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HE-500 Review and Shoot out.

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Thread Starter 

HiFiMan HE-500 Planar Magnetic Headphone Review and Shoot out.

 

 

VIDEO REVIEW!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHw_5VApFnw

I'm not entirly happy with how the video turned out so I may re-shoot tomorrow just cause.

 

Unboxing Video!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CexuzHSfy0&feature=youtu.be

UNBOXING THE SCHIIT!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVZ-JeUaV9g&feature=youtu.be

PICTURES!!!

Clam shell case

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Glory

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Velour

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Leather

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DRIVER!!!!

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BACK OF CUP!

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Cable

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The headphoneses

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Also note, that line is not a scratch but a reflection.

 

 

HifiMan HE-500 OUTRIGHT REVIEW!!!!

The HiFiMan HE-500, practically perfect in every way.

The HE-500 were pretty new territory for me. I have always used Dynamic headphones and was content with them. Then These seductive sirens caught my eye and well....head-fi had it's way with my better judgment and wallet; and by god I'm glad it did! DR.Fang has stuck diamonds and gold with these headphones and has certainly showed me the ways of the Planar Magnetics mystical powers. First off I would like to start by saying that these headphones are the most expensive headphone I have invested in and the set up to along with them as well. My first encounter with these headphones was very eye opening; reading reviews about them I was expecting a very well rounded headphone and a neutral presentation. What I got was a very mid oriented headphone with a and I don't mind saying this PERFECT high end, The Lyr was just the bass icing on the HiFiMan cake. The HE-500 have a very particular sound, it's a very natural sound, I would not say neutral but natural. Vocals when amped properly are just gooey and ethereal at the same time; not one song I have throw at these from Jazz to electronic, Metal to classical, absolutely nothing has not sounded like I was actually in the recording studio with the band. I would not say these give you a theater sound stage as It's much more intimate than that, it's not closed by any means it's a very open and expansive sound stage; however all of the instruments, the vocals, and pretty much every piece of sound just sounds so tangible.

This may seem like a very quick jump but just listening to all of my headphones against this one these is really nothing they do better. This is not to say they them self's are not good but they just don't stack against the HE-500 by any means and I suppose that makes perfect sense for a headphone with a $700 price tag. Saying these headphones are anything but world class contenders I feel would be an insult; no I admit my experience with other world class headphones is not as extensive as I would like but listening to the LCD-2 and HD800 I was quite blown away, then listening to these I was just in awe that a headphone for hundreds less could be on the same level. These are I feel more geared to a music lover rather than the HD800 as I feel they were very analytical where as the HE-500 are as close to actually having the (insert musician/band here) sing or play for you. No the HE-500 will not point out every glaring flaw in your source but they do have incredible resolution and can easily review details in music you have never heard.

Treble extension is something I would like to talk a bit more about with these headphones. My goodness the treble is just mesmerizing, I thought Grado did treble very well and I still do; the HE-500 just do it so much better. Grado has a tendency to peak violently where as the HiFiman's just glide gracefully into it's peaks and back down again; Hearing an electric guitar was a religious experience for me with my RS-2 and on the HE-500 it was simply biblical. Every millimeter of guitar string vibrates in your ears as you hear the calloused skin of the players fingers grind onto the strings; It really sounded as if the guitarist was in your room playing for you trying to give you as much detail in his playing. Like I had said before the sound of these headphones is tangible, it's nearly beyond tangible to my ears. Listening to one of my favorite Joan Baez songs "with god on our side" her voice is just angelic, I can almost her swaying as she sings.

Bob Dylan...not my favorite artist but his voice is so complex I just had to give him a listen. My god, it's really like he's right here. I don't want to repeat my self so much but the natural sound stage and sound of these headphones just brings so much life to all of my music, a bit of warmth due to the slight bass emphasis really just brings a mystic smoke to Dylan's voice and smooth's his gruffness. Smooth that's another thing these headphone are. All frequency's really just seem to glide into each other; not bleed mind you but finding "edges" between the treble and the lower midrange something I really notice on the D2000 is just near impossible. The midrange has such a lush gooey sound and the high end  has such a detailed and well rounded sound that neither really shows dominance but in a good way. The He-500 are a very well rounded headphone, killer bass response, nearly tangible and natural midrange, with a smooth and silky perfectly peaked high end is just something I have never really heard in any headphone.

 

Bass seems to be a Planar magnetic's trademark it would seem. The LCD-2's have great bass, the HE-6 have reportedly great bass, as well as the HE-400/4 and 5LE. The Texture and grain of the bass running through the Lyr is just mind boggling, a standing bass really feels like a standing bass and a Cello has such rumble to it. Kick drums are very punchy and have a nice trail as they decay. Bass guitar down right makes me salivate, following a bsssline and actually being able to feel it's gentle vibrations is something that has been lost to me and now I don't think I could ever go back. The HE-500 have a nice tight taut bass but that does not mean it does not extend well; the sub bass rumble and vibration could nearly put the XB700 to shame.....nearly. The Upper bass that feeds into the lower midrange is extremely accurate and never sluggish, the over all speed of the Planar magnetic sound is something that I love as I'm a Grado fan and Grado's are all about the speed. Just saying the bass is textured when it's recorded properly on these headphones I feel is an understatement I can truly feel the detail in the bass of a guitar and drums.

All in all I would say these headphones are going to be my headphones, I have said this about the RS-2 and for a little over a year they were, but the shrill treble and nearly flat sound stage are just never going to stand against these wondrous silken sectors. The HE-500 are truly a world class headphone and are easy enough to drive with minimal amping or  if you want a fantastic Synergy I would suggest the Schiit Lyr as this set up is just wonderful...no perfect.

 

I have been in contact with another head-fi member that is graciously allowing me to barrow his HE-400 some time soon and do a little A/B write up on them!


    
    Comfort
   The comfort of these headphones having put some real time into them is pretty great. I much prefer the Leather pads and as some one mentioned in this thread they are protein leather such as cars use but still of pretty great quality. The ear cups are nice and spacious and don't squeeze to hard in any one place I find. The head band has gotten some complaints in other reviews but so far I have noticed it pressing down on my head much and is by no means uncomfortable.

    Package contents
    Well I was excited to have a real live box come with my expensive headphones FOR ONCE!!!!! how I was crushed.....The HE-500 now come with a hard shell clam case which you can see in my un boxing video, No not bad packaging but seriously no box? Not even a cardboard outer box to house them. It was shipped in a box, in a box with the case in it. Well I suppose...wait a minuet, I paid for this; yes I a tad rustled.Why is it hi-fi company's put little thought into the actual packaging nowadays? Yes I paid $700 for your headphones, a nice fancy box to make people jelly would be nice. This being said the Cable is a nice touch, how ever I cannot comment on the cable wars as this is the first silver cable I have ever had and I think the headphone sound pretty good being underpowered as they are. Extra pads like I mentioned is a nice step up from the one spare pad this package used to come with and the extra interconnect pieces to make your own cables is a nice extra as well.

 

Velour Versus Leather

I put a lot more time before work on the Velour's versus the Leathers pads and I'm still sticking with my Very minuscule sound change is any at all. The Highs seem just a molecule brighter with the velour but that could just be in my imagination.

 

The difference in amping

The difference was a pretty clear difference, Switching back and forth rapidly between the LDMKII and the Lyr  not only was the bass significantly improved but the over all lushness of sound was. With the MKII I found my self hearing odd distortions in the upper frequency's I suspect mainly due to the fact that MKII had to be cranked to about  3 o'clock for a song I dub "quiet" louder songs I had no problem with at about Noon or even 11. Bass distortion is very prominent on the MKII in quiet songs, the bass is pretty lack luster but the fact that I can hear distortion on songs like 'Stained' at Noon on the amp is pretty shocking. What I take away from this is the less you have to push them amp to power the headphone the less distortion on the HE-500.

 

HE-500 for gaming?
HELL YES!!!! Playing all sorts of games from unreal tournament 3 to diablo 2 HELL YEA!. For shooters they have a very accurate sound stage and you can easily hear someone sneaking up on you. For RPG's of all sorts you get a great sense of depth in voices and battle. Hooking them into my PS3 Via Bifrost they sounded amazing for Uncharted 1 and 2, easially ONE of my favorite PS3 game's....in my top five. Online Shooters with these are really great as the bass is extremely explosive and really shakes your head. Also hearing gunshots from behind you and whipping around at light speed to pop some ones cap and have them scream over there headset is pretty satifying. When I say shooting behind you, I mean it's as if they are standing behind you shooting; you can really get a pretty dead on feel of just where people are.
 



 

Keep reading for Comparisons and Initial Impressions!

 


Initial sound impressions.
    So I really like the sound d of these, they have a real "Grado timber" with out the shouty and sometimes piercing upper end. They have a great edge to them in the upper frequency's and wonderful extension. The midrange is......Not recessed, after talking with KUKUK I feel we have come up with the correct explanation. The Sound stage really places vocals a bit back, they have some distance too them as everything does and it's something I'm simply not used to. The bass is very under powered by my Little Dot MKII, but Kukuk's Little Dot MK1+ really did improve over mine and I'm excited for the Lyr and will re-enter this point once it has arrived.

DAY 1 NO BURN IN!
Little Dot MKII


    Initial song tests

Well just rummaging around so to speak with my music I was just a tad MEH. I figured out that I had my bass turned down like a tard, that fixed my bass animea sickness.

Dirt in the Ground-Tom Waits
I love this song on pretty much any headphone I have heard...just due to the fact that I love this song. Even underpowered as I know these are the piano and Cello are just divine. So much texture and grain to the cello's tune and the saxophone in the background is painfully delicate. I use Painfully in a good way as this is the only work I could find to accurately explain how well it treats a delicate sound. The sound stage on these headphones lend them self's greatly to Tom's music as his voice sound....not to up front as I am used to with my Grado's; His voice is much more ethereal, it's like I'm sitting behind him on stage where at the placement for my RS-2's would be more like him singing into my ear. Intricate background details are something that I really have never heard in this song. I thought the RS-2 had great resolution for the warmth they have but Jesus, these are just so silky smooth with a MUCH smoother midrange than that of the Denon D2000 that it just mystifies me that I am hearing bells ACTUAL bells that I had never heard before.

Such a Scream-Tom Waits
Right off the bat the drums have such great placement in the head stage. Tom's voice is much more up front in this song but is separated form everything else going on around him. Muddling the guitar, drums, maracas, and vocals are simply not on this headphones agenda and I get a real stage feel from them. The D2000 were my old standard for sound stage but good god these are so much better.

Soil to Sun-Cage the Elephant
I really like this song on these headphone's. It's got an aggressive rock sound but not harsh. The singers voice is once again not up front but not shelved or recessed, Just set back just like the rest of the music. The drums also give some good bass impact with the kicks with a nice sting but not to bad of a sting on the hats. Most rock I find isn't too much about subtlety and that's true of this song, these headphones portray it very accurately with out distortion and clipping which I REALLY like as my Grado clip like a barber on a crack binge during this song I feel due to the much more aggressive high end.

SCHIITS HERE!!!!

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Initial impressions.
Well the bass is really much more pronounced and has such a nice grain on it. I do notice MUCH more background noise whit the volume at about 12'o clock, than with the little dot at about 3'o clock. I am not using the Bifrost yet as I'm testing my sound card...so far with this amp and these headphone powered properly I really am hearing more background noise. Let me get back to the bass here, this is something these headphone do VERY well, more so than the Denon D2000 at this point but still maintaining a neutral tone. The High-end on these with the Lyr is still pretty snappy and zippy which I really do love. The midrange still retains it's smoothness and is a little more forward on this amp that the Little Dot MKII, but it still has an ethereal wispiness in the sound stage.

SONG TEST SANS DAC

Dirt in the Ground-Tom Waits

Still love this song. The Lyr REALLY brings out the bass tones and makes the piano almost rumble, as Tom sings his voice is really a bit silly and pretty bass less, but you can REALLY hear the gruffness and vibrating of his throat. The Saxophone is still fantastic on the Lyr, the bass improvement some what takes away from the delicateness of the Sax but it's still VERY well presented, as well as separated. The sound stage of this amp isn't as open as the MKII but that does not mean it's closed off at all, it still has GREAT placement and separation.

Such A Scream-Tom Waits
OH MY GOD, the bass drums are amazing on this, they have such distance to them yet to much impact. Like I said the midrange is a little more forward and that's pretty apparent on this song as the maracas seem just a little distant compared to Tom's voice but nothing is muddles still or bleeding into each other like I noticed on the D2000, the smoothness of the midrange on these headphones is just perfect for Tom Waits as his musical choices usually lend to bleeding into each other.

Soil To the sun-Cage the Elephant
Wow, big difference, the singers voice is VERY forward but still has insanely great placement on the sound stage and the kick drum is fantastic. What I like about this amp/headphone combo is the fact that it does not overpower or degraded thee upper frequency extension. It's not harsh not subdued on this song, it's perfectly aggressive. I also live the detail that the high end brings, you can really hear the ticks on the guitar as the strings are plucked.

Mann Gegan Mann-Rammstein
Okay fellow rockers, I tried this song and was just utterly under whelmed on the MKII, not the same story with the LYR.
Wow, just the opening bass rift is amazing. As well as the tapping of the drums, everything is just so serrated but has that Grado Treble energy. This song sound fantastic on these. The vocals are very clear and present but still set back...that's a Point I have to keep repeating; These do not to Vocals like any other headphone I have tried. Vocals are set back in the sound stage, even on the Lyr with it's much more forward midrange and mid bass. Everything is just....not right up on you if that makes sense. Also the screaming in this song isn't painfully or overpowering of the rest of the music.

Time What is Time-Blind Guardian
AWWEEEESOME!!!!!
The opening of this song is always fantastic just he soft lute sound amazing. Then when the song picks up well....amazing. Hansi's voice is really gravely and aggressive but still not too in your face or overpowering of the guitars. Still with a pretty fantastic sound stage considering this is not a song....or really genera to concerned about mastering. The detail on the guitars is a little less so but I suspect this to be just how it was mastered and I personally love the way it sounds.

No Quarter-LedZeppline
Oh man, O love this song, these headphones have such a sweet midrange and such great resolution. This song has quite a bit of subtlety in it and this really shins through on the HE-500. My god, the bass is so textured and the synth piano is just amazing. The singers voice always sounds....tubey? But this is just so wonderfully, it's almost like he's singing into glass and you can really just hear the echo and cleanly ness.

SCHIIT WITH DAC!!!!
No Quarter-LedZeppline
HOLY!!!!, the dac just making everything crystal...The singers voice is just...amazing, I can hear every echo and the guitars reverberations off of where ever they were recording....this is amazing, the Dac just add's to the perfect clean sound along with the midrange of these headphones and the upper frequency's just make everything POP!

Dirt in the Ground-Tom Waits
See, I think this is the last song I will test with the DAC as the difference is quite clear to me. This is a song I know very well on my sound card with my Grado's and I heard what I thought was just the recording of the song making some background noise...NOPE, gone, poof, crystal clear and clean as a whistle.



Initial Impressions of sound with Schiit Products
I really do love these headphones. The bass is just fantastically textured and has such resonance and smoothness, it does not bleed into any frequency with any song I have tested; even my favorite beepity boppety dancy music.The midrange is so smooth and defined against everything else but vocals just seem to be set back on the sound stage and this gives them a wonderful wispy sound to them. The high end is...well it's not a Grado but it will not disappoint if your a Grado lover I feel.
I will have more to come in the next few days as this is just my initial 48Hour thoughts on these headphones with two different set ups. Stay tuned, next I pit the Grado RS-2 against the HE-500 to see how they stack up.

 


RS-2 VERSUS HE-500 ON THE LYR+Bifrost

Murder in the RedBarn-Tom Waits
RS-2

Listening to this song again on the RS-2 I'm actually under whelmed. The HE-500 really sing true to this song. The Grado's have such an up front and in your face midrange which I do love for certain songs but in this is tends to distort the bass a bit when Tom hit's a harsh note. The guitar how ever fantastic it sounds still does not have the and I really hate this word but CRISP detail of the strings the HE-500 do. Not to say it does not have retail or resolution because it surely does. The bass is also sub par compared to the HE-500 on this song, but it's a different bass; It has more of an impact that the HE-500 but lacks the extension. Separation is also meh, it has Grado sound stage, people don't love Grado for sound stage so this point is a bit null.

HE-500
Right off the bat the bass extension get's me in the drums. The sound stage and placement is just phenomenal. Tom's voice is haunting, it's not recessed but it's not so in your face as the Grado's everything has a mistiness and air between them which I find amazing. This is neither dark not bright...it's not quite neutral either. It's got great color alone with it's neutrality.

No Quarter-LedZeppline
RS-2

The drums just sound a bit flat and tend to start to bleed into other sounds....not to a drastic level but just enough to notice it's slight sloppy ness. The guitar just sounds godly on the other hand, it's slightly dreary tone it just wonderful. The singer voice once again has that tubey echo they mastered it with but it's quite a bit harder to detect the level of detail in his voice the HE-500's have. His voice also tends to be a bit peaky and over powering versus the rest of the spectrum. The Grado color just lends it's self so well to rock and Jazz music it's hard to hate on them...however I would not call this hate as I'm comparing a $700 headphone to a $500 and it is quite a difference in the price jump. The Piano in this song also has very little impact and once again everything sounds VERY flat. The speed I feel is pretty on Par with the HE-500 however, nothing really gets lost of jumbled it just bleeds a little.

HE-500
The opening bass guitar rumble which I loved soooo much on the Grado's is just done So much better on the HE-500. Not to mention it's separation just made the Grado's sound like a bargain bin headphone....okay not really but it's MUCH different. That extra bass umph is great in this song as it really makes things rumble! The vocals are prefect, that upward extension is prefect, not to harsh but not deadened by the bass. The midrange is less forward than the Grado but it's just set back in the sound stage a bit more. The piano also has a TAD of resonation to it but does not bleed into the guitar and vice versa of the guitar. Everything stays in it's respective area in the designated sound stage giving everything a very concert hall experience.

Thunder kiss 65'-WhiteZombie
RS-2

wow...PEAKY!!!! treble peaks all over the place! IT's actually really hard to focus with the assault of treble on the RS-2. I don't even remember this song sounding like this. Zero sound stage and it's kind of hard to separate out individual details due to the aggressive guitar. Keep in mind it's been about two years since I have listened to this song out side of a car heh. The guitar sound awesome on the RS-2 it's got a grainy grind sound which I suppose is what Zombie was going for considering the entire tone of the CD. The vocals are VERY assaulting, so up front and face smashingly harsh...yet no clipping, YAY FOR 80's MASTERING!!!!!

HE-500
Wow, MUCH less in your face and harsh, I can actually make distinctions between the kick drum and the guitar. As well as the 4 different sets of hats being played. AND FOLLOW THE BASS LINE!!!! I hate to admit it...but Grado might be taking a hike. The vocals are much more subdued...in a good way; aside for actually being able to hear "around" the vocals they midrange is quite nice and smooth on this song. Even Rob's screaming isn't just ear splitting like it was on the Grado's. The HE-500 are a Brutally true to life sound I find, by Brutal I mean it really shows the flaws in your other headphones. Not so much gear but headphones heh. Sound stage is just something these do fantastically, every song has at least a little air between you and the music, the instruments are all separated very well and the voices stay voices!

Parallel Universe-Red Hot chili Peppers(Unmastered edition)
RS-2

nopenopenopenopenopenope.
Shrill, and harsh. I always loved this song on my RS-2, even hooking up my MKII I find this song harsh and shrill. The vocals are just SOOO sharp and SOOOOOO edgy. The drums sound pretty cool, not much impact but they retain the character which I find most music just does not have any more. The guitar is pretty distorted but doesn't bleed to badly into other sounds I think due to the fact that it was unmastered.

HE-500
Still pretty harsh, nut completely unbearable but still a bit painfully when a lots going on. Once again some sound stage and separation versus NONE on the RS-2. The drums also sound cool and have a bit more impact and the guitar still bleeds a bit into the everything but I fear that's just the mastering. At least the vocals don't eak into the drums.

I did compare about 15 more songs but these are just he songs I wanted to write about.
In all I think the HE-500 truly are just a better all around headphone. Coming form the MKII they do perform a little under whiningly but that's not completely unexpected as these are pretty power hungry. The RS-2 just don't cut it anymore I fear and I may end up selling them after having a bit more time with the HE-500. So to just bullet point this


RS-2
Peaky treble
In your face vocals and midrange as a whole
Great bass but lacking extension
HE-500
Smooth treble with fantastic extension
Sweet midrange with a little distance but not recession.
BA BA BA BASS!

 

MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!

MKII He-500 vs RS-2
Necrophobic-Slayer

RS-2
Wow...once again Treble everywhere! Like just treble and very little texture to it. the HE-500 have a texture to the midrange but the RS-2 is just a very flat sound with little sound stage, Yes the upward extension sound awesome with the drums but the voices just sound a bit odd coming from the HE-500's very true sound. It's still a very colored sound but it's just soooo 2 dimensional it's a bit crazy. I like the Musicality Grado offers but the HE-500 is just so.....Pure to the music, it has a great musicality and at the same time is pretty true.


HE-500
So immediately the difference on this song is the double bass and the midrange. Like a very night and day difference. The Vocals are once again MUCH less in your face and set back compared to the Lyr and the Double bass drums are...well pretty impact less where as on the Lyr they were a bit over powering the guitar's, not hearing it like this I like the bass overpowering as Slayers signature "Wicked" guitar sound is a bit harsh. It's a pretty substantial drop out in bass compared to the Lyr, the range however isn't affected and the sound stage is a tad more open; I the feeling it's from the vocal distance I'm hearing.


Nancy The Tavern Wench-Ale Storm
RS-2

Actually quite nice, the drums are pretty separated from everything else and the Key tar sounds killer. The vocals.......ouch, the singers voice has some very harsh SSSS and TTSSSSS's coming from him. The drums have a nice timber and energy to them but man, This is a REAL difference from the HE-500. The Treble is just SOOO peaky and sounds so flat. I LOVE the RS-2 and this is kind of hard to stair down.

HE-500
The Drums Have a nice sting to them and the guitar is much more up front than the RS-2. The lack of bass compared to the RS-2 is actually pretty apparent in this song. The vocals are MUCH easier to listen to! No sibilance but it's still got a great timber to it and a very cool grain in the treble.

The Hellion/The Electric Eye-Judas Priest
He-500

Well....very little bass like I have been saying. The guitars have a very cool whine to them which I feel should be painful but it's simply not. Vocals also sound great but I do get hint's of sibilance and will be comparing all of these songs on the lyr as well. These headphone are very quick and keep pace very well like the Grado's but also have a nice treble energy that fit's the drums and guitars very well.

RS-2
The bass is much more present than the HE-500 and the treble on the guitars is still very in control which I like. The vocals are a bit more sibilant then the HE-500 but nothing insane. The Speed is well...Grado fast, probably the fastest or one of the fastest dynamic drivers in a headphone heh. Still a pretty flat sound, it's defiantly got that "It's coming from a speaker" sound versus the natural sound of the He-500.

Children of the Sea-Black Sabbath
RS-2

Ohhhhh yea,this is why I like Grado. For songs they are Meh for they are REALLY bad for. But for the songs they are good for they are REALLY good for. The opening guitar is just magical and has a very...how to put this silky sound? The drums also have great impact. Dio's voice is set behind the guitars...this song is MUCH less flat then the rest of the songs; Almost layered behind the guitars with the drums kind of off to the side.  Not hide nor hair of sibilance either which is nice.
of HE-500
the opening.....yes. The stings sound tangible. Like I could reach out and pluck them. Dio's voice is like he's sitting on my lap singing to me. The drums are still pretty impact full on this track and are set in front of me, Dio's in my lap, and the guitar's sitting on my head. It's a pretty magical experience. The treble extends pretty well in the drums and guitar, not as well in the drums as the Grado's but it's not lacking and it's super loud like the Grado's are.

These songs on the Lyr.
Necrophobic-Slayer
HE-500

Bass is back!, like a pretty substantial difference in bass. The vocals are a bit more up front and I think it's because of the bass boost. The lower mid's come out more and bring the vocals with them. The treble extension is still pretty fantastic and energetic. Guitars are placed pretty  much all around me where as the drums sound below me and the singer is in front of me.

RS-2
......wow, pretty much no change, it's a little less painful when a snare hit's but that's about it.

Nancy the Tavern Wench-Ale Storm
HE-500

Nice and silky sounding right from the get go. Like I'm in the tavern and AleStorms on stage. Still zippy in the treble but the singers voice is much more mellow but sound SOOOO present. I think I'm gonna fall in love with AleStorm all over again.

RS-2
Okay....this is getting pointless, it really doesn't change much on the amp, it's still harsh and treble which kind of sucks for me as I loved this song on my RS-2's I used to lay in bed and draw to this song and relax...now I feel like I would wince every time the singer talks.

The Hellion/The Electric Eye-Judas Priest
HE-500

Well the Hellion actually sounds a bit subdued and I'm not sure why. The drums have a nice bit of zing to them but the guitars got a little bass rumble to it. The vocals are nice and smooth now. The sibilance is nearly gone but still has some nice extension to them and energetic tone. Separation is also head and shoulder above the Grado's.

RS-2
Hmm...ya know I actually like the harsh snaring of this song on the RS-2. It gives everything some what of a metallic sound which really fit's but I feel is more situational.

Children of the Sea-Black Sabbath
HE-500

Dat opening man....The stings are just so friken tangible. Dio's voice is just gooey and wonderful. The Drums are so impact full and energetic sounding, It's really like being at a show....minus the people.

RS-2
I'm unimpressed. the HE-500 under amped are...well fairly easy to compete with...properly amped...no.


DENON D2000 V.S. HE-500 on the LYR!!!!

Stained-Android lust
HE-500

Hmm pretty good bass rumble and extension. The synths and vocals aren't to harsh. This being Electronic I'm really not going to pick it apart to badly as electronic isn't really mastered very well or gushing with subtle details.

D2000
Delicious bass......awful mids. The midrange just sounds to shaky and peaky it kind of destroys her voice IMO. Not to mention the treble spike is just enough to make the non sibilant nature of the HE-500 stand out against these.

No Quarter-LedZeppline
HE-500

I already did my impressions of this song...I LOVE IT AND I LOVE THESE!

D2000
PFFFFFFFFFT. My my my the D2000 are looking mighty nervous right now. Yea they do the bass pretty well but the midrange just lacks SO much smoothness and just gives this song odd peaks in the sounds. The singers voice is pretty nasty on these.

The Sound of Silence-Simon&Garfunkel
HE-500

Beautiful, I am noticing the guitar clipping a bit in the recording but it's really nothing terrible; it adds a bit of character.  This song sound like it's in mono but on each respective side the drums on left and guitar on right have a bit of distance and placement to them. The vocals are a bit of an enigma...they sound like they are in my head.

D2000
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW
Drums left, Guitar right, vocals both.  that's it. Also a lot of bass where I feel it's unneeded.

Diamond's & Gold-Tom Waits
HE-500

A haunting song. Tom's voice just kind of is....I cant find a sense of any real placement but at the same time It doesn't really sound like it's being projected.... The All the little bits and bobs going on int he background are just all over the place behind me and it's awesome. Like I'm tracking through a swamp or something....kind of an odd image but that's just what it feels like...like a new Orleans bog filled with voodoo.

D2000
Not bad, toms voice is pretty front oriented and the xylophone or what ever is going on it more to my sides but the vocals are just so shaky and have peaks in them. They just do not sound right coming form the HE-500.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by WhiteCrow - 4/25/12 at 8:55pm
post #2 of 846

Do you mean the WA-22? If so that would drive the he500 fine. My LD was okay with the he400 but not great. The best amp I have listened to with any of the hifiman phones and particularly the he500 is the LYR....by far. But try what you've got first then buy something new if you're not happy.

 

good luck!!

post #3 of 846
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

Do you mean the WA-22? If so that would drive the he500 fine. My LD was okay with the he400 but not great. The best amp I have listened to with any of the hifiman phones and particularly the he500 is the LYR....by far. But try what you've got first then buy something new if you're not happy.

 

good luck!!


Well like I said I don't have the WA-22. If I did I wouldn't be asking such a question. I was asking if my Current amp will power them.

 

post #4 of 846
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteCrow View Post

Well I'm thinking of doing a drastic gear overhaul and selling all of or just one or two of my headphone and buying the HE-500's. My question is will they be driven well out of a little dot MKII? I'm not really familiar with the HI-Fiman's power consumption needs other than the HE-6 need to be plugged directly into a power outlet yet the HE-500 are said to be considerably much easier to drive. My only frame of reference for a headphone like this is the LCD-2 and that run out of a less powerful amp than the WA-22 I was using sounded pretty much the same.....I guess my main question is do I need a really low impedance but highpower amp to run these bad boys or will my amp preform up to snuff?


ALSO, HE-500 or HE-5LE?


Heya,

 

The LD MKII is not sufficient for the HE500. You need about 1 watt steady, and the LD MKII doesn't quite get there. Plus, you want over head. I would definitely reach for the HE500 over the HE-5LE. But maybe also consider the HE400 if you want to keep the cost down. The HE400 is a phenomenal headphone and would match perfectly to the LD MKII. If you want to jump to the HE500, consider a Lyr (6 watts) or NFB12.1 (~3 watts) perhaps.

 

Very best,

post #5 of 846
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post


Heya,

 

The LD MKII is not sufficient for the HE500. You need about 1 watt steady, and the LD MKII doesn't quite get there. Plus, you want over head. I would definitely reach for the HE500 over the HE-5LE. But maybe also consider the HE400 if you want to keep the cost down. The HE400 is a phenomenal headphone and would match perfectly to the LD MKII. If you want to jump to the HE500, consider a Lyr (6 watts) or NFB12.1 (~3 watts) perhaps.

 

Very best,



interesting thanks, how would you say the HE-400 measure against the HE-500 or even HE-4?

post #6 of 846
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteCrow View Post

interesting thanks, how would you say the HE-400 measure against the HE-500 or even HE-4?



Keep in mind, the HE-4 was built with 1/2 the magnet structure of the HE-5LE, HE-500, etc.  There could be some "odd" issues with the sound (just suspecting), where it might be quite up to the task of the others.  I'm not sure how many HE-4s were sold, but you don't see many around, and only a few for sale on eBay every now and then.

 

You could also make your move in stages.  For example, stage 1 could include the purchase of the HE-500 headphones.  Now, stage 1 would assume that you have a speaker amplifier or receiver where you could use speaker taps to power the headphones.  If that option exists, speaker taps are easy to build and terminate with a 4-pin XLR (Female) connector.  Then, you plug a male 4-Pin XLR connector into them and use that channel of the amplifier or receiver to drive your headphones.  Step # 2, could then be a move over to a dedicated headphone amplifier as your funds permit.

 

However, these situations depend on you current inventory of gear - and if you have something adequate for now to drive the HifiMANs.  Then, if you're looking at the Schiit Lyr down a the road a bit, you can then make the leap to get the little 7 Lb. wonder.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

post #7 of 846

Hmm... That makes me wonder about my HifiMan EF2A too... Would the EF2A be able to drive the HE-500 or the HE-400? (Most likely the HE-400 but I'm not sure about the HE-500...)

post #8 of 846

I would say that it would drive the he400 fine, but not the he500.  I have owned both headphones but not the amp, so take that with a grain of salt.

post #9 of 846
Quote:
Originally Posted by planx View Post

Hmm... That makes me wonder about my HifiMan EF2A too... Would the EF2A be able to drive the HE-500 or the HE-400? (Most likely the HE-400 but I'm not sure about the HE-500...)


The EF2A cannot drive the HE500. It can drive the HE400.

 

Very best,

 

post #10 of 846

:D I love what I hear about the HiFiMan HE-500 and I'm glad to be able to get more information about what Is needed to drive it, the Audio-GD NFB 12.1 sounds like a great DAC/Amp as well! Looking forwarding to upgradeing to this in the future!

post #11 of 846

I am currently driving my HE-500 with my NFB-12 and I think it is a great pair.  No problem driving the HE-500, but I am hopeful that I will get my hands on a lyr soon to do some comparisons between them.  I keep hearing about how good the lyr makes the he500 sound, so Im hoping I wont be disappointed.

post #12 of 846
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post


The EF2A cannot drive the HE500. It can drive the HE400.

 

Very best,

 



Very True, Marty.  Though, I never really liked the combo of the EF-2A and the HE-400s.  I feel as though my Fostex T50RPs paired much better with that amp than the HifiMAN's.  One would think the two products being from HifiMAN would have a better sound signature compatibility, but I found that really wasn't the case in this situation.

post #13 of 846
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post



Very True, Marty.  Though, I never really liked the combo of the EF-2A and the HE-400s.  I feel as though my Fostex T50RPs paired much better with that amp than the HifiMAN's.  One would think the two products being from HifiMAN would have a better sound signature compatibility, but I found that really wasn't the case in this situation.

 

Heya,

 

The EF2A is an older tech from Hifiman though. I wouldn't expect it to be quite the same as their bigger dog products. The EF2A is very much entry level by comparison. It's a nice little DAC/AMP though.

 

Very best,
 

 

post #14 of 846
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post



Very True, Marty.  Though, I never really liked the combo of the EF-2A and the HE-400s.  I feel as though my Fostex T50RPs paired much better with that amp than the HifiMAN's.  One would think the two products being from HifiMAN would have a better sound signature compatibility, but I found that really wasn't the case in this situation.

 

Heya,

 

The EF2A is an older tech from Hifiman though. I wouldn't expect it to be quite the same as their bigger dog products. The EF2A is very much entry level by comparison. It's a nice little DAC/AMP though.

 

Very best,
 

 


DAC is mediocre, but the Amp is very nice. For an "entry" level product, I find the EF2A's to be brilliant. That's why I kept it instead of paying more for the notoriously powerful EF5. I felt like the EF2A was just perfect for now because I don't have anything above 300 Ohms, besides my Vintage AKGs. Just hope it pairs nicely with the new Shure SRH1840 because that might be my next full-size. I can only wait till I can hear some impressions on them...
post #15 of 846
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

Heya,

 

The EF2A is an older tech from Hifiman though. I wouldn't expect it to be quite the same as their bigger dog products. The EF2A is very much entry level by comparison. It's a nice little DAC/AMP though.

 

Very best,

 

 

Actually, last evening, I've found the the HifiMAN does an even better job paired with the Sennheiser HD-580 heaphones as opposed to the Fostex T50RPs.  While some have thought of the Sennheiser HD-580, 600 and 650 as having a softer high frequency, the Sennheiser really sounds good with the EF-2A amp and the stock Chinese tubes.  Amazing stuff.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by planx View Post

DAC is mediocre, but the Amp is very nice. For an "entry" level product, I find the EF2A's to be brilliant. That's why I kept it instead of paying more for the notoriously powerful EF5. I felt like the EF2A was just perfect for now because I don't have anything above 300 Ohms, besides my Vintage AKGs. Just hope it pairs nicely with the new Shure SRH1840 because that might be my next full-size. I can only wait till I can hear some impressions on them...


While the DAC features Burr-Brown components, I haven't heard too many good things regarding it.  I've primarily used mine for the amp portion only.
 

 

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