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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 150

post #2236 of 18011

Would you guys classify the HE-500 as dark? Here's the thing, I strongly dislike dark headphones, and I'm almost set on getting the beyer DT990 because of it's brightness and treble amount (I'm a treblehead, so I'm looking for a lot of treble). I'm a bit turned off by the HE-500 because it's considered mid-centric, and I tend to prefer headphones with neutral mids and an elevated treble, so it really seems like I won't enjoy the HE-500. On the other hand, I keep reading everywhere that it beats the DT990/DT880 by every measure, and that people who have both claim the beyers get very little headtime. This is why I'm in a bit of doubt. Do you guys think I will prefer DT990 considering it has the sound signature I want and the amount of treble I'm looking for, or will I probably prefer the HE-500 despite not having enough treble and being dark/mid-centric? I know this is impossible to answer and that I will need to try them out, I'm just looking for opinions since I might not be able to try these out.

post #2237 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

Would you guys classify the HE-500 as dark? Here's the thing, I strongly dislike dark headphones, and I'm almost set on getting the beyer DT990 because of it's brightness and treble amount (I'm a treblehead, so I'm looking for a lot of treble). I'm a bit turned off by the HE-500 because it's considered mid-centric, and I tend to prefer headphones with neutral mids and an elevated treble, so it really seems like I won't enjoy the HE-500. On the other hand, I keep reading everywhere that it beats the DT990/DT880 by every measure, and that people who have both claim the beyers get very little headtime. This is why I'm in a bit of doubt. Do you guys think I will prefer DT990 considering it has the sound signature I want and the amount of treble I'm looking for, or will I probably prefer the HE-500 despite not having enough treble and being dark/mid-centric? I know this is impossible to answer and that I will need to try them out, I'm just looking for opinions since I might not be able to try these out.

I think you would like Grado GS1000is. Nice soaring but not painful highs, highs that are pristine, especially with tubes. It's a great phone for quality-treble lovers (and maybe the most comfortable phones ever).

post #2238 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

I think you would like Grado GS1000is. Nice soaring but not painful highs, highs that are pristine, especially with tubes. It's a great phone for quality-treble lovers (and maybe the most comfortable phones ever).

I tried some grado models, and I strongly disliked them because they sounded too "thin" due to the lack of bass, so I'm afraid the GS1000 will have the same problem. I will also lioke to clarify that I listen to rock and metal (I disliked grado's even for that).

post #2239 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

Would you guys classify the HE-500 as dark? Here's the thing, I strongly dislike dark headphones, and I'm almost set on getting the beyer DT990 because of it's brightness and treble amount (I'm a treblehead, so I'm looking for a lot of treble). I'm a bit turned off by the HE-500 because it's considered mid-centric, and I tend to prefer headphones with neutral mids and an elevated treble, so it really seems like I won't enjoy the HE-500. On the other hand, I keep reading everywhere that it beats the DT990/DT880 by every measure, and that people who have both claim the beyers get very little headtime. This is why I'm in a bit of doubt. Do you guys think I will prefer DT990 considering it has the sound signature I want and the amount of treble I'm looking for, or will I probably prefer the HE-500 despite not having enough treble and being dark/mid-centric? I know this is impossible to answer and that I will need to try them out, I'm just looking for opinions since I might not be able to try these out.

Get HE400 if you are thinking of getting DT990, almost everyone I've chatted with on Head-Fi who owns/has owned both these preferred the HE400s.

 

HE500s will NOT fit your preference, they are pretty dark, not as dark as Audezes but dark nonetheless.

 

HE400s, on the other hand, have oodles of treble, especially upper treble. It is slightly smiley-faced in FR but not enough to sound V-shaped, but rather a bit laid-back and holographic in tonality; this in turn allows the treble to shine a bit more. The bonus is that they also have one of the most realistic tactile bass I've heard, even more-so than my HE500s in my opinion.


Edited by jerg - 12/17/12 at 9:08pm
post #2240 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

Get HE400 if you are thinking of getting DT990, almost everyone I've chatted with on Head-Fi who owns/has owned both these preferred the HE400s.

 

HE500s will NOT fit your preference, they are pretty dark, not as dark as Audezes but dark nonetheless.

 

HE400s, on the other hand, have oodles of treble, especially upper treble. It is slightly smiley-faced in FR but not enough to sound V-shaped, but rather a bit laid-back and holographic in tonality; this in turn allows the treble to shine a bit more. The bonus is that they also have one of the most realistic tactile bass I've heard, even more-so than my HE500s in my opinion.

I'm really looking for a lot of impact and bite in the treble, how would you say the HE-400's treble quantity compares with the DT990's quantity? If it's close, the HE-400 has a huge advantage because it doesn't sound artificial like the DT990 does from what I've read.

post #2241 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

I'm really looking for a lot of impact and bite in the treble, how would you say the HE-400's treble quantity compares with the DT990's quantity? If it's close, the HE-400 has a huge advantage because it doesn't sound artificial like the DT990 does from what I've read.

 

Take a look yourself:

 

HE400

 

1000

 

 

DT990

 

 

You can clearly see a hard bump up from mids to treble (lack of smooth transition) with DT990 which is likely the source of complaints about its naturalness, while HE400 is a smooth curve up to its treble with the gentle dip in the lower mids.

 

In terms of treble quantity, the two look fairly comparable. Both go into deep red in the upper treble while upper mids stay in yellow/green. The only difference, again, is the smoothness.

 

 

Anyway sorry for the off-topic, Daniel I hope I've given you a good enough explanation of things. If you are still wondering about some things, PM me instead, or better yet simply ask at the big HE400 thread.


Edited by jerg - 12/17/12 at 10:06pm
post #2242 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

 

Take a look yourself:

 

HE400

 

1000

 

 

DT990

 

 

You can clearly see a hard bump up from mids to treble (lack of smooth transition) with DT990 which is likely the source of complaints about its naturalness, while HE400 is a smooth curve up to its treble with the gentle dip in the lower mids.

 

In terms of treble quantity, the two look fairly comparable. Both go into deep red in the upper treble while upper mids stay in yellow/green. The only difference, again, is the smoothness.

 

 

Anyway sorry for the off-topic, Daniel I hope I've given you a good enough explanation of things. If you are still wondering about some things, PM me instead, or better yet simply ask at the big HE400 thread.

Thanks Jerg

 

I had a bit of a bad impression of the HE-400 because of it's dark sound, but as you said the treble isn't lacking so I think the HE-400 will fit me perfectly. Thanks for the clarification, and I'll be sure to try the regrilling mod once I get them. Sorry too for going off topic guys.


Edited by daniel521 - 12/17/12 at 10:16pm
post #2243 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

Would you guys classify the HE-500 as dark? Here's the thing, I strongly dislike dark headphones, and I'm almost set on getting the beyer DT990 because of it's brightness and treble amount (I'm a treblehead, so I'm looking for a lot of treble). I'm a bit turned off by the HE-500 because it's considered mid-centric, and I tend to prefer headphones with neutral mids and an elevated treble, so it really seems like I won't enjoy the HE-500. On the other hand, I keep reading everywhere that it beats the DT990/DT880 by every measure, and that people who have both claim the beyers get very little headtime. This is why I'm in a bit of doubt. Do you guys think I will prefer DT990 considering it has the sound signature I want and the amount of treble I'm looking for, or will I probably prefer the HE-500 despite not having enough treble and being dark/mid-centric? I know this is impossible to answer and that I will need to try them out, I'm just looking for opinions since I might not be able to try these out.

Make sure to go velour pads - definitely not dark.

post #2244 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

Would you guys classify the HE-500 as dark?

 

Not dark, I'd say it is a reasonable treble with good extension and overall a well balanced frequency representation. YMMV

post #2245 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acapella11 View Post

 

Not dark, I'd say it is a reasonable treble with good extension and overall a well balanced frequency representation. YMMV

Objectively, no, HE500s are fairly neutral. However I think Daniel there is looking for something with a treble tilt, so HE500 might not be the best candidate for him.

post #2246 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

I'm really looking for a lot of impact and bite in the treble, how would you say the HE-400's treble quantity compares with the DT990's quantity? If it's close, the HE-400 has a huge advantage because it doesn't sound artificial like the DT990 does from what I've read.

 

You can also look at the HE-4.  It has a better tonal balance across the board to my ears..  

post #2247 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

You can also look at the HE-4.  It has a better tonal balance across the board to my ears..  

Shame there aren't any standardized measurements done on those, where I checked. That would have given people an objective rather than purely hearsay perspective on how these compare and contrast relative to other Hifiman offerings.

post #2248 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

Shame there aren't any standardized measurements done on those, where I checked. That would have given people an objective rather than purely hearsay perspective on how these compare and contrast relative to other Hifiman offerings.

 

 

Yea, I was going to ask you to pull that plot.  So there's nowhere we can get any kind of FR graphs?

post #2249 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

Yea, I was going to ask you to pull that plot.  So there's nowhere we can get any kind of FR graphs?

Nope, InnerFidelity has HE400/5/5LE/500/6. HE4s remain a mystery, heck it might get discontinued soon (HE5LE has already been pulled off Head-Direct's website, my guess is HE4 is next onto the chopping block).

post #2250 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

Would you guys classify the HE-500 as dark? Here's the thing, I strongly dislike dark headphones, and I'm almost set on getting the beyer DT990 because of it's brightness and treble amount (I'm a treblehead, so I'm looking for a lot of treble). I'm a bit turned off by the HE-500 because it's considered mid-centric, and I tend to prefer headphones with neutral mids and an elevated treble, so it really seems like I won't enjoy the HE-500. On the other hand, I keep reading everywhere that it beats the DT990/DT880 by every measure, and that people who have both claim the beyers get very little headtime. This is why I'm in a bit of doubt. Do you guys think I will prefer DT990 considering it has the sound signature I want and the amount of treble I'm looking for, or will I probably prefer the HE-500 despite not having enough treble and being dark/mid-centric? I know this is impossible to answer and that I will need to try them out, I'm just looking for opinions since I might not be able to try these out.

 

I think DT990 may fit your tastes perfectly. I recommend the 600 Ohm Premium if you have a very strong amp to drive them, otherwise save a lot of money and get DT990 Pro (they are 250 Ohms). I have the Pros and they have fantastic treble quality and are nice and bright. The 600 Ohm version should have even better quality bass and highs, but they require a very powerful amp to drive them properly, otherwise they will sound pretty flat and uninteresting. Pro 250 Ohm has an extremely smooth overall sound from top to bottom and are just as good in this regard as the HE-500 IMO. The transition from mids to treble sounds fine to me on the DT990s and the treble can be easily EQ'ed to your liking with any decent equalizer if necessary, as it is completely free of distortion and any strange peaks or dips. The bass is very strong on DT990 Pros - more so than on the Premium edition - and is also of pretty high quality, although it is not on the same level of definition and detail as HE-500 and sounds a little wooly/congested at times. Overall, compared to other dynamic headphones I tried, the lows are very nice on DT990 Pro. Mids is where the DT990 Pros really shine though, despite what so many people say, Yes, DT990 mids are somewhat in the background compared to their bass and highs, but when analyzed on their own, they are truly great with amazing clarity for a dynamic, perfect smoothness, accurate timbre and great resolution. I find that vocals on DT990 Pro are often every bit as good as on HE-500, when I EQ the bass and highs down a little - both 'phones can reproduce them with amazing realism. HE-500 does have better mids overall, as they are more neutral and even more revealing, but DT990 Pro fairs very well in comparison with only some mild warm/dark tilt in the midrange, which actually often makes them sound more interesting than HE-500. Overall, yes, HE-500 is not bright and their signature probably won't suit you completely - they sound very serious and accurate, but don't have the fun factor of DT990. Both require pretty good sources to sound their best though, so make sure you you are powering them well.

 

I never heard HE-400, but based on my experience with DT990 and HE-500, the DT990, at least the Pro version, which can be found for well under $200, is the better value than HE-400/500, as it can compete with HE-500 very well, especially in the mids, resolution, smoothness and dynamics. I am sure HE-400 is great also, but their measurements don't look all that impressive and I am pretty sure that they will be a noticeable step down from HE-500 in mids and possible treble quality as well.


Edited by Pianist - 12/18/12 at 3:32pm
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