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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 886

post #13276 of 19810

This weeks show was kinda meh, but the first two episodes I really digged!

post #13277 of 19810

Hey guys, I'm currently rocking a pair of ATH-ES10 portables and I'm hugely satisfied with them. As it seems that I've hit the potable limit for sound quality from what I've been reading, I want to get myself a pair of full size open back headphones for home use. The first headphone that came into my mind were the HE-400's as I can remember reading up on them and being interested in their sound signature.

 

I'm looking for something with a noticeable improvement in SQ over my ES10's while staying within the type of sound signature that I like. That being a strong impactful bass, sweat mids and sparkly highs. I'm hoping that the open back would provide an improvement in sound-stage also. Improved details is another thing that I would like to experience.

 

My question is, would I get what I want from the HE-400's or would it be a better idea to save up a bit more money for something like the LCD-2 v2? Just to make it clear, that I'm the type of listener who likes to "feel" the music as well as hear it - but at the same time I'm wanting an improvement over the ATH-ES10's in detail and sound-stage.

 

So to summarise: I'm looking for something with power and smoothness while retaining good detail and speed (which is the reason I'm leaning towards Ortho's).

 

Any help will be appreciated.


Edited by GWagon - 10/2/13 at 5:25pm
post #13278 of 19810

I've not heard the ES10, but the HE-400 does check all the boxes for strong bass, sweet mids and sparkly highs.  One thing to make note of is that HE-400's bass is very low THD and decays fast, so while there's a lot of it and it's very extended, it might not be what some people are looking for if they're used to boomier bass.  LCD2 is the same way.

post #13279 of 19810
I think after having heard the LCD2... I might not like the D7000's bass anymore. The LCD2 was a revelation. Yeah, it sucked in soundstage width, but I'm not a soundstage nut for music.

I really miss the HE-400 though, and I wanna hear it again with jergpads, just to remind myself why I liked them so much.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 10/2/13 at 11:20pm
post #13280 of 19810
Thread Starter 

^^ This is just how I felt. I liked the he400 for a long time. Then I heard the lcd2 which exposes several weaknesses in the he400. And at $1k it should sound appreciably better. Then I had a chance to buy the d7k for a great price. It's possibly the most I've been let down by a hp purchase. 

 

The orthodynamic bass has spoiled me I suppose. It's tough to go back. 

post #13281 of 19810

LCD2 didn't expose too many weaknesses in HE-400 for me, hahaha.  Guess I'm a fan of its coloration too much.

post #13282 of 19810
I am too, other than it's grating treble, there wasn't anything else I had an issue with on the HE-400. It was bordering on perfect for my taste, treble otherwise.

The LCD2 was a different signature from my personal preference, but it made me appreciate a warm/smooth/mid-intimate sound more than anything else. I mean, the HD650 was my first real taste of that, and I liked it a lot, but the LCD2 REALLY made me crave that sound signature. The LCD2 had nearly everything I lovbed about the HE-400, with better mids, and no fatigue in the upper range. It was a recipe for success, though the weight and comfort overall just didn't cut it for me.

Then there was the later purchases of the K702 65th Anniversary, HD650 (2nd time), PX100-II, and MA900 which are all also warm/smooth and mid-intimate. I've loved every single one, and they're all a lot easier to take than the HE-400, though in a quick music session, something the likes of the HE-400 is more my taste. For the long haul, however (and I tend to listen for long periods of time), all the others would make better purchases for me personally.

Still, there are those few times, that I wish I still had an HE-400 around. There's a reason I owned it twice.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 10/3/13 at 5:24am
post #13283 of 19810
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

I am too, other than it's grating treble, there wasn't anything else I had an issue with on the HE-400. It was bordering on perfect for my taste, treble otherwise.

The LCD2 was a different signature from my personal preference, but it made me appreciate a warm/smooth/mid-intimate sound more than anything else. I mean, the HD650 was my first real taste of that, and I liked it a lot, but the LCD2 REALLY made me crave that sound signature. The LCD2 had nearly everything I lovbed about the HE-400, with better mids, and no fatigue in the upper range. It was a recipe for success, though the weight and comfort overall just didn't cut it for me.

Then there was the later purchases of the K702 65th Anniversary, HD650 (2nd time), PX100-II, and MA900 which are all also warm/smooth and mid-intimate. I've loved every single one, and they're all a lot easier to take than the HE-400, though in a quick music session, something the likes of the HE-400 is more my taste. For the long haul, however (and I tend to listen for long periods of time), all the others would make better purchases for me personally.

Still, there are those few times, that I wish I still had an HE-400 around. There's a reason I owned it twice.

 

The HE400 has nice lower mids similar to the HD650 + the bass on the HE400 is far better than the HD650's bass, as you said the only issue is the treble on the HE400, if you EQ the HE400 treble then it is not so bad but it is definately the weak point of the HE400 because if you EQ it to the point that it does not hurt your ear drums then it makes them sound slightly muffled / closed, although I will take that over tinnitus and ear pain... It is all about compromises unless you have unlimited money and for the money the HE400 do the most things right out of everything I have tried.... I think my next upgrade will be a HE500 and that will probably be my final upgrade.... Just hope that they are not too linear and boring sounding compared to the HE400... I will be happy with exactly the same as the HE400 below about 2khz but with slightly more upper mids and smoother treble....


Edited by nicholars - 10/3/13 at 7:38am
post #13284 of 19810
-.- need to try them Jerg Pads... curse you wallet

Still the J$money are nice and bassy, so I can't complain to much! Although... I do miss the touch of extra decay in my Dt 990, although it sorely lacked in mids and sub bass. Cheers to the HE 50 upgrade for me as well, I hear it has a smidge more decay over the 400, although Not sure when I'll be getting into HE 5XX and Beyer TX0 territory. I was going to snag a new Amp but opt'd not to. I'm too broke, need to have some emergancy money on hand [looking at u tax refund] although I MIGHT snatch a tube in December... we shall see how much the Tax Man hath taken from meh over dese years, gatta make this tax refund check FLY as next year freaking Insurance fines hit me here in the US -.-

that said, The he 400 is deinfatly a great upgrade to the Dt 990, and are there any ways to pump some treble back into the LCD 2? I hear there are tubes that help with that :O
Edited by Mshenay - 10/3/13 at 7:47am
post #13285 of 19810

The treble will only sound muffled and closed in when EQ'd right after you EQ it from the stock treble, because you're used to the hightened treble.  Keep that EQ on for an hour or two, or even minutes, and it won't sound muffled or closed.  Compare the EQ'd treble against other headphones with lowered treble response, and it will still sound very open and not muffled.

post #13286 of 19810
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

... and are there any ways to pump some treble back into the LCD 2? I hear there are tubes that help with that :O

I read recently on head-fi somewhere that the Audio-gd 11.32 seemed to go well with the LCD-2s (treble/soundstage) even though you may think it is "bottom of the market" price-wise for a headphone like that.

I'd love to try the LCD-2s just to hear their low-end on EDM. A lot of money to drop before listening to them.

post #13287 of 19810
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post
 

The treble will only sound muffled and closed in when EQ'd right after you EQ it from the stock treble, because you're used to the hightened treble.  Keep that EQ on for an hour or two, or even minutes, and it won't sound muffled or closed.  Compare the EQ'd treble against other headphones with lowered treble response, and it will still sound very open and not muffled.

 

Spot on there. When I switch between EQ on and off in quick succession it sounds muffled, but listening with EQ on for a while I don't notice any muffled sound at all, just smooth treble.

 

@MLE, if the HE-400 was the perfect headphone for you sound wise bar treble, why not just EQ it down a little? You'd then get the perfect headphone for your needs..

post #13288 of 19810
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post
 

The treble will only sound muffled and closed in when EQ'd right after you EQ it from the stock treble, because you're used to the hightened treble.  Keep that EQ on for an hour or two, or even minutes, and it won't sound muffled or closed.  Compare the EQ'd treble against other headphones with lowered treble response, and it will still sound very open and not muffled.

 

I think I disagree -- when i EQ down to painless levels the treble does seem to lack the same level of detail. It could be the presence tho. Man I want the treble to not be so dark on the 400 cause it's so enjoyable but it literally hurts my ears. This is why I'm considering the 500 - bc it's supposed to have more treble presence but without that distortion or whatever that causes the pain. 

post #13289 of 19810
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogulmaster View Post
 

 

I think I disagree -- when i EQ down to painless levels the treble does seem to lack the same level of detail. It could be the presence tho. Man I want the treble to not be so dark on the 400 cause it's so enjoyable but it literally hurts my ears. This is why I'm considering the 500 - bc it's supposed to have more treble presence but without that distortion or whatever that causes the pain. 

 

 

 

Have you compared it to headphones with very muted treble like the Mad Dogs, HD650 or LCD2?

post #13290 of 19810

Would be nice if you could get all the treble detail and airyness without the sibilance / tizz though....

 

However overall I like these headphones a lot, but the treble is the weak part, mainly the sibilance.... With the jergpads and EQ though I think the treble is actually pretty good, sometimes I really like it with some songs... just ideally it could be smoother and less sibilant. Seems very dependent on the quality of the recording / Mp3 also.... Sometimes it sounds good and sometimes it is quite unpleasant.... Usually on low bitrate or poor recordings.....

 

It seems that any headphone with sparkly treble will emphasise sibilance though so at least it is fixable with EQ to some extent, also when I use darker headphones such as the HD650, SE215 or UE6000, I find that I miss the sparkly treble on the HE400.. Just would be nice if it was a bit more refined..... Sounds like the HE500 would be a good upgrade but when you add an amplifier to the price you are looking at £1000+.... compared to £240 I paid for the HE400.

 

Cannot really complain about these at all, they cost me £240 on ebay + free mods to pads + £80 on ebay for a Xonar STX..... I do not think that it is possible to get better sound quality for £320..... Second hand HE400 + free mods + Xonar STX + EQ.... I challenge anyone to get better sound quality for the money :)

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