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Head-Fi Buying Guide (Over-Ear Headphones) 3
Last edited: 11/28/16
Shozy has kindly provided me a review unit in exchange for the honest opinion. They are in active use for about 6 months. I should first note that my experience with IEM is a bit limited by now, so...
INTRODUCTION: I would like to thank @Jack Vang of Empire Ears, for the discount on my purchase of the Zeus-XIV-ADEL Custom IEM and for giving me the opportunity to review the IEM. I would also...
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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. . - Page 273
Gear mentioned in this thread:
I am hardly qualified to write a review of the Soloist. But, I can say that I am thoroughly satisfied with the Soloist driving the HE500. My impression is consistent with a number of reviews. As for the sound signature, the Soloist exhibits a great deal of control over the entire sound spectrum without sounding forced or etched (good texture throughout). Because the amp handles the entire spectrum effortlessly, it imparts good PRaT (Pace, Rhythm, and Timing) - quite dynamic. The amp has quite good bass, but does not drag or overhang (as some tubes might). It is quite fast. At the same time, the mid range (my favorite part of the spectrum) is mellow - not too forward (bright/etched) or recessed. It has really good 3 dimensional sound. This helps the HE500 since it has a fairly narrow soundstage compared to my AKG K702. With my K702, I am consistently looking around as if something happened in the house - but, it is just the music. I get less of that with the HE500. With the Soloist, I get more instances of the sound originating outside my head or even outside the phones if that is in fact how the song was recorded. I like the Soloist with the HE500 in particular. I can tell when I am listening via the K702 that the Soloist can be a quite detailed - tracing every transient. The amp does not miss much and given the K702 can be a bit thread-bare (bass shy), everything gets picked up. It can become distracting if passive listening is the goal. The HE500 (good planars in general somewhat) rounds things out quite well.
My point of comparison currently is the amp section of my Benchmark DAC1. The amp section of the DAC1 is good and detailed, but is as neutral and flat as its reputation says. The Soloist simply has more BOOGIE!
BTW, the Soloist also makes for a good pre-amp if you have a pair of powered speakers.
Check out some of the reviews. Almost every review addresses the pairing of the Soloist with the HE500.
I appreciate that you post your impressions and the details you lined out. Also, I haven't read the MonoStereo review. Thanks a lot!
My newly acquired HE-500 + new music from The Knife (http://theknife.net/) = <3
And sorry pngwn, I personally don't have any experience with the iStack so I don't have any input for you :/
Hopefully someone that has heard it can chime in and give you an impression!
Got the Beyer DT880 pads in the mail today and attached them to the HE500.
Initial impressions are as follows: It's ugly. But man, these babies are comfortable. It's more comfortable than my HD598. Finally some relief.
The sound is almost identical to the stock velours. At first I tried it without the foam inserts that came with the Beyer pads and the sound was very harsh and bright. After inserting the foam, the treble calmed down quite significantly. They are still slightly brighter than the stock velours but the difference is minimal. Still has that buttery-smooth HE500 sound. It's just enough to give it a little extra sparkle and provide a slightly airier sound. Bass and mids do not appear to have changed at all.
I used the plastic connector rings from the pleather pads. I had to trim them slightly around the edges to fit the Beyer pads on. I didn't want to use the foam pieces that came with the Beyer pads so I cut some pieces of pantyhose to use as a dust screen and glued them directly onto the plastic ring with a hot glue gun, but I ended up inserting the foam later. After that I just attached the pads the same way the pleathers do and inserted the foam spacers from the pleather pads.
Here's some photos:
So instead of going to bed I tried this out since I have a pair of DT 990 laying around. I agree, almost identical to stock velour, seems to be a bit more sibilant though, S's and similar sounds have more bite, not in a good way. supremely comfortable though!
I compensated for this with a small amount of EQ. It's still there but it's minimal, and the gain in comfort is well worth it. I don't know what those stock velours are made out of but they feel like a brillo pad on your face after an hour of wearing them.
My ears always rubbed on the inside edges of the stock velours but not so with the Beyer pads. They seem to be the same size but the way they are angled on the interior provides more space for your ears.
- HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening. .
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