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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 1153

post #17281 of 21862
Thread Starter 

Sorry, I misunderstood you. It will make no difference. 

post #17282 of 21862

Okay, thanks.

Edited by sammy123 - 5/18/14 at 1:14pm
post #17283 of 21862
Thread Starter 

You might pm jerg on this one as he is our resident expert.

post #17284 of 21862
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

You might pm jerg on this one as he is our resident expert.

Its a new mounting ring used in he-560. I guess this latest batch came with those. Jerg said should be acoustically better than the old one.


I did the mod now and the treble is much smoother now. Regarding my previous statement, i did some a/b testing and i indeed found velours to have smallest soundstage and worst treble. Stock pleathers had larger soundstage and smoother treble to my ears.


Do i leave spacers out of the pads? i left them out for now, but my ears are touching the dust cover. Slightly irritating, i guess ill do velour top and vent mod too, if spacers are a no go.


edit: nvm i shouldnt put them on. Should have read jergpad mod thread more carefully.

Edited by sammy123 - 5/15/14 at 10:11am
post #17285 of 21862
Originally Posted by rovopio View Post



i need some advice from hifiman he-400 users...

i've been using grado sr60 for many many years now... i'm going to upgrade, and my clear choice goes to shure 940 initially. but after reading some more and found out that everybody and their dogs and their dog's friends have issues about the headbands... i'm starting to look at other options as well...


for many reasons, my current situations will only allow me to have 1 pair of headphones for the foreseeable future (3 to 4 years time). and this headphone will most likely be my only source of entertainment for that period of time (there will be no TV no Games no Bluray for me, just this future headphone / my old grado SR60 / and an audio player).


the headphones will be used specifically for these genres... (female vocals / indie folk / jazz / accoustics / strings).


so my consideration only comes to 2 things,

A) it has to be an upgrade in sound compared to my grado sr60

B) it have to last long (which i initially thought was a non-issue because of my daily-beaten yet still very much alive grado)


compare to other brands... hifiman he-400 is very nicely priced here, i can get it for ~$370, is it a good headphone to consider as my alternative of shure 940...?

from reading the reviews i've heard that he-400 must be driven with an amp. is that true?

i think i can set aside ~$130~$150 for an amp... the only option available for that price here is JDSLabs Objective2 and Fiio E12, will this be sufficient?

i won't buy DAC for at least a year or two though... so will the amp be enough to drive he-400 and is it a good option for me to consider?


ps: i can't audition the he-400 so i'm asking here... :)




Given the genres you like, the HE-400 would probably be a great choice. HOWEVER, not everyone seems to love them for female vocals. IMO the HE-400 are unforgiving, and a lot of female vocals are "hot" (loud and sibilant). The HEs will reveal that more often than not. But they can amaze with Jazz and similar genres. Overall, they sound excellent to my ears, very high end in many ways. They are a class above the Grados for sure.


Alternatives I'd consider right now in the ~$300 range are the new NADs or Focal Spirit Pros. They have great extension also and are very neutral, which I think would improve on some things (particularly vocals). They are dynamic phones, however, and have more distortion in the bass (Planars seem to always provide very-low distortion bass which I think is part of their "magic"). But I am not sure the HE-400s are easily beaten in any area really, except the upper treble regions / staging areas. They are not nuetral, but come pretty close.


In terms of longevity, I am sure they will last. There has been some issue with the cord jackets peeling for me and some others. Another issue is comfort - for the most part, they are less comfortable than my other phones. Also, they get fatiguing at times. So, if you wear for very long sessions, they may not suit you as well. I struggle in particular with glare in piano music, and recordings that make too much use of reverb. If you listen to a lot of music with those things going on they are less than ideal.


Both the amps you mention are good amps. I lean toward the O2. You can also add the Schiit Magni ($100 plus cables / adapters). I'd shy away from the Fiio myself, as I think you would appreciate a bit more power. You don't NEED a DAC, unless your computer / phone / Mp3 / CD players etc. sounds like complete garbage. Generally speaking, I think my ODAC sounds better than my other equipment, but not by a whole lot. Mainly, it is the complete absence of any background "hiss" that makes it awesome to my ears.

post #17286 of 21862

So, I'm trying to figure out if the Magni or the Vali would be a better pairing for the 400. To further the argument, I find the 400 unamped to have treble that doesn't quite bother me yet, and bass that is a little strong. I just wish I could bring out the upper mids a bit more. anyways, people call the Magni lean sounding, which I guess means less bass, more treble? and Vali is smooth. idk, which do you guys think would be a better fit?

post #17287 of 21862

The Magni will probably give you less bass as well as tighter bass than whatever you're hooked up to, but it will also bring out the treble a good bit.  If the treble doesn't bother you right now then you could try the Magni.

post #17288 of 21862

Hmmmm... If the Vali doesn't increase the bass quantity, I think it might be the choice here. As I said, the treble doesn't QUITE bother me yet. If it was brought out by the amp, I think it might be too much. Also considering a future side-grade to Grado or AKG headphones, so maybe tubes fit my future better?

post #17289 of 21862

Thing is, I find the Magni is pretty frequently recommended to HE-400 owners, but I don't understand why if it increases the treble (which seems to be the biggest complaint).

post #17290 of 21862

Well it doesn't really increase the treble too much, it's not a terribly colored amp.  What it does do is make the treble cleaner and more resolving, which can seem like it adds treble.  

post #17291 of 21862

sorry to post so many times

can anyone who's had experience with both amps tell me your impressions with the HE-400? Also, was there any hiss with either? Also, if one brings the vocals forward at all PLEASE let me know :P

Thanks guys, Head-Fi'ers rock

PS, not 100% critical, but if one seems synergistic with more headphones (in your experience) that'd be good to know too

Edited by coletrain104 - 5/18/14 at 8:05pm
post #17292 of 21862
Vali owner here, the HE-400 pairs with the Vali quite nicely IMO. The bass has really nice slam an drums have an equally satisfying snap to them. The highs on the HE-400 will still remain quite forward and aggressive but they won't be overly edgy nor harsh. The Vali has a nice tendency of presenting a smooth treble without sacrificing air. I really gush over what the Vali can do.
post #17293 of 21862
Thread Starter 

+1 the Vali is a very good amp for the price...very good. 

post #17294 of 21862

Mmkay, guess its top on the "when I have money" list. 

post #17295 of 21862

How does the Vali compare to the Magni with the HE-400? I am currently unimpressed by the Modi+Magni with HE400, i know the headphones can do much more but not sure which direction to go amp wise. 

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