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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 1118

post #16756 of 21669
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marximus View Post
 

I just got the HE-400s in today, and I like the aesthetics, as well as the depth of the earpads.  But the most important factor, the sound, seems different from most of the impressions I've read.  They sound distant and veiled, even compared to my HD 558s.  Is this because they're new?  The manual recommended 150 hours of burn-in.

 

I had the same issue.  Highs were harsh, sounded like I was in a tunnel, and there was no soundstage, and bass was actually deeper but lower in intensity than the 650's, so I returned them.  I was told mods can fix some of those issues but I couldn't be bothered to cut apart my brand new headphones.  If you like the sennheiser sound (open, airy, warm, COMFORTABLE, LIGHT, with a huge soundstage), it's hard to warm up to cans like these he-400's.  For the price, they're by no means bad cans.  Great cans actually.  The sound just doesn't suit my taste.

post #16757 of 21669

Straight out of the box the highs were brittle and the bass was boomy. After 100 hours of break-in tones off the Ayre Acoustics disc it was like a completely different headphone. The high end was smooth and accurate and the bass was tight and really delivered a wonderful sound without any sloppy sound they were right out of the box. I think this goes down to personal preference. If you like the more expensive Sennheisers, then that the one for you. I like the HE-400's and that's the one for me. I had AKG K702's for 3 years and the HiFiMan was like a revelation. Sorry to all you AKG 701/702 users, but the HE-400's blew them away. At least IMHO.

post #16758 of 21669

I'm warming up to them a little.  I think I'll give them another week and see what I think then.  I do think that instruments on the 400s sound more natural than on the 558s (which I think is an important distinction), even if they sound a little distant.

post #16759 of 21669

I think when it come to headphones in this price range it's a matter of personal preference. I'd take the Pepsi Challenge with any headphone including the Sennheiser 600/650's.

post #16760 of 21669

DF checking in. I just pulled the trigger on a pair of HE-400s. I'm hoping these will be a good add on to my current collection

post #16761 of 21669
Thread Starter 

^^ Congrats and enjoy. At the current price they are pretty tough to beat. 

post #16762 of 21669
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marximus View Post
 

I'm warming up to them a little.  I think I'll give them another week and see what I think then.  I do think that instruments on the 400s sound more natural than on the 558s (which I think is an important distinction), even if they sound a little distant.

My first impressions were similar.

Not sure If i got used to them or if they burned in but now I dont feel like they are laid back or distant.

 

Are you using any amp? These HP do benefit from a amp that can output about 660-900 mW power.

post #16763 of 21669

oof, this is a helluva long thread.

 

I'm looking to upgrade from the ATH-M50. I'm considering these since Amazon has them for $300, which is apparently a good deal. I was also considering the AT-AD900X as my first open-back headphones. Driving them off my computer at least for now with a Fiio E17. I listen to a lot of rock, metal, and electronic music. This wouldn't be for super-critical symphonic listening, but I want something accurate. I like powerful, accurate, fast bass. Something that will work with the super lows of Drum & Bass, but also rock and metal.

 

I'm a little confused, because the reviews of these headphones are all over the place. Some say they have no sound stage. Some say they are super sibilant and painful to use. Some say they're the best thing you can get for $300. 

 

Any advice?

post #16764 of 21669
Quote:
Originally Posted by inertianinja View Post

oof, this is a helluva long thread.

I'm looking to upgrade from the ATH-M50. I'm considering these since Amazon has them for $300, which is apparently a good deal. I was also considering the AT-AD900X as my first open-back headphones. Driving them off my computer at least for now with a Fiio E17. I listen to a lot of rock, metal, and electronic music. This wouldn't be for super-critical symphonic listening, but I want something accurate. I like powerful, accurate, fast bass. Something that will work with the super lows of Drum & Bass, but also rock and metal.

I'm a little confused, because the reviews of these headphones are all over the place. Some say they have no sound stage. Some say they are super sibilant and painful to use. Some say they're the best thing you can get for $300. 

Any advice?

It's not a perfect headphone in stock form. The treble spikes are harsh but can be alleviated with Jergpads and EQ. The soundstage isn't particularly wide for an open can but it has very good depth and imaging. It's great for electronic music. The E17 should be sufficient to drive them.
post #16765 of 21669
Quote:
Originally Posted by inertianinja View Post
 

oof, this is a helluva long thread.

 

I'm looking to upgrade from the ATH-M50. I'm considering these since Amazon has them for $300, which is apparently a good deal. I was also considering the AT-AD900X as my first open-back headphones. Driving them off my computer at least for now with a Fiio E17. I listen to a lot of rock, metal, and electronic music. This wouldn't be for super-critical symphonic listening, but I want something accurate. I like powerful, accurate, fast bass. Something that will work with the super lows of Drum & Bass, but also rock and metal.

 

I'm a little confused, because the reviews of these headphones are all over the place. Some say they have no sound stage. Some say they are super sibilant and painful to use. Some say they're the best thing you can get for $300. 

 

Any advice?


I'll give you my quick thoughts. First everyone hears differently and wants different things. It's very hard to get decent impressions from what others say. If you get these from Amazon you have a return policy so there is no risk there. I got mine there as well.

 

I don't listen to a lot of Rock, Metal or DNB but I think you would like these for those styles. The lows are very good, but imho you need an amp. I own currently the HE-400's, HD650's, MA900's, DT770's (600 ohm) and amperiors. I'm using them all with a Fiio X3 or Music Streamer II/Asgard 2 combo.

 

The HE-400's can be very nice with some work. First, you really need to try the velour ear pads. They do make a slight difference and get rid of some of the tunnely effect I hated about the stock pads. Second, they need eq. They are sibilant to my ears at you have to drop 10k down about 6db or so to get rid of this very obvious harshness. Ther other thing is the mid range is just screwy. You have to play with eq settings to get it right and it doesn't stay right. I find that I am messing with eq a lot with theses headphones. That's the bad news, you have to work to make them sound decent. The good news is that they take eq VERY well. Very slight changes are immediately apparent. I still feel when listening to these headphones though that they are a bit boring. Once in awhile they will blow me away on something, but most of the time they are 'ok'.

 

The HD650's on the other hand (which I got after the HE-400's) sound great to me every time I put them on. No eq needed etc. They don't go as deep with bass as the HE-400's but the headphone just sounds musical and balanced to me. The HE-400 kind of has, great lows, messed up mids, weird sibilance around 10k and then other treble is good. The HD650 allows me to clearly hear separation in layered vocal harmonies that I have to strain to pick out on the HE-400. Is it because the HD650 has more detail in the mids? or because it produces less highs and lows that my ears don't get overloaded with extra info allowing me to hear the mids better? I don't know..just that details are more apparent to me on the Sennheiser most, but not all of the time.

 

Regarding that AD900x, I've never heard it but I did own an a900x...and I just ordered another pair last night! The a900x seemed to have a more 3 dimensional soundstage than the HD650 and also the HE-400. I regret getting rid of the pair I had so I'm buying another. It's hard to 'remember' exactly what headphones sound like and compare them to ones you have now, but when I get it I'll have all 3 again to compare. TBH when I got the HE-400 my first impressions were 'there's no sound stage, boring, etc". I still feel the sound stage is minimal. The HD650 I feel has a bit better sound stage but from memory the a900x is a LOT bigger. Like I said, memory is tricky but when mine arrive I'll be able to test again!..:)

post #16766 of 21669
Quote:
Originally Posted by Za Warudo View Post


It's not a perfect headphone in stock form. The treble spikes are harsh but can be alleviated with Jergpads and EQ. The soundstage isn't particularly wide for an open can but it has very good depth and imaging. It's great for electronic music. The E17 should be sufficient to drive them.

 

Is there a better choice this price point?

 

Also - I looked at the Jergpads tutorial - it's more DIY than I would want to get into. I see that there are $10 velour pads available on sites like head-direct. Good enough?

post #16767 of 21669
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marximus View Post
 

I just got the HE-400s in today, and I like the aesthetics, as well as the depth of the earpads.  But the most important factor, the sound, seems different from most of the impressions I've read.  They sound distant and veiled, even compared to my HD 558s.  Is this because they're new?  The manual recommended 150 hours of burn-in.


I'm with you. Aesthetics are awesome on the headphone but they DO sound veiled a lot of the time. I have a love hate with them..:) I'm constantly tweaking around in the mids to get it to sound, well like my HD650.

 

This may be a dumb impression but I think the HE-400's shine for me on old rock recordings from the 60's - 70's. Beatles, Hendrix etc. They also shine sometimes for classical for me, which I did not expect.

 

For more up to date pop/rock, vocal music etc I much prefer the HD-650's FWIW.

post #16768 of 21669
Quote:
Originally Posted by Citizen13469 View Post
 


I'll give you my quick thoughts. First everyone hears differently and wants different things. It's very hard to get decent impressions from what others say. If you get these from Amazon you have a return policy so there is no risk there. I got mine there as well.

 

I don't listen to a lot of Rock, Metal or DNB but I think you would like these for those styles. The lows are very good, but imho you need an amp. I own currently the HE-400's, HD650's, MA900's, DT770's (600 ohm) and amperiors. I'm using them all with a Fiio X3 or Music Streamer II/Asgard 2 combo.

 

The HE-400's can be very nice with some work. First, you really need to try the velour ear pads. They do make a slight difference and get rid of some of the tunnely effect I hated about the stock pads. Second, they need eq. They are sibilant to my ears at you have to drop 10k down about 6db or so to get rid of this very obvious harshness. Ther other thing is the mid range is just screwy. You have to play with eq settings to get it right and it doesn't stay right. I find that I am messing with eq a lot with theses headphones. That's the bad news, you have to work to make them sound decent. The good news is that they take eq VERY well. Very slight changes are immediately apparent. I still feel when listening to these headphones though that they are a bit boring. Once in awhile they will blow me away on something, but most of the time they are 'ok'.

 

The HD650's on the other hand (which I got after the HE-400's) sound great to me every time I put them on. No eq needed etc. They don't go as deep with bass as the HE-400's but the headphone just sounds musical and balanced to me. The HE-400 kind of has, great lows, messed up mids, weird sibilance around 10k and then other treble is good. The HD650 allows me to clearly hear separation in layered vocal harmonies that I have to strain to pick out on the HE-400. Is it because the HD650 has more detail in the mids? or because it produces less highs and lows that my ears don't get overloaded with extra info allowing me to hear the mids better? I don't know..just that details are more apparent to me on the Sennheiser most, but not all of the time.

 

Regarding that AD900x, I've never heard it but I did own an a900x...and I just ordered another pair last night! The a900x seemed to have a more 3 dimensional soundstage than the HD650 and also the HE-400. I regret getting rid of the pair I had so I'm buying another. It's hard to 'remember' exactly what headphones sound like and compare them to ones you have now, but when I get it I'll have all 3 again to compare. TBH when I got the HE-400 my first impressions were 'there's no sound stage, boring, etc". I still feel the sound stage is minimal. The HD650 I feel has a bit better sound stage but from memory the a900x is a LOT bigger. Like I said, memory is tricky but when mine arrive I'll be able to test again!..:)

 

Isn't the A900x a closed-back? 

 

I see that the HD650 is significantly more expensive - HE-400 is at the top of my range right now. I'm a little surprised at how fiddly these seem to be. Maybe I'd be in over my head.

post #16769 of 21669
Quote:
Originally Posted by inertianinja View Post
 

 

Is there a better choice this price point?

 

Also - I looked at the Jergpads tutorial - it's more DIY than I would want to get into. I see that there are $10 velour pads available on sites like head-direct. Good enough?


$10 pads are worth it in my opinion. At the $300 point? Well you can wait and find HD650's around $330 and up. You can get the a900x for about $180 at Best Buy right now. I won't say the a900x is better because I'm going from memory but when my new pair arrive I'll be able to A/B them to my hearts content.

 

Are you ok with trying them from Amazon? There is no restocking fee so you have nothing to lose but I know some people don't want the hassle of returning anything. I don't think you can go terribly 'wrong' with the HE-400.

 

One thing though, what amp?

post #16770 of 21669
Quote:
Originally Posted by inertianinja View Post
 

 

Is there a better choice this price point?

 

Also - I looked at the Jergpads tutorial - it's more DIY than I would want to get into. I see that there are $10 velour pads available on sites like head-direct. Good enough?

 

First and foremost, try the HE-400 stock and see what you think.  A lot of people feel the stock pads need to be replaced with Jergpads or velour, but like me, you very well may enjoy the stock pads.  There is no point in worrying about the pads until you've heard the stock and decide whether or not you like them.

 

The main question you should always ask yourself is "Am I happy with what I hear?"  If the answer's yes, then take the time to enjoy what you've bought, listen to some great music, and after a bit consider if you want to improve on what you have or if you're happy with where you are.

 

I hope you love the HE-400, I think they're a fantastic headphone with some great potential.

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