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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 1159

post #17371 of 19312
Thread Starter 

It will sound pretty decent. You can always upgrade to a better amp later. 

post #17372 of 19312
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post
 

^^ Props to you Beaver for your EQ work on this thread. 

 

Most praise should go towards nicholars, he imo created the best treble fix eq setting, mine is just a slight alteration to his.

post #17373 of 19312

TMRaven,

MattTCG, 

subguy812,

 

Are you sensitive to treble peaks?

 

nicholars,

TontonJoK,

 

I wouldn't like to use analog EQ to be honest, while it is impossible to use digital one as the source I am using is CDP. It's not an option for me.

So I would like to understand whether HE-400 would be a waste of money for a treble-sensitive person who's not using EQ.

I also wouldn't like to mod the brand new (and my first ones) HiFi headphones - I'd like to enjoy them out of the box.

 

I start to feel HD6xx is a lower risk..

 

amigomatt,

 

Before you started to use EQ, have you had a wish to take the headphones off your head or turn the volume down when brass instruments or female soprano start their part?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by amigomatt View Post


I listen mainly to large scale orchestral music and am a semi pro trumpeter. I can confirm your suspicions about the tizzy presentation of brass through the HE400s, but it's very recording dependent. That upper sheen can also affect string tones as well, but having EQd them, the problem no longer exists for me and the advantages of these amazing headphones do outweigh the treble issues for me. I wasn't happy with me HE400s for a while until I started using EQ.

 

Sasasd,

 

I am not sure I have the right to say that, as I don't own HE-400, but from technical point of view that's bullsh*t.

Sensitivity of HE-400 is 92dB/mW, meaning 1mW into 35 Ohm will grant you 92 dB of SPL.

 

And to reach 100dB you will only need 6,3mW, which makes amplification levels of 700-1000mW (120,4 and 122dB) useless, unless, of course, you wich to use them as speakers.

 

Here, to my mind, there is a different problem - not to buy an amp which will give you too much amplification for your headphones, otherwise you'll end up having problems while trying to adjust the volume, as there will be a HUGE difference between, say, 5o and 6o of the volume knob position.

 

But again, it just my technical opinion. I haven't had such problems and I don't own HiFiMAN yet.

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Gain (dB) = 10*log(power supplied/1mW)
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Power required (mW) = 1 (mW) * 10^((desired SPL - sensitivity)/10)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasasd View Post
 

I could get HE400s for 270 euros new. Will E10 do well enough with these phones? I see 700 mW-1000 mW output power recommendations and E10 can do only 150 mW...


Edited by U6astik - 5/25/14 at 9:39am
post #17374 of 19312
Will the dacmagic xs drive the he-400 decently? Will it provide a loud sound?
Does anyone know?
Or can anyone even guess?
post #17375 of 19312
It claims to put out 150mW, but doesn't specify into how many ohms. I'm curious if you're after it because of its portable size, if so I imagine there are better options for the $190 it costs.
post #17376 of 19312
I already bought it and cant return it. I am trying to get the most out of it. Plugging my ath-m50 to it and to a laptop's onboard audio produces the same sound quality, which is a let-down.
post #17377 of 19312
Well, it does seem to be able to do 24/192 at least. I'd worry that it'd produce an underwhelming sound with the he-400, but then again I've liked it using a Fiio E6.
post #17378 of 19312

My eagerly anticipated HE400s arrived on Friday and, after 15 hrs on and off 'burn in', I had a first listen today, with my new 'phones connected to my FiiO X5 via stock cable and pads. Tracks were from a mixed bag of Linn Studio Master classical and jazz albums.

 

I really hope further 'burn in' of the HE 400s makes a substantial difference because, to my ears, they sound pretty awful right now. Listening to the Brahms Clarinet Quintet, the woodwind solos sound shrill and harsh. And the strings sound like they're being strangled. (Solo cello moments conjured images of ducks being strangled and violin / viola not too dissimilar to a pair of kazoos.)

 

Yes, I'm trying to make light of my disappointment as I have no-one but myself to blame for this purchase. : < (

 

It's not a product fault with the X5 because it works well with my (admittedly easier to drive) Vmoda XS and RHA 750 iems. I'm pretty sure it's not an X5 power output issue either as volume is not the problem; it's currently playing a jazz trio and volume is set at exactly 75% on low gain. Plenty of oomph. But more ow factor than wow factor.

 

Fellow HE 400 impressionists; can I expect better? Soon?

 

I'm aware of replacement cable / pad options but doubt they could make the kind of difference needed to generate joyous listening. And they shouldn't be needed to 'fix' my phones; just changing timbre / colour, surely?

post #17379 of 19312
Quote:
Originally Posted by albaman View Post
 

My eagerly anticipated HE400s arrived on Friday and, after 15 hrs on and off 'burn in', I had a first listen today, with my new 'phones connected to my FiiO X5 via stock cable and pads. Tracks were from a mixed bag of Linn Studio Master classical and jazz albums.

 

I really hope further 'burn in' of the HE 400s makes a substantial difference because, to my ears, they sound pretty awful right now. Listening to the Brahms Clarinet Quintet, the woodwind solos sound shrill and harsh. And the strings sound like they're being strangled. (Solo cello moments conjured images of ducks being strangled and violin / viola not too dissimilar to a pair of kazoos.)

 

Yes, I'm trying to make light of my disappointment as I have no-one but myself to blame for this purchase. : < (

 

It's not a product fault with the X5 because it works well with my (admittedly easier to drive) Vmoda XS and RHA 750 iems. I'm pretty sure it's not an X5 power output issue either as volume is not the problem; it's currently playing a jazz trio and volume is set at exactly 75% on low gain. Plenty of oomph. But more ow factor than wow factor.

 

Fellow HE 400 impressionists; can I expect better? Soon?

 

I'm aware of replacement cable / pad options but doubt they could make the kind of difference needed to generate joyous listening. And they shouldn't be needed to 'fix' my phones; just changing timbre / colour, surely?


 I was feeling the same when i got my he 400 with the tube dac/ amp aune t1.... the sound was harsh with a fatiguing tizz in the high... I think the problem is not the he 400 per se.... its the pairing synergy with an amp and a dac.... i partially resolve the problem when i purchase the bravo ocean tube amp and the hifimediy asynchronus usb  dac.... no more fatiguing tizz and listening and the solution was not expansive.... But i was not satisfied totally.... i upgraded with the ember amp and the bushmaster dac  (battery powered) and it was marvellous.... i Now this week have purchased the silver coated cable of the he 500 and replace the stock canare cable of the he 400 with it.... The change was spectacular: more space between sound and more details...i think that the problem is not solved best by equalizing  but  by pairing the he 400 with a more synergetic amping solution and a good dac.....best regards


Edited by richard51 - 5/25/14 at 3:47pm
post #17380 of 19312

Thx Richard 51. Your suggestions are welcome and, pending more listening patience, potential solutions.

post #17381 of 19312
Quote:
Originally Posted by albaman View Post
 

Thx Richard 51. Your suggestions are welcome and, pending more listening patience,

You must not be impatient and you must know that the most important thing in this business are not only the price of the components but the synergy of the elements..... For example i have read that some people are not liking the silver coated cable of the he 500 and prefered the stock canare  cable, because for them the sound of the siver cable was thin and aggressive ... I was not sure when i have purchased this cable how it will be with the he 400... But now i know that if i would had made a pairing of this cable with for example the Aune t1 the result would have been more thin sound and aggressive tizz in the high..... This cable pairing with bushmaster and ember was very good..  Hence the problem is not the Aune t1 per se , not the cable per se, but the pairing of the two with the he 400....For me synergy is the rule...But nobody know the synergy before trying it  by himself.... For exemple the synergy between schiit magni amp and akg 701 headphone was very bad to my ears... I  have listened to them  with the bravo ocean amp the results was incredible...The problem was not the magni but the pairing of the two.... Best regards  


Edited by richard51 - 5/25/14 at 4:14pm
post #17382 of 19312
Quote:
Originally Posted by U6astik View Post
 

Sasasd,

 

I am not sure I have the right to say that, as I don't own HE-400, but from technical point of view that's bullsh*t.

Sensitivity of HE-400 is 92dB/mW, meaning 1mW into 35 Ohm will grant you 92 dB of SPL.

 

And to reach 100dB you will only need 6,3mW, which makes amplification levels of 700-1000mW (120,4 and 122dB) useless, unless, of course, you wich to use them as speakers.

 

Here, to my mind, there is a different problem - not to buy an amp which will give you too much amplification for your headphones, otherwise you'll end up having problems while trying to adjust the volume, as there will be a HUGE difference between, say, 5o and 6o of the volume knob position.

 

But again, it just my technical opinion. I haven't had such problems and I don't own HiFiMAN yet.

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Gain (dB) = 10*log(power supplied/1mW)
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Power required (mW) = 1 (mW) * 10^((desired SPL - sensitivity)/10)

 

Actually, from a technical standpoint, it is not BS. People around here just confuse power, efficiency, and volume all the time.

 

Many of the classical recordings I have are recorded with a lot more Dynamic Range than a typical pop recording. Prior to getting an O2, I couldn't typically make it to volumes I wanted with HDR recordings (probably in the 80-90 dB range but I don't know for sure). So, I have tended to end up turning my amp past 12 O'Clock when "cranking" classical through the phones. I don't have to do that with other formats unless I am trying to abuse myself.

 

I assume this is why High Dynamic Range recordings (like Movies, Video Games, Classical, whatever) tend to "need" more power.

 

As for the never ending Treble "spike" conversation on this thread, the solution is pretty simple. Try them out. Personally, I find any instrumental music to be awesome on the headphones, whether EQ is employed or not. Other than the scooped out upper midrange, the overall profile of the phones are pretty flat and the treble spike is limited in bandwidth and in a place where the majority of "music" is not occurring.

 

Personally, however, I now avoid them for anything piano - centric. With that the "ringing" tends to fatigue and distract me too much. I would look elsewhere for the perfect Classical music headphone.

 

My Next Phones I will strive for a max "neutrality". There are three out there that seem to meet that notion at the moment. But then again I want to see what Hifiman does with there new models. I think I would prefer a planar to a very good dynamic.


Edited by MrMateoHead - 5/25/14 at 4:54pm
post #17383 of 19312
In my opinion I would have to say that tube amps are much more enjoyable than solid state for the he400, to my ears it can be quite picky with amplification
post #17384 of 19312
Quote:
Actually, from a technical standpoint, it is not BS. People around here just confuse power, efficiency, and volume all the time.

 

Many of the classical recordings I have are recorded with a lot more Dynamic Range than a typical pop recording. Prior to getting an O2, I couldn't typically make it to volumes I wanted with HDR recordings (probably in the 80-90 dB range but I don't know for sure). So, I have tended to end up turning my amp past 12 O'Clock when "cranking" classical through the phones.

 

...

 

As for the never ending Treble "spike" conversation on this thread, the solution is pretty simple. Try them out.

 

MrMateoHead,

 

You wanted to emphasise the difference between the average and peak volume? I am not sure I understood. I would say that, although dynamic range of classical music may be quite large, the average volume of the classical recordings often tends to be closer to the peak volume levels. I also doubt somebody would be comfortable listening to fortissimo on 115-120dB.

 

So you do think that headphones with high sensitivity (like HE-400) will benefit from power levels of appr. 1000mW?

And you think there is no risk of loosing control over the headphones using high power amplifier?

 

I did not mean to say that the user will be okay with extremely low levels of power, just wanted to mention that extreme levels of power into highly-sensitive headphones are useless.

 

Unfortunately, I can't try the headphones. The HiFiman dealerships in UK are weirdly situated in small towns far from London and the getting there is not easy. So I only have others people opinion as a reference for HiFiman products.

post #17385 of 19312
Quote:
Originally Posted by U6astik View Post
 

 

MrMateoHead,

 

1) You wanted to emphasise the difference between the average and peak volume? I am not sure I understood. I would say that, although dynamic range of classical music may be quite large, the average volume of the classical recordings often tends to be closer to the peak volume levels. I also doubt somebody would be comfortable listening to fortissimo on 115-120dB.

 

2) So you do think that headphones with high sensitivity (like HE-400) will benefit from power levels of appr. 1000mW?

And you think there is no risk of loosing control over the headphones using high power amplifier?

 

I did not mean to say that the user will be okay with extremely low levels of power, just wanted to mention that extreme levels of power into highly-sensitive headphones are useless.

 

3) Unfortunately, I can't try the headphones. The HiFiman dealerships in UK are weirdly situated in small towns far from London and the getting there is not easy. So I only have others people opinion as a reference for HiFiman products.

1) Basically. Recordings are all over the place, so I don't know about "average volume" and classical music (which is not my main genre and which varies plenty in 'average volume levels' in my experience). Power can help.

 

2) I made no claim about "benefits" of power, or a "need" for X mWs. I am not sure how one "loses control" over a headphone via an amp. If you are referring to distortion, some manufacturers publish power handling / distortion figures for headphones and/or amps and I would use it as a guide if I could. The O2 is capable of Approximately 500 mWs into 50 Ohms. That has generally been more than enough, in my experience, to drive the HE-400s. But I have found some instances when more power could be useful. For example, when listening to a HDR recording stored on a low-voltage source (like my laptop). In those cases I need high gain AND most of the power on tap.

 

In any case, I err on "too much" rather than "too little" power. I've owned many speakers, and never blown a pair yet hooking them into capable amps. My ears typically wuss out long before my speakers do and I keep volume levels reasonable 90% of the time.

 

Would I advocate someone purchase a $1,000 dollar 5 watt headphone amp for their 90+dB sensitivity headphones? Heck no. I'd rather spend big on speakers than on power.

 

3) I bought them without listening first. I was happy with them. If you listen only to classical, I do not think you will find them "ideal". That is my 2 cents.

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