This is very interesting. So it seems the two have different technical merits. When I had the HD650, I loved the smoothness of the midrange, but always left wanting more detail, even as I scaled them with different amps. What other effects do the velvet pads have on the sound?
And you mention soundstage as well, how does the imaging compare, and on a less related note, the timbre? I found that the HD650 didn't do anything special with pianos, how would the HE-400 compare?
And thanks for the help, the great, detailed comparison is much appreciated. This definitely helps prepare me for the audition with the HE-300/400 tomorrow.
Usually when people say "HD650 doesn't have enough detail" what they mean is "it doesn't have enough treble emphasis and sparkle compared to others." Which would be a true accusation. With the steep treble rolloff they lack treble sparkle almost entirely, and the neutral treble region in general won't emphasize the treble section which happens to be where a lot of detail perception resides. Meaning people don't want more detail, they want the detail to be emphasized so they perceive it more readily. HD650 is extremely detailed. It just doesn't shove the detail in your face the way some people prefer.
HE-400 is also extremely detailed, and it tries to make it slightly more emphasized with specific treble peaks, however it also rolls off some of that "sparkle" region. It prevents the treble from being fully recessed, but it also doesn't accentuate it in the way Beyer or others would.
While I love HD650 and HE-400 almost equally, I generally give the edge in terms of technical performance to HD650. But I won't deny that HE-400 works perhaps the most magical performance of piano of any headphone I've heard. Most things I listen to on HD650, but orchestra and piano is dedicated to HE-400 alone.
Edited by IEMCrazy - 7/20/12 at 11:11am