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Is the Hifiman HE-6 clearly a league above the Hifiman HE-500? - Page 14

post #196 of 396
Quote:
Originally Posted by pataburd View Post

When I a/bed the 5LE and the 500, the latter came "close" to the former, but NEVER equaled them.  So the 500 are even further from the 6.
In sound quality or flavour?
post #197 of 396
Quote:
Originally Posted by unspool View Post

So it seems that I need a more powerful head amp to drive the HE-500 anyway. Apart from its amping requirements, the downside of the HE-6 for me was its wearability. It's one of the more uncomfortable phones that I've tried. Does the HE-500 improve upon the HE-6 in that area?

 

 

I don't think the HE-500 have any special amping requirements.  What amp do you have now?  To me they both fell the same.  It could be different for you though,

post #198 of 396
Quote:
Originally Posted by pataburd View Post

prepo,

I used the KMF solid state-an excellent amp, the Fitz-improved Bada PH-12--a hybrid, the Linn Intek--from both the headphone out and the speaker taps, the Denon AVR-1905--from both the headphone out and the speaker taps, and the Qinpu 1.0A-X--speaker taps only.  

 

Even with the over achieving KMF: an amp that really didn't have ample drive for the HE-6, but actually drove the HE-500 quite well, it was apparent that the level of detail retrieval with the 6 easily out-pointed the 500, as well as the HE-6's 3-dimensionality and overall size of the soundstage.  I will concede, however, that the overall "gestalt" due to more optimal matching might favor the 500, but to me it still was not enough to demonstrate that the 500 were the 6's "equal".  

 

My impressions of the 500 running from the speaker taps of various integrated amp was that they tended to sound a bit "hot", sharp and over driven, while the HE-6, by contrast, just seem to relax and take on an unflappable ease to their presentation; they come alive in another dimension of sound reproduction.  : ) 

 

I do agree with you that with more suitable amping, the HE-6 out-performs the HE-500 even more, winning by "yards"--with better amping, instead of by "feet"--with less that sufficient amping.

 

 

pataburd,

 

I think we agree on more things than not.  

 

I have experienced the HE-500 having a plateau when on the same speaker amp as the HE-6.  Meaning it can be over amped as you stated - treble being very hot and sharp, not an ideal application for the HE-500s.  

 

I have also experienced the HE-6 being under amped when on any of my headphone amps, resulting in smaller soundstage, detail retrieval and instrument separation was noticeable less.

 

Putting both on a headphone amp for me brings the HE-500 very close to the HE-6 in performance.  At this point you are limiting the HE-6 - holding it back from what it's capable of.  At the same time your getting the very best out of the HE-500s

 

The reason I say the HE-6 is a league above the HE-500s is because of it scalability and the limiting celling the HE-500 has.  When the HE-6 is able to scale everything gets considerably better than the HE-500s in all phases.

post #199 of 396
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

pataburd,

 

I think we agree on more things than not.  

 

I have experienced the HE-500 having a plateau when on the same speaker amp as the HE-6.  Meaning it can be over amped as you stated - treble being very hot and sharp, not an ideal application for the HE-500s.  

 

I have also experienced the HE-6 being under amped when on any of my headphone amps, resulting in smaller soundstage, detail retrieval and instrument separation was noticeable less.

 

Putting both on a headphone amp for me brings the HE-500 very close to the HE-6 in performance.  At this point you are limiting the HE-6 - holding it back from what it's capable of.  At the same time your getting the very best out of the HE-500s

 

The reason I say the HE-6 is a league above the HE-500s is because of it scalability and the limiting celling the HE-500 has.  When the HE-6 is able to scale everything gets considerably better than the HE-500s in all phases.

I have never heard the HE-6, but I agree about the HE-500.

 

On the Burson HA-160D (using the Burson DAC), the HE-500 sounds well over-amped (regardless of the stated power output of only 0.250 W).  Treble is hot and sharp, voices are sibilant, and nothing is smooth.  Bass is punchy though.  It was the same on both high and low gain (pot to max for low gain) outputs in this scenario.

 

Crazy thing is, once I fed the HRT MSII+ into the Burson, and used the low gain output (Also having to turn the pot to max), the HE-500 became an entirely NEW headphone.

It's smooth, much less sibilant, treble is still evident, and bass hits slightly less punchy.  I still think it's being held back by the Burson amp portion, as IMO the Burson does not go well with High end orthos (tested on the LCD-2 as well).  I love the HE-500s now, but I'm sure they can be even better with a different amp.

I'd really like to try the HE-6 out some day on a good speaker amp.

post #200 of 396

Just finished reading this very enjoyable thread. Being an owner of the HE500 for about a year now the title of the thread has been my question too. I have already put the HE500 through its paces and have done enough amplification experiments to have entirely set aside amping the HPs via any headphone out. The SQ results stemming from XLR speaker taps are simply miles ahead of any headphone out SQ. Via speaker taps the HE500s simply come alive. Of course there are variations among speaker amps. I've tried up to 10 or so different amps, mostly vintage imtegrated amps and receivers. The very best I've heard (and am still hearing) the HE500 is via the speaker taps of the Pioneer SA-7500II integrated amp. Suprisingly similiar is my Musical Paradise MP-301 MK2 integrated tube amp which I am feeding the HE500 via speaker taps with resistors in place. Am listening to it right now actually, and I don't know man, can it get better than this .....?? That is where my question about the HE6 comes in. I would love to do a comp with the HE6 using the same setups and really put the question to rest. {{Gasp ... anyone in the Greater Vancouver canuck area willing to arrange a HE6/HE500 listening swap?}}.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the scold shower and wife throwing jokes too (lol) .. I also found the following posts very useful and insightful. Although there wasn't much feedback around it, I thought Malveaux's post really had something to it. Pataburd's post seems to really reflect someone who has actually tried to tap (pun intended) into the best these HPs have to offer (much appreciated)..

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

 

The HE-6 came first. The HE-500 is an HE-6 that was re-created, an update if you will, to be more efficient and address some sound signature and frequency response touches. They simply then realized they made a different headphone, and instead of calling it HE-6 2.0 or something, they went with HE-500. They're two different headphones at this point, yet both are high-end and equals in my opinion, simply slightly different flavors. The HE-6 and  HE-500 used to be equal trades too. But then they dropped the cost of the HE-500 quite a bit and the HE-6's cost was still high, so they marketed it in a way to where one looks to be the flagship, and one the lesser. But it's simply not the case. I see the HE-500 as the flagship, and the HE-6 to be the precursor to it, the first "flagship" attempt, until they released it takes a speaker amp to power the thing and had a limited market. The HE-500 opened that market. And when they realized they'd sell more headphones if they released something efficient enough for even more people to run, they finally landed the HE-400 and made a headphone that will run from essentially anything and costs less and yet sounds very, very similar to the HE-500. Scary.

 

Flavors my friend. It's all just flavors.

 

Very best,

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pataburd View Post

I used the KMF solid state-an excellent amp, the Fitz-improved Bada PH-12--a hybrid, the Linn Intek--from both the headphone out and the speaker taps, the Denon AVR-1905--from both the headphone out and the speaker taps, and the Qinpu 1.0A-X--speaker taps only.  

 

Even with the over achieving KMF: an amp that really didn't have ample drive for the HE-6, but actually drove the HE-500 quite well, it was apparent that the level of detail retrieval with the 6 easily out-pointed the 500, as well as the HE-6's 3-dimensionality and overall size of the soundstage.  I will concede, however, that the overall "gestalt" due to more optimal matching might favor the 500, but to me it still was not enough to demonstrate that the 500 were the 6's "equal".  

 

My impressions of the 500 running from the speaker taps of various integrated amp was that they tended to sound a bit "hot", sharp and over driven, while the HE-6, by contrast, just seem to relax and take on an unflappable ease to their presentation; they come alive in another dimension of sound reproduction.  : ) 

 

I do agree with you that with more suitable amping, the HE-6 out-performs the HE-500 even more, winning by "yards"--with better amping, instead of by "feet"--with less that sufficient amping.

 

Now I really want to find out for myself, does gold really make that much of a difference. Silver or gold folks ....??

post #201 of 396

This sounds like what Fang said about the HE-5LE and the HE-500.  That's why I think the HE-5LE is now being discontinued - because the HE-500 took it's place (same price).  While the HE-6 remains the flagship.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

 

The HE-6 came first. The HE-500 is an HE-6 that was re-created, an update if you will, to be more efficient and address some sound signature and frequency response touches. They simply then realized they made a different headphone, and instead of calling it HE-6 2.0 or something, they went with HE-500. They're two different headphones at this point, yet both are high-end and equals in my opinion, simply slightly different flavors. The HE-6 and  HE-500 used to be equal trades too. But then they dropped the cost of the HE-500 quite a bit and the HE-6's cost was still high, so they marketed it in a way to where one looks to be the flagship, and one the lesser. But it's simply not the case. I see the HE-500 as the flagship, and the HE-6 to be the precursor to it, the first "flagship" attempt, until they released it takes a speaker amp to power the thing and had a limited market. The HE-500 opened that market. And when they realized they'd sell more headphones if they released something efficient enough for even more people to run, they finally landed the HE-400 and made a headphone that will run from essentially anything and costs less and yet sounds very, very similar to the HE-500. Scary.

 

Flavors my friend. It's all just flavors.

 

Very best,

post #202 of 396
Quote:
Originally Posted by vc1187 View Post

I have never heard the HE-6, but I agree about the HE-500.

On the Burson HA-160D (using the Burson DAC), the HE-500 sounds well over-amped (regardless of the stated power output of only 0.250 W).  Treble is hot and sharp, voices are sibilant, and nothing is smooth.  Bass is punchy though.  It was the same on both high and low gain (pot to max for low gain) outputs in this scenario.

Crazy thing is, once I fed the HRT MSII+ into the Burson, and used the low gain output (Also having to turn the pot to max), the HE-500 became an entirely NEW headphone.
It's smooth, much less sibilant, treble is still evident, and bass hits slightly less punchy.  I still think it's being held back by the Burson amp portion, as IMO the Burson does not go well with High end orthos (tested on the LCD-2 as well).  I love the HE-500s now, but I'm sure they can be even better with a different amp.
I'd really like to try the HE-6 out some day on a good speaker amp.
What you've heard had nothing to do with available output power bur simply the sound quality. You've heard what your headphones received. Just simple like that. I have used the HE-500 with a 1.6W per channel amp, and it was a very good match. The advantage was clean sound at very high volumes, when somebody needed it, and no disadvantages.
post #203 of 396
Quote:
Originally Posted by .Sup View Post

In sound quality or flavour?

Please see my review.

In short, the 500 have rolled off treble, a smaller soundstage and (to me) an unnatural midbass emphasis compared to the 5LE.

I am talking substance ("sound quality"), not semantics ("flavor").

post #204 of 396
Quote:
Originally Posted by pataburd View Post

Please see my review.

In short, the 500 have rolled off treble, a smaller soundstage and (to me) an unnatural midbass emphasis compared to the 5LE.

I am talking substance ("sound quality"), not semantics ("flavor").

I would say it's the flavour of the 5LE's that you like. You prefer the 5LE's over the HE500 where as most other people who I've read about and have tried both don't. I've read your review and you clearly state what you like about the 5LE over the HE500 but its all subjective. You clearly like hightened treble and a more dry analytical (detailed) sound and thats great, but the people who like the HE500 like it because it is not that. People like the HE500 because it has smooth inoffensive treble, its an easy listen, they enjoy the warm slightly forward mids. Why would anyone bother with a phone like the hard to drive 5LE when they could have an HD800? The HE500's have rich velvety mids, not clinical and they don't dissect the music like some other high end cans do, again this is the flavour. To me rich velvety mids is a better "sound quality" than dry, analytical. Maybe we should use the word "signature" rather than "flavour" basically the same thing.

 

If anyone is new to this hobby and looking to buy a (soon to be discontinued) 5LE over the HE500 they may well be dissapointed when they find that they can't use their newly aquired headphone amp with them without the sound being bright and weak. When they could have had a much more advanced headphone that plays well with just about any headphone amp.

 

Please don't take offense by this, you keep expressing your opinion and I have expressed my opinion on yours.

 

All's fair in love and headphones wink_face.gif

post #205 of 396

Good post Lug,

 

I should be getting the 5LE soon.  

 

If they're anything like the 6 then the dry and analytical sound is because the amp is not up to par.  Or that just may be their signature as you pointed out.  I've read where others have said "don't count out the 5LEs" so I just have to live with them for a while so I can be qualified to join the discussion.

 

Your right about new folks getting into the hobby,  The 500s is where one should start. For some that's where they'll end as well.

post #206 of 396
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

Good post Lug,

 

I should be getting the 5LE soon.  

 

If they're anything like the 6 then the dry and analytical sound is because the amp is not up to par.  Or that just may be their signature as you pointed out.  I've read where others have said "don't count out the 5LEs" so I just have to live with them for a while so I can be qualified to join the discussion.

 

Your right about new folks getting into the hobby,  The 500s is where one should start. For some that's where they'll end as well.

Thanks, I'd agree with that too. They're such a great allrounder, they may not be the best for certain types of music but you can pretty much enjoy any music with them. Bit like the ole 650's in that respect.

post #207 of 396
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post

I would say it's the flavour of the 5LE's that you like. You prefer the 5LE's over the HE500 where as most other people who I've read about and have tried both don't. I've read your review and you clearly state what you like about the 5LE over the HE500 but its all subjective. You clearly like hightened treble and a more dry analytical (detailed) sound and thats great, but the people who like the HE500 like it because it is not that. People like the HE500 because it has smooth inoffensive treble, its an easy listen, they enjoy the warm slightly forward mids. Why would anyone bother with a phone like the hard to drive 5LE when they could have an HD800? The HE500's have rich velvety mids, not clinical and they don't dissect the music like some other high end cans do, again this is the flavour. To me rich velvety mids is a better "sound quality" than dry, analytical. Maybe we should use the word "signature" rather than "flavour" basically the same thing.

 

If anyone is new to this hobby and looking to buy a (soon to be discontinued) 5LE over the HE500 they may well be dissapointed when they find that they can't use their newly aquired headphone amp with them without the sound being bright and weak. When they could have had a much more advanced headphone that plays well with just about any headphone amp.

 

Please don't take offense by this, you keep expressing your opinion and I have expressed my opinion on yours.

 

All's fair in love and headphones wink_face.gif

What is subjective about rolled off treble?  You yourself agree, although you use euphemisms like "smooth" and "inoffensive" to promote the HE-500.  The HE-500 simply do not have the high frequency extension that the 5LE do.  That's true whether one likes "hightened" [sic] treble or not.  The high frequency information produced by the 5LE simply is not there with the HE-500: what is "subjective" about that?   

 

And what is the reader to make of the observation that the majority of people who have tried both [the 5LE and the 500] prefer the HE-500?  Is that supposed to make one's HE-500 bias "objective"?  It simply attests to the HE-500's current popularity.  Mass consensus does not make MacDonald's hamburgers objectively better than any other.  Many would argue to the contrary.

 

People might choose the 5LE over the HD800 because in some respects--as some reviewers have noted--they may actually sound better, aside from being appreciably less expensive.  

 

People who buy the HE-5LE and/or the HE-6 should know what they are getting themselves into--between HifiMAN's own precautionary words about the 5LE's and 6's relative inefficiency and what is already well documented on these threads.  Many are glad to match their source and amp to suit the headphones they prefer.  It happens all the time.    


Edited by pataburd - 10/9/12 at 8:11am
post #208 of 396
The HE-5LEs have harsh, uncontrolled and very sibilent treble, that the HE-500s don't share this doesn't mean treble is rolled off at all. It's less aggressive but maintains sparkle and there is NO veil on details.

The HE-500s are all round the more natural, controlled, balanced and subjectively better can between the two.
post #209 of 396
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkbeat View Post

The HE-5LEs have harsh, uncontrolled and very sibilent treble, 

Not in my experience.

post #210 of 396
Quote:
Originally Posted by pataburd View Post

What is subjective about rolled off treble?  You yourself agree, although you use euphemisms like "smooth" and "inoffensive" to promote the HE-500.  The HE-500 simply do not have the high frequency extension that the 5LE do.  That's true whether one likes "hightened" [sic] treble or not.  The high frequency information produced by the 5LE simply is not there with the HE-500: what is "subjective" about that?   

 

And what is the reader to make of the observation that the majority of people who have tried both [the 5LE and the 500] prefer the HE-500?  Is that supposed to make one's HE-500 bias "objective"?  It simply attests to the HE-500's current popularity.  Mass consensus does not make MacDonald's hamburgers objectively better than any other.  Many would argue to the contrary.

 

People might choose the 5LE over the HD800 because in some respects--as some reviewers have noted--they may actually sound better, aside from being appreciably less expensive.  

 

People who buy the HE-5LE and/or the HE-6 should know what they are getting themselves into--between HifiMAN's own precautionary words about the 5LE's and 6's relative inefficiency and what is already well documented on these threads.  Many are glad to match their source and amp to suit the headphones they prefer.  It happens all the time.    

I knew you would take offense biggrin.gif

 

My point was.. That you apparently used "substance" rather than "semantics" .... How can you use substance when describing sound? Your review is full of semantics and therefore you are using subjective descriptions. What I consider to be better "sound quality" is subjective, same as what you think is.

"high frequency extension" has absolutely nothing to do with sound quality, same as "rolled off" treble. These are semantics used in describing the sound image, not the quality. What you consider "quality" is not the same as me. Regarding treble extension, there is not a good headphone out there that actually has extended treble, they all cover the range of what us humans can hear. There may be parts in the FR that are heightened and therefore emphasize treble but if you can hear more treble extension in a headphone then you are probably a Bat or similar animal that is able to pick up these higher frequencies.  Are you?

 

Mass consensus doesn't make MacDonald's better..... If capitalism gets involved in the headphone business then you may have a point, other than that, thats a very silly analogy.  Or are you now going to start about Monster Beats, because for me there is no difference.

 

We are talking about expensive audio equipment, not mass produced burgers...

 

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