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New Hifiman HE-5LE planar magnetic headphone - Page 104

post #1546 of 1927



come check out my mini reviews of the Bryston AMP with the HD800s, LCD-2.2, Q701 and more...


Hope it's not to much snake oil for you ..biggrin.gif




post #1547 of 1927

I'm always up for a taste. I just won't open my wallet...

post #1548 of 1927
The sad thing is HiFiMan stopped sending out the speaker tap adapter before it ever went into production. I was in the 6 pre order group and didn't get one in the kit. If everyone had an adapter and could easily tie into their front main channels of your surround system, you'd get a "taste" of this difference. This is a headphone site. It's vendors want to sell you headphone amps. If you used a spare speaker amp or receiver, you can have world class sound (assuming the rest of the chain is) for a fraction of the cost of a new behemoth with a shiny badge.

Preproman was turned on to the potential of these cans recently and is excited to share his experiences. His point is that regardless of model, the HiFiMan orthos will take a lot of power and sound better for it. How much more is up to the listener. I've read of one guy running 500w monos. I've also ran the 500s off my portable Xin with impressive results. The difference is in the ease and intricacy of dynamics with impressive weight and soundscape balance a speaker amp provides. Speed with this power can cover any genre with equal ease.

I love stats but they are light in the shorts (generalization) when the bumpin za thumpin. Dynamics can give the thump but don't have the gossamer presentation stats offer. These planars offer a compromise that gets most of both right at the cost of power. The trend since their introduction has been to more power. Many head fiers with way more experience in this hobby trailed the performance road and they ended up on speaker amps. A fellow head fier recently got to hear the 6s on the new ortho amps at Chiunfi. He also got to hear them on a couple of speaker amps recently. He sided resolutely on the speaker amps.

A HE ortho on a used speaker amp will stack up to some of the best sound in headphones.

post #1549 of 1927
All this talk of power. . .

I was happy running out of my 15wpc Yamaha receiver thinking I had more than enough power headroom. Now I think I'm going to have to at least try my 150wpc Rotel amp and see if there's a big difference in SQ. rolleyes.gif
post #1550 of 1927

It's not that simple because "world class" sound needs world class sound quality which budgetary and mid-class speaker amps just don't deliver. What I could here from a good headphone amplifier on the K1000 or HE-6, was more interesting than the Orpheus combo or any Stax combination. I heard the K1000 from at least two speaker amps, too. One DIY and one from a respected manufacture. Both cooperated with top class tube pre-amp. I think I touched what is here talked about in terms of speaker amplifiers and my opinion is that most headphone amplifiers have exaggerrated power numbers at which the distortion level is unacceptable and that's why comparing their specs to headphone's requirements pushes people to take something delivering more power, speaker amps in this case. Blame headphone amplifier manufacturers rather than headphone brands for the situation that you have to use speaker amps. I know that some of the tube amps despite of using power tubes capable of 7W, give output of 70mW per channel yet with a couple percent of THD. You won't even listen to the HE-500 on such amplifier while regular dynamic headphones would take up to 40mW what we could consider as a normal volume and headphone amp users feel happy. I have never adjusted more volume than 14:30 for the HE-500. The sound quality was at the level of making the HD800, T1, D7000 and such other headphones less interesting for many in favor of the HiFimans, and I believe the HE-5LE are slightly better because the HE-6 were significantly better. I don't know better sounding headphones in current production but I haven't heard the TH900 or W3000ANV, however I include the SR-009 and still prefer the PS1000 to the HE-6 but don't consider better any of them. Grado's ary dryer in a good sense and faster. The HE-6 sound denser and more sensual but have slower attack. Their midrange has very pleasant texture. I was on a meeting where a headphone rig with speaker taps was available. I heard no gain on either K1000 or HE-6 due to connecting them there instead of my headphone amp. It was enough to show that the K1000 are still in their own league and easily show where the HE-6 or the PS1000 fall short. It's detail and treble resolution, not to mention soundstage. ;) My friend says that the only contenter to compete or even win with the K1000 is the Sony MDR-R10 and I believe him. He had them on loan for a couple of days. And you don't need a speaker amp for them. :)

Edited by majkel - 8/14/12 at 1:30am
post #1551 of 1927

The whole speaker amp thing is also just to save money. A Schiit Lyr costs $449. A speaker amp with way more output can be half of that price.


HE-6 isn't picky about tonality with amps from what I detect, but it always helps to make them sound better.

post #1552 of 1927
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post

The whole speaker amp thing is also just to save money. A Schiit Lyr costs $449. A speaker amp with way more output can be half of that price.


HE-6 isn't picky about tonality with amps from what I detect, but it always helps to make them sound better.


I agree with Chris on this one.



Originally Posted by majkel View Post

What I could here from a good headphone amplifier on the K1000 or HE-6, was more interesting than the Orpheus combo or any Stax combination.



What's the name of this good headphone amplifier?  Inquiring minds want to know.  I may want to add it to the stable one day.

post #1553 of 1927

Off-topic, but is the K1000 that good?


It seems like a novelty item AKG produced to troll us.

post #1554 of 1927

First it's the matter of preference because there is a lot of folks who would still prefer any electrostat to any dynamic headphone listening to the same headphone rigs. Second, I think it's not just one particular device or equipment combination. Third, I need my web site to be finished and switch to MOT type of member to continue this off-topic in the right place. ;) This will happen within a couple of weeks. And I sustain what I said before - there is a maximum volume level limitation which might be resolved by providing balanced bridged operation via XLR output while no speaker amp current capability is necessary.

post #1555 of 1927

Hmmm.... I agree with a number of the HE-5LE/HE-500 points raised.


  • The have similar but very different sound signatures (does that make sense? If may only make sense after hearing both HPs).


To start, the HE-5LE and HE-500 are the only HPs that make me say,



The HE-5LE is better... than the HE-500 because it has such sparkle and air...



Then listening to the same song say, 


The HE-500 is clearly better ... than the HE-5LE because I am not missing details but I am being absorbed by the music, enjoying it all.



  • The HE-5LE feel and look like a higher quality product.
  • Shiny back shells are a notch up on the HE-500.
  • Sturdy feeling cable that really mates well with the HE-5LE is better than the silver cable for the HE-500.




  • One exception to the higher quality comment:


  • The HE-500 has the leatherette pads that don't itch my ears like the velour does.




  • Good amplification is important...


  • *Both* HPs improve (yes, the HE-500 also) because these HPs give weight and texture to the song thus amplification helps.
  • Tried with the HPs: Lyr, EF5, & DA-10 headphone out. 
  •  Even venerable Beyer Tesla T1 with all it's clarity, details and speed does not provide the weight and impact 




In the end...


  • These HPs really complement themselves.
  • Having both would not be unusual... but I don't listen to HPs enough to own both. I will decide on one of them soon.
  • The velour pads seem to open up the treble and top end more... Sounds crazy that something as small as a pad has an affect but I just tried the velour pads on the HE-500 and the top-end opened up. I bet it's just placebo :)



One thing (although this is a HE-5LE thread), is the HE-500 seem to be affected more adversely by poorer quality songs and songs with wide dynamic range than the HE-5LE. Not sure why. 

Edited by spraggih - 8/25/12 at 4:29pm
post #1556 of 1927

Agree with all your comments. I have both and think they're pretty complementary.

I'm using Double Helix cable on 5LE and the silver cable (think it's the stock now, though mine came with thick black Canare), both terminated in XLR so I can listen out of speaker taps.

What was your impression on Lyr vs EF5 amps?
post #1557 of 1927
Hey. The Lyr is a great value with wonderful variety and flexibility. However, it does not match the Hifiman HPs as well as the EF5. The EF5 is very good match and synergistic. Not really sure why, though. Also the EF5 seems to take on the signature of the tube more than the Lyr. Out of the Lyr each tube pairing sounds somewhat similar or at least I can hear the differences between tubes more with the EF5.
post #1558 of 1927

Getting these soon, along with the Emotiva Mini speaker amp and an Audio GD NFB 3.32 DAC.


Will post impressions when tested :D (Not that I have any doubts about these being awesome :))

post #1559 of 1927

Why the wonderful and amazing story teller of He-5le seems to end here?

I am listening Verdi Requiem, and Bach Cantata, which He-5le is try to tell not only me but the music teller overall...

How beautiful is the sound through the pair of He-5le....

Anyone can join me to express more thanks to them, He-5le?


How good is the tonal balance, compared to old priest of HD650 they spoke smoothe but difficult language. HE-5le speaks very plain language but the contents is profound yet easy.

Let us continue this thread....

post #1560 of 1927

I have HE5LE and these are really perfect for my taste. Im not even interested in searching and buying other HPs. I focus to get te best of it from rest of system.

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