Hey guys, just got the HE 400. I have to say that they are the best pair of over ears I've owned. Traded leathers for velours and haven't tried leather yet. For over ears, they are the best I got. But all I have to compare it to atm is my jh16's so ill post amateur impressions for those curious. Im just running it through my fiio x5 + jds labs c5 amp:
Highs: The highs are either raised or im just used to the jh16's rolled back treble. So this is what they mean by fatigue, finally got it haha. I'll get used to it though because it's not too bad. Its definitely more sibilant than the 16's. Also sounds a bit tinny, and you can hear the sharp 'S's in the high hats and words with 's' in them. I hope it 'burns in' and goes away.
Mids: Female vocals sound a little more 'female' than on the jh16's. I think this is what they call 'tonality' which is slightly better than the jh16's. Sometimes the jh16's sound a little too thick in this area, but the he-400s are just right in comparison. I also thought the mids would be horribly recessed like I've read many times through these forums. Surprisingly, it doesn't sound like it at all!
Lows: Definitely not bass head headphones. And some have described the bass as 'flat' and I would have to agree. Its bass does exist though, and I think should do the job for non-bass heads. It goes pretty deep. In comparison though, the jh16's have about 10x the bass power and detail. bass speed seems to be on equal footing. All in all though, the bass quantity isn't where I'd hoped, but it is still good enough to satisfy me when listening to tracks other than electronic/hip hop. I can get more bass if I squeeze the cups against my head hard enough too.
Distortion: You can listen to it pretty loudly, but anything with bass will distort and you'll have to turn it down unfortunately. And if you're thinking about eq-ing bass, just forget about it. Guaranteed distortion even at low levels. In comparison, the jh16's can go up till your ears bleed and not distort.
Details: Its a step more detailed than my 16's. Still a plus. It sounds more organic than my 16's too, not like the 16's are bad though.
Sound stage: It's surprisingly maybe just a hair bigger than the jh16's. That either speaks alot for the 16's or the he-400 stage is just meh.
Resonance: This is what I noticed right away coming from my jh16's to the he-400's. Even though these are open back, I can hear the sound echo off the protective grill. It took a few minutes to get used to, but if I concentrate, it'll still bother me. It's not bad though because it's heaven compared to closed end headphones. Surprisingly, the jh16's have NONE of that resonance/ echoey sound even though it is completely sealed. However, you won't notice this if you come from closed headphones/earbuds.
Comfort: Okay, the jh16's beat it hands down because they're ciems. But I'm sure you all knew that. But anyway, people say that it's too tight, but I would actually like it a little tighter. I got a big head too, nearly tore my mom in half when I was born.
I know its an unfair comparison, seeing that the he-400s are $300, and the jh16's $1300. But the HE-400 holds its own very well against the jh16's and even traded a few blows. If the HE-400 was able to put out as much bass as the jh16's, they would definitely be my go-to's. For those that don't care about gobs of bass, or don't mind just a smidge of sibilance, these will definitely be your go-to's.
Also this was done with less than hour of use so my impressions will probably favor the he400 more later. At least I don't hate it out of the box like I did my jh16's, which is very promising. These will be my desktop headphones, used in conjunction with my oculus rift head set. I'd use my jh16's instead but the he400 cables are alot more durable than my custom silver iem cables.