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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 825

post #12361 of 19921

I've heard varied accounts of the HE-400's sound signature - some say they're more neutral, others say they're more colored, although it seems to be generally agreed that they're warm and dark. Another facet I can't seem to find a reliable account of are the mids. Some people think they're good, others say they're thin. Could you guys chime in with what you think? I'd like to get a definitive answer on these, as they're a pretty big part of my decision. Also, how do these perform with acoustic music? 

Thanks! 

post #12362 of 19921
Quote:
Originally Posted by akong View Post

I've heard varied accounts of the HE-400's sound signature - some say they're more neutral, others say they're more colored, although it seems to be generally agreed that they're warm and dark. Another facet I can't seem to find a reliable account of are the mids. Some people think they're good, others say they're thin. Could you guys chime in with what you think? I'd like to get a definitive answer on these, as they're a pretty big part of my decision. Also, how do these perform with acoustic music? 

Thanks! 

These have a very linear response from sub bass to the upper mids but they do have a recession in the upper mids. For me, this doesn't affect very much. Some instruments will not shine as much but as far as vocals go, there is no recession in the vocal range. These headphones also have a very distinct treble spike after the upper mid recession which makes them sound bright despite having a dark signature. Depending on your source, files, etc. these can sound very sibilant at times. Some users claim that female vocals suffer a bit due to the slight coloration of the upper mids but I haven't had any issues. Acoustic music is beautiful, just like everything else on the HE-400, but they really shine with electronic, jazz, hip-hop, or any genre with a lot of energy in the lower frequencies.

post #12363 of 19921

They can be dark and bright at the same time. Caravaggio of headphones.  The bass is super controlled and the treble spike doesn't affect much of the lower treble so it's safe to say the HE-400 isn't a total departure from relatively neutral.

post #12364 of 19921
Just wondering, how can something sound bright while being dark?

Edit: so dark in lower treble but bright in upper it sounds like
post #12365 of 19921
Quote:
Originally Posted by akong View Post

I've heard varied accounts of the HE-400's sound signature - some say they're more neutral, others say they're more colored, although it seems to be generally agreed that they're warm and dark. Another facet I can't seem to find a reliable account of are the mids. Some people think they're good, others say they're thin. Could you guys chime in with what you think? I'd like to get a definitive answer on these, as they're a pretty big part of my decision. Also, how do these perform with acoustic music? 

Thanks! 

 

They are certainly not dark headphones, with default EQ they are bright headphones. They are dark up to about 7khz where they have a massive treble spike, if you EQ this out then they are quite dark, however in default form they are NOT dark at all.

post #12366 of 19921
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan7000 View Post

Just wondering, how can something sound bright while being dark?

Edit: so dark in lower treble but bright in upper it sounds like

Dark meaning that the lower end of the spectrum has an emphasis over the top end (due to the recession in the upper mids). Bright because there is a treble spike after the recession.

post #12367 of 19921
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

 

They are certainly not dark headphones, with default EQ they are bright headphones. They are dark up to about 7khz where they have a massive treble spike, if you EQ this out then they are quite dark, however in default form they are NOT dark at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thujone View Post

Dark meaning that the lower end of the spectrum has an emphasis over the top end (due to the recession in the upper mids). Bright because there is a treble spike after the recession.

Yes, which is why many regard them as having a very unique signature...they are indeed dark, with the exception of the treble sparkle that's not commonly found in darker sound signatures.  Other than the upper mid/lower treble dip they are quite linear, and being as such from the central mids down to the sub-bass regions is where the characteristic 'dark' comes from.  That dip in turn makes the treble appear more forward, when in fact it is closer to being in line with the rest of the FR.  When I think of a bright headphone, I think of something like a SR series Grado, as they have a pretty significant bass roll off and even more peaky highs next to the rest of the FR.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

They can be dark and bright at the same time. Caravaggio of headphones.  The bass is super controlled and the treble spike doesn't affect much of the lower treble so it's safe to say the HE-400 isn't a total departure from relatively neutral.

Well said! cool.gif

post #12368 of 19921

My source file is my Emotiva ERC-2 CDplayer  pluged into my Rogers High Fidelity EHF-100 integrated amplifier And my HE-400 sound perfect.

post #12369 of 19921
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingjeicholz View Post

My source file is my Emotiva ERC-2 CDplayer  pluged into my Rogers High Fidelity EHF-100 integrated amplifier And my HE-400 sound perfect.

Can't imagine how a $6000 amp can make them sound good at all. I would assume that it would make them sound terrible.

 

/sarcasm

post #12370 of 19921
Quote:
Originally Posted by akong View Post

I've heard varied accounts of the HE-400's sound signature - some say they're more neutral, others say they're more colored, although it seems to be generally agreed that they're warm and dark. Another facet I can't seem to find a reliable account of are the mids. Some people think they're good, others say they're thin. Could you guys chime in with what you think? I'd like to get a definitive answer on these, as they're a pretty big part of my decision. Also, how do these perform with acoustic music? 

Thanks! 

 

In my humble opinion the HE-400 is the best headphone in it's price range. It's competitive with headphones that cost twice as much, even with it's own big brother the HE-500. The price to quality ratio you get with the HE-400 far surpasses the HE-500 for me (the HE-500 is still slightly superior though). The HE-400 is a better headphone then Senn HD600's, I don't think there is anything thin about the sound here. it's very close for me between the HD650's but the HE-400 performs better with less power behind it. The only other headphone that I personally like in this price range are the AKG K702 annies.

People have different accounts of the sound in some cases because the headphones have undergone manufacturing changes since they were released. They do have a bit of a treble spike and slightly recessed upper mids. They can seem dark, and they can also seem bright, really depends on what you are listening to in my opinion. 

HE-400's have so much going for them:

- Versatile, great with many music genres. Especially good with Hip Hop, Electronic, Jazz
- Easy to power. I wouldn't listen to them with no amp, but even cheaper amps in the Fiio range pair up well. 
- Great detail, fast, planar magnetics are untouchable in this category at this price range.

Negatives:

- They are heavy for some people, this contributes to comfort which leads too -
- Comfort, some people might have some issues with the comfort here
- depending on your source, they can be sibilant at times.

Overall the HE-400 is an amazing headphone. EQ'ed to your preference they will be even better, at this price range, for me, they are king of the hill. 
post #12371 of 19921

Im very close to your opinion as well.

While I have a few isues (minor) with this HP, It has so much good in it for the Price that I doubt I can want to get a better HP (thou I do want a HD600 for more relaxing moments).

 

Everytime I look at the Dream HP (stax, HD800, etc), I wonder shortly after why would I want to upgrade considering Its been months and I still Love this HP.

 

I do belive it improves with modding, and I have been trying to get to it for 2 months now... but everytime i get this HP is to listen to it :D.

post #12372 of 19921
Thread Starter 

The he400 plus the hd6x00, makes for a very nice complementary pair of hp's. The only flaw in the pair is if you need a closed hp. But as far as complementary signatures go, they work very well together. 

post #12373 of 19921

You guys have convinced me - I just ordered my pair :D 

post #12374 of 19921
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

The he400 plus the hd6x00, makes for a very nice complementary pair of hp's. The only flaw in the pair is if you need a closed hp. But as far as complementary signatures go, they work very well together. 

Or the HD580 biggrin.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by akong View Post

You guys have convinced me - I just ordered my pair :D 

Congrats! Your first step into planars?

post #12375 of 19921
Thread Starter 

Congrats akong...you got a fine set of hp's now. biggrin.gif

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