipped, factor in the sound and build and it easily worth more than $400.... If you're an audiophile. For bassheads it would depend on how much bass you're looking for.
I love the sound of the HE-400 but I do wish there was a bit more rumble, but I wasn't expecting it since it's an open audiophile headphone. The sound quality wasn't the leap in sound I thought it was. It's better than what I previously had but it wasn't that much better it's more of a different better. To my ears the HE-400 kinda sound like the portapro (which I love btw) but better everything. The mids are great and highs are nicely details without piercing my ears like most audiophile headphones. Vocals are nice and clear.
Now for the bass. It's good bass, clean, fast and just loud enough but no way is it basshead level.
For audiophiles who don't normally listen to bassy music or use basshead headphone will call the HE-400 bass heavy. For us basshead it's not even entry level. It's nice bass but lacking in quantity even with a bass boosting amp. The FiiO E12 with it's weak bass boost did not do much in uping the bass quantity. The quality of bass is great though.
I love the design of the HE-400, it easily one of the best looking headphone I've used. Build quality is solid too. The cord is the only issue I have, it's too long and too stiff.
I personally did not have any issue with comfort. I had mine on for 3 plus hours without any discomfort, but I don't normally have issues with uncomfortable headphones (except the V-Moda crossfade and Shure SRH750DJ) so take what you want from that.
I am a basshead but my demand for bass is not what it use to be. I don't want bass all the time, but when I'm in the mood for bass I want a lot of it. The HE-400 is good enough for normal listening session, but when I'm in the mood for some serious bass I usually skip the HE-400. When I first started here I got a lot of recommendation from audiophiles saying this and that has a lot of bass, but when I buy them they lack bass big time, I realized most audiophiles have a very different view on bass. What's lacking to bassheads are a lot to audiophiles. The HE-400 falls into this category.
Overall I'm happy with the HE-400. It sounds great and even though it's not basshead level, the bass is good enough.
I'm currently looking into other amp that will max out the HE-400 so I might update this later, but for now the E12 is not doing the job I bought it for so back it goes and will be replaced by the C5.
[02/20/2013] Today I decided to use my E07K, I max out the bass(10) and gain(12) and the HE-400 gave me a good rumble, but once I up the volume to about 40 (65%-70%) it started to distort.
At least now I know the HE-400 can give me a bit more bass quantity with the right amp. The E07K is not the right amp, SQ suffers when using this amp.
I have come to a conclusion, this headphone will never truly satisfy a true basshead