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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 13

post #181 of 14241
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunneebear View Post

Nice mini review Larry. 

 

For your loose LCD2, have you tried compressing the headband?  You can spread the yokes/gimbals and remove the whole wood assembly to give you more room to compress the headband.  If you want it even tighter you can remove the blocks and compress just the headband alone.  Mine came very tight from Audeze, the headband actually formed a small circle when I took the wood assemblies off to clean the leather and wood.

 

 

Larry great review. i look forward to more impressions on the HE500 from you. Pretty much what Fang told me about the differences. I see the HE500 may be more suitable to most people because its not the bear the HE6 is and the 6 performs best with high power amps this can be use even with a portable. Nice stuff and please post your impressions with the Woo 6 also it would help more people as many own that amp.
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

MINI-REVIEW HE-500:

 

 

I haven't done a HE-500 review yet because I was waiting for my ZDT amp to return after a socket replacement and a silver transformer upgrade.  This wont be anywhere near as thorough as my HE-5 LE review that I put in the review section a while back.  Once I get my daughter on the plane for her school trip to Germany this weekend I'll have much more time to devote to listening and comparing gear this summer. 
 
I have over 300 hours on them right now.  I've spent most of the time listening to the HE-500 with either a 5G Nano line out and lossless music fed into an ALO Amphora amp, or with the DACport and DACmini 24/96 DAC/amp headphone-out (and DACmini line-out into the Amphora or SR-71b).  I've also used the Apogee mini-DAC > HiFiman EF5 amp.  
 
I think these headphones sound very good.  I also find them to fit my head a little better than the original HE-5, HE-5 LE, and HE-6 - while the older models all seem to be slightly loose fitting at the their smallest setting.  My head isn't too small, but HiFiMan headphones often seem to be made for bigger heads than mine.  Comfort for me is still miles ahead of the LCD-2 which clamp my head too tightly, even after 9 months of use.  The weight still seems like it's more than the HE-5 LE, and on a bad using any of my orthos bothers my neck due to a couple of bad cervical discs.
 
Previously the HE-5 LE were one of my favorite phones and I used them more than the HD800 or LCD-2, until I got the HE-6.  But the HE-500 improve upon the HE-5 LE sound with a little fuller midrange that has better body and weight, plus more air-ambience, and sparkle in the highs.  And they do it without becoming too bright, with less treble energy than the HE-5 and HE-6, although a little more than the HE-5 LE.  The HE-6 border on sounding bright when driven by an underpowered amp, but everything evens out when given gobs of power.  But the HE-6 treble is so smooth and sweet that it's not bothersome even with the wrong amp, while the original HE-5 treble could sometimes become a little tizzy with some amps like the HDP (ZDT was perfect).  The HE-500 seems to have a smooth treble like the HE-6 but just a little tamer sounding, along with just the right amount of everything else; although the HE-6 seem a little more revealing of micro-detail than the HE-500.  The HE-500 are also a little more efficient than the HE-5 LE, and a wider variety of desktop and portable amps work well with them.
 
Like with all the other HiFiMan headphones the EF5 amp is a great choice for these headphones, and I'm feeding the amp with an Apogee mini-DAC and ALO SXC interconnects.  As I said, I'm finding that the HE-500 also get along with a wide variety of amps around the house including my DACport, DACmini, HDP, Amphora, and SR-71b; but the Apogee > EF5 combination is very good with them and I think this combo is a little more enjoyable than the DACmini > LCD-2 by a small margin.  I can't decide yet whether the HE-500 are still ahead of the LCD-2 when both headphones are driven by the DACmini, which is slightly brighter sounding with HE-500 and HE-6 than I prefer.  But, I've spent the past two days listening to them only with the DACmini, and haven't wanted to pull out the LCD-2 once to compare again.  Feeding the DACmini into my ALO Amphora is a very good combo for HE-500 (and LCD-2 as well), although a little less powerful than the Apogee > EF5 combo it works better than it did with the HE-5 LE.
 
I know that previously with my Eddie Current ZDT amp I've posted that I preferred the HE-5 LE over the LCD-2 out of the ZDT, which makes my LCD-2 sound a little darker than I prefer.  However, I haven't tried the HE-500 with the ZDT yet because I sent the amp back a few weeks ago for repairs to two tube sockets and to get a transformer upgrade to partial silver ones.  I will be able to try the HE-500 with the ZDT in a couple of days, and will report back as soon as I can.  Plus I have the WA6, HDP and about 8-10 portable amps that I haven't tried yet.  Regardless, for now if I only could pick one current production orthodynamic to fill a variety of listening needs, it would be the HE-500 (or HE-6 given enough power).  That might change when I receive my Silver Dragon cable for LCD-2, but it still doesn't solve the LCD-2 comfort issue and may not solve the mild added reverb or recessed treble issues I have either.
 
Overall I think the HE-500 are a better or more versatile "all rounder" headphone than the HE-6 because of the very high amp demands of the HE-6.  They have great speed and detail, good frequency balance, a nice soundstage and imaging, good presence and good transparency.  It's what the HD600 "should" have been, and while auditory memory is short I think they remind me a lot of my old Stax SR-404 Limited Edition but with better impact and a more cohesive soundstage and imaging.  I'd love to get my hands on another 404LE and compare them someday.
 
In comparison to the HE-5 and HE-5 LE I think the HE-500 is a clear upgrade, although the HE-6 can still do a few things better if given enough power.  To anyone with an original HE-5 I would say buy the HE-500 and sell the old pair.  To anyone with a HE-6, if they don't have an amp that can drive them properly (or would like a little less treble energy) then they should really consider the HE-500.  For those with a HE-5 LE it gets more difficult, although I do feel the HE-500 sound a little more complete, life-like and immersive than the HE-5 LE.  To me the extra $200 is not wasted on these over the HE-5 LE, but I can't say if that holds true for everyone.  I do know that even if my only rig was my lowly Marantz CD5001 > EF5 > HE-500 this could keep me happy for a long time.


 

post #182 of 14241

Nice review, Larry, and once again looks like we are hearing this pretty similarly.

post #183 of 14241

I'm looking for more impressions with Balanced systems (4 Pin, preferably). 

 

Trying to find an amp that adds some nice 'attack' to the sound. 

post #184 of 14241

Thank you for your review HeadphoneAddict.  I value your opinion and always learn from your reviews, even minis.  You make me want the HE-500 even more.  I ordered mine this weekend and they shipped on Wednesday.

post #185 of 14241
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

I'm looking for more impressions with Balanced systems (4 Pin, preferably). 

 

Trying to find an amp that adds some nice 'attack' to the sound. 


I tried the HE-500 balanced out of my NFB-10ES using the HE-6 cable. It had all the attack you could ever want without being fatiguing, the bass was even slightly better than the T1. If I didn't already have the T1 I would give the HE-500 serious consideration. But since I've gone vintage I'm going to give the HE-6 a try. 

 

If you already have a DAC, you could look at the Phoenix. 

 

post #186 of 14241

Great review. totally agree with everything you said. For ppl who has EF5, you really own yourself to try it with HE-500. it's really a great combo. Not to mention HE-500 is a great headphone. 

It doesn't happen very often that ppl here all formed very similar opinion about a headphone. ^_^ That says something about HE-500, and how well it performs no matter what you throws at it. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

MINI-REVIEW HE-500:

 

 

 


 

 


Edited by blankdisc - 6/3/11 at 11:43am
post #187 of 14241

Definitely looking at the Phoenix (man the Phoenix has a complicated back end). Gotta see some more about it.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrQ View Post




I tried the HE-500 balanced out of my NFB-10ES using the HE-6 cable. It had all the attack you could ever want without being fatiguing, the bass was even slightly better than the T1. If I didn't already have the T1 I would give the HE-500 serious consideration. But since I've gone vintage I'm going to give the HE-6 a try. 

 

If you already have a DAC, you could look at the Phoenix. 

 



 

 

post #188 of 14241

My HE-500 were having some weirdish soundstage that I thought burn-in would solve. Now I have over 150 hours on them and things just keep being oriented differently than all my other phones/speakers.

 

So I just checked them with multimeter: left driver 31,6 Ω; right driver 46,5 Ω!

 

Don't know how to explain such mismatch... My other orthos measure symmetrical: HE-5 - L: 25,6 Ω, R: 25,9 Ω; LCD-2 L: 41,4 Ω, R: 41,4 Ω. It is almost like my HE-500 have drivers from two different headphones. Like HiFiMAN incorporated one HE-5 (31,6 Ω) and one HE-500 (46,5 Ω) driver in my HE-500 pair.

 

What should I do? Do I have a proper reason to complain or my case is one of "sh*t happens" cases?

post #189 of 14241

At least send an email, and if they don't fix it, send them back. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FauDrei View Post

My HE-500 were having some weirdish soundstage that I thought burn-in would solve. Now I have over 150 hours on them and things just keep being oriented differently than all my other phones/speakers.

 

So I just checked them with multimeter: left driver 31,6 Ω; right driver 46,5 Ω!

 

Don't know how to explain such mismatch... My other orthos measure symmetrical: HE-5 - L: 25,6 Ω, R: 25,9 Ω; LCD-2 L: 41,4 Ω, R: 41,4 Ω. It is almost like my HE-500 have drivers from two different headphones. Like HiFiMAN incorporated one HE-5 (31,6 Ω) and one HE-500 (46,5 Ω) driver in my HE-500 pair.

 

What should I do? Do I have a proper reason to complain or my case is one of "sh*t happens" cases?



 

 

post #190 of 14241
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FauDrei View Post

My HE-500 were having some weirdish soundstage that I thought burn-in would solve. Now I have over 150 hours on them and things just keep being oriented differently than all my other phones/speakers.

 

So I just checked them with multimeter: left driver 31,6 Ω; right driver 46,5 Ω!

 

Don't know how to explain such mismatch... My other orthos measure symmetrical: HE-5 - L: 25,6 Ω, R: 25,9 Ω; LCD-2 L: 41,4 Ω, R: 41,4 Ω. It is almost like my HE-500 have drivers from two different headphones. Like HiFiMAN incorporated one HE-5 (31,6 Ω) and one HE-500 (46,5 Ω) driver in my HE-500 pair.

 

What should I do? Do I have a proper reason to complain or my case is one of "sh*t happens" cases?

I would send them back and have them fixed. Seems simple and straight forward. I would contact Fang and ask for a RA. 
 

 

post #191 of 14241

So I'm writing my review on the HE 500 and I put on my newly (re)bought Nightwish albums. Haven't heard them in about a year (and that was in bad quality).

 

Nearly brought me to tears. Tarja has the voice of an angel, and I haven't been doing it justice all these years. These headphones are keepers.

 

EDIT: It's even better with the live recordings. Oh my gooooooooooood.


Edited by MorbidToaster - 6/3/11 at 2:51pm
post #192 of 14241

I was listening to Cat Stevens last night and it actually did bring tears to my eyes. Absolutely stunning!

 

This driver issue has piqued my attention seeing as the LCD's had drivers failing recently. Hmmm i may have to test mine just for the sake of it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

So I'm writing my review on the HE 500 and I put on my newly (re)bought Nightwish albums. Haven't heard them in about a year (and that was in bad quality).

 

Nearly brought me to tears. Tarja has the voice of an angel, and I haven't been doing it justice all these years. These headphones are keepers.

 

EDIT: It's even better with the live recordings. Oh my gooooooooooood.



 

post #193 of 14241
Quote:
Originally Posted by Townyj View Post

I was listening to Cat Stevens last night and it actually did bring tears to my eyes. Absolutely stunning!

 

This driver issue has piqued my attention seeing as the LCD's had drivers failing recently. Hmmm i may have to test mine just for the sake of it.


 


Any idea how to test for it?

 

post #194 of 14241

I'm in Denver tonight, to drop my daughter off at the airport tomorrow, and can start listening again on Sunday or Monday.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunneebear View Post

Nice mini review Larry. 

 

For your loose LCD2, have you tried compressing the headband?  You can spread the yokes/gimbals and remove the whole wood assembly to give you more room to compress the headband.  If you want it even tighter you can remove the blocks and compress just the headband alone.  Mine came very tight from Audeze, the headband actually formed a small circle when I took the wood assemblies off to clean the leather and wood.

 


Actually, I mentioned the LCD-2 clamp too hard, not loose.  My HE-5 LE and HE-6 are loose because the headband is too long for my ears, which are not abnormally high-set as far as I know.  Somehow the HE-500 just fit me better and the cups don't ride too low like with the others.

 

When I try to bend the LCD-2 headband to flatten the curve and reduce the clamping force they just return back to their normal shape.  At least they don't snap in half like some HD-600 I know of.  I had an HD-600 snap just by placing them over the arm of a chair once.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post

Larry great review. i look forward to more impressions on the HE500 from you. Pretty much what Fang told me about the differences. I see the HE500 may be more suitable to most people because its not the bear the HE6 is and the 6 performs best with high power amps this can be use even with a portable. Nice stuff and please post your impressions with the Woo 6 also it would help more people as many own that amp.
 


I plan to listen with the WA6 this week.  Unfortunately I have to disconnect the EF5 from the DAC to connect the WA6, so no direct comparisons without swapping cables, unless I dig out some XLR>RCA transformers to connect one of the amps to the DAC's balanced outputs.  Plus, I really want to dig out all my WA6 tubes first, so I can find the right ones just in case.  Right now I have the WA6 loaded with a Sophia Princess 274b and a pair of Sylvania VT-231 with adapters to match the LCD-2 and brighten them up, and I know it's already too bright for my HD800.  I might need to use an Amperex Bugle Boy GZ34, or some RCA 6DE7 for the HE-500. 

 

The thing is, in previous testing the WA6 seems to have similar power output to my ALO Amphora and more than the DACport, so I'm pretty sure the WA6 will have enough juice with the HE-500 since the others do as well.  The fact that one can make the WA6 sound dark, warm, neutral, or bright with tube rolling means that even if the tubes I have in it don't work well that there are some out there that will.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

Nice review, Larry, and once again looks like we are hearing this pretty similarly.


Thanks.  I think I missed seeing your impressions, so I wasn't sure whether that was the case or not.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

I'm looking for more impressions with Balanced systems (4 Pin, preferably). 

 

Trying to find an amp that adds some nice 'attack' to the sound. 


I'll be trying them soon with the Eddie Current ZDT 4-pin, SAC-KH1000 4-pin amp, and RSA SR-71b balanced portable.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by XLR1 View Post

Thank you for your review HeadphoneAddict.  I value your opinion and always learn from your reviews, even minis.  You make me want the HE-500 even more.  I ordered mine this weekend and they shipped on Wednesday.


 

Thanks to you and everyone else for your comments.

post #195 of 14241
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

 

When I try to bend the LCD-2 headband to flatten the curve and reduce the clamping force they just return back to their normal shape.  At least they don't snap in half like some HD-600 I know of.  I had an HD-600 snap just by placing them over the arm of a chair once.

 



The same thing happens to my HE-6. I flatten the headband before I listen then hung it while not in use, it just return to its original form. The drivers are just too heavy to hung it. Perhaps laying is better than hang 'em high.

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