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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 779

post #11671 of 19994
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmsaxon69 View Post

I must admit, I enjoy dumping fuel on the fire and watching you guys burn each other...

The key to all this stuff is to not give a **** what anyone thinks of your stuff and how you listen to it. It doesn't matter.

I'm guilty of being an instigator, I will take some blame for some of the stuff going on here, I'll stop....

Remember everyone is smart and everyone is special! Some more special than others, if you know what i mean! haha!

Love it!
post #11672 of 19994
Thread Starter 

Well, I guess that I'll be the first to try them he-4. I don't think that the he-4 and he-5le are very similar. Wayne can feel free to correct me on that one. 

post #11673 of 19994
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

I think we are all overlooking one of the biggest variables here - our own hearing limitations. We all are not going to really have the same interpretation of sound for the same pair of headphones. Different limitations and affects of different frequencies makes us all unique.

100% with you on this one - My personal 'compensation curve' is probably different than yours. Neither one of us is likely to be a perfect match for ISO standards.

 

As for all the EQ-Talk, it is a bit of a dead horse. What some people should consider is that EQ is, like other audio processes, a tool. No matter how hard they try, no audio speaker designers can design for ALL rooms, ALL ears, ALL source material, etc. There are plenty of variables in play, and without question the end-user is big variable #1. Without writing a wall again, think of your car. Tons of ambient noise, crap speaker placement, and now tons of sources (USB, 3.5 mm jacks, CD, DVD, Radio, HD Radio, Satellite and so on). EQ is critical in that environment, and so is time alignment. All OEMs EQ and increasingly design systems with a lot of electronic nannies to compensate for various factors (including noise cancellation). All tools. All useful - even though some of them annoy me.

 

Think of home theatre - "Auto-EQ" and Time-Alignment are pretty much standard these days, as manufacturers have wisely decided that consumers probably don't spend one iota of time bothering to set up a physically 'perfect' speaker arrangement, just putting stuff where there is space or where they want instead. It works, and you usually get a better sound.

 

I'll always take an abundance of tools to praying that some engineer across the ocean 'gets it right' the first time. Even in the headphone space, I like screwing around, simple as that. It is not my fault the world isn't perfect and my ears are weird. Purism is just an excuse of the lazy, IMHO. I'm too poor to get everything I want, so I'd better learn how to use the tools I have to get the best results I can. biggrin.gif

post #11674 of 19994
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMateoHead View Post
I'm too poor to get everything I want, so I'd better learn how to use the tools I have to get the best results I can. biggrin.gif

Heh. When you can get great results with something "free," why not snatch a great opportunity, right? :)

post #11675 of 19994

I just do not agree with the idea that it is better to leave everything as it is under the false impression that things like EQ damage the sound quality. The HE400 is a good example of this because it has excellent bass and midrange but the treble is obviously too bright and sibilant. I read somewhere in this thread someone who bought and then sold the HE400 because he found them too bright but said he was not willing to EQ because he is a "purist who does not believe in EQ"...

post #11676 of 19994

To each his own.  This headphone, like every other that rolls off the assembly line, is tuned a certain way to a specific signature that's intended by the manufacturer.  Whether you enjoy it as is or adjust the signature with EQ, try using different source components and amps, performing mods...what matters most is how it sounds to you in the end.  You have to expect that everyone is going to have their own unique preferences and they are entitled to them, even purists. tongue.gif  A 'true' audio purist would go hear the instruments and vocals performed live IMO wink.gif JK...I understand where they are coming from, but what really determines the purity of a system?

post #11677 of 19994
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

 

You know where you can audition the he-4. wink.gif I'll be interested to see what the jergpads sound like with them. 

Indeed, and soon... biggrin.gif I think you'll be the only HE-4 owner.  I've read a few other places that the MD Alpha Pads work well on the HE-4 and HE-5LE...have you experimented with this any?

post #11678 of 19994
Thread Starter 

I tried the j$ pads with the he400 and he-4. They worked well with both. 

post #11679 of 19994
Quote:
Originally Posted by modulor View Post

To each his own.  This headphone, like every other that rolls off the assembly line, is tuned a certain way to a specific signature that's intended by the manufacturer.  Whether you enjoy it as is or adjust the signature with EQ, try using different source components and amps, performing mods...what matters most is how it sounds to you in the end.  You have to expect that everyone is going to have their own unique preferences and they are entitled to them, even purists. tongue.gif  A 'true' audio purist would go hear the instruments and vocals performed live IMO wink.gif JK...I understand where they are coming from, but what really determines the purity of a system?

 

I have no problem with it.... My point is that it is based on assumptions that are actually wrong.  I think I will just be quiet and let people do whatever they want...


Edited by nicholars - 7/26/13 at 8:33pm
post #11680 of 19994
Quote:
Originally Posted by modulor View Post

This headphone, like every other that rolls off the assembly line, is tuned a certain way to a specific signature that's intended by the manufacturer.

With all due respect, this statement is actually a half-truth. The full truth is that a whole bunch of aspects of a product are unintended by a manufacturer by the time they leave the manufacturing facility, and the manufacturers know this even before they start mass-manufacturing them. This is simply a reality, and any engineer will tell you this. Reasons are as follows:

 

Tuning a headphone (or any electronic product) to perform a certain way, while remaining at a specific price point, can be overwhelmingly difficult for any manufacturer to pull off without often making (large) sacrifices in other areas. For every one thing they get as intended right, something else often has to be sacrificed. The end-result is what they consider "acceptable" after weighing all the pro's (what they intended) and con's (unintended), including manufacturing costs. Remember that the HE-400 was designed with the goal of making planars as affordable as possible; meaning many corners had to be cut to make them more mass-manufacturable. The result is a headphone that has a less uniform FR and a CSD plot that looks less clean, than those of the HE-500. Both products have spikes and dips in their FRs (with HE-500 having less); and it would be an assumption to say that these were certainly either intended (or unintended) by Dr. Bian, for I doubt even Dr. Bian thinks these peaks make them sound good. Not a single person has said that they find the treble spikes in these headphones pleasant sounding (please correct me if I'm wrong). Even if they were intended, we can't really assume so without Hifiman's verbal confirmation. Therefore, one can only conclude that it is highly probable that despite Hifiman's best efforts, they were unable to make these planars even smoother FR-wise, at least without increasing their manufacturing costs significantly (higher MSRP for us).

 

Everything considered, "to each his own" indeed! o2smile.gif

post #11681 of 19994
Quote:
Originally Posted by tigon_ridge View Post

With all due respect, this statement is actually a half-truth. The full truth is that a whole bunch of aspects of a product are unintended by a manufacturer by the time they leave the manufacturing facility, and the manufacturers know this even before they start mass-manufacturing them. This is simply a reality, and any engineer will tell you this. Reasons are as follows:

 

Tuning a headphone (or any electronic product) to perform a certain way, while remaining at a specific price point, can be overwhelmingly difficult for any manufacturer to pull off without often making (large) sacrifices in other areas. For every one thing they get as intended right, something else often has to be sacrificed. The end-result is what they consider "acceptable" after weighing all the pro's (what they intended) and con's (unintended), including manufacturing costs. Remember that the HE-400 was designed with the goal of making planars as affordable as possible; meaning many corners had to be cut to make them more mass-manufacturable. The result is a headphone that has a less uniform FR and a CSD plot that looks less clean, than those of the HE-500. Both products have spikes and dips in their FRs (with HE-500 having less); and it would be an assumption to say that these were certainly either intended (or unintended) by Dr. Bian, for I doubt even Dr. Bian thinks these peaks make them sound good. Not a single person has said that they find the treble spikes in these headphones pleasant sounding (please correct me if I'm wrong). Even if they were intended, we can't really assume so without Hifiman's verbal confirmation. Therefore, one can only conclude that it is highly probable that despite Hifiman's best efforts, they were unable to make these planars even smoother FR-wise, at least without increasing their manufacturing costs significantly (higher MSRP for us).

 

Everything considered, "to each his own" indeed! o2smile.gif

Oh no, I agree on most of your points, except when the products are shipped out they all have (relatively) the same tuning which I'd believe to be that model's intended signature.  I'm aware that in the R&D stage when they were developing this new 'mass produced' style driver that there were highly likely any given number of unexpected results that they had to further tune and adjust, but there was indeed a particular goal in mind.  To quote Fang: "To be honest, we did tune HE-400 more "American sound" than HE-500." Based on my usage of it, I'd agree that's the signature it has - weightier bass and emphasized treble - which is perfect for hip hop, electronic and pop music.  The upper mids dip is intentional and aids in pinpointing instrumentation and gives a sense of air, but the entire FR is not so aggressively curved that it's overly colored.  I'd say it's still flatter than most, but also remains very unique and well suited for certain genres.  Their production cost was was kept low in redeveloping how the drivers were manufactured, while still presumably allowing similar funding for R&D as their other models...I don't think they really cut many corners in the tuning process, especially when they've revised the driver a few times now.  I think with upcoming models and further refining their processes, we may see more cost effective solutions with smoother/better/refined/different presentations, but there are still people out there that enjoy their HE-400 just as it is.

post #11682 of 19994
Quote:
Originally Posted by modulor View Post

Oh no, I agree on most of your points, except when the products are shipped out they all have (relatively) the same tuning which I'd believe to be that model's intended signature.  I'm aware that in the R&D stage when they were developing this new 'mass produced' style driver that there were highly likely any given number of unexpected results that they had to further tune and adjust, but there was indeed a particular goal in mind.  To quote Fang: "To be honest, we did tune HE-400 more "American sound" than HE-500." Based on my usage of it, I'd agree that's the signature it has - weightier bass and emphasized treble - which is perfect for hip hop, electronic and pop music.  The upper mids dip is intentional and aids in pinpointing instrumentation and gives a sense of air, but the entire FR is not so aggressively curved that it's overly colored.  I'd say it's still flatter than most, but also remains very unique and well suited for certain genres.  Their production cost was was kept low in redeveloping how the drivers were manufactured, while still presumably allowing similar funding for R&D as their other models...I don't think they really cut many corners in the tuning process, especially when they've revised the driver a few times now.  I think with upcoming models and further refining their processes, we may see more cost effective solutions with smoother/better/refined/different presentations, but there are still people out there that enjoy their HE-400 just as it is.

Indeed. Those are the intended aspects. I especially like how the HE-400 bass is done; it's not overly bloomy, with just the perfect decay. The bass never sounds like it's encroaching upon the midrange. The unintended are the spikes/dips in the treble. You can emphasize certain treble ranges without having spikes/dips. Fortunately, these are very easily remedied with a parametric EQ, for a smoother treble and more accurate timbre.

post #11683 of 19994
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

 

 

I would be interested in how to do a system wide EQ using a program? I am not sure what to use... Currently I use foobar 31 band EQ for music and the Xonar STX EQ for games.

 

I'm currently using this for system wide EQ. With foobar I stick with Electri-Q though..

post #11684 of 19994
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaver316 View Post

 

I'm currently using this for system wide EQ. With foobar I stick with Electri-Q though..

That's also the one I use for system-wide EQ, Equalizer APO that is. Electri-Q is fine, but what's the point of using two programs when one can handle it all? Anywho, APO is awesome. I love the ability to EQ both left and right channels separately, as I have yet to see a pair of headphones that doesn't have some channel imbalance. I guess that's just another reason to use EQ! ^^ Cheers.

post #11685 of 19994
Quote:
Originally Posted by tigon_ridge View Post

That's also the one I use for system-wide EQ, Equalizer APO that is. Electri-Q is fine, but what's the point of using two programs when one can handle it all? Anywho, APO is awesome. I love the ability to EQ both left and right channels separately, as I have yet to see a pair of headphones that doesn't have some channel imbalance. I guess that's just another reason to use EQ! ^^ Cheers.

 

I suppose you're right in that there's no point in using two EQs, but I do it just for the security. When im listening to music in foobar I want to use WASAPI, but when WASAPI is enabled in foobar then EqualizerAPO is disabled. So I just use Electri-Q in foobar and APO for everything else like gaming and youtube. The program really is a life saver.

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