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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 968

post #14506 of 17747
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdraluck23 View Post

Been reading around doin some research.

Really looking at the HE-400's. I've had my DT990's for a while now though and haven't kept up on research. I've read lots of HD600 comparison threads but what would opinions be in direct comparison to the 990? Also any other similar phones you guys would throw into my mix? HD600, 650, HE400 is what I've got so far. Also looking at some of the woodie Audio Technicas.

 

Regarding how they sound, the HE-400 is better than the DT-990 in every way IMO (I had the DT-990 Premium at one point). The HE-400 is still a "fun" sounding headphone, but technically it does everything much better, especially the bass is brilliant. The soundstage is smaller though, HE-400 is very small in that department for an open headphone. You could also consider the AKG K712, it's a much more balanced headphone and does many things better than the HE-400. I did a short comparison in my review of the K712.

post #14507 of 17747
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMateoHead View Post
 

What volume do you like to listen at, and what song(s) in particular are you referencing for your treble issues? It is true that, over time, EQ and Earpad mods have become dominant in the discussion of the phones. But a lot of it is overblown - tweaks (for me) are quite mild, and I've never had an actual "problem" with the treble, aside from a few demos from which things like cymbals were more pronounced than I preferred.

 

I only detect a lot of sibilance as a regular artifact of the sound when I blast these things at high volume with certain (but not all) recordings. I suppose I am defending these phones as I have genuinely lower-fi highly sibilant audio gear that I am also exposed to on a daily basis.

 

It has been awhile since I listened to them with stock pleather pads, however. If you haven't, I would order and then switch to the $10 Velours. I find them more comfortable anyway, and they have a thinner mesh and (I believe), more even tonality. Still lots of treble, sure, but not as much contrast as with the pleathers. 1,000 pages ago, the 'velour vs pleather' discussion was raging.


Hmm, I don't really have a set of songs i use to demo/test for sibilance. Its more of something i notice from time to time during my usual listening. An example would be something i'm listening to right now: "Ghosts" by Laura Marling. the "sss" sounds are too pronounced, imho.

Something else would be this performance by Daughters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-OoG1aGYO0 . I know some people might have issues seeing as how its a youtube vid (its not high quality, etc.), but it does show the problem.

I listen at very moderate volumes. I set my Fiio E10 at low gain and it gets as loud as i ever want it to. And yes, i am using the velour pads as i find them to be more even sounding after some quick A/B-ing.

 

That being said, perhaps my initial description overstated the magnitude of the problem, which is why you found the need to ask me. My treble EQ-ing that i mentioned earlier has a max peak of around -5db, which is not really a drastic adjustment  but it definitely makes a very meaningful improvement in real-world listening.


Edited by Jien23 - 11/23/13 at 9:49am
post #14508 of 17747

Basically if you want some high end planars which sound good stock then you need to spend £700 on some HE500 + an amplifier to run them...

 

The HE400 are the best compromise at £400 + no amp needed really....

 

The compromise being that they do not sound great out of the box and literally NEED to be EQ and modded, once you have done this they are probably the best headphones available for the money.

 

Regarding the HD650 vs HE400, the HD650 would win for vocals, but the mids are very slow and bloated compared to the HE400.... Overall the HE400 is the better headphone unless you listen to only vocals, classical, relaxing music etc.


Edited by nicholars - 11/23/13 at 1:47pm
post #14509 of 17747
Looking to buy these either used or new. Which revision is considered the best, number 2? This has the clear or white covering over the driver correct? If I buy them new on Amazon which revision is it? Thanks.
post #14510 of 17747
Quote:
Originally Posted by Halonoonan View Post

Looking to buy these either used or new. Which revision is considered the best, number 2? This has the clear or white covering over the driver correct? If I buy them new on Amazon which revision is it? Thanks.

Rev2=Rev4=good=current rev.

post #14511 of 17747
Quote:
Originally Posted by spittis View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdraluck23 View Post

Been reading around doin some research.

Really looking at the HE-400's. I've had my DT990's for a while now though and haven't kept up on research. I've read lots of HD600 comparison threads but what would opinions be in direct comparison to the 990? Also any other similar phones you guys would throw into my mix? HD600, 650, HE400 is what I've got so far. Also looking at some of the woodie Audio Technicas.

 

Regarding how they sound, the HE-400 is better than the DT-990 in every way IMO (I had the DT-990 Premium at one point). The HE-400 is still a "fun" sounding headphone, but technically it does everything much better, especially the bass is brilliant. The soundstage is smaller though, HE-400 is very small in that department for an open headphone. You could also consider the AKG K712, it's a much more balanced headphone and does many things better than the HE-400. I did a short comparison in my review of the K712.


I had the DT-990 Pros and I agree that the HE-400 is similar but just better in every way in terms of technicalities. It's funny though, I had the Q701 also, and found the HE-400 to be better in every aspect except for soundstage and midrange. Obviously the Q701 and K712 are different, but still. 

post #14512 of 17747
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 


I had the DT-990 Pros and I agree that the HE-400 is similar but just better in every way in terms of technicalities. It's funny though, I had the Q701 also, and found the HE-400 to be better in every aspect except for soundstage and midrange. Obviously the Q701 and K712 are different, but still. 

 

Well I haven't heard the Q701, but going by what others say who have compared them the K712 does much better in the bass department. I personally also think the K712 has a bit smoother treble than the HE-400. But I can still see some people preferring the HE-400 over K712, the sound is very intimate and lush and the bass representation is awesome.

post #14513 of 17747
Quote:
Originally Posted by spittis View Post

 

Well I haven't heard the Q701, but going by what others say who have compared them the K712 does much better in the bass department. I personally also think the K712 has a bit smoother treble than the HE-400. But I can still see some people preferring the HE-400 over K712, the sound is very intimate and lush and the bass representation is awesome.


Yeah, I would also say the Q701 has a smoother treble than the HE-400, even though it's the brighter headphone overall. I haven't heard the K712 though. 

post #14514 of 17747
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

 

The compromise being that they do not sound great out of the box and literally NEED to be EQ and modded, once you have done this they are probably the best headphones available for the money.

 

 

I don't particularly agree with this. Imo they do sound good out of the box, just a little harsh. Only if the treble bothers you then EQ is necessary, and as we've seen from this thread there are plenty of people who are fine with the HE-400's treble. Some people are just a little more sensitive to it than others.

post #14515 of 17747
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaver316 View Post
 

 

I don't particularly agree with this. Imo they do sound good out of the box, just a little harsh. Only if the treble bothers you then EQ is necessary, and as we've seen from this thread there are plenty of people who are fine with the HE-400's treble. Some people are just a little more sensitive to it than others.

 

Mmm well I am just giving my opinion, personally I was disappointed when I first got them, first thing I did was graphic EQ, an improvement but still somewhat sibilant and tiring on the ears after not very long, also only really good with some genres. Next up I did the pad mods, definitely an improvement to the overall sound although still a bit harsh for me. Eventually I got round to measuring them with sinegen and doing a proper EQ with electriQ - this lead to a few days of OCTD (obsessive compulsive tweaking disorder) where I kept messing with it for different genres, songs etc. Eventually I got the EQ settings sorted and have 3 presets I use now depending on genre / quality.... overall for my personal tastes I would rate them as twice as good as they were out of the box... If you like bright headphones and sibilance does not bother you then I guess all this might not be necessary... In stock form I would rate these as one the most sibilant / tiring headphones I have used, setup properly I can use them for as long as I want at any volume with no problems at all.


Edited by nicholars - 11/24/13 at 4:35am
post #14516 of 17747
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jien23 View Post
 

Hey everyone! first post here :biggrin:

 

I got the HE-400 about two weeks ago, finally came round to posting in this thread! Some impressions after getting it: (my previous headphone was a CAL!, for reference):

 

First impressions: I was honestly underwhelmed the first time i put it on and listened to my favourite tracks. Could possibly be due to inflated expectations, but the leap in sound quality was not what i expected.

 

Gave it some more time, and slowly started to take in some of the good (and bad! more on that later) of this headphone. For one thing, the detail of the low notes through this thing is amazing.. This headphone really brings out the bass lines in music. The mids are what I expected: somewhat pushed-back vocals which i prefer.

 

However, after spending time with it, one thing also became glaringly obvious: the treble on this thing is far too forward. It doesn't "grate" or "tizz" much - it's just that it is way too pronounced or "hot". Voices have a sharp "sss" at the end of every sung consonant, which is distracting and takes away from the realism of vocals through this thing. Makes vocals sound more like recordings rather than real to me - you don't hear that much treble when listening to someone sing in real life, but it is something that is present through recorded vocals.

 

Obviously the first thing i did was to equalise in foobar (just a treble fix), which helped tremendously. However, I listen to a lot of stuff outside foobar too, and after seeing beaver316's initial post, finally decided to look for a universal eq as a better solution. After some searching i stumbled upon the same eq beaver316 was using: equaliserAPO. Learned how to set it up and it's working great for me now. This wiki was very helpful:

 

http://sourceforge.net/p/equalizerapo/wiki/Documentation/#configuration-tutorial

 

You may need to figure out some stuff on your own (mainly the interface on the REW, which is quite intimidating).

Feel free to ask if you hit a dead end or something; I will try to help, though I only just set it up and am still learning.

 

Now, to improve on the comfort of these things...

 

Sorry for the wall of text, heh. :p

Thanks for the Wikitutorial.

 

I think I get the hang of it. But one thing I miss is real time equalizing. I use pink noise to tune my headphones and with the EQ31 Gui I could hear the changes I make immediatley.

Is there a function in REW to do the same? I found the "Generator" to simulate the Pink Noise at full range but the "EQ" in REW doesn't affect it. I hope you get my point. My english is not that good as it is not my mother tongue :/

 

The only thing I can do is to take my APO config.txt and copy the filters to REW and smooth out things and copy them back to APO and that's not very comfortable :(

post #14517 of 17747
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaximandros View Post
 

Thanks for the Wikitutorial.

 

I think I get the hang of it. But one thing I miss is real time equalizing. I use pink noise to tune my headphones and with the EQ31 Gui I could hear the changes I make immediatley.

Is there a function in REW to do the same? I found the "Generator" to simulate the Pink Noise at full range but the "EQ" in REW doesn't affect it. I hope you get my point. My english is not that good as it is not my mother tongue :/

 

The only thing I can do is to take my APO config.txt and copy the filters to REW and smooth out things and copy them back to APO and that's not very comfortable :(

Hey. Firstly, are you saving the equaliser settings through REW as a .req file? this can be done in the same window where you make your adjustments in REW. This should make it easy to get back your settings and make adjustments quickly to your saved EQ. However, you still need to convert it to a .txt file each time before you can apply it. I don't know any way to hear instant changes when making adjustments in REW, sorry.

 

However, this may be a blessing in disguise ;). You could just get it right once, and when you think its okay, just leave it. You wont be tempted to keep making small adjustments in the middle of your listening that would have little or no real effect. I really think it's a simple fix, and once you've reduced the treble slightly, just forget about the eq-ing and enjoy your music.

 

Time spent eq-ing your headphone is time that could have been better spent enjoying the music coming through them!

post #14518 of 17747
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jien23 View Post
 

Hey. Firstly, are you saving the equaliser settings through REW as a .req file? this can be done in the same window where you make your adjustments in REW. This should make it easy to get back your settings and make adjustments quickly to your saved EQ. However, you still need to convert it to a .txt file each time before you can apply it. I don't know any way to hear instant changes when making adjustments in REW, sorry.

 

However, this may be a blessing in disguise ;). You could just get it right once, and when you think its okay, just leave it. You wont be tempted to keep making small adjustments in the middle of your listening that would have little or no real effect. I really think it's a simple fix, and once you've reduced the treble slightly, just forget about the eq-ing and enjoy your music.

 

Time spent eq-ing your headphone is time that could have been better spent enjoying the music coming through them!

 

Thanks for your reply. I save the settings as .req files. Normally I tweak the frequencys  to an amount where I am satisfied, but listening to pink noise is really exhausting, but it works for me :)

 

It takes me roughly 1 hour until I am satisfied and after that I'm done and won't touch the eq files, but I have several headphones und eqing is still a little fun to mess around with sound signatures.

post #14519 of 17747
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jien23 View Post
 

However, this may be a blessing in disguise ;). You could just get it right once, and when you think its okay, just leave it. You wont be tempted to keep making small adjustments in the middle of your listening that would have little or no real effect. I really think it's a simple fix, and once you've reduced the treble slightly, just forget about the eq-ing and enjoy your music.

 

Time spent eq-ing your headphone is time that could have been better spent enjoying the music coming through them!

 

Wrong.

post #14520 of 17747

Yea getting obsessed and fiddling around with minute subtle changes and eq doesn't make sense for me either. It took me 5 seconds to roll-off the treble of the HE-400 then I never touched the eq since then.


Edited by TMRaven - 11/24/13 at 9:07am
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