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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 686

post #10276 of 17619
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by realityhas View Post

Speaking of bass, coming from the Sennheisers hd25 I found the h400 a bit lacking in terms of punch... will they improve with an amp? 
I was looking at the Objective combo, any of you guys use it? 

 

Short answer no. The he400 is easy to amp. It will improve modestly with better amps, but only within reason. If you find the bass lacking punch, you should look elsewhere. This is some of the best audiophile bass in the game. You'd have to spend a grand to do better IMO. 

post #10277 of 17619
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

 

Short answer no. The he400 is easy to amp. It will improve modestly with better amps, but only within reason. If you find the bass lacking punch, you should look elsewhere. This is some of the best audiophile bass in the game. You'd have to spend a grand to do better IMO.  


Yeah, I've read about that... that's why I bought them in the first place actuallybiggrin.gif. I was looking at the hd600 but bought those because of what I've been reading about the bass. That's why I dont want to return them either.
I do not consider myself a basshead, in fact I enjoy listening to my fathers grado from time to time, but as most newbies I like feeling the punch.

It's probably not even the bass per se, as the hd25 aren't considered bass heavy (are they?). I probably just have to get used to it, as Modulor says.


I just can't help felling a bit disappointed: when i first tried the hd25 they blew my mind, I was expecting the same with this update... 

post #10278 of 17619
Quote:
Originally Posted by realityhas View Post


Yeah, I've read about that... that's why I bought them in the first place actuallybiggrin.gif. I was looking at the hd600 but bought those because of what I've been reading about the bass. That's why I dont want to return them either.
I do not consider myself a basshead, in fact I enjoy listening to my fathers grado from time to time, but as most newbies I like feeling the punch.

It's probably not even the bass per se, as the hd25 aren't considered bass heavy (are they?). I probably just have to get used to it, as Modulor says.


I just can't help felling a bit disappointed: when i first tried the hd25 they blew my mind, I was expecting the same with this update... 

Just give them some time, and I have no doubt you will come to appreciate the bass presentation.  The HD-25 is dynamic and closed, and they are known to have a more visceral impact...depends on the type of 'basshead' I guess.   I'd say that for an open headphone, the HE-400 have an impressive amount of impact when given the juice.  I agree with MattTCG, but I can say I there is a noticeable difference going from only a soundcard/DAC or portable device to the Magni or something that provides higher wattage, the Magni being the best bang for your buck.  It's not going to give you that same impact per se, but it's a notable improvement (and not the only improvement).  As you can see here, they are just very differently voiced, and you can see the more mid-bass emphasis of the HD-25:

 

http://www.headphone.com/buildAGraph.php?buttonSelection=Compare+Headphones&graphID%5B0%5D=513&graphID%5B1%5D=3651&graphID%5B2%5D=&graphID%5B3%5D=&graphType=0


Edited by modulor - 5/1/13 at 2:43pm
post #10279 of 17619

I have to disagree that an amp doesn't matter in terms of "bass punch".

 

The HE-400 are efficient, yes, but not THAT efficient. The O2 amp definitely contributed to the best overall sound that I got from the HE-400. That said, a headphone "tuned" like the HD25 is going to make the HE's sound a lot thinner - at first.

 

After awhile, the HE-400s make most everything else I've listened to quite "meh", even if I used to think the other HPs were bassy. But it is hard to head the HE-400's 'bass slam' when you are somewhat volume limited. A modest amp easily corrects that.

post #10280 of 17619

Might want to get warmer sounding amps than O2 or Magni to bring out more bass punch in the HE-400.  I too didn't really garner a sense of more bass punch using those compared to my iPod and iMac, but those are also rather decent sources.  Sources like my old G5 iMac or a friend's dell laptop were horrible though, they straight up roll off the bass.  In instances like that the dedicated dac and amp will make a great difference.

 

O2 and Magni are known for their neutrality and resolving treble.  The treble might be the first thing you notice going from some generic source to the O2 or Magni.

post #10281 of 17619

Oh my God! Forgive my unbelief. I now believe...

 

Not sure anyone really pays attention to my comments here, but if you have, you might have picked up that I've been pretty unimpressed with my HE-400s. I've WANTED to like them, but I just wasn't coming around despite listening to them for hours either alone or in A/B situations. Yes I could hear a very nice bottom end but the rest was just... meh.

 

But almost all that listening was through my little Pico DAC/amp. I'd long suspected that it wasn't doing the 400s any favors. Caught a glimpse of it in fact the few moments I had the 400s hooked up to my desktop system. But not being a big believer in the differences in electronics, it was pretty easy for me to overlook. Just now however, I brought my Lexicon Iomega up from the studio primarily to use as an ADC... (I want to convert some old 78rpms to digital.) So I thought, "What the heck?" and decided to check out my favorite playlist through the Iomega. Just so happened to be the HE-400s turn up in rotation... Had it not been, I may have sold or traded them without ever really HEARING them.

 

I get it now. Even the sibilance everyone talks about that had never bothered until now. There is so much goodness here, that it might well be excused. The one thing I'm still not thrilled with is the 400s still don't sound very "open" to me. Is it time for another electronics switch before casting that in stone?

 

Bottom line though is I disagree with those that say the HE-400 isn't amp dependent. I think it's HUGELY so. Not only do the textures come alive, but the dynamics... That's the main point of difference I think. Under-amped or inappropriately DAC'd, they just didn't have much going for them at all. I put several headphones above them. But now they might have vaulted to the top of my list. Mind you, I haven't yet heard my other headphones through this new setup...

post #10282 of 17619

^ We have a convert. evil_smiley.gif

 

Haha. Orthos LOVE power. Swim and thrive in power and drink it like pigs.

post #10283 of 17619

The Lexicon installed its own driver. Could that be part of the difference? I notice it defaults to 24 bit, but most if not all of my files are 16 bit so does that even make a difference?

post #10284 of 17619

The soundstage thing I think is primarily a recording thing.  I definitely don't find the soundstage a weak-point of the HE-400 though.  It might not be overly large but it layers things quite nicely.  The upper mid recession kinda helps in that effect. 

post #10285 of 17619
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

The soundstage thing I think is primarily a recording thing.  I definitely don't find the soundstage a weak-point of the HE-400 though.  It might not be overly large but it layers things quite nicely.  The upper mid recession kinda helps in that effect. 

 

Still not hearing that. Granted, my perspective is still very limited, but purely on soundstage, listening to the same playlist, I find the AD700, AD900X, HD598 all superior. Heck, I think I might even say the HA S500 competes with the 400 if I brought them down here for some A/B. The soundstage of the HE-400 is "adequate" is what I would say, though hardly noteworthy. 

 

Yes, I do agree that soundstage is recording dependent. (Many of my 60s and 70s recordings drive me nuts that way.) Still, you can draw conclusions on headphone A vs B on a given piece.

post #10286 of 17619

So now I'm listening to my AD900X through the Lexicon Omega (NOT Iomega!) and there is a difference from through the Pico DAC/amp. But not nearly so dramatic as with the HE-400. 

post #10287 of 17619

Yeah to be honest soundstage conversation in general-- headphones (with or without binaural recordings) or even speakers, is a slippery terrain, because it's so vastly dependent on psychoacoustics and effects/natural reverb within the recordings themselves.  Hell, I could listen to the same song on the HE-400 at one point, then again late at night at lower volume, and be wow'd at the HE-400's spacial representation the second time through, only because I'm half asleep and have  sensitive hearing at the time.

 

It's something I expect people have differing opinions over, because it's not as tangible as other sound descriptions.

 

 

I think a good example for soundstage and psychoacoustics to me would be Paper Tiger on Beck's Sea Change.  There's a nice play between the centered vocal, drums and guitars, then the moments where the other instruments enter the song and exit.  Another good one is that virtual barbershop thing on youtube.  At first when I heard it I was really shocked when I heard the plastic bag crumpling next to me I thought it was extremely real, because at the time I actually had a plastic bag on the bed next to me.  Totally a psychoacoustic thing.


Edited by TMRaven - 5/1/13 at 7:28pm
post #10288 of 17619
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCabDaddy View Post

Oh my God! Forgive my unbelief. I now believe...

 

Not sure anyone really pays attention to my comments here, but if you have, you might have picked up that I've been pretty unimpressed with my HE-400s. I've WANTED to like them, but I just wasn't coming around despite listening to them for hours either alone or in A/B situations. Yes I could hear a very nice bottom end but the rest was just... meh.

 

But almost all that listening was through my little Pico DAC/amp. I'd long suspected that it wasn't doing the 400s any favors. Caught a glimpse of it in fact the few moments I had the 400s hooked up to my desktop system. But not being a big believer in the differences in electronics, it was pretty easy for me to overlook. Just now however, I brought my Lexicon Iomega up from the studio primarily to use as an ADC... (I want to convert some old 78rpms to digital.) So I thought, "What the heck?" and decided to check out my favorite playlist through the Iomega. Just so happened to be the HE-400s turn up in rotation... Had it not been, I may have sold or traded them without ever really HEARING them.

 

I get it now. Even the sibilance everyone talks about that had never bothered until now. There is so much goodness here, that it might well be excused. The one thing I'm still not thrilled with is the 400s still don't sound very "open" to me. Is it time for another electronics switch before casting that in stone?

 

Bottom line though is I disagree with those that say the HE-400 isn't amp dependent. I think it's HUGELY so. Not only do the textures come alive, but the dynamics... That's the main point of difference I think. Under-amped or inappropriately DAC'd, they just didn't have much going for them at all. I put several headphones above them. But now they might have vaulted to the top of my list. Mind you, I haven't yet heard my other headphones through this new setup...


I've read your comments - and in short I get it. biggrin.gif

 

Even as a staunch supporter of "non-audiophile" electronics (like good laptops), I have no question that maximum performance of the HE-400 is somewhat source dependent/recording/amp dependent. There are still people that hype too much <cough earpads and 10 watt amps>, but the HE-400 definitely have scaled for me. They do need a little more power than the typical headphone (not much more), and a great source to sound their best.

 

As for soundstaging arguments, I am listening to that with interest. For me, the headphone 'sound' has in general been a little too L/Channel R/Channel sounding lately. It is occasionally preventing me from getting lost in my tunes, but this is more a headphone problem than an HE-400 problem. 

post #10289 of 17619

I'm starting to feel bad for my HD600 because even though I love the SQ on them I just like the HE-400 that much more.  I've really grown to love the treble and it makes them sound more detailed than the HD600.  The bass is amazing and the mids don't sound that recessed to me at all anymore, for $400 the HE-400 is a phenomenal HP and well worth the price.

 

I also got a nice silver plated copper cable that helps with the clarity ever so slightly but its noticeable.  I thought it might brighten up the treble to much and make them harsh but they sound very clean and clear.

post #10290 of 17619
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techno Kid View Post

I'm starting to feel bad for my HD600 because even though I love the SQ on them I just like the HE-400 that much more.  I've really grown to love the treble and it makes them sound more detailed than the HD600.  The bass is amazing and the mids don't sound that recessed to me at all anymore, for $400 the HE-400 is a phenomenal HP and well worth the price.

 

I also got a nice silver plated copper cable that helps with the clarity ever so slightly but its noticeable.  I thought it might brighten up the treble to much and make them harsh but they sound very clean and clear.


Are you considering upgrading to the he-500's seeing as how they are $560 its only $160 more than an he-400 and from what I hear they take the best of the he 400 and the hd 650/600?

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