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HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone - Page 870

post #13036 of 14269
lojay, have you changed your grills yet?
post #13037 of 14269

I agree with a lot of what drez and lojay said.  However, I also disagree with some as well.:biggrin:  We all have different rigs / systems so that may play apart in the difference we hear.

 

I find the HE-6 to no less resolving than the HD800 or the SR 009s, they are more thick or has more body which in turn would make them seem less resolving I guess.  

 

Because of the soundstage on the HD800 being as big as it is, some music may seem unreal like Jazz trios and some Jazz vocals, to distant when it should be more intimate. 

 

Imaging can seem off with that kind of music as well on the HD800s. So If I listen to Classical music that's when I break the HD800s out.  All other music goes to the HE-6 for now.

 

The BHSE is on the way so I'll see how the 007s and the 009s compare.  

 

Speaking of grills.  Would like to do a full comparison of HE-6 with the grill / fazzor mod vs. the HD800s  Might be a HD800 killer. :biggrin:


Edited by preproman - 4/23/14 at 1:34pm
post #13038 of 14269

I'm curious what is the different from HE-500 in terms of sound.  What makes HE-6 better than the 500?  HE-6 is really hard to drive, what is the motivation for people to drive the HE-6 if 500 is more efficient?  Sound must be that much better.  :D What doe the 500 lack?


Edited by SilverEars - 4/23/14 at 7:34pm
post #13039 of 14269

The he-6 is good with electronic music?

post #13040 of 14269
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

I'm curious what is the different from HE-500 in terms of sound.  What makes HE-6 better than the 500?  HE-6 is really hard to drive, what is the motivation for people to drive the HE-6 if 500 is more efficient?  Sound must be that much better.  :D What doe the 500 lack?

Clarity and detail resolution..

 

The relative lack of those are the main negative of the 500 for me but that and their slightly warm nature and forward midrange is also what makes them so good for me with certain types of music.

 

For me the best way to hear what I mean is listening to a piano piece that's been really well recorded.  If you listen to the notes (attack, speed, decay) the difference becomes obvious, everything with the 6 is just 'crisper', by comparison the 500 sounds veiled, it's like if the hammers of the piano have a thin felt layer applied to them.

 

I simply can't decide between the 6 and the 500, to me both have their place and the headache of driving the 6 is worth it.  Have to add that I've yet to hear the top of the line Stax, shudder to think of what they might do to my wallet.

post #13041 of 14269
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post
 

I agree with a lot of what drez and lojay said.  However, I also disagree with some as well.:biggrin:  We all have different rigs / systems so that may play apart in the difference we hear.

 

I find the HE-6 to no less resolving than the HD800 or the SR 009s, they are more thick or has more body which in turn would make them seem less resolving I guess.  

 

Because of the soundstage on the HD800 being as big as it is, some music may seem unreal like Jazz trios and some Jazz vocals, to distant when it should be more intimate. 

 

Imaging can seem off with that kind of music as well on the HD800s. So If I listen to Classical music that's when I break the HD800s out.  All other music goes to the HE-6 for now.

 

The BHSE is on the way so I'll see how the 007s and the 009s compare.  

 

Speaking of grills.  Would like to do a full comparison of HE-6 with the grill / fazzor mod vs. the HD800s  Might be a HD800 killer. :biggrin:

 

Perhaps I should rephrase, the HE-6 has less microdetails than the SR009 in absolute terms, but when compared to the HD800 it is less detailed as a matter of pure perception. The lack of a wide soundstage and a thicker sound contributes to the perception of the HE-6 being less resolving, but I must admit that even with my stock HE-6 (with stock cables) I do not find that it is much less detailed than the HD800. Their emphases are different. 

 

It might be that the HE-6 would become more detailed when the Silver Poison cables arrive. I do note that I am not a detail/treble person so I do enjoy the HE-6 a lot as it is.

 

Are there any links to mods to the grills? This thread is getting really long and the search function is not helpful.


Edited by lojay - 4/23/14 at 8:31pm
post #13042 of 14269

I think the HE-6 is plenty detailed.  It's actually the most detailed over-ear phones I've ever heard.  Not just detailed, but at the same time, natural sounding.  Those two combinatons are very important to me. Could the resolution depend on the amp?  It could be that some amps lack the juice to properly drive the HE-6 and thus would sound less resolved than the 800.  I believe the 800 doesn't take as much juice to drive it.  I may have a good amp that drive the HE-6 to good clarity.  I have a 2 channel Beta 22, and It does sound fantastic to me.  It's just hard to believe 800 would have more resolution when I hear my setup.  

 

As for 009, I've heard it at the meet in NY.  Personally, I preferred the LCD-3 driven out of some great amps than the 009 driven out of the Blue Hawaii.  I didn't A/B so I cannot say which is more detailed.

post #13043 of 14269

I didn't know you could resolve vocal textures as much as what I'm hearing out of the HE-6, and clearly the HE-6 demonstrates it.  Worst vocal textures are Shure iems IMO, it puts out textures in a quite forward manner, but it does not resolve it, it just thick and sound grainy.  It could get fatiguing after awhile.


Edited by SilverEars - 4/23/14 at 9:46pm
post #13044 of 14269
Quote:
Originally Posted by lojay View Post
 

Having been able to drive the HE-6, SR009 and HD800 from the same amp (the Woo WA5 powering the Woo WEE), I can say that SR009 is an improved version of HD800 in all respects, including soundstage. The SR009 has terrible soundstage when underamped (e.g. with the Stax SRM007TA) but it has opened up considerably with the WA5 + WEE combo and is only slightly narrower than the HD800 in soundstage. It may not favour with soundstage addicts but to me it makes the music altogether more natural and realistic. I also find the SR009 more comfortable to wear with my relatively small head.

 

I have decided to sell my HD800 because there is little that it does which the SR009 does not do better. I should add that the HD800 is about 80%-90% of the SR009 when properly amped. They share many sonic traits. The HD800 is very impressive for its price.

 

HE-6 is noticeably less resolving or detailed than the other two, but it is more "euphonic" in the sense that it is very tactile - you can "feel" the voices and instruments next to you and they are very very palpable. In other words, it packs a lot of punch compared to the SR009 and the HD800. I note that my HE-6 is properly driven by my WA5 because it is a speaker amp. There are one or two opinions to the contrary but the general consensus seems to be that the WA5 is one of the better amps for the HE-6.

 

As to the other traits of the HE-6, it has better dynamics than the HD800 but is perhaps just as dynamic as the SR009, because of its excellent transient and bass response. It is also euphonic (in the usual sense of the word) by presenting voices in a way that is ever so subtly emotional or pleasant. For these reasons, the HE-6 is staying in my collection.

 

Some of my friends (who are not into hifi or headfi) preferred the HD800 to the HE-6 after their short auditions with the cans on my current set-up, perhaps because the HE-6 has a more closed-in and less "hifi" character, which may be appealing when one first listens to these headphones. It is the more down-to-earth of the 3 headphones.

 

Finally, the HD800 is slightly sibilant. I find that it renders voices quite poorly as it adds a certain harshness to the voice. I do not use it for long listening periods. On my set-up (which is slightly warm) and with the SAA Endorphin cables, the usual brightness of the HD800 has been tamed significantly, but nothing can save the HD800 from its natural flaws (other than using another headphone, of course). I find the HE-6 and SR009 to be listenable for hours and hours until physical discomfort kicks in. Neither can be characterised as sibilant on my set-up.

 

Just my 2 cents. YMMV.

 

Here's the scary thing - The SR-009 and HE-6 are both still being under-driven by the WA5.  If you think you like these phones now, just wait until you try a KGBH for the 009, or an Eddie Current ZDT or EF6 for both the HE-6 and HD800, or an Apex Pinnacle with the HD800.  That's a whole nother step up! 

 

I do want to say that overall you've done a good job characterizing the differences in the headphones either way, although I would not say "the HE-6 is less resolving", rather I would say that the HE-6 is "not as bright and it's more forgiving" than the HD800 or SR-009.  At least with the PS Audio Perfectwave DAC Mk2 and EF6 or ZDT amps driving the HE-6.  

 

Of the three headphones, the only one I enjoyed on the WA5 was the HD800.  The HD800 can certainly be fatiguing with the wrong amp or tubes for a long listening session, and even a headphone cable like the Locus-Design Hyperion or Moon-Audio Black Dragon can help tame them a little.  I'm still not sure I would call them sibilant per se, as with the EF6 or ZDT amps they are not sibilant (although I haven't used the stock cable in years, so I could be wrong if one is still using that).

 

The EF6 gives the HD800 more warmth and the bass hits hard like never before, while filling in a slight gap in the midrange that often makes the HD800 feel too distant with other amps.  Somehow the EF6's slightly aggressive nature is not fatiguing with the HD800 when used with my balanced Black Dragon headphone cable (not tried the stock in years).  Fortunately there are other much less expensive budget amps that work well with the HD800 to prevent fatigue and fill in the mids and bass, like the DACport, Nuforce Icon DAC, HiFiMan EF2, or RSA F-35 Lightning balanced portable, so you don't have to "go big" to tame and enjoy the HD800.

 

Likewise, the KGBH gives the SR-009 balls so that they hit like a dynamic headphone, and increases the soundstage depth and width, while extracting every last detail from them.  When I first received the KGBH that luvdunhill built and I heard the combo I was gobsmacked.  They are so refined sounding with this amp (Mullard XF2 tubes, anti-cables interconnects).  I have the WEE, and in my case I think the SR-009 sound a little bright and forward with it, with a variety of amps.  If using the WEE I much prefer the SR-007 or Lambda Nova Signature over the 009 (with ZDT 8-watt amp, or Emotiva BDP-1 75 watt amp)

post #13045 of 14269

Thank you for your input HeadphoneAddict, it is very helpful and reassuring to know that I am on the right path to headphone heaven. 

 

I am using the WEE + WA5 combo to make the wait for the BHSE less unbearable. It is still a very good combo. Our differences in opinion as to the WA5 may be attributable to the fact that we may have (as it is very likely) been listening to the WA5 with different tubes. I must say that the WA5 is extremely tube dependent. It sounded terrible without the 300B and rectifier upgrades but with the tubes I have (GEC U52, Tungsol BGRP and Sophia Royal Princess 300B) I have yet to hear a system with better soundstage than this. The bass is more extended than the SRM007TA. So I do not think it is underdriving the HE-6 or SR009 at all - especially compared to the SRM007TA which my SR009 came with. But, of course, who am I to tell until I have heard a better set-up? :basshead:

 

You are right about the resolution of the HE-6. I have rephrased myself when I was speaking of the resolution of these headphones. The brightness and better imaging of the HD800 and SR009 give a perception of overall better detail, but if that is what the human mind and ears hear and perceive then I think the statement I made was not entirely unjustified. I do find that the HD800 is horrible with poor recordings, the SR009 is not pleasant but quite bearable with such recordings (it is less sibilant) and the HE-6, well, it plays well with everything I throw it!


Edited by lojay - 4/23/14 at 10:12pm
post #13046 of 14269

Ok, just for kicks I decided to drive HE-6 with my O2 amp.  Surprisingly it drives it to listenable volume and can go louder.  Does it drive it well?  No.  People have some misconceptions that like to hang around the low-end gear that claim exceptional measurements and that has never tried high-end gear that thinks low-end gear sounds the same.  So, they buy low priced gear with a high-end phone, and the volume is loud enough and think wow, the cheap amp drives it, and probably think it is being driven well too.

 

So what I learned is that how resolving HE-6 depends on the amp you drive it with.  You may think your amp drives your HE-6 well, but you have to ask does it sound like it doesn't resolve as well as HD800 because of the amp that is used.  

 

My Beta 22 is a better match than my O2, it's much better at resolving, and sound it definitely clearer and tighter.


Edited by SilverEars - 4/24/14 at 12:01am
post #13047 of 14269

SilverEars, were you using the O2 with the stock high-gain setting? In the original "stock" design, high gain was set to 6.5X or 16 dB. But the design allows for up to 12x gain with a swap of two resistors.

 

​(By his own admission, the O2's designer didn't think it would be able to swing the voltage necessary to properly drive some orthos, but I'm thinking of trying myself.)

post #13048 of 14269

I modified it to 2.5X gain, so it was set to 2.5X.  It was plenty loud, and it could have damaged my ears if I gave it more, but it could have clipped at some point, didn't push it that far.

post #13049 of 14269
Quote:
Originally Posted by lojay View Post

Perhaps I should rephrase, the HE-6 has less microdetails than the SR009 in absolute terms, but when compared to the HD800 it is less detailed as a matter of pure perception. The lack of a wide soundstage and a thicker sound contributes to the perception of the HE-6 being less resolving, but I must admit that even with my stock HE-6 (with stock cables) I do not find that it is much less detailed than the HD800. Their emphases are different. 

It might be that the HE-6 would become more detailed when the Silver Poison cables arrive. I do note that I am not a detail/treble person so I do enjoy the HE-6 a lot as it is.

Are there any links to mods to the grills? This thread is getting really long and the search function is not helpful.
http://www.head-fi.org/t/619447/hifiman-regrilling-mod

Also go back about three weeks to a month back in this (HE-6) thread for some conversation on the mod as well as the linked thread.
post #13050 of 14269

When you guys say that 'stats sound electrical, I would have to agree with you there.  There shouldn't be huge difference in resolution at this level, I think realism of sound is quite important, and HE-6 has most realistic sound I've ever heard.  

 

I've read Tyll's review, and surprisingly he like the HE-500 better. He says the HE-6 has too much treble, which I disagree with, I think it has too much, but just enough.  I just curious how the 500 sounds, I would think it would sound recessed after listening to the HE-6 given Tyll's impressions.

 

What do you guys think, some of you like the HE-500 more?

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