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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 1192

post #17866 of 18063

The he-400's are not very forgiving with harsh treble sources but I find them very engaging to listen to for long periods of time.  I haven't listened to the dt990's but my understanding is they are a BASS heavy headphone, so if you find them treble heavy, it's no wonder you're having trouble with the he-400's.  With that approach, you'll probably find MOST headphones treble heavy.  Planar headphones are not for bassheads, they generally offer a balanced sound with very high clarity due to their inherent low mass drivers.  But great sound is in the ear of the beholder so maybe you need a super bass heavy can to be happy.  I hope you find the right cans.

post #17867 of 18063
Quote:
Originally Posted by gahung View Post


It's actually a lot better that you linked the YouTube here. So, as a he400 and dt990 owner, I would say for the first 3 songs you may like the HE400 better because you will be surprised by the instrument separation and the punchy base. I am not saying 990s can't do well for these songs but I feel like the 990s is too "polite" for all the first three songs. Let me say it another way, dt990 is like a mid age gentleman and HE400 is a energetic teenager. They give you different feelings but have a similar sound signature. However, I think dt990 can handle classical better even though I think both are not good enough for it.
For amps, I really suggest you to think and listen before you buy one. I don't know why the trend here is when people asking for an amp, people always says Schiit especially for the low end. To be honest, I don't think they are that good compared to people's comment. If you can find a place to try out different amps I strongly suggest you to choose by you ears but to someone who only have had one amp that they think it's the best in the world (Schiit fans don't hate me. I am a schiit owner too). IMO, neither the Asgard 2 nor the lyr pairs good with he400 so I assume the lower end will be worse. For high impedance dt990 a OTL tube amp will be your choice.
They are both good phones but I keep my he400 after all.

I tend to listen to the first 3 song's genres the most so hearing that the HE400 seems to be better with those is a big plus. I've read many reviews saying they were more fun and your comment helps solidify my choice! Sadly in my town their isn't a truly dedicated audio store that deals with amps for headphones (everything here that I have found seem to be about loud sound systems). Even our dedicated instrument/music stores have next to nothing in amp selection :(. Because of this I'm stuck with either ordering online or taking a long drive to Jacksonville or Orlando so ordering online seems to be the best bet for me. Since I'm pretty set on the 400's I'm now stuck on the amp... figures! Anything in the $200-250 range you recommend checking out? I would love a tube amp (I think it's simply because of how gorgeous they look) but SS is totally fine.

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by coletrain104 View Post
 

If you want to tone down the treble, I felt like the focuspads did that well. I also go a Vali and Modi to pair with them, and they don't sound harsh at all. I would say tubes are a good idea, and if you want a nicer tube amp, I haven't tried any but would love to hear your impressions if you get one. Focuspads are pretty awesome though. Also, Amazon has 'open box' HE-400s for $250. Happy listening :)

I've been reading a ton about the focuspads! I might give them a try one day! If I get a tube amp I'll definitely do my best to write up a nice review on how I think it paired with the HE400s. Keep in mind the only headphone amp to compare it against is my friends FiiO (I believe the e10).


Edited by GreenMachine - 8/11/14 at 10:27am
post #17868 of 18063
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenMachine View Post
 

Feel like this would be a perfect place to ask my question!

I'm currently stuck between these or the DT990s (600 or 250ohm, I couldn't tell the difference on the amp at the store) for a first good set of cans. I've been reading and obsessing over both for the last couple weeks trying to decide on one or the other. I was able to try out the 990s a few days ago and thought I was sold but they seemed to be lacking what I look for in the bass range. I'm looking at the 400's now because from all I've read, they sound like they are some of the best open headphones for bass, as I tend to be a bit of a bass head. But I've been reading that the 400's tend to have a pronounced treble but if it really isn't much more than the 990s I can easily live with it and I'm not to terribly worried about messing with EQ (been doing that for 15 of my short 22 years on my home sound systems) to tone things down.

What is the treble like in these compared to the 990s?
Any durability issues? I've read older threads from 2012 about issues with the drivers but it sounded like Hifiman has fixed that problem.

And one more question:

What kind of AMP would one recommend for the 400s? I've read a lot about people enjoying these with the Vali/Modi combo but I'm willing to drop a little extra on a decent tube amp (I've always wanted one!).
I have my eyes on the Project Sunrise II or III http://www.garage1217.com/garage1217_diy_tube_headphone_amplifiers_002.htm
Or maybe a Little Dot MKII or MKIII

Any help is greatly appreciated!


I owned the DT-990 250 ohm and used both it and the HE-400 with the Little Dot MKIII. 

IMO:

- The HE-400 has much deeper, tighter, snappier bass than the DT-990. The DT-990 has more midbass emphasis than the HE-400, but it doesn't have the same level of texture or extension. 
- The HE-400 has a harsher treble spike than the DT-990, but it's not a huge difference. EQ can take care of it. 
- I would not recommend the MKIII for the HE-400s. It's a little thick in the bass, which detracts from the HE-400's fast, tactile bass. Also, the MKIII doesn't have quite enough power for the HE-400. It would occasionally clip at high volumes, but it's fine at regular volumes. 
- I haven't heard the Sunrise, but I have an Ember and it pairs very well with the HE-400 IMO. My only complaint is that the Ember is so powerful--the volume knob is extremely sensitive. 

post #17869 of 18063
If you want a 'cheap' tube amp... Get a hybrid. It's hard/expensive to correctly design tube-only amps at that price point, and OTL's can't put enough current into these cans.
post #17870 of 18063
post #17871 of 18063

First off thanks for all the advice and tips, everyone!

@manbear Glad to read yet another person who has tried both and seems to prefer the HE400's over the 990! So proabably a no go on the MKIII then! And well I've contacted the guys at Garage1217 to see what they say about the sunrise powering planar headphones. Thanks for the comparison between the two!

@jodgey4 Yeah I've noticed that the hybrids seem to be more popular than the tubes at my price range. I'll see what happens with the sunrise and go from there!

@Tetonpowskier That's the exact thread that threw me off of the 990's lol!

@nolossaudioguy Yeah the reason I'm going after the HE400's is that they seem to be super engaging to listen too. Most of the reviews I've read have said they could listen to them without trouble for hours on end and loved every minute! Only reason I'm not going for a super bass heavy is because they tend to always overpower the rest of the song and I'm keeping with open headphones because I love the soundstage and the fact I can hear what's going on around me!

@coletrain104 Just saw your edit about the Mad Dogs and they seem super appealing. I'll keep them in mind when I'm looking for a closed can for walking around campus!

post #17872 of 18063


I have a Sunrise III. It drives the HE 400 just fine, I really like the pairing. I can't go into details that some do describing nuances, but the amp never runs out of juice with the 400s.. at least with volumes that my ears can stand. It seems very "musical" to me and depending on the tube used you can go a long way towards taming the sibilance that some do not like on certain songs.  Be aware though that you can get into the tube rolling "disease" with the Sunrise. But that will be true with any of the hybrids. I have close to 60 tubes. Many I  have not even had a chance to use. Too much compulsive behavior and not enough listening time available. But that too is a fun part of the hobby.

 

I ordered one of their Polaris amps. I have been so impressed with the Sunrise III (I have tow of them), I just had to see what their new SS amp would do. If the specs hold, it should have more than enough power for the HE 400s. The reviews of the Ember (same output stage but hybrid) have been positive, (even with hard to dive phones like the HE 6) so I am anxious to see what this new guy will do.

post #17873 of 18063

Is there any point of getting an amp for my HE-400s or does the Essense STX power it to it's full potential?

post #17874 of 18063
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandrake50 View Post
 


I have a Sunrise III. It drives the HE 400 just fine, I really like the pairing. I can't go into details that some do describing nuances, but the amp never runs out of juice with the 400s.. at least with volumes that my ears can stand. It seems very "musical" to me and depending on the tube used you can go a long way towards taming the sibilance that some do not like on certain songs.  Be aware though that you can get into the tube rolling "disease" with the Sunrise. But that will be true with any of the hybrids. I have close to 60 tubes. Many I  have not even had a chance to use. Too much compulsive behavior and not enough listening time available. But that too is a fun part of the hobby.

 

I ordered one of their Polaris amps. I have been so impressed with the Sunrise III (I have tow of them), I just had to see what their new SS amp would do. If the specs hold, it should have more than enough power for the HE 400s. The reviews of the Ember (same output stage but hybrid) have been positive, (even with hard to dive phones like the HE 6) so I am anxious to see what this new guy will do.


Oh I'm fully aware and ready for the tube rolling disease hahaha! I love the idea! It's great to hear that the Sunrise III seems to be a good pairing with the headphones! Also, I'd love to hear how the Polaris does with the 400's! If I get the sunrise and like it, I'll probably hit you up about the tubes you primarily use!

post #17875 of 18063

I know it is drifting a bit OT, but there is a good thread on tube rolling for the Sunrise:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/641936/project-sunrise-ps2-tube-rolling-thread-and-maybe-even-project-horizon-and-project-ember

 

It, among others, has fed my obsession. Ask Jeremy at Garage 1217 too. He sells tubes, and knows quite a bit about how the different ones play with his amps!

 

If you get there, give me a shout. I will happily share what I have found.

post #17876 of 18063

Is there a general consensus on what EQ sounds the best?

I saw the files Jerg posted but they don't work with musicbee.

post #17877 of 18063
Quote:
Originally Posted by canuckavelli View Post
 

Is there a general consensus on what EQ sounds the best?

I saw the files Jerg posted but they don't work with musicbee.


Search images top right for EQ screenshots....as to best just try what is there and decide yourself ;-)

post #17878 of 18063
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lohb View Post
 


Search images top right for EQ screenshots....as to best just try what is there and decide yourself ;-)

Personally I'm doing 7khz -1.5db and 11khz - 3db. Just wondering if there was something that most people agreed upon.

post #17879 of 18063
Quote:
Originally Posted by canuckavelli View Post
 

Personally I'm doing 7khz -1.5db and 11khz - 3db. Just wondering if there was something that most people agreed upon.


It's kind of hard to agree on one exact EQ setting when everyone has a different opinion on certain sound signatures.

 

The most common thing to do with the HE-400's is tone down the treble spikes, which can be seen in the pictures posted in this thread.

post #17880 of 18063

Hey all! Please excuse me if asking this in here is incorrect. I have recently purchased the HE-400's and really do enjoy them. Lately I've noticed a small random interference (quiet popping static) sound from one side. I've switched the cables around to check if it was a cable issue or driver problem. After the cable switch the other side did the same thing. I don't switch the cables around at all so I wouldn't imagine they could be damaged so quickly but, it's kinda hard to believe anything else could be wrong after the experiment. I've swapped earpads from stock to velor but they are untouched otherwise. My setup goes from the USB on my iMac to a Presonus audiobox USB to the HE-400's. Any thoughts are welcomed. Sorry again for the hijack and possible improper placement of my question.

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