Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Hifiman HE-4 Impressions Thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Hifiman HE-4 Impressions Thread - Page 168

post #2506 of 2593
Im getting another pair of alpha pads for my fostex, so ill see if I can play with them a little to make them work. But once again, all about the alcantaras, they even are good on the t50, switched back to velours today for a bit, and the highs have more detail, but I kind of like the added warmth the shure pads give. They basically take away a tiny bit of high end detail and some roll off in the bass, mids stay same but get pulled slightly forward, the velours have some advantage for detail, and I love my highs, but, they just suck for comfort. I'm wondering if I cut the alcantara pads cent mesh out and put some pantyhose streched on them and glued if I'd get velour highs with alcantara comfort. Dare I try it?
post #2507 of 2593

FocusPad-A incoming in a few hours...

post #2508 of 2593
Does anyone know if Hifiman sells just the black mounting rings? Or should I post in WTB/WTT forum?
post #2509 of 2593
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrscotchguy View Post

Does anyone know if Hifiman sells just the black mounting rings? Or should I post in WTB/WTT forum?

 

I don't really think they do... Rather try to post a classified for the rings or velour pads (least expensive).

 

Btw, Hifiman FocusPad-A have arrived!

post #2510 of 2593

FOCUSPAD VS FOCUSPAD-A

 

IMAGES:

 

FocusPad (at the top) + FocusPad-A (at the bottom):

 

 

FocusPad (the two at the right) + FocusPad-A (the two at the left):

 

 

BUILD QUALITY:

 

Both pads are very similar in build quality. The FocusPad pads look slightly better matched and polished but it's not something to put any significant emphasis on.

 

Mounting mechanism is the same as with the other current Hifiman pads. However, you cannot use their black mounting rings anymore for different pads as it's tightly glued to the Focuspads. Shame.

 

 

COMFORT:

 

Both pads are very small in terms of inner diameter. They are not on-ear but they are also not as over-ear as I am used to from both Hifiman velour and Hifiman pleather pads (and many other pads). Their depth is average but approvable... That said, the smallish inner diameter is definitely not passable IMHO. I definitely don't have gigantic ears but I just touch the material all the time - I even feel how my ears are compressed by the pads. Some people reported that FocusPad-A are better in terms of space for your ears but no... The difference is so small that it's not gonna help you with the comfort level at all. A big NO from me.

 

Even though both pads are hybrid in nature (pleather body + velour top), they feel even worse than Hifiman (or any other I've tried so far) pleather pads as I start to feel heat developing on and nearby my skin very very soon after I put the headphones on my head. Honestly, I have never experienced such a heat due to pads... Another big NO from me.

 

The top velour material is slightly more smooth and comfortable on the FocusPad-A but it also looks more prone to aging.

 

 

SOUND:

 

As the majority of people already mentioned, these two pads are very similar in sound... Don't expect different timbre, imaging, soundstage expansion or something like that. I will also not attempt to dissect sound into bass-mids-treble category as these pads are really so similar that it would not make much sense.

 

However, and this is a really important point, FocusPad-A are definitely the more neutral-sounding pads as experienced head-fiers noticed. While comfort is horrible with both pads, sound is only mediocre on the FocusPad... it's actually alright on the FocusPad-A as the 4kHz emphasis is lessened, resulting especially in a better female vocal performance. However, I can still hear some graininess on both pads and sense of openness is very limited in comparison to some other pads I've tried.

 

Therefore if you really need to go for a pair of Focuspads, choose the preproduction FocusPad-A variant. Be warned that I find many pads on the market better though... And that I don't see FocusPads worthy their asking price.

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:

 

Side by side with old Hifiman velour pads, there is no comparison. Hifiman velours are very similar-sounding (to FocusPad-A) but with no grain, slightly better soundstage, significantly better sense of openness and MUCH better comfort. These pads are not available anymore but if you can find a pair, definitely go for it instead of current FocusPad offerings (IMHO).

 

Do not confuse these old velour pads with the current Hifiman velour though... Current pads are much worse in terms of comfort and sound harsher, with more emphasised treble. Their subbass is also a bit emphasised, more-so than with the old velour which offers almost perfectly flat response.


Edited by Ron12 - 7/14/14 at 4:47pm
post #2511 of 2593
I don't know why I never thought of trying this! Anyone who's messed around with T50rp mods has a bunch of factory Fostex pads just laying around... It requires a bit of tape to keep from wrinkling up once mounted, but I was surprised how easy they attached.




I'll add some pictures of the process a bit later. Once on my head, I noticed just how uncomfortable the velour pads are. They are just so... Stiff!



As for the sound, due to the the distance to the driver being a tad closer, as well as the better seal, and no material between the driver and your ear... I was surprised that the sound did not suck! I doubt anyone would call it an ideal pairing, but certainly fun and non-fatiguing.

The bass was what most impressed me most. The pairing hit just a bit harder, though no deeper than with the velours. Mid-bass certainly had more of an emphasis, as well as bit of roll off in the upper highs. I didn't spend enough time to judge sound stage, but I got a feeling that the sound is reflected differently since the T50rp pads have a much smaller opening. I didn't get the sense of hearing music from behind me like I usually do with the velours. Maybe the sound is more channeled?

I'm not one to usually like a warmer headphone, nor much emphasis on mid-bass, but I am certain bass heads (or HE-500 fans) would love this configuration. I will certainly keep it iin the back my head.

Summery (vs velours):

Pros
Comfort
Better seal
Harder hitting,but still controlled bass

Cons
No dust protection
Increase in mid-bass (pro for some)
Slight roll off in the upper highs
Smaller open on pad for those with larger ears

Other thoughts
Ear is closer to driver
More intimate sound stage
Warmer sound
It's pleather... (Warms up quicker, and collects face oils block, but easier to clean)
Finally have something to do with those damned T50rp pads!
Edited by mrscotchguy - 7/17/14 at 7:20am
post #2512 of 2593
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrscotchguy View Post

I don't know why I never thought of trying this! Anyone who's messed around with T50rp mods has a bunch of factory Fostex pads just laying around... It requires a bit of tape to keep from wrinkling up once mounted, but I was surprised how easy they attached.

I'll add some pictures of the process a bit later. Once on my head, I noticed just how uncomfortable the velour pads are. They are just so... Stiff!

As for the sound, due to the the distance to the driver being a tad closer, as well as the better seal, and no material between the driver and your ear... I was surprised that the sound did not suck! I doubt anyone would call it an ideal pairing, but certainly fun and non-fatiguing.

The bass was what most impressed me most. The pairing hit just a bit harder, though no deeper than with the velours. Mid-bass certainly had more of an emphasis, as well as bit of roll off in the upper highs. I didn't spend enough time to judge sound stage, but I got a feeling that the sound is reflected differently since the T50rp pads have a much smaller opening. I didn't get the sense of hearing music from behind me like I usually do with the velours. Maybe the sound is more channeled?

I'm not one to usually like a warmer headphone, nor much emphasis on mid-bass, but I am certain bass heads (or HE-500 fans) would love this configuration. I will certainly keep it iin the back my head.

Summery (vs velours):

Pros
Comfort
Better seal
Harder hitting,but still controlled bass

Cons
No dust protection
Increase in mid-bass (pro for some)
Slight roll off in the upper highs
Smaller open on pad for those with larger ears

Other thoughts
Ear is closer to driver
More intimate sound stage
Warmer sound
It's pleather... (Warms up quicker, and collects face oils block, but easier to clean)
Finally have something to do with those damned T50rp pads!

 

Thanks a lot for your impressions, will add it to the HE-4 guide!

 

So which pads do you prefer right now, may I ask?

post #2513 of 2593
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron12 View Post

Thanks a lot for your impressions, will add it to the HE-4 guide!

So which pads do you prefer right now, may I ask?

I use the factory velours that came with my HE-4 when purchased. I got mine from HeadAmp, but cannot tell if they are the old velours or not... I have a pair of replacement velours I purchased for a FA-011 pad swap. No tried me out on my HE-4 and were just too stiff, so I never really listened to headphones, just kept shifting them on my head. From someone's description, I think I have the more sought after "old velours".

I'm notorious for liking bright headphones, so the T50rp pads was just too warm for my tastes. When I want warm but super detailed, I plug my HE-4s into my EF-5 with a 12FV7 tube. That seems to get my fix... I'm running out of rings, so I'd rather not pad roll too often!

I would like to do a comparison of all the pads I currently own sometime in the future, but I'm tied up at the whisky shop right now. Most of my headphone time is now spent at work, where I need a closed can. Sad when you need a vacation to listen to music, haha!?
post #2514 of 2593
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrscotchguy View Post


I use the factory velours that came with my HE-4 when purchased. I got mine from HeadAmp, but cannot tell if they are the old velours or not... I have a pair of replacement velours I purchased for a FA-011 pad swap. No tried me out on my HE-4 and were just too stiff, so I never really listened to headphones, just kept shifting them on my head. From someone's description, I think I have the more sought after "old velours".

I'm notorious for liking bright headphones, so the T50rp pads was just too warm for my tastes. When I want warm but super detailed, I plug my HE-4s into my EF-5 with a 12FV7 tube. That seems to get my fix... I'm running out of rings, so I'd rather not pad roll too often!

I would like to do a comparison of all the pads I currently own sometime in the future, but I'm tied up at the whisky shop right now. Most of my headphone time is now spent at work, where I need a closed can. Sad when you need a vacation to listen to music, haha!?

 

Old velours do have this old-style crappy ring (it's the easiest way to recognize them): http://www.head-fi.org/t/522157/hifiman-he-4-impressions-thread/2235#post_10612505

 

I personally like the old velours and Beyer 990 pads the most at the moment. I can tell you that I am really content with both... It's just like having two brilliant options - different flavours. Hifiman pleathers (modded) are also great but they are still pleathers... and the angle mod is not completely convenient. Without the angle mod, they lost too much on the spatial interpretation and become not versatile enough.

 

If you could somehow manage to get the old velour, please do it... I cannot imagine that you wouldn't be very happy with them. They are the most versatile pads I have tried - they have literally no weakness.

post #2515 of 2593
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron12 View Post
 

 

Old velours do have this old-style crappy ring (it's the easiest way to recognize them): http://www.head-fi.org/t/522157/hifiman-he-4-impressions-thread/2235#post_10612505

 

I personally like the old velours and Beyer 990 pads the most at the moment. I can tell you that I am really content with both... It's just like having two brilliant options - different flavours. Hifiman pleathers (modded) are also great but they are still pleathers... and the angle mod is not completely convenient. Without the angle mod, they lost too much on the spatial interpretation and become not versatile enough.

 

If you could somehow manage to get the old velour, please do it... I cannot imagine that you wouldn't be very happy with them. They are the most versatile pads I have tried - they have literally no weakness.

q.q now I want the old velours 

post #2516 of 2593
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

q.q now I want the old velours 

 

These two pads are really good sparring partners... Or may I say they are like two brothers? One is younger, more lively, flashy and always direct to you (Beyer pads)... The other one is older, already a bit calmed down, wiser and little more patient with his decisions (Hifiman old velour). You feel like the older brother is the more stable, all-round and reliable kind of guy even though he was the same as the younger one several years ago... But still, watching the younger one, you cannot go away unexcited by his energy and fresh approach to every action he takes - you actually feel that both brothers could work together to change the world as they complement each other.

 

Beyer pads excel especially in evoking this LIVE experience, like being THERE where the music happens... It has a brilliant sense of openness, tons of air going on. On the other hand, I would like the pads to be a little bit less squashy (just like Hifiman old velours are) to be perfect comfortwise for me... And yeah, even though I find them surprisingly good even with not-so-greatly-produced music, they may be a little over the top sometimes with some specific tracks or when you're not in the mood (then they start to sound a bit too harsh and treble-heavy to me). This can be generally slightly mitigated by putting the volume down but the problem is that I don't want to decrease loudness with these pads... They are so great in producing life-like experience that you just want to turn the volume up all the time! Yeah, I am aware that it's not good and my ears sometimes become fatigued as I am not used to such a loudness normally (I don't listen loud at all usually). These Beyer pads also subjectively have the most hyperdetailed sound - I wouldn't say more detailed than the old velours but it's presented more directly through the ton of air they produce.

 

Hifiman velour pads are like a calmed-down version of Beyer pads, with very very nice timbre (no Beyerish flavour, no cavernous effect of the pleathers, no overly dry and slightly too rough feeling of the current velours), more natural bass-fullness/airiness ratio for general and multi-genre listening (resulting also in a appreciably more black background), and slightly more distant way of presenting music (less in-your-face than with Beyers). They are quite a compromise between studio and life-like sounding pads if you know what I mean - not as life-like as Beyer pads can do it but also not too polite to feel like listening to something inauthentic. But I must admit that if you want to be translated THERE to the gig/concert, Beyer pads are unmatched and I have to fully admit it (even if I don't want to :-) ). Hifiman's are a bit more polite, they tend to slightly round and smooth edges that can be too rough and spiky with current velours and Beyers. The basic tonality of both pads is very similar so you just tend to like both pads (yes, there is a bit more fullness and less airiness with Hifiman's but still the tonality just feels very similar) - yet the timbre is where Hifiman takes the edge. Comfort is almost perfect... Not too stiff and rough on touch (current velours), not too squashy and nearly (but not completely) as smooth on touch as Beyers - here the balance is really close-to-perfect.

 

Beyer pads and these old velours are actually quite similar... But there are differences and I always feel like switching from one to another just to experience the song in a different (but as brilliant) way. Too bad that the mounting mechanism from Hifiman is not great for this purpose and therefore I will just have to choose one or another variant sooner or later. Never say never but my hunt for ideal HE-4 pads is nearly over now.

 

= = = = = = = = = 

 

I still feel somewhat strange about the new hybrid pads... Many people seems to be happy with them and I am definitely glad for them - I would like to be happy with them as well. But... I just cannot lie to myself. They are just a wasted potential.


Edited by Ron12 - 7/14/14 at 5:57pm
post #2517 of 2593

... I got to hear a Gretch today... LIVE and in PERSON <3 it was glorious, a buddy of mine played me some Chet Akins on his Gretch, it was glorious, and going home listening to Chet Akins on my set up :3 is pretty awesome too! 

post #2518 of 2593
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron12 View Post

Old velours do have this old-style crappy ring (it's the easiest way to recognize them): http://www.head-fi.org/t/522157/hifiman-he-4-impressions-thread/2235#post_10612505

I personally like the old velours and Beyer 990 pads the most at the moment. I can tell you that I am really content with both... It's just like having two brilliant options - different flavours. Hifiman pleathers (modded) are also great but they are still pleathers... and the angle mod is not completely convenient. Without the angle mod, they lost too much on the spatial interpretation and become not versatile enough.

If you could somehow manage to get the old velour, please do it... I cannot imagine that you wouldn't be very happy with them. They are the most versatile pads I have tried - they have literally no weakness.

Do you think there could be another variant? I my factory pads a slightly squishier and look more like crushed velvet than velour... no unusual mounting bracket, just the black one.

Who knows...
post #2519 of 2593
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrscotchguy View Post


Do you think there could be another variant? I my factory pads a slightly squishier and look more like crushed velvet than velour... no unusual mounting bracket, just the black one.

Who knows...

 

I personally have no idea... The only way to find out is to purchase a brand new pair and compare whether you hear the same difference as I do. Wish I had more pairs of the old velours, I would gladly sell them to you!

 

Btw, I've tried to wash the current velour pads in a hot water intensively as conquerator2 suggests in his review... But I can tell you that this does not help anything at all (no improvement in sound or comfort). Well, his opinions are always quite opposite to mine it seems so who knows - maybe his water is different from mine (which technically-speaking is perfectly possible... but not sure how that could apply here) ,-)

post #2520 of 2593
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron12 View Post
 

 

I personally have no idea... The only way to find out is to purchase a brand new pair and compare whether you hear the same difference as I do. Wish I had more pairs of the old velours, I would gladly sell them to you!

 

Btw, I've tried to wash the current velour pads in a hot water intensively as conquerator2 suggests in his review... But I can tell you that this does not help anything at all (no improvement in sound or comfort). Well, his opinions are always quite opposite to mine it seems so who knows - maybe his water is different from mine (which technically-speaking is perfectly possible... but not sure how that could apply here) ,-)

hard vs soft water, it's possible hard water with it's higher mineral content could soften the pads more 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Hifiman HE-4 Impressions Thread