Received my new cable today. Hooked her up. Absolutely love it. It's so much lighter than the stock hifiman cables and way more flexible (braid within a sheath). The adapters are just incredibly smart. I can swap to 3.5mm (with 1/4th adapter) for my normal headphone amp(s) and jump straight to speaker taps just by clicking the XLR connections and never have to unscrew the cable from the hifiman (which is one of my least favorite things to do, it's a pain to screw those on / off, I always feel like I'm going to eventually damage them doing it too often). So this is just a great simple and universal way to play around with all sources.
To test it out, I hooked up to my Pioneer and Onkyo receivers just to see if it would blow up or not and make sure everything worked, because the Emotiva Mini isn't here yet, it shipped today, so should be here soon. The Onkyo & Pioneer are rated in the 80wpc and 110wpc ranges respectively. Without getting into too much detail just yet, I have to say, I'm quite impressed with how good the Hifiman is with a simple receiver setup. Kind of makes the "all in one" really stick out as a really cost effective way to power these things. I noticed I didn't have an issue with volume, I had to turn it up to the higher level of listening volumes compared to speakers for the headphones, so definitely not worried about blowing up my headphones so far. I actually like this setup, I have the DAC and equalization and other fun options that AVR's can do with speakers all setup into a great headphone. As for the sound, it's much better than the headphone output of the same AVR. On the speaker taps, there is not a noise floor unless I put the volume up in the high-moderate level range and even then, it's the track, because when I hit pause, it's nearly inaudible. These are entry & mid-level AVR's, not even something "excellent." My Pioneer VSX1121 is a very nice match so far (110wpc). So if anyone wants a really neat way to power a Hifiman, a simple AVR with speaker taps is actually a pretty cool way to go. Sound is excellent. It's not "better" than a good headphone amp setup so far, but it's simple, and a lot more "universal."
I'll update with pictures of everything once the Emotiva amp shows up so I can compare a speaker amp and DAC (NFB12 as DAC) setup, compared to AVR's, and the HE-500's on speaker tap.
So far though, this is absolutely entertaining. The HE-500 definitely can take the energy from speaker oriented amps. It's not scared of them at all. Time to start testing more powerful equipment (as I'm sure the AVR's were outputting way less than their rated wpc).