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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 16

post #226 of 17959
I have a dilemma between two great hp's , the he-400 and the he-500.

Would the extra $250 I would be paying for the 500's be worth it in terms of sound or would I be better off getting the 400's and save the 250 for the schiit bifrost/other pairings?

Thanks in advance,
Andy
post #227 of 17959

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by detoxguy View Post

Can't always judge a headphone by looks. The HD800 is hideous but sounds ok.

 

Finally, someone who agrees with me that HD800 is hideous! biggrin.gif

 

I agree and all bets are off until the listening tests.  But the difference there is Senn is a speaker/mic company, overpriced or not, who is famed for no-compromises audio performance in a given price range, and a good history of pleasing picky audiophiles.  Denon is an excellent amp & component company with a good history of pleasing picky stereophiles with a budget who happens to badge a line of headphones too.  It's like buying headphones "made" by Jack Wu blink.gif

 

Denon contracted unknown-company-X to design a headphone that first and foremost seems designed by focus groups to visually appeal to the iPod demographic, and seems to display the prototypes proudly in front of pictures of iPhones.  That can't be a good sign for a $1300 headphone.  At that price it had better darned well compete with T1, LCD-2, and even HD800.  Or at least D7k.   It is entirely possible though they tried to eat their cake and have it too: design a headphone that looks flashy like Beats to sell to the iDevice crowd, and sounds refined like D7k to sell to the audiophile crowd.  It's possible. 

post #228 of 17959

So, I just picked up a pair of EE-discounted d5k's in addition to my he-400's that are supposed to be coming from Moon Audio. I am really digging the wood look on the denons, but in general, I'm just not sure which one I'll like more! The semi-closed nature of the d5k's is nice too because I could potentially use them to study without bothering (too much) others around me.

 

Perhaps its because I'm getting antsy waiting for my he400s. Some of you said they make good complements?

post #229 of 17959

Will be interesting to read a comparison between the two.

post #230 of 17959

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcberto View Post

I have a dilemma between two great hp's , the he-400 and the he-500.
Would the extra $250 I would be paying for the 500's be worth it in terms of sound or would I be better off getting the 400's and save the 250 for the schiit bifrost/other pairings?
Thanks in advance,
Andy

 

There are two factors at hand here:

 

1) which sound signature do you prefer more? A warm energetic sound with a rich bass, neutral mids, and laid-back treble, or a neutral sound with a neutral bass, slightly more prominent mids, and neutral treble?

 

and

 

2) To really appreciate the extra bit of mids refinement/transparency that HE500s have over 400s, you need a good setup behind it; schiit pairing is a minimum really. Anything lower and subjectively speaking it is pointless to spend that extra $300.

post #231 of 17959

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by option12 View Post

So, I just picked up a pair of EE-discounted d5k's in addition to my he-400's that are supposed to be coming from Moon Audio. I am really digging the wood look on the denons, but in general, I'm just not sure which one I'll like more! The semi-closed nature of the d5k's is nice too because I could potentially use them to study without bothering (too much) others around me.

 

Perhaps its because I'm getting antsy waiting for my he400s. Some of you said they make good complements?

 

I commented in TMRaven's thread before a little on the two, and I've only had my D5ks for a few days so far, but I think they're extremely different headphones.   I think, if I had to pick just one, I'd pick the HE-400, I think they're slightly more versatile and easier to listen to.   But the Denons make for a very different presentation.   Although the Denons have bass extension like no other, I'd consider them a fairly bright headphone.  The comparison I used in the other thread is that it's bright in a warm wooden way like a nice guitar or violin with a bright sound.  It's not K702 or HD800 bright, but it's a warm-bright but with deep, flat bass extension and a fair bit of sparkle in the treble, and somewhat forward mids without being aggressive in the Grado sense.

 

By contrast, HE-400 is dark or dark-neutral with a sort of syrupy texture (if that makes any sense.)  It's balanced across, kind to the ears, and just smooth (by smooth I don't mean "smoothed over" or lacking detail, just smooth in the presentation.    HE-400 has weight (not bass bloat, just weight to the sound.)  D5k is a bit more light despite the deep bass.  It picks up a lot of the wood sound you'd expect wood to provide which makes it kind of organic for recordings that are warm or bright.  The HE-400 gives that lushness and that open air and reverberation for recordings that you'd expect to be played in a large space. 

 

Both are lively, in contrast to HD650 or presumably HE-500 which should be more laid back.  Neither is fatiguing compared to K702, though the Denons are a bit more tiring over time than the HE-400.

 

They're both very different, but I like them almost equally.   Certain recordings would do very well with the Denons (or for that matter, AT W-series closed wood cans.)

post #232 of 17959

I'm also interested getting the d5k's before they're gone forever. As I have the HE-400's already, are the D5K's a good complement to the 400's or should I look elsewhere?

 

Sorry, Still somewhat of a newbie to head-fi community.

 

 

Thanks,

 

Andy

post #233 of 17959

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcberto View Post

I'm also interested getting the d5k's before they're gone forever. As I have the HE-400's already, are the D5K's a good complement to the 400's or should I look elsewhere?

 

Sorry, Still somewhat of a newbie to head-fi community.

 

 

Thanks,

 

Andy

 

Buy first, return later. Haha. They're at a good deal $388 at electronics expo. Really want to keep both as I love the wooden look of the D5K's.

 

IEMcrazy, thanks for the comparison. I was reading up on their sound signatures online and couldn't decide which one fit me better. I like the HE-400 because of its raving clarity and neutrality, but the denons are closed back which might make them a bit better for studying environments. I don't think I'd use the "mini-speaker" HE-400 anywhere but at home.


Edited by option12 - 4/30/12 at 4:22pm
post #234 of 17959

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcberto View Post

I have a dilemma between two great hp's , the he-400 and the he-500.
Would the extra $250 I would be paying for the 500's be worth it in terms of sound or would I be better off getting the 400's and save the 250 for the schiit bifrost/other pairings?
Thanks in advance,
Andy

 

I think the best thing you could do is head to the For Sale section and look at the HE-5LEs that are posted for sale at $399, including shipping in the U.S.  They're an 8 on a 10 scale - no pictures posted, yet.  Take the spare money and buy and integrated amp, some speaker taps and enjoy!

 

Seriously !!

 

I'm not affiliated with that buyer in any way.  Just passing on a good deal when I see one.  

post #235 of 17959
Thread Starter 

That's a very nice price on those!!

post #236 of 17959

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcberto View Post

I'm also interested getting the d5k's before they're gone forever. As I have the HE-400's already, are the D5K's a good complement to the 400's or should I look elsewhere?

 

Sorry, Still somewhat of a newbie to head-fi community.

 

 

Thanks,

 

Andy

 

That's a difficult question because it depends on what you're looking for.  Do I think the D5k is an excellent headphone and an excellent compliment to HE-400?  Certainly!  Does it bug me that they don't have detachable cables?  Somewhat (but I know for a price I could ship them to someone to replace the cable.)  Is it the only headphone that would compliment HE-400?  By all means, no! 

 

It depends what you're looking for in a compliment.  D5k offers the semi-closed sound with the ultra-low bass and semi-isolation.  It has a somewhat bright presentation, at least compared to HE-400 and HD650.  It has a lot of treble sparkle to it, in the Beyer sense of the word.  That compliments the very open, dark HE-400s.

 

I also have HD650 (well it's out of commission at the moment, but a little necromancy, and it'll be as good as new!)  They also compliment HE-400.  Both are dark, but HD650 has that relaxing, polite, mids-centric sound which is very different from HE-400.  While D5k offers almost more energy than HE-400 and more attack in all directions, which is different, HD650 is the other opposite, something with less energy and a more relaxed, vibe.  Equally different. 

 

I also have K702.   In some ways this is the most starkly different at all.  It has an almost ruler-flat, cold, dry, airy, analytical sound.  While the HE-400 is warm and alive, but lets a few pieces of the spectrum dip a bit out of range, the K702 will show EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE along the spectrum in equal detail and clarity.   K702 can get fatiguing but it's a very unique sound signature that one either loves or hates and is never in between on.  Because of its analytical nature, it's not always the most pleasing to listen to, but it's almost a must for every audiophile's collection (unless you have T1, T5p, HD800, Etymotic IEMs, or any other uber-resolving headphone.) as a flat reference to what you're hearing. 

 

K702 and HD650 need relatively serious power to shine, but then again, so does HE-400, so any amp upgrade for one helps all three.

 

So is it a good compliment?  Yes.  Of all possible compliments, is it the right one for you?  You'll need to identify what you're looking for in a complimentary headphone first.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by option12 View Post

 

 

Buy first, return later. Haha. They're at a good deal $388 at electronics expo. Really want to keep both as I love the wooden look of the D5K's.

 

IEMcrazy, thanks for the comparison. I was reading up on their sound signatures online and couldn't decide which one fit me better. I like the HE-400 because of its raving clarity and neutrality, but the denons are closed back which might make them a bit better for studying environments. I don't think I'd use the "mini-speaker" HE-400 anywhere but at home.

 

I think it depends on your listening genres as to which sound signature you'd prefer, plus preference.  The Denons are really semi-closed.  They don't fully isolate outside sound, and they don't fully seal in inside sound.  There's still leakage depending on listening volume, so for library type environments, you still could make some enemies.  On the other hand, the HFM planars are the most undamped open "earspeaker' I've heard.  They're nearly as loud outside as they are inside, and thus leak more sound than either HD650 or K702 by a notable amount.  It's really like putting little speakers up to your ears at low volume.  If you don't listen loud, it's not a problem, but if you do, you definitely don't want to bother others with them!  But you could always compromise and go with a dynamic open back too  which leaks less outside than HiFiMans but more than Denons. 

post #237 of 17959

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

That's a very nice price on those!!

 


By the way, I noticed you're selling your stock cable.  A fools errand if you haven't tried your silver cable yet, from the reports!  I'd hang onto that stock until you know for sure you want to sell it.  If I were to upgrade the cable on the 400's I'd probably go with a copper one to keep the warm copper sound.  I think silver would ruin the sound signature.  Or keep both and switch as needed.

 

On the other hand, an HE-500 with that nasty stock cable may snatch up that cable quickly very_evil_smiley.gif

post #238 of 17959
Thread Starter 

Just got it today but haven't tried it out. I'll post something later today after I've had a chance to listen. I thought it would give me a different flavor to listen to. Plus I wanted a shorted cable.

post #239 of 17959
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

Just got it today but haven't tried it out. I'll post something later today after I've had a chance to listen. I thought it would give me a different flavor to listen to. Plus I wanted a shorted cable.

 

I could have shortened your existing cable and terminated it with a nice Neutrik 1/4" connector.  However, since it's for sale, we don't need to cover that at the moment.  wink.gif

 

However, I think your new silver cable should get about 200 hours of good burn-in time before jumping to any conclusions.  However, I'll be eagerly awaiting your impressions.  biggrin.gif

post #240 of 17959
Thread Starter 

Okay, for what it's worth I wanted to post a my impression of a cable swap with the he400. I bought the cable here on the used forum and it was made by Chris_himself. Sorry Chris, I got nothing but love for ya bro'. I want to say that if you are considering an after market cable, Chris makes really really nice stuff at a very reasonable price (shameless plug). 

 

The cable itself:

 

The first thing that you notice is the size and weight difference between the pure silver over the stock. The silver cables is absolutely feather light. The stock cable seems like a hose pipe compared to it. You don't feel any weight from the cable at all. In a blind test I would not be able to tell if the silver cable or no cable was connected. It's that light. It's finished in a nice double helix 1/4 plug for termination with a nice wooden yoke. The silver cable is also only 74" which means I don't have to run the cable around the back of my desk which I also appreciate. It's the perfect length to run to my amp with about 2 foot to spare for excess. The look is just awesome. 

 

Initial sound Impression:

 

This is what you'll want to know, right? The silver cable produces a very different sound. It's airy and detailed. Very revealing. I have the velour pads installed currently. The combination of the velours and silver cable reminds me alot of the he500. Don't have them anymore. Compared to the stock cable, the stock has more weight to the sound. Certainly there is more bass extension and impact. I've only had about an hour worth of head time so far after the cable change. Classical is just superb with the silver cable. Pop and rock may be somewhat bass light. Give me a few hours to really audition  and I'll post back if anyone is interested.

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