You mean you took off the ear pads and removed the thin acoustic transparent material that covers the planar elements? Aren't you worried you'll damage the drivers? I think that at the very least would void the HiFiMAN warranty. Listening to Blood on the Tracks...
**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 1151
Gear mentioned in this thread:
Who are you directing that towards? If it's me, I bought my pair off someone and they didn't include the black cloths in the sale. I just emailed Hifiman about ordering some and the left side blue headband piece that is damaged. Waiting on a response.
It's not like removing grills off of loudspeakers. Your ears are inches away and that fabric is acoustically transparent. One thing I''ve never been able to use and that's ear buds and in-ear devices. I was on a commuter train and I counted 23 people mostly with iPods and those wonderful $5 ear buds that come stock. I put on a pair of Sennheiser PX-100's and people actually complained to the point the conductor told me to turn 'em down or off. HE-400's would give people a stroke they're so loud. I imagine any planar or electrostatic would do the same since basically they're dipoles that send sound in both directions equally. Magnaplanar and electrostatic speakers like Martin Logan's and Magnepan's have to have some serious acoustic treatment employed in their sound rooms. ASC Tube Traps and the like which ain't cheap. You can drop 5 large easily. That's why the vast majority of super high-end loudspeakers like Wilson and Rockport are dynamic. Us headphone users avoid that, but it's really almost impossible to re-create a live performance with headphones, but there are advantages. Like cost, space (you need a dedicated sound room. I had a friend who's wife insisted on placing a flower pot on his Phase Tech. speakers.) .
Hey has anybody heard the $12,000 Sennheiser Electrostatics that came out years ago. With the built in tube DAC?.
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My point is relevant, given that I was commenting about a very specific thing you mentioned.. You said you need at least 700mW to get your money's worth with the HE-400. The X3 puts out 270mw at 32ohm, and the HE-400 is more demanding than that. I know I enjoy the HE-400 given this combo, and I seriously doubt I'm the only one either. My point was that I disagree with your assessment of needing 700mW minimum.
Xonar STX drives them well enough and is about 650mw into the HE400, even my sansa clip+ sounds alright with them, the HE400 were designed to be usable with low power.
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I have to disagree:
my LG G2, or my Laptop also can drive the HE400 loud enough, the iBasso DX90 also can. But they don't drive these cans with enough authority. Loudness is not everything. Orthos love power, the more they get the better.
He only said they were designed to be USABLE with low power, not that they were optimized for use without an amp. Any headphone should sound better with amplification, but it isn't always necessary.