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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 11

post #151 of 17595

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

Okay, I'm about two hours in with the new pads and I have to say that I'm really impressed with the improvement in sound quality. Here is what I hear:

 

Sound stage is even bigger-goes beyond shoulder width and now has a somewhat 3d sound. I can hear and locate each instrument and listen to it individually. It's also more layered. I don't want to oversell this really. I just didn't expect much from a pad change. 

 

Bass-was expecting a fairly good drop of here. Nope...not at all. No loss of impact and it goes just as low. The only difference is that the bass is just a little tighter. Now I'm a self professed bass head trying to be an audiophile. So I wasn't excited about giving up any bass. With that said, I have no issue with the change here, it is actually better for me. 

 

Comfort-The velours are a nice upgrade on the comfort. It's softer on the ears and now less fatiguing for longer listening. These pads do not however seem to breath as well as the Beyer pads. Not bad but just a little stuffy compared to the Beyers. The velours are about 1/4 thicker so they move the driver that much away from the ear. This is probably where the improved sound stage comes from. 

 

Then there was one thing about the change I couldn't quite put my finger on. Something familiar now about the way the he400 sounds after the pad change. Then as I was writing this it dawned on me...the he400 now sounded reminiscent of the he500. With the stock pleather, they had more of the american signature sound with a bit more bass. But now the "quality" of the mids and highs reminds of when I owned the he500. I would consider this a complement for what it's worth. 

 

 

 

Very intriguing pad impressions. Might try a pair in the near future too.

 

In terms of pad depth differences, from the photos I've seen of HE500 unboxings the velour pads seem to be rounder but less deep than the pleather pads. Are you sure they are physically deeper and not just have stiffer foams propping your ears out more?


Edited by jerg - 4/21/12 at 3:27pm
post #152 of 17595
Thread Starter 

I would call the velour pad the must have accessory for the he400. The depth as I said is about a 1/4" deeper. Also, I think you are right about the pads not sinking in as much which creates more depth as compared to the pleather.

post #153 of 17595

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

I would call the velour pad the must have accessory for the he400. The depth as I said is about a 1/4" deeper. Also, I think you are right about the pads not sinking in as much which creates more depth as compared to the pleather.

 

Interesting impressions.  I'd be interested in hearing an HE-500 to HE-400 comparison directly with velour to velour and pleather to pleather.  Especially sinc eHiFiMan has been sort of promoting the pleather as the upgrade for both.  In cerrtain areas I imagine there's a similarity with the change...the dark timbre would change, the bass my lighten, and the highs would be less attenuated.  But I supect that they wouldn't rreally ound that much the same side by side.  The different driver geometry and magnet setup would still make them fairly different, and the rolloffs and treble spike/plateau are going to make them different.  

 

Like I saiid before, my guess is that the HE-400 were tuned to use the pleather specifically had has specific spikes in the treble range to compensate for the pleather attenuation.  The 500 lacks those spickes and thus proobably plays nicely with the fvelour without any off tone.

 

But it's good to hear you see the velour as a positive.  It makes me curious to try as well.

 

I suspect what you're hearing has MUCH to do with distance from the ear.  Like I said, the sound got far more neutral and "reference" like when I relaxed the tension and got the rather squishy pleather farther from my ear.  Especially the reduction in frontal crushing force.  I think most of the "off" dark tonality came from not having enough air between the driver and the ear.  I did, by disttancing the pressure, with pleather part of what the velour automatically does through stiffness!

post #154 of 17595

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

But it's good to hear you see the velour as a positive.  It makes me curious to try as well.

 

 

I have a pair of velour ear pads in my HifiMAN hard box that came with my HE-5LEs.  As soon as I get my HE-400s back, I'll try the velour out.  Though, my experience with velour pads as that they tend to be a warmer pad as far as heat goes.  And, going into the summer season, I feel that they would lead to less comfortable listening sessions than the pleather pads.  If it came down to it, I'll take comfort (keeping my ears cool) over slight sound our sound stage changes, which I suspect are quite subtle.

post #155 of 17595
Thread Starter 

Be sure that the pads you want to try are compatible. I had an old he500 with the hard plastic tabs that was not usable. 

post #156 of 17595

A small gripe but, is anyone else's vertical axis tilt adjustment limits uneven between L and R?

 

Basically my left side can only be rotated by a very small amount (+/- 5 degrees) while my right side has more leeway (close to +/- 15 degrees) because the left side strut bends down earlier giving a smaller room of rotational adjustment.

 

Any ideas as to how I could maybe open up the left side adjustment without potentially wrecking the whole joint?

post #157 of 17595

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

A small gripe but, is anyone else's vertical axis tilt adjustment limits uneven between L and R?

 

Basically my left side can only be rotated by a very small amount (+/- 5 degrees) while my right side has more leeway (close to +/- 15 degrees) because the left side strut bends down earlier giving a smaller room of rotational adjustment.

 

Any ideas as to how I could maybe open up the left side adjustment without potentially wrecking the whole joint?

 

Mine are both even enough for me not to notice, or at least care.  But II can see how that could happen.  The sides are limited purely by a little metal tab on the back of the hinge mount.  Arguably you could file the edge of that tab a bit for a little more rotation.  Without the tab, I imagiine the cup could swivel 360.  On the other hand, diamond filing a nickel plated steel rod wouldn't be fun.

post #158 of 17595

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

 

 

Mine are both even enough for me not to notice, or at least care.  But II can see how that could happen.  The sides are limited purely by a little metal tab on the back of the hinge mount.  Arguably you could file the edge of that tab a bit for a little more rotation.  Without the tab, I imagiine the cup could swivel 360.  On the other hand, diamond filing a nickel plated steel rod wouldn't be fun.

 

I tried bending it with pliers but there's too little room around that joint to do it.

post #159 of 17595

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

 

 

I tried bending it with pliers but there's too little room around that joint to do it.

 

I would think filing it is the only way to do it, at least the only way that doesn't involve putting the metal to a flame!  I'm sure it can be done, just be sure to cover the speaker assembly so the fine metal dust doesn't make it in, but a set of coarse diamond files and some very bad hand cramps would probably get it done.

 

I just checked both of my pairs and the tabs are even on all 4 cups, so yours is the odd one here.  And for me, putting the rotation all the way back on both sides is essential for proper fit, and I'm thinking proper soundstage (all those benefits everyone is talking about with the thicker velour.)  Technically the staging/positioning is better without the cupst tilted back (it gives more the effect of angled divers) but the comfort issues involved negate any benefit.  With the cups angled back, and some bending/loosening of the band, they're actually exceedingly comfortable for long durations.  Better than Senn and AKG.  Not qquite as soft as AT. 

 

If you're getting frontal pressure/crushing of the foam, I say bring out the diamond files, the improement in comfort is worth it.   If you're note getting frontal pressure/crushing of the foam, don't bother, they're probably set where they need to be for your head.

post #160 of 17595

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

 

 

I have a pair of velour ear pads in my HifiMAN hard box that came with my HE-5LEs.  As soon as I get my HE-400s back, I'll try the velour out.  Though, my experience with velour pads as that they tend to be a warmer pad as far as heat goes.  And, going into the summer season, I feel that they would lead to less comfortable listening sessions than the pleather pads.  If it came down to it, I'll take comfort (keeping my ears cool) over slight sound our sound stage changes, which I suspect are quite subtle.

 

By the way, velour as warmer than pleather?  I've spent many, many, many hours with HD650's on in very high heat, and it was no more uncomfortable than I'd expect a headphone to be in the heat.  I don't think I'd want to try that with the pleather.  In fact other pleather type headphones (PXC-450, MDR-7506) seemed quite a bit hotter.

 

Still, I like the look and feel with HE-400 and pleather.  If I were to get HE-500's too, I'd use the velour there though.  I still keep considering it.  Part of me thinks that since i like HE-400 so much I'd probably love to have HE-500 to accompany it.  The other part of me thinks that since I like HE-400 so much, I don't really need HE-500 smily_headphones1.gif

post #161 of 17595
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

 

 

By the way, velour as warmer than pleather?  I've spent many, many, many hours with HD650's on in very high heat, and it was no more uncomfortable than I'd expect a headphone to be in the heat.  I don't think I'd want to try that with the pleather.  In fact other pleather type headphones (PXC-450, MDR-7506) seemed quite a bit hotter.

 

Still, I like the look and feel with HE-400 and pleather.  If I were to get HE-500's too, I'd use the velour there though.  I still keep considering it.  Part of me thinks that since i like HE-400 so much I'd probably love to have HE-500 to accompany it.  The other part of me thinks that since I like HE-400 so much, I don't really need HE-500 smily_headphones1.gif

 

I don't find them complimentary, particularly with the velours on. The d2k makes much more of a complimentary hp to me.

post #162 of 17595

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

 

 

I don't find them complimentary, particularly with the velours on. The d2k makes much more of a complimentary hp to me.

 

How do you find them non-complimentary.  I'd think a more laid back mids centric headphone woud compiment a balanced dark headphone.

post #163 of 17595
Thread Starter 

Yes, but you're still talking about two planars made by the same company using the exact same design. When I look at something to complement another headphone I'm looking for something that provides a very different experience. Is there measurable differences between the 400 and 500? Of course. But I like to own two headphones that give me both sides of the spectrum. The 400 and 500 are not "different" enough for me to call them complementary.


Edited by MattTCG - 4/23/12 at 4:32pm
post #164 of 17595

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

 

 

By the way, velour as warmer than pleather?  I've spent many, many, many hours with HD650's on in very high heat, and it was no more uncomfortable than I'd expect a headphone to be in the heat.  I don't think I'd want to try that with the pleather.  In fact other pleather type headphones (PXC-450, MDR-7506) seemed quite a bit hotter.

 

Still, I like the look and feel with HE-400 and pleather.  If I were to get HE-500's too, I'd use the velour there though.  I still keep considering it.  Part of me thinks that since i like HE-400 so much I'd probably love to have HE-500 to accompany it.  The other part of me thinks that since I like HE-400 so much, I don't really need HE-500 smily_headphones1.gif

 

For me, yes, the velour tends to be more uncomfortable from a warmth sense on the ears.  I've tried the velour route and for me, it just didn't work.  I guess we all respond differently to the various materials.

 

I wish I had my HE-400s.  Still no shipping notice, yet.  Getting replacements is not fun. If there's anything that I would tell Dr. Fang of HifiMAN is that he should enjoy the nice wave that he's riding now.  If people start to read the threads where they would see how long people are kept in the lurch, and the hassle of the Chinese new year, people might look elsewhere.  Then again, great things are worth waiting for.

post #165 of 17595
Thread Starter 

I'm still loving the velour with the he400. I haven't taken them off since I got them in. I just don't see going to pleather any time soon. I love the sound and comfort of the velour. They are slightly more stuffy than the pleather but only a touch. I may change my mind once the hot weather sets in, but for the now I'm really enjoying them!!

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