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Best $400 Cans?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

I currently own a set of Denon ADH-1100's but the plastic attaching the cups to the headbands are breaking. I'm thinking of using this as an excuse to buy something a little nicer. Is the HE-400 the best choice for about $400? I listen to a good variety of music from classical, rock to metal and rap.

 

I will be driving them either straight from my Macbook Pro or a Essence STX in my desktop (more likely the latter than the former).

post #2 of 35

The Denon AH-D2000 is much better sounding than the HE-400.  The only HE headphone I recommend is the HE-500.  I did direct A/B comparisons using the HE-300, HE-400, and HE-500 and the HE-500 blew me away.  The others were either very honky, a tad tinny, or were noticeably distorting at nominal listening levels.

 

I understand you have the 1100, but the AH-D2000 is going to blow those away.

 

Check out the charts:

http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=3091&graphID[]=2881&graphID[]=3651

 

Distortion:

http://www.headphone.com/headphones/denon-ah-d2000.php

 

The 1100 are so bass that I really recommend their sound.  The bass is just going to cover everything up and distort.

 

See on the frequency response charts how the AH-D2000 extends very flat where the other headphones have large dips or rises?  This makes the AH-D2000 more neutral and better represent how the music actually sounds.

 

I think Headroom still has a few new pairs of AH-D2000 and I think you owe it to your ears to give them a try.

post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 

Hmmm, I have tried the D2000 before. What kind of turns me off Denon is the fact that the cup holders (is that the correct term?) broken within four months not to very heavy usage. I know the D2000 uses a different (and nonplastic) way of securing the cups but I am slightly hesitant nonetheless. The $100 saving is tempting though.

post #4 of 35

The he400 wins hands down ATM IMO. Add a $15 pair of velours and consider that it is $40 off at moon audio and you've got one of the best deals out there right now. biggrin.gif

 

gL!!

post #5 of 35

I did direct A/B testing with the HE-400 against the D2000 through my Grace m903 and the HE-400 was very poor sounding.  It was not very vibrant, sounded tinny at times, and had severe issues with distortion.

 

The HE-400 is one of those headphones that is going to keep you upgrading.  The D2000 is well known for its awesome sound signature any remained on Headroom's Top 10 list until it went out of production.  I have never seen the HE-300 or HE-400 even close to being on it if that tells you anything.

post #6 of 35
At $400, I like the Kenwood KH-K1000. Better than the D2000 imho (this isn't to bash the Denon - I think the Kenwood is just an incremental improvement and a very good one at that, and it accordingly costs (somewhat) more). And none of the durability concerns (think Nokia - it falls, it breaks the floor). Have not heard the orthos.
post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

I did direct A/B testing with the HE-400 against the D2000 through my Grace m903 and the HE-400 was very poor sounding.  It was not very vibrant, sounded tinny at times, and had severe issues with distortion.

 

The HE-400 is one of those headphones that is going to keep you upgrading.  The D2000 is well known for its awesome sound signature any remained on Headroom's Top 10 list until it went out of production.  I have never seen the HE-300 or HE-400 even close to being on it if that tells you anything.

 

I'm guessing lot of that comes down to the Grace. The m903 is probably the best match for Denon headphones on the planet, and from what I've heard at heard at meets, not the best pairing for HiFiMAN cans.

 

That being said, if you have an m903 you're probably spending more than 350-400 on headphones. 

post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

I did direct A/B testing with the HE-400 against the D2000 through my Grace m903 and the HE-400 was very poor sounding.  It was not very vibrant, sounded tinny at times, and had severe issues with distortion.

 

The HE-400 is one of those headphones that is going to keep you upgrading.  The D2000 is well known for its awesome sound signature any remained on Headroom's Top 10 list until it went out of production.  I have never seen the HE-300 or HE-400 even close to being on it if that tells you anything.

 

That's because D2000 is a very old production headphone while HE400 was only announced in January this year and shipped in March or so. These Headroom ratings don't mean much, when the audiophile headphone field is churning along so fast.

 

When did you get your HE400s (the first run were spotty and had teething issues)? Did you go with pleather or velour pads? I don't think many HE400 owners who all have rev 2. ones with velour pads would relate to your impressions about its sound signature.

post #9 of 35

Maybe he just likes emphasized bass and treble.  I doubt it's the amp that much.  I took two completely different amps and still liked the HE-400 greatly out of either one of them.

post #10 of 35
Consider finding more out about

Open Headphones

AKG K 702
Beyerdynamic DT 880
Hifiman HE-400
Sennheiser HD600

Closed Headphones

AKG K 550
Denon AH-D2000
Shure SRH 840
Shure SRH 940
post #11 of 35

I have not listened to the D2000s, but I have listened to the D7000s, which most would agree is a significant upgrade to the D2000s in all aspects.

The HE-400, to me, is the closet to the D7000s I have come and are a fraction of the cost when purchased new.

 

I would recommend the HE-400 in a heart beat if you like clarity, texture, and bass.  The only thing the D7000s had the HE-400 beat in from my perspective is the sub-bass.  I have yet to find a headphone that can do what the Denon headphones can do with sub bass.  It's amazing.

 

I don't see how the D2000s can even hold a candle to the HE-400s in any regard, but then again, I have not listened to them specifically... just their much sexier and better looking big sister, the D7000s.

post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

Maybe he just likes emphasized bass and treble.  I doubt it's the amp that much.  I took two completely different amps and still liked the HE-400 greatly out of either one of them.

 

I tend to agree most of the time, but Denon/Grace is particularly good. m903 tends to really tame and tighten up the bass on them.

post #13 of 35

I don't doubt that it does, but at the same time it's not like the Denons are magically completely different monsters to amp than the HE-400.  Give both a clean source and good damping factor, and they both should sound good, unless the M903 is fundamentally flawed as an amp, which would be a very sad thing considering it's near 2000 dollars.

 

Most likely it's him not liking the HE-400's sonic signature.  He's also wrongfully quoting the headroom frequency response graphs.

post #14 of 35

is the he-400 forward sounding or laid back? I planning on buying an open can as well but I hate laid back headphones and I want one with upfront mids, clear vocals, bright sounding, etc. (sorry for hijacking) I listen mostly to rock and pop rock


Edited by daniel521 - 8/13/12 at 2:54pm
post #15 of 35

HE-400 is exactly opposite of that.  While its treble can get pretty damn bright if the recording has lots of high treble energy, in general it's a very warm headphone and very laid back.  You'll probably want something more like a Grado.

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