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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 228

post #3406 of 15288

To help with re-tracking, I can easily say these are the best sounding headphones I've ever owned regardless of what is driving them and the stock cable is just fine. I'm building a backup cable out of some Mogami wire (no idea what model # but it's very flexible and skinny) so when that's done I'll hook it up and listen for the non-existent differences. 

post #3407 of 15288

I received my HE-500 earlier today and I've been thoroughly impressed so far. Obviously I've not had a lot of time for burn-in but I'll describe my thoughts.

 

Before today my go to cans were the Q701. The HE-500 is my first “high-end” headphone. My set came with the silver cable terminated with a 1/4” plug. I experimented with both the pleather and velour pads and found the velour pads worked best for me. I have a smallish head and discovered that with the headband at its shortest setting the earcups were sitting a few millimeters lower than what was comfortable. Wrapping a small bit of cloth around the headband a couple times provided an easy fix. It's significantly heavier than any of my other headphones but not so much that it's a problem. I've been wearing them all day and my neck hasn't snapped in half yet so I guess that's good.

 

Compared to the Q701, the HE-500 has a much richer and fuller sound. The mids are incredibly smooth. Bass is powerful with good impact but isn't overbearing, quite similar to the Q701 (which I run with +4db at 30Hz and 60Hz to smooth out the rolled-off bass). So much so, in fact, that initially I was a little underwhelmed. I've read so many testimonials about orthos having such an impressive bass impact that I guess I was expecting a little more. However I'm in no way disappointed as the bass is in perfect balance with the rest of the spectrum. Highs are crystal clear without any of the peaks or minor sibilance of the Q701. Overall a very well-rounded and neutral sound. I'm looking forward to seeing how these cans mature throughout the burn-in process.

post #3408 of 15288

I can't emphasize this enough, Silver cables and SPC (Silver Plated Copper) are very different. The HE-500 uses SPC as the stock cable

post #3409 of 15288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stalker81598 View Post

I received my HE-500 earlier today and I've been thoroughly impressed so far. Obviously I've not had a lot of time for burn-in but I'll describe my thoughts.

 

Before today my go to cans were the Q701. The HE-500 is my first “high-end” headphone. My set came with the silver cable terminated with a 1/4” plug. I experimented with both the pleather and velour pads and found the velour pads worked best for me. I have a smallish head and discovered that with the headband at its shortest setting the earcups were sitting a few millimeters lower than what was comfortable. Wrapping a small bit of cloth around the headband a couple times provided an easy fix. It's significantly heavier than any of my other headphones but not so much that it's a problem. I've been wearing them all day and my neck hasn't snapped in half yet so I guess that's good.

 

Compared to the Q701, the HE-500 has a much richer and fuller sound. The mids are incredibly smooth. Bass is powerful with good impact but isn't overbearing, quite similar to the Q701 (which I run with +4db at 30Hz and 60Hz to smooth out the rolled-off bass). So much so, in fact, that initially I was a little underwhelmed. I've read so many testimonials about orthos having such an impressive bass impact that I guess I was expecting a little more. However I'm in no way disappointed as the bass is in perfect balance with the rest of the spectrum. Highs are crystal clear without any of the peaks or minor sibilance of the Q701. Overall a very well-rounded and neutral sound. I'm looking forward to seeing how these cans mature throughout the burn-in process.

I have the same problem with a small head.  Someone posted a solution using a cheap headphone band cushion and a consumer adhesive. I could look them up for you.  I had to use a small towel wrapped around the headband as well until someone posted this solution.

post #3410 of 15288

How would you guys say the DT990 compares in soundstage, both the premium and the PRO to the HE-500?

post #3411 of 15288
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifimanrookie View Post

Anyone who says the he500 doenst need burn in time is or deaf, or bought an already burned in one(sold as new..it happens!!), or their equipment is not on par with whats needed for a planar to sound good..or simply doesnt have one at all....i listened to a burned in version just before i got mine delivered all virgin..and believe me..it was different..i didnt like the sound first on my he500..it was a bit grainy and muddy (just as my he400 and my he300 i had owned)..but as i knew how it could sound i kept on to it..and let it play in another room on my mstage (sold now) for 100 hours straight..day and night on medium levels..with lots of DIFFERENT kinds of music..my he500 sounded good on my mstage also by the way (on gain 10)...only then iswitched over to my wonderfull 337...believe me..more phone u dont need..only maybe if u spend double the amount u will get better phone..imho...its open, airy, huge soundstage..and those female voices..my god..or violins..am going to invest in a nad m51 in a month or 3...that will be the supercharge on my rig..first going listen to it on the london meet from a fellow headfi'er..and if its as good as they say..well..lets say my wallet and wife wont like it..lolz

 

Not deaf at all .... nor do I doubt your experience.... but my NEW HE-500 sounded fantastically magical out of the box paired with a Lyr, and I've not been conscious of an improvement since.  BTW, paired with the O2 ..... not quite as magical.

post #3412 of 15288

I, for one, very much appreciate disastermouse's thoughts about the HE-500 and O2.  Nwavguy himself wrote that the O2 had plenty of power for the Hifiman orthos, so when I read some people saying it was a bad pairing I wrote it off as people who just wanted a more colored amp.  But there are obvious flaws in the sound I'm hearing (not to be confused with a sound signature that I dislike), so unless I got a dud pair of HE-500s, it does look like the O2 is the likely culprit.  By the way, my O2 uses the Xicon 18VAC/500 mA power supply, which I believe was recommended for current-hungry phones.


Edited by harpsm - 3/1/13 at 6:26am
post #3413 of 15288

just got my HE-500!

 

burning in right now, mini review + pics to come!

 

so far though, these sound really good! very airy, the treble, its just really good, though a little harsh still (im sure burn in + cable upgrade will fix that). definitely getting an upgrade cable too. the bass seems to be good, not as strong as the LCD-2, slightly further back, not as much in your face, but it has a very nice bloom/texture to it. they sound really good though, i can see how voices really stand out, im really enjoying the mids/upper mids right now.

 

im sure as they burn in they'll improve! 

 

the build quality on the rest of the headphone is better than i thought, im pretty impressed by its solid feel. 

post #3414 of 15288
Quote:
Originally Posted by harpsm View Post

I, for one, very much appreciate disastermouse's thoughts about the HE-500 and O2.  Nwavguy himself wrote that the O2 had plenty of power for the Hifiman orthos, so when I read some people saying it was a bad pairing I wrote it off as people who just wanted a more colored amp.  But there are obvious flaws in the sound I'm hearing (not to be confused with a sound signature that I dislike), so unless I got a dud pair of HE-500s, it does look like the O2 is the likely culprit.  By the way, my O2 uses the Xicon 18VAC/500 mA power supply, which I believe was recommended for current-hungry phones.
Please understand that I'm not bagging on the O2 as a universally bad amp - just as a bad amp for the HE-500. With my HD650 it is ample and adequate. I suspect that for a lot of mid-fi cans, it's a great solution. I'm also sensitive to the fact that there are a ton of head-fiers who love their O2s and hearing your chosen equipment being torn down is not a lot of fun and seems unfair. I'm a passionate guy and I sometimes express that rather poorly. I also have almost no technical knowledge for the whys and hows of hi-fi and head-fi. I've tried to educate myself about it but I still don't really get it. I'm baffled by the concepts of watts and ohms, discreet and opamp, feedback and no feedback, and class A, AB, etc. and how they can create equipment mismatches. This puts me in the position of being rather dependent on people who do understand the science of sound. Sometimes I don't even understand which questions to ask - it never would have occurred to me that there could be a mismatch between a DAC and an amp on a structural level.

And yet I feel like there's gotta still be a place in head-fi for folks like me where we can achieve great sound without making enormous mistakes and without getting fleeced.
Edited by disastermouse - 3/1/13 at 9:33am
post #3415 of 15288
Need advice is the asgard2 a good amp for the he500
post #3416 of 15288

 

 



And yet I feel like there's gotta still be a place in head-fi for folks like me where we can achieve great sound without making enormous mistakes and without getting fleeced.

You were honest with what you were hearing and that opinion is to be respected not fleeced.  If you feel the amp does not work with the he500 in you system then it does not. I think for a 700.00 headphone that plays well above its price point it would benefit from more suitable amps and sources. i commend you for you honesty and so should others. You should feel no need to apologize for letting your opinion be known. Good luck in you finding the right amp for the hE500 and there are many good choices for you to seek out. If you can get to a meet to hear some other options thats your best bet this way you can hear the he500 and make your choice based on preferences or buy an amp with a liberal return policy to help you decide.

post #3417 of 15288
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobJS View Post

 

Not deaf at all .... nor do I doubt your experience.... but my NEW HE-500 sounded fantastically magical out of the box paired with a Lyr, and I've not been conscious of an improvement since.  BTW, paired with the O2 ..... not quite as magical.


When i first heard my he500 out of the box, there was a lot of treble siblance and my amp puts more than 2W into them on high gain. After only a day it was gone and it came to life and the sound hasn't changed much since. So i do believe that there is some burn-in needed for these even if you do not do it for 100h but 10 should be required.

post #3418 of 15288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post

You were honest with what you were hearing and that opinion is to be respected not fleeced.  If you feel the amp does not work with the he500 in you system then it does not. I think for a 700.00 headphone that plays well above its price point it would benefit from more suitable amps and sources. i commend you for you honesty and so should others. You should feel no need to apologize for letting your opinion be known. Good luck in you finding the right amp for the hE500 and there are many good choices for you to seek out. If you can get to a meet to hear some other options thats your best bet this way you can hear the he500 and make your choice based on preferences or buy an amp with a liberal return policy to help you decide.

Frank,

 

I'm running the Schiit Magni with the HE-500 and it's working splendidly.  Mind-blowing sound for the money with the HE-500 and no conflicts with my DAC.

post #3419 of 15288
Quote:
Originally Posted by disastermouse View Post

I have the same problem with a small head.  Someone posted a solution using a cheap headphone band cushion and a consumer adhesive. I could look them up for you.  I had to use a small towel wrapped around the headband as well until someone posted this solution.

Just go to Home Depot and get some 1/2" foam strip for sealing around doors etc..  Cut this to fit and stick it on the underside of the headband.  Works great and fits all.

post #3420 of 15288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shazb0t View Post



You keep going on and on posting this. We get it, you don't have the correct wall wart/gain setting to use the o2 with your specific dac without clipping on the he-500. Just because you can't seem to rap your head around this doesn't mean you need to post everywhere that the o2 doesn't sound well with the he-500. At least set yours up correctly and then you can spout your opinion all over the forums. I think that's fair.

I don't want to come off as a tool, but if I know all about your issue just from browsing the forums you're going a little overboard.

I currently own the HE-500, O2 amp, and the RSA SR-71B amp. Even before I went balanced with the SR-71B, I did a short test comparing the two amps running single ended. I found the O2 amp significantly reduced the bass, especially the velvety feel of that bass. It wasn't necessarily bad, and this part is purely subjective, but it seemed to take away from what makes the HE-500 what it is. I didn't test it, but my thought is that the O2 amp might be a good fit for the HE-500 if you like classical music.

 

Running balanced on the SR-71B, it completely blows away the sound running single ended, in large part because the power is doubled. In my opinion, the O2 is not the best amp to match with the HE-500. I didn't like it at all. I did find the O2 amp to pair very well with the V-Moda M-100 because it addressed the vertical sound stage issue, but I returned that to Amazon after hearing the HE-500.

 

The extra power going into the HE-500 matters and by a big margin. 

 

An important note to make: in hindsight, I don't even know the power output of the 71B as I can't find it anywhere. All I know is that the power is doubled running balanced. I believe the O2 amp is 2W? Regardless, even running single ended, the 71B sounded better. I even liked the sound with no amp over the O2. The sound was very sterile. 


Edited by HKUSP - 3/1/13 at 11:30am
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