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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 8

post #106 of 18174
Originally Posted by jackmccabe View Post

For anyone who has heard these, how do they perform for rock and metal and are there any others headphones you would recommend for these genres?


The HE-500s sound absolutely amazing with remastered classic rock albums.  I have ordered about 10 others, but the following SHM-CDs are examples of this:


Kiss:  Love Gun

Deep Purple:  Burn


and SHM-SACD (single layer):


Kiss:  Destroyer


They are available from a number of sellers on Ebay as well as CDJapan.co.jp.  Really expensive for us because of the exchange rate, but worth every penny, especially when played on a high-end system.


post #107 of 18174

How would the lcd-2's compare for rock and metal?


post #108 of 18174

warp08 have you no respect for my wallet ?


Deep purple - Live in Japan should be good


WRT to the LCD2 if you like Senn 650 you will love them and the missing treble

post #109 of 18174
Originally Posted by hawkhead View Post

warp08 have you no respect for my wallet ?


Deep purple - Live in Japan should be good


WRT to the LCD2 if you like Senn 650 you will love them and the missing treble

I believe that a full wallet ruins my girlish figure so I prefer my own empty...LOL


The 2010 remaster of both Made In Japan and Made In Europe is amazingly good even without the SHM-CD guise and these are available for cheap at Amazon.com.  But if you want that OBI strip, your wallet will feel it.


post #110 of 18174

The HE-500 have just passed the 100 hours of burn-in. Currently I am listening to Patricia Barber's Night Club album and not only is her voice extremely engaging an clear but the level of clarity as you enunciates the words is unbelievable. The instruments in the song Alfie (beginning of the song) cut right through and I just want to close my eyes and sit back and enjoy it.


On wednesday I plan on meeting with Carl (a member who lives in Fort Lauderdale) for lunch so he can listen and probably borrow them for a bit so he can listen at home with his other gear and compare them. I hope to meet with Ron (HiFlight) next week to do the same.

post #111 of 18174

I'm eager to see some comparisons, with the LCD-2 and HE-6 mainly.


Secondly, does anyone know if Fang is offering discounts for previous HE owners this time around?

post #112 of 18174
Thread Starter 

I would do some more comparisons but I have to keep running out do documenting photography. It is one reason I am here on the island but it does get in the way at times. :^) The HE-6 do sound better with the Lyr than what they were sounding although the 71B does a very credible job. 

post #113 of 18174

My first impression of HE-500 in case ppl is interested. didn't realize we have another HE-500 thread here.



post #114 of 18174

Mini-review: HiFiMan HE-500 Planar-Magnetic Headphones


Fang from Head-Direct was kind enough to loan me a pair of HE-500 for review.  The HE-500 are billed as a more efficient version of the HE-6, although there are some other differences, both in design and in sonics.  They are also a little different looking, in that the casing is a very nice gun-metal grey:






Taken on its own, the HE-500 are really an exceptionally good headphone.  While they still require a somewhat powerful headphone amp, I was able to drive them with no problem from the Woo WA2, WA6, Trafomatic Head One, Decware Mini-Torri, Musical Paradise MP-301 mk2, and Leben CS300XS, all without any issues. 


The sound overall embodied the principle qualities I have come to love from Planar headphones - a very transparent, open, and smooth sound, that is free from the graininess that is present on even the finest of dynamic driver headphones, with the lone exception of the Sony R10.  The mids especially have a transparency that is very beguiling.  The HE-500 are very smooth sounding as well - in some ways they have the smoothest of all of the HiFiMan planars, especially in the treble.  The treble is very smooth, clean, and unfatiguing.  The mids, as mentioned, are very smooth and open, and sound very uncolored.  The bass is full, and fairly tight, with just a touch of mid-upper bass warmth.  Overall the sonic picture is quite neutral, with perhaps just a very small amount of warmth - not a bad place to be for many users.  The soundstage has very good image specificity, and depth is excellent, although it is not as wide as the very best.


All forms of music were well served, but I especially enjoyed the new CD by Alison Krauss and Union Station, which arrived about the same time as the HE-500.  Alison's delicate soprano was beautifully and accurately delivered, and the string plucking and tone were excellent.  The HE-500 also had no problem keeping up with very fast metal like Symphony X's "Sea of Lies", or complex prog-rock like in King Crimson's "Red".


Versus the HE-6, assuming one is using a powerful enough amp to drive them, I find the HE-6 to be just slightly more transparent.  Bass is slightly deeper, and slightly better defined.  The mids were just a very small amount drier, and the treble is just slightly more pronounced and seemingly extended, without being in any way edgy (although the HE-6 treble CAN be edgy without proper amplification).  If one already owns a VERY powerful amp, the HE-6 provide better absolute performance than the HE-500, IMO.  However, they are $300 more expensive, and they have much more stringent amplification requirements to achieve these results.


Compared to the LCD-2, again I very slightly prefer the LCD-2, as I find them to offer a slightly more natural sound (although the HE-500 are still excellent in that regard), and very slightly more nuanced. The LCD-2 are also just slightly more efficient than the HE-500.  But the fact is, I could live very happily with any of these three Planar headphones, and I prefer ALL three of them to any Dynamic headphone currently available.  The HE-500 easily outperform the HD800, Beyer T1, Rudi Chroma MD-1, Denon D7000, Ultrasone Edition 10 or 8.  And given the HE-500's price, they have to be considered a bargain, as far as high-end headphones go.



post #115 of 18174

Nice write up Rob did you try the stock cable also. i remember you had said you were using the HE6 cable which I still find outstanding and so light. The proto I had seen had a 1/8 inch headphone jack Did Fang stick with that and use the adapter for 1/4. I really have limited time so I passed on the loaner set but I am curious.

post #116 of 18174

I did use the stock cable briefly, but it is VERY stiff - I did not really care for it, so I switched to the HE-6 cable.  I much preferred that, although the sonic differences were negligible. 

post #117 of 18174

Can you order the he6 cable with it instead of the stock cable?

post #118 of 18174

I have no idea.

post #119 of 18174
Thread Starter 

One of these days I am going to switch the Twag V2 form the LCD-2 to the connector for the HE series. Too bad they don't use the same connector. 

post #120 of 18174

Hi Rob, nice write up. The HE-500 I have has a bit over 125 hours of burn in and I am using the the HE-6 cable as you did. I do wish I had an LCD-2 available to compare, perhaps when I return from my upcoming vacation I will try to find one of the Florida member to do a mini meet and compare them.


I am very taken by this cans, the overall presentation is extremely engaging with a great overall balance of the frequency presentation. Some cans do bass or mids or treble well but not always the full spectrum. The HE-500 is one of those cans that leaves the listener extremely satisfied and wanting more. It is very hard to say ... oh I will just listen for 30 minutes, it turns into a couple of hours. I also find that the HE-500 is not very amp dependent, I have tried at least five home amps (tube and SS) ranging from a $200 unit to an $8,600 one and the HE-500 sounded very good from all and also scaled up nicely as I move up. The scaling was most noticeable in the overall musicality and clarity.


Yesterday I met with Carl (a Florida member) who borrowed the unit overnight to obtain an idea of the sound. He tried it with a few amps but felt the HE-500 matched excellently with his Woo Audio 6. I sure hope he chimes in with his impressions.


I sure love how smooth this cans are, more to come.

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