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Is the Hifiman HE-6 clearly a league above the Hifiman HE-500? - Page 2

post #16 of 405

Hey, in case you already havn't read this, here's Tyll's thoughts on many world class headphones.

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/comparing-world-class-headphones

 

 

Important to note that he probably had one of the earlier veiled LCD-2s so didn't think too highly of them.  Just recently he reviewed new LCD-2 and 3, he said LCD-2 would be his island headphone if LCD-3 didn't exist.  The HE-500 vs HE-6 comparison should still hold true, though.

post #17 of 405

Tyll was not really using an amp capable of getting to best out of the HE6's though.

 

The Apex Pinnacle, as pricey and as good as it is, does not have the power to really bring the HE6's to life.

 

That being said I have never heard the HE500 so I don't have an opinion on which is best.

post #18 of 405

I have not had an extensive audition with the HE-500 and HE-6. I heard them both at the San Francisco meet and compared them with my LE-5. I loved the sound signature of HE-6 more than LE-5 and HE-500. LE-5's held very good while compared to the HE-500 but they both were not HE-5 which was the first HiFiMan headphone I heard and loved. With regards to HE-6. They just seemed to have brilliant imaging and room to me. If I were to get the HiFiMan headphone again, I might go for the HE-6 as they are most to my taste.

 

I totally agree to the problem of pairing the headphone with the right amp. HE-6 was really choosy of its partner unlike the other two. They could sound fantastic to absolutely ordinary depending on the amp. In that department alone, I prefer the LE-5's. I'd pick LE-5 over HE-500 any day.

 

Even though I own Denon AHD-7000, I mostly prefer bass shy phones like Sennheiser HD-800, AKG - K 701, Etymotic ER-4 etc. Even then for my ears, the HE-6 bass felt cleaner and the highs felt more smoother. For me it did not seem very neutral but like the Denon's, I preferred their presentation better.

post #19 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by nigeljames View Post

Tyll was not really using an amp capable of getting to best out of the HE6's though.

The Apex Pinnacle, as pricey and as good as it is, does not have the power to really bring the HE6's to life.

That being said I have never heard the HE500 so I don't have an opinion on which is best.

Planar magnetics have a purely flat resistance. What would a lack of power have on their sound other than volume or dynamic range for high dr songs? It's not like the pinnacle isn't a refIned amp or anything.
post #20 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post

 

And why don't you try hearing them both driven off speaker taps and get back to me. 

 

 

Don't worry, there are lot of "people" here throwing their opinions without even owning or hearing both headphones.

I simply ignore their reviews/opinions. ;)

 

Time for me to buy HE500 and HE6 and will get back to this thread.

post #21 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post


Planar magnetics have a purely flat resistance. What would a lack of power have on their sound other than volume or dynamic range for high dr songs? It's not like the pinnacle isn't a refIned amp or anything.

 

Opinions on that topic range across the board.   I still insist there's some variable in the equation that is being omitted...something about the HE-6 and the way an amplifier designed for an 8ohm load interact that isn't being factored into the number crunching on power.   Virtually everyone who has listened to HE-6 on a high-end balanced headphone amp and virtually any speaker amp seems to find the speaker amp the better performer.  It could be placebo, but it seems universal among those who tried both, with the Dark Star being pretty much the only headamp that seems to be treated equally to speaker amps, and some new reports coming in that Mjolnir and HF-6 both do a good job, and a smattering of others.

 

I don't know what electrical factor is part of it...but I'm convinced there's a factor of resistance something that's simply different between the two types of amps to make such a huge difference. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian411 View Post

 

Don't worry, there are lot of "people" here throwing their opinions without even owning or hearing both headphones.

I simply ignore their reviews/opinions. ;)

 

Time for me to buy HE500 and HE6 and will get back to this thread.

 

Sounds like an awesome plan!

post #22 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post


Planar magnetics have a purely flat resistance. What would a lack of power have on their sound other than volume or dynamic range for high dr songs? It's not like the pinnacle isn't a refIned amp or anything.

 

Have you actually read any of the HE6 threads?

 

The HE6's need a lot of power, no myth, no doubt. The Pinnacle does not have enough power. if you don't feel a more powerful amp than the Pinnacle would be an advantage for the HE6's then please go back and read other peoples opinions who have had the opportunity to hear the HE6's run properly.

post #23 of 405
I'm not questioning that they don't need a lot of power. I'm questioning what people are considering underpowered and how it affects sound quality-- the science behind it if you will. No audiophile subjectivity involved. Tyll clearly didn't find a lack of volume or bass, which head-fi'ers usually attribute with.
post #24 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post

Actually, you should know this is my opinion. rolleyes.gif

 

And why don't you try hearing them both driven off speaker taps and get back to me. 

 

They aren't equivalents, but ok, sure.


Having owned both and hearing the HE6 off a Pioneer sx980 and the hE500 using the Taboo and also using same for the6 I say that the six is another class up over the HE500. Soundstage and treble much much better and bass is not as bloated as the hE500 . I agree with your opinion 100 percent. Most people really have not hear  the HE6 with the proper amp. It need power and then it will really show you  how good it can be.

post #25 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

I'm not questioning that they don't need a lot of power. I'm questioning what people are considering underpowered and how it affects sound quality-- the science behind it if you will. No audiophile subjectivity involved. Tyll clearly didn't find a lack of volume or bass, which head-fi'ers usually attribute with.

 

From what I do know about it it somehow involves the huge transformers compared to most headamps.  I don't know what the full explanation is, and a few headamps, Dark Star, supposedly Mjolnir, etc do well without as massive a transformer.  But I do know the key ingredient is the ability of the transformer to instantly deliver large current on demand in a controlled fashion while already drawing large amounts of current compared to what even good head amps put out.  

 

Good example of the differences from my own experience is Lyr.  6W into I don't know what but I'm guessing 8ohm for standard rating and based on the volume dial compared to my 45w into 8ohm speaker amp.  As you  describe, power wise, it drives it fine without the classic treble-happiness that is typically the symptom of underpowering HE-6, so in my opinion it's not underpowering them at all and is an acceptable amp for them.  And yet the detail and soundstage is somehow constrained on Lyr in ways that it is not constrained when driving HE-400.  It's neither that the Lyr is truly underpowering them (bass is fine, it's not treble tilted), nor is it that the Lyr lacks overall finesse (it has finesse in spades with HE-400, HD650.)  It's that it lacks finesse when feeding the current-guzzling HE-6 despite the volume pot still being below 1:30.  There's a magic variable in the equation for the difference of "works" and "doesn't work" beyond just power/loudness/watts into 53ohms.  I'm sure a simple variable that a speaker/amp designer could answer in a heartbeat. Shame I wasn't able to ask Justin of Headamp when he dropped in the HE-6 thread the other day answering a customer's question and agreed that the GS-X wasn't the best choice specifically for driving HE-6 versus a speaker amp, but that it would do well overall. if buying it for other headphones too.  Amp designers know the difference...so it's part of the math somewhere outside the overly-simplified equations head-fiers tend to use to describe amping something biggrin.gif

post #26 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post


Having owned both and hearing the HE6 off a Pioneer sx980 and the hE500 using the Taboo and also using same for the6 I say that the six is another class up over the HE500. Soundstage and treble much much better and bass is not as bloated as the hE500 . I agree with your opinion 100 percent. Most people really have not hear  the HE6 with the proper amp. It need power and then it will really show you  how good it can be.

 

I can skip HE500 then, thank you for saving me few $$$ :)

post #27 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post


Having owned both and hearing the HE6 off a Pioneer sx980 and the hE500 using the Taboo and also using same for the6 I say that the six is another class up over the HE500. Soundstage and treble much much better and bass is not as bloated as the hE500 . I agree with your opinion 100 percent. Most people really have not hear  the HE6 with the proper amp. It need power and then it will really show you  how good it can be.

 

What do you mean by *bloated*, bloated is a pretty harsh word to use for an orthodynamic headphone. My HE-500 has some of the crispest most well textured bass I've ever heard out of a pair of headphones.

 

If you mean that the HE-500 has more bass than maybe you would like it's not quite the same thing and can be easily fixed with some EQ'ing.

 

I myself gave my HE-500 a 3dB boost in the midrange (3-8k) while leaving the rest of the spectrum untouched. For me that made all the difference since they are so flat and GOOD at reproducing bass down low that more bass sometimes comes through than what I think the artist originally intended. All the top-end headphones like the LCD-2/3 and Hifiman HE-series suffer the same problem to some degree.

 

You make it sound like the HE-500 is garbage and it is simply not the case - it's fantastic and if you prefer the HE-6 that's personal preference. Which is fine.


Edited by TwoEars - 9/6/12 at 5:08am
post #28 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

I'm not questioning that they don't need a lot of power. I'm questioning what people are considering underpowered and how it affects sound quality-- the science behind it if you will. No audiophile subjectivity involved. Tyll clearly didn't find a lack of volume or bass, which head-fi'ers usually attribute with.

 

I had no problem with volume or bass with my Woo6se (1.9wpc) or my old A-GD Roc (1.5wpc) either and they both sounded pretty good BUT now that I have heard then with the Master-6 biggrin.gif

post #29 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoEars View Post

 

What do you mean by *bloated*, bloated is a pretty harsh word to use for an orthodynamic headphone. My HE-500 has some of the crispest most well textured bass I've ever heard out of a pair of headphones.

 

If you mean that the HE-500 has more bass than maybe you would like it's not quite the same thing and can be easily fixed with some EQ'ing.

 

I myself gave my HE-500 a 3dB boost in the midrange (3-8k) while leaving the rest of the spectrum untouched. For me that made all the difference since they are so flat and GOOD at reproducing bass down low that more bass sometimes comes through than what I think the artist originally intended. All the top-end headphones like the LCD-2/3 and Hifiman HE-series suffer the same problem to some degree.

 

You make it sound like the HE-500 is garbage and it is simply not the case - it's fantastic and if you prefer the HE-6 that's personal preference. Which is fine.


Now you put  words in my mouth. Where did I say that the HE500 is garbage. The He6 is t he better can IMO. I dont use Eq and more interested in balanced and neutral. The 500 bass sis tipped and slightly bloated. If you dont think so thats fine but the only ones who think the 6 is a slouch have never really heard what it can do whenused properly. The He500 is clearly a step down, I really wont argue this point so whatever you post is OK with me. Your opinion is yours and mine is mine. I am done with this thread.

post #30 of 405

Another way to say HE500 bass is more bloated is that HE6 bass is more lean. All relative, compared to the vast majority of other cans these differences are pretty minor. Honestly when I auditioned these head-to-head ANY difference in bass was overshadowed by the wildly different midrange/treble tonalities of these 2 cans.

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