i usually do, and i can easily with the he4, but every now and then, you just gotta rock the hell out. Than calmly, turn the volume knob down, and go back to relaxing. I cant get into a song if its blared loudly, but a moderate volume with the 4 really really works. Unlike that of a grado, which i feel forced to turn up.
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Hifiman HE-4 Impressions Thread - Page 73post #1081 of 355912/30/13 at 2:06pm
Gear mentioned in this thread:post #1082 of 355912/30/13 at 3:21pmpost #1083 of 355912/30/13 at 8:40pm
Greetings everyone. I am an new owner(for now) of the HE-4, had it for over a week now with about 100+ hours on it. Previously I had the AKG K712Pro. They are both very different beast - as many of you know by now. They are also both very good headphones, but I exchanged the AKG K712Pro for the HE-4 for now. Maybe if the K712Pro was a bit cheaper I wouldve kept it too. I may get it again in the future to complement whatever I settle for now.
The AKG when compared to the HE-4, has a wider soundstage and more "air" quality to them. The mids are lush, but the bass is thinner by quite a bit. The AKG is a great headphone for listening to artists like Norah Jones, Shelby Lynne, Adele, and basically and female voices. It is not good for RnB/Techno/NewWave and is ok for Rock. Because of it's soundstage, it handles Dolby Virtual speaker for games very well.
The HE-4, I know I am under-powering them right now. All my headphone amps are not capable to properly power this beast, but I do have an Emotiva mini a100x on hand, so I just ordered some parts for it to construct an adapter for it. For now, I am powering the HE-4 with the Essence STX with the extra high-gain setting, You basically need to crank the volume past 70% to be listenable, as compared to the AKG, which was at 35-45% for satisfactory.
It is pretty clear that the HE-4 has more meat and bass quality to them compared to the AKG. In voices, the HE-4 have more textures (or timbre) quality, which is pleasing. For example, in rock tunes, the "grit" from voices comes out more natural sounding. However, the mids are a bit recessed. It sounds as if the singer is behind the band instead of in front. Although it is not as airy as the AKG, it works fairly ok for games, but for some reasons it reveals more detail; also seem to do positioning better (more accurate I guess?). The footsteps sounds like footsteps (maybe because it had more weight), etc.
In general, for the HE-4, every sound has more "weight" like each note actually "follows through." The AKG kind of starts out strong than thins out - which gives it that "airy" quality like a big concert hall (think Royal Albert Hall). (Sorry this is the best I can describe it). In general, when I put the AKGs on, I feel like I am in a very big concert hall, with the music projection not as "focused." In contrast, the HE-4 feels more intimate like sitting within the front row seats of a small to medium size music club (think VH1 Storyteller or MTV Unplugged), but because the mids are a bit recessed, it feels like the singer is behind the band.
I am also considering the HD650 and Beyerdynamic DT880 600Ohms. But I am waiting to see how the HE-4 performs with the Emotiva. I am hoping a more powerful amp can bring out the mids better.
Nos024post #1084 of 355912/31/13 at 6:01ampost #1085 of 355912/31/13 at 6:22amThanks for your impressions! For me, the AKG K702/65 was almost unnaturally airy, and many claim it is the exact same headphone as the K712. They win the comfort battle though. Those pads are the best. I wouldn't agree with the recessed kids statement in the HE-4 though. Maybe you've listened to a lot of headphones with pronounced mids? The AKG's are that way for sure.post #1086 of 355912/31/13 at 6:45amQuote:Originally Posted by Thujone
Thanks for your impressions! For me, the AKG K702/65 was almost unnaturally airy, and many claim it is the exact same headphone as the K712. They win the comfort battle though. Those pads are the best. I wouldn't agree with the recessed kids statement in the HE-4 though. Maybe you've listened to a lot of headphones with pronounced mids? The AKG's are that way for sure.
Well, I am not sure to call it "recessed" mids (tbh I'm not completely sure what that means), but it just sounds like the singer is behind the instruments because the bass and trebles slightly overpowers the mids. The high notes did have a hint of sibilance before fully burn-in (Fs and Ss were noticable).
And yeah maybe I am used to having headphones with more pronounced mids, like my B&W P5 and my two weeks journey with the K712Pro.post #1087 of 355912/31/13 at 6:52am
Oh, and the bass on the HE-4 makes me smile - I do like my bass, but not the boomy bass, just the hard hitting impact. Maybe that's why I am not completely satisfied with the K712Pro. Currently, the HE-4 is able to somewhat completely cover most music genre with satisfaction. I can't wait to see what the Emotiva can do for the HE-4.post #1088 of 355912/31/13 at 7:16amQuote:Originally Posted by nos024
Oh, and the bass on the HE-4 makes me smile - I do like my bass, but not the boomy bass, just the hard hitting impact. Maybe that's why I am not completely satisfied with the K712Pro. Currently, the HE-4 is able to somewhat completely cover most music genre with satisfaction. I can't wait to see what the Emotiva can do for the HE-4.
Yeah, despite the whole 'warm' and 'dark' adjectives that are used to describe the AKG K702/65's, I found them to be very 'thin' instead. My HD580's have more bass extension than the AKG's. You will like the Emotiva. It has a dark signature compared to the other amps I've used. Quite a bit of bass presence which compliments the HE-4's speed.post #1089 of 355912/31/13 at 8:20am
Well, I decided to just use the spare connectors that came with the headphones and solder in 22awg speaker wires and then connect the other end to banana plugs. Previously, I was thinking of using 4pins XLR male to female (which is being shipped). But why bother with that? Any objections?post #1090 of 355912/31/13 at 8:24amQuote:Originally Posted by Thujone
Yeah, despite the whole 'warm' and 'dark' adjectives that are used to describe the AKG K702/65's, I found them to be very 'thin' instead. My HD580's have more bass extension than the AKG's. You will like the Emotiva. It has a dark signature compared to the other amps I've used. Quite a bit of bass presence which compliments the HE-4's speed.
I didn't find the K712Pro to be warm or dark at all. It was a bit forward sounding, clinical, airy, and thin on the bass (although they claim a 3dB boost in the low end, but I have not heard the K702s).post #1091 of 355912/31/13 at 8:27amQuote:Originally Posted by nos024
Well, I decided to just use the spare connectors that came with the headphones and solder in 22awg speaker wires and then connect the other end to banana plugs. Previously, I was thinking of using 4pins XLR male to female (which is being shipped). But why bother with that? Any objections?
Should work just fine as long as the wires fit into the connectors.post #1092 of 355912/31/13 at 4:14pm
Finally got done soldering in speaker wires to the spare SMA connectors. They are actually RP SMA connectors. I was looking all over for the pins, but realized that they are using a non-standardized SMA version upon closer look. So right now, it is connected as:
Asus STX Front RCA L/F Out => Emotiva a-100x => HE-4. I set the volume to 12 Oclock on the Emotiva and control the volume using the STX's control panel.
And the verdict is...
Well, the bass is not as boomy but more punchier and tight. There is more air quality to them, meaning that the soundstage opened up. However the sibilant is way more noticable now. It actually sounds a bit more like the AKGs, but with more bass. The mids don't seem to be "recessed" or drown out by the highs and lows as before. It is actually a more neutral presentation. The more revealing sibilant is a bit harsh that it's more tiring to the ear.
I'll try it with a different DAC and with my Marantz and see how it works out.post #1093 of 355912/31/13 at 6:37pm
Update2: turntable with Marantz receiver. The sibilant is still present, but is not as harsh as digital source (relatively). So far I like everything it does...except the glaring sibilance. I estimate I have about 100 hours burn in...they suggest 150, but does it really get better over time? hmmm...the harsh sibilance was not apparent before when underpowered.post #1094 of 355912/31/13 at 7:40pmpost #1095 of 355912/31/13 at 11:53pm
Nice way to spend the new year eh? Sitting in my man-cave and critically listening to my favorite vinyls through the HE-4 which I just recently constructed a DIY cable into my EMotiva mini a100x.
I don't know if it's "sibilance" or whatever you guys want to call it, but I am definitely hearing more hisses from the 's' and 'f' when compared with my speakers and the AKG K712Pro. However, it's very interesting that when I listened to Pearl Jam VS, it was smooth and not a hint of hiss. Not sure if it was just because Vedder didn't have problem with his voice hissing or the recording was just dam good. When I dropped Jimi Hendrix's Axis Bold as Love into the TT and started listening, there was noticeable hisses. Even in David Auerbach's voice when I listened to Magic Potion. Anyhoo, in general I really like the "overall" performance of these cans. I really hope in the following weeks, I either get used to the "extra" hissing I am hearing or it goes away with more burn in time.
Eventually, I will braid the cables and put some heat shrink tubings at proper points. I was eagar to try this out so I half assed braiding it. For now it works.
Edited by nos024 - 1/1/14 at 12:18am
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