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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 268

post #4006 of 14941

Some impressions so far, had mine for for about 10 days now and roughly 80 hours use. Coming from a Shure 1840 as my previous headphone, using a magni/modi as my dac and amp.

 

Music used: light female pop-rock, male hard rock, neo-classical/heavy/power/speed metal, power ballads, Golden- Age Classic hip-hop and K-POP

 

In short why I wanted HE-500:

 

  • to account for better bass presentation, I wasn't really sure whether or not the Shures is giving me the full presentation of a rock/metal band because I do feel it lacks a little bass feeling as it was my first real good headphone
  • I was intrigued by the planar magnetic tech
  • possibly giving a better neutral sound signature

 

What I have experienced so far:

 

  • very cool bass, not overly bassy but good enough for a good feeling(note: a basshead at all) from the boom bap, works excellent for hip-hop because of this. I don't really feel any drastic improvements for rock/metal, I just hear the sub-bass a little better which does give a better, fuller prensentation...success
  • mids are a little weird, hard to explain overall. I was on the leather pads for a bit as I felt them to be really comfy in the  first try. Tried the velours, vocals didn't change much as they weren't as engaging and I agree as highlighted below.
  • the changing of pads really does make a difference in terms of airyness, not sure about improving the soundstage but it did took away a cave-like feeling with the leather ones
  • treble was nothing special imo, maybe it's even more neutral than the Shures? The difference isn't too drastic but I just didn't feel guitars(neo-classical and power metal) are as good on the HE-500 than the Shures. It just seems like the HE-500's treble doesn't compliment's the midrange as well as the Shures such as the instances of strong vocals along with quick-heavy guitar riffs(forgive me, I am terrible at explaining things as eloquently as others).

 

Overall, I like it.

 

Quote:

 

Originally Posted by Sanlitun View Post

So I have had my HE-500's for about a week now. I ordered them from Head-Direct and it all went very promptly.

 

I must admit I am struggling with them and trying to get a sound that I like. I am running them from a Bifrost/Asgard2 setup and I realize I am probably at the bottom end for what is required to power these.

 

The biggest issue I have is a lack of air and resolution. They have tons of dynamics, for instance listening to the new Depeche Mode album will blow you out of your chair and sounds great.

 

But I find male voices and midrange to be euphonic or unresolved and there is a big lack of air and resonance. For example classical piano sounds thick and thumping as if tonality has been traded for dynamics.

 

So if you have recommendations please post. I imagine many will mention the amp, and the only reason I didn't get the Lyr is that I thought it would be less resolving than the Asgard 2. I haven't compared them so I don't really know. One thing I did recently that was surprising is that I plugged the HE-500's straight into my Xonar Essence STX and I thought it sounded better than through the Asgard even though less dynamic. That was an unexpected surprise.

Originally Posted by jerg View Post

Quote:

 

Velour pads, right?

post #4007 of 14941

i find small differences with the velour/pleather, neither is perfect, so i just keep the pleather on cause they're more comfortable.

post #4008 of 14941
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanlitun View Post

So I have had my HE-500's for about a week now. I ordered them from Head-Direct and it all went very promptly.

 

I must admit I am struggling with them and trying to get a sound that I like. I am running them from a Bifrost/Asgard2 setup and I realize I am probably at the bottom end for what is required to power these.

 

The biggest issue I have is a lack of air and resolution. They have tons of dynamics, for instance listening to the new Depeche Mode album will blow you out of your chair and sounds great.

 

But I find male voices and midrange to be euphonic or unresolved and there is a big lack of air and resonance. For example classical piano sounds thick and thumping as if tonality has been traded for dynamics.

 

So if you have recommendations please post. I imagine many will mention the amp, and the only reason I didn't get the Lyr is that I thought it would be less resolving than the Asgard 2. I haven't compared them so I don't really know. One thing I did recently that was surprising is that I plugged the HE-500's straight into my Xonar Essence STX and I thought it sounded better than through the Asgard even though less dynamic. That was an unexpected surprise.

 

The lyr to my understanding is more detailed than the Asgard.  I found the asgard to be pretty low on the amplifier resolution scale.  The asgard however can have a touch of air.  I dont find the HE-500 extremely airy to begin with tho.  I would not suggest the lyr for the HE-500 contrary to most ppls suggestions.  I think you can do better for the money if you look around a little bit.  If you wanted a tube amp I'd suggest the bottlehead S.E.X. over the lyr any day.  There are a ton of other options unforunately but in the 500 range I feel that's what I would go with if I had to pick.  Obviously it's best to look around and spend more time with your own gear to try to see what it is about what the asgard is doing to the HE-500 that you want more or less of.

post #4009 of 14941
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanlitun View Post

So I have had my HE-500's for about a week now. I ordered them from Head-Direct and it all went very promptly.

 

I must admit I am struggling with them and trying to get a sound that I like. I am running them from a Bifrost/Asgard2 setup and I realize I am probably at the bottom end for what is required to power these.

 

The biggest issue I have is a lack of air and resolution. They have tons of dynamics, for instance listening to the new Depeche Mode album will blow you out of your chair and sounds great.

 

But I find male voices and midrange to be euphonic or unresolved and there is a big lack of air and resonance. For example classical piano sounds thick and thumping as if tonality has been traded for dynamics.

 

So if you have recommendations please post. I imagine many will mention the amp, and the only reason I didn't get the Lyr is that I thought it would be less resolving than the Asgard 2. I haven't compared them so I don't really know. One thing I did recently that was surprising is that I plugged the HE-500's straight into my Xonar Essence STX and I thought it sounded better than through the Asgard even though less dynamic. That was an unexpected surprise.

 

I suggest you change your source/amp for something more lively or get yourself a pair of 5LEs ;)

post #4010 of 14941

Changing the pads for me made a significant difference, as it helped to fill out the too loose fit for my small head.  I had to create a makeshift headband pad out of a blue crip rag folded multiple times over placed under the headband and secured with safety pins for a more secure fit.  Switching to velours brought out better, tighter bass impact and toned down the treble.

post #4011 of 14941

+1  I like the bass on the HE500s but it lacks the grunt for rock/indie.  I much preferred the LCD2s for this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KamijoIsMyHero View Post

 

  • very cool bass, not overly bassy but good enough for a good feeling(note: a basshead at all) from the boom bap, works excellent for hip-hop because of this. I don't really feel any drastic improvements for rock/metal, I just hear the sub-bass a little better which does give a better, fuller prensentation...success
post #4012 of 14941
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post

i find small differences with the velour/pleather, neither is perfect, so i just keep the pleather on cause they're more comfortable.

That's interesting. Over the last couple of months I would switch between pleather and velour. I always ended up enjoying the velours SO much more. Very uncomfortable but much better sound. As stated by a poster a few up the pleather had a "in a cave" sound as well as some strange ringing glare. I could never leave the pleather on for more than a couple days before having to swap back to the velours. Never would have believed pads made a difference until I tried this for myself. Velours give the vocals scary realism and pleathers "for me" absolutely wreck the qualities of the HE-500 I enjoy. Just my thoughts. wink.gif
post #4013 of 14941
Quote:
Originally Posted by RestoredSparda View Post


That's interesting. Over the last couple of months I would switch between pleather and velour. I always ended up enjoying the velours SO much more. Very uncomfortable but much better sound. As stated by a poster a few up the pleather had a "in a cave" sound as well as some strange ringing glare. I could never leave the pleather on for more than a couple days before having to swap back to the velours. Never would have believed pads made a difference until I tried this for myself. Velours give the vocals scary realism and pleathers "for me" absolutely wreck the qualities of the HE-500 I enjoy. Just my thoughts. wink.gif

Stock pleathers are indeed plagued with underdamping (which you duly note as cavernous-sounding and mids glare issues), however I would argue that they have a more natural midrange<->treble balance than velours due to a combination of factors including the fabric screen, the foam, the pad depth, etc.

 

Kind of why I opted to mod with the pleathers, because its issues can be mitigated, while its core balance cannot be replicated with velours or any other earpads I've tried.

post #4014 of 14941

well i did a bit more listening and yeah its still a small difference.

 

the velour has a brighter sound with less bass but it does seem to be crystal clear and detailed, its also thinner than the pleathers. it sounds similar to my beyerdynamic t1 or hd 800, but different in a way, i like it, but then i don't. theres a sense of hotness as i listen, similar to a hd 800 on a brighter setup. the velour also has the bars touching my ears, which gets very uncomfortable, worse than grados touching your ear or audezes pad clamping down on your head. advantages : tighter bass, more transparency and detail, cleaner. disadvantages: more uncomfortable, less bass, hotter in the treble

 

the pleather has a bit of an echo to it, theres definitely some mids/treble resonance, theres a little more bass too. it does become a little less natural sounding and more cave sounding, in some songs, this is a good thing, it others it becomes unnatural and loses a little bit of transparency (might not even be that, it just becomes smoother). the treble is smoother. these are much more comfortable,

 

also to note, just noticed some of the clamping on the headphones is lessened by loosening the screws on the frame/cups (one of mines got worn out unfortunately when i overtightened it at first cause it would loosen). seems the velours are now a little bit more comfortable, but still the pleathers are still more comfortable, im not gonna hurt myself to get a slightly better sound.

 

 

still, neither is perfect, and differences are small. and the pleathers are much more comfortable. 

 

NOTE:

 

also, the HE-500 with velour are extremely similar sounding to the T1, the HE-500 got a few advantages over the T1 here with transparency and engagement  with that ortho sound, but i feel like the T1 is still better with the bass and soundstage/imaging. its hard to say but i like my T1 here more, and they're much more comfortable. this is with the WA6-SE, with the WA2, i much prefer the T1 tongue_smile.gif (theres better weight in the sound, the treble is smoother, mids are warmer, and the soundstage/imaging is better than HE-500, however, i see the law of diminishing returns well in effect here) 

 

. still im surprised to hear the similarities, both have such neutral and uncolored midranges, its hard to tell a difference, treble is equally good on both, the HE has more smoothness and the T1 better transients and speed. bass is slightly better on the T1, but the HE has its advantages too, being quite tight and controlled. 


Edited by Dubstep Girl - 3/28/13 at 10:04pm
post #4015 of 14941
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post

well i did a bit more listening and yeah its still a small difference.

the velour has a brighter sound with less bass but it does seem to be crystal clear and detailed, its also thinner than the pleathers. it sounds similar to my beyerdynamic t1 or hd 800, but different in a way, i like it, but then i don't. theres a sense of hotness as i listen, similar to a hd 800 on a brighter setup. the velour also has the bars touching my ears, which gets very uncomfortable, worse than grados touching your ear or audezes pad clamping down on your head. advantages : tighter bass, more transparency and detail, cleaner. disadvantages: more uncomfortable, less bass, hotter in the treble

the pleather has a bit of an echo to it, theres definitely some mids/treble resonance, theres a little more bass too. it does become a little less natural sounding and more cave sounding, in some songs, this is a good thing, it others it becomes unnatural and loses a little bit of transparency (might not even be that, it just becomes smoother). the treble is smoother. these are much more comfortable,

also to note, just noticed some of the clamping on the headphones is lessened by loosening the screws on the frame/cups (one of mines got worn out unfortunately when i overtightened it at first cause it would loosen). seems the velours are now a little bit more comfortable, but still the pleathers are still more comfortable, im not gonna hurt myself to get a slightly better sound.


still, neither is perfect, and differences are small. and the pleathers are much more comfortable. 

Thanks for taking the time to write up your experiences with the two pads. Funny, I also have one screw that wants to work its way out and needs to be tightened often. Usually after changing pads it gets quite loose. Maybe I'll try and loosen the other to reduce the clamping pressure as you said.
post #4016 of 14941

The issue with the screws can be fixed with a little Loctite threadlocker blue. It will hold it in place and you'll still be able to loosen it with a normal screwdriver if needed. If you use red it will never come off.

 

I prefer the sound of the velours but also find them significantly less comfortable than the pleathers. I ordered some Beyer DT880 pads a couple days ago to try on the HE500. Will post results when they get in.

post #4017 of 14941

one of my screws got worn out by my screwdriver, doesn't seem like it will be too much of a problem, but its bothering me now... 

 

anyways, no big deal, umm i edited my pad comparison to add a note about the T1 vs. HE-500, with the velours, i just noticed how similar they sound.

 

ill add it here in case any1 misses it.

 

 

 

Quote:

"NOTE:

 

also, the HE-500 with velour are extremely similar sounding to the T1, the HE-500 got a few advantages over the T1 here with transparency and engagement  with that ortho sound, but i feel like the T1 is still better with the bass and soundstage/imaging. its hard to say but i like my T1 here more, and they're much more comfortable. this is with the WA6-SE, with the WA2, i much prefer the T1 tongue_smile.gif (theres better weight in the sound, the treble is smoother, mids are warmer, and the soundstage/imaging is better than HE-500, however, i see the law of diminishing returns well in effect here) 

 

. still im surprised to hear the similarities, both have such neutral and uncolored midranges, its hard to tell a difference, treble is equally good on both, the HE has more smoothness and the T1 better transients and speed. bass is slightly better on the T1, but the HE has its advantages too, being quite tight and controlled. "


Edited by Dubstep Girl - 3/28/13 at 10:08pm
post #4018 of 14941

Well everyone, I have a confession to make. I have owned a pair of HE-500s, for quite some time now. I haven't really checked in here, and it's quite the shame. But given the political climate here in the states, I guess it's a good time for me to come out, as it were. 

 

 

Seems like there's a good number of conversations running about these. Apologies all around. I'm going to be rehashing the same arguments here it seems like, so to start off on a good note, I am really falling in love with these albums tonight on my HE-500s. These headphones really represent violins in a very very special way. 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Concertos-Johann-Sebastian/dp/B000099156

 

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Night-Music-Wolfgang-Amadeus/dp/B0000AQVM4

post #4019 of 14941

i need a suggestion for an amp and dac for the cans.

i've heard that dv337\9 is a combo "from heaven" but in another community they says this cans need alot of power and these amps cant run them because of the low ohm.

 

btw the music i listen to is extreme metal.

post #4020 of 14941
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deicide3 View Post

i need a suggestion for an amp and dac for the cans.

i've heard that dv337\9 is a combo "from heaven" but in another community they says this cans need alot of power and these amps cant run them because of the low ohm.

 

btw the music i listen to is extreme metal.

 

What's your budget?

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