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My HE-300 Initial Impressions

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Alright, so I know initial impressions are somewhat stupid as burn-in will certainly change the sound.  Fang told me to put 60 hours min. on them before I did my final review.  So far I only have about 4 hours on them, but already, I have some very positive things to say.

 

 

Look and Build:

 

The build and look of the HE-300 is nice.  I know a few weren't a fan of the change from the line's use of metallic grey to the silver, but I think it's very easy on the eyes, and draws a bit more attention.  The headband is the same.  Comfortable, but certainly not a looker.  That being said, it's functional and well built.  The driver covers/grates on this are plastic.  A big step down from the metal on the HE-500 I had.  They look really nice as they aren't reflective, but they are a little bit creaky and scare me quite a bit.  Especially in a $300 headphone.  Ergo, they're relatively built, don't look that great, and probably won't hold up under super heavy use.  Lucky the sound makes up for that.

 

 

Sound:

 

Again, keep in mind, I'm sure they have quite a bit more of breaking in to be done, but thus far, they are quite good.  I was really nervous for Fang and the gang because their move from orthodynamic to regular dynamics.  They did a great job though.  I think both the cable and the headphones will need to be broken in to rid themselves of their warmness.  Right now, they're really tight, and somewhat exaggerated, but once again, and as I was assured, this will change with use.  The bass is quite nice.  Certainly not a brain rattler, but certainly distinct, and quick paced.  The mids are very smooth and rich, but not exaggerated.  They're just right (for me).  As for highs, they're very nice.  I think they need a little work with separation, but I'm expecting to see this with burn in.  As for instrument separation, it was impressively good.  Some of the best I think I've heard in sub $350 cans.  That being said, soundstage is nothing to brag about.  It's not bad, but certainly not like the bigger brothers in the HiFiMan, and not even that great for an open can in this price range.

 

 

Summed up:

 

I'll surely put these through their paces over the next few weeks, but I'm already extremely pleased with the cans.  They aren't the best headphones in the $300 range (at least not), but they're certainly a tough contender, and being HiFiMan's first dynamic can, I'm very impressed.  I highly recommend everyone check them out if it's in their budget.

 

 

Edit: I'm sorry!  Didn't mean to post a new thread.  Quite a fail on my part...


Edited by TSIG - 8/13/11 at 12:03am
post #2 of 19

Useful impressions.  Thanks.  How do the HE-300's compare against the ATH-M50S?  I'm debating selling my M50's to help fund the HE-300's.  Any reason to hold onto the M50's if I had the HE-300's?

post #3 of 19

 

 

Quote:
They aren't the best headphones in the $300 range

 

Thanks for offering your early impressions. Thinking about the HE-300 or the HD600, or HD650. So, if they aren't the best in the $300 range, what in your opinion, is?

post #4 of 19

Wow thanks for the nice review. I was looking out for reviews on this.

 

Could you tell us

 

1. How they sound unamped and with less powerful amps?

 

2. How they sound with faster paced music like rock/metal?

 

I'm looking for a departure from the grado house sound but don't want the Sennheiser veil. These seem to fit the bill quite nicely.

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by killmurer View Post

 

1. How they sound unamped and with less powerful amps?

 

2. How they sound with faster paced music like rock/metal?

 



You would be amazed (as I was) how easily these are powered.  They are certainly more efficient than any HiFiMan headphone until now, but even some very competing and similar headphones such as the K 702, HD600, and dare I say the ATH-M50 (albeit a closed back).  When I played from my Zune HD, the cans were brilliant.  No amping was required.  On my iPhone, it was close, but needed a little bit more power.  With the FiiO E7, the problem on the iPhone was solved altogether.  So, less powerful amps will handle these with ease, and in many cases, you won't need to amp these bad boys up at all.

 

For faster paced music, they keep up quite well.  I've been listening primarily to (as odd the genres may be), Alternative, Hip Hop, Classical, and Jazz.  I listened to some classic rock, and the instrument separation (which is soooo good), helped them keep up quite nicely.  On really fast paced music, the low end seemed to lag a tiny bit.  Not detrimentally, but enough to notice something wasn't quite there.  I now have about 15 hours on them, and I'm hoping they will loosen up even more alleviating these issues completely.

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasBuck View Post

Useful impressions.  Thanks.  How do the HE-300's compare against the ATH-M50S?  I'm debating selling my M50's to help fund the HE-300's.  Any reason to hold onto the M50's if I had the HE-300's?



You know, this is a good question, because other than my IEMs, the M50/S really is my go to headphone when I need to be portable.  I take that around the city, and in the car, and all the places I can't have a full rig.  I can honestly say, that through the Zune HD which I use for portable listening, I prefer the HE-300 to the M50.  They are so efficient, and there are some really great things the HE-300 does significantly better, such as soundstage, instrument separation, better mids, and clearer highs.  If bass is your game (which I always felt the M50 had a tiny bit too much of), than the HE-300 probably aren't a good replacement as the bass, although not lacking per se, certainly isn't the main focus.  Also, you'll have to keep in mind that the HE-300 are open back unlike the M50, so you're gonna hear a lot more outside and ambient noise, and the outside is going to hear you.

post #7 of 19

Why is there a new thread on this subject?

post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSIG View Post



You know, this is a good question, because other than my IEMs, the M50/S really is my go to headphone when I need to be portable.  I take that around the city, and in the car, and all the places I can't have a full rig.  I can honestly say, that through the Zune HD which I use for portable listening, I prefer the HE-300 to the M50.  They are so efficient, and there are some really great things the HE-300 does significantly better, such as soundstage, instrument separation, better mids, and clearer highs.  If bass is your game (which I always felt the M50 had a tiny bit too much of), than the HE-300 probably aren't a good replacement as the bass, although not lacking per se, certainly isn't the main focus.  Also, you'll have to keep in mind that the HE-300 are open back unlike the M50, so you're gonna hear a lot more outside and ambient noise, and the outside is going to hear you.


Thanks.  This helps a lot.  I like the M50's but they are a little too slow and bloated for me.  I'm looking for a fairly balanced phone to compliment my Grado 325is.  HE-300 is in the lead with the Fisher FA-003/ 002W and Shure 940 still in the picture.  I'm still tempted to throw budget to the wind and get the HE-5LE's but not sure I want to go that high.

 

post #9 of 19

My first post on Head-fi. Been a lurker now and then though.

 

I just got my HE-300s and agree with your review TSIG. I have about 2 hours on them and see great potential after they break in but they already beat my other pairs of phones on my Icon HDP. I currently have them hooked up to the ICON on USB connection playing The Band album (by The Band of course) in a continuous loop from my computer for burn in. I do love the midrange on these phones. Anyway, I will try them later on my ASL MGHead OTL Mark III.

 

How many hours do you think it would take for a decent burn in on these phones?

 

Mike

post #10 of 19

1-2 days.

post #11 of 19

As a norm I first listen to the brand new cans for a couple of hours to get an idea of their out of the box sound. Then I do an initial burn-in of 100 hours with another couple of hours of listening. Depending on what I hear I go up to 200 hours of burn in before doing any critical listening. Note, I do listen to the cans in between the above set points. In the end it is about fun and enjoyment not a formal process. Regardless, I hope to have a pair of HE300's in the house soon. Thanks Fang.

post #12 of 19

Thanks for the responses. I am listening every now and then and they are changing. I did try them on the ASL OTL amp and thought it was a bad match in OTL or Transformer mode. But they are still breaking in on the Nuforce.

 

How loud do most people play breakin music? I've got the volume set at about my regular listening level which is on the loud side.

 

Mike

post #13 of 19
Your good. Moderate

Way to go you guys, prepping a noob with ideas of burn-in. rolleyes.gif What's next, cables? mad.gif


(for those in the audience, I do believe in both, just haaving fun)
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrownMan View Post

My first post on Head-fi. Been a lurker now and then though.

 

I just got my HE-300s and agree with your review TSIG. I have about 2 hours on them and see great potential after they break in but they already beat my other pairs of phones on my Icon HDP. I currently have them hooked up to the ICON on USB connection playing The Band album (by The Band of course) in a continuous loop from my computer for burn in. I do love the midrange on these phones. Anyway, I will try them later on my ASL MGHead OTL Mark III.

 

How many hours do you think it would take for a decent burn in on these phones?

 

Mike


You've got the headphones I want with the amp I have.  Can't wait to hear more impressions!  

 

post #15 of 19

Could we have more impressions on this can please?  I'm finding that these cans have some unclear reviews.  Plus they are fairly new so not much is being said at the moment...

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