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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 176

post #2626 of 17698

Wow.... This thread keeps growing like crazy....

 

I am probably going to get a lot of heat for this post....

 

I received my replacement HE400 approximately 3 weeks ago. Since then, I can't stop listening to all my music collection.

 

As I previously mentioned in this thread, my Fiio E11 weren't sounding good/adequate with these phones. Especially with the combination of high gain setting and bass boost level 1 or 2, bass was completely distorted. Jerg told a very important point.... a good undistorted tight bass is a quality of a good amplifier. That was a really sound advice... thanks jerg. I also tried E9. But wasn't satisfied.

 

Now comes the part where I will receive some heat.... I bought a Yamaha RX-V373 for these phones. Yeah, I know.... It's an AVR. I was just going to try it and was almost looking forward to sending it back. But then I got the receiver in mail and after I plugged the phones in, I haven't removed those till this day. It obviously provides more than enough power. I play almost all my music on -25dB volume level (and this AVR can go up to +16dB) and that's loud enough for hours and hours of music listening experience without any sort of fatigue. I was surprised at the bass response of these phones. Sooooo much potential was just hiding there without the amp.

 

These phones have proven every bit worthy of the praise they are getting here. Now, I listen to most of the songs from my computer.

J.River MC -> (bitstreaming) -> Yamaha RX-V373 -> HE400.

Velours helped with the highs a little. They are also really comfortable for me. Now I can plug my new CD player to Yamaha and keep enjoying the music.

 

This limits me to my desk, yes. But I spend most of my time at my desk and I don't really think that these phones are suitable for portable use.

 

Only word is... wow. Let the criticism about AVR begin....

post #2627 of 17698

No heat, don't worry.

 

But you are only using the headphone out from that receiver right? Aren't you wasting money this way? I did see they arent that much more expensive.

 

If it works, and sounds better than the E9 (exactly what didn't you like about it, I'm planning to use it too :)) and isn't insanely expensive.

 

Why not?
 

post #2628 of 17698
Thread Starter 

Lots of people have had good results with receivers and orthos. Typically it's the older receivers. If it sound good to you, then you've found the right amp!!

post #2629 of 17698
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinQY View Post

 

I  would put them on the front, facing the grill. Works for me!

 

 

Velours, grill mod, etc. If nothing works, maybe the mids just don't cut it for you. 

 

Where are you bumping them with EQ though?

Yeah, using with velours. Removed the grills for a while & was greeted with a very open , free flowing sound. With the grills on there is some sort of echo.

Did the eq bump at 3.5, 5 & 7 KHZ in foobar. Surprisingly it does very little effect on the vocals. It feels as if the upper treble is more affected rather than the vocals with eq bump. 

On many tracks i have felt that the HE400 is missing some mid frequencies completely or that its too muted too be listenable. 

The FR graph does suggest so, but i also feel that the driver just does not have enough quality to do vocals justice

post #2630 of 17698
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marleybob217 View Post

No heat, don't worry.

 

But you are only using the headphone out from that receiver right? Aren't you wasting money this way? I did see they arent that much more expensive.

 

If it works, and sounds better than the E9 (exactly what didn't you like about it, I'm planning to use it too :)) and isn't insanely expensive.

 

Why not?
 

Well.... about wasting money.... I got them from the egg for $200 (right now they are for $250 but $50 off deal always pops up somewhere). That's cheaper than Objective DAC/O2 combo and you get so many different input options. I also liked the 192/24 dacs (1 dac per channel) on this AVR. Completely neutral/transparent and good resolution.

 

About E9.... well... this may just be me but I didn't find bass response to be that solid and clean. Also the portion of the highs was little toned down. It might be a good thing for HE400 but I didn't like the sound. My observations of E9 might be a little off as I haven't heard a lot of different amps but I know a little something about live music and all....

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

Lots of people have had good results with receivers and orthos. Typically it's the older receivers. If it sound good to you, then you've found the right amp!!

I thought about buying some older ones. But then again thought about all the digital input capability of these newer ones and made the decision. Also the older ones would need separate (and hopefully good) DAC which translates to more money and I was just looking for spending minimum here.

 

Btw, I tried to go up to -5dB but couldn't stay there for more than a couple of seconds. But even then, the sound was perfect. No distortion or anything. Still clear separation, huge clean bass and everything.


Edited by finrod - 11/27/12 at 12:45pm
post #2631 of 17698
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marleybob217 View Post

Well I used the Fiio E9 to power it, but I tried my old traktor audio 2 dac, which could drive it very loud. But it would sound like absolute crap smily_headphones1.gif It was as if I could hear all the peaks in the music, but everything else was either inaudible(so very little detail) and the bass was very loose sounding. 

I don't know why I thought bass needs more power than other octaves. I thought I saw some graph somewhere that implicated that. I must have misunderstood.

I never knew the HE-400 actually needs more power than the HD650, I always thought the HE-400s were quite easy to drive. Apparantly they are only easy to drive relative to other planar magnetics?

Anyway The E9 will provide enough power to drive them. But I still don't understand why there is so much information lost even when the spl is loud enough. This must have something to do with the amount of volt/ampere the amp delivers. It must! Let's ask Tyll.

Thanks for your wise words smily_headphones1.gif

The HE-400 are most definitely easier to drive than other planars. If Hifiman improves the efficiency (and sound!) much further, I may never go back to dynamic. But needing 3x the power of an HD 650? That's a heckuva gap when considering High Dynamic Range recordings and the like, where you might easily need a full watt to accomplish what the dynamic drivers can do with a fraction of one.

I don't know about the traktor Audio 2 DAC, but I would suspect that what you were hearing wasn't so much a lack of power as the impact of very high output impedance on low input impedance. I cannot explain this like an expert, but the end result is that you screw up the dampening factor, which can screw up the sound if it is too low. 100 ohms out, for example, is great to keep distortion low feeding in to an amp, but the "rule of 8" would say that it couldn't drive a headphone well unless its impedance was about 800 Ohms. What you were hearing is what happens when dampening is screwed up by a combination of high output impedance and low input impedance.

The E9 is a great amp, but the output impedance is 10 Ohms, making it ideal for headphones rated @ 80 Ohms on up. If it sounds good to you, and the bass isn't "loose", I wouldn't worry. But, ideally, an amp that has an output impedance no greater than, say, 4 Ohms is going to work better with most typical headphones.
Edited by MrMateoHead - 11/27/12 at 10:11am
post #2632 of 17698
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMateoHead View Post

But needing 3x the power of an HD 650?

 

 

What - the HE400 does?  No way...

post #2633 of 17698
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMateoHead View Post


The HE-400 are most definitely easier to drive than other planars. If Hifiman improves the efficiency (and sound!) much further, I may never go back to dynamic. But needing 3x the power of an HD 650? That's a heckuva gap when considering High Dynamic Range recordings and the like, where you might easily need a full watt to accomplish what the dynamic drivers can do with a fraction of one.
I don't know about the traktor Audio 2 DAC, but I would suspect that what you were hearing wasn't so much a lack of power as the impact of very high output impedance on low input impedance. I cannot explain this like an expert, but the end result is that you screw up the dampening factor, which can screw up the sound if it is too low. 100 ohms out, for example, is great to keep distortion low feeding in to an amp, but the "rule of 8" would say that it couldn't drive a headphone well unless its impedance was about 800 Ohms. What you were hearing is what happens when dampening is screwed up by a combination of high output impedance and low input impedance.
The E9 is a great amp, but the output impedance is 10 Ohms, making it ideal for headphones rated @ 80 Ohms on up. If it sounds good to you, and the bass isn't "loose", I wouldn't worry. But, ideally, an amp that has an output impedance no greater than, say, 4 Ohms is going to work better with most typical headphones.

Thanks for the advice! I noticed the O2 amp has an output impedance of 0.5, so this should, atleast in theory, sound quite a bit better with the HE-400 than the E9.

Then again, My gmp 8.35D has an impedance of 35 ohm, but it sounds really nice through the E9.

 

If I understand you correctly, than something with a high output impedance like the traktor audio 2 (100 ohm indeed) should sound worse with headphone that have low impedance. 

However this dac is meant for typical DJ headphones that have a relatively low impedance. And the traktor audio 2 did sound much better with low impedance headphones than the HD650.

So it can't be just the rule of 8 applying negatively.

post #2634 of 17698
I use an old kenwood integrated speaker amplifier's HPO for my HE400s, no complaints here (except that I can only use about 10% of the volume knob because it's so powerful tongue.gif).
post #2635 of 17698
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marleybob217 View Post

Thanks for the advice! I noticed the O2 amp has an output impedance of 0.5, so this should, atleast in theory, sound quite a bit better with the HE-400 than the E9.

Then again, My gmp 8.35D has an impedance of 35 ohm, but it sounds really nice through the E9.

 

If I understand you correctly, than something with a high output impedance like the traktor audio 2 (100 ohm indeed) should sound worse with headphone that have low impedance. 

However this dac is meant for typical DJ headphones that have a relatively low impedance. And the traktor audio 2 did sound much better with low impedance headphones than the HD650.

So it can't be just the rule of 8 applying negatively.

Well, planar magnetics don't really care about output impedence.With dynamics it can make a big difference but with planar magnetics it doesn't effect the sound, you can use whatever output impedence you feel like using.

post #2636 of 17698
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marleybob217 View Post

Thanks for the advice! I noticed the O2 amp has an output impedance of 0.5, so this should, atleast in theory, sound quite a bit better with the HE-400 than the E9.
Then again, My gmp 8.35D has an impedance of 35 ohm, but it sounds really nice through the E9.

If I understand you correctly, than something with a high output impedance like the traktor audio 2 (100 ohm indeed) should sound worse with headphone that have low impedance. 
However this dac is meant for typical DJ headphones that have a relatively low impedance. And the traktor audio 2 did sound much better with low impedance headphones than the HD650.
So it can't be just the rule of 8 applying negatively.
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post


What - the HE400 does?  No way...

Innerfidelity claims the HD650 needs 0.13mW to reach 90 dB.
They also claim the HE-400 needs 0.33mW to reach 90 dB. So, mW to mW, you need about 2.5 times the power to drive the HE-400's to an equivalent level as the HD 650. Hence my assertion.

Its not that the power requirement of the HE-400 forces you to have a massive amp - it doesn't. For the sake of having adequate volume and headroom however, I think 0.5-1W is necessary.

MarleyBob - I can vouch for the O2 - it kicks butt and has plenty of juice for the HE-400, and virtually anything else you throw at it. The Traktor audio 2 you refer to, according to their website, is rated to drive headphones from 8-600 Ohms, and produce 100 mWs @100 Ohms. Given that, generally speaking, power would double at half that impedance, it should do something like 200 mWs @50 Ohms, and 400 mWs @ 25 Ohms. It depends on the design of the amp, but this suggests to me that output impedance is actually low! So that would explain why it seems to work well with lower impedance phones. But again I am no expert, and without more information about the amp, its hard to know if it should or shouldn't sound great with a variety of phones. But it certainly would have enough power to get loud with HE-400s.

That said, I recommend the O2 smily_headphones1.gif
post #2637 of 17698
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMateoHead View Post


That said, I recommend the O2 smily_headphones1.gif

Well I sold the traktor audio 2 for a reason, it wasn't any good :D (actually not That bad).

 

I'm gonna see how I like the HUD-MX1 & E9 & HE-400 setup first. If money is available, ever, I'll definitely think about buying the O2!

post #2638 of 17698
Waiting for mine in the mail, would you guys say these greatly contrast DT880's thats the impression im getting, after i got my beyers I love listening to female vocals!
post #2639 of 17698
Thread Starter 

The dt880 is very flat...vanilla ice cream. The he400 is not flat...read, triple chocolate chunk. biggrin.gif

post #2640 of 17698
If you want DT880 type of flat, go with the HE-4. wink.gif

That's the planar vanilla with some sprinkles on the top.
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