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Head-Fi Buying Guide (Over-Ear Headphones) 3
Last edited: 11/28/16
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HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone - Page 46
Gear mentioned in this thread:
The prototype version is all that I have heard, so it is all that I can comment on until my production pair arrives. The differences (besides efficiency) between it and the production version have been reported upon by others here and there to varying degrees, but I am hoping (and assuming) that there are more similarities than differences between the two versions.
Ah, okay, thanks for clarifying. I can't wait to read you impressions.
3 hours in , further lowering the output volume on Foobar to -1.5db has brought abt much improved bass which goes much deeper than 2's but not as impactful.
Love the way piano and guitar sound, very life like more so than on the 2's.
I also like the bass of the HE6 when I played metal music e.g. Dragonforce, Edenbridge, Europe
etc. It has the bass quantity and impact that I like, definitely more than Sennheiser HD800 and very close to the LCD-2 with good dymanic
Could you not tell when you were A/Bing between the 2's and HE6? Uh ...must be missing something here...
Dear Mr. Green
Yes I wholeheartedly agree that any objective measurement would add more information to that like for the Audeze LCD-2
Dear XLR1 I cannot answer this question and I think Larry is the one who know best
I am ordering a 4 board beta 22 and Ying who will build it mention that the balanced input and output should be able
to drive the HE6. I don't know about the unbalanced input setup input but in my gut feeling I think it should.
For the recable, I will try my best concerning stock cable vs Twag vs Warren Audio
I will try to test the Sennheiser HD800 with Zeus cable with the current setup
I also would like to have comments from those who have been using the Zeus for LCD-2 because I will have one coming.
I am also waiting for the one and only true expert comment from Larry and also from Skylab
I will test that after the burn in as Ms T has just emailed me informing that the HE6 needs some burn in to show its full
potential. I wrote to her asking to buy the prototype as Larry has mentioned that the prototype is better and more natural sounding.
Well, I'm not an expert, just an enthusiast with an opinion - and you know what they say about opinions.
IMPRESSIONS PART 2:
I haven't been feeling well and have not had a chance to go down to my main rig in the basement and fire things up, so I'm still burning them in and listening in my bedroom rig with Apogee mini-DAC > WA6, SAC KH1000 and EF5 amps. They have improved over 48 hours of burn-in.
Right now I'm finding the HE-6 to be one of the best sounding low-volume headphones I have, where I don't have to turn it up loud to hear everything and anything. My Stax O2 Mk1 are similar in this area, where they can be delicate with finesse and good detail at low volumes, without losing the bass presence or fullness and extension. At quiet volumes I feel like the HD800 or HE60 baby orpheus have great detail as well, but the bass hasn't filled in enough until the volumes are higher. With LCD-2 at low volumes I feel that I have to strain more to hear the "buried" midrange and treble detail, because they are more laid back in the mids/highs and my chronic tinnitus drowns it out more easily.
So these HE-6 don't need a lot of power to sound extremely good, but if you want to play them really loudly then you'll still want as much power as you can get (same as with O2). As I turn up the volume with my WA6, SAC or EF5 amps, the HE-6 mids and highs seem to gain volume a just little more than the bass does, which is only an issue for me when listening to old classic rock recordings. Pink Floyd "Animals" played quietly or loudly still sounds better with HE-6 than HD800 which can be slightly grainy in my bedroom rig; but I find myself wishing for just a little more power to pound out the low notes. But again, those would be volume levels that are not safe for more than a few minutes at a time. Loud music is like smoking - for some people it's enjoyable while doing it so that you don't think about the future ramifications it will have on your health. So, even if the LCD-2 are better at high volumes with classic rock, they don't have the clarity and transparency of the HE-6. With much of my live jazz and acoustic music, piano, string, classical, and vocals I prefer the HE-6 to the LCD-2.
The LCD-2 do seem to have more bass impact and are so efficient that I can play them at night-club pounding levels if I wanted to, but at the lower volume listening I feel like I'm missing something. At higher volumes the LCD-2 hit much harder with a normal headphone amp than most of my other phones, except my LA7000 which don't have the bass speed and detail of any of the above phones. My HD800 sound best with the volume turned up louder than the HE-6, so the bass can come in fuller, but only with the ZDT amp do they have the impact that I want. And I believe the HE-6 will be better with the ZDT as well. Once I am feeling better I'll head down to the basement and warm up the ZDT and listen some more. My last time to use the HE-6 with ZDT was at RMAF, in a noisy room, with many people wanting to listen and time was limited. I did post my thoughts in the RMAF impressions thread, and they paired up well. I think I said there that the HE-6 were more lively and disappeared better than the Beyer T1 that I heard at RMAF, and I'm still not buying the T1 yet.
That avguide.com review http://www.avguide.com/buyers-guide/the-playback-guide-full-size-headphones gave a comparison of the pros and cons of the LCD-2 vs HE-6 vs HD800 and I think it did a good "in a nutshell" comparison. They compared the LCD-2 and HE-6 to different sounding but highly regarded electrostatic loudspeakers, with a different flavor but good in their own way. I would say the LCD-2 are like a highly improved HD650, including but not limited to the areas of speed, detail, bass impact, and soundstage. Likewise, the HE-6 would be like an improved Stax SR-404LE, Grado RS-1 or HP-1000, in areas of frequency balance and soundstage, taking the best of each and adding to it. I may actually like the HE-6 more than my Senn HE-60 on anything but my Woo WES, where the HE-6 on the ZDT were a close competitor at RMAF to the HE-60/WES combo which costs 2x as much. Although the WES gives the HE-60 a much fuller sounding bass response, they still can't play bass as strong and deep as the HE-6, nor sound as balanced at very quiet listening volumes. With the HE-60 on the stock HEV70 amp it's not a fair fight, and HE-6 come out ahead easily even with the EF5 amp.
The HE-6 clearly belong in the top tier of full-size headphones. But they wont appeal to all listeners, just as some wont like the LCD-2, HD800, T1, RS-1 or PS-1000, etc. Some people will go for a darker or warmer sound signature and end up with HD650, D7000 or LCD-2. Others will prefer a brighter or crisper or more transparent sound signature and go for the HE-6, HD800, RS-1, or Stax Lambda series. Those that find the LCD-2 too dark, and HE-6 or HD800 too bright, may find the HD600 and HE-5 LE to be perfectly in the middle (HE-5 LE are like a greatly improved HD600 in speed, detail, and transparency). Personally, I like to change things up a bit and have many different sound signatures to choose from to suit my mood and gear. Right now I don't have anything left that I'd be willing to sell off, because then I'd be left with a hole in my lineup.
Edited by HeadphoneAddict - 11/11/10 at 1:10am
I'm pretty sure it is worth upgrading :P
I'm sure your wallet will disagree though
Larry thank you for your impressions! I agree that HD800 are good at low volumes but the bass doesn't have enough extension for me. So the HE6 is better in this regard (bass compartment)
Also getting a new smart phone tonight so I'll be a kid in a candy store.
Can anyone tell me if the HE-6 is in any way fatiguing?
Before buying the k701 i never read anything about them being fatiguing, but to me they are very much so.
I then bought the HD650 which isn't fatiguing in any way, but I find the highs to be desperately boring, which I'm afraid that I would find the LCD-2's to be to.
I am pretty determined on buying either the LCD-2 or the HE-6, but I wont have the chance to audit either so I'm trying to read my way to find the best choice.
- HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone
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