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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 501

post #7501 of 18450

I must say, I was worried about getting this headphone. However, I listened to it. My mind changed.

(using Schiit stack Magni/Modi through my desktop using velour pads).

I used to listen to Grado SR80i and Sennheiser HD518s.
 

Overall - very strong! I love the bass, midrange, as well as the mids. The clarity and 'detail' is incredible.

I love this headphone, and have a feeling it'll only get better with more usage. My only concern is that certain vocalists, typically associated with screamo, seem VERY recessed. Examples - Red Hot Chili Peppers sounds amazing, while Tool's vocalist barely gets above the harmony guitars and percussion. Maybe it's just those tracks, but it seems like it's a hit-or-miss with artists.


Edited by Koerhijo - 2/18/13 at 12:50am
post #7502 of 18450

Evening everyone. So I've been listening to the HE-400 almost constantly since earlier this week. Initially I found the sound signature to be quite strange at first but they are definitely growing on me  very much. Came off the first listening session quite skeptical because I was so use to the Sennheiser sound style and their strong mids. These headphones definitely have a very crisp and open sound that I really appreciate. Tried my HD650 for a bit earlier today and it did sound a bit weird after using the he400 because the HD650 can't do instrument/sound separation nearly as well and their stage seems much less open. These two headphones do seem like very nice compliments because the HD650 has great mids whereas the HE-400 mids always seem a bit further away. The bass is very clean and very nice to listen to but there are some songs on my EDM track lists that I felt the HD600 provided a stronger punch for the deep bass (although he-400 was definitely much faster). Maybe I'm just crazy. 

 

I'd say the crispness and open style of the sound match more closely to the HD600 than the HD650. HE-400 just seem so different from the HD650 to me. It is like comparing fast vs smooth/slow, crisp vs lush, open vs tight sound stage.  What does everyone else think? 

 

 

Overall I am enjoying these headphones and I definitely have Hifiman on my list of great companies to rely on. Quite curious to see what their other headphones have to offer (but maybe later in the future...my wallet doesn't want any more abuse please)

 

Anyways thanks a lot to everyone for all the recommendations. 

post #7503 of 18450

totally with you totoro, 

 

My He-400 are mainly EDM while most of my other music is with the 650. The 650s are just a lot more comfortable for me. 

 

I have yet to try to watch Inception with my He-400s however. I wonder how that will be like lol 

post #7504 of 18450
Quote:
Originally Posted by IcedTea View Post

totally with you totoro, 

 

My He-400 are mainly EDM while most of my other music is with the 650. The 650s are just a lot more comfortable for me. 

 

I have yet to try to watch Inception with my He-400s however. I wonder how that will be like lol 

Haha I actually have that movie on me. Maybe I should fire that up on my desktop and give that a try right now (and pass out from the bass that comes crashing in during the first few seconds of the movie). D: I still need to see how well these handle PC games too. 

post #7505 of 18450
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohnoitztotoro View Post

Haha I actually have that movie on me. Maybe I should fire that up on my desktop and give that a try right now (and pass out from the bass that comes crashing in during the first few seconds of the movie). D: I still need to see how well these handle PC games too. 

Are you talking about like competitive gaming? or casual? 

 

Its not like I can help with either lol I usually lower the bgm and play my own soundtrack. 

post #7506 of 18450
Quote:
Originally Posted by IcedTea View Post

Are you talking about like competitive gaming? or casual? 

 

Its not like I can help with either lol I usually lower the bgm and play my own soundtrack.  

Nope just casual. :P I usually have my own music playing in the background as well but for single player games it is really nice to hear all the details coming from the appropriate direction/location. 

post #7507 of 18450
Quote:
Originally Posted by bareyb View Post

Interesting. This would make a good thread.... The ultimate portable system... That's what I'm after. beerchug.gif

well I love my Hm 601 and my cMoy BB 18v [it's a beefy freaking amp]

 

And I think the He 500 would have a simillar sound sig to the dt 880 [linear and clean, airy treble good extension ect... ect...]

 

But a hm 901 + Jds C421 +HE 500 might be magical! 

post #7508 of 18450
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlxx View Post

With all this lcd2 talk.. I A/B the he400 against the lcd2/lcd3.

I found the he400 was very similar to the lcd2.
When I listened to songs with no vocals, it was hard to tell the difference.
To me, it was mainly in the vocals the LCD2 was better.
It was a little bit more natural sounding overall too.

I find a little eq'ing makes the he400 basically as good as the lcd2.
Give the settings below a go. If you get clipping, just turn the volume on the rhs down to -4db.
Sounds great for me on my NFB 15.1 with velours/grill mod (still need to try those jergpads).
I can really hear a big improvement in the vocals with this and the treble is just right for me now as well.

 

HE400 EQ


Recreated this curve in JRiver parametric EQ and it sound's really good. Livens them up quite a bit and smooths out the top end.

post #7509 of 18450
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blotto80 View Post


Recreated this curve in JRiver parametric EQ and it sound's really good. Livens them up quite a bit and smooths out the top end.

how is the J river eq... I've been using J-River (pro) for videos! As it's cleary better than every free player I own... hands down.

 

I still use Foo Bar for music [since it's so small] still though... I'm curious to know how does J-Rivers eq compare to Eltriq n FooBar

post #7510 of 18450
The graphic EQ is very limited as it lacks the bands for fine tweaking. The parametric EQ is exceptionally powerful but doesn't have a graphical interface so it can be hard to visualize a curve while adjusting.
Electri-Q doesn't work in JRiver due to it not accepting a 64bit input, Jriver renders everything at 64bit to give more headroom for digital volume control/EQ.
I've taken to using a vst plugin Easy-Q to create the curve, then disabling it and plugging the values into the Jriver parametric. That way I get to see what I'm creating but still retain the fine control if the text based built in system.
post #7511 of 18450
For those interested in my LCD-2 gaming review: You can comment about it on my guide as to not saturate the HE-400 thread.







Audeze LCD-2
(This review is subject to change, and should be considered incomplete until further notice)



Sells for $995 (Headamp)
Review (Click to show)
Before I begin, I would like to personally thank Justin at Headamp for allowing head-fiers like myself to test out the Audeze LCD-2 at home for a few days. Without him and Headamp, I would have most likely never been able to demo these stellar, and extremely expensive headphones. The LCD-2 are one of the most popular, and highly regarded former flagships to date. Until the LCD-3's release, the LCD-2 was arguably known as the best headphone in the world in the $1500 or less price range. It's most popular and direct competitors in the price range are the Hifiman HE-6, the Sennheiser HD800, Ultrasone Edition 8 and Signature Pro, among some others.


Build Quality: I must say I'm not a big fan of the LCD-2's aesthetics. It has a very retro look to it, as if these were made in the 1940s. I'm sure there are many fans of it's look, but I'm not one of them. It looks clunky, way too large, and borderline utilitarian, in my opinion. The cups are made of wood (there are rosewood and bamboo variants, bamboo being lighter). I was sent the bamboo LCD-2, which I was hoping on, as the LCD-2 is quite heavy as is. The grills are black, with the Audeze grill design, with screws that protrude holding it in place. The headband adjustment is basically two long cylindrical rods, which look durable, but ugly as sin. The headband is padded with leather bumps, which aren't as offensive as the AKG K701/2/Q701 bumps. They aren't extremely soft, but get the job done. The cable input is a 4-pin XLR, which is leaps and bounds better than Hifiman's horrible screw-in type of connector.

The connectors are angled, which I'm a big fan of, as they allow the headphone cables to stick out a little in front of you, and not directly fall on your shoulders. The removable headphone cable looks straight out of 1940 as well, with small cables covering each channel and stuck together. While it's not the prettiest cable, I am a fan, as it's relatively flat, and should be mostly tangle-free. The termination is a very thich 6.3mm (1/4") plug, which screams rugged and durable. Unfortunately, there is no 3.5mm adapter of any kind, so you may want something like the Grado 1/4" to 3.5mm cable to connect to smaller devices. Due to the fact that the LCD-2 is actually pretty decent on lesser equipment (doesn't need a lot to sound good), you might wanna invest on such an adapter if you have a portable amp here or there. The LCD-2 is definitely not for portable use, but it can at least be transportable and enjoyable in that method.

The included pads are made of real leather (none of that pleather nonsense). They are angled, and VERY thick. Not the softest kind, but not hard either. I feel they are the right amount of firmness, personally. Audeze also sells vegan pads (which are more akin to something like velours) if you're like me, and prefer non-pleather/leather material.

As I briefly mentioned, the LCD-2 overall is a very retro, very heavy, very big, and of utilitarian design.


Comfort: The LCD-2 is not exactly what I'd call comfortable. The weight is definitely a factor. They also have some clamp, which can be a bit strong. I'd bend the headband out to lessen this, but as these are not mine, I've left them untouched. I don't mind it's clamp personally, but I would prefer a bit less. My biggest issue is that even for an open-design headphone, they have that airplane cabin-pressure feeling once you put them on. It's as if the pads find a seal, and you get that suction feeling. It's a bit surprising and unpleasant, but the feeling goes away after awhile.

As always, leather builds up heat and induces sweat, but the effect is somewhat better with leather compared to pleather which tends to add stickiness into the mix. Thankfully, as I demoed the LCD-2, Florida was going through a pretty strong cold front, so the pads didn't bother me much. I still would have preferred the vegan pads, but beggars can't be choosers. The headband on the first day of use put pressure on the top of my noggin, which was quite uncomfortable. After a day, I was able to get used to the feeling. Certainly not as bad as the AKG headband bumps which never disappear off the head.

Overall, I'd say the comfort on the LCD-2 is passable. Not the worst, but not great. It's between decent to good.


Accessories: You get the headphone, the cable, some stickers, and an AMAZING hard case. The case looks like it would survive a nuclear blast. Very impressive, to say the least. Not exactly something I'd keep in the the open, but it should offer extreme protection if you desire to use it.


Isolation/Leakage: As an open-ear headphone, the LCD-2 isn't exactly isolating. It lets external noises in, and leaks out a LOT. You definitely do not want to use this in a room with people, or even in a separate room with the door open.


Sound: To the meat of what everyone really wants to know. What does a $1000 headphone sound like? I must say... FANTASTIC. The tonal balance is quite warm, rich, creamy, and oooooh so seductive. The frequency response of the LCD-2 is VERY linear up until the upper mids, which then gently rolls off to a smooth treble range. This makes the LCD-2 like the HD650, in which is brings in a thick, musical, and non-fatiguing sound signature. In short, if I were to put the HE-400's bass with the HD650's mids and treble, with a pinch of refinement, the concoction would sound something like the LCD-2.

Is it all magical? Unfortunately, no. The LCD-2 has it's weaknesses. Number 1 being that the treble isn't what I'd consider natural. It's rolled off a bit. While I wouldn't change this (as it'd make the bass and mids less magical), the smooth treble leads to very little airiness in the sound and somewhat congested and small-ish soundstage. Can't have it all, it seems. Let's get into the specifics...


Bass: The bass. Dear god. The bass. Incredibly full, textured, and very, VERY deep. Due to the extreme linearity of the LCD2's response, I can't say the bass is emphasized, because it is PERFECTLY in line with the mids. Seriously, if you look at the published graphs, you'd see, there is absolutely no real emphasis anywhere. Does that mean the bass is neutral and not very strong? Yes and no. The LCD-2 has bar none, the best bass I have ever heard on any headphone. Not the MOST bass, just the best overall.

While I personally prefer the Denon D7000's fun fueled bass with it's emphasized and omnipotent sub bass, it isn't accurate, and doesn't have very strong mid bass. It also tends to add bass where there shouldn't be none. The Ultrasone Pro 2900's bass is incredibly agile, and sharp, but lacks quite a bit in the sub-region. The LCD-2's bass is full in all areas and not just certain frequencies. When a source demands it, the LCD-2 hits like Thor's hammer, and in all other cases, presents itself very naturally. There is absolutely no lack of bass here. Just accurate, and always involved in a proper manner.

The closest competitor (with very similar bass) is the Hifiman HE-400. The LCD-2 further improves on the type of bass the HE-400 is known for with even more texture and fullness. Headphones should strive to have the type of bass that the LCD-2 has. It's that good.


Mids: If you have read my HD650 review on this guide, you know how absolutely entranced I am by it's mids/vocals. What if I told you the LCD-2's mids are even better? That's right. The LCD-2's mids are incredibly intimate, haunting, and realistic. I have never heard vocals sound as if the singers were singing in the same room. This is as close as it's come to that. The best word for me to describe the mids is: NATURAL. Natural, organic, realistic, very detailed, and spine-chilling. Don't get me wrong, the HD650's mids are very, VERY close to this, but the LCD-2 just has that extra step that makes them stick out even more for me. Amazing. Absolutely.


Treble: The treble range. This is the LCD-2's weak point in terms of it's frequency response. In order to make the bass and mids as special as they are, something had to give. Unfortunately, it's the treble range. Technically rolled off and smooth. This gives the LCD-2 lose out on air and soundstage, which leads to congestion/stuffiness. The lack of air paired up with the incredibly full notes tends to clash sounds together in comparison to other headphones with more treble, which is the LCD-2's biggest shortcoming. Personally, the treble is the least important aspect of sound to me now, as most music is in the bass and mids region of the sound spectrum. Treble aids in perceived clarity with sparkle and air, but it's not essential or integral. The LCD-2 is not undetailed or veiled sounding. However, the treble does lack sparkle in comparison to more neutral offerings. That is undeniable. This is one area that it truly shares with the HD650. However, I feel the LCD-2 is quicker and more aggressive, so it doesn't sound laid back like the HD650.


Soundstage: As mentioned before, the lack of air and the congestion due to it's smooth treble response leads to a soundstage that is more akin to a closed headphone. Like a closed headphone with a large soundstage, but disappointing for an open headphone.

I directly compared the LCD-2 with my K702 65th Anniversary which is also warm/smooth.

The LCD-2: It's midnight, the place is a small, smoky jazz lounge. There is a very sultry, seductive singer in a long red dress, glass of red wine in hand, who recently brought you up on stage and sat you on a chair. She sits on your lap and begins to sing her slow, romantic song directly to you.

K702 Anniversary: Instead of a smoky jazz lounge, you're in the front row of an open theatre, same woman, same song, but she's moving around while singing it to many people.

Make sense? The LCD2 is a lot more intimate and closed in, while the Annie has a much bigger sense of air, space and perceived clarity of notes. Both are so very good in what they do, but very different in presentation. What I recently stated was how I personally heard the LCD-2 for music, the LCD-2 for gaming (with Dolby Headphone) fared quite a bit better. Soundstage opened up, with a very good sense of depth and relatively decent width. Not very large, but there was ample space to allow positional cues space to do their magic.


Positioning: Positional cues were surprisingly very good. I had zero issues locating sound placement, though lesser headphones with less thickness made it much easier to pinpoint sounds. The LCD-2 is one of the better headphones I have heard in terms of rear depth, which is incredibly beneficial for positional cues.


Clarity: Clarity for gaming is actually pretty good. That linear response in bass and mids gives the LCD-2 quite a detailed sound for gaming, even borderline analytical at times (like the HD650, which was also surprisingly detailed for gaming), while softening just the impact of the more annoying sounds like gun fire and glass shattering enough to reduce ear fatigue. You get fullness AND clarity. Not many headphones that do both.


Amping: The LCD-2 is surprisingly easy to power for a planar magnetic headphone, requiring minimal amping to sound good. I was able to use it with the Mixamp alone, though I would still recommend some amping to truly make this $1000 worth the purchase. No reason to skimp out here when you've aready spent so much money on the headphone alone. The LCD-2 is known to scale up quite a bit, as it can handle a ridiculous amount of power, despite not needing much to hit the ground running. It certain improved in refinement when I used paired the Mixamp up with my Compass 2 which does 2 watts at 50ohm. The LCD-2 can handle even more than that.


Value: Value is certainly questionable. It costs an exhorbitant amount of money, and you can get by with much, much less for gaming in particular.


Final Impressions: The LCD-2 is a truly stunning headphone with the best bass and mids I have heard to date. That being said, as far as gaming goes, there are headphones better suited that cost MUCH less. It however, a top tier headphone that will impress on almost all fronts with few weaknesses. You get lots of warmth, musicality, fullness, and truly organic sound. Treble, air, and congestion are it's weaknesses, but the overall package is so fantastic, you can forgive these faults once everything is taken into account. This is one headphone I suggest people use for gaming if you happen to own them, though I certainly wouldn't buy them with gaming as the top priority. It is certainly better for non-gaming needs, though hold their own for gaming, especially for casual/fun gaming.

Final Scores...

Fun: 9 (Fantastic. Incredible warmth, bass texture, mids, and fullness, for lots of immersion.)

Competitive: 7 (Good. Great clarity and detail, decent soundstage in Dolby Headphone with good rear positional cues.)

Comfort: 6.5 (Decent. Heavy, and clampy, but not completely offensive. It's passable. Comfort may be boosted with vegan pads and stretching the headband out for less clamp.)
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 2/18/13 at 6:48am
post #7512 of 18450

You definitely stepped up on the ladder with that review, MLE.

 

Next you should review a Sennheiser Orpheus in regards to gaming performance. I doubt someone would buy a headphone this expensive for gaming, but it would be nice to see how the big dogs do in this department.

post #7513 of 18450

Hi,

 

So I got HE-400 5 days ago and they are absolutely worth the money. Especially bass is great.

 

I like them so much that I'am considering some custom cable and wanted to ask about your opinion.

 

Is it worth 100-150$ ? Will it really improve sound ? Never got any custom cable so I have no idea what difference does it make.

 

Or should I rather save money and get HE-500 in future ? Heard that HE-500 doesn't have as "emphasized" bass as HE-400 and if that's true I would rather upgrade HE-400 with some cable, again if it makes any difference.

post #7514 of 18450
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flisker View Post

Hi,

 

So I got HE-400 5 days ago and they are absolutely worth the money. Especially bass is great.

 

I like them so much that I'am considering some custom cable and wanted to ask about your opinion.

 

Is it worth 100-150$ ? Will it really improve sound ? Never got any custom cable so I have no idea what difference does it make.

 

Or should I rather save money and get HE-500 in future ? Heard that HE-500 doesn't have as "emphasized" bass as HE-400 and if that's true I would rather upgrade HE-400 with some cable, again if it makes any difference.


Some people will tell you it's worth, but i'd rather save the money for an upgrade.

post #7515 of 18450
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flisker View Post

Hi,

 

So I got HE-400 5 days ago and they are absolutely worth the money. Especially bass is great.

 

I like them so much that I'am considering some custom cable and wanted to ask about your opinion.

 

Is it worth 100-150$ ? Will it really improve sound ? Never got any custom cable so I have no idea what difference does it make.

 

Or should I rather save money and get HE-500 in future ? Heard that HE-500 doesn't have as "emphasized" bass as HE-400 and if that's true I would rather upgrade HE-400 with some cable, again if it makes any difference.

 

The good thing about getting a custom cable is that you could use it on the HE-500 or HE-6 if you ever upgrade to those. 

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