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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 609

post #9121 of 18107
Quote:
Originally Posted by DutchGFX View Post

Just my $.02

 

O2 is entirely overated, its good for a sub $200 amp, but thats all it is. And I feel it bottlenecks my system.

 

Only reason I kept it and sold my E17 was because on the plane I look like a total badass with the O2 on the slidout tray lol


Lol. While this isn't the "O2 haters thread", I would patently disagree that its 'over-rated'. By who, exactly? Also, I am curious about how it is a 'bottleneck' - it has proven to be a good pair to the HE-400 over time. More than enough power.

 

Anyway, I am wondering if it is time to start an HE-500 lover's thread, since this one is slowly turning into a discussion of all the other headphones aside from the HE-400 that rule.

 

I myself have gone from pad swapping, to fine-EQing, back to flat, and currently use a 6 db boost at 50 hz (through the windows mixer) because I've been bass crazy. While its hard not to fiddle with these, I still love the spacious, detailed, and slightly aggressive sound. I will never defect! The law of diminishing returns says it can't be THAT much better at the top, and frankly the money I am saving is buying new CDs!

post #9122 of 18107
Quote:
Originally Posted by DutchGFX View Post

Just my $.02

 

O2 is entirely overated, its good for a sub $200 amp, but thats all it is. And I feel it bottlenecks my system.

 

Only reason I kept it and sold my E17 was because on the plane I look like a total badass with the O2 on the slidout tray lol

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

^^ I agree with everything you've said about the o2. It just didn't do much at all for me. It looked, felt and sounded like a budget solution to me. I've sold off all my portables but I'd have kept the e17 over the o2 any day especially for travel. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Okamoto View Post

NwAvGuy is gonna write a gigantic article on his blog bashing you for that post.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMateoHead View Post

Lol. While this isn't the "O2 haters thread", I would patently disagree that its 'over-rated'. By who, exactly? Also, I am curious about how it is a 'bottleneck' - it has proven to be a good pair to the HE-400 over time. More than enough power.

 

 

About a year or so ago, I had a good exchange of messages with another member regarding the O2.  Since I'm a believer that one just isn't enough, I had about 3 of them over a period of a few months.  Our discussion basically ended up where we both agreed that we liked a bit of color in the sound of our amps.   While the true goal of an amp should be that it doesn't color the sound at all, I've realized, it may not be complete purity that I'm always after.  I guess I just want something that sounds good to me, and allows me to get a great connection with the music I'm listening to.

 

As to the over-rating, or the over-hyping, one can see how it really has gone and turned out that way.  On the DIY forum, there are endless threads about it.  People marvel at getting a bargain, especially when numbers prove that the lesser cost item can out-perform a higher priced one.  That is just the way many of our minds work.  In the case of the O2, the test numbers when compared to the Benchmark @ $800 or so, presented the O2 as being quite favorable.  This is what generated a lot of hype.  Another such comparison that I can make -- but, I'll do so without criticism of the actual product would be the modified Fostex headphones.  As soon as someone coined the term that they were (sound-wise) in the league of the LCD2 from Audeze, but that sound was achieved out of a $80 pair of headphones with $15.00 in modification supplies, again we had another situation where things have gone viral.

 

In closing, I think the whole O2 situation would have been more interesting to watch if it had been marketed differently.  Take a $100 amp, put it into a much higher-end case and market it to true audiophile snobs for $1,299.  It would sell because of the purity of sound and a non-colored sound.  At $100, true audiophiles are skeptical.  However, at $1,299, then their skepticism is less so, and they're likely to bite.  wink.gif

post #9123 of 18107

Does HE-400 has a memory effect?

I have been using both He-400 and He-5LE for last months.

After using for a month of HE-5LE and started to listen to He-400s, which began to sound a muddy feeling for a while and then seemed to comeback to original SQ.

With He-5LE I did not have experience of the fluctuation in SQ.

post #9124 of 18107

Yeah I actually had written a lot more about the O2 but I thought id get flamed for saying it.

 

Sure, I can see how its I guess tonality neutral, and pretty transparent. But it really doesn't make me feel like my music is changed at all, it simply increases the volume IMHO. Where as the E17 I thought altered my sound a bit, and i enjoyed that.

 

Side note, I think we should have an HE-5xx Appreciation Thread, I'll spam that like there's no tommorrow, thanks to Wje, I don't think I need any more headphones :D

post #9125 of 18107
Quote:
Originally Posted by DutchGFX View Post

Yeah I actually had written a lot more about the O2 but I thought id get flamed for saying it.

 

Sure, I can see how its I guess tonality neutral, and pretty transparent. But it really doesn't make me feel like my music is changed at all, it simply increases the volume IMHO. Where as the E17 I thought altered my sound a bit, and i enjoyed that.

 

Side note, I think we should have an HE-5xx Appreciation Thread, I'll spam that like there's no tommorrow, thanks to Wje, I don't think I need any more headphones :D

Amplifier: : one that amplifies; specifically : an electronic device (as in a stereo system) for amplifying voltage, current, or power

 

From the Merriam Webster.

 

It sounds to me like your O2 is working just fine then wink.gif

 

I won't flame you, but I won't entertain the idea that amps are like 'instruments' or are properly used to 'tune' your listening experience either. I assume that would offend engineers (even if marketers love the concept). Any amp that doesn't "simply increase volume" is basically flawed, distorted, and/or introducing a variable into an electronic chain that doesn't need to be there in the 21st century. 

 

Given the variability of recordings and also headphones, I'll never get why an amp should also screw with the final sound. That said, to each their own. I wish I had $700 bucks for the HE-500 so I could given them a listen. I am sure the tamer sound would be awesome under certain listening conditions.

post #9126 of 18107

There's a flaw in the argument of 'this amp simply increases the volume of the headphone and thus is working fine.'

 

How do you absolutely know how the headphone is supposed to sound in the first place?  Everything is relative in this hobby, there are no absolutes.  You can only compare the E17 to the O2.  You can't just say the O2 simply raises the volume without altering the sound while the E17 colors it.  You also simply can't throw out measurements of ruler flat frequency responses and THD numbers well below the hearing threshold, because almost every amp has measurements like that, yet they sound different.

post #9127 of 18107
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

 You also simply can't throw out measurements of ruler flat frequency responses and THD numbers well below the hearing threshold, because almost every amp has measurements like that, yet they sound different.

They sound different to some people, and only with some headphones. Doesn't mean that they do sound different in reality.

post #9128 of 18107
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

There's a flaw in the argument of 'this amp simply increases the volume of the headphone and thus is working fine.'

 

How do you absolutely know how the headphone is supposed to sound in the first place?  Everything is relative in this hobby, there are no absolutes.  You can only compare the E17 to the O2.  You can't just say the O2 simply raises the volume without altering the sound while the E17 colors it.  You also simply can't throw out measurements of ruler flat frequency responses and THD numbers well below the hearing threshold, because almost every amp has measurements like that, yet they sound different.


There are absolutes, and also standards, tolerances, and 'industry best practices'. Only marketers believe in infinite 'relativity'. I believe in a certain 'individuality' in listening preferences and so on, but don't bother myself believing that any speaker should have a known sound quality beforehand. I do know that 'flatter' usually = better sound no matter what I am listening to. So that is one 'spec' I look for. A little different for phones' but I am just making a point.

 

The first issue with an E17 and O2 comparison is the former is a DAC/Amp, while the latter is just an amp. An amp is an intermediary in the signal chain, not a source or an endpoint. A good amp can be made to sound bad given some conditions, but no bad amp can be made to sound good. The O2/ODAC is the only amp setup I've ever owned that is totally black, high gain or not. If you've owned bad amps, you should be pissed and frustrated about the noise / sound quality issues that cannot be helped. That will never be musical to me. You wouldn't play a guitar with missing strings would you? Likewise all amps might 'sound different' because of differences in power, THD, output impedance, and so on. There are factors that can influence performance that may or may not be perceptible. I do believe in 'warm' and 'cold' sound, but that is about it.

 

The second issue is asserting that all amps 'measure well' but still 'sound different'. That would be sort of like claiming that 'all republicans are the same' and then adding that 'none agree on anything'. It is grouping based on a narrow distinction but followed by a statement that undermines the original position. Either something is the same or it is not, and if not, the differences need to be explained. Given that they are likely subjective, only blind testing could determine if the difference were real or percieved. Since people trust their senses (I don't), they hate being proven wrong! To defuse anger, I would suggest you stage a blind test of certain foods. Lots of people think they have a refined palate, but would flunk a taste test of apples, wine, or whatever. You only think you know.

post #9129 of 18107
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

^^ Probably true. But his bashing of me will seem minuscule compared to what I get everyday from my wife. wink.gif


Well, all I can say is I feel really sorry for you.

post #9130 of 18107

How about the HRT products? The new MicroStreamer looks pretty cool.

post #9131 of 18107
Please kindly comment: Do the HE-400s feel heavy when you wear them? Are they comfortable on a big head? Thanks!
post #9132 of 18107
Quote:
Originally Posted by zzffnn View Post

Please kindly comment: Do the HE-400s feel heavy when you wear them? Are they comfortable on a big head? Thanks!

 

This obviously differs between people, but for me they feel comfortable yes, but I wouldn't say my head is big. If you find they clamp too much you can bend the headband as it's reshapeable.

post #9133 of 18107
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasBuck View Post

I don't find the treble to be harsh at all.  The only "flaw" I've ever found with the HE-400's is:  I've found a few songs where I wish the vocals were more upfront.  Otherwise, I love them.  I might eventually try the HE-500's but I've never been happier with a headphone than I am with the HE-400's.  I like them so much, I sold the other 3 phones I had because the HE-400 were all I was listening to.

This is my opinion as well. I don't find the treble painful at all but the vocals always seem a good bit distant. 

post #9134 of 18107

First impressions (just got em in the mail) with my MnM stack. Vocals seem greatly pronounced, as my only comparison in the price range is the M-100. Very clear, steady bass (it feels light just because I boost bass on my v-modas for NYC mobile use), separation is impressive. We'll see with burn-in but I'm already loving it. Thankfully they aren't too far removed from M-100 sound that my brain has to adjust too much. I just may have reached the climax of my audio purchases for a very long while.

post #9135 of 18107
Quote:
Originally Posted by zzffnn View Post

Please kindly comment: Do the HE-400s feel heavy when you wear them? Are they comfortable on a big head? Thanks!


I find them mostly comfortable. Primarily, the headband screws up my hair and can get painful with prolonged wear. But I have a strange head, and I could always try to add more padding.

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