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From Senn HD 555 to Hifiman HE400... not impressed

post #1 of 98
Thread Starter 

Hello to all, new here but ill get straight into it

 

Lerked these forums for a bit because i was interested in an upgrade from my HD555 (had them for around 3-4 years) and was looking for something with a bit more bass and grunt.

 

Did the "upgrade" from a 555 to a 595, wasnt tooooooo impressed but i was still surprised at how much louder my headphones were. I was originally going to get a set of Denon 2K's but stock finished and i wasnt really up for someones hand me downs so i thought ill get a set of HE400's. Ive been using them for around 3 hours now and i have to say despite the reviews.... these headphones arent much "IN COMPARISON" to the HD555 (or 95)

 

Let me put it this way, if i went straight from just your average in ear hp's to the 400s i would be impressed but i paid 150 for the sennys, i just paid 420 for the HE400s and the difference... especially in treble is almost negligible.

 

Admittingly i dont have an amp, but due to its low impedance i thought that it wouldnt matter that much, especially seeing as though my research has told me that it only increases volume not quality.

 

WHAT AM I MISSING GUYS?!?! ok it sounds better, but not $270 better. Are my 555s good or are my 400s ****? Or do i need an amp?

 

Thankyou

post #2 of 98

HE-400 definitely needs amp. Yes its low impedance but need lots of current. (http://www.head-fi.org/a/headphone-impedance)

 

Get FiiO E17 and be happy :)
 

post #3 of 98

You could just have modded your hd555 to the hd595, because they are identical - except some foam inside the hd555, which you can take out. Basically they are the same, the hd555 is just nerfed.

 

Even though the HE-400 is a low impedance 'phone, it needs amplification. It might not require as much voltage, but on the other hand it needs more current. Basically, they need amplification a lot more than the hd595 from what i know.

post #4 of 98

What is you current source of audio? Onboard pc sound, phone?

post #5 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Habu View Post

HE-400 definitely needs amp. Yes its low impedance but need lots of current. (http://www.head-fi.org/a/headphone-impedance)

 

Get FiiO E17 and be happy :)
 

This! +1

 

Also I find the bass in these amazing for an open headphone. Treble is sexy and smooth. If you dont have a bunch of current in them you wont know how they truly sound. As soon as I when from using my Titanium HD--> headphones  to having Titanium HD--> schiit asguard --> Headphones it was night and day for me. 

 

That being said it could be you cant identify the sounds some can. I have had buddies try my headphones that just think im crazy and their is very little difference. 

post #6 of 98
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

You could just have modded your hd555 to the hd595, because they are identical - except some foam inside the hd555, which you can take out. Basically they are the same, the hd555 is just nerfed.

 

Even though the HE-400 is a low impedance 'phone, it needs amplification. It might not require as much voltage, but on the other hand it needs more current. Basically, they need amplification a lot more than the hd595 from what i know.

 

I did and i wasnt impressed with the bass, ended up distorting (probably because it wasnt amped) but did make a hell of a difference to the volume level, the thing literally shook at high volumes. COMFORTABLE as all hell too, worth the money but i wanted something better

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

What is you current source of audio? Onboard pc sound, phone?

 

 

im running off my macbook pro, then i tried running off my home amplifier (which is a $2500 pioneer amp) and it still sound pretty average. These portable amps, are you able to adjust the levels? atm im pushing my bass up and down from my vlc equaliser.... maybe thats whats creating distortion?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCxSmacker View Post

This! +1

 

Also I find the bass in these amazing for an open headphone. Treble is sexy and smooth. If you dont have a bunch of current in them you wont know how they truly sound. As soon as I when from using my Titanium HD--> headphones  to having Titanium HD--> schiit asguard --> Headphones it was night and day for me. 

 

That being said it could be you cant identify the sounds some can. I have had buddies try my headphones that just think im crazy and their is very little difference. 

Look i understand that every can has there identity, pros and cons but my main thing is that i have had my hd555 for around 4 years now and i just spent $420 dollars on a NEW set that should be technologically advanced and generally sounding better. I am literally alternating between headphones on different songs (high quality 40mb songs) and the difference is pitiful, i spent 300 dollars EXTRA on these.

 

I LOVVVVEEE my music, and im going to keep these, buy this portable amp, let them run in and compare in a few months and get a better idea. My verdict, at this point of time, that i just wasted $420 and a reasonable amount of comfort but im willing to trust their reputation and persist.

 

Is that the only portable amp that you guys recommend?

post #7 of 98
It all opinion but the 555 is one of the worst headphones I have owned for music. I still use them for gaming though. To be honest, I don't think HiFi headphones are for you. You went from the 555 to the 595 and the thing you noticed was loudness. This should be the last thing you care about unless you are try to get more efficient phones to use from a portable device. You should have noticed the openness and improved bass of the 595. Not saying you are doing anything wrong, but not everyone knows what to look for in high end phones or even mediocre ones. Maybe with more time you will have a better appreciation for them or maybe they're just not the right phones for you. I have hated numerous popular phones.
post #8 of 98

+3 get a fiio e17 with hardware EQ and you'll get 95% of the potential of the he400. Second, if you didn't order the velour pads do it now!! They are a must for this hp to sound it's best/like it should. The pleathers just don't do it justice and the velours only cost $10. wink.gif

post #9 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by aiacuone View Post

 

I did and i wasnt impressed with the bass, ended up distorting (probably because it wasnt amped) but did make a hell of a difference to the volume level, the thing literally shook at high volumes. COMFORTABLE as all hell too, worth the money but i wanted something better

 

 

im running off my macbook pro, then i tried running off my home amplifier (which is a $2500 pioneer amp) and it still sound pretty average. These portable amps, are you able to adjust the levels? atm im pushing my bass up and down from my vlc equaliser.... maybe thats whats creating distortion?

 

 

Look i understand that every can has there identity, pros and cons but my main thing is that i have had my hd555 for around 4 years now and i just spent $420 dollars on a NEW set that should be technologically advanced and generally sounding better. I am literally alternating between headphones on different songs (high quality 40mb songs) and the difference is pitiful, i spent 300 dollars EXTRA on these.

 

I LOVVVVEEE my music, and im going to keep these, buy this portable amp, let them run in and compare in a few months and get a better idea. My verdict, at this point of time, that i just wasted $420 and a reasonable amount of comfort but im willing to trust their reputation and persist.

 

Is that the only portable amp that you guys recommend?

You might trying leave the HE-400s plugged in for a few days straight, on a volume that's higher then normal, see if it improves the audio quality.

The Fiio E11 portable headphone amplifier is $60.

post #10 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by aiacuone View Post

 

I did and i wasnt impressed with the bass, ended up distorting (probably because it wasnt amped) but did make a hell of a difference to the volume level, the thing literally shook at high volumes. COMFORTABLE as all hell too, worth the money but i wanted something better

 

 

im running off my macbook pro, then i tried running off my home amplifier (which is a $2500 pioneer amp) and it still sound pretty average. These portable amps, are you able to adjust the levels? atm im pushing my bass up and down from my vlc equaliser.... maybe thats whats creating distortion?

 

 

Look i understand that every can has there identity, pros and cons but my main thing is that i have had my hd555 for around 4 years now and i just spent $420 dollars on a NEW set that should be technologically advanced and generally sounding better. I am literally alternating between headphones on different songs (high quality 40mb songs) and the difference is pitiful, i spent 300 dollars EXTRA on these.

 

I LOVVVVEEE my music, and im going to keep these, buy this portable amp, let them run in and compare in a few months and get a better idea. My verdict, at this point of time, that i just wasted $420 and a reasonable amount of comfort but im willing to trust their reputation and persist.

 

Is that the only portable amp that you guys recommend?

I guess your pioneer amp isn't made for headphones? I would NEVER run a decent headphone out of my macbook pro jack if i had the possibility of using an amp, just saying. Well, I would if I hadn't had an amp, but to sum it up, the sound is just more boring, more flat, not as transparant and less musical without proper amping.

Still i guess you should notice a improvement from HD595 to HE-400?

 

Also, stay away from the EQ unless you know what you are doing, and if you want to EQ go find a proper guide. What you, in general, must NEVER do is to turn up the bands on the EQ, because that will create distortion. If you want a bass boost, turn down all the other bands instead.

 

Is loudness a problem to you?

 

In 4 years headphones shouldn't advance that much btw.

post #11 of 98

I can see at your first post, that you have severely misunderstood the concept of amps. Mostly, it is not for loudness AT ALL. My iphone would be able to drive a 600 impedance beyerdynamic dt-880 to loud enough levels.

The purpose of amps are for better sound quality!!!

post #12 of 98
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaughter View Post

It all opinion but the 555 is one of the worst headphones I have owned for music. I still use them for gaming though. To be honest, I don't think HiFi headphones are for you. You went from the 555 to the 595 and the thing you noticed was loudness. This should be the last thing you care about unless you are try to get more efficient phones to use from a portable device. You should have noticed the openness and improved bass of the 595. Not saying you are doing anything wrong, but not everyone knows what to look for in high end phones or even mediocre ones. Maybe with more time you will have a better appreciation for them or maybe they're just not the right phones for you. I have hated numerous popular phones.

Ye see as much as i dont want to admit this i think you guys are on a different level to myself. I forgot to point as well that ive only had the upgrade for about a week now so I havent really go through a FULL comparison, i was mainly pointing out the first thing i noticed which was the volume.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

I can see at your first post, that you have severely misunderstood the concept of amps. Mostly, it is not for loudness AT ALL. My iphone would be able to drive a 600 impedance beyerdynamic dt-880 to loud enough levels.

The purpose of amps are for better sound quality!!!

Im getting confused my friend. Im an electrician by trade and admittingly i dont know my trade back to front but from what i know is that volts are your constant whilst ohms tends to be your figure that you need to work around due to the way the product is manufactured whilst the amps are what need to compensate to reach a desired volume or your watts being the total power consumed. I understand that distortion in the frequency, especially in usb headphones effects the quality of the sound due to signals getting thrown to AND from the usb cable because of the microphone signals getting induced into the speaker signals, but in regards to amps being the soul purpose of sound quality is honestly just confusing. As confusing as that is im honestly willing to get your point of view to get the best out of these things, ive wanted a good pair for a long time.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

+3 get a fiio e17 with hardware EQ and you'll get 95% of the potential of the he400. Second, if you didn't order the velour pads do it now!! They are a must for this hp to sound it's best/like it should. The pleathers just don't do it justice and the velours only cost $10. wink.gif

Ye i like the sound of that brother. Hardware EQ is where its at in my opinion. Ive had my fair show of subs and head units to realise the importants of using good hardware instead of just turning up the bass dial on the head unit. The fiio e17 with the velour pads sounds like a good addition at this point.

post #13 of 98
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

You might trying leave the HE-400s plugged in for a few days straight, on a volume that's higher then normal, see if it improves the audio quality.

The Fiio E11 portable headphone amplifier is $60.

Ive been recommended both the 11 and the 17, info on these things is pretty easy to come by but have you tried both? or know the major differences between the two?

post #14 of 98

The e17 adds hardware EQ, an oled screen and is incredibly flexible in it's use. I highly recommend it. Malv likes the 11 and says that it has some of the best bass punch out there for a portable. 

 

The e17 can be had for $100 used here and is a steal at that price...

 

gL!!

post #15 of 98

I have my E17 at +4 bass with my HE-400. Not sure if that makes me a basshead.

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