- 199 Posts. Joined 11/2010
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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 195post #2911 of 1497112/10/12 at 6:26pmMy headphones arrived today but I think I'm waiting until Christmas to open them. This could be painful.
Gear mentioned in this thread:post #2912 of 1497112/10/12 at 6:31pmQuote:Originally Posted by kstuart
How about the Thiel part ?
From Stereophile review of the classic Thiel model:
Let's just say that Fang's experience of speakers is extremely limited, but his experience of headphones is not. Since he doesn't sell speakers, that's not a problem.
Also, many people's association of "American" as an adjective meaning "stupid and unsophisticated" has some small basis in reality, but it has absolutely no basis in the world of audio, particularly when you are talking professional and high-end equipment like JBL and Thiel.
It doesn't matter if the classic Thiel model is extremely neutral and by chance Fang said HE400s are tailored after Thiel FR (which he didn't, he just wanted to say HE400s would be tuned after his idea of how American brand speakers sounded in general), all that matters is he has a predisposed idea of what tonality he wanted to tune these headphones into, and did it. Whether that predisposed idea is somewhat true, very true, or completely false is irrelevant.
Another reason might be that since Hifiman already has a very neutral can (HE500), they had pressure to make a lower-end planar model distinguish itself, through colouration.post #2913 of 1497112/10/12 at 6:51pmpost #2914 of 1497112/10/12 at 6:58pmThread Starterpost #2915 of 1497112/10/12 at 7:47pmpost #2916 of 1497112/10/12 at 9:10pmI'm pretty sensitive to sharp treble, and he 400 could get a little hot but just on few tracks, nothing like my old audio technica w1000x.
It is the sound signature that make them so enjoyable !
The low end is near perfect
For custom duties just ask head direct to lower the price, mine came with a 10 $ value, so no duties. The boxes they are packed in look like the one you get in cheap headphones anyway.post #2917 of 1497112/11/12 at 5:34ampost #2918 of 1497112/11/12 at 6:08am
As soon as you start wearing them i'm sure she wont find it very exciting, wify will have lost a husband to albums for hours on end , and will be constantly badgered by you saying ooooh listen to this song , its way different !!! :P
Personally my other half loves it when i go into my man cave for listening , but only if i've done the dishes 1st :Ppost #2919 of 1497112/11/12 at 8:56am
I have to chime in, since I have a fair amount of experience with "American Sounds" (albeit typically made somewhere else these days). JBL, Harman, Infinity, Mark Levinson, etc. are all owned by the same group these days but if I had to guess what the key is to "American Sound", I would say, "loud" "proud" and on the bright side.
There has never been anything like what I call "recessed" in my JBL's midrange. What you notice more is a present but smooth treble, and a tight and understated bass. If anything, the midrange is airy and spacious, and probably better than 90% of other speakers I have heard. At massive volumes, they are very forward and lose some coherence. If the HE-400s didn't have such excellent low-end extension, they probably would be very close to JBL in terms of sound signature, in my opinion.
Anytime you go up the high end, I feel that it gets harder to really distinguish between speakers, because they are tending toward "flat" and "detailed" no matter the brand - since this arguably makes for a more consistent and excellent experience.
The HE-400's have an excellent midrange, slightly bright treble, and a "tight bass" which is beautifully textured and even toned. The word "dark" never comes to mind when I listen to my JBLs or to these. Dark are my old Senn HD 485s, which seem detailed until they are pushed a little, and then the dark "veil" keeps a lot of sound out of the equation.
For those of you that can't take the fatigue, I have two solutions. The first is, make sure you get the tilt and swivel of the cans right (Thanks Jerg). The second is, play with the EQ! The one I have currently settled on is below:
I just assume that others' measures of the phones are correct, and I attempt to smooth out the 1 khz bump, and then work the treble down from about 2.5khz to 10k. Since I did these two things, I've noticed a bit more comfort in longer term listening.post #2920 of 1497112/11/12 at 10:31amThread Starter
^^ Glad that you're enjoying them with the EQ. I'm not much for EQ myself. The only EQ that I've ever bothered with was hardware EQ with the fiio e17. I sold it though. I'm wondering if it tames that hotspot for those who are sensitive to it??post #2921 of 1497112/11/12 at 10:44am
How do you guys put the HE400 on your head? I mean, where do you position your ear within the earpad? Do you put your ear-channel in the middle? Or do you put the earpad way to the front, so that the earpads make contact with the back of your ear?post #2922 of 1497112/11/12 at 10:47amThread Starterpost #2923 of 1497112/11/12 at 10:58amQuote:
I am not really sure where the "hotspot" is on these phones. The only edge I have detected is partly recording based, partly a female voice. It was Norah Jones singing "Say Goodbye" on her kick butt new CD. There is some layering and echo of voice and it is a little bit "harsh" to my ears, as much as I still love the song. I figure it is between 2-5khz. Yet I thought that typically, the human voice ranges only up to, say, 1.5-2khz. Do you or anyone else have a better guess?post #2924 of 1497112/11/12 at 11:25amQuote:Originally Posted by MrMateoHead
I am not really sure where the "hotspot" is on these phones. The only edge I have detected is partly recording based, partly a female voice. It was Norah Jones singing "Say Goodbye" on her kick butt new CD. There is some layering and echo of voice and it is a little bit "harsh" to my ears, as much as I still love the song. I figure it is between 2-5khz. Yet I thought that typically, the human voice ranges only up to, say, 1.5-2khz. Do you or anyone else have a better guess?
There's a pretty hefty dip from about 2-5kHz if I remember correctly. Biggest dip being about 2khz for me I think(as well as a large channel inbalance) based on what I was hearing in sinegen.
There highest spike is at 9khz, which is just a little bit higher than the 1kHz bump, but relative to the surrounding frequencies it is more noticable.
But be warned using a graphic EQ isn't the best way to do this. It is not "what you see is what you get", some frequencies are being altered in ways that you don't realize. Use a parametric EQ like electri-q where it shows you the actual curve, and you have a lot more room to work around with. I've got a few presets for it if you'd like where I used the data from headphones.com to smooth out the peaks and dips.
- **Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread**
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