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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 790

post #11836 of 17700

Alright guys (and girls)...

 

Long time lurker, first time poster.  I just got my HE-400's today.  With all the praise, especially for their bass, I was pretty sure I would be ecstatic.  However, I can hardly keep them on.

 

The comfort is fine, but it's their overall sound that kills my ears.  They are just too sharp in the treble.  It feels like I am stabbing myself in the ears.  I've read almost every page in this thread, as well as countless others, and thought I had a good understanding of what I was getting.  

 

I should mention that I usually listen at pretty quiet volume, so the bass might be more recessed than normal.  My audio chain is a Steinberg MR816x for my DAC-->unbalanced TRS to RCA-->Project Ember Amplifier.  Just to cover the bases; Windows volume is at 100%, MR816x volume at 30%, low input gain on Ember, low output impedance (0.1 Ohm), and volume pot at 9 o'clock.  This is my normal listening volume.  

 

My other headphones for reference:

 

Beyerdynamic DT880/250 Ohm - First pair of headphones.  Analytical, bright, but very clear and not harsh to my ears.  IMO the only thing wrong with them is there should be more bass.

 

MrSeaker's Mad Dog w Alpha Pads - These are the perfect mid dominant headphones.  They are darker and more laid back compared to the DT880s, however, they provide as much detail and have more natural sound.  Their sound stage is narrower than the DT880s, but it has more depth.  If the Mad Dogs had slightly more bass and treble they would be my favorite headphone.

 

Audio Technica WS99 - My favorite headphone.  I thought that they might have too much bass being a "solid bass" series from Audio Technica, but I find that their sound signature is just about perfect for me.  They have great positional accuracy and a descent sound stage.  My only gripes are the slight mid bass hump, and the narrower sound stage probably because they are closed.  They work excellent as a portable headphone and sound even better when amped.  The bass tightens up and the sound stage and dynamics improve.

 

Beyerdynamic DT1350 - My favorite sound signature.  I love the sound from these little cans!  Absolutely amazing!  The bass has authority without trampling over the mids, and the treble brings airiness and detail without being to tingy or harsh.  My issue with these headphones is the comfort.  I can't stand the pressure of on ear headphones.  Stretching the headband helps some but kills the seal and the bass.  

 

Hifiman HE-400 - What I thought would fix my gripes with the DT880.  I have no issues with comfort with either the pleather pads or the velour pads.  I listened to the pleather pads for a bit and It felt like someone had put a 6 Db spike around 9 kHz.  This made everything very harsh to me.  People say that there is excellent bass with these cans, and that might be true if there wasn't a huge harsh spike in the treble.  The velour pads definitely helped smooth out the mids and highs, although they further tilted the headphones toward a brighter sound signature to me.  

 

I am frankly saddened.  I thought the HE-400 would be a good upgrade from the DT880 and the Mad Dog.  I'm not sure if I received a faulty one, or if for some reason there is horrible synergy/ not enough power.  Any thoughts would be appreciated.  I am looking at the HD650 as it's supposed to be a darker more laid back headphone, but I'm not sure anymore.

 

Maybe I'm just a basshead.  biggrin.gif

post #11837 of 17700
Thread Starter 

Just want to say welcome!! biggrin.gif And sorry about your wallet. 

post #11838 of 17700

If you pull the earpads off of your he-400, what color is the plastic covering the magnets? 

post #11839 of 17700
Thread Starter 

Mine are pink. eek.gif I loaned them to NinjaJames and they just came back that way. 

post #11840 of 17700
Thread Starter 

If anyone has a pair of the j$ beyers to sell or knows of someone who might want to sell, please send me a pm. Trying to add to the collection.

 

 

thanks...

post #11841 of 17700
Quote:
MrSpeakers' Mad Dog w Alpha Pads - These are the perfect mid dominant headphones.  They are darker and more laid back compared to the DT880s, however, they provide as much detail and have more natural sound.  Their sound stage is narrower than the DT880s, but it has more depth.  If the Mad Dogs had slightly more bass and treble they would be my favorite headphone.

How old are your Mad Dogs ?
 

On April 13, MrSpeakers modified the design to give it more bass and treble.  He calls this the "Version 3.2".  If yours are from before March 17, then the new version might be exactly what you are looking for.  And you can send older Alpha Pad models to MrSpeakers for a US$30 upgrade (But if yours are from after April 12, then they are already "version 3.2". redface.gif )


Edited by kstuart - 7/30/13 at 7:33pm
post #11842 of 17700

@TMRaven

 

The plastic looks white and partially see through.

 

@kstuart

 

My Mad Dogs were purchased on June 16th, so I have 3.2 already.  Again, I love the sound just wish there was a slight more punch to them.

 

Maybe orthos, at least lower-end orthos, are not for me.


Edited by cskippy - 7/30/13 at 8:01pm
post #11843 of 17700

Ok, seems as though you got a right variant.  You can either EQ the treble down or get some other headphones.

post #11844 of 17700
Quote:
Originally Posted by cskippy View Post

 

Long time lurker, first time poster.  I just got my HE-400's today.  With all the praise, especially for their bass, I was pretty sure I would be ecstatic.  However, I can hardly keep them on.

 

 

I think what you're describing is that the HE-400s have received a lot of hype, but to your ears, you can't really understand what all the praise might be about.  I often question threads that have a lot of praise for a headphone or another item.  I usually don't tend to be brought in by the praise, but tend to stumble on the product when it's in its infancy.   In my case, I owned the HE-400s (ver. 1) before they became very cool.  But, in my case, I still think they're pretty cool.  The version 1 HE-400s?  Those were replaced a long time ago by HifiMan due to the noted issues in the first run of the headphones that were sold on a pre-order basis.

post #11845 of 17700
Quote:
Originally Posted by cskippy View Post

Alright guys (and girls)...

 

Long time lurker, first time poster.  I just got my HE-400's today.  With all the praise, especially for their bass, I was pretty sure I would be ecstatic.  However, I can hardly keep them on.

 

The comfort is fine, but it's their overall sound that kills my ears.  They are just too sharp in the treble.  It feels like I am stabbing myself in the ears.  I've read almost every page in this thread, as well as countless others, and thought I had a good understanding of what I was getting.  

 

I should mention that I usually listen at pretty quiet volume, so the bass might be more recessed than normal.  My audio chain is a Steinberg MR816x for my DAC-->unbalanced TRS to RCA-->Project Ember Amplifier.  Just to cover the bases; Windows volume is at 100%, MR816x volume at 30%, low input gain on Ember, low output impedance (0.1 Ohm), and volume pot at 9 o'clock.  This is my normal listening volume.  

 

My other headphones for reference:

 

Beyerdynamic DT880/250 Ohm - First pair of headphones.  Analytical, bright, but very clear and not harsh to my ears.  IMO the only thing wrong with them is there should be more bass.

 

MrSeaker's Mad Dog w Alpha Pads - These are the perfect mid dominant headphones.  They are darker and more laid back compared to the DT880s, however, they provide as much detail and have more natural sound.  Their sound stage is narrower than the DT880s, but it has more depth.  If the Mad Dogs had slightly more bass and treble they would be my favorite headphone.

 

Audio Technica WS99 - My favorite headphone.  I thought that they might have too much bass being a "solid bass" series from Audio Technica, but I find that their sound signature is just about perfect for me.  They have great positional accuracy and a descent sound stage.  My only gripes are the slight mid bass hump, and the narrower sound stage probably because they are closed.  They work excellent as a portable headphone and sound even better when amped.  The bass tightens up and the sound stage and dynamics improve.

 

Beyerdynamic DT1350 - My favorite sound signature.  I love the sound from these little cans!  Absolutely amazing!  The bass has authority without trampling over the mids, and the treble brings airiness and detail without being to tingy or harsh.  My issue with these headphones is the comfort.  I can't stand the pressure of on ear headphones.  Stretching the headband helps some but kills the seal and the bass.  

 

Hifiman HE-400 - What I thought would fix my gripes with the DT880.  I have no issues with comfort with either the pleather pads or the velour pads.  I listened to the pleather pads for a bit and It felt like someone had put a 6 Db spike around 9 kHz.  This made everything very harsh to me.  People say that there is excellent bass with these cans, and that might be true if there wasn't a huge harsh spike in the treble.  The velour pads definitely helped smooth out the mids and highs, although they further tilted the headphones toward a brighter sound signature to me.  

 

I am frankly saddened.  I thought the HE-400 would be a good upgrade from the DT880 and the Mad Dog.  I'm not sure if I received a faulty one, or if for some reason there is horrible synergy/ not enough power.  Any thoughts would be appreciated.  I am looking at the HD650 as it's supposed to be a darker more laid back headphone, but I'm not sure anymore.

 

Maybe I'm just a basshead.  biggrin.gif

Even before I bought these, I knew they were gonna be treble-tilted. I also knew EQ will make it sound just right for me. Seems like you only skimmed through everything, what about all the user impressions that said these are really bright headphones? Once the treble of the 400 is toned down with EQ, its bass prowess really shines through. It kicks very hard. You probably don't have a defective pair; it was probably just your expectation being off.

post #11846 of 17700

I thought they sounded pretty bad on first listen as well, but with some EQ they are good.... I paid £240 for them and I do not think I have heard a better pair for that price. HD650 and D2000 were sort of better at different things but the HE400 are a good all rounder...


Edited by nicholars - 7/30/13 at 8:29pm
post #11847 of 17700
Quote:
Originally Posted by cskippy View Post

@TMRaven

The plastic looks white and partially see through.

@kstuart

My Mad Dogs were purchased on June 16th, so I have 3.2 already.  Again, I love the sound just wish there was a slight more punch to them.

Maybe orthos, at least lower-end orthos, are not for me.
I can certainly relate to your impressions. If the recording is right, then these headphones amaze me. But that's a big if, for they can make some recordings very fatiguing. It seems many solve this by EQing the treble spike you referred to. Unfortunately this wasn't an option for me. Jergpads reportedly also help with this issue. I ended up picking up a pair of 650's, which gave my music the enjoyable relaxing signature my heart was missing. If the recording's great, I rock with the 400's. For everything else, I turn to the 650's.
Edited by Zuckfun - 7/30/13 at 8:31pm
post #11848 of 17700
amp pairing is important too, you definitely don't wont to pair a really bright amp with these phones.
post #11849 of 17700

You know, you are probably right.  It doesn't help that I have been listening to (and getting accustomed to) closed back headphones with an emphasis toward the dark side. rolleyes.gif

 

I'll try using a darker tube to "smooth" it out.  Might even attempt to make Jergpads if I end up keeping them.

post #11850 of 17700
Quote:
Originally Posted by kstuart View Post

Wow - hibernation has great Internet access ! biggrin.gif

 

Yes sir, it does.  Actually, I decided to take a few months off from the forum.  I had a few items in my life to address to clear up some medical issues, etc.  However, the best healing device for me was music.  Music, more than any pain medication did provide me with the peace I was looking for.  Needless to say, while I was away, it didn't mean that I had disconnected myself completely from audio.  I maintained my process of tinkering with things here and there.  With that said, I should change my location information being that I'm now somewhat out of hibernation.

 

Meanwhile, I finished up some cable work tonight for the HE-400s and the Sennheiser HD-600s.  For some reason, it seems like my HD-600s are hitting much better than ever before.  I think I'll have to apply some additional tests tomorrow to see if this was just a one-time anomaly.  However, I've truly realized that I'm liking the process of owning the HD-600s and the HE-400s.  Both provide enough variation so that I can pinpoint a bit better as to what I'll place on my head with respect to what I want to listen to.  Comfort also plays another perspective.  If I don't want to have the heavier HifiMans on my head, the Sennheiser fills in nicely during those moments.

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