Okay, so I've had these for a couple of days and I have pretty much listened to stuff on them continuously for these past days. If there's anything I could say about them, if I were to kind of make up descriptive words as I go along to describe what I'm hearing, I would say that the sounds are kind of dark. Indeed I do hear things very clearly, and different sounds really seem to stand out on their own, where as with my old headphones perhaps they would meld together with all of the sounds, and for lack of better words not creating as immersive an experience. With these headphones I think I am starting to feel a burn in, of my mind if you will. Back peddling to what I said about "Dark sound." It's not a completely lush and colorful sound. If there's a song with guitar and bass, I don't hear how they would otherwise be audible. I kind of feel like I'm almost having to strain myself sometimes to hear these instruments when they are lower in the mix. However I try to be completely honest and open minded, I am still learning and more or less picking up more noticeable differences between these headphones and my old ones. One thing that is more audible than the acoustics are the percussions. I'm wondering if this is because of my lack of an amplifier. I am using nothing but a DAC (I hooked the headphones in through an RCA adapter), and I have been told that when I plug it into an amplifier the sound will "come alive." Yet some have told me it won't make much of a difference at all. I guess I'll have to wait and see. I'd still like some inputs though. Thanks.
I think we have the same experience and i have same feelings.
I'm using a Aune T1 Tube DAC/AMP ( Like RMac http://www.head-fi.org/t/604583/hifiman-he-400-impressions-and-discussion-thread/5700#post_9077560) and fortunately, it seems I found a tube which does a good job to tame these sibilant , sparkly trebles . IMO the problem is not only with trebles but with recessed mids. A bit lack of mids gives the focus on trebles ant that's hurting me. I tried to EQ my he-400 and the results is +2 for midrange and -2 from 8 KhZ to highest frequencies. Then I change the tube for a 6DJ8 instead of my 6N23p-EB .. and it made a kind of miracle.
Forwarder mids and a bit tamed trebles tend to eliminate sibilance in most cases. I listened to very different music yesterday and I think I could now keep my he-400 . Not sure yet but I think I can :)
I should be honest and say that it could only be a "brain and ears" burn but he-400 stays quite hard to listen from another source (my living room gear)
I have noticed that at times I have felt that I was straining to hear the mid frequencies, but this seems to be very recording dependent, as other times I feel the mids are very pronounced.
In terms of EQing, I am wiling to do it to tailor the sound signature. However, EQing to rectify the sibilance feels to me as though I'm trying to mask an actual issue with these headphones possibly at the expense of losing detail. I don't know I haven't tried. I understand EQing to user preference, but to fix a considerable problem I'm not sure. I have seen a few mention that they have found EQ settings that have improved sibilance, but there does not seem to be a silver bullet for those who are reporting it. I have no experience with Foobar or other equalization software. I'm under the assumption that they actually assuming control of the computer's audio properties, so is it correct that I could use with MOG and youtube?
The suggestion of a tube amp seems good, but for me I don't have the funds to be purchasing an amp solely for this headphone. I have an odac/o2 combo on the way, and I am hoping that I don't become completely obsessed with this hobby (though I am completely aware of the likelihood heh) that I'll feel I need to go dac or amp shopping again. I want it to be my end game amp or at least my rock for quite awhile. I know that's a big statement having not heard much else, but that's where I am at right now in my life. I know the odac/o2 will not do my sibilance issue any favors. My dad does have a vintage NAD receiver that he is going to have repaired for me. I have heard those can add a little warmth.