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

post #46 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:

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.

Thanks goldoon.

Yeah, you are right. It seems W1000x is not suitable for me. But I couldn't find much info about ATH-A1000X & Koss ESP-950.

post #47 of 72

The HE-400 isn't so much an improved HE-4 as a different beast altogether. Same for the HE-500: it's not an improved HE-5, the HE-5LE is an improved HE-5. The single digit HiFiMen---the HE-4, HE-5LE, and HE-6---are much harder loads when it comes to amping, so they benefit from a fairly powerful audio chain feeding into them. The triple digit HiFiMan on the other hand---the HE-400 and HE-500---are engineered to be much easier to drive.

 

The HE-4 is rather unique in its respective lineup in that it has the most "U shaped" signature, basically the sort of headphone that for many people lends itself to hard rock and metal. Think stereotypical Grado in that regard, though I'm not sure if the HE-4 is that extreme; basically it boils down to boosted bass and treble with a somewhat recessed midrange. The HE-400 on the other hand is much more even-tempered, with a smoother and somewhat darker sound overall, possessing a bit of a bottom-end emphasis with a silky midrange and relaxed treble. In its respective price bracket it's a very sonically refined headphone, and I can't think of much off hand in this price range that really competes, let alone gives it a run for the money. At least new; used is a different story.

 

I also see someone recommended the Koss ESP 940. This is a tremendous headphone, one of the best you can find for under a grand USD in my humble opinion. It's an electrostatic headphone, so you need to use the included amp, but it's actually a pretty good amp, and in stock form it still handily surpasses a lot of its competition in terms of raw performance.

post #48 of 72
Thread Starter 

Thanks MuppetFace for your reply.

 

I want to ask your opinion and know which one of the below-mentioned headphones is a better choice for me (I listen and make Black/Doom metal and their subcategories like sludge, drone doom, black/dark ambient &...):

 

Headphones:

Sennheiser HD600

Hifiman HE-400

Koss ESP 940

Audio-Technica ATH-A1000X

 

Desired Qualities:open, airy, detailed, neutral, accurate headphone with a deep soundstage, and excellent sub-bassbiggrin.gif

 

Thanks

post #49 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by labratoire View Post

Thanks MuppetFace for your reply.

 

I want to ask your opinion and know which one of the below-mentioned headphones is a better choice for me (I listen and make Black/Doom metal and their subcategories like sludge, drone doom, black/dark ambient &...):

 

Headphones:

Sennheiser HD600

Hifiman HE-400

Koss ESP 940

Audio-Technica ATH-A1000X

 

Desired Qualities:open, airy, detailed, neutral, accurate headphone with a deep soundstage, and excellent sub-bassbiggrin.gif

 

Thanks

 

 

I haven't heard the A1000X personally, but from what I know about it, its signature is said to be somewhat bass-light and bright up top, so it could be a little fatiguing with black metal while a little thin and lacking heft with doom metal. Again, that's just what I'd guess from what I've read, but I can't confirm it for certain. Also it's only available in Japan, so unless you specifically want something exotic, it's going to be a bit of a hassle to import, and there will be added expense there.

 

Honestly, I think the other three choices---the HE-400, ESP 950, and HD600---are all excellent and you really can't go wrong with any of them. I think the HE-400 will have a bit more bottom end weight compared to the others, so personally that would be my choice for listening to doom metal. It's also the darkest of the three so it's the least fatiguing, and for me that's always a plus when listening to black metal or anything with harsher sound (cymbal crashes, buzzing guitar, etc.).

 

However some people like a bit more aggressiveness in the treble, what I like to call "bite." The ESP 950 will likely have the most energy up top, but it's not so much bite as to be harsh in my opinion. The highs and midrange on the ESP 950 will be exquisitely detailed, open, and analytic sounding. That's really where electrostatic headphones excel. The biggest weakness will be down below, and in comparison to the other two the bass will lack a bit of weight. It will be well-extended and detailed, with great texture, but electrostatic headphones tend to lack a certain sense of body or "grounded-ness." They pretty much epitomize airy sound, whereas orthodynamic headphone (like the HE-400) have a more weighty sound and sense of presence in comparison, though they're not quite as refined overall in my opinion. That's just a gross generalization however.

 

The HD600 is going to be brighter than the HE-400, about on par with the ESP 950, though perhaps with less refinement up top and a slightly grainer treble, as that's one of the limitations of dynamic headphones compared to the other technologies. Its bass should be a little more robust than the ESP 950, though not as much as the HE-400. The midrange will be the biggest strength of the HD600 I feel, with a neutral but organic quality that isn't as airy as the ESP 950.

 

Really, all three have their relative strengths. If you get the HE-400 or HD600, you'll probably want to invest in a decent amp down the road. Both can run fine un-amped, but adding one will enhance your listening enjoyment by making the sound a bit more lively and "fleshed out" sounding. It's like the difference between drinking a soda straight from the fridge and one thats been sitting out and is kind of flat. The ESP 950 comes with its own amp, which is a plus, but you'll have to use that amp since it's electrostatic. In other words: with the ESP 950 you WONT be able to use it on the go with an iPod or any other portable device. The other two headphones could be used portably, though since they're open-back you probably don't want to anyway. However the ESP 950 will pretty much tie you down to your desk. Just something to keep in mind! 


Edited by MuppetFace - 6/9/12 at 11:52am
post #50 of 72

I think as MuppetFace said, A1000X would be so costly if you want them. But I still am very curious about their sound.

 

and also if Koss ESP 950 bass response is weak, IMO they are not suitable for your musical taste.

 

By the way, have you read K550's review at Headfonia. It's really positive, however I think it's a little bit exaggerated & they are not that good (especially for you). But just as an option take a look at them.

 

P.S. I would tell you how good my DT880 sounds tomorrow or the day after.

post #51 of 72

Personally, I really don't care for the K550. The midrange is thin and metallic sounding, and there are some weird inconsistencies going on in the highs that make it sound very unpleasant to my ears.

post #52 of 72
Thread Starter 

Thank you MuppetFace & goldoon.

 

Dear MuppetFace, Your reply was really useful. Now I can distinguish the differences between HE-400, HD600, ESP 950 & A1000X very well. ESP 950 is really tempting. Though its lack of bass can be annoying. and also A1000X shipping charge would not be much more than others, because I live in The Middle East and Japan is not much farther than for example the States.

About K550 I'm agree with you. It's not that good that some people claim and I don't think that they are better than such headphones like DT880 and HD650, as many people believe.

 

Dear goldoon, I'm waiting for your words on DT880. 

post #53 of 72

Hi,

 

It's only 10 hours that I've got My DT880's pro (600 Ohms) and I can tell you that they are amazing. You can't believe how great they are. I use Objective2 as an amp and I haven't any of problems that people mentioned when talking about DT880. It's sub-bass and bass quality, texture and impact is great, It's not that treblish and if I want to be more precise it performs treble sounds like a diamond. The only weakness that I find is their mids. I even owed HD650's from a friend to be sure from my choice and HD650's are really dark and "non-alive" in front of them. HD 650's are only a little bit better and weightier in mids.

 

If you want my idea, get DT880 instead of HD600. They are better if you want an open, airy, detailed, neutral, accurate headphone with a deep soundstage, and excellent sub-bass. and in addition of all of these plus points they are ~100 $ less expensive.

 

P.S. because of you I played Esoteric's Metamorphogenesis and it was one of my most intense experiences that I've ever had. I never heard such a sonic plague before.

 

Good luck.

post #54 of 72
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:

Hi,

 

It's only 10 hours that I've got My DT880's pro (600 Ohms) and I can tell you that they are amazing. You can't believe how great they are. I use Objective2 as an amp and I haven't any of problems that people mentioned when talking about DT880. It's sub-bass and bass quality, texture and impact is great, It's not that treblish and if I want to be more precise it performs treble sounds like a diamond. The only weakness that I find is their mids. I even owed HD650's from a friend to be sure from my choice and HD650's are really dark and "non-alive" in front of them. HD 650's are only a little bit better and weightier in mids.

 

If you want my idea, get DT880 instead of HD600. They are better if you want an open, airy, detailed, neutral, accurate headphone with a deep soundstage, and excellent sub-bass. and in addition of all of these plus points they are ~100 $ less expensive.

 

P.S. because of you I played Esoteric's Metamorphogenesis and it was one of my most intense experiences that I've ever had. I never heard such a sonic plague before.

 

Good luck.

I'm really happy to hear that you've found your desired headphone. I never thought of DT880 to be such a great headphone for such a heavy albums like Metamorphogenesis (It's the best crushing funeral doom album that I've ever heard, thanks for your time.). You know, from what I had read, I got a bad feeling about them and now you say that you even compare them with HD650 and they are much better. You make the choice more complicated with every replyevil_smiley.gif.

At first, you tempted me with Audio-Technica A1000X and Koss ESP 950 and now you do this again with DT880. I should think more and also wait to get some more replies.

 

Thank you dear friend for your time and kind recommendations.

post #55 of 72
Quote:
You make the choice more complicated with every replyevil_smiley.gif. At first, you tempted me with Audio-Technica A1000X and Koss ESP 950 and now you do this again with DT880.

Yeah, you are rightbiggrin.gif.

post #56 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldoon View Post

Hi,

 

 even owed HD650's from a friend to be sure from my choice and HD650's are really dark and "non-alive" in front of them. HD 650's are only a little bit better and weightier in mids.


Good luck.

 

HD650 is certainly dark, and compared to an enhanced-treble headphone they can be called non-alive, but somehow HD650 w/ O2 is not what I would call "veiled" or "thick" or hugely laid back or non-alive.  On a Headroom Micro, yes.  On an Onkyo SR-504, yes. O2 can seem somewhat bright despite being neutral since so many other amps try to make themselves "warm" with mixed results.  HD650 + O2 + a silver cable is definitely not "non-alive."  Or for non-cable-believers: HD650 is definitely not "non-alive", at least on O2 biggrin.gif

 

In contrast to Beyer however, they would absolutely be lacking in the top end since a specific treble spike at the top end is part of the Beyer house sound. Though apparently, newer Sennheisers are following that idea too.  

 

For the OP: You're down to contrasting radically different sound signatures.  You may want to step back and ask "what do I want?"  HE-400 is a very dark headphone.  Balanced, even, but dark in tone and presentation.  HD650 is fairly dark, darker than most anything else, EXCEPT HE-400 and maybe a handful of others.  Everything else on your list ranges from brighter to much brighter.  Beyer would be bright, though technically it's "neutral with treble peaks", etc.  SO instead you're getting wrapped up in conflicting decisions because you're actually trying to decide between starkly different items biggrin.gif

 

HE-400 is an excellent headphone, but if you're looking for neutral-analytical, you're definitely barking up the wrong tree.  The only reason I don't tell you "what you really want is K702" (which would fit nearly all your requirements) is because it lacks much in the bass presentation.  It has lots of bass extension but it's very flat and non-pronounced.  Beyer could indeed be what you're looking for, but I won't comment on its bass since I'm not familiar enough with it.  My Beyer experience effectively ended, long ago, with The Trouble with Trebbles.....


Edited by IEMCrazy - 6/11/12 at 8:33am
post #57 of 72

The HD600 is not the same headphone as the HD650, FYI. It will have a different tonal balance overall, with a less dark character in comparison to the HD650, which itself isn't as dark as some make it out to be. The original iteration of the HD650 was darker before they switched materials, and now it's a bit more even throughout the aural spectrum. Relative to the HD600, ESP 950, Q701, and Beyers however the HD650 is indeed darker.

 

I think terminology can get a bit sticky in regards to something like the HE-400. I wouldn't call it "analytical" insofar as one uses that descriptor for the K701/Q701 or HD800. However I wouldn't call these "analytical" headphones "neutral" either. The treble in too elevated. 

post #58 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:

For the OP: You're down to contrasting radically different sound signatures.  You may want to step back and ask "what do I want?"  HE-400 is a very dark headphone.  Balanced, even, but dark in tone and presentation.  HD650 is fairly dark, darker than most anything else, EXCEPT HE-400 and maybe a handful of others.  Everything else on your list ranges from brighter to much brighter.  Beyer would be bright, though technically it's "neutral with treble peaks", etc.  SO instead you're getting wrapped up in conflicting decisions because you're actually trying to decide between starkly different items biggrin.gif

 

HE-400 is an excellent headphone, but if you're looking for neutral-analytical, you're definitely barking up the wrong tree.  The only reason I don't tell you "what you really want is K702" (which would fit nearly all your requirements) is because it lacks much in the bass presentation.  It has lots of bass extension but it's very flat and non-pronounced.  Beyer could indeed be what you're looking for, but I won't comment on its bass since I'm not familiar enough with it.  My Beyer experience effectively ended, long ago, with The Trouble with Trebbles.....

Yeah, maybe you are right. But you know, IMO all of the mentioned headphones have the qualities that I'm longing for, but they differ in sound signature. Most of them (DT880, HD600, A1000X, ESP 905 & HE-400) are great. Of course HD600 and HE-400 are more popular but it doesn't mean that they are superior than others.

What you said about D880's treble is my problem with them and If I was sure that it's not that shiny, I would get them before. Listening to a band like Sunn O))) on a hot treblish headphone, can be a painful experience.

But, anyway you are right, I should make my mind and choose one of them that are closer to what I want. I should choose between HD600 & DT880 (and maybe A1000X), and as you said they are completely different.

 

 

 

Quote:

The HD600 is not the same headphone as the HD650, FYI. It will have a different tonal balance overall, with a less dark character in comparison to the HD650, which itself isn't as dark as some make it out to be. The original iteration of the HD650 was darker before they switched materials, and now it's a bit more even throughout the aural spectrum. Relative to the HD600, ESP 950, Q701, and Beyers however the HD650 is indeed darker.

 

I think terminology can get a bit sticky in regards to something like the HE-400. I wouldn't call it "analytical" insofar as one uses that descriptor for the K701/Q701 or HD800. However I wouldn't call these "analytical" headphones "neutral" either. The treble in too elevated.

Thanks for your note.

post #59 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post
However I wouldn't call these "analytical" headphones "neutral" either. The treble in too elevated.

 

K702 and HD600 is the most neutral of that bunch I'd say.  Maybe the Koss, I haven't tried them.  On the other hand, neutral isn't always fun.  And HD600 isn't quite analytical like K702 is.

post #60 of 72

I'm thinking the HD600 and ESP 950 are closer to being neutral than the K701 / K702 / Q701.

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