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HiFiMAN HE-4 vs. HIFIMAN HE-400 - Page 3

post #31 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

 

LOL, thanks.  Though it would be hard to factor in the possible change you mentioned in the HE-400 thread of the driver tweaks in newer HE-400s.  Or the fact that D5000 will shortly no longer exist biggrin.gif  And I wouldn't feel right doing an objective review of anything without either HE-500, LCD-2, HD800, or HE-6 to use as a reference for the top end.

 

Eh screw the high-end line; why even bother worrying about them in a comparative review if the people reading it aren't worried about spending the money for those in the first place (at least not yet)?

 

As for possible driver tweaks, one possibility is to email or PM Dr Fang Bian and ask if his engineers did in fact do something like that; if even he says no, then obviously nothing changed and all the nitpickings in the other thread about how there are "versions" are all just psychological.

 

As for D5000s, why not, I mean, Denon made and sold a metric ton of em (so lots of second-hand availability long after this discontinuation), and probably there are still a lot of them left in stock in different retailers. Also just the fact that a lot of people have bought these means it gives many who are looking for a complementary mid-fi can such as HE400s or HD650s a good reference point.

 

And lastly, you are the only one here who regularly writes published journals for each response happy_face1.gif

post #32 of 72
Thread Starter 

Thank you Oderi and IEMCrazy.

 

Dear Oderi, If you and some of other users think that D5000 is a better choice for bass-oriented electronic music, so I think I don't need them. Because I don't listen to these kinds of music & bass quality is more important to me than bass impact.

 

Dear IEMCrazy, you really amaze me with your highly detailed answers. Merci for your time. I think I'll go with O2 because of its neutrality (and also its great price), but the more important factor is headphone. HD 600 is good and HE-400 is good too. I didn't like HD600 treble, as I remember it hadn't that amount of detail and impact that I'm longing for but from your words (and others) I got a feeling that it is a better choice if I am longing for an accurate and detailed headphone. Can I do something with its treble to be more impactful?

 

 

Quote:
I also think you should do it.

+1

post #33 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Eh screw the high-end line; why even bother worrying about them in a comparative review if the people reading it aren't worried about spending the money for those in the first place (at least not yet)?

 

As for possible driver tweaks, one possibility is to email or PM Dr Fang Bian and ask if his engineers did in fact do something like that; if even he says no, then obviously nothing changed and all the nitpickings in the other thread about how there are "versions" are all just psychological.

 

As for D5000s, why not, I mean, Denon made and sold a metric ton of em (so lots of second-hand availability long after this discontinuation), and probably there are still a lot of them left in stock in different retailers. Also just the fact that a lot of people have bought these means it gives many who are looking for a complementary mid-fi can such as HE400s or HD650s a good reference point.

 

And lastly, you are the only one here who regularly writes published journals for each response

+1smily_headphones1.gif

post #34 of 72

@Lab,

 

Just get the HE400s, pretty much everyone who bought it here on head-fi liked and in most cases loved its sound (with the only exception being QC issues with the very first batch in January), which is a VERY rare feat in the headphone audiophile community. 99.9% of the time with a new headphone, some people are gonna pick on it or flat out hate it.

 

Besides if you order straight from Head-Direct, you get a 1-month no questions asked refund period too.

post #35 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:

@Lab,

 

Just get the HE400s, pretty much everyone who bought it here on head-fi liked and in most cases loved its sound (with the only exception being QC issues with the very first batch in January), which is a VERY rare feat in the headphone audiophile community. 99.9% of the time with a new headphone, some people are gonna pick on it or flat out hate it.

 

Besides if you order straight from Head-Direct, you get a 1-month no questions asked refund period too.

 

I know they are great, but what makes me worried about them is that I, sometimes create music too and I don't have monitors. So I want to use new pair of headphones as my monitor too. So, I need something with as much as accuracy that I can get with my money. Now I have only two choices, HD600 and HE-400.

 

about HD600, what makes me worry is that some people say If you listen to the harshest song in the world, that songs sounds like a relaxing music. They mean its treble is not fatiguing. But IMO there is a huge difference between being non-fatigue and being non-real. I don't know what they really mean and I can't remember HD600 sound very good.

 

I know my words are confusing (contradicting?) but I can't explain it better than this.

 

Thanks

post #36 of 72

Hi,

 

catscratch said me that HD600 has two versions and the newer version is said to be brighter.

 

I don't have it myself and I just quoted his words. I don't want make your choice more complicated, but it seems most people like the older version better. Though, maybe it's because most of them like HD600 with its veiled sound and with a brighter treble, they can't have the same (and "non-fatiguing") sound.

 

Good luck.

post #37 of 72
post #38 of 72
Thread Starter 

Thanks goldoon.

I have read them all, but most of HD600 owners here have bought them after 2007 that Sennheiser made some changes on the HD600 & still most of them call its treble rolled-off. Of course I don't know how much of this matter (rolled off treble of HD600) is truth and if there is any exaggeration in it or not

post #39 of 72

 

Quote:

Thanks goldoon.

I have read them all, but most of HD600 owners here have bought them after 2007 that Sennheiser made some changes on the HD600 & still most of them call its treble rolled-off. Of course I don't know how much of this matter (rolled off treble of HD600) is truth and if there is any exaggeration in it or not

 

Maybe you are right. But I don't think that HD600's treble is that "non-alive" at all. Many people here use them and enjoy them. Also, it's a reference class headphone and it should sound as much as accurate and neutral as possible.

 

anyway, I would get DT880 pro (600 ohms) next week (as soon as I find a proper tube amp to make it a better headphone). At that time, If you want I can tell you how I feel about them.

post #40 of 72

As I recalled with my HD600 (older version, had them for just a short while though) I won't say they have rolled off treble. It's just the way they deliver it that makes it 'seem' rolled off. The treble and probably any detail in the higher frequency range is certainly there. IMO the HD600 have a thick (which people often call 'veiled'), liquid sound that tends to blend everything together in a mid-centric imaging (if that makes any sense :D) which makes it difficult (but not impossible if you really want to) to pick out the treble details although their extension is quite good. I had the HD600 with the O2 amp also and while they made an ok pair, I'm not sure I'd call it great. I don't have any experience with the HE-400 though. Hope this helps.


Edited by risenfallen - 6/7/12 at 3:33pm
post #41 of 72
Thread Starter 

Thanks risenfallen.

post #42 of 72
Quote:
one of my friends had a pair of Audio Technica ATH-W1000X's. He was really satisfied with it (sold it and bought ATH-W5000, so I can't check them now) , but from what I've read I don't think they'll be a good choice. What is your opinion?

Mike at Headfonia have reviewed it. As he said he preferred it over HD650, K701 & DT880. But I don't have any experience with none of them and from what I've read I recommend to have a look at these headphones too:

 

Koss ESP-950 Electrostatic System
Audio Technica ATH-A1000X

Audio Technica ATH-A2000X

 

None of them are popular here and you can't find enough feedback about them here, But I have a short experience with Koss and if you want my opinion they were great. But I don't know if any of above-mentioned headphones is better than HE-400 or not?

post #43 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

 

Eh screw the high-end line; why even bother worrying about them in a comparative review if the people reading it aren't worried about spending the money for those in the first place (at least not yet)?

 

As for possible driver tweaks, one possibility is to email or PM Dr Fang Bian and ask if his engineers did in fact do something like that; if even he says no, then obviously nothing changed and all the nitpickings in the other thread about how there are "versions" are all just psychological.

 

As for D5000s, why not, I mean, Denon made and sold a metric ton of em (so lots of second-hand availability long after this discontinuation), and probably there are still a lot of them left in stock in different retailers. Also just the fact that a lot of people have bought these means it gives many who are looking for a complementary mid-fi can such as HE400s or HD650s a good reference point.

 

And lastly, you are the only one here who regularly writes published journals for each response happy_face1.gif

Well you said to make it objective..and to be objective it seems unfair not to have an objective comparison to better and worse tiers, only as a reference point for their attributes. 

 

As for asking Fang.  Sure.  Because Sennheiser never changed the sound of HD650, and AKG never changed the sound of Q701, and Denon never changed the sound of D5k.   I can guess the answer already: Fang never changed the sound of HE-400 wink.gif

 

LOL, you may be right, I may have to do it.  But not yet, I haven't spent enough time with the Denons yet to be truly objective about them.  I probably will shortly, I've put them on reserve until my Lawton pads come in.  Which should have shipped a week ago, but didn't.  May have shipped today, but doesn't look like they will, so they'll probably ship next week or the week after.  Ugh!  Seems like the order of them got held up somewhere in production from the initial 3 week expectation.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by labratoire View Post

Thank you Oderi and IEMCrazy.

 

Dear Oderi, If you and some of other users think that D5000 is a better choice for bass-oriented electronic music, so I think I don't need them. Because I don't listen to these kinds of music & bass quality is more important to me than bass impact.

 

Dear IEMCrazy, you really amaze me with your highly detailed answers. Merci for your time. I think I'll go with O2 because of its neutrality (and also its great price), but the more important factor is headphone. HD 600 is good and HE-400 is good too. I didn't like HD600 treble, as I remember it hadn't that amount of detail and impact that I'm longing for but from your words (and others) I got a feeling that it is a better choice if I am longing for an accurate and detailed headphone. Can I do something with its treble to be more impactful?

 

 

+1

 

Thanks! biggrin.gif  One thing to remember is that all headphones, all speakers for that matter, are a series of tradeoffs.   If debating between these two, you have to pick your tradeoff.  HD600 is without question the more accurate one, and when well appointed (at the risk of drawing ire from some, I'll say a cable stands a chance of being helpful wink.gif.   HE-400 comes with a half decent, if ungainly, cable in the box.  HE600's cable is famously awful in construction and sound.  Some buy an HD650 cable for it (while some feel that HE600's cable sounds better on HD650 than HD650's).  I'm personally not fond of either of them....and a vast market exists for that. )  It was designed for mixing in the studio.  It was designed to be accurate. 

 

Disliking Senns treble is a mixed thing.  HD600 does not roll off the treble in any way close to the way HD650 does.  It's pretty linear.  However Senns sound was (back then) to have a softer treble.  The idea being, if it's used for long hours in the studio, and treble is what induces the fatigue, a bit of FR compression toward the center keeps the headphone from ever fatiguing, while still presenting all the detail in a less sparkly way.  Beyer on the other hand believes in accenting the sparkle to showcase the fine detail that usually takes place in the treble, important for final-mixing work.  AKG takes the "flat across the board, EQ your own tone" approach.  And the new Senn flagships seem to have tried to compensate....or rather over-compensate their former fame for not presenting treble sparkle in a forward way. 

 

HD600 is detailed and accurate.  Some would call it boring as a result.  HD650 was a more colored, corrected for human voice and additional midbass variant of it.  HE-400 is colored, but with fairly netural mids.  HiFiMan has the distinction of being one of the few brands making high end headphones with end-listening, not studio work, in mind.  So its tuned in a way its designer believes should be satisfying.   It's probably not ideal for production work in the way Audeze, Sennheiser, etc. are.  I don't mean to say it's an overwhelmingly "fun" or "over-colored" headphone.  But the coloration is there, and it has a habit of presenting "big sound" in a live way.  Very few people actively dislike the sound.  But if you're looking for neutrality and fine detail, while still being very pleasant to listen to, Senn is probably your winner.  It would be extremely hard to dislike either headphone.  But between the two, HD600 would be the more accurate one.  Though HE-400 becomes notably more accurate on the O2 than on my tubes.  HD650 seems to remain accurate both on tubes and on the O2, and that would no doubt go for HD600 as well.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by labratoire View Post

I know they are great, but what makes me worried about them is that I, sometimes create music too and I don't have monitors. So I want to use new pair of headphones as my monitor too. So, I need something with as much as accuracy that I can get with my money. Now I have only two choices, HD600 and HE-400.

 

about HD600, what makes me worry is that some people say If you listen to the harshest song in the world, that songs sounds like a relaxing music. They mean its treble is not fatiguing. But IMO there is a huge difference between being non-fatigue and being non-real. I don't know what they really mean and I can't remember HD600 sound very good.

 

I know my words are confusing (contradicting?) but I can't explain it better than this.

 

Thanks

 

The description of smoothing musing to sound relaxing sounds more like HD650 than HD600.  HD600 is more or less flat.  HD650 is the one with the warmed over mids and the "very laid back relaxing sound."  Though they certainly would be close being designed on extremely similar drivers. However, in my experience, I think part of that is just because HD650 comes with a fairly warmed over cable.  The bigger problem with the stock Senn cables is the unshielded common return in  a simple braid which introduces a form of distortion that adds to the "veiled" or "relaxing" sound at times.  The big Canare cable with the HE-400 is a 4 conductor cable for balanced microphones.  The conductors are unshielded individually, but the Star Quad geometry is intended to reflect interference to begin with.  But I doubt it would be hard to find a DIY-er here on H-F to build you a similar Mogami or Canare cable for a low price for Senn.  I don't mean to get you deep into the cable hole this early in the game, you shouldn't.  But my point is, different folks are using different cables and setups and that changes the sound significantly.

 

Because it's "cheap" lots of people buy an HD600/650, plug it into an ipod or soundcard, and complain that it sounds rolled off and smoothed over.  Of course it does, the output impedance at the jack is awful for a 350ohm headphone, and the voltage swing is likely inconsistent at best.  If you're pairing it with something with spare headroom and low, low, output impedance like an O2, you get a very different experience than that.  The "laid back" HD650 for example.  With my Silver Dragon cable + O2 amp it sounds good, but borders on being overwhelmingly sparkly.  I love my SD cable, but I'd not pick silver if pairing it with O2 as my primary amp.  I'd go with copper.  Even stock maybe.  Since my main amp is the hybrid Lyr with some nice warm tubes, I love the silver cable.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by goldoon View Post

Hi,

 

catscratch said me that HD600 has two versions and the newer version is said to be brighter.

 

I don't have it myself and I just quoted his words. I don't want make your choice more complicated, but it seems most people like the older version better. Though, maybe it's because most of them like HD600 with its veiled sound and with a brighter treble, they can't have the same (and "non-fatiguing") sound.

 

Good luck.

 

I've heard reports all across the board on HD600.  Some people complain about the shrill treble and that at least an HD650 cable (which is the official replacement cable from Senn for HD600 for some reason) is needed to tame it.  Some complain about it being laid back and boring.  Some say it sounds pretty much like HD650.  Maybe its due to newer versions, maybe it's due to source.  Last I heard HD600 was long ago, and I still found it to be the "flat, neutral" one (with more highs) while HD650 was "the warm laid back one"

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by risenfallen View Post

As I recalled with my HD600 (older version, had them for just a short while though) I won't say they have rolled off treble. It's just the way they deliver it that makes it 'seem' rolled off. The treble and probably any detail in the higher frequency range is certainly there. IMO the HD600 have a thick (which people often call 'veiled'), liquid sound that tends to blend everything together in a mid-centric imaging (if that makes any sense :D) which makes it difficult (but not impossible if you really want to) to pick out the treble details although their extension is quite good. I had the HD600 with the O2 amp also and while they made an ok pair, I'm not sure I'd call it great. I don't have any experience with the HE-400 though. Hope this helps.

 

Interesting you'd describe the mid-centric imagine (FR-DR compression) that I often describe about HD650.   I never got that vibe in the same sense from HD600, but now that you describe it, I suppose the main difference is that they both do that to some extent, the key difference being HD600 does it in a linear curve, HD650 also adds a "warm" signature (midbass hump and boosted midrange, rolled off upper treble and lower bass) while HD600 doesn't bump the midbass and mids, but doesn't roll off the upper treble.  But now that you mention it I supose both do have the FR-DR compression to it. "Great", is sort of a measure of preference though.  That combo would be extremely accurate and neutral.  Which is the very reason I dislike neutral amps, personally.  However I happen to love the O2 with the very non-neutral D5k. IMO HE-400 becomes more "serious" on O2 as well.  Both for Senn 6xx and HE-400, I prefer the listening pleasure on tubes, and both change characters more than some other headphones (K70x for example) when moved between SS and tubes. 

 

HD600 is a great studio can,  but like K702 wouldn't always be my first choice for personal listening.  HD650 is basically the "personal listening variant" of HD600.  A little less studio tilted.  Probably like Q701 vs K702, though I haven't heard Q701. And many folks do prefer HD600 to HD650 so there's nothing wrong with that preference.  HE-400 on the other hand would probably not be my first choice for studio work.  It's detailed, sure, it's a planar.  But the presentation is more about euphonic enjoyment than analytical or even truly neutral representation. 

 

Probably the biggest core difference other than bass extension is dynamics though.  HD600/HD650 does compress the dynamic range a little.  It doesn't sound flat but it keeps the swings from getting too violent and keeps things on an even keel, which is probably a good thing in a headphone, but some may call it boring.  And that is the key reason I prefer HE-400 for classical for example.  It has the full dynamic swing of loudspeakers.  But that can also be an annoyance too depending on recording.  I was listening to the Chicago Symphony rendition of Mahler 1 (classical) yesterday.  The HDTracks (DVD-A) variant with extended dynamic range.  I got a nasty surprise after a long very soft section almost inaudible, 15 minutes in, with a blast from the tympany section.  I was listening for rattles in the driver after that little jolt...and for ringing in the ears wink.gif   For rock/metal/industrial that kind of dynamic swing wouldn't be a benefet or a hindrance, really, most of the music in those genres is either compressed at recording or played as loud as the guitar amps will permit at the beginning.  The microdynamics between notes would be a bigger swing of course, and that comes to preference. 

 

 

 

Jerg:  Mea culpa. redface.gif

post #44 of 72
Thread Starter 

I don't know how can I thank you enough for these great, precise and detailed replies.

After reading your words, I'm now sure enough to get HD600 instead of HE-400. It seems it is more close to what I want (and it is also less expensive and I can save some money to get a better headphone (in the next 2 years) or spend it on a better amp.). and also from your words (and Mike at headfonia's words), it is obvious that HD600 with a good amp can becomes much better than other headphone in the price range. I choosed O2 because of its neutrality (at first I wanted to get DT880 and I didn't want to disturb its neutrality) and you say it sounds good with HD600, but if another amp (preferably a neutral one / 250 $ at most) can makes HD600 even better, please tell me.

 

 

-----------------
By the way, goldoon recommended me to take a look at Koss ESP-950 & Audio Technica ATH-A1000X. I've searched a little and read some reviews about them. Some reviewers like Mike (Headfonia) praised them and liked them much better than HD650 & DT880, but some others didn't like their sound. It made me curious about them. Especially A1000X that is a studio headphone. Does anyone have any idea about them?

Thanks

post #45 of 72
Quote:
2.one of my friends had a pair of Audio Technica ATH-W1000X's. He was really satisfied with it (sold it and bought ATH-W5000, so I can't check them now) , but from what I've read I don't think they'll be a good choice. What is your opinion?

As I've read, I can say that this is not for you. AFAIK you want a headphone that is detailed, accurate, without any coloration & other plus points for a monitoring headphone (that can be used as primary headphone to listen to black/doom metal & its sub genres (I like your taste, extreme and darksmily_headphones1.gif)) and IMO W1000X is far from your desired qualities. Read for yourself:

 

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/audiotechnica/winning.html

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/audiotechnica3/1.html

 

but Audio Technica ATH-A1000X seems to be something for you. I'm not sure though. Let experts say. However some say they have the same problems that most of open Audio-Technica headphones have.

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