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HE-400 Vs. HD 598

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey all,

 

i haven't found a thread comparing these two headphones directly.

 

I know that they are both completely different price ranges, but i want to know how they compare.  

 

I would use either one for a little gaming, but mostly alternative music.  From what i know, the HD 598s have a better sound stage making them more ideal for gaming than the HE-400s, but that doesn't really matter because these are mainly for music.

 

Whichever headphone i decide to get, i will be using it with a C&C BH portable amp from my iphone or laptop (medium sound card... not up-gradeable)

 

So i was wondering wether it'd be a smarter move waiting to earn more money for the HE-400s, or just buy the HD 598s for ~$205.

 

Thanks 

post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 

bumpp.....

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

yeah... i forgot that im leaning toward the 598s because they are a little more portable... but these are going to be used mainly in my home.  Plus, what is the comfort difference?

post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noahjaws View Post

yeah... i forgot that im leaning toward the 598s because they are a little more portable... but these are going to be used mainly in my home.  Plus, what is the comfort difference?

I tried both, and there is more flexibility in Hifiman headphones in terms of fit, but Senns like HD598 and HD650 have a more "universal fit" kind of fit with some minor adjustment angles. If you can tweak the various axes of the Hifiman adjustments to perfectly tailor to your head, they will be more comfy, otherwise the Senns will be more comfy (unless you have a wide head then they'd have ridiculous death-clamp).

 

As for sound, HE400s are on-par with HD650 in terms of resolution, but HE400s have a bit more clarity while HD650s more smoothness. HD598 are a tier down from HD650 in terms of all SQ aspects except balance from my experience, so take that however you want.

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noahjaws View Post

yeah... i forgot that im leaning toward the 598s because they are a little more portable... but these are going to be used mainly in my home.  Plus, what is the comfort difference?

 

HD 598 is more comfortable, as it is lighter and has velour pads 

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

I tried both, and there is more flexibility in Hifiman headphones in terms of fit, but Senns like HD598 and HD650 have a more "universal fit" kind of fit with some minor adjustment angles. If you can tweak the various axes of the Hifiman adjustments to perfectly tailor to your head, they will be more comfy, otherwise the Senns will be more comfy (unless you have a wide head then they'd have ridiculous death-clamp).

 

As for sound, HE400s are on-par with HD650 in terms of resolution, but HE400s have a bit more clarity while HD650s more smoothness. HD598 are a tier down from HD650 in terms of all SQ aspects except balance from my experience, so take that however you want.

I get what you are saying, but would the HE-400s be worth double the price of the 598s?  I dont have much cash,and am wondering which would be better for my situation

post #7 of 14

The HE-400 is in another league (imo).  I don't think it's a fair comparison.  Not to say the 598 is bad, but the HE-400 is a just a better, more dynamic headphone.   It's just sounded good with everything I've thrown at it where as the 598 I find it not strong enough in the bass department for it to be enjoyable with my entire music collection but with some eq it definitely improves and it's bass becomes more enjoyable.  The 598 doesn't need amping.  On the other hand I do think the HE-400 needs an amp for you to get that quality it has to offer.  Luckily the c&c bh should do fine amping it.  Head over to Mad Lust Envys gaming guide, he reviews both the HD598 and the HE400 for gaming purposes. 

 

Ultimately if it's worth the extra price is up to you.  If you can get the money, HE-400 all the way.


Edited by MadMolly - 2/1/13 at 8:32pm
post #8 of 14

I've not heard the HD598 but I used to have an HD555 modded to sound like the 595, from there I went to an HD650 which was a huge upgrade and then to an HE-400 which I also found to be an upgrade. So yes I'd say the HE-400 is that much better than the HD5xx series.  It's worth it to me but at double the price, you have to ask if it's worth it to you. 

post #9 of 14

I think you'll be satisfied with the 598 for the standard ~240 dollar price.  Hard to go wrong with it.  Great for gaming and music.  If I had the money for an HE-400 at the time I would have likely considered it as well. 

post #10 of 14

Trying to pick between two headphones is a very hard decision.  If you can, buy both.  Each has their own unique offerings and switching between them depending upon music styles can be kind of fun and prevent the process of listening to music from getting boring.

 

While there are differences between the "5" series and the "6" series, the "5" series still does a pretty fine job of holding their own as far as sound capability goes.

 

Speaking from experience: HD-555, HD-595 (on their way), HD-600 (2 pair), HD-650, and HE-400.

post #11 of 14

It's a myth that the HD6xx series are better than the HD5xx series. In terms of minor technicalities like distortion and slightly wider frequency range, yes the HD6xx are designed to be better. But me and many other audiophiles can testify to you that the HD5xx series have a superior soundstage and imaging compared to the 6xx series by far. The HD598 is also a supreme all-arounder for music. The HD600 was dull in comparison while the HD650 sort of made everything sound the same, like the AKG Q701. The HD598 does miss some of the bass impact that the HD600 provides but I consider it superior overall. In addition, the HD598 really improves on the timbre and smoothness of the HD595. 

 

I never listened to a  HE-400. But I read, from two people who own both, that the HD598 is superior for vocal and live music. Anything that requires the subbass region, bass impact, and speed is where the HE-400 shines at. I do own the Mad Dogs though. It's a headphone that many claim to compete with the LCD-3. I would not say that the Mad Dogs are downright better than the HD598... it really depends on the music. 

 

And on another note, price differences are mostly due to the cost in build, not performance. And it is often dependent on marketing factors... just look at the Beats. 

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post

Trying to pick between two headphones is a very hard decision.  If you can, buy both.  Each has their own unique offerings and switching between them depending upon music styles can be kind of fun and prevent the process of listening to music from getting boring.

While there are differences between the "5" series and the "6" series, the "5" series still does a pretty fine job of holding their own as far as sound capability goes.

Speaking from experience: HD-555, HD-595 (on their way), HD-600 (2 pair), HD-650, and HE-400.

Could you compare the HD650 and HE400? I just demoed HE400 and HE500 this weekend. I found that the HE400 had the right balance of bass/mids/highs that I was looking for. However, it didnt have the detail in the sub-bass region that I was hoping for. Not a huge deal, considering those notes are often completely ignored unless I'm listening for them, but at 400 bucks I'd like to make a proper decision and not compromise. The soundstage was not as good on the HE400 as it was on the HE500. It seemed very close to my head rather than spaced out. They werent terribly comfortable either. They werent UNcomfortable, they just werent at the HE500 comfort level.

The HE500 didnt have quite enough bass by just a smidgen. I'm talking sub bass, like around 20hz. The regular kick drum/bass drum bass was just fine. With songs by The Eagles, these were fantastic but with electronic music it wasnt so great. The biggest problem i had with them was that there was an area in the midrange where the notes seemed to hurt my ears or resonate. It got almost shrill. It was specifically during male vocals. When The Eagles had just one guy singing, there was no problem but multiple voices in that frequency range made me instinctively reach for the volume knob. touching the knob would just make everything else too quiet though. With Radiohead's voice, it was particularly bad. For 700 bucks I couldnt stand that effect.

I'm thinking I'll get the HD650's right now but the HE400's were somewhat contenders. I'm looking for as close to the HE6 sound as I can get. the HD650 seemed to do this last time I tried them but that was out of quite a terrible amp (Fiio E11, not quite adequate to drive HD650) and i'll definitely be experimenting with different amps.

The HE400 unboxing and comfort combined makes me hesitant to spend 400 bucks on them. They are packaged and feel like any old 100 dollar can. Often the pleather on those cheaper cans feels better but the velour pads are just horrible.

tl;dr: does the HD650 sound pretty much exactly like the HE400 but with more sub-bass detail? I was using Pendulum and Nero as test tracks for this.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by shrimants View Post

tl;dr: does the HD650 sound pretty much exactly like the HE400 but with more sub-bass detail? I was using Pendulum and Nero as test tracks for this.

 

To my ears, the HD-650 doesn't sound exactly like the HE-400.  There are some unique differences.   For example, the soundstage might seem a bit wider on the HD-650, plus the HD-650 doesn't appear (to my ears) to have a treble spike at 9 KHz or so.  The HE-400 has better sub-bass.

 

Again, this was just my relative comparison with the source, DAC and amp that I have along with my ears.  However, I think most will agree that the HE-400 bass, and sub-bass is more pronounced.  But, this still doesn't mean the the HD-650 is anemic or weak in any way.  I have my times when I really love the Sennheiser sound.  In fact, I probably use Sennheiser headphones 3/4 of the time, compared to 1/4 of the time for the HE-400.

post #14 of 14
Theres some sub bass articulation that I'm really not sure about. With the track "Hold Your Color" by pendulum, or many other pendulum songs, they use a very articulated bass line made up of individual notes. With the HE400, the volume was not a problem for bass, it was the articulation. The "bup bup bup" or "dut dut dut dut" of bass notes was coming out as more of a "wubwubwubwub" smattering of notes and it was difficult to tell where one note ended and another began.

It is that particular bass response that has me not wanting the HE400. Apart from that, they sounded just fine to me. For 400 bucks it doesnt seem like too bad of a deal.

Would you be able to listen to a few particularly bass articulate songs for me and AB between the two to see which one offers better seperation between the two? that single detail is the only thing that was really an issue for me with the HE400. The comfort and whatnot I can deal with.
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