or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. .
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 24

post #346 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nankai View Post

Will be available soon. Will not be expensive (below $20 each). 



Cool smily_headphones1.gif

post #347 of 18011

Well I solved the too big for my head issue.  I took some 1.25 x .5 high density foam weatherstripping and attached it to the headband with some of that sticky stuff that they put in your credit cards/gift card when they are attached to a piece of paper. its removable so I can reattach it and it doesnt harm the headband. I just need to find it in black or gray.

DSC00035.JPG

DSC00038.JPG

DSC00036.JPG

post #348 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nankai View Post

Will be available soon. Will not be expensive (below $20 each). 



Good to know, thanks for the info. I'll definitely be ordering a set of the updated velours for the added (and much needed) durability.

 

The leather ones are often good for closed cans, but I've found leather to negatively affect the sound of open cans that were originally designed with velour pads.

post #349 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

physical
8.5 x 6.5 x 4.0

1200 Interior Dimensions:
9.25" x 7.12" x 4.12"


PRaT is just fine.


Just to update you, I was informed by Pelican that one-off models of their 1400 and iM2100 hardcases would be suitable sizes for the dimensions I sent for the HE-500 (quotes available from Pelican.com). Pelican UK quoted me ~£75 (~$120) inc. delivery for each case. Those Pelican hardcases seem really robust.

 

The above price around $45 more than the official Audez'e LCD-2 travel case costs, and it might be worth Fang creating a travel-friendly hard-case for his full-size headphones. I'm sure there are people that would like to travel with their HiFiMAN headphones snug and secure in a hard-case instead of taking something like a leather covered HE-500 box on the road with them.

 

post #350 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post

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.
 


I like the even frequency balance of the Sennheiser HD 600 and find them a bit forward sounding and brighter than I'd like. How do the HE-500 compare to the HD 600 in terms of brightness? (i.e. with the same recording/DAC/Amp)

post #351 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Windsor View Post


I like the even frequency balance of the Sennheiser HD 600 and find them a bit forward sounding and brighter than I'd like. How do the HE-500 compare to the HD 600 in terms of brightness? (i.e. with the same recording/DAC/Amp)



I found that the HD600 were actually a bit bright in comparison to the HE-500.  They also sounded much more constrained in terms of the higher and lower frequencies, and spatially congested.  I really love my HD600 but the HE-500 made their limitations immediately obvious for the first time.

post #352 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by eucariote View Post

I found that the HD600 were actually a bit bright in comparison to the HE-500.  They also sounded much more constrained in terms of the higher and lower frequencies, and spatially congested.  I really love my HD600 but the HE-500 made their limitations immediately obvious for the first time.


I agree.

 

post #353 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by eucariote View Post

I found that the HD600 were actually a bit bright in comparison to the HE-500.  They also sounded much more constrained in terms of the higher and lower frequencies, and spatially congested.  I really love my HD600 but the HE-500 made their limitations immediately obvious for the first time.

 

Thanks for sharing your impressions. :-)

 

When I listen with the HD 600 and get used to their brightness, I can certainly get into the music and enjoy it, but I'd prefer a headphone that plays music more closely to what my ears perceive. I'm really looking forward to trying the HE-500. 

post #354 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Windsor View Post


I like the even frequency balance of the Sennheiser HD 600 and find them a bit forward sounding and brighter than I'd like. How do the HE-500 compare to the HD 600 in terms of brightness? (i.e. with the same recording/DAC/Amp)



The HE-500 is more open, less constrained, and better balanced than the HD 600.  I don't feel like the HD 600 is particularly bright, its just that it is a bit unbalanced in comparison to the HE-500. As soon as I put the HE-500 on the difference was drastic and the effect immediate.  I have the 580, 600, and 650 BTW so its a sound I am familiar with.  After a few weeks of near constant use there is no going back to the Senns.

 

post #355 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by earthling View Post

The HE-500 is more open, less constrained, and better balanced than the HD 600.  I don't feel like the HD 600 is particularly bright, its just that it is a bit unbalanced in comparison to the HE-500. As soon as I put the HE-500 on the difference was drastic and the effect immediate.  I have the 580, 600, and 650 BTW so its a sound I am familiar with.  After a few weeks of near constant use there is no going back to the Senns.

 

 

Wow, interesting impressions, especially that you say there's no going back to the Senns for you.

 

I've been alternating between the HD 600 and HD 650 for a while and have found the HD 600 a bit bright and thin on the low-end and the HD 650 nice but a bit too muddy and unfocused in the bass. I'm eagerly awaiting hearing the HE-500 with my own ears. :-)


Edited by Windsor - 6/22/11 at 6:42pm
post #356 of 18011

OK so I only got to put about 20 hours on these things, but I haven't heard them change in the past little while so I'll post some thoughts (will edit if anything changes):

 

I've tried to break things down into separate areas to make descriptions and comparisons easier, but one should really try to get the picture of the holistic sound by combining all these factors.

 

SETUP: Foobar (KS) > jkeny MK3 HiFace > Modded EE MiniMax DAC > Gilmore Dynahi + PSU > HD800 (stock and DHC 7N silver recabled), HD650 (stock and DHC UPOCC copper recabled, Sony SA5000 DHC UPOCC copper recabled, HE-6 (now sold)

Upgraded power, interconnect and coax cables (see profile).

 

Soundstage:

 

-HE-500 has better depth and coherency than the HE-6 IMO, although the latter produces sonic images that are a bit larger. I prefer the HE-500 in this regard.

-Images produced around you are larger than any other can except the HE-6...and this really produces a grand upfront stage if the recording calls for it. Voices are huge and float around you, the best I've ever heard. Part of the reason is that these are more open than any open headphone I've owned with the exception of the HE-5 (Fang's first ortho), which were even more open. I mean that literally, not subjectively. The HE-5 let in and out the most sound.

-Depth, layering and 3D'ness (holographic nature) of the SS are not as good as the HD800 or HD650 but better than the HD600 and HE-6 (and HE-5)

-Imaging sharpness/precision (re: focus) is not as good as the HD800/650/600/SA5K nor the LCD-2, but better than Fang's other orthos I've listed

-Width of the headstage is excellent, almost as wide as the HD800, and definitely wider than the HD650.

 

Bass:

 

-Extends very low, 20Hz is easily audible and forceful. Better than the HE-5 but not quite HE-6 level, which literally rattled my head with subsonic frequencies. From memory, I feel the LCD-2 also extended a bit more down low and were more authoritative. HE-500 are better than the HD800 and 650 in terms of extension.

-Not as well damped (re: tight, controlled, defined) as the dynamics (HD800/650/600/SA5000 and even PK1s). Disappointing in this regard and my main beef with the HE-500's sound. The HE-6 were better here. The LCD-2 and HD800 even moreso, which are more articulate and controlled down low. (I'm pretty sensitive to PRaT).

-Attack isn't bad, but it isn't lightning quick either. The decay (or sustain) is too stretched/long. Quick successive bass beats bleed into each other. This may not be immediately noticeable until you hear cans that are faster and use recordings which require speed for proper reproduction.

 

Treble:

 

-Very nice and extends all the way up to 20KHz easily, but the treble starts to roll off to produce a smooth sound. This is definitely a smoother headphone than the HE-6, but slightly brighter than the LCD-2 (in a good way).

-Definitely less treble than the HD800 and about the same as the HD650 (except more linear)

-Main difference between all the orthos and dynamics here is the graininess...the orthos are just creamy smooth, completely grain free, sometimes unnaturally so. (I won't talk about the LCD-2 in this section, because I don't have it with me). The dynamic cans are more transparent to recording grain and flaws, no doubt about that. Fang's orthos really make everything sound good (though not always the best). With really good recordings, I think the transparency of the HD800/HD650 pulls them ahead, but with mediocre to average recordings (most pop these days), the HE500 sounds better because it almost completely hides the flaws without compromising much detail...a very special trait.

 

Mids:

 

-The reason I'm keeping these headphones for now. Forgiving, smooth, open, upfront, and *very* liquid. I can't stress that last part enough. I don't know how Fang did it, emphasizing the decay or volume of overtones/harmonics or what...but the 500s have the most liquid sounding mids I've ever heard, even from dry sounding sources. Add to that the large, upfront presentation and you have a golden transducer for voices and acoustic music...or anything slow-paced with instruments really.

-I would say the low-level detail here is on par with the HD800 and HE-6 and better than the HD650.

-Once again...very forgiving mids too, really brings out the best in the recording and keeps the worst from reaching your ears...unlike the HD800 which reveals everything good or bad. I'm a transparency freak, but even I think this can be a bit much sometimes...the 800s don't allow you to enjoy bad recordings like the HE500 do...not even close. I would say they're even more forgiving than the HD650, but with more detail, and a more open and larger sound (with almost as much depth).

 

Other:

 

-Overall tone is more natural than any other can I've heard...not perfect, nor neutral, but very natural. More bass than the HD800, less treble overall and more linear. Less bass and treble than the HE-6. Less bass and more treble than the LCD-2. Same amount of bass as the 650s, but thicker-sounding and more flat, mids more open and linear/natural, treble definitely more linear, upper midrange more subdued on the HE500 compared to the HD650, making it a less-aggressive headphone and even less fatiguing.

 

-These possess a very nuanced sound too. Subtle and delicate sounds appear from a very black background. This is a quality I've noticed with very open orthos like the HE-5. Here, the HE500 are better than any other headphone I've owned.

-Dynamic range is excellent, only bested by the HD800. I would say on par with a well-amped pair of HE-6.

-Transparency is definitely lagging behind all my dynamic cans, but this isn't as bad as you think because they're so forgiving. Transparency here BTW refers to both the equipment feeding the headphones and the recordings themselves.

-Speed is the main issue here. I don't know who said that the speed was good or that these were too fast, but I don't think they're using the term right. I mean transient response and proper damping/control here. This is their major failing...not controlled enough, especially in the bass. The LCD-2 and dynamics are better, including the stock HD650 (well-amped).

-Comfort is great (very surprising!) considering I couldn't stand the LCD-2 for more than an hour and the HE-6 for more than a couple of hours. The HE500 seem lighter and the weight is better distributed. The softer pads, though terribly fragile (another flaw of these cans), are definitely more comfortable and conforming than the HE-6 and less sweat-inducing and breathable than the LCD-2. The HD800 and HD650 (for me) are a bit better still because of their lighter weight, but the HE500 are the first truly comfortable orthos I've owned. Like the HE-6 before it, the headband can be molded to any shape the listener desires.

-Cable is a bit thick and unwieldy, but not as bad as I was expecting...it's not microphonic and is quite flexible. Not as heavy as I expected either. It also turns out that the 1/8 to 1/4" adapter isn't problematic and looks like it's a part of the design of the cable. The Canare cable definitely seems more durable than the HE-6's.

-Highly personal, but I prefer the all-black knight-rider look of the HE500 over the HE-6.

-Definitely easier to drive than the HE-6 (but not as easy as the dynamic cans)...the 500s sound pretty good even directly from the Musiland 02US. Haven't tried them with portables yet.

 

Edit: I have almost 50 hours on these now and nothing has changed since the initial review.


Edited by Shahrose - 6/23/11 at 11:25pm
post #357 of 18011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post

OK so I only got to put about 20 hours on these things, but I haven't heard them change in the past while so I'll post some thoughts (will edit if anything changes):

 


Thanks for your thoughts on these.  What music do you use to test the speed and control of the bass?

 

post #358 of 18011
Quote:

Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post


Thanks for your thoughts on these.  What music do you use to test the speed and control of the bass?
 

 


There's just too much to list. I don't use specific tracks, but a whole playlist with a wide range of genres. For speed, I go for electronic or fast-paced drums (rock or otherwise) generally. I also use orchestral tracks with any sort of percussion.

 

Comparing all these cans side-by-side, the differences are readily noticeable with the right tracks. Thing is, it probably helps that I've heard these on many different systems and a few of them live in a studio so I have a good idea of what they should sound like. I'm not sure if they will work for others. Everyone uses different reference material that they've become familiar with overtime.


Edited by Shahrose - 6/22/11 at 8:37pm
post #359 of 18011

Sharose - I totally agree with most of your review. I am still forming my own opinions, but I think you described the bass pretty close. The highs are better than the lcd2, but still smooth. I actually think they have good PRAT and great dynamics.


Edited by KingStyles - 6/23/11 at 12:05am
post #360 of 18011

Please define "Transparency" and "Imaging sharpness". I think we speak totally different language. 

 

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. .