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HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone - Page 656

post #9826 of 19433

I dunno... looks like too much sugar for a dime! I'd take my $165 over to CL and return with some vintage iron. :wink:

post #9827 of 19433

Hello. I'm new to this thread as I recently acquired an HE-6. While doing some research on the Internet, I read that HE-6 has a reversed polarity, which I have no idea what it means.

 

1. Is it true? If so, what does this mean, and how does it affect sound?

 

2. How does a headphone with reversed polarity sound different from a headphone that has "correct" polarity?

 

3. Music softwares such as Pure Music has an option called "invert polarity". Will using this option reverse polarity in correct polarity headphones, and correct polarity in reversed polarity headphones like the HE-6? If correct polarity has better sound quality than reverse polarity, Is it recommended to use this option when using the HE-6?

post #9828 of 19433
Quote:
Originally Posted by songmic View Post
 

Hello. I'm new to this thread as I recently acquired an HE-6. While doing some research on the Internet, I read that HE-6 has a reversed polarity, which I have no idea what it means.

 

1. Is it true? If so, what does this mean, and how does it affect sound?

 

2. How does a headphone with reversed polarity sound different from a headphone that has "correct" polarity?

 

3. Music softwares such as Pure Music has an option called "invert polarity". Will using this option reverse polarity in correct polarity headphones, and correct polarity in reversed polarity headphones like the HE-6? If correct polarity has better sound quality than reverse polarity, Is it recommended to use this option when using the HE-6?

 

Greetings Doctor... long time no see! I too, recently acquired the HE-6. I remember some moons back watching a vid from Innerfidelity, Tyll mentioned that the cans had reversed polarity but that users wouldn't likely notice.

 

So, when I got my cans recently, I wanted more info. A couple of internet searches returned that this issue was rumored and not in fact true. I will be getting my HE-6 "Hard-wired" soon and will find out once and for all!

 

I hope someone here can shine some light on this - glad you asked, I would like to get to the bottom of this.

post #9829 of 19433
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent One View Post
 

 

Greetings Doctor... long time no see! I too, recently acquired the HE-6. I remember some moons back watching a vid from Innerfidelity, Tyll mentioned that the cans had reversed polarity but that users wouldn't likely notice.

 

So, when I got my cans recently, I wanted more info. A couple of internet searches returned that this issue was rumored and not in fact true. I will be getting my HE-6 "Hard-wired" soon and will find out once and for all!

 

I hope someone here can shine some light on this - glad you asked, I would like to get to the bottom of this.

 

Yeah, so the HE-6 may in fact NOT be a polarity-reversed headphone.

 

Still, it makes me curious what polarity means, and how reversing it affects sound. For example, some models of Grado HP-1000 seems to have a switch that shifts polarity.

post #9830 of 19433
Quote:

Originally Posted by songmic View Post
 

 

 

Yeah, so the HE-6 may in fact NOT be a polarity-reversed headphone.

 

Still, it makes me curious what polarity means, and how reversing it affects sound. For example, some models of Grado HP-1000 seems to have a switch that shifts polarity.

 

It's said to have an effect on loss of information, especially lower freqs. I don't hear anything weird going on but want confirmation that all is well. @ these prices, most definitely! 

post #9831 of 19433
Quote:
Originally Posted by songmic View Post
 

 ... HE-6 has a reversed polarity [?]

 

1. Is it true? If so, what does this mean, and how does it affect sound? ...

 

 

 

The short answer is not by design but the HE-6 is hand made so mistakes can happen. From a wiring standpoint, polarity at a speaker refers to reversal of its + & - terminals. For a practical discussion of this issue and its affect on recorded sound, ask a recording engineer: http://www.johnvestman.com/polarity.html

 

Since this kind of reversal can occur any place in the signal path, including the original placement of the recording mike (is the air moving into or away from the mike), the ordinary stereo listener can only control the relative polarity of the two channels through his own equipment; that is, for connections between each piece of equipment, make sure the + & - terminals are not mixed. 

 

What you want to end up with is both channels speakers' diaphragms pushing and pulling together ("in phase"). Some commercial recordings make it out into the wild with the stereo channels out of phase. Assuming you can hear the difference, you will want to pick one channel and "invert" its phase relative to the other. If you can still detect something is "off," invert both channels together. 

 

You can carry out these "reversal" or "inversion" experiments in software, at the speaker terminals or anywhere in between; but do it where you can easily see you have done it and where it is easy to change it back. In the end, trust your ears and enjoy the music. As a listener, this is the best you can do and there still can be much you cannot undo. To visualize a worst case, consider Vestman's kick drum with and an additional kick drum, each miked, but one in front, the other in back, and both mixed into the same channel with no phase inversions. 

post #9832 of 19433
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlawli View Post
 

To visualize a worst case, consider Vestman's kick drum with and an additional kick drum, each miked, but one in front, the other in back, and both mixed into the same channel with no phase inversions. 

 

Sounds like a good test track.  Where can I find it?

post #9833 of 19433
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlawli View Post
 

 

The short answer is not by design but the HE-6 is hand made so mistakes can happen. From a wiring standpoint, polarity at a speaker refers to reversal of its + & - terminals. For a practical discussion of this issue and its affect on recorded sound, ask a recording engineer: http://www.johnvestman.com/polarity.html

 

Since this kind of reversal can occur any place in the signal path, including the original placement of the recording mike (is the air moving into or away from the mike), the ordinary stereo listener can only control the relative polarity of the two channels through his own equipment; that is, for connections between each piece of equipment, make sure the + & - terminals are not mixed. 

 

What you want to end up with is both channels speakers' diaphragms pushing and pulling together ("in phase"). Some commercial recordings make it out into the wild with the stereo channels out of phase. Assuming you can hear the difference, you will want to pick one channel and "invert" its phase relative to the other. If you can still detect something is "off," invert both channels together. 

 

You can carry out these "reversal" or "inversion" experiments in software, at the speaker terminals or anywhere in between; but do it where you can easily see you have done it and where it is easy to change it back. In the end, trust your ears and enjoy the music. As a listener, this is the best you can do and there still can be much you cannot undo. To visualize a worst case, consider Vestman's kick drum with and an additional kick drum, each miked, but one in front, the other in back, and both mixed into the same channel with no phase inversions. 

 

Reversal of + and - terminals?

 

My intention is to use the HE-6 with a speaker amp, rather than a headphone amp. As you know, speakers have + and - outputs per channel. Is this the same + and - terminal you're talking about?

 

If so, won't there be a serious issue if one were to use a polarity-reversed headphone with a speaker amp?

post #9834 of 19433
Quote:
Originally Posted by songmic View Post
 

 

Reversal of + and - terminals?

 

My intention is to use the HE-6 with a speaker amp, rather than a headphone amp. As you know, speakers have + and - outputs per channel. Is this the same + and - terminal you're talking about?

 

If so, won't there be a serious issue if one were to use a polarity-reversed headphone with a speaker amp?

No issues to worry about. It will either sound good or bad. No damage to be concerned about.

post #9835 of 19433
There are test cd and recorders with many test,s for setting up your system . I could be wrong but I think a mono track is used to test for this and the difference in sound will not be balanced in Chanel's if not alike. Absolute phasing is the one he is talking about as from mike to your speakers. This is a muddy topic with two camps the guys who hear it and the guys who do not. And many Hifi heavyset are on both sides of the fence in this. The two Infiniti speakers I have use a system to monitor woofer accuracy during play back . As such phasing my done all the woofers go crazy with feedback . Not pretty but amazing to hear..lol

Al D
post #9836 of 19433
post #9837 of 19433

@ Happy Camper

 

:thumb: Fantastic avatar!

post #9838 of 19433

I think the phase discussion is not a polarity miss-match between the left and right speakers (as in they both have a different polarity).

 

IIRC, Tyll noticed the polarity was reversed on both channels when he did the impulse response test: the biggest spike is negative instead of positive. (I thought the 5LE had this particularity - not the 6s - though).

 

Regardless, it won't have the same effect as two speaker with opposite polarity (anemic bass, weird frequency response, poor transients) because:

- Both ear speakers are phase inverted, so their polarity is the same.

- We're talking of headphones here, so there can be no acoustic cancellation. How the brain would react to inverted waves in both ears is unknown, though. Also, the sub-bass might be affected because acoustics is not the only medium for its diffusion (the skull is, too).

post #9839 of 19433

So the real question is, a simple yes-or-no question: Is the HE-6 really polarity-inverted or not?

 

To be more specific:

 

1) Is it that all HE-6 are designed to be polarity inverted in the first place?

2) Or, is it that Tyll just happened to get his hands on a HE-6 whose polarity has been wired reversely by accident (possibly due to poor quality control)?

 

And if HE-6 were indeed made with their polarity inverted, hasn't Hifiman recognized this issue and solved it yet?

I recently purchased my HE-6, on October 2013, so I wonder if anyone has addressed this by now.

post #9840 of 19433

The HE6 is beginning to settle in after a couple nights worth of continuous burn in. I forgot how new this pair was, and the aggregate total of hours is even now less than 20 hours. I also let my Odyssey energize for 24 hours and certainly there is something positive happening. In some ways I feel this headphone is a yang to the ying of the HE60. Where the Sennheiser grabs you with smooth clarity, allowing the music to come to it (the HD800 is cut from that similar Sennheiser cloth), the HE6 is hyperfocused, and attacks the music, like a runaway train. The details are not there to be  found and picked out, but they bring the listener/observer to the details. It makes for a very exciting sound and there is something sensational and particular to the upper mids that spotlight female vocals. I also find myself increasing the volume, whereas my natural inclination is to lower it. They don't yet grab me like the Sennheisers and the Stax, which adorns the sound with a 'prettiness' not easily described (I think this is tied up with the smooth presentation), but we're definitely moving in the right direction from a few days ago. 


Edited by ericfarrell85 - 10/27/13 at 10:29am
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