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Hifiman HE-4 Impressions Thread - Page 60

post #886 of 3917

YES!!! Just made my purchase finally! So, ill be able to compare he400 and he4 as well as with the magnum v5. Though i already know the v5 is going to lose, since it loses against the 400 to me. Now, I really need to thin the herd and sell some gear! Thanks matt thujone magicman and everyone else for all the help making this decision. Cant wait to see if the sx727 will do em justice! Although, the emotiva has been on my  mind for a while.

post #887 of 3917
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thujone View Post
 

I'm am a proud new owner of the HE-4. Since the HE-400 has been the king of my cans ever since I got it, I figured I'd post my impressions of the HE-4 vs. the HE-400 to show how the HE-400 has been dethroned. (This is copied from a PM I sent to modulor who was interested in the impressions):

 

 

First and foremost, these HE-4's are freaking light! Holy cow, I didn't think it would be this noticeable. Anyway, when I first plugged them into the Ember (35 ohm output resistance), I had to crank the knob up quite a bit, but it still powered them relatively well. Out of curiosity, I immediately switched to the low output impedance (0.1 ohm) for higher power. Ooooooo, there we go, much better. I started with some Savant, moved into some Chevelle, Infected Mushroom, etc. Back and forth between the HE-4's and HE-400's (both with velour pads). Almost right away I find a large difference, and to no surprise either. The treble on the HE-400 is much worse. Don't get me wrong though, I kept a treble reducing EQ on the entire time since the HE-4's benefit from it as well, but the HE-400's just have too much tizz that cannot be saved with EQ. HE-4: 1, HE-400: 0. The next thing I noticed came as a great surprise. The unnatural sound of the HE-400 is not shared with the HE-4. In fact, I typically stay away from rock music in general on the 400's because they can't reproduce guitars and vocals in a natural way -- making EDM a perfect candidate. Yet, here I am, jamming out to some rock on the HE-4's and giddy as hell because they sound so much more natural. HE-4: 2, HE-400: 0. Now, as I'm digging the new organic ortho sound, I notice something else that catches me by surprise: imaging. I've put the HE-400's on a pedestal ever since I got them because they just make my dynamic cans sound muddy in comparison. Maybe that's the treble adding crispness (where the HD580's are "veiled" hehe) or maybe it's just what we've all contributed it too: the speed of orthos. Well guess what. The HE-4's make the HE-400's sound congested. Picking out specific instruments or voices is even easier now. These cans are very airy in comparison to the 400's. HE-4: 3, HE-400: 0. Things are looking pretty dismal for the 400's, so I decided to do some critical listening on bass, their strong suit. I listened to a bunch of hard hitting EDM tracks and it's definitely clear that the HE-400's win this battle. The more congested (or closed, if you will) sound helps these bad boys punch with more weight. I wouldn't say there is more texture or that the bass is clearer, but it hits harder for sure.

 

Final score:

HE-4: 3, HE-400: 1.

 

Now, just some other things that you may want to consider: the HE-4's come in a sweet HFM hard case (not the traveler case), one braided (long) cable, one short cable, and they are significantly lighter. Since I only wanted to compare the sound, I didn't tally those up as points for the HE-4's, but wow. These are an incredible bargain. However, the HE-400's remain much easier to drive. I could tell just from the difference between medium and low output impedance that you are going to need a powerful amp to do these justice. This would obviously be a point towards the HE-400's, but who cares? I have Project Ember :p.


nice impression, I agree

 

HE-400 has super organic sound but rock/metal needs some dirt and raw sound - just imagine some band performing metal / hard rock on the stage with such organic sounding speakers ;] but hey for female vocals it is amazing, listening to the jazz in crowded jazz club late at night is a pure pleasure on it (he-400 has a little dark / laid back signature for me which is great there but mids are not so detailed and here is the point when its performance ends)

 

another thing is HE-400 can be more fatiguing in the treble than HE-4 because of specific peak when you look at its characteristic and after a few hours it is really annoying and boring (because treble is always the same thanks to the peak which is dominant there), HE-4 is more balanced without such aggressive peak and treble energy is better distributed causing effect of nice open air / soundstage

 

preproman,

 

"Bass - in terms of body and presence (fullness):

HE-6 --> HE-500 - HE-5LE --> HE-4"

 

seriously ? better than HE-500 in this area ? quite interesting ...

post #888 of 3917
Quote:
Originally Posted by hemipowered007 View Post
 

YES!!! Just made my purchase finally! So, ill be able to compare he400 and he4 as well as with the magnum v5. Though i already know the v5 is going to lose, since it loses against the 400 to me. Now, I really need to thin the herd and sell some gear! Thanks matt thujone magicman and everyone else for all the help making this decision. Cant wait to see if the sx727 will do em justice! Although, the emotiva has been on my  mind for a while.


don't be so sure about a-100 - I can tell now I heard HE-4 sounding much better on some other combinations, it is interesting indeed how it sounds on a-100 but I don't know whether I keep it or try HE-6 on it

 

a-100 could be more clear sounding to my ears, could have sharper attack and a bit more speed maybe ? mids sound somehow congested to me, lose a bit of details ... soundstage is great but very 2D comparing to EF-5 or LYR on the same DAC so this is the amp indeed

 

interesting in your opinion preproman about that, what I like especially is power reserve (no distortion when music hits hard or dynamic peaks), smooth and effortless sound but a bit boring for me

 

I just let it sing for some more days but this might be just budget speaker amp :D

 

or maybe just go some sr-007 mkI route and sell all current stuff ...

 

I am really on some crossroad here :(


Edited by magicman - 11/8/13 at 9:58am
post #889 of 3917
Stax!! Let me borrow them when you get them...pleeeeease
post #890 of 3917

^^ Let me offer some advice. Don't listen to the Stax unless you can afford them and the required amp. It's just an exercise in self abuse...trust me. 

post #891 of 3917

oh i figured as much, just hope the he4 keeps me happy for at least a few months, nothing else has!

post #892 of 3917

"Bass - in terms of body and presence (fullness):

HE-6 --> HE-500 - HE-5LE --> HE-4"

 

seriously ? better than HE-500 in this area ? quite interesting ...

pretty sure it's highest to lowest from left to right, so he-500 is better in that area.

post #893 of 3917

I think that you'll be pretty impressed with the he-4. It does have it's own issues but no fatal flaw like the he400 IMO. 

post #894 of 3917
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post
 

^^ Let me offer some advice. Don't listen to the Stax unless you can afford them and the required amp. It's just an exercise in self abuse...trust me.

I agree, I used to have three working Stax headphones at one time. While the Stax is nice I enjoy my dynamic headphones as well.

post #895 of 3917

i might have to see if i can try some Stax at the NY meet tomorrow. i've been thinking between these and Lambda Pro.

post #896 of 3917

So, ill probably sell my e17 and 400, looking for a new dac, ill have the dac destroyer still just to have have something to bypass onboard audio. But, looking for a new dac, doesnt have to be portable. Ive really heard before the dac road doesnt lead down a very gainful audio path. So, any recs for the he4? Or shall i just go hrt musicstreamer and stop

post #897 of 3917

I have listened so far following stax combos 2070/3070/4070 but I was very disappointed

 

I have heard about old lambda pro series (great) but many failures because of their age

 

So maybe I will try something like SR-Omega or 007 MK I with proper amp but I am just thinking ...

 

There is also some KOSS electrostatic combo like ESP950, brand new for about 1k $ - anybody ?

 

http://www.koss.com/en/products/headphones/full_size_headphones/ESP950__ESP950_Electrostatic_Headphone


Edited by magicman - 11/8/13 at 11:08am
post #898 of 3917
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenshinhimura View Post
 

pretty sure it's highest to lowest from left to right, so he-500 is better in that area.

no, HE-500 is not better according to that :D HE-6 is better and that surprised me a bit ...


Edited by magicman - 11/8/13 at 10:48am
post #899 of 3917
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post
 

Very Nice Prep and Thujone. These are nice impressions and comparisons. I think that there is a misperception that the he-4 is inferior because the he400 came after it and therefore it must be an inferior hp. It's not the case at all. It's a really nice hp for sure. It's real shortcoming is the amping requirement. If you can handle the amp requirement you'll have one heck of an experience withe he-4.

 

Maybe there will be a small resurgence in this hp, although it's out of production now I believe.

I can only imagine how they sound out of your vintage Pioneer... I envy you. It saddens me that the HE-4 will likely go out of production (if it hasn't already) due to being overshadowed by the HE-500 and the HE-400.

 

As far as preproman's impressions on air, I completely agree. Only my AKG's can compete with that amount of air (and quite unnaturally at that) but they don't touch the HE-4's when it comes to imaging and separation.

 

I agree, magicman. Though, I wouldn't say that the HE-400's are organic (at least in comparison). They are just too unnatural sounding, but I don't know what to contribute that to. All of the HFM cans have an upper mid recession, the HE-400 more than the rest, but is that the reason vocals and guitars sound so much better on the HE-4, because of less dB recession? I don't know. What I do know is that I'm putting up my HE-400's for sale. I am a lover of bass impact, but I'm not a lover of being restricted to EDM with those cans.

 

Also, just in case anyone is interested, I did some pad swapping between the jerg pads made by modulor and the velours on the HE-4's and I think I'm content with the stock velours. The jerg pads are a requirement on the HE-400's in my book, because the treble is crazy. I'm going to try to sell them as a pair to hopefully help someone out since modulor may not be making anymore. It might be kind of fun to add some bass vents to the velour pads on the HE-4 though!

post #900 of 3917
Quote:
Originally Posted by hemipowered007 View Post
 

oh i figured as much, just hope the he4 keeps me happy for at least a few months, nothing else has!


most important is the amp matching here, you can quit the source seriously, HE-4 90% sound quality and character comes from an amp, just figured it out again today having 3 different amps and 3 different sources, but it's just my opinion

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