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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 958

post #14356 of 20490
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

You do know the Hifiman brand is Chinese too right?

 



Not a problem with china as such, because pretty much everything is made there these days, but the lack of distribution in the UK and having to physically buy it shipped from China.
post #14357 of 20490
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by catspaw View Post
 

I belive Planars dont have any problems with that (i remmber reading something about it), but id suggest you make sure yourself.

 



I had a quick search for it and it said it is less important than with dynamics... Still I might give an amp a try with the HE400 when I have some spare cash.... Interested to hear about on the HE400 with a good amp, even though people say you do not need one... Must make some difference?

Well, this is an interesting subject.

First of all, music and sound is 100% subjective, so no matter what everyone says, your expirience might be diferent.

Expiricne tells me that Amps improve the sound quality by what id consider "a noticible margin".

Putting a number to it feels weird as numers normaly sugest something objective and this is definitly not the case, but i dont have another way i know to explain it.

 

Id say that going from my Fiio E17 to the Schiit asgard the overall sound improved around 15-20%. However, the feeling is more like 35%.

The two things that mostly improved were soundstage and vicerality of the sound.

I do have to say that the sound does feel slightly unnatural to my ears in general with the HE-400, but i do enjoy it anyhow.

 

I can also confirm that my Sennheiser HD380 Pro also improved a decent amount with the Fiio E17, so i do belive amps improve sound quality.

post #14358 of 20490

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by mlxx View Post
 

 

If you are happy with the sound you are getting then just keep it. No reason to upgrade it. We are lucky to have a store here that allows auditioning. I spent 2-3 hours there one day comparing amps & dacs in the less than $1000 region and walked out with an Audio-GD 15.1 amp/dac unit for $295AU (about 15 months ago now).

 

Exactly the same here. I have the 5.32 and I've heard a lot of SS amps at Addicted to Audio and never felt them worth my money to get as I did not feel that there were improved much if at all. I'm satisfied with my amp that has the power to drive the LCD2 to ear destroying levels at 50% pot and 2watts RMS. I don't want to get into tube amps really, it doesn't appeal to me objectively.

 

I'll always spend more on my headphones than my amps and dacs. I'd prefer to pick up another high end can.

 

To each there own though. Many enjoy their upgrades and more power to them. If you are listening and say you hear a difference, then I don't think I'd ever begrudge a person that. After all it is another persons enjoyment and not mine to comment on.

post #14359 of 20490
Quote:
Originally Posted by catspaw View Post

Well, this is an interesting subject.

First of all, music and sound is 100% subjective, so no matter what everyone says, your expirience might be diferent.

Expiricne tells me that Amps improve the sound quality by what id consider "a noticible margin".

Putting a number to it feels weird as numers normaly sugest something objective and this is definitly not the case, but i dont have another way i know to explain it.

 

Id say that going from my Fiio E17 to the Schiit asgard the overall sound improved around 15-20%. However, the feeling is more like 35%.

The two things that mostly improved were soundstage and vicerality of the sound.

I do have to say that the sound does feel slightly unnatural to my ears in general with the HE-400, but i do enjoy it anyhow.

 

I can also confirm that my Sennheiser HD380 Pro also improved a decent amount with the Fiio E17, so i do belive amps improve sound quality.

 



Technically according to "objectivists" all amps *should* sound basically the same... Because, especially with external speakers the distortion specs on the speakers are much higher than the amplifiers..... So the speakers should be the limiting bit... But from my experience better amps definitely do improve the sound quality as well as having more power... For example going from my NAD315bee to a NAD 326bee on B&W 602s3 speakers the sound quality is definitely a lot better, not just the power output but the treble quality etc. Not sure if this is the case with the HE400 + STX though.
Edited by nicholars - 11/15/13 at 2:49am
post #14360 of 20490
It's very silly to believe that amps sound the same. I mean, who would really believe that? That one can introduce a load of circuitry into an audio chain and have it make no difference to the response of the signal besides amplify it. I can't believe that anyone could truly think that.
post #14361 of 20490
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saren View Post
 

 

Exactly the same here. I have the 5.32 and I've heard a lot of SS amps at Addicted to Audio and never felt them worth my money to get as I did not feel that there were improved much if at all. I'm satisfied with my amp that has the power to drive the LCD2 to ear destroying levels at 50% pot and 2watts RMS. I don't want to get into tube amps really, it doesn't appeal to me objectively.

 

I'll always spend more on my headphones than my amps and dacs. I'd prefer to pick up another high end can.

 

To each there own though. Many enjoy their upgrades and more power to them. If you are listening and say you hear a difference, then I don't think I'd ever begrudge a person that. After all it is another persons enjoyment and not mine to comment on.

 

Those Addicted to Audio guys are great. Lucky for them I live a 30 minute drive away or I would be there everyday. When I walk in, they are thinking, not him again. I make them open up all the boxes so I can try things. One time I actually surprised them and bought something. Sometimes they like to show me this big fat power cable and tell me how good it is. But I am thinking, between the amp and the power point there is this big fat power cable, but behind the power point on the wall to the switchboard, there is still the $2 crappy power wire. Can't see how it can be any good. They need to start distributing the Hifiman stuff though, so I can try the HE-6/HE500.

post #14362 of 20490
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigomatt View Post

It's very silly to believe that amps sound the same. I mean, who would really believe that? That one can introduce a load of circuitry into an audio chain and have it make no difference to the response of the signal besides amplify it. I can't believe that anyone could truly think that.


There are many who believe in just that.

 

Have a read through this http://www.head-fi.org/t/486598/testing-audiophile-claims-and-myths

 

Mind you if you think you can hear differences, so if you think so. I don't want to argue with you about it as it is your enjoyment of your equipment that matters.

post #14363 of 20490
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigomatt View Post

It's very silly to believe that amps sound the same. I mean, who would really believe that? That one can introduce a load of circuitry into an audio chain and have it make no difference to the response of the signal besides amplify it. I can't believe that anyone could truly think that.

 



Some audio forums such as audiogon people do think that.
post #14364 of 20490
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saren View Post


There are many who believe in just that.

Have a read through this http://www.head-fi.org/t/486598/testing-audiophile-claims-and-myths

Mind you if you think you can hear differences, so if you think so. I don't want to argue with you about it as it is your enjoyment of your equipment that matters.
Of course, there's no argument intended and reading back over my post, maybe I said it a little strong in a way that could possibly offend. I take that back. One's own enjoyment is paramount and I prove that myself by saying that my HD598s get more head time than my HE-400s. I do prefer them (for most things). Many wouldn't, but there you go!

There's data available though that prove measurably different frequency responses and dynamic range characteristics between different amps, so I'm not going to agree that black is indeed white for the sake of political correctness and/or not offending anybody :-P (No offence meant, of course)

Bringing it back on topic; for certain music, I'll listen to my 400s through the valve amp, just to tame down that treble spike. To be honest, there isn't a night and day difference between the sound from the Bravo Audio Ocean to my Asus STX. The Asus has more dynamic range and extremes of frequencies, but the Bravo has more warmth and smoothness (to be expected from a valve) and seems to (getting subjective now) gel the elements of music together more cohesively, or more naturally, possibly at the expense of pin point imaging. Anyway, most of the time, the latter effect works well for my tastes with the HE400s.

I'm also trying to make the point that, despite the obvious differences on paper of the above mentioned amps, their respective 'sounds' are not worlds apart. There are subtle differences, yes, but it's not make or break.

Happy listening, people. Listen to what YOU want, how YOU want and (if you're lucky) when YOU want!! :-)
Edited by amigomatt - 11/15/13 at 3:22am
post #14365 of 20490

I think the biggest thing though to those tests are that they are using amplifiers that are known to be transparent and not tailored to different frequency responses, which by principal would be straying from truly being transparent. I like to think a good amplifier sounds like nothing, adds no flavor to the sound at all. Some prefer an amplifier that has been designed to change the FR range slightly. What I mean with the amps sounding the same is that two truly transparent SS amps regardless of price should sound pretty much identical if you were to be blindfolded.

 

But there are amplifiers that have been tuned a bit different which are not truly flat to the recording and may very well change the sound of headphones. Tube amps are different as they add slight enjoyable distortion to the sound which to many can be very enjoyable and I don't think many argue that there is no difference there.

 

Ultimately I apologize if I seemed confrontational there. 

 

:beerchug:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlxx View Post
 

 

Those Addicted to Audio guys are great. Lucky for them I live a 30 minute drive away or I would be there everyday. When I walk in, they are thinking, not him again. I make them open up all the boxes so I can try things. One time I actually surprised them and bought something. Sometimes they like to show me this big fat power cable and tell me how good it is. But I am thinking, between the amp and the power point there is this big fat power cable, but behind the power point on the wall to the switchboard, there is still the $2 crappy power wire. Can't see how it can be any good. They need to start distributing the Hifiman stuff though, so I can try the HE-6/HE500.

 

It almost seems out of the ordinary that they don't have hifiman's when they practically have every other brand out there. Headphonic has the Hifiman's, so I'm surprised A2A don't also get them. Jaben had them in the past but I believe they stopped stocking them.

 

Anyway, any HE-400 listeners out there should definitely check out Infected Mushroom - Classical Mushroom - fantastic album especially for the He-400.


Edited by Saren - 11/15/13 at 3:41am
post #14366 of 20490
Yes that is not a bad thing because transparent and flat is not necessarily the best sounding (to me anyway).... I do think that DAC's are pretty over-rated though and I would not bother spending much money on one again unless I won the lottery or something. I think the DAC part of the STX is actually really good.... Sounds better (basically the same anyway) to me than most of the external DAC's I have used. The dacmagic which seems to be very well reviewed, I realised after owning it for 2 years that it is actually harsh sounding, and "downgrading" to the STX improved this quite a lot.... I also had some other external dac's and whilst they were marginally better in some ways than the STX, overall the STX has the least issues. All of these things were pretty marginal anyway and could easily be mistaken for each other in a A/B test, except the Dacmagic which was obviously sibilant and harsh sounding. I am interested in trying some amps from the STX RCA out though when I have some more cash.
Edited by nicholars - 11/15/13 at 4:03am
post #14367 of 20490
Double post sorry.
post #14368 of 20490

It does make sense.

When a high or low register has to be played, the more power (good quality and well controled power) the easier and cleaner it can be represented. This is of course assuming every other condition is perfect.

 

My personal asumption is that when a diferent wave must be represented than the previous one, for the speaker or headphone to represnet it more acuratly it needs enought power to jump from the ending of the previous wave form to the begining of the new one in an instant. That would require enought power to do it naturally and fast. 

post #14369 of 20490
Quote:
Originally Posted by catspaw View Post

It does make sense.



When a high or low register has to be played, the more power (good quality and well controled power) the easier and cleaner it can be represented. This is of course assuming every other condition is perfect.



 



My personal asumption is that when a diferent wave must be represented than the previous one, for the speaker or headphone to represnet it more acuratly it needs enought power to jump from the ending of the previous wave form to the begining of the new one in an instant. That would require enought power to do it naturally and fast. 

 



But the point is that most amps (that are not extremely cheap / bad) have specs which are much better than any headphones or speakers anyway, so theoretically it should not make any difference. I do agree that amps improve sound quality and change the tone as well though even though theoretically they should not.
post #14370 of 20490
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

Yes that is not a bad thing because transparent and flat is not necessarily the best sounding (to me anyway).... I do think that DAC's are pretty over-rated though and I would not bother spending much money on one again unless I won the lottery or something. I think the DAC part of the STX is actually really good.... Sounds better (basically the same anyway) to me than most of the external DAC's I have used. The dacmagic which seems to be very well reviewed, I realised after owning it for 2 years that it is actually harsh sounding, and "downgrading" to the STX improved this quite a lot.... I also had some other external dac's and whilst they were marginally better in some ways than the STX, overall the STX has the least issues. All of these things were pretty marginal anyway and could easily be mistaken for each other in a A/B test, except the Dacmagic which was obviously sibilant and harsh sounding. I am interested in trying some amps from the STX RCA out though when I have some more cash.

I am running my MAD EAR +HD  and just using the dac from my STX.......sounds great.....awesome dac in the STX imo.

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