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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 285

post #4261 of 18332
Quote:
Originally Posted by spittis View Post


I think you misunderstood my usage of the word "source", I was just referring to the DAC & amplifier, not the sound files. I agree with that poorly recorded/mastered tracks are exposed.


I'm actually including source as everything before the headphone.  As well as poorly recorded/mastered music, a so-so DAC and amplifier will give you a so-so performance.  I'm not saying that more expensive equipment doesn't give diminishing returns (especially the type of equipment where the case is worth considerably more than the electronics) but skimping on any part of the source will simply cheat you out of reaching the potential sound these or any other headphones are capable of.

 

As well as considering how a system sounds WRT frequency response, for me, more important is PRAT; again, for me, that's what makes music, well, music.  

post #4262 of 18332

About he-5


Discontinued and removed from the market because of cracking wood cups issue and piercing treble for some people ?

 

It was 87dB anyway ...


Edited by magicman - 1/5/13 at 10:49am
post #4263 of 18332
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

I’ll offer a brief comparison of the he400 vs he-4 for those who might be considering the he-4.

 

First and foremost, if you don’t have a good midgrade amp I don’t feel that there is any reason to even give the he-4 a try. Why, you say? Because while the lyr does not struggle with the he4, in my estimation it was just enough to drive the he4 properly.  I’ve driven the following from the lyr/bifrost combo over the past year:

*he400 *hd650 *Maddogs *LCD2r2 *he500

 

And now the he4. The he4 requires notably more of the volume pot to give me a nice full enjoyable level than any of the others. And not by a small margin.  I’m not exactly sure why. I speculated that the he4 and he500 would have similar amping requirements or possibly the he500 needing a little more juice. Most of the headphones that I’ve driven need about 9:00-10:30 on the clock to reach enjoyable levels for me. The he4, starts at 10:30 and needs 12:00 to get it really cranking or if you are listening to less dynamic music. This really surprised me. I’ve never needed this much volume on the lyr with any other hp.  Enough about that for now.

 

The first thing that you notice when you slide on the he4, is that it is noticeably lighter than the he400. For me, the reduced weight simply made the he4 a more comfortable hp. There is not as much pressure across the top of my head and the long term effect was that I could wear them longer. Now, how do they sound?

 

It takes some adjustment coming from the he400 to get a handle on the sound signature of the he4 and to really appreciate them. When I first put them on I was somewhat disappointed. I knew that they’d have less bass, so if you like the bass of the he400 you won’t get it here. The he4 is more balanced and refined. After listening for a few hours, I had a better appreciation for the he4. What you have is a wonderful sound signature. The mids are more lush and accurate than the he400. They seem more “gifted” for lack of a better descriptor and don’t have any of the “tizzy” issues or flaws that you’ll hear from the he400 mids. The vocals sound more natural and are ultimately more enjoyable.

 

I was really worried about the treble and brightness. This is the very reason I decided to audition them before purchasing. I’m sensitive to bright hp’s and just can’t enjoy them. While this might be considered a “brighter” hp than those I mentioned in the beginning, it’s not what I’d call overly bright and I found that I could listen to it for hours without fatigue. The treble is very good. It extends wonderfully and naturally without ever sounding sibilant or harsh.

 

The bass is tighter and more in balance than with the he400. I missed the less polite bass on the he400 tbh. The he400 bass what makes it “fun” to listen to and gives it that American sound that is often referred to. The he4 bass goes as low, it just has less visceral impact. It’s refined and accurate. For me it seems to work best with jazz and classical music.

 

The he4 is an impressive hp. It will please you with it’s mids and treble and overall wonderfully balanced signature. With the right amp it will be spacious and airy in the very best way. The reduced weight is compelling and would be an attractive factor for those who find the he500 and he400 somewhat heavy. I think that it’s priced about $50 too high. If it were the same price as the he400, there would be more people tempted to try it. Understandably it’s a discontinued product and stock is limited. If you want to take the comparison of the hd600 vs hd650 and apply it here, it might help you decide if you’d like the he4 over the he400. If you are in the hd600 camp then you probably be happy with the he4. Hd650 fans would likely favor the he400. This is a somewhat general comparison, so take it for what it’s worth and don’t throw rotten tomatoes at me. 

Another great post, Matt!  Your descriptions are like a virtual audition. Thanks a million! 

post #4264 of 18332
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicman View Post

That is what I wrote a few posts before, he400 sounded like perfectly driven hd650 (soundstage layering, separation of plans, imaging, bass) but with extraordinary bass control and much better clarity, vocals (although a bit laid back IMHO) with no hint of sibilance and a bit dark signature compare to some airy phones with upper harmonics (like hd600 which still have more details and are better balanced throughout the spectrum)

 

After listening to he400 I know I would never buy hd650 again but hd600 are still better with texturing and details, airness and something I could call "acoustic plankton" which is magical depending on CD album (and of course all your rig which has to be pretty good to make hd600 justice)

 

That's why I decided to go with he5le - this is something like hd600 on steroids to me, they do everything better (speed, texturing, transients, realism, impact, neutrality, soundstage - oh god, depth especially) - but these are my tastes, you have yours and that's completely fine, use your ears to pick your best phones and enjoy

 

PEACE

Man, I really hope to audition HE5LE in detail some day; have you heard the HE500 extensively at any point? How would you contrast the two? To my ears the HE500s are almost perfect-sounding, and have the added advantage of being (almost) as easily driveable as HE400, unlike Hifiman's other offerings.

post #4265 of 18332

The two are soooo close in resemblance it's really hard to tell.  For me.  The HE-5LEs scales higher than the 500s, Only when I put them on different amps I can hear a slight difference in favor of the HE-5LEs.

 

On any lesser amps (other than speaker amps) the HE-500s would be the perfect choice..

 

I have a small speaker amp.  Emotiva a-100 mini X.  The HE-5LE sound better on this amp when compared to the HE-500s.  

 

On my balanced M^3 the HE-500 when compared to the HE-5LEs on the same amp sounds better.

 

I may be crazy - and I think I am.  But it just seems like the more current HE-5LE, HE-4, and the HE-6 gets the better they sound.

post #4266 of 18332

So all I'm finally a member of the he-400 club!  They came yesterday.  I am sad to report I have some concerns.  Firstly let me list the conditions.  As of yet, I have no decent DAC/amping solution.  I have been using my computer onboard sound (Realtek) and my galaxy nexus.  On some songs they are driven to adequate volume and others not.  My source is the MOG which is all 320 kbs.  Considering these limitations should I be concerned about the following.

 

On many tracks of Muse and Mumford and Sons I have noticed considerable sibilance.  I have noted this on many other tracks as well probably about 50% of those I've listened to.  I have also heard a staticy type sound ingrained in the vocals.  I'm not sure if this is that "tizziness" that many of you have described, but I just tried to listen to "I Am a Highway" on Chris Conell's songbook.  This staticy noise ran all through his vocals making the track near unlistenable.  Also on many tracks I have noticed a good deal of background hiss; however, this is not true of all tracks.  I will chalk this up to the fact that I'm probably dealing with my most sensitive headphone yet and now differences in mastering are much more striking.  

 

I have had some very nice moments with these headphone.  And some I felt were on the verge of magical if only I had more driving force.  However, I am a bit leary that the concerns I have will disappear with my upcoming purchase of the O2/ODAC.  Any advice would be appreciated.   
 

And yes the plastic grills are a transparent whiteish color.

post #4267 of 18332
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

Man, I really hope to audition HE5LE in detail some day; have you heard the HE500 extensively at any point? How would you contrast the two? To my ears the HE500s are almost perfect-sounding, and have the added advantage of being (almost) as easily driveable as HE400, unlike Hifiman's other offerings.


my impressions are based on my previous sony sacd XA5400 ES + ef-5 stock + he5le

 

I was gonna audition he500 but I quitted, I am tired of sending back units all the time etc ... I trust my ears and what I heard then (maybe it's mistake not to listen to them but I am a risk taker here)

 

although the amp looked like some chinese piece of shi* I was strucked by effortless dynamics and authority which I loved from the first notes


Edited by magicman - 1/6/13 at 1:05am
post #4268 of 18332
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

The two are soooo close in resemblance it's really hard to tell.  For me.  The HE-5LEs scales higher than the 500s, Only when I put them on different amps I can hear a slight difference in favor of the HE-5LEs.

 

On any lesser amps (other than speaker amps) the HE-500s would be the perfect choice..

 

I have a small speaker amp.  Emotiva a-100 mini X.  The HE-5LE sound better on this amp when compared to the HE-500s.  

 

On my balanced M^3 the HE-500 when compared to the HE-5LEs on the same amp sounds better.

 

I may be crazy - and I think I am.  But it just seems like the more current HE-5LE, HE-4, and the HE-6 gets the better they sound.

Are you sure the differences are not just largely accounted for by difference in tonality?

 

Looking at the InnerFidelity measurements of the two headphones, they are voiced quite pretty differently, HE5LE's FR just looks like a slightly less polished HE6, while HE500's FR is radically different. Same is observed with the 

post #4269 of 18332

I finally found them at a store in Japan.  I can't tell you about the sound though as I could barley hear them when plugged into my phone.  I will have to bring an amp next time.  My first impression was they were effing heavy.

post #4270 of 18332
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BearWant View Post

So all I'm finally a member of the he-400 club!  They came yesterday.  I am sad to report I have some concerns.  Firstly let me list the conditions.  As of yet, I have no decent DAC/amping solution.  I have been using my computer onboard sound (Realtek) and my galaxy nexus.  On some songs they are driven to adequate volume and others not.  My source is the MOG which is all 320 kbs.  Considering these limitations should I be concerned about the following.

 

On many tracks of Muse and Mumford and Sons I have noticed considerable sibilance.  I have noted this on many other tracks as well probably about 50% of those I've listened to.  I have also heard a staticy type sound ingrained in the vocals.  I'm not sure if this is that "tizziness" that many of you have described, but I just tried to listen to "I Am a Highway" on Chris Conell's songbook.  This staticy noise ran all through his vocals making the track near unlistenable.  Also on many tracks I have noticed a good deal of background hiss; however, this is not true of all tracks.  I will chalk this up to the fact that I'm probably dealing with my most sensitive headphone yet and now differences in mastering are much more striking.  

 

I have had some very nice moments with these headphone.  And some I felt were on the verge of magical if only I had more driving force.  However, I am a bit leary that the concerns I have will disappear with my upcoming purchase of the O2/ODAC.  Any advice would be appreciated.   
 

And yes the plastic grills are a transparent whiteish color.

 

Where did you purchase them from? I would look at the magni/modi combo from Schitt. I'll give that song a listen for you. 

post #4271 of 18332
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

I may be crazy - and I think I am.  But it just seems like the more current HE-5LE, HE-4, and the HE-6 gets the better they sound.

 

That's why I am thinking about cancelling ef5/lyr and maybe go for some nice vintage yamaha receiver with some 2x15W directly from speaker taps

 

After your comparison between he4 & he400 I think even he4 might be my cup of tea but I have good price on he5le and I auditioned them before so there is no way back now ... Just matching some great amp to let them spread their wings :)

post #4272 of 18332
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

 

Where did you purchase them from? I would look at the magni/modi combo from Schitt. I'll give that song a listen for you. 


I got them from Justin over at Headamp.  I was also considering the Schitt pile.  But I was leaning toward the 02 for the ability to operate on battery.  Yet, with around 100 dollars in price difference I may just end up stepping in Schiit.

 

Thanks for giving that a listen.

post #4273 of 18332

Wow this thread really exploded in the last couple of hours. With all the talk of the HE-4 it would probably be best to create a new thread for it.

post #4274 of 18332
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

Are you sure the differences are not just largely accounted for by difference in tonality?

 

Looking at the InnerFidelity measurements of the two headphones, they are voiced quite pretty differently, HE5LE's FR just looks like a slightly less polished HE6, while HE500's FR is radically different. 

 

 

The FR charts might may be objectively correct.  I just happen to think they're flawed, so i don't buy into them as much, when it comes to hard to drive headphones like these particular HFMs..  They really do act / sound different with more current.  So the amps they have been using to measure just don't brign the best out of these.  Just my opinion.

 

The HE-5LEs are better balanced from top to bottom.  A better tonal balance and fairly neutral.  Really shines as the current increases.

 

The HE-500s has more treble energy at times.  Depending on the track and the amp.  It just as well can be more darker as well on some tube amps.  

 

Both less dark than the HE-400s and both less bright airy than the HE-4

 

Just my subjective view..

post #4275 of 18332

yeah I guess they are all great headphones with many special abilities and the best thing is to have them all

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