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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 178

post #2656 of 18319
Quote:
Originally Posted by BearWant View Post

Hello all,

 

Sorry if this post is a repeat for any of you.  I asked this at the other he-400 thread, but have not yet gotten any responses.  Thought I'd try over here.

 

I've been sucked into the black hole that is head-fi and lurking for a while now though the endless threads and spending countless hours on research.  I think I finally have come to the determination that the he-400 is what I'm seeking; however, I am not totally sure what I need to complete my setup.  

 

I will use music from the MOG at 320 kbps as my source from both my Galaxy Nexus and PC.  On my pc I have onboard sound which I don't think too highly of.  I would like some portability, so I'm considering the e17/e09k combo.  That way I could use the e17 as a dac when at my PC and use it as an amp for my phone.  The dac in my Nexus does not seem half bad for when I go portable (waiting for someone to hopefully figure out that micro usb issue so I can output to a dac).

 

The other detail here is my father has an old NAD receiver I'm not sure what model, but it has a headphone jack and plenty of inputs on the back.  Is it 1) possible and 2) advisable to output SPDIF from PC to the e17/e09k combo using the e17's dac and the e09k as a preamp then using the rca outputs on the back of the e09k to the back of the NAD receiver for some extra juice? I apologize if this has been answered before, but my search found nothing.

 

Or can someone envision a better alternative?  As I said I would like some portability, but with that said I don't need to be walking around town and would stay mostly confined to a desk while I listen.  Thus, I would be happy to lug around a manageable dac & amp for when I go out of town or when I'm working from the office on weekends.  Money is an barrier.  I'm not looking to spend much more than 650 and would like to make my purchase through Amazon so I can get the 12 month financing.  I'm a poor social worker so its a must.  The only other thing I would say is that I'm hoping this hypotehtical setup would provide some future proofing in that I would be able to drive some other headphones which may be more difficult to drive if I am to expand my collection in the future.  I have the head-fi bug so I'm sure it just a matter of time before I get the itch again.


From the PC's USB out -> HRT Music Streamer II asynchronous DAC (US$150)  -> NAD receiver

 

will be better sound quality - in my opinion - than anything mentioned above.

 

(Note:  The Music Streamer will not work from a smartphone or tablet.)


Edited by kstuart - 11/30/12 at 10:59am
post #2657 of 18319
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

Hey, I was just thinking while wearing a pair of maddogs how incredibly comfortable they are despite being almost they exact same weight as the the he400. I think that they are essentially the same weight...maybe the he400 being about 20 grams heavier. Of course the reason for the comfort with the maddog is almost exclusively due to the comfort strap.

 

So then it got me thinking...hmm...wait for it....comfort strap for the he400!! Time to mod. very_evil_smiley.gif

 

Im interested to know if you're working on this Mat.

post #2658 of 18319
@Matt & Beaver

Something like this? http://www.head-fi.org/t/635480/
post #2659 of 18319

I'm very close to ordering the HE400 but I'm afraid I will wish I had sprung for the HE500 instead. Convince me they aren't really $300 better!

post #2660 of 18319
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuzzyD View Post

I'm very close to ordering the HE400 but I'm afraid I will wish I had sprung for the HE500 instead. Convince me they aren't really $300 better!

They are $300 better if you prioritize smoothness, transparency and neutrality.

 

They are not $300 better if you priotize dynamics, holographic imaging, and openness.

post #2661 of 18319

That helps. I really enjoy the clarity of sound that separates all the individual instruments so it sounds like that might be the 400?

post #2662 of 18319
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuzzyD View Post

That helps. I really enjoy the clarity of sound that separates all the individual instruments so it sounds like that might be the 400?

 

 

 

I would think that would lead you to the 500s?

post #2663 of 18319
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuzzyD View Post

That helps. I really enjoy the clarity of sound that separates all the individual instruments so it sounds like that might be the 400?

Both headphones separate about well, but I don't notice HE500s being better in that respect. In fact HE400's open laid-back sound signature actually accentuates its separation so it can sound like it has better separation than HE500.

 

Also HE500s are more transparent but HE400 have a more detail-oriented sound signature with its emphasis in the upper treble, so they might be subjectively perceived as having better clarity (even if HE500s are objectively more detailed).

 

So yes, HE400 will serve you well and save you $300.


Edited by jerg - 11/30/12 at 9:24am
post #2664 of 18319
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

 

I would think that would lead you to the 500s?

Well then I guess how do we define the difference between transparency and openness??

post #2665 of 18319
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcpk View Post

@Matt & Beaver
Something like this? http://www.head-fi.org/t/635480/

 

Not exactly like that. It's a strap that doesn't even touch the headband. It gives you the feeling that the headphones are just floating on your head, or so I've read.

post #2666 of 18319

I think of transparency as relating to instrument separation and definition.

 

"Openness" would reflect, to me, the sense that there is a wide and deep soundstage.

post #2667 of 18319
Quote:

Originally Posted by MrMateoHead View Post
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FuzzyD View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

I would think that would lead you to the 500s?

 

Well then I guess how do we define the difference between transparency and openness??

 

I think of transparency as relating to instrument separation and definition.

 

"Openness" would reflect, to me, the sense that there is a wide and deep soundstage.

 

If we go by http://www.head-fi.org/a/describing-sound-a-glossary

 

Transparent - Easy to hear into the music, detailed, clear, not muddy. Wide flat frequency response, sharp time response, very low distortion and noise. A hear through quality that is akin to clarity and reveals all aspects of detail.

 

Open - Sound which has height and "air", relates to clean upper midrange and treble.

post #2668 of 18319
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post

 

If we go by http://www.head-fi.org/a/describing-sound-a-glossary

 

Transparent - Easy to hear into the music, detailed, clear, not muddy. Wide flat frequency response, sharp time response, very low distortion and noise. A hear through quality that is akin to clarity and reveals all aspects of detail.

 

Open - Sound which has height and "air", relates to clean upper midrange and treble.

"Open" needs a third attribute: it needs good treble extension (mainly 12-18kHz) that is relatively flat. HE400s aren't great but are better than most in that aspect.

 

 

700

It still has peaks and small ringing ridges (around 13kHz) which cause a little tizz, but otherwise it gives the sound signature a lot of air.

 

In comparison, HE500s:

 

 

Notice how it has a pretty big chunk of upper treble missing, that helps give it a very forgiving tonality especially with harsh vocal recordings. However the downside is it contributes to the headphones not sounding as open as something like the HE400.

 

A third comparison would be something like SR007mk2.5, which is reputed to have some of the most airy "materialize-out-of-thin-air" sound possible:

 

 

Notice just how clean, even, and nice the upper treble is extended, and that it is relatively emphasized. The lack of peak/ringing means even with the emphasis it is still not tizzy, and the emphasis relates to how there is huge amounts of air in its presentation.

 

 

Admittedly I have not had a chance to audition high-end STAXs yet, only the Hifiman and Audeze planar lines (all of them), but there is a perfect correspondance with their measurements and my subjective impressions of their treble behavior and "openness", so I thought it'd be fair to extrapolate a bit.


Edited by jerg - 12/1/12 at 1:57pm
post #2669 of 18319
Jerg, your lack of desktop amp bothers me. Lol.
post #2670 of 18319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

Jerg, your lack of desktop amp bothers me. Lol.

I understand underpowering these (especially the HE500s) makes my understanding of them a bit less credible than someone who's driving them out of something more powerful, but I have listened to both HE400 and HE500 out of more powerful setups (O2/ODAC, BHA1/W4S DAC2, EF6) at my recent meet and have a pretty good understanding of the aspects and degrees in which they improve. My conclusion is that they are both very forgiving of setups and improvement with further setup upgrade is definite but not quite paradigm-shifting.

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