Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Is the Hifiman HE-6 clearly a league above the Hifiman HE-500?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Is the Hifiman HE-6 clearly a league above the Hifiman HE-500? - Page 25

post #361 of 433
Quote:
Originally Posted by nigeljames View Post
 

 

Sorry but that depends on the headphone amp and speaker amp in question, it's not a gimme.

 

I have heard a number of typical amps from Rotal, Nad, Cambridge Audio, Yamaha, Marantz etc up to £600 and none have been better than my Master-6 driving the HE-6's.

 

I fully expect better speaker amps to be better with the HE6, if synergy is good, but to say that the HE-6's are going to sound better just because it's being used on a speaker amp is just wrong.

Yes I agree. I have heard that the HE-6 does sound well with some headphone amps. But the point I was trying to make was that most headphone amps lack the power requirements needed.

post #362 of 433
Quote:
Originally Posted by lljayll View Post
 

Yes I agree. I have heard that the HE-6 does sound well with some headphone amps. But the point I was trying to make was that most headphone amps lack the power requirements needed.

 

That we agree on, even the amps with 5wpc are not enough. The problems with speaker amps are quality and possible noise levels, as well as flexibility.

post #363 of 433
Quote:
Originally Posted by nigeljames View Post
 

 

That we agree on, even the amps with 5wpc are not enough. The problems with speaker amps are quality and possible noise levels, as well as flexibility.

Yeah I've heard hissing on some integrated amps and it wasn't pleasant to hear. A good match is definitely required when it comes to speaker amps.

post #364 of 433

That's usually because some speaker amps have very high gain.  

 

Finding a quality speaker amp with low gain can sometimes be tricky.  That's why I like the First Watt Amps, they have low gain - well at least on the one I have.

post #365 of 433

So I have slightly different question:  I have just received my newly acquired brand new Hifiman HE-500, which I have not even had the time so set up and try as yet...On the other hand, I could get the opportunity to buy a good used He-6 at less than half  its original price...  Would it be a good idea to buy the He-6 too, or does it resemble the He-500 too much to be worth it? If I should buy it, I would like to see a marked improvement in the sq over the he-500, even if I am still keeping the He-500. If it is going to sound too similar to He-500 to be significantly different, I might consider passing.  Let me know what you guys think.  Thanks..

post #366 of 433

I own and enjoy both.  Trust me, they're not the same.  Different voicing, it's been posted about earlier so I won't repeat it.  But only get the 6 if you'll be able to drive it well or are sure about being able to acquire an amp that has the juice to drive it, else you'll be disappointed and it's better to give it a pass.

post #367 of 433
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post
 

I own and enjoy both.  Trust me, they're not the same.  Different voicing, it's been posted about earlier so I won't repeat it.  But only get the 6 if you'll be able to drive it well or are sure about being able to acquire an amp that has the juice to drive it, else you'll be disappointed and it's better to give it a pass.

The amp part does not bother me.  I have a Sherbourn stereo speaker amp, with 50 wpc, just like the Emotiva Mini-x.  It is what I have got to drive the He-500, and  think it has more than enough juice to drive the He-6, with plenty of spare change left behind.

post #368 of 433

In that case you're set, provided the amp doesn't generate too much background noise, the most common issue when using speaker amps with these headphones.  Will you be using it with resistors?

post #369 of 433
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post
 

In that case you're set, provided the amp doesn't generate too much background noise, the most common issue when using speaker amps with these headphones.  Will you be using it with resistors?

Yes, if you mean attenuators.

post #370 of 433
Quote:
Originally Posted by sahmen View Post
 

So I have slightly different question:  I have just received my newly acquired brand new Hifiman HE-500, which I have not even had the time so set up and try as yet...On the other hand, I could get the opportunity to buy a good used He-6 at less than half  its original price...  Would it be a good idea to buy the He-6 too, or does it resemble the He-500 too much to be worth it? If I should buy it, I would like to see a marked improvement in the sq over the he-500, even if I am still keeping the He-500. If it is going to sound too similar to He-500 to be significantly different, I might consider passing.  Let me know what you guys think.  Thanks..

Just a follow up as I recalled this thread.  I'm currently listening to Maria Jao Pirez playing the allegro moderato from Sonate in C for piano by Mozart.  If you compare the way the piano notes are rendered here the differences between the HE-500 and HE-6 become immediately obvious.  Everything's just a lot clearer with the 6, attack of the note, timbre, decay...very crisp.  By comparison the HE-500 make them sound like if the piano hammer's got a thin felt coating, that's the best way I can explain the difference.  I don't intend this as a negative for the 500, with some music types/moods I actually prefer them over the 6.

post #371 of 433
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post
 

Just a follow up as I recalled this thread.  I'm currently listening to Maria Jao Pirez playing the allegro moderato from Sonate in C for piano by Mozart.  If you compare the way the piano notes are rendered here the differences between the HE-500 and HE-6 become immediately obvious.  Everything's just a lot clearer with the 6, attack of the note, timbre, decay...very crisp.  By comparison the HE-500 make them sound like if the piano hammer's got a thin felt coating, that's the best way I can explain the difference.  I don't intend this as a negative for the 500, with some music types/moods I actually prefer them over the 6.

Don't worry: I'm not taking your comment as a knock against the he-500.  I appreciate the input. On the other hand,  I think I oversimplified my last query, because the He-6 is actually one of 3 Hps that I have on my wishlist, and targeting as my next upgrade.  The other 2 are the LCD-2 (rev 2), and the Sennheiser hd800.  So yes, although I am growing fonder and forder of the HE-500 and am sure to keep it, I also plan to purchase one of the 3 cans I have listed above as the budget becomes available (The deal for the HE-6 that I mentioned in an earlier thread fell through, so I am back to contemplating my wishlist).  Since I cannot possibly purchase all three, I might actually end up defaulting to the first of the 3 for which I can find the most irresistible deal.  I'd rather decide on the basis of sound quality, but there is no place within my immediate geographical region where I could go and test all three and settle on a choice. So the search continues.  If you have any input about the other 2 I have mentioned (Sennheiser hd800  or/and  the Audeze LCD-2 rev 2,) as they compare to the HE-6, I'd be glad to her it.  Thanks.

post #372 of 433

Well, I'm, one of those addicts who own the HD-800, HE-500 and HE-6.  Can't help you with the LCD-2 as I've never even heard them.  You don't want to know the hoops I jumped through to audition them, living/working in India 75% of the time.

 

Short version:  if someone held a gun to my head and I could only keep one of the 3, it would be the HE-6, no contest.  Simply because they're the best all-round performers of the trio imo.  

 

Longer version and focussing on the HD-800 vs HE-6:

 

Concerning amplification the one -relative- disadvantage of the HE-6 is that it needs serious muscle.  Finding that in a headphone amp can be seriously difficult and/or expensive.  If you already own a headphone amp, chances are that it won't have the juice that's required.  I drove/drive mine from my V200, that one delivers 2.75 W into the HE-6's 50 Ohm impedance.  It sounds good (and  is very good value at the price).  Until recently I was convinced that the 'you need a speaker amp for the HE-6' talk was just a load of steaming dung.  But I've since heard them with a couple of good speaker amps and eat the humble pie:  they DO get better.  If you're to own 'only' the 6 and the 500 I'd advise you to look into getting a good speaker/integrated amp that uses as little gain as possible and has a low noise floor.  It's not just a matter of throwing raw power at it.  I've got a FirstWatt F5 clone on order myself but beware that the FirstWatt amps are specialised tools and not for everyone.  Loads of info about powering the HE-6 on the site.  A speaker amp doesn't have to be  a very expensive solution but requires some research.

 

By contrast, the HD-800 is relatively easy regarding power requirements but imo VERY picky about the DAC/AMP chain.  With the right combo they sound terrific, with a bad pairing cold, uninvolving and clinical and there are no hard and fast rules, you have to try them out (or trust on the advice of owners such as myself which frankly I would never do blindly).  I auditioned mine with (a.o.) a Burson conductor and that didn't work for me at all.  With my Vio V200 they pair very well to my ears, possibly because it's voiced slightly warm and is not the ultimate in speed and resolution which takes down the 800 just a hair.  IMO a pairing with a good (read:  relatively neutral sounding) tube amp is what they require.

 

Soundwise in a strictly technical (going by the numbers) sense I guess the HD-800 might win out.  They're the definite winners as far as expansive soundstage goes and are better at resolving details.  But that strength becomes a disadvantage if your source material is not pristine (listening to old classical recordings with them is torture as every imperfection is presented piping hot).  Also, they're not as neutral as the HE-6, at least to my ears.  Their treble can become strident at times.  The bottom line is that I believe there can be too much of a good thing and that technical perfection matters little if it takes the enjoyment out of the music. The HE-6 are very neutral sounding, have imo better bass than the 800 (I'm no bass-head, btw) and are in plain and simple terms nicer to listen to.  Not that they're overly forgiving or unresolving.

 

To me all 3 have their place and are by themselves very, very good performers, it's not like if you can go disastrously wrong with any of them (note that I only listen to classical and some blues/jazz):

 

- HE-500:  blues/jazz, intimate classical music such as small chamber ensembles.  Great sounding vocals.

- HE-6:  best all-rounders.  I truly believe they handle all genres well.  Not forgiving but not on the resolution warpath either.

- HD-800:  for the large orchestral works where you want soundstage, provided the recording quality is there.

 

I'm afraid the above might not be of massive help to you, these are just my impressions based on how I hear/like my sound and I'm certainly no authority.

post #373 of 433
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post
 

Well, I'm, one of those addicts who own the HD-800, HE-500 and HE-6.  Can't help you with the LCD-2 as I've never even heard them.  You don't want to know the hoops I jumped through to audition them, living/working in India 75% of the time.

 

Short version:  if someone held a gun to my head and I could only keep one of the 3, it would be the HE-6, no contest.  Simply because they're the best all-round performers of the trio imo.  

 

Longer version and focussing on the HD-800 vs HE-6:

 

Concerning amplification the one -relative- disadvantage of the HE-6 is that it needs serious muscle.  Finding that in a headphone amp can be seriously difficult and/or expensive.  If you already own a headphone amp, chances are that it won't have the juice that's required.  I drove/drive mine from my V200, that one delivers 2.75 W into the HE-6's 50 Ohm impedance.  It sounds good (and  is very good value at the price).  Until recently I was convinced that the 'you need a speaker amp for the HE-6' talk was just a load of steaming dung.  But I've since heard them with a couple of good speaker amps and eat the humble pie:  they DO get better.  If you're to own 'only' the 6 and the 500 I'd advise you to look into getting a good speaker/integrated amp that uses as little gain as possible and has a low noise floor.  It's not just a matter of throwing raw power at it.  I've got a FirstWatt F5 clone on order myself but beware that the FirstWatt amps are specialised tools and not for everyone.  Loads of info about powering the HE-6 on the site.  A speaker amp doesn't have to be  a very expensive solution but requires some research.

 

By contrast, the HD-800 is relatively easy regarding power requirements but imo VERY picky about the DAC/AMP chain.  With the right combo they sound terrific, with a bad pairing cold, uninvolving and clinical and there are no hard and fast rules, you have to try them out (or trust on the advice of owners such as myself which frankly I would never do blindly).  I auditioned mine with (a.o.) a Burson conductor and that didn't work for me at all.  With my Vio V200 they pair very well to my ears, possibly because it's voiced slightly warm and is not the ultimate in speed and resolution which takes down the 800 just a hair.  IMO a pairing with a good (read:  relatively neutral sounding) tube amp is what they require.

 

Soundwise in a strictly technical (going by the numbers) sense I guess the HD-800 might win out.  They're the definite winners as far as expansive soundstage goes and are better at resolving details.  But that strength becomes a disadvantage if your source material is not pristine (listening to old classical recordings with them is torture as every imperfection is presented piping hot).  Also, they're not as neutral as the HE-6, at least to my ears.  Their treble can become strident at times.  The bottom line is that I believe there can be too much of a good thing and that technical perfection matters little if it takes the enjoyment out of the music. The HE-6 are very neutral sounding, have imo better bass than the 800 (I'm no bass-head, btw) and are in plain and simple terms nicer to listen to.  Not that they're overly forgiving or unresolving.

 

To me all 3 have their place and are by themselves very, very good performers, it's not like if you can go disastrously wrong with any of them (note that I only listen to classical and some blues/jazz):

 

- HE-500:  blues/jazz, intimate classical music such as small chamber ensembles.  Great sounding vocals.

- HE-6:  best all-rounders.  I truly believe they handle all genres well.  Not forgiving but not on the resolution warpath either.

- HD-800:  for the large orchestral works where you want soundstage, provided the recording quality is there.

 

I'm afraid the above might not be of massive help to you, these are just my impressions based on how I hear/like my sound and I'm certainly no authority.

Like Xeno, I'm also one of those addicts that owns all 3 of the headphones mentioned.  His impressions are pretty close to spot on to how I feel about each one.  As far as budgeting goes, the HE-500 is the best bang for the buck.  The level resolution surpasses the LCD-2 (both rev.1 and rev.2) and the tonality is just all around better, IMHO.  I've purchased the LCD-2 three times now (rev.1 twice, rev.2 once), and tried to like it, but just couldn't ever enjoy it over the HE-500.  So if I were you, I'd easily cross off the LCD-2 :-).

 

As Xeno stated, both HE-6 and HD800 are a pain in the neck to drive properly.  The HD800 plays nicely with OTL tube amps, but not all of them.  For example, while the La Figaro 339 played very well with the HD650, it was nothing special with the HD800...  But the HD800 was great with the Bottlehead Crack, so keep that in mind if you decide to go that route.  Also, it did sound very good when I owned the V200 as well.

 

The HE-6 is also picky about the amp you use, be it headphone amp or speaker amp.  There was so much raving about how great the HE-6 sounded with the Burson Soloist.  My verdict: It fell way short of expectations.  Aside from the V200 and the Eximus DP1's headphone out, I have yet to try a headphone amp that pairs 'okay' with the HE-6.  I drive the HE-6 out of a Parasound Halo A23 speaker amp currently, and it is the best setup I have heard to this day.  While I haven't heard the HD800 on its best possible system, I'd go as far as to say a synergistic pairing of HE-6 and speaker amp rivals or surpasses the HD800 in its strongest fields: soundstage and imaging.  

 

With this in mind, I think you'll realize that there's something special about the HE-500 that other headphones don't have.  It's just a great pair of headphones for a cheap price of $600 (And even cheaper if bought secondhand!).  Even though I find everything with the HE-6 is technically better, I still find equal enjoyment when listening to the HE-500.  I find them to be great with all genres of music.

 

Anyway, I'll go ahead and be biased here and recommend the HE-6 if you're dead set on getting one of those headphones, as its all around better for all genres of music than the HD800 due to its sound signature and strengths.  That's my two cents.

post #374 of 433
Very well said
I also have both HE6 and HE500. If you have already found a matching amp for HE6 then it's a pretty end game.
Although I still can't bring myself to sell my HE500.
post #375 of 433

Great write up guys..

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Is the Hifiman HE-6 clearly a league above the Hifiman HE-500?