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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 166

post #2476 of 18030

The HE500 is the fairest (basically lowest) priced high end headphone on the market for this sound quality. Fang deserves the gratitude of the community. The full retail price is a steal.

post #2477 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin7 View Post

Is upgrading from HD650 ($350 used) to HE-500 worth the double price?

I had them both, along with 5LE's. 500's were a definite upgrade to 650, but I found them similar in signature, whereas the 5LE was to me more lively/dynamic and less forgiving of poor source material. I opted to sell the 500's and keep the 650's and 5LE's as complements to each other. But if I could only have kept a single pair, I probably would have kept the 500's.
post #2478 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by captouch View Post


I had them both, along with 5LE's. 500's were a definite upgrade to 650, but I found them similar in signature, whereas the 5LE was to me more lively/dynamic and less forgiving of poor source material. I opted to sell the 500's and keep the 650's and 5LE's as complements to each other. But if I could only have kept a single pair, I probably would have kept the 500's.

 

How to make HE500s more dynamic/fun-sounding:

 

 

1000

(pleathers + open grill mod)

 

Improves extension and airiness greatly, gives bass some oomph, enriches the midrange and makes treble darker and more seductive.

post #2479 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

 

How to make HE500s more dynamic/fun-sounding:

 

 

1000

(pleathers + open grill mod)

 

Improves extension and airiness greatly, gives bass some oomph, enriches the midrange and makes treble darker and more seductive.


I think if my unmodded HE500 had more bass oomph, it would be intrusive.  And I like my treble -- not overly sparkly as it is --- if I want it darker and seductive I'll slip on the Mad Dogs (this is not to imply the Mad Dogs are in the same league as the HE500, nor that there's anything wrong with your mods --- just the YMMV thing). My HE500s are the best sounding in my collection.

post #2480 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobJS View Post


I think if my unmodded HE500 had more bass oomph, it would be intrusive.  And I like my treble -- not overly sparkly as it is --- if I want it darker and seductive I'll slip on the Mad Dogs (this is not to imply the Mad Dogs are in the same league as the HE500, nor that there's anything wrong with your mods --- just the YMMV thing). My HE500s are the best sounding in my collection.

 

See, here is where in my opinion the open grill mod and the pleather pads synergize.

 

While the open grills improve extension (aka boosts coherency between 14kHz and 20kHz or so), the pleather pads filters down the overall treble response. The end result is a less sibilant (lowered 10kHz bump) treble that is at the same time more detailed (extension boost).

 

Know that the pleather pads alone make the treble too muffled, while the velours + open grills make the treble too fast/bright for my ears.

 

As for the bass with pleathers, it doesn't necessarily give more bass volume I don't think. Instead because of the better seal, sub-bass gets a bit more textured and grounded, more of a "marble wall of bass" presentation rather than "bass through a silk screen" effect. Bass extension seems unchanged between the two pad types.

 

The pleathers make changes to the midrange that are a bit more controversial - it adds some harmonics to it. Some might call it "dirtying up" the sound, but I feel it makes the midrange bloom and from that it gets more musical. The transparency is still there, just maybe a bit thicker-sounding.

post #2481 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

 

See, here is where in my opinion the open grill mod and the pleather pads synergize.

 

While the open grills improve extension (aka boosts coherency between 14kHz and 20kHz or so), the pleather pads filters down the overall treble response. The end result is a less sibilant (lowered 10kHz bump) treble that is at the same time more detailed (extension boost).

 

Know that the pleather pads alone make the treble too muffled, while the velours + open grills make the treble too fast/bright for my ears.

 

As for the bass with pleathers, it doesn't necessarily give more bass volume I don't think. Instead because of the better seal, sub-bass gets a bit more textured and grounded, more of a "marble wall of bass" presentation rather than "bass through a silk screen" effect. Bass extension seems unchanged between the two pad types.

 

The pleathers make changes to the midrange that are a bit more controversial - it adds some harmonics to it. Some might call it "dirtying up" the sound, but I feel it makes the midrange bloom and from that it gets more musical. The transparency is still there, just maybe a bit thicker-sounding.


Interesting .... I had the pleathers on originally, and since, have been listening with the velours.  The only change I personally recall is that the bass was indeed emphasized moving from pleather to velour.  I also notice now that I do not have a complete seal with the velours .... due to the large area of the cup, the lower back area is open above my neck a bit, though I don't notice any acoustic ramifications.  I can't recall if that opening was there with the pleathers.... I'll have to experiment. 

 

How did you open the grill up?  Is there a link somewhere to the mechanics of the mod?

post #2482 of 18030

hopefully mine will reach me in a week... how much burn-in would they need to get to their full potential??

post #2483 of 18030
The ring at the outside perimeter of the grill can be gently removed
post #2484 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by h4mm3r 0f th0r View Post

hopefully mine will reach me in a week... how much burn-in would they need to get to their full potential??

None, in my opinion. They won't really change much..

post #2485 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

 

See, here is where in my opinion the open grill mod and the pleather pads synergize.

 

While the open grills improve extension (aka boosts coherency between 14kHz and 20kHz or so), the pleather pads filters down the overall treble response. The end result is a less sibilant (lowered 10kHz bump) treble that is at the same time more detailed (extension boost).

 

Know that the pleather pads alone make the treble too muffled, while the velours + open grills make the treble too fast/bright for my ears.

 

As for the bass with pleathers, it doesn't necessarily give more bass volume I don't think. Instead because of the better seal, sub-bass gets a bit more textured and grounded, more of a "marble wall of bass" presentation rather than "bass through a silk screen" effect. Bass extension seems unchanged between the two pad types.

 

The pleathers make changes to the midrange that are a bit more controversial - it adds some harmonics to it. Some might call it "dirtying up" the sound, but I feel it makes the midrange bloom and from that it gets more musical. The transparency is still there, just maybe a bit thicker-sounding.

 

 

Did you measure these?  If so could you show it?

post #2486 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by h4mm3r 0f th0r View Post

hopefully mine will reach me in a week... how much burn-in would they need to get to their full potential??

 

I initially bought a used burned in HE-500 and loved it from the start. Then I got a new replacement and it sounded far less smooth then what I was used to also incoherent treble with displeasing spikes. After 2 weeks of playing with it, it got much better.

post #2487 of 18030
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

I initially bought a used burned in HE-500 and loved it from the start. Then I got a new replacement and it sounded far less smooth then what I was used to also incoherent treble with displeasing spikes. After 2 weeks of playing with it, it got much better.
+1 I have same experience.
post #2488 of 18030

Mine sound the same brand new as it does today.  6 months later..

post #2489 of 18030

I think I've just fallen in love with my pair of HE500s. Decided to try a small foam disc directly between the earpads and the drivers today, the change was tremendous. Treble is now absolutely grain-free (had a tiny bit of grain before), bass is now on par in terms of punch with the HE400. It now sounds like a slightly unpolished LCD3 but with a bit more treble quantity and lots more air.

post #2490 of 18030

I always found it interesting how the general consensus is that the HE-400 improves greatly with velours, and that the HE-500 improves greatly with pleather pads. Did HiFiMan get the pads switched or something?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

 

How to make HE500s more dynamic/fun-sounding:

(pleathers + open grill mod)

 

Improves extension and airiness greatly, gives bass some oomph, enriches the midrange and makes treble darker and more seductive.

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