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New Hifiman HE-5LE planar magnetic headphone - Page 101

post #1501 of 1911

Anyone who heard HE500, 5LE and HE6 can compare these? From opinions I assume HE5LE is closer to HE6 sound while HE500 is more at warm, liquid side? Im going to test HE400 and HE500 but if HE400 sounds "fun" I would prefer second pair to be more detailed and with better resolving capability.

For now Im usin Beyerdynamic DT931 which sound close to DT880 but overall I found them better.

Any thoughts?

post #1502 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by zibra View Post

Anyone who heard HE500, 5LE and HE6 can compare these? From opinions I assume HE5LE is closer to HE6 sound while HE500 is more at warm, liquid side? Im going to test HE400 and HE500 but if HE400 sounds "fun" I would prefer second pair to be more detailed and with better resolving capability.
For now Im usin Beyerdynamic DT931 which sound close to DT880 but overall I found them better.
Any thoughts?

I've heard 5LE and 500 only, so I can't reference either off of HE-6. But between the two, 5LE to me has more detail and also bass has more impact. They seem more transparent, but also less full/liquid versus 500. The 500 seems like a higher end HD650, where there's some treble roll-off - a full, fairly lush headphone. The 5LE is more a cross between the DT880 (similar to that level of detail) and HD650 (in the sense you get relatively a more filled out sound vs 880).

I think the 5LE is more impactful, the 500 more laid back and almost never fatiguing - quite forgiving like HD650, but you seem to give up some of the peaks and valleys and sharp edges in the source in exchange for that.

Never heard the 400, though would be curious to do so.
post #1503 of 1911

Hmmm, that means HE5LE should be better for me and HE400 as meatier and more fun alternative. You mean more bass impact - is it overall better than from HE500? How can you compare both HP to HD600? Midrange is on the same level in both or more recessed? I also didnt like bass from HD600 - not defined and rounded. Rest was quite impressive and if Hifimans go even further that would be great. DT880 is more linear and "flat, lifeless" sounding. I like it but not as main HP. HD800 has fantastic realism and clean sound but for me its quite fatiguing and not for every genre. I found lack of bass weight and little to forward sound and Im not going to search system for them.

Are HE5LE such difficult for amping like HE6 or little better in this area?

post #1504 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by zibra View Post

Hmmm, that means HE5LE should be better for me and HE400 as meatier and more fun alternative. You mean more bass impact - is it overall better than from HE500? How can you compare both HP to HD600? Midrange is on the same level in both or more recessed? I also didnt like bass from HD600 - not defined and rounded. Rest was quite impressive and if Hifimans go even further that would be great. DT880 is more linear and "flat, lifeless" sounding. I like it but not as main HP. HD800 has fantastic realism and clean sound but for me its quite fatiguing and not for every genre. I found lack of bass weight and little to forward sound and Im not going to search system for them.
Are HE5LE such difficult for amping like HE6 or little better in this area?

If you want more detail and transparency, I would say the 5LE is better. You're probably right on the HE-400, but I haven't heard it, so I can't really comment. But what you said is consistent with what others have written.

Yes, to me, the 5LE bass seems to go deeper and have more weight. Yet still tight and not bloated (not that 500 bass is bloated). While it's "possible" that the 5LE bass and treble appear more prominent because the midrange is less forward vs 500, I don't think that is really the case. I think the 5LE does actualy go lower and with more impact and has more detail and less treble roll-off.

While I have the HD650, I don't have HD600's. I only heard them once at a meet, and those weren't ideal conditions, so I'm again not qualified to compare either of the Hifimans to the HD600's.

I understand what you're saying on the DT880's - they were the first "mid-fi" full size cans I got, but they're not weighty enough (sound-wise) for me anymore. I'm actually selling mine because I prefer the Hifiman cans more.

So what I have left (after I sell the DT880's) are HD650, HE-5LE, and HE-500 - honestly, there's probably not a great case for all 3 and the 5LE is the most different out of the three (and therefore not in danger of being sold). As I mentioned earlier, I think the HE-500 and HD650 are actually pretty similar in a lot of ways to my ears.

The 5LE is more difficult to amp than the 500, but easier than the HE-6 by quite a bit. The sensitivity difference between 5LE and 500 is only about 1.5db IIRC, but the difference in volume setting on any amp I've used is there - not huge, but you do need to turn up the volume when you plug in the 5LE's vs 500's. I use most often speaker taps to drive both cans, but also can use the Hifiman EF5 amp or Audio GD NFB-12. Both have more than enough power, but I personally wouldn't drive either out of any portable device or depend on the standard headphone out of an AVR to do justice to these cans. While it's pretty widely acknowledged that the 5LE needs extra juice than your average headphone, most seem to agree that the 500 also benefits from more power (though yes, it is promoted and can technically be driven by less beefy amps and even supposedly portable devices).
post #1505 of 1911

Thank you for comment. I have SS amp which is very transparent. Most difficult HP I used with it were old DT880 600 ohm and K1000. While first ones were quite ok, K1000 needed a lot of power and I found my amp lack of it.

Good news is that I have local shop with HE5LE. I can pair it with my amp and they have also Bayerdynamic A1 , Graham Slee Project Solo, Burson Audio HA-160. i hope at least one of them will be sufficient for Hifimans. Bad news they dont have HE500. But there is also HE6 grr.

You also said HE5LE is more sparkle and airy than HE500. Comparing to DT880 those highs are better, smoother and not being fatigue in your opinion? Sound is really balanced or more V shape in bad way?

I heard HD650 and while its good HP I would like rather something else than better HD650. Rather even more refined HD600.

If you have HD650 can you describe midrange regarding to both Hifimans? HE5LE is less forward to it or HE500 has it most prominent?

Other opinions are welcome!:)

Thank you

post #1506 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by zibra View Post

Thank you for comment. I have SS amp which is very transparent. Most difficult HP I used with it were old DT880 600 ohm and K1000. While first ones were quite ok, K1000 needed a lot of power and I found my amp lack of it.
Good news is that I have local shop with HE5LE. I can pair it with my amp and they have also Bayerdynamic A1 , Graham Slee Project Solo, Burson Audio HA-160. i hope at least one of them will be sufficient for Hifimans. Bad news they dont have HE500. But there is also HE6 grr.
You also said HE5LE is more sparkle and airy than HE500. Comparing to DT880 those highs are better, smoother and not being fatigue in your opinion? Sound is really balanced or more V shape in bad way?
I heard HD650 and while its good HP I would like rather something else than better HD650. Rather even more refined HD600.
If you have HD650 can you describe midrange regarding to both Hifimans? HE5LE is less forward to it or HE500 has it most prominent?
Other opinions are welcome!smily_headphones1.gif
Thank you

I don't have the K1000's, but those are probably more on the HE-6 level in terms of needing big doses of power to drive. 5LE's I don't think are as difficult to drive as K1000's, but I could be wrong.

I listened to 5LE, 500's, and HD650's tonight for quite a while. The 5LE's and 500's were both powered from speaker taps out of a vintage Yamaha CR220 (15wpc, but probably more like 3-4 wpc into the higher impedance of the Hifimans) and the HD650 out of the headphone out of the same receiver. It's a powerful HP out though, as I can easily power either Hifiman out of the HP out as well with only a marginal amount of volume dial increase.

Definitely try out the 5LE - you'll need to judge whether there's too much treble energy for you. When I first got my 5LE's (I had been listening to mostly HD650's prior), I thought they were a bit sharp/sibilant on some music. In listening tonight against 500's and HD650's, they definitely do have the most treble energy and it could be too much/fatiguing if the source material isn't well recorded or bright in itself. They are more airy and have more sparkle vs 500's, but really, the 500's have good instrument separation and aren't dull by any means.

I'm pretty sure I could tell the HD650 and 500's apart in blind testing. The analogies may get out of hand a bit here, but it's almost like the HD650 is a 2D picture, where everything blends together and nothing is terribly distinct - it's like one cohesive picture. The HE-500 is more 3D, where the cymbals, guitars, background vocals are all more clear/distinct, so some detail of any one thing can catch your attention and you can spend time there, listening to what that "subcomponent" is doing, then move on to something else which is telling it's own story (whether a bass line, drum fill, etc). If I noticed something on the 500, when I'd go back to the HD650 and listen for it, it's there, but not as distinct to the point that it probably wouldn't have caught my attention the first time. I find the HD650's bass is also somewhat less distinct and not quite, but borderline flabby compared to either 5LE or 500.

The 5LE has very marginally more/deeper/tighter bass (but by no means night/day) vs 500, definitely more treble energy, and less full/lush midrange - but midrange is not recessed so I wouldn't say the 5LE is V-shaped. I wouldn't say it's a midrange volume thing at all between the two - just a different presentation.

From this listening session tonight, I gained a new apprecation for the HE-500 though. For some recordings, the 5LE was a little too hot for me, the HD650 fine, but the HE-500 just right.

Bottom-line, there are tracks where the 5LE would be preferable (to me), but the 500 is an overall safer choice across a wide variety of different material. I can justify keeping both. It's a bit harder to justify the HD650 if the HE-500 is always available though - I didn't find a track tonight where I preferred the HD650 to the 500.

By the way, I also used the HD650 with a Bottlehead Crack w/Speedball - not the best combination for maximum detail, but would probably be best amp (that I have available) for the 650 for suboptimal recordings.

I have my DT880's packed for sale, so I didn't pull those out tonight. Last time I listened to them though, they just didn't have the "meat on the bones" that the other cans (including the 5LE) had. Just sounded more thin and lightweight across the board.
Edited by captouch - 7/20/12 at 8:03am
post #1507 of 1911

HE5LE are hard for me to find but I have very good price for HE500. I also was thinking getting HE6 but maybe not this time... I know how HD650 scale with better equipment - it could be very very good HP but if HE500 is even better hmm. Hard choice. ill probably end getting HE500 or HE5LE and maybe someday HE6:)

post #1508 of 1911
I just don't "get" the senn comparison. These orthos for me are so superior to the senn 580/600/650 in the imaging or 3d close to the performer area that comparison is difficult. I really like these HE-5LE, the only really negative being they require a lot of power, which rules out non-hybrid tube amps. But my god 10 years ago I would have never imagined a headphone could sound this good. I think that review on 6moon favoring the HE500 stole some thunder from the 5LE, but thats just one man's opinion. Where orthos in general lack is dynamics, I thought about buying a pair of HE500's but I woulldn't want to sacrifice any dynamics/impact. Would love to hear an HE6, but I am completely satisfied with the 5LE after years of trying different headphones. Personally I would jump on the 5LE if they are going out of production, they will be "discovered" one day. Like AKG guys paying a premium for K501s over the new ones.
post #1509 of 1911

Does the 5LE come with a balanced cable?  Have anyone got theres hardwired?

post #1510 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

Does the 5LE come with a balanced cable?  Have anyone got theres hardwired?

5LE comes with a cable that terminates in 4-pin male XLR and there's a female to 1/4" plug (TRS) adaptor, plus a cable without the XLR termination (just terminates in 1/4" TRS plug so you don't need an adaptor). So you get 2 cables. I'm really not sure what kind of wire is inside, but I think some kind of copper as you could order at one point (for cost of shipping) a silver cable (pure or silver-plated copper, not sure) for a different sound signature. Presumably brighter, though I didn't find it so - but it's been awhile since I've listened to the two side by side since XLR speaker taps is what I've been using recently.
post #1511 of 1911

Does new HE5LE come with connectors for making DIY cable? Regarding pads there are only velours? Anyone tried it with leather?

If they are so power hungry then anyone tried it with some cheap amp like t amp for example?

post #1512 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by zibra View Post

Does new HE5LE come with connectors for making DIY cable? Regarding pads there are only velours? Anyone tried it with leather?
If they are so power hungry then anyone tried it with some cheap amp like t amp for example?

Yes, comes with spare connectors for DIY and one extra velour pad.

May want to search this thread about the leather thing. I havn't tried them with leather pads myself.

I heard the 500 now comes with both and a silver cable. Mine came with velour only and the thick Canare cable - though now I'm listening to them with the stock 5LE balanced/XLR cable or a Double Helix nucleotide that I retermed to XLR.
post #1513 of 1911

I have DHC Molecule with Furutech plug. I would try it for sure.

And after your helpful rewiev Captouch I just bought HE5LE. I hope they will amaze me:)

BTW my HP Amp gives 1800mW at 32 Ohm so it should be enough for these cans. If reviewers wer excited by ALOAudio portable amp with HE6, which is much weaker.....

And K1000 are much more harder to drive with 120 ohms and 73dB - no wonder they needed something else.


Edited by zibra - 7/20/12 at 9:04am
post #1514 of 1911
Quote:
Originally Posted by zibra View Post

I have DHC Molecule with Furutech plug. I would try it for sure.

And after your helpful rewiev Captouch I just bought HE5LE. I hope they will amaze me:)

BTW my HP Amp gives 1800mW at 32 Ohm so it should be enough for these cans. If reviewers wer excited by ALOAudio portable amp with HE6, which is much weaker.....

And K1000 are much more harder to drive with 120 ohms and 73dB - no wonder they needed something else.

You will like the HE-5LE, I think.  After a/b-ing the 5LE and the 500, I preferred the 5LE just about every time.  They just sound more "complete" than the 500 to my ears.  The 500 are rolled off in the treble, which absents the listener from a fair amount of ambient queues.  With the 500, it always felt like something was being added to the music, but with the 5LE, it feels like only the music is coming through. 

post #1515 of 1911

Yes, thats what I was thinking abot reading your topic and captouche feelings,

Iwill have it next week then I compare it to DT931 Beyerdynamic and say my overall impression if it fits my signature or what i would change ( I willbe litening to the new one purchased)

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