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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 2

post #16 of 14582
Quote:
Originally Posted by brobilly View Post




the same reason why you only get ONE spare tire for your car. Because the spare earpad can be used for both sides. wink.gif

 


more like Hifiman is a bit cheap to include a pair for $900 hp biggrin.gif
post #17 of 14582

Ive been checking the HD site like a mad man over the past few days... Itchy trigger finger and some money to burn ;) Plus i just dont wanna jump onto the LCD-2 bandwagon, not my flavour anyhow.

post #18 of 14582
Thread Starter 

These headphones go through more changes and to more of an extreme difference than any phones I have ever had. The sibilance is gone and the highs are now sweet and violin so very, very nice. The transparency and speed has increased and the openness to the sound has really improved to where they are right there at the top in sound for me. I read Fang's report that they aren't quite as good as the HE-6. I sure don't know about that. To my ear they are a little different sound but right now I don't hear how they aren't doing everything very right. 


Edited by jamato8 - 4/29/11 at 2:38pm
post #19 of 14582

Hmmm thats definitely good news! :)

post #20 of 14582

Hey guys.  I'm the guy from the video.  I know I had a scattered brain that day of filming, and didn't have a whole lot of time with the headphones before pushing out the unboxing.  Just as a precursor, as I'm sure you discovered, I don't know everything about audio.  I know just enough to dip my toe in, have spent a lot of time around a lot of the industry's most professional headphones, amplifiers, and sources, but I am more of a consumer than an audiophile.  I'm using a V-CAN amplifier to power the HE-500.  I have also ran them through a FiiO E7 (DAC through USB), and they sounded surprisingly good considering their relatively high inefficiency (even though they're marketed as much less power hungry than a lot of head candy on the market [which they are]).  With the FiiO E5, which Fang said was all the power I would really need to get the best sound (false), they were a little weak, and even though they can be powered from the line out of my MacBook Pro, its not that grand of a sound.  I'm using FLAC audio files through Cog (Mac) for my source.  As for the build quality, the cups feel super durable, and though they're heavy, the very soft leather/foam band sits well on the head.  The ear cups get a little itchy after a while, and I kinda wish they included the option to choose a leather cup as I am a bit more fond of them, but the suede ones work nonetheless.  The cable is wicked thick and can get in the way at times, but has great sound (after a little burn in).  These headphones have changed drastically since I first checked them out (like seriously, burn in is wild, and they require a ton of it.  The first 3-4 hours, anything in the low end got pretty well distorted, but these have changed more than any other headphone I have ever owned).  After about 120 hours of burn in, the trebs are a little bit lively leaving the bass slightly lacking in weight (at least for me) but the mids are astonishingly transparent.  They sound really open which brings an awesomely natural sound in a quiet environment, but when in a rambunctious house, a lot of exterior noise leaks in (even with a decent amount of volume).  I've mostly been listening to classical with these, but rock sounds astonishingly good as well.  The bass holds up well, vocals are vibrant, and acoustic guitars sound jawdroppingly accurate.  As the headphones are open, there is a very wide soundstage which is rather surreal.  I haven't had a full burn-in I feel like, and haven't listened quite enough to give my full impressions, but that's a start I guess.  Thanks for watching the video (though it was slightly n00bish I know), and I'm excited to become a part of the head-fi community.

 

--Quinn

post #21 of 14582
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSIG View Post

Hey guys.  I'm the guy from the video.  I know I had a scattered brain that day of filming, and didn't have a whole lot of time with the headphones before pushing out the unboxing.  Just as a precursor, as I'm sure you discovered, I don't know everything about audio.  I know just enough to dip my toe in, have spent a lot of time around a lot of the industry's most professional headphones, amplifiers, and sources, but I am more of a consumer than an audiophile.  I'm using a V-CAN amplifier to power the HE-500.  I have also ran them through a FiiO E7 (DAC through USB), and they sounded surprisingly good considering their relatively high inefficiency (even though they're marketed as much less power hungry than a lot of head candy on the market [which they are]).  With the FiiO E5, which Fang said was all the power I would really need to get the best sound (false), they were a little weak, and even though they can be powered from the line out of my MacBook Pro, its not that grand of a sound.  I'm using FLAC audio files through Cog (Mac) for my source.  As for the build quality, the cups feel super durable, and though they're heavy, the very soft leather/foam band sits well on the head.  The ear cups get a little itchy after a while, and I kinda wish they included the option to choose a leather cup as I am a bit more fond of them, but the suede ones work nonetheless.  The cable is wicked thick and can get in the way at times, but has great sound (after a little burn in).  These headphones have changed drastically since I first checked them out (like seriously, burn in is wild, and they require a ton of it.  The first 3-4 hours, anything in the low end got pretty well distorted, but these have changed more than any other headphone I have ever owned).  After about 120 hours of burn in, the trebs are a little bit lively leaving the bass slightly lacking in weight (at least for me) but the mids are astonishingly transparent.  They sound really open which brings an awesomely natural sound in a quiet environment, but when in a rambunctious house, a lot of exterior noise leaks in (even with a decent amount of volume).  I've mostly been listening to classical with these, but rock sounds astonishingly good as well.  The bass holds up well, vocals are vibrant, and acoustic guitars sound jawdroppingly accurate.  As the headphones are open, there is a very wide soundstage which is rather surreal.  I haven't had a full burn-in I feel like, and haven't listened quite enough to give my full impressions, but that's a start I guess.  Thanks for watching the video (though it was slightly n00bish I know), and I'm excited to become a part of the head-fi community.

 

--Quinn

I am noticing the burn in also. I have heard it with standard types of transducers for other headphones but orthos, in my past experience didn't need much burn in. These are at the other end of the spectrum though and on that I agree with you. I think that different amplification will bring different results for what you are hearing in the bass. I like leather ear pad covers as well but then that would also change the sound due to a change in the type of surface absorbing certain frequencies. Your observations are much appreciated. 

 

And welcome to Head-Fi!
 

 


Edited by jamato8 - 5/1/11 at 12:57am
post #22 of 14582

Thanks for the warm welcomes.  I'm heading to my uncle's house later this week (he's a big audiophile) and he told me he wanted to plug these into his Emmeline Raptor tube amp, so I'll be sure to give that a listen and see if that improves some of the lackluster bass I'm finding in my V-CAN.

post #23 of 14582
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSIG View Post

Hey guys.  I'm the guy from the video.  I know I had a scattered brain that day of filming, and didn't have a whole lot of time with the headphones before pushing out the unboxing.  Just as a precursor, as I'm sure you discovered, I don't know everything about audio.  I know just enough to dip my toe in, have spent a lot of time around a lot of the industry's most professional headphones, amplifiers, and sources, but I am more of a consumer than an audiophile.  I'm using a V-CAN amplifier to power the HE-500.  I have also ran them through a FiiO E7 (DAC through USB), and they sounded surprisingly good considering their relatively high inefficiency (even though they're marketed as much less power hungry than a lot of head candy on the market [which they are]).  With the FiiO E5, which Fang said was all the power I would really need to get the best sound (false), they were a little weak, and even though they can be powered from the line out of my MacBook Pro, its not that grand of a sound.  I'm using FLAC audio files through Cog (Mac) for my source.  As for the build quality, the cups feel super durable, and though they're heavy, the very soft leather/foam band sits well on the head.  The ear cups get a little itchy after a while, and I kinda wish they included the option to choose a leather cup as I am a bit more fond of them, but the suede ones work nonetheless.  The cable is wicked thick and can get in the way at times, but has great sound (after a little burn in).  These headphones have changed drastically since I first checked them out (like seriously, burn in is wild, and they require a ton of it.  The first 3-4 hours, anything in the low end got pretty well distorted, but these have changed more than any other headphone I have ever owned).  After about 120 hours of burn in, the trebs are a little bit lively leaving the bass slightly lacking in weight (at least for me) but the mids are astonishingly transparent.  They sound really open which brings an awesomely natural sound in a quiet environment, but when in a rambunctious house, a lot of exterior noise leaks in (even with a decent amount of volume).  I've mostly been listening to classical with these, but rock sounds astonishingly good as well.  The bass holds up well, vocals are vibrant, and acoustic guitars sound jawdroppingly accurate.  As the headphones are open, there is a very wide soundstage which is rather surreal.  I haven't had a full burn-in I feel like, and haven't listened quite enough to give my full impressions, but that's a start I guess.  Thanks for watching the video (though it was slightly n00bish I know), and I'm excited to become a part of the head-fi community.

 

--Quinn


paragraphs... please try them biggrin.gif
Welcome to head-fi.

What's this about lack-luster bass?
post #24 of 14582

The bass has resolved with more burn in.  It was a little bit underpowered (I'm not a huge bass guy either), but after more burn in, it has penetrated a little more through the track.  They keep sounding better and better.  It's wild!

post #25 of 14582

I wish they would put them up on the website for purchase ffs! I was told the 1st of March and nothing... Emailed them and they replied it will be sometime before they are available.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TSIG View Post

The bass has resolved with more burn in.  It was a little bit underpowered (I'm not a huge bass guy either), but after more burn in, it has penetrated a little more through the track.  They keep sounding better and better.  It's wild!



 

post #26 of 14582
@jamato08: would you say the PB2 drives the HE-6 well enough? When in contact with Head-Direct they state an output of 1,5-2 W as optimal.

Secondly, how does the HE-500 compare to the HE-6 (when driven to their best) the entire range?
post #27 of 14582
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by b0ck3n View Post

@jamato08: would you say the PB2 drives the HE-6 well enough? When in contact with Head-Direct they state an output of 1,5-2 W as optimal.

Secondly, how does the HE-500 compare to the HE-6 (when driven to their best) the entire range?

The PB-2 drives them fine but you need a dac that puts out 3 volts or more. The gain of the PB-2 isn't high enough to get loud volumes out of the HE-6 with the DB-2. The power is there but not the gain. The SR 71B has more gain and because of that, goes to a higher volume that still sounds good. 

 

There have been a number of impressions now on the 500's and the 6's. The 500 are more neutral to my ear. Some say they HE-6 go deeper on the bass but I tested the HE-500 and get tones, or solid vibrations, down to 16khz. The HE-6 are more tilted up on the highs so the HE-500 sound a little more natural. Now that is on my equipment and I will be getting a Lyr Schiit soon and I have good tubes so I can or will be able to better determine if the HE-6 are getting all that is needed with my balanced portables. They both do many things right and are enjoyable. On my current equipment I am enjoying the HE-500 a little more than the HE-6. That may or may not change with the advent of the Lyr. 
 

 

post #28 of 14582

 

My impressions of the HE500

 

 

Equipment used:

 

Source 17” MacBook Pro iTunes/ Audirvana aiff/ 4TB (RAID1) Western Digital HD.

 

Amp/DAC: Audio-GD NFB-10ES (usb input)

 

Amp: Hifiman EF5 with DY-1 power source

 

 

 

Other headphones used:

 

Hifiman HE6 stock cable

 

Audeze LCD2 with ALO RW8-S silver/copper cable

 

Beyer T1 with Moon Audio Black Dragon cable

 

 

Firstly I’d like to say thank you to Highendworshop.co.uk for the HE500 loaner and use of the HE6 EF5.

 

The views expressed are purely my own opinion and as such one brings one own grain of salt.

 

 

 

 

HE500 v HE6

Out of the box the HE500 looks almost identical to the HE6, the only difference being the colour. The HE500 is a dark metallic grey as opposed to the piano black of the HE6.

 

The cables are also different. Instead of the fine translucent cable of the HE6 with it’s 4 pole XLR adapter and ¼ jack, the HE500 has a thicker black Canare cable, terminating in a 1/4”jack. If I had the choice I would use the lighter HE6 cable, especially as it gives the option to run balanced.

 

The HE500 I’m told was produced as an easier to drive version of the HE6 so that it wouldn’t require a powerful amp. The build quality is on par with the HE6, as is it’s fit, being comfortable even for my large head. Velour pads are still a feature as is the spare in the box. One might feel the HE500 were slightly heavier due to the thicker cable.

 

For this review I used the NFB-10 as a DAC feeding a signal to the EF5 as the HE500 comes with a ¼ jack. I did try it balanced out of the NFB-10, but as it comes s/e I will keep my opinions here to it’s performance out of the EF5.

 

 

 

Music used.

Well this what’s is all for at the end of the day. These devices are a means to an end and not an end in themselves.

I used a range of styles from Dub Step to metal to Neo classical. There were particular albums I picked out such as, Anner Bylsma’s Bach Cello suites (sony )Arvo Pärt’s  Kanon Pokajanen, Alice In Chains MTV Live unplugged Meshuggah’s Obzen, Suzanne Vega Up-Close Vol 1 and Hans Zimmer The Dark Night Special Edition

 

Some A/B’ing was done, but mostly I just lived with them for a bit with the music I would normally listen to. Swapping back to the other cans if something struck my attention for comparison.

 

 

 

Sound

 

HE500 V’s HE6

 I pick up a slight sibilance on both the HE500 and more on the HE6. Not always present. The HE500 manages to balance it more with more pronounced mid bass. So the treble is a bit hotter on the HE6 with certain tracks. There are enough highs to give the HE500 some sparkle without being fatiguing. The HE6 goes deeper than the HE500. The sub bass is heard on the HE500, although pushed forward into the bass region. You hear it, but it doesn’t feel as deep.

 

The HE500 is more balanced across the frequency spectrum. Not giving any particular frequency prominence. It has a more forward sound, which works well with drums and vocals. You loose a fraction of the HE6 soundstage for a tighter presentation. Listening to the Bach cello suites, I lost my self in them with the HE6. With the HE500 the performance is presented in front of you, ones just not in it.

 

Because the HE500 is easier to drive, one is presented with a full sound very quickly. Which gives it that immediate fun factor. You’re not having to angst over matching it to the right source and amp to get it to sing. If you do want that extra 20% of performance from the HE6 you have to work a little harder. But for those on a budget, unable to by a new amp the HE500 may just be for you.

 

One could say that the HE500’s are more musical, because they are not trying to suck out every last piece of detail as its big brother and let’s you get on and enjoy the music. But if detail extraction is your thing, then the HE6 is for you.

 

 

 

HE500 V’s T1’s

 The Beyer T1 is not as hot in the treble as the HE500, so it may appear rolled off to some. Soundstage the T1 has the slight edge. The HE500 is however easier to drive and not so temperamental to match. The T1 lies somewhere between the HE500 and the HE6 in presentation.  Listening to Leftfield’s Afrika Shox he HE500 has more mid bass although they go as deep as each other

 

 

 

HE500 V’s LCD-2

 Oh boy. Does it compete toe to toe with the LCD-2? is it meant to? Leave that to the HE6. It does not have the bottom end of the LCD-2, but it’s by no means bass light. If one is not a bass head the HE500 may be enough for you and rewards with it’s mid/highs, adequate soundstage and hopefully cheaper price.

The HE500 is more comfortable bulk and weight wise, which also maybe a deciding factor.

 

 

Conclusion

In the end it may just come down to synergy, how well each plays in your system and how much your willing to pay to get it to work and of course what sound you want. In this case the HE500 is a no-brainer. It’s easy to drive, has no startling deficiencies and if it comes at a lower price point would be a very tempting headphone to buy. 

 

 

 

Edited by MrQ - 5/4/11 at 8:47am
post #29 of 14582
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrQ View Post

 

My impressions of the HE500

 

 

Equipment used:

 

Source 17” MacBook Pro iTunes/ Audirvana aiff/ 4TB (RAID1) Western Digital HD.

 

Amp/DAC: Audio-GD NFB-10ES (usb input)

 

Amp: Hifiman EF5 with DY-1 power source

 

 

 

Other headphones used:

 

Hifiman HE6 stock cable

 

Audeze LCD2 with ALO RW8-S silver/copper cable

 

Beyer T1 with Moon Audio Black Dragon cable

 

 

Firstly I’d like to say thank you to Highend Audio for the HE500 loaner and use of the HE6 EF5.

 

The views expressed are purely my own opinion and as such one brings one own grain of salt.

 

 

 

 

HE500 v HE6

Out of the box the HE500 looks almost identical to the HE6, the only difference being the colour. The HE500 is a dark metallic grey as opposed to the piano black of the HE6.

 

The cables are also different. Instead of the fine translucent cable of the HE6 with it’s 4 pole XLR adapter and ¼ jack, the HE500 has a thicker black Canare cable, terminating in a 1/4”jack. If I had the choice I would use the lighter HE6 cable, especially as it gives the option to run balanced.

 

The HE500 I’m told was produced as an easier to drive version of the HE6 so that it wouldn’t require a powerful amp. The build quality is on par with the HE6, as is it’s fit, being comfortable even for my large head. Velour pads are still a feature as is the spare in the box. One might feel the HE500 were slightly heavier due to the thicker cable.

 

For this review I used the NFB-10 as a DAC feeding a signal to the EF5 as the HE500 comes with a ¼ jack. I did try it balanced out of the NFB-10, but as it comes s/e I will keep my opinions here to it’s performance out of the EF5.

 

 

 

Music used.

Well this what’s is all for at the end of the day. These devices are a means to an end and not an end in themselves.

I used a range of styles from Dub Step to metal to Neo classical. There were particular albums I picked out such as, Anner Bylsma’s Bach Cello suites (sony )Arvo Pärt’s  Kanon Pokajanen, Alice In Chains MTV Live unplugged Meshuggah’s Obzen, Suzanne Vega Up-Close Vol 1 and Hans Zimmer The Dark Night Special Edition

 

Some A/B’ing was done, but mostly I just lived with them for a bit with the music I would normally listen to. Swapping back to the other cans if something struck my attention for comparison.

 

 

 

Sound

 

HE500 V’s HE6

 I pick up a slight sibilance on both the HE500 and more on the HE6. Not always present. The HE500 manages to balance it more with more pronounced mid bass. So the treble is a bit hotter on the HE6 with certain tracks. There are enough highs to give the HE500 some sparkle without being fatiguing. The HE6 goes deeper than the HE500. The sub bass is heard on the HE500, although pushed forward into the bass region. You hear it, but it doesn’t feel as deep.

 

The HE500 is more balanced across the frequency spectrum. Not giving any particular frequency prominence. It has a more forward sound, which works well with drums and vocals. You loose a fraction of the HE6 soundstage for a tighter presentation. Listening to the Bach cello suites, I lost my self in them with the HE6. With the HE500 the performance is presented in front of you, ones just not in it.

 

Because the HE500 is easier to drive, one is presented with a full sound very quickly. Which gives it that immediate fun factor. You’re not having to angst over matching it to the right source and amp to get it to sing. If you do want that extra 20% of performance from the HE6 you have to work a little harder. But for those on a budget, unable to by a new amp the HE500 may just be for you.

 

One could say that the HE500’s are more musical, because they are not trying to suck out every last piece of detail as its big brother and let’s you get on and enjoy the music. But if detail extraction is your thing, then the HE6 is for you.

 

 

 

HE500 V’s T1’s

 The Beyer T1 is not as hot in the treble as the HE500, so it may appear rolled off to some. Soundstage the T1 has the slight edge. The HE500 is however easier to drive and not so temperamental to match. The T1 lies somewhere between the HE500 and the HE6 in presentation.  Listening to Leftfield’s Afrika Shox he HE500 has more mid bass although they go as deep as each other

 

 

 

HE500 V’s LCD-2

 Oh boy. Does it compete toe to toe with the LCD-2? is it meant to? Leave that to the HE6. It does not have the bottom end of the LCD-2, but it’s by no means bass light. If one is not a bass head the HE500 may be enough for you and rewards with it’s mid/highs, adequate soundstage and hopefully cheaper price.

The HE500 is more comfortable bulk and weight wise, which also maybe a deciding factor.

 

 

Conclusion

In the end it may just come down to synergy, how well each plays in your system and how much your willing to pay to get it to work and of course what sound you want. In this case the HE500 is a no-brainer. It’s easy to drive, has no startling deficiencies and if it comes at a lower price point would be a very tempting headphone to buy. 

 

 

 


Thanks for your writeup. Out of curiosity, how much, if any the HE-500s soundstage and instrument separation had improved when you tried to drive them balanced out of your NFB-10 (presumably using the HE-6 balanced stock cable) vs. single-ended out of the EF5?

 

post #30 of 14582
Quote:
Originally Posted by warp08 View Post




Thanks for your writeup. Out of curiosity, how much, if any the HE-500s soundstage and instrument separation had improved when you tried to drive them balanced out of your NFB-10 (presumably using the HE-6 balanced stock cable) vs. single-ended out of the EF5?

 

 

One is also comparing an s/s DAC to a balanced s/s out compared to a s/s DAC to a tube s/e out... But since you asked, the NFB10 out holds its own Balanced. With the ES chip and increased gain (x4 according to Kingwa over s/e) it pulls the details out and separates the instruments. This works well with the HE-500, but makes the HE-6 prone to a hotter high end. 

 

Between you and me, what I tried with the HE-6 was to set the NFB-10 to high gain and feed that signal into the EF-5 also on high gain. It was sweet.

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