Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › HiFiman HE400 vs HE500
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

HiFiman HE400 vs HE500 - Page 2

post #16 of 34

The hd650 is one of the gaps in my HP journey. I probably should have got it earlier on but waited and was intrigued with the hd598 and tried it instead. Didn't like it much. 

 

Maybe I'll snap a used set of 650's sometime. Got to get a proper desktop amp first though. I've been going round and round in circles trying to get what I think is best. Just haven't pulled the trigger on anything still. 

post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

 

FWIW, HD650 has a very unique presentation you just can't get anywhere else.  Maybe HE-500 replicates it well enough, but if it does it's the only thing that does, and costs more.  And from what I've heard HE-500 still isn't quite the same thing since it doesn't capture the airiness of HD650 (which probably comes from what Raven referred to as snappy transients.)  So if one likes HD650, one really needs to have HD650.  If one dislikes parts of HD650, then there's more to move onto. 

 

Personally I love HD650 as much as HE-400, and even if I were to get HD800 or LCD-3, I would still keep HD650.   It's always an enjoyable choice to go back to even if it's not ones primary headphone anymore.  But the laid back rounded off sound is not going to be for everyone or for all genres.

 

I did have a brief ownership of the HD-580, which is the predecessor to the HD-600/650.  How much "alike" the 598s were to the HifiMAN is anyone's guess.  However, I quickly determined that the overall sound signature of the HD-580 just wasn't for me.  Though, they (Sennheiser) has their fair share of followers, I guess I'm just not one of them at the moment.

post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

The hd650 is one of the gaps in my HP journey. I probably should have got it earlier on but waited and was intrigued with the hd598 and tried it instead. Didn't like it much. 

 

Maybe I'll snap a used set of 650's sometime. Got to get a proper desktop amp first though. I've been going round and round in circles trying to get what I think is best. Just haven't pulled the trigger on anything still. 

 

The only excuse for a gap of HD650 in the journey of a real audiophile is defiant HD600 defensiveness, or being a K70x or DT880 die-hard fanboy.  There is no other permissible excuse. wink.gif

 

Honestly if you had HE-500 and didn't like the signature as much as HE-400, you probably won't like HD650 any better.  It's one of the nicest and most misunderstood headphones around.  Half the people that buy it buy it on rave recommendations and hear the "laid back sound" which is almost entirely unique to HD650 and think it's "broken" and in need of "fixing" by silver cables and bright amps, etc.  Somehow while Grado is accepted as a love-it-or-hate it thing, HD650 got accepted as "you're supposed to love it, so if you don't you have to fix it and make it bright."  If you thought HE-500 is boring, you'll really think HD650 is boring.  It's all in the mids, with rolloff on both ends.  That's its greatest strength not a weakness.  But only if you like that strength.

 

It's also far harder to amp than HE-400.  It's not that it takes a lot of power, it's that it's REALLY picky (as is most of the rest of Senn's lineup) about how you provide that power.  Feed it wrong and it's "veiled", feed it well and it will reward you.  Feed it $5k in source, and it is said to best even $1k flagships. Or so it is said.  I'm looking forward to trying silver cable on it next to HE-400.

 

People call it "slow and muddy".  It isn't.  It's crazy fast, even faster than HE-400, though sharper in the transients.  It's the absence of high treble (some rolloff, some frequency compression IMO) that makes the mind think it's missing detail, and the dark tone and midbass hump that makes the mind think it's slow.  It's poor amping/impedance matching that makes the bass flabby and muddy and makes one think the mids are "slow".  They're masters of illusion that trick the mind into hearing things differently than what is really going on that makes their sound so unique and alluring, but also the easy misunderstanding and possible "boring flatness" that makes people go away from them.

 

Boring or no, if I were to be locked in a room and told to listen to headphones for 14 hours straight, I would accept nothing but HD650.  It won't fatigue, ever.

post #19 of 34

People are weird with amping the HD650.  While most every other headphone out there is a 'if it's too edgy and thin it's not being amped properly,' the HD650 is 'if it's veiled and has too much bass then it's not being amped properly.'

 

It just goes to show you that high-end amping seems to be much rather about coloration to an individual's liking rather than technically giving the headphone a right amount of power.  A great example would be one head-fier saying he liked the beyer T1 better with a Woo amp rather than Beyer's own A1 amplifier that was specifically designed for the T1. Also considering the HD650 has a large impedance spike centered around 100hz means that it should be the other way around in that cheaper amps should making the headphones sound thinner from a frequency response standpoint.

 

I'm not too sure on the 'faster than HE-400' part.  I think you were among most everybody else who mentioned the HE-400 to have better instrument separation.  Usually that's a tell-tell sign that their drivers are faster.


Edited by TMRaven - 5/18/12 at 2:07pm
post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

It just goes to show you that high-end amping seems to be much rather about coloration to an individual's liking rather than technically giving the headphone a right amount of power.  A great example would be one head-fier saying he liked the beyer T1 better with a Woo amp rather than Beyer's own A1 amplifier that was specifically designed for the T1. Also considering the HD650 has a large impedance spike centered around 100hz means that it should be the other way around in that cheaper amps should making the headphones sound thinner from a frequency response standpoint.

 

 

I believe you're 100% correct in this regard.  This is where people tend to "force" their ideas based on what they have to an individual who currently has a "need" for advice.  I often think that it's not correct to say that A + B + C = Beautiful sound.  Sure, "A" being the amp, could be OK if it is what we refer to as "neutral".  "B" could be our headphones that we're using and "C" could be the music that we listen to.  "B" might not apply or appeal to all listeners due to their frequency hearing capabilities or limitations.  "C" may not also apply, because we all don't always listen to the same music.  "A" - the amplification could be in the picture to a lesser degree.  However, the "synergy" is touted as being the focus in A + B.  But, again, it goes back to our own hearing, our own likes, our own music, our own listening preferences (level, open / closed headphones, etc.).

 

With that out of the way, I have realized that I do like amps with some color.  Yet, all I can do in these forums is describe my experiences based on my testing ... and the results are essentially only valid to me.  While I might have share the results of my findings, it's all based on my gear and my tastes in music.  So, the reader, can conclude many times, that because A + B seemed like a good combination because they might trust MY ears, that's not always a good thing.  They might drop their hard earned cash and then question what I was thinking about when I applied my comments because their tastes are 180-degrees different from mine.  basshead.gif

post #21 of 34

What's the price difference between these two, like 300 euro/usd? I did a direct comparison, the HE-500 sounded a bit more balanced. Something you can fix with an EQ, in like 10 seconds....

 

Sure there are more differences, but I surely couldn't hear them in that hour I compared those two. 

Maybe the HE-500 has 2% more detail, or a 3% larger soundstage, things you might be able to pick up after weeks of listening on one of those headphones.

Other than that they are voiced very much alike.

 

I did listen to the he-400 with the non fixed rev3 drivers. So with the correct drivers the difference would be even less.

post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

 

Slightly more treble than HD650, but less  than Dxxxx with better bass than HD650, more sub-bass and less midbass hump is a pinpoint description of HE-400. 

 

The HD650 "veil" is one of the reasons I sold my 650s.  If the HE400 only has slightly more treble, would you consider the HE400 to also be "veiled'?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

 

One thing worth thinking of is when choosing between HE-400 and HE-500 whether you plan on replacing your HD650 or using it as a complement.  HE-400, IMO, is an excellent complement to the HD650, they two have very different presentations.

 

Which one (HE400 or HE500) would be an excellent complement to the Mad Dogs?


Edited by elvergun - 1/24/13 at 12:20pm
post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marleybob217 View Post

What's the price difference between these two, like 300 euro/usd? I did a direct comparison, the HE-500 sounded a bit more balanced. Something you can fix with an EQ, in like 10 seconds....

 

Sure there are more differences, but I surely couldn't hear them in that hour I compared those two. 

Maybe the HE-500 has 2% more detail, or a 3% larger soundstage, things you might be able to pick up after weeks of listening on one of those headphones.

Other than that they are voiced very much alike.

 

I did listen to the he-400 with the non fixed rev3 drivers. So with the correct drivers the difference would be even less.

 

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=3651&graphID[]=3241

 

 

You can fix this in 10 seconds? I'd allow at least 20.

post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

 

If you look at the "paper" published efficiency numbers, the HE-400 appears to be the more efficient headphone.  However, the HE-500, in reality and in realistic "use" situations is quite close.  I find that when using either the 400s or the 500s, the volume level is essentially at the same position when I use them.  My previous pair of HE-5LEs were a different story, as are the HE-6s.  The HE-5LEs had to have more volume (power) applied to come alive.

 

But, I think with a good amp, the HE-400s are some great producers.  Some people think that when they see the efficiency rating of them and others who have never owned or used the HE-400s start making statements that one could drive the using just an iPod, can tend to mis-lead people a bit.  Yes, an iPod would be capable of driving either the HE-400 or the HE-500.  However, driving them to the level of getting the most potential out of the headphones is the ultimate objective and for that,  you'll need an amplifier.  If someone has the desire to jus use a pair of headphones (not earbuds) with the power of their iPod or iPhone, then I think they shouldn't be looking at $400 or $700 headphones at all.  They should be focusing on a pair of $50 Sennheiser headphones.

 

Of course, these are just my opinions based on my use cases with the actual headphones themselves.

Wayne, I just received my HE-500 from another Head-fier and a new Schiit Lyr. I've been running the 400, the 500 and the LCD 2.2 for a couple of hours now and I'm struck with the "negligible" difference between the 400 and the 500 (to my ears). Its kind of weird but the 500 sounds is a little on the dark side. To my ears the 400 seems to have more treble than the 500. The latter has more of a refined overall sound though. The 2.2 was of course the darkest but seemed to have the widest soundstage of the three with better instrument separation.

 

Anyway, all this could change as the tubes in the Lyr are used more (I have the stock GE). In addition, I have an odd mix of cans in the sense that the 400 has the J4, the 500 has the velour, and 2.2 has, well, its stock pleathers.

 

Any thoughts are welcome.

post #25 of 34

Often the amp determines the differences between the headphones. I have no idea about which amp(s) you're testing with, but the 500 was built with the objective of making these more easily driveable by an amp than HE6. From reading others experiences, this easiness doesn't mean it's "as easy" as many other headphones. Again, from reading about others experiences with 400 it appears that these are a bit more easy on the amping demands - not so the 500.

post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by xaval View Post

Often the amp determines the differences between the headphones. I have no idea about which amp(s) you're testing with, but the 500 was built with the objective of making these more easily driveable by an amp than HE6. From reading others experiences, this easiness doesn't mean it's "as easy" as many other headphones. Again, from reading about others experiences with 400 it appears that these are a bit more easy on the amping demands - not so the 500.

I am using the Lyr which is about two hours old. I am wondering if this throws its own issues. I should go back and test it with the Asgard which has been used more. Thanks for the thought.

post #27 of 34
Go to Amazon and read Katun's comparison of the HD650, HE-400, and HE-500. I find it a very accurate review and it's what ultimately moved me from the HD650 to the HE-500.

Hmmm...I can't seem to find the review now. Bummer. He may have posted it here too.
post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by disastermouse View Post

Go to Amazon and read Katun's comparison of the HD650, HE-400, and HE-500. I find it a very accurate review and it's what ultimately moved me from the HD650 to the HE-500.

Hmmm...I can't seem to find the review now. Bummer. He may have posted it here too.

I found this.

 

Hifiman he-400 or Sennheiser 650 / What amp/dacs are recommended.

post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by kothganesh View Post

Wayne, I just received my HE-500 from another Head-fier and a new Schiit Lyr. I've been running the 400, the 500 and the LCD 2.2 for a couple of hours now and I'm struck with the "negligible" difference between the 400 and the 500 (to my ears). Its kind of weird but the 500 sounds is a little on the dark side. To my ears the 400 seems to have more treble than the 500. The latter has more of a refined overall sound though. The 2.2 was of course the darkest but seemed to have the widest soundstage of the three with better instrument separation.

 

Anyway, all this could change as the tubes in the Lyr are used more (I have the stock GE). In addition, I have an odd mix of cans in the sense that the 400 has the J4, the 500 has the velour, and 2.2 has, well, its stock pleathers.

 

Any thoughts are welcome.

 

 

Koth,

 

This is kind of weird.  This thread is over a year old, and back during last May, I was posting about the HD-580s that I owned.  However, like you, I've been on a similar venture by going from the HE-400 to the HE-4, the HE-5LE and the HE-500.  Yes, I had the last 3 all at one time in my house.  Whoa ... talk about a HifiMAN testosterone experience !!!  I had loved the HE-400s for nearly a year.  The headphones served me very, very well.  When I'd listen to jazz such as that by the Yellowjackets and others, I would love the signature.  Then, as my music horizons expanded a bit, I started to take on more blues, especially quite a few more female vocalists.  In greatly expanding my music collection in that area, it really started to show the weakness of the HE-400.  The female vocals would be quite sibilant.  I was just using standard copper cables - no boutique higher-end, highly pure silver cables either.  To me, this was a major nose-dive of an experience that I never thought I'd reach with the HE-400.  I was literally pushed down by the sound that I was hearing, and I had a more disappointment on my hands.  Had I never ventured over to more female vocalists, I'd still have the HE-400 today.  Also for any user who has the HE-400 and only occasionaly listens to female vocals, I don't see any valid reason to move up to the HE-500.

 

Now, some comments on the HE-500.  It seems a bit more balanced across the frequency spectrum.  I don't find the bass to be lacking much from what I felt with the HE-400s in that regards.  The female vocals?  A perfect ace at this point in time.  The vocals really, really cleaned themselves up to where the sibilants are not present.  I am a very, very happy man.

 

Does the HE-500 have a bit of "darker" sound that the HE-400?  I do feel as though it does at times.  Some artists, I can notice this presence more than others.  However, I don't find that it is a deal-breaker for me as I'd rather have the warmer sound than the sibilant female vocals.  I suspect that the HE-500 headphones might pair up OK with a set of silver cables to give them a bit more "life" on the top end.  At the moment, I guess I'm just not in the mood to spend a few hundred on a silver cable to toy around with the signature.  I am using copper cable - a Canare star quad cable product as the main material for the cable.  I do recall back to my days of the Grado, Magnum and Fostex T50RP days when the Mogami Quad Neglex would give the impression of a bit more "air" at the top.  I may get 8' or so of Mogami and eventually set a cable up to test it out.  I don't want other members to read too far into this though, as well all have feelings (good and bad) regarding how a cable may or may not affect performance, so my intent wasn't to take this response down that road.  However, it is just something I'd prefer to investigate further on my end to see how some of the resolution might change.

 

That's about it for now.

post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

 

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID%5B%5D=3651&graphID%5B%5D=3241

 

 

 

You can fix this in 10 seconds? I'd allow at least 20.

I have to diverge a bit from my original statement.I don't think the HE500 is overpriced anymore. The HE400 can be improved a lot by mods, with the J$ pads that big suckout in the upper mid fills up a lot, but those pads were pretty pricey. I think in total, with shipping fees and import taxes I still payed about 80 euros for the, even though they were on 50% sale.

 

If you have the money, the HE500 is definitely better, just because it's almost flawless straight out of the box. Further pad mods make this headphone even better. I'm still very content with my HE400 though, the J$ pads fix the mid suckout, and a bit of eqing takes away the edge of the treble. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › HiFiman HE400 vs HE500