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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 150

post #2236 of 17732
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinQY View Post

Aside from the DAC talk, I just wanna say that HE-400 w/ grill mods + DAC1 + mini-X a-100 = sheer auditory bless. Still waiting on the DHC cable, as the bare wire adapter I'm using isn't ideal (too long, not built very well), but these will hold me well until the HE-6 (I probably won't sell them anyways).

 

Why no grill mod lovers? I never get to see them mentioned anymore. 

I'm doing the mod as soon as I get them don't worry! I'll post pics and everything :D

post #2237 of 17732
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

Sounds like its time for Hifiman to rethink using those plugs and get something better, like mini XLR, or even basic RCA.

 

 

700

 

wink.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragunov-21 View Post

So, HE400 vs HD650, FLAC through a Fuze LOD and an O2, trying to put as many objective relative comments and as few ambiguous words in there as this arena allows.

 

I found that what the 400 does, it does very well, and that's clarity, detail and separation.  When you have a lot of brass and deep strings going on in an orchestral piece, the HD650 tended to let them blur out the finer-bodied instruments like flutes, clarinets and smaller strings, very slightly.  Their timbre could still be heard, but had to be concentrated on somewhat.  The HE400 on the other hand, was super-clear, with the texture of the finer instruments immediately apparent.  Unfortunately the body of the deeper instruments just wasn't there; the bass was, and it was very clear, but there was something missing (the same something that resulted in the very slight blurring with the HD650).  

 

An example of this is the guitar in the background of this song at 1:20.  It's there on every decent 'phone I have, but it's so immediately apparent on the HE400s.  Whether or not this is a good thing will depend on whether your listening style requires it or whether having detail thrust at you will cause you to focus on it at the expense of everything else.

 

When it comes to air and clarity , I think they were improved by the fact that the HE400s are more open than the 650s; the HE400 drivers (not pads) seem to cause less isolation of outside noise, which I think decreases the distinction between sound that's coming from the drivers and ambient sound.  This was the case both with music playing, and with the headphones silent.

 

When it came to less populated tracks and tracks without many deep instruments, I felt that the 650 outshone the 400.  The 400's emphasis on treble gave the impression of detail and texture, but that detail/texture was still present through the 650s, just not thrown in your face.  The smooth texture of the mids (and I hesitate to use terms like bass, mids and treble anymore because I realise I don't know exactly what falls where) was so valuable in my enjoyment of these pieces and were exactly what I was hoping for in a headphone, coming from the UM3X.  The flute at :40 in the video below is a prime example of something that was euphoric through the HD650s and relatively empty through the HE400s.  The same was true for female vocal, with a great example being the harmonising at 2:28 in the video above (which gets butchered by youtube's compression anyway, but even so)

 

 

 
My bass/I-don't-give-a-crap-about-timbre tracks were from Avenged Sevenfold's "City of Evil" and The Prodigy's "Invaders Must Die".  While the 400 has better extension down low, I didn't miss it while listening to the 650s, and I did miss a bit of impact that I felt was lost in the mid-bass when listening to the HE400s.  Additionally, these songs are filled with crashing symbals and other reasonably harsh sounds.  I can barely listen to them at moderate to high listening volumes with the 400s, let alone enjoy them.  I found the 650s to smooth out the harshness without dulling them.
 
Tracks incorporating a bit of both (textured acoustic instruments and  synths/heavy bass)from artists like Shpongle and Infected Mushroom were more enjoyable on the HD650.  The airiness, clarity and minute details aren't worth much, because of the recording and style of music.
 
A few random things
 
  • Build quality.  The HiFiMans look and feel like a top-of-the-line 'phone that's lacking a bit of polish and budget.  Funny, because that's pretty much what they are.  The HD650s are light and plasticky and feel like a peripheral, rather than a piece of equipment in their own right.  They don't look very durable (when it comes to abuse, not longevity) and the fit/finish is slightly below what I'd have expected from a ~$400 phone, given what I've seen of HiFiMan and Shure's offerings at this price point.
  • Price.  I don't know what the going rate is for HD650s in the rest of the world, but in Australia I'm looking at $350 online and $480 local, which is the maximum I could justify on a headphone.  Coming from my UM3Xs, it's not a matter of which costs less, but whether the HE400 has anything to offer over what I currently own.  While it has fantastic qualities for 20% of my music library, the sound sig is unusable for most of it, so it doesn't.  The HD650 does, and doesn't give a huge lot up when looking at the HE400s qualities in isolation, either.
  • Weight.  As I said a bit earlier, the HE400 gives the impression of quality in the same way a 1911 does compared to a Glock (for the shooters amongst use).  That is to say, it is not just solid and inflexible, but also heavy, which may or may not be a bad thing for you.
 
Hopefully that helps anyone who's considering the 400s and knows what sound they like.

 

Nice impressions. I think that I'd say +1 as I also own the hd650 and hear pretty much the same things that you do. 


Edited by MattTCG - 11/10/12 at 5:12am
post #2238 of 17732
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalFreak View Post

@Madmullusk

Pardon my ignorance but wouldn't the Q/K701 and the HE-400 be considered polar opposites of one another? The reason I ask is because over the last couple of days as I've slowly read through the beginning of the thread I've noticed the Q mentioned off an on and I'm rather surprised people would mention this headphone considering it's so different. I haven't heard the HE-400 but I have heard a K701 and I considered it more of an analytical then neutral. Of coarse YMMV so to speak so I'm not questioning your findings or anyone else. I'm just surprised you and others on here seem to like the HE-400 and Q701. Usually people who like a Q/K701 headphone tend to gravitate more towards headphones such as the Bayer T1 ,DT990 etc and keep away from warmer lusher sounding headphones like the HE-400.
Risking derailing the thread again I can't help but ask. In everyone's opinion compared to the O2/ODAC combo does the Headroom Micro DAC/amp combo really perform that much better for the money spent? Sorry for the derail but I'm looking into a desktop rig setup and I'm wanting a setup with very little coloration so as not to worry about what to hook up to it. From what I've read the ODAc/O2 combo sounds like a dream come true but the Micro combo also seems like a nice option. I'm just wondering if it's really worth the extra money.

I would not call the 400s warm and lush? Your description sounds like you are talking about the HD600s.
post #2239 of 17732
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinQY View Post

Aside from the DAC talk, I just wanna say that HE-400 w/ grill mods + DAC1 + mini-X a-100 = sheer auditory bless. Still waiting on the DHC cable, as the bare wire adapter I'm using isn't ideal (too long, not built very well), but these will hold me well until the HE-6 (I probably won't sell them anyways).

 

Why no grill mod lovers? I never get to see them mentioned anymore. 

Sorry for the double quote, but what kind of materials did you use?

 

And yeah, I auditioned the HE-500 and HE-400 for about an hour and I could clearly hear ringing with some fairly high pitched male voices.

But the ringing only made sense after I read the grill mod page.

post #2240 of 17732
Thread Starter 

Anyone know what's up with the private messaging today? I got a notice that my daily limit of 15 pm's has been reached. I haven't even sent any pm's today. blink.gif

post #2241 of 17732
I can't find the materials to mod my he-400.... Really wish to try it
post #2242 of 17732
Thread Starter 

Do you mean the grill mod?

post #2243 of 17732
Yea... Went out looking for materials today but still can't find it. Do anyone sell ready made ones?
post #2244 of 17732
Quote:
Originally Posted by OmsJtmz32 View Post

Yea... Went out looking for materials today but still can't find it. Do anyone sell ready made ones?

Your local dollarama should have stuff, things like steel mesh garbage bins, steel mesh pen holders, that kinda stuff.

post #2245 of 17732

On mine it is written 2101107 and 2101108 so it's not the manufacturing date but could be the batch number they are from. I asked Hifiman what are those numbers, still waiting the answer.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragunov-21 View Post

Hmmm, weird...

 

I notice on my warranty/compliance card that it's marked as follows

 

[quote]2010676

2010675[/quote]

 

Reckon that makes it made in 2010?

post #2246 of 17732
They have.... But all in PLASTIC mad.gif
post #2247 of 17732
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragunov-21 View Post

So, HE400 vs HD650, FLAC through a Fuze LOD and an O2, trying to put as many objective relative comments and as few ambiguous words in there as this arena allows.

 

I found that what the 400 does, it does very well, and that's clarity, detail and separation.  When you have a lot of brass and deep strings going on in an orchestral piece, the HD650 tended to let them blur out the finer-bodied instruments like flutes, clarinets and smaller strings, very slightly.  Their timbre could still be heard, but had to be concentrated on somewhat.  The HE400 on the other hand, was super-clear, with the texture of the finer instruments immediately apparent.  Unfortunately the body of the deeper instruments just wasn't there; the bass was, and it was very clear, but there was something missing (the same something that resulted in the very slight blurring with the HD650).  

 

An example of this is the guitar in the background of this song at 1:20.  It's there on every decent 'phone I have, but it's so immediately apparent on the HE400s.  Whether or not this is a good thing will depend on whether your listening style requires it or whether having detail thrust at you will cause you to focus on it at the expense of everything else.

 

When it comes to air and clarity , I think they were improved by the fact that the HE400s are more open than the 650s; the HE400 drivers (not pads) seem to cause less isolation of outside noise, which I think decreases the distinction between sound that's coming from the drivers and ambient sound.  This was the case both with music playing, and with the headphones silent.

 

When it came to less populated tracks and tracks without many deep instruments, I felt that the 650 outshone the 400.  The 400's emphasis on treble gave the impression of detail and texture, but that detail/texture was still present through the 650s, just not thrown in your face.  The smooth texture of the mids (and I hesitate to use terms like bass, mids and treble anymore because I realise I don't know exactly what falls where) was so valuable in my enjoyment of these pieces and were exactly what I was hoping for in a headphone, coming from the UM3X.  The flute at :40 in the video below is a prime example of something that was euphoric through the HD650s and relatively empty through the HE400s.  The same was true for female vocal, with a great example being the harmonising at 2:28 in the video above (which gets butchered by youtube's compression anyway, but even so)

 

 
My bass/I-don't-give-a-crap-about-timbre tracks were from Avenged Sevenfold's "City of Evil" and The Prodigy's "Invaders Must Die".  While the 400 has better extension down low, I didn't miss it while listening to the 650s, and I did miss a bit of impact that I felt was lost in the mid-bass when listening to the HE400s.  Additionally, these songs are filled with crashing symbals and other reasonably harsh sounds.  I can barely listen to them at moderate to high listening volumes with the 400s, let alone enjoy them.  I found the 650s to smooth out the harshness without dulling them.
 
Tracks incorporating a bit of both (textured acoustic instruments and  synths/heavy bass)from artists like Shpongle and Infected Mushroom were more enjoyable on the HD650.  The airiness, clarity and minute details aren't worth much, because of the recording and style of music.
 
A few random things
 
  • Build quality.  The HiFiMans look and feel like a top-of-the-line 'phone that's lacking a bit of polish and budget.  Funny, because that's pretty much what they are.  The HD650s are light and plasticky and feel like a peripheral, rather than a piece of equipment in their own right.  They don't look very durable (when it comes to abuse, not longevity) and the fit/finish is slightly below what I'd have expected from a ~$400 phone, given what I've seen of HiFiMan and Shure's offerings at this price point.
  • Price.  I don't know what the going rate is for HD650s in the rest of the world, but in Australia I'm looking at $350 online and $480 local, which is the maximum I could justify on a headphone.  Coming from my UM3Xs, it's not a matter of which costs less, but whether the HE400 has anything to offer over what I currently own.  While it has fantastic qualities for 20% of my music library, the sound sig is unusable for most of it, so it doesn't.  The HD650 does, and doesn't give a huge lot up when looking at the HE400s qualities in isolation, either.
  • Weight.  As I said a bit earlier, the HE400 gives the impression of quality in the same way a 1911 does compared to a Glock (for the shooters amongst use).  That is to say, it is not just solid and inflexible, but also heavy, which may or may not be a bad thing for you.
 
Hopefully that helps anyone who's considering the 400s and knows what sound they like.
 

 

 

Yeah the youtube link is badly compressed.  A shame not to be able to hear the harmonizing  of their voices when not distorted.  My friend made me listen to some Adele song that wasn't one of her two albums I think, where she layered her voice using filters, but I don't remember what it was. He said he didn't like the effect as much as he could've on the HE-400.

 

The Prodigy and Avenged Sevenfold might not be a good test of HE-400's bass.  They're mostly mid-bass without much deep notes.  HD650's mid-bass is a little phat, so that certainly helps.  Infected Mushroom is pretty neat though.

 

I didn't find the HD650 that high quality feeling either.

 

The Arrietty song is beautiful.


Edited by TMRaven - 11/10/12 at 7:43am
post #2248 of 17732

Prospective buyers who are on a budget, attend! The he400 pairs amazingly well with the Fiio e9, the little amp that could! For 90 bucks it's a steal folks. I bamboozled my wife into helping me with a blind-audio test over here. I won't bore anyone with the particulars of that set-up or the exact results, but it boils down to this: I couldn't tell the difference between this little guy and my vintage receiver.  So if you've been putting off a purchase because you can't afford a nice amp and these headphones both, well uncle Mollusk here wants to reassure you: the Fiio e9 is the answer! No more excuses folks. I wont have it. Buy these dang headphones!  You no longer have to borrow or beg for money to realize your audio dreams; you don't have to "work the streets" and demean yourselves for the extra cash either. The Fiio e9 is here! Can i get a "Hallelujah!"

post #2249 of 17732
The HE400 sounds good off anything, including the E9. No surprise. They're in the area where a neutral or warm amp will make them good. The E9 is fairly neutral, so it does just fine for the HE-400. The problem with the E9 is that there is no treble roll off, which is what a lot of people don't like about it. It's not the E9's fault that the treble is represented properly, and not smoothed over.
post #2250 of 17732
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

The HE400 sounds good off anything, including the E9. No surprise. They're in the area where a neutral or warm amp will make them good. The E9 is fairly neutral, so it does just fine for the HE-400. The problem with the E9 is that there is no treble roll off, which is what a lot of people don't like about it. It's not the E9's fault that the treble is represented properly, and not smoothed over.

 

Well, almost anything: I plugged the he400 into my Barnes and Noble tablet, and good-god, they sounded terrible; they had no bass whatsoever and were border-line screechy. But then again, that little tablet is somewhat of a disgrace. No one would ever use it for audio. 

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