Originally Posted by money4me247
HE400 @$300 during black friday was a steal & I am really happy that I pulled the trigger on that purchase. I have mine paired w/ the $60 Bravo V3 tube amp, and it's performing quite well. Maybe thinking about upgrading or getting a DAC in the future, but I'm happy w/ my set-up for now. I feel like a decent entry-level amp+DAC will run you around $200, so you might as well get $200+ headphones to pair w/ em lol
what kind of set-up do you have w/ your HE400s?
I used a laptop initially - with a realtek HD setup that was much better than an old Soundblaster X-Fi and/or Via chipset that I had. By better I mean, just an all around more "neutral" sound with great detail and very minimal noise. It covered all my listening needs except for high dynamic range recordings (movies, games, some music).
When I decided I could use more power, I opted for the JDS O2 amp and separate ODAC - was the best combo I could find with a budget set at around $200 (actual total was about $320, now can be had for about $280). I didn't really NEED the ODAC, but having used it for some time now I do think it is worth it - having a totally black background for the first time ever has been very cool. The O2 amp is awesome and worked great with the realtek chipset but really does a little better with the 2V source that is the ODAC. The HE-400 also scaled with the purchases, so that was a big plus (better all-around sound and more volume than I can stand 90% of the time). Still hard to imagine I spent that much on a 1/2 watt amp (as good as it is), when a couple years ago I bought a 300 watt Alpine Class D to replace one that had blown up in my car for about $150.
Since I originally made my purchases a few very good high-value amps have come out or I have discovered others but I am very satisfied with what I have - maybe after a few years I'll get bored and look for some new phones'. But I really think planars are where its at, and I would probably want them again. When and if Hifiman producers an HE-400 successor, then I am sure I will be temped. The planars seem to be getting better with every generation.