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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 703

post #10531 of 17083
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thujone View Post

I just got my HE-400 and I gotta say, these are probably the most sibilant cans I've ever listened to. Ear piercing highs... Every song I've tried (flac/320, various different artists and recordings, etc.) that has a lyric with the letter "s" in it, it's ear piercing. Cymbals aren't quite as bad but still painful. I've tried a lot of EQ in foobar to reduce the highs but I can't seem to get rid of the sibilance without losing the highs all together... and volume definitely isn't the issue 

 

I'm hoping someone has a really really good plan for me?? confused.gif It seems most people have zero issues in this category :(

 

I can comment that coming from the PortaPros I was using regularly prior to getting my HE-400, they were very noticeably brighter and harsher overall in the treble regions (the spike most mention being the worst of it causing some sibilance) - pads made little difference and were more of a comfort preference to me.  Over time, I became more accustomed to their presentation - call it brain burn-in if you will, but I now enjoy them a lot for most of my music.  They have a unique tuning along with having that 'American Sound', aka emphasis on the lower and upper regions.  I knew this going in as I wanted a more fun, aggressive signature.  It is possible to tame the treble with EQ for those who would prefer it less intense (as I've done myself) but I find lately I like them best with no EQ.  I think someone that already prefers a presentation that is closer to neutral could easily be put off by these, with an equal possibility that someone who already prefers a brighter signature may be more comfortable with them.  I've seen a few instances of headfiers that already own brighter headphones finding these less harsh (another V-shaped headphone, the DT-990, comes to mind).  I suspect that the opposite happens to people coming from something darker, more bass oriented or with a softer, rolled-off treble.  

 

There's a lot to take into consideration like your upstream equipment, music preferences and ear sensitivity, but I think their signature is different to the point where you have to listen to them pretty exclusively for some time to adjust to the sound.  That's how it seemed to be for me, anyway.  If you can't bear the treble presentation, these may not be for you - it's just an intrinsic part of their tuning.  I have yet to try some other planars of interest (I'm pretty much sold on the technology at this point) or just other cans with different sound signatures, so may find I prefer a different tuning/presentation all together, and it may be the same for you.  If you want to stick with planars, the Mad Dog or HE-500 may be more suitable options...I know I plan on getting the MD soon as a complementary to my HE-400.

post #10532 of 17083

Yes, I think you are completely right, modulor. While I don't like to title myself as a basshead, I do come from a bassy background. As another basshead has stated on this forum "recessed bass is too much bass for an audiophile" and I find that to be accurate (to my ears). That being said, after EQing (3dB down at 8kHz and 3dB down at 16kHz in iTunes), I find these cans to be faaaaaairly neutral. While my HD580's give a much more laid back presentation, both of these cans do a great job across the board. The HD580's have slightly more mid bass, no sibilance, and no sub bass while the HE-400's have what seems to be simply a broader spectrum (definitely more bass extension and possibly more treble extension). The biggest difference between the two is that the HE-400 is far from laid back IMO. They are crystal clear and forward sounding in comparison. Part of me is thinking "Sennheiser veil?"...

 

deadhorse.gif

 

 

I do have trouble understanding the "fun" factor on the HE-400's though. I understand what it means and that V-Shaped FR's are typically "fun" headphones (i.e. DT770's) with much more emphasis on the highs and bass than the mids. I think the HE-400's have great mids! Possibly the best out of my arsenal...

 

As far as the sibilance goes, I'm sure I'm just not used to this amount of treble. I'm slightly upset that I have to EQ in order to tolerate these but I guess that's just what it takes for some! I will say though, the treble plateau on the HD800's is a good enough reason not to drop $1500 smily_headphones1.gif

post #10533 of 17083
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thujone View Post

Yes, I think you are completely right, modulor. While I don't like to title myself as a basshead, I do come from a bassy background. As another basshead has stated on this forum "recessed bass is too much bass for an audiophile" and I find that to be accurate (to my ears). That being said, after EQing (3dB down at 8kHz and 3dB down at 16kHz in iTunes), I find these cans to be faaaaaairly neutral. While my HD580's give a much more laid back presentation, both of these cans do a great job across the board. The HD580's have slightly more mid bass, no sibilance, and no sub bass while the HE-400's have what seems to be simply a broader spectrum (definitely more bass extension and possibly more treble extension). The biggest difference between the two is that the HE-400 is far from laid back IMO. They are crystal clear and forward sounding in comparison. Part of me is thinking "Sennheiser veil?"...

 

deadhorse.gif

 

 

I do have trouble understanding the "fun" factor on the HE-400's though. I understand what it means and that V-Shaped FR's are typically "fun" headphones (i.e. DT770's) with much more emphasis on the highs and bass than the mids. I think the HE-400's have great mids! Possibly the best out of my arsenal...

 

As far as the sibilance goes, I'm sure I'm just not used to this amount of treble. I'm slightly upset that I have to EQ in order to tolerate these but I guess that's just what it takes for some! I will say though, the treble plateau on the HD800's is a good enough reason not to drop $1500 smily_headphones1.gif

I have a great respect for F-clef instruments (have played and do play a few myself) and just bass in general, so I'm naturally attracted to it...but I find that quality and accurate representation/texture is becoming the higher priority.  I still like my signature to be warm and weighty, so I guess you could call me a basshead in some ways cool.gif but it's not just about the bass with these...I think they are pretty great overall.  I guess by fun I mean more lively than a neutral signature (of those I've heard) - they are more aggressive but not overly so, they have the bass weight and treble sparkle without a large compromise on the midrange, and they're quick.  The mids are indeed nice and the recessed areas really only compromise a few songs I listen to (>10%), but that doesn't make them un-listenable or un-enjoyable by any means.  Every headphone will have it's trade-offs, but I value these greatly for what they bring to the table.  Are they a means to an end?  Perhaps for some, but they're still hard to beat in most respects for their price range.

 

Less 'Sennheiser veil', more 'Sennheiser presentation' wink.gif.  I bet there are a few tracks/genres that still sound great if not better on the HD580 - sometimes that laid back presentation is necessary.  I have a friend that had a pair a few years back and loved them as he mainly listened to acoustic/folk rock.  You seem to have a good collection going so far!

post #10534 of 17083

I've been behind on this thread so I don't know if it was discussed yet but I just wanted to note that Random Access Memories by Daft Punk is out in the wild and it sounds amazing on the HE-400.

post #10535 of 17083
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjames View Post

I've been behind on this thread so I don't know if it was discussed yet but I just wanted to note that Random Access Memories by Daft Punk is out in the wild and it sounds amazing on the HE-400.

 

Agreed, sounds really good. Great album too, not sure why there's so much hate for it online.

post #10536 of 17083
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaver316 View Post

 

Agreed, sounds really good. Great album too, not sure why there's so much hate for it online.

Is there a lot of hate for it? I tend to avoid more of the bigger Daft Punk discussions, they have a really annoying fanbase and an even more annoying haterbase. I mean, for the most part.

 

My theory regarding Daft Punk and people hating this new album is that DP picked up a TON of casual fans over the big chunk of time since their last album, and those casual fans have heard many more of the straight-up dance, heavy bass tracks and expected a full on electronic album like that as opposed to the disco-centered album that everyone else knew we were getting.

post #10537 of 17083

Being a big Daft Punk fan, my opinion on RAM initially was something like this:

 

"It sounds like Daft Punk collaborated with each of the (contributing) artists on their own albums/releases.  Then, all those tracks were put together in a compilation called Random Access Memories.  Daft Punk seem to be more in the background and the collaborators are in the spotlight."

 

Having said that, I don't think that necessarily makes it a bad album, just a very different approach for them.  I like that they can do that, and I like disco-influenced music.  There are some strong moments, like the second half of track 3, tracks 8-9 and tracks 12-13.  The end is phenomenal on the HE-400, there is no doubt about that.  The rest will have to grow on me I suppose, but I feel there is a bit of awkwardness in the first half of the album.  I still recommend people check it out!

post #10538 of 17083

For me, the album is the one they've always wanted to do: an honest tribute to Italo disco. And in that vein, it's perfect. Then again, every Daft Punk album for me has always been "great track, great track, filler, filler, filler, filler, filler, filler, great track" or something to that effect.

 

The great tracks this time around are Giorgio by Murder, Lose Yourself to Dance and Contact. Man that closer is way too good.

post #10539 of 17083

Lol. The "Sennheiser veil" is totally real, in IMHO, and reflects the compromise between listening comfort / accuracy that is made with the Senns I have tried so far (and I have tried a few low-higher end).

 

With Audio, it is usually nice to have phones that have 'too much this' or 'too much that', because it is easier to EQ down than it is to get sounds that they cannot reproduce well. Especially in a computer environment, 31 band EQs, parametric, etc give you lots of tweaking ability.

 

I find the "fun factor" of the HE-400 to be related more to its transparency, its attack, its bass texture, and its broadband response along with its magical ability to seem like it is never working hard. This is very different than claiming a "V Shaped response" (which I would argue it DOES NOT have unless you center that V around, say, 2-4 Khz). The HE-400 are essentially flat with de-emphasized upper mids/treble that are the frequencies that can tend to blare (to my ears anyway). I think that the fatigue I experience at times is derivative more of bass response/pressure (which can be pretty intense), as opposed to peaky treble, which is usually just right to my ears (as in present, but not overly forward).

 

All I know is if I could afford it, I would own a lot more Planar's! Speakers and Phones.

post #10540 of 17083
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjames View Post

For me, the album is the one they've always wanted to do: an honest tribute to Italo disco. And in that vein, it's perfect. Then again, every Daft Punk album for me has always been "great track, great track, filler, filler, filler, filler, filler, filler, great track" or something to that effect.

 

The great tracks this time around are Giorgio by Murder, Lose Yourself to Dance and Contact. Man that closer is way too good.

I totally agree, I do love Italo disco and they did a good job in that respect.  Lose Yourself to Dance is pretty good now that I'm giving it another listen...haha, I always do this but I try not to be over-critical.

post #10541 of 17083
Quote:
Originally Posted by modulor View Post

Being a big Daft Punk fan, my opinion on RAM initially was something like this:

 

"It sounds like Daft Punk collaborated with each of the (contributing) artists on their own albums/releases.  Then, all those tracks were put together in a compilation called Random Access Memories.  Daft Punk seem to be more in the background and the collaborators are in the spotlight."

 

Having said that, I don't think that necessarily makes it a bad album, just a very different approach for them.  I like that they can do that, and I like disco-influenced music.  There are some strong moments, like the second half of track 3, tracks 8-9 and tracks 12-13.  The end is phenomenal on the HE-400, there is no doubt about that.  The rest will have to grow on me I suppose, but I feel there is a bit of awkwardness in the first half of the album.  I still recommend people check it out!

Being an EDM head, I'm going to have to try this album out -- but I can't stand Daft Punk. I'm the stereotypical hate-it-because-everyone-else-loves-it kind of person in this regard. I find that Daft Punk relies far too heavily on samples. Of course, when they got started, this was the norm for electronica. I really didn't dislike their single off this album, but it certainly doesn't deserve the #1 spot on Beatport IMO. I guess I'll have to give this new album a listen -- especially since the Tron album was by far my favorite of theirs.

post #10542 of 17083
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thujone View Post

Being an EDM head, I'm going to have to try this album out -- but I can't stand Daft Punk. I'm the stereotypical hate-it-because-everyone-else-loves-it kind of person in this regard. I find that Daft Punk relies far too heavily on samples. Of course, when they got started, this was the norm for electronica. I really didn't dislike their single off this album, but it certainly doesn't deserve the #1 spot on Beatport IMO. I guess I'll have to give this new album a listen -- especially since the Tron album was by far my favorite of theirs.

Gotta say, I respect the hell out of you for admitting your reasons for disliking them.

post #10543 of 17083
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjames View Post

For me, the album is the one they've always wanted to do: an honest tribute to Italo disco. And in that vein, it's perfect. Then again, every Daft Punk album for me has always been "great track, great track, filler, filler, filler, filler, filler, filler, great track" or something to that effect.

 

The great tracks this time around are Giorgio by Murder, Lose Yourself to Dance and Contact. Man that closer is way too good.

 

Im not too fond of Contact, it starts off well but loses it's way at the end imo. My favs would have to be Give Life back to music, the game of love, giorgio by morodor, and doin' it right. 

 

Either way the album sounds awesome on the HE-400. Great bass presence, seperation, and not too bright. I just wish the CD version was mastered as well as the LP.

post #10544 of 17083
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMateoHead View Post

Lol. The "Sennheiser veil" is totally real, in IMHO, and reflects the compromise between listening comfort / accuracy that is made with the Senns I have tried so far (and I have tried a few low-higher end).

 

With Audio, it is usually nice to have phones that have 'too much this' or 'too much that', because it is easier to EQ down than it is to get sounds that they cannot reproduce well. Especially in a computer environment, 31 band EQs, parametric, etc give you lots of tweaking ability.

 

I find the "fun factor" of the HE-400 to be related more to its transparency, its attack, its bass texture, and its broadband response along with its magical ability to seem like it is never working hard. This is very different than claiming a "V Shaped response" (which I would argue it DOES NOT have unless you center that V around, say, 2-4 Khz). The HE-400 are essentially flat with de-emphasized upper mids/treble that are the frequencies that can tend to blare (to my ears anyway). I think that the fatigue I experience at times is derivative more of bass response/pressure (which can be pretty intense), as opposed to peaky treble, which is usually just right to my ears (as in present, but not overly forward).

 

All I know is if I could afford it, I would own a lot more Planar's! Speakers and Phones.

I would agree that your description is more accurate than claiming v-shaped response, the 'dip' would be much more broad in that regard meaning more of a de-emphasis to the whole mid range.  Also in regarding EQing down, which I find they respond well to with a good EQ tool.  

 

I definitely agree with your statement that they work oh-so effortlessly - that planar presentation definitely hooks you!

post #10545 of 17083
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaver316 View Post

 

Im not too fond of Contact, it starts off well but loses it's way at the end imo. My favs would have to be Give Life back to music, the game of love, giorgio by morodor, and doin' it right. 

 

Either way the album sounds awesome on the HE-400. Great bass presence, seperation, and not too bright. I just wish the CD version was mastered as well as the LP.

Yeah the CD is brickwalled. Unfortunately, I don't own a vinyl rig and the 24-bit rip out in the wild right now isn't that great as far as they go. You're the first one I've found to not like Contact!

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