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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 134

post #1996 of 18648
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy4 View Post

256/320 is just as good as lossless for most people. And no need to rip at 1411kbps... FLAC or ALAC has the exact same output in the end.

 

What's really important is the actual recording quality. A well recorded and mastered 128kbps MP3>>>>>>>>>Poorly recorded lossless/uncompressed file.

Encoding process. I have two Offspring albums I "downloaded" that were 320kps mp3 and had terrible high pitched artifacts and I had to delete them. Most of the time 320kps mp3 should be very good.

 

Then again I had two Juno Reactor albums for years @192kps I "downloaded" I recently bought them on CD for a lossless copy, so maybe i'm anal about that. Either way, it's nice to not have a shadow of doubt in your mind about source quality.

post #1997 of 18648
Quote:
Originally Posted by RUMAY408 View Post

This is my biggest issue at present with my main audio source.  I am having to go back and burn CD's to my MBAir as the 256/320kbps just don't cut it with the HE400's.  Garbage in and garbage out.  I can get a CD to burn on at 1411kbps.

 

I'd recommend getting Lame 3.9X to burn MP3s, not sure what itunes uses. 320 preserves all tones and has about 90 db noise floor - you should try a blind listening test to see if you really need to use up the extra disk space on differences you cannot hear.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RushNerd View Post

I'm quite shocked, I didn't think hifiman was anywhere remotely near the public eye, this is really good news, they will be a lot more popular now. With that said, SR80i, oh CMON!

That's what I thought. Probably a combination of cost / performance in there. A pair of Shures Over-Ear were the only other can @ $400. How can Grados sound good after the sublimity of planars?

post #1998 of 18648
Quote:
Originally Posted by RushNerd View Post

Encoding process. I have two Offspring albums I "downloaded" that were 320kps mp3 and had terrible high pitched artifacts and I had to delete them. Most of the time 320kps mp3 should be very good.

 

Then again I had two Juno Reactor albums for years @192kps I "downloaded" I recently bought them on CD for a lossless copy, so maybe i'm anal about that. Either way, it's nice to not have a shadow of doubt in your mind about source quality.

If you got them from a less than reputable source who knows what they've been through. They could have been burned to a CD, then re-ripped as compressed files, then burned and re-ripped again. Causing a lot loss in quality for no loss in file size.

 

I agree about having no shadow of doubt though, I rip all my CD's to FLAC because of that, even though I can't pick them out from 320kbps in an ABX test.

 

At any rate there is absolutely no need to rip to 1411kbps... Lossless compression gives the same output as uncompressed audio...

post #1999 of 18648
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMateoHead View Post

No here probably cares about Consumer Reports, but I thought you would be pleased that the HE-400s were their #2 top rated "home headphones" in the current issue. I wish I could read their test report.

 

The Grado SR80is were their "top" choice. Even so, I was quite surprised to see Hifiman in there!

Consumer Reports has over the years tended to review the less expensive audio equipment,  but will review all the upper end video products.  They rated  Home/Studio Headphones: On a 100 point scale

1) Grado Prestige SR80i               86

2) HiFiMan HE-400                       86

3) Shure SRH1440                        81

4) Audio-Technica                        76

5) Bose AE2                                76

6) Bose AE2i                               76

7) Grado Prestige SR60i               76

8) Phillips Fidelio L1                     76

9) Yamaha HPH-200                     76

10) Skullcandy Roc Nation Aviator 71

11) TDK ST800                            71

 

FYI Portable 

1) B&W P5                                   80

2) Klipsch Image   X10                  80

3) Klipsch Image S41                    76

4) Monster Beats                          76

5) Nixon Micro Blaster                   76

14 others were rated 71 and lower including Skullcandy,  Sennheiser CX 215  & CX300-II And Bose IE2 & MIE2 & MIE2i & OE2

 

All the rated headphones were $400 or less so that is the price point they were pricing under.                                          

post #2000 of 18648
Quote:
Originally Posted by RushNerd View Post
I'm quite shocked, I didn't think hifiman was anywhere remotely near the public eye, this is really good news, they will be a lot more popular now. With that said, SR80i, oh CMON!

I agree with the first part... very pleasantly surprised to see them mentioned somewhere mainstream. But re Grado's: I'lI assume "value" must have been one of their top concerns then.  With that said, the Grado sound is just hit and miss.  I personally love it.  My RS1i is a lot better than the HE-400 for rock (big IMO, of course).  I don't think it's the most unbiased review out there... if there guy happened to be a grado fan, or just like listening to music that suited grado's then it's not a terrible choice, especially if you consider the cost difference.

post #2001 of 18648

I own both the Grado SR80i and the HE-400's and really no comparison.  No knock on the Grado's,  I primarily use them for portable, but for audio quality not a chance they are equal or better in quality of sound.  Consumer Reports rated them equal but price was the difference 100 vs. 400.  No high end phones were rated and no idea how they came to their conclusions other than subjective listening.

post #2002 of 18648
Quote:
Originally Posted by Errymoose View Post

I agree with the first part... very pleasantly surprised to see them mentioned somewhere mainstream. But re Grado's: I'lI assume "value" must have been one of their top concerns then.  With that said, the Grado sound is just hit and miss.  I personally love it.  My RS1i is a lot better than the HE-400 for rock (big IMO, of course).  I don't think it's the most unbiased review out there... if there guy happened to be a grado fan, or just like listening to music that suited grado's then it's not a terrible choice, especially if you consider the cost difference.
Grados are more bassheavy..and if thats ur thing..stick with it..or get the he500.. biggrin.gif
post #2003 of 18648

Guys i think some of you may have taken my question about the poorly recorded music the wrong way. I didn't mean lossy vs lossless/uncompressed, i meant poorly recorded and mastered in the studio vs vise versa.

 

For example i have the Alice in Chains MTV Unplugged flac album on my computer. It's recorded absolutely masterfully. Plenty of dynamic range, extremely detailed, never harsh etc etc. In comparison i have a flac file by Lady Gaga (don't ask) taken from one of her newer albums. It can sometimes be harsh and looking at the file's waveform there's some serious clipping and not much dynamic range. This is typical for almost all modern music.

 

I just wanted to know if the HE400 would reveal the pitfalls of the mastering and make the music un-enjoyable as a result, much like what i've about the HD800 from Senn. People say it absolutely destroys poorly recorded music, or maybe poorly recorded music destroys the HD800 wink.gif

post #2004 of 18648
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaver316 View Post

Guys i think some of you may have taken my question about the poorly recorded music the wrong way. I didn't mean lossy vs lossless/uncompressed, i meant poorly recorded and mastered in the studio vs vise versa.

 

For example i have the Alice in Chains MTV Unplugged flac album on my computer. It's recorded absolutely masterfully. Plenty of dynamic range, extremely detailed, never harsh etc etc. In comparison i have a flac file by Lady Gaga (don't ask) taken from one of her newer albums. It can sometimes be harsh and looking at the file's waveform there's some serious clipping and not much dynamic range. This is typical for almost all modern music.

 

I just wanted to know if the HE400 would reveal the pitfalls of the mastering and make the music un-enjoyable as a result, much like what i've about the HD800 from Senn. People say it absolutely destroys poorly recorded music, or maybe poorly recorded music destroys the HD800 wink.gif

It does fine with crappy (in a mastering sense) music IMO; the dark warmness covers up a lot of the flaws, unlike brighter leaner cans like HD800s.

post #2005 of 18648

Sweet, thanks man.

post #2006 of 18648
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragunov-21 View Post

What about the HD650?  Or is the O2 a poor match for those too? (not worried about sound sig at this stage, just ability to power)

 

I'm gonna be returning the 400s (if I can, or onselling them) if the sibilance doesn't f*** off when I hook them up to the O2.  At the moment, I'm *really* enjoying about 5% of the music I have and hating the other 95% (what I thought was a improvement was just the fact that I was listening to orchestral stuff rather than vocal-focussed stuff).

 

I really want to like these things, but my UM3Xs are just crapping all over them at the moment, s'yeah =/

-sigh-

 

Might as well post up my results given FLAC>ODAC>O2>HE-400 (Velour)

 

> Sibilance is reduced substantially, but still pretty poor on songs that are... worse than average for it, I guess.

> Treble is still piercing, yet at volumes that still don't give the music any "body" (I'm assuming this is the dip in FQ around the mids).

> It is very very detailed, but not much more so than me ER4Ps.

> EQ makes it slightly better, but not enough.

>I've been listening to it for the past two hours, running through all my favourite tracks, trying to like them, and the only reason I can think of wanting to keep them is because open 'phones are, it turns out, great for playing an instrument with.  They're great for instrumental tracks with not much percussion, but that's about it.

 

As an aside, I've noticed that the right driver is very slightly louder:

Standard setup - RH louder

Reversed channels - RH louder

Reversed cable/cup connections - RH louder

Reversed phones on head - LH louder.

 

Think I would have been better spending the almost-750 bucks on some custom IEMs of something =/  As it stands I think I'll have to return the HEs and figure out whether it's worth keeping the Objective gear or taking the shipping (est $30) and restocking fee ($45).  It's a shame - I really wanted to love these.

post #2007 of 18648

I personally did not find a good synergy between the O2 and HE-400s. There are others who agree.

post #2008 of 18648

I get that, but there's a difference between "poor synergy" and "sounds like balls", you know?

post #2009 of 18648
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragunov-21 View Post

-sigh-

 

Might as well post up my results given FLAC>ODAC>O2>HE-400 (Velour)

 

> Sibilance is reduced substantially, but still pretty poor on songs that are... worse than average for it, I guess.

> Treble is still piercing, yet at volumes that still don't give the music any "body" (I'm assuming this is the dip in FQ around the mids).

> It is very very detailed, but not much more so than me ER4Ps.

> EQ makes it slightly better, but not enough.

>I've been listening to it for the past two hours, running through all my favourite tracks, trying to like them, and the only reason I can think of wanting to keep them is because open 'phones are, it turns out, great for playing an instrument with.  They're great for instrumental tracks with not much percussion, but that's about it.

 

As an aside, I've noticed that the right driver is very slightly louder:

Standard setup - RH louder

Reversed channels - RH louder

Reversed cable/cup connections - RH louder

Reversed phones on head - LH louder.

 

Think I would have been better spending the almost-750 bucks on some custom IEMs of something =/  As it stands I think I'll have to return the HEs and figure out whether it's worth keeping the Objective gear or taking the shipping (est $30) and restocking fee ($45).  It's a shame - I really wanted to love these.

 

Sounds like the sound signature is not working for you at all; it'll be wiser for you to pick something that has a more forward upper midrange and rolled-off treble.

post #2010 of 18648
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragunov-21 View Post

I get that, but there's a difference between "poor synergy" and "sounds like balls", you know?

 

Wow you really think they sound like balls? That's quite surprising.

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