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Hifiman HE-400: Any Isolation?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

So i've been looking to get a new pair of office cans. I'm extremely curious about the planar driver, and would really like to try these out. I will be using these in an office environment, where I have people sitting about 4-5 feet away. I know these are open-back headphones so their isolation can't be superb. Will these leak a noticeable enough amount of sound? Our office environment isn't quiet by any means, I just dont want to add to it if I don't have to. Also, since we have a noisy environment, how good are these at keeping out external sounds? We will sometimes have music playing ambiently in the office, would I be able to drown it out with these? I will be driving these from a iPhone or Macbook to begin with, with the hopes of buying a USB DAC for the Macbook eventually.

 

Also, since i've already made this thread, one more question. Will these play the following bands/types of music well? Phish (lots of this), The Doors, Pink Floyd, Black Keys, Pretty Lights. I listen to lots of different types of music, but its most important they work for jam bands and classic rock. 

 

Thanks!


Edited by DSchwartz88 - 10/9/12 at 11:19am
post #2 of 13

Their isolation is nonexistant. I haven't really tried a lot of open back headphones but what I've heard they are amongst the worst for sound leakage.

 

As far as being able to drown out environmental noise, it's not too hard as the speakers are right next to your ear, but you might also drown it out for your neighbors as well. Definitely not safe to try and drown out industrial noise or anything though.

 

EDIT: To answer your next question: yes. Jam bands sound phenominal.  Pretty Lights and really most every kind of electronic music sound amazing as well. Haven't tried Black Keys yet...


Edited by chewy4 - 10/9/12 at 11:25am
post #3 of 13

Lol no; isolation is the antithesis of Hifiman/Audeze planar headphones. They produce as much sound into the ear as the other way because the drivers are symmetrical across the vertical plane.

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy4 View Post

Their isolation is nonexistant. I haven't really tried a lot of open back headphones but what I've heard they are amongst the worst for sound leakage.

 

As far as being able to drown out environmental noise, it's not too hard as the speakers are right next to your ear, but you might also drown it out for your neighbors as well. Definitely not safe to try and drown out industrial noise or anything though.

 

EDIT: To answer your next question: yes. Jam bands sound phenominal.  Pretty Lights and really most every kind of electronic music sound amazing as well. Haven't tried Black Keys yet...

 

I guess i'd have to see how "bad" it really is. I remember I thought my Grado S60's we're bad, but people sitting next to me didn't seem to mind (they often wear headphones too). So two questions:

 

1. Anyone know of anywhere that sells the HE-400 with a favorable return policy (no restocking, etc)? I'd love to give these a listen without making a commitment. I live in NYC if anyone knows of any stores that carry them.

 

2. Anyone have any suggestion for closed back cans based on my music preference? I realize they won't sound as good at the HE-400, but if the sound leakage is truly bad, then I have no choice.


Edited by DSchwartz88 - 10/9/12 at 11:38am
post #5 of 13

A good way to test how bad the sound leakage is: Take a regular closed headphone and turn it to a volume you would listen to the music at. Take them off of your head, and make the cups face outward.

 

Simply put, it leaks all of the sound.

 

I'm not sure if Amazon is still fulfilling orders for them, but if they are that is a good choice. HeadDirect(the people who make them) also lets you return them with no hassle I believe.

post #6 of 13

Response in BOLD.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSchwartz88 View Post

 

I guess i'd have to see how "bad" it really is. I remember I thought my Grado S60's we're bad, but people sitting next to me didn't seem to mind (they often wear headphones too). So two questions:

 

1. Anyone know of anywhere that sells the HE-400 with a favorable return policy (no restocking, etc)? I'd love to give these a listen without making a commitment. I live in NYC if anyone knows of any stores that carry them. Headroom would be one quite near NYC, I think. Good return policy, sometimes you can find B-stock HE-400s for ~339 or so. Amazon, Head-Direct (They have an office in NYC), Moon Audio, are also options.

 

2. Anyone have any suggestion for closed back cans based on my music preference? I realize they won't sound as good at the HE-400, but if the sound leakage is truly bad, then I have no choice. If you want something similar to the HE-400's planar sound, I've heard good things about the Mad Dogs/Paradox/etc. Closed, ortho, many people rave about them. Hopefully I'll get to hear them sometime soon.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSchwartz88 View Post

So i've been looking to get a new pair of office cans. I'm extremely curious about the planar driver, and would really like to try these out. I will be using these in an office environment, where I have people sitting about 4-5 feet away. I know these are open-back headphones so their isolation can't be superb. Will these leak a noticeable enough amount of sound? Our office environment isn't quiet by any means, I just dont want to add to it if I don't have to. Also, since we have a noisy environment, how good are these at keeping out external sounds? We will sometimes have music playing ambiently in the office, would I be able to drown it out with these? I will be driving these from a iPhone or Macbook to begin with, with the hopes of buying a USB DAC for the Macbook eventually.  Yeah, no. Isolation does not exist with these things. In fact, if you cup the backs with your hands or something, the sound gets really muffled and distorted, so these are specifically open in nature.

 

Also, since i've already made this thread, one more question. Will these play the following bands/types of music well? Phish (lots of this), The Doors, Pink Floyd, Black Keys, Pretty Lights. I listen to lots of different types of music, but its most important they work for jam bands and classic rock.  Phish, The Doors, Pink Floyd sound more than decent on these. You can just lay back and take in all the details and immerse yourself in the melody, ambiance, etc. They definitely shine for Alt/Prog rock in general. Other subgenres of rock, it can be a hit or miss.

 

Thanks!

post #7 of 13

The only problem with using other orthos is they are generally harder to drive. HE-400's are efficient and don't need an external amp, but most orthos are more power hungry. So be careful with that.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy4 View Post

The only problem with using other orthos is they are generally harder to drive. HE-400's are efficient and don't need an external amp, but most orthos are more power hungry. So be careful with that.

 

Are the Mad Dogs closed headphones? From my research im seeing that the T50RP they come from are semi-open (which is really open -- so theres no benefit over the HE-400s). For the cheaper price I could get the Mad Dogs plus a USB DAC. Anyone have any recommendation as to what USB DAC to pair with Mad Dogs? Also, would they work for my kind of music?

post #9 of 13

From the MD review thread:

 

"Noise cancellation & Isolation: Pretty good. I can only just hear myself typing right now, with the headphones on (but no musc), and this keyboard is usually pretty loud. Obviously there's better out there, but I'd trust these on the bus as far as me not hearing other's conversations - or zoning out in a lecture. I wonder how much sound is leaked? Oh, my. Nearly nothing. I don't think a full sized headphone has ever been this quiet to other people for me. That's good. These headphones will do their job - mobile music powerhouse. These things beat out some IEMs in terms of how well they keep their sound to themselves (and you). I'm currently listening to a song, at average listening volumes, in a room I am not alone in. The other person in the room is watching the television, and it's turned up because they're partially deaf. My company can not hear my headphones nor can I hear the television (I can faintly hear it when no music is playing)."

 

I haven't tried them myself, but people have said that the Mad Dog's are like a closed version of the HE-400 in terms of sound signature.

 

By USB DAC, do you mean a DAC/Amp combo? Getting an amp would be the most important thing for you here, Macs generally have good built in DACs but you're still gonna need some more power... I don't have any experience with USB DAC/Amps though, I just use my soundcard and an Asgard myself.


Edited by chewy4 - 10/9/12 at 12:44pm
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Any amp options around $150 that would be good (for the Mad Dogs)? The asgard looks super nice, just not sure I can justify dropping $250 on an amp right now. 

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSchwartz88 View Post

Any amp options around $150 that would be good (for the Mad Dogs)? The asgard looks super nice, just not sure I can justify dropping $250 on an amp right now. 

O2, E17? 

post #12 of 13

e09k + odac/e17

post #13 of 13

Thread title made me laugh.

 

For what it's worth, the 650's have a lot more isolation just because dynamic drivers don't carry sound outside NEARLY as far as the planars, they really are like mini speakers. The sound on the 400's almost completely goes both directions.


Edited by RushNerd - 10/9/12 at 5:09pm
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