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New Hifiman Headphone HE-400 is out - Page 293

post #4381 of 6020
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post
However there's a distinct performance gain in HE-400 as you move up the power ladder a bit, specifically in terms of its DR swings and bass control.

Would be open to suggestion here, not saying I don't have a great combo here, but These things certainly deserve more just like the 650s.

post #4382 of 6020
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

 

Not quite as simple though.  HD650 may have distortion in the sub-bass if you artificially ramp up those frequencies but HE-400 has more distortion in the upper-mids naturally, so it's a tradeoff. 

 

HE-400 needs some power, but the Asgard can put out sufficient power in terms of the raw current and voltage requirements, certainly.  Technically Asgard can drive the LCD-2's and the HE-500's, both of which require more power than the HE-400.  The Asgard would probably struggle with HE-5LE or HE-4, and HE-6 would be a non-starter (and that would be an understatement.)

 

However there's a distinct performance gain in HE-400 as you move up the power ladder a bit, specifically in terms of its DR swings and bass control.

 

Maybe someone will feel adventurous and try HE400s on speaker taps rolleyes.gif

post #4383 of 6020

Figure out which part of the HE-400 seems lacking to you, find an amp with a sound signature that makes up in that department.  That's the head-fi way.

 

I'm pretty sure wje's been using the HE-400 on speaker taps for the longest time.  I think he said he preferred LD1+ tho.


Edited by TMRaven - 10/1/12 at 12:21pm
post #4384 of 6020
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

 

Maybe someone will feel adventurous and try HE400s on speaker taps rolleyes.gif

Sooo I just plug this thing into the back of my Klipsch 2.1 sub/amp and plug the 400's right in xD

post #4385 of 6020
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

 

Maybe someone will feel adventurous and try HE400s on speaker taps rolleyes.gif

 

Where is Wayne!! cool.gif

post #4386 of 6020
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

 

Maybe someone will feel adventurous and try HE400s on speaker taps rolleyes.gif

 

 

Go up to the MJ first.  Then on the big boys..wink_face.gif

post #4387 of 6020
Quote:
Originally Posted by blankdisc View Post

Well...first thing first. here is a picture of the HE-400

 

HE-400_20111224__MG_9587.jpg

Looks awesome!! 

post #4388 of 6020
Quote:
Originally Posted by amandarae View Post

Looks awesome!! 

 

This does not look like a suspicious post-count spam at all normal_smile%20.gif

post #4389 of 6020
Quote:
Originally Posted by warp08 View Post

DSC_2505.jpgDSC_2509.jpgDSC_2502.jpgDSC_2495.jpg

 

 

By sheer coincidence and happenstance, I had a brief amount of time to spend with a near-production level prototype of the HE-400s, courtesy of Fang.  Actually, not just the HE-400 but the new EF6 amplifier, which was a unit approved for production.

 

Let me emphasize a few things:

 

  • I only had a very brief time to spent with these new headphones, shared with two other individuals comparing impressions and observations
  • The unit has been equipped with the Whiplash Reference TWag cable (balanced XLR4 termination) instead of its stock cable to be properly comparable to my HE-500R hardwired model featuring the same cable
  • The Zodiac Gold+Voltikus DAC was also nearly new, less than 200 hours of break-in was performed.  It was connected to the MBP via direct USB connection using a Locus Design Cynosure USB cable running various high-res material up to 24/192 presented by Amarra 2.3
  • The Zodiac was connected to an RSA Dark Star amp using Frost Audio BlackFrost balanced XLR ICs

 

Preliminary impressions:

 

With all these caveats, there have been more than a few "Wow" moments primarily due to the price factor of the HE-400s (especially the $349 limited time pre-order pricing recently announced).  Even if we discard the cable upgrades and just focus on the similarities and differences between the higher priced HE-500s, these attributes make a strong case for most headfiers, including yours truly to consider this new addition to your arsenal.  Why?

 

According to Fang, the HE-400s were tuned primarily for North American tastes in music preference.  This means primarily to deemphasize the mid-forward sound signature of the HE-500s and clear up the lower treble and tighten up the bass octaves.  Indeed the new drivers may appeal to a much wider audience because of this, even fans of the HE-500s.  In my limited comparison listening, the HE-400s were complimentary to the creaminess of the HE-500 and instead delivered a much more neutral sound signature, but with a twist towards just enough emphasis towards "natural" sound signature that will give fans of jazz, rock, r&b and, yes, even vocal or new age performances goosebumps.  The HE-400s do not have the level of treble extensions and transparency of the HE-6, however, they will satisfy most listeners just fine.  They also do not require HE-6 level amplification or scale up to that extent when they are driven to the extent the Dark Star is capable of driving these types of headphones.  So, I would expect them to do just fine with most headphone amplifiers on the market.  I have not done testing with any direct DAP-driven configurations, but given the nature of orthodynamic drivers, offhand I would not recommend it.

 

Speaking of the drivers--mass-manufactured for the first time as opposed to hand-made--, as you can see on the "naked" photo, they are of decent size, but somewhat smaller in diameter than the HE-500 or HE-6 brethren's.  Not much, but a bit smaller and neatly enclosed in a dampening crossbeam structure fastened to the outer housing, which is identical to the current lineup of the HE-xxx cans, with the exception of the color.  A color, that I've actually found very pleasant in person.  These pictures were taken with a Nikon D300S and external flash and are pretty close in color temperature to the real thing.  The HE-400s are reasonably light--always a good thing--although not as light as the HE-300 dynamics, the sound quality overall is in a different league of those headphones, at least to my ears and preferences.

 

I could write much more about the experience, but I would prefer doing so at a later date.  At $399 I can't imagine doing any better than the HE-400s assuming the production version will be at least as good as this.  For $349 it's a steal.  I predict a very favorable reception at CES--which is where this particular demo unit was headed--and a following critical and commercial success.  At near commodity-level pricing these are simply a must buy, even for owners of existing HE models.  The HE-400 fills in a gap very nicely, not just in the model lineup and price range, but as a genuine alternative to much higher priced headphones in general.

Great write up!  I've been researching Hi-Fi man and Audeze products and your insights on the HE400 really helped.  Thanks!

 

Abe

post #4390 of 6020

Wow!! blink.gif Where did you pull that up from? 

post #4391 of 6020
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

 

Maybe someone will feel adventurous and try HE400s on speaker taps rolleyes.gif

Just do it been there done that! Why adventurous?? Its not so scary or a big deal just have the volume knob all the way down and start climbing but don't get crazy.

 

Once your hooked up the he-400 will seem to keep saying more but again dont go crazy just be aware your sending gobs more current  thru the headphones thin traces as opposed to a speaker that has a voice coil that can dissapate heat thru it's  wired voice coil.

 

 

You will get more punch/snap for bass it  will not seem as loose and of course because of more power,it will seem that sq goes up all around. Is that the case or its just getting louder lol

 

Oh btw thanx for answering all of my crazy questions i had for you.

post #4392 of 6020
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

 

Maybe someone will feel adventurous and try HE400s on speaker taps rolleyes.gif

 

Tried it multiple times. Very open and clear sound. Sounds better than my soloist with my $200 emotiva a-100, which is what I hook my HE-6's up to. Great sounding amplifier, really opens these up, and definitely tightens the bass which, IMHO is a little bloated using SE. 

 

With these, I would say            Speaker >> Balanced > SE


Edited by elwappo99 - 10/1/12 at 4:03pm
post #4393 of 6020
Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post

 

Tried it multiple times. Very open and clear sound. Sounds better than my soloist with my $200 emotiva a-100, which is what I hook my HE-6's up to. Great sounding amplifier, really opens these up, and definitely tightens the bass which, IMHO is a little bloated using SE. 

 

With these, I would say            Speaker >> Balanced > SE

How much can you crank the a-100 knob up to safely with the HE400?

post #4394 of 6020

Man I've been doing some more swapping back and forth between my STX and the Asgard with these... I can definitely tell there is a major improvement. The Asgard is amazing with these headphones, I really didn't expect it to change them this much. 

post #4395 of 6020

I really liked the Asgard/Bifrost with the he400. It was the best rig that I tried them with. I never got to try them with the lyr and bifrost that I just got over the weekend. And now never will. Just sold them and the Q audio cable...enjoy them Andrew!! 

 

Just wanted to say that I've enjoyed being active on this thread and hanging out with "the boys." Very nice group here. Carry on gentlemen...triportsad.gif

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