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Afraid to make the plunge on the HE 400. Can anyone address my two fears?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

My current set up is Audioquest Dragonfly -> Schiit Valhalla (stock tubes) -> HD 650. I love the sound.

 

However, I do want to try something new. To that end, I was thinking of selling my rig and running the HE 400 straight from my Dragonfly. 

 

I am scared to make the plunge! Here are my concerns:

 

1) The Comfort.

- I have an average-large head. I listen to my music for 3-4 hours at a time. I don't want to just TOLERATE my headphones, I want to enjoy having them on. Is that something that will EVER be possible with the HE 400?

 

2) The HYPE

- Both surrounding orthodynamics and the HE 400 in particular. I don't want to get swallowed by the hivemind hype here. I keep hearing that the mids will blow my mind - is this really the case? The mids are most important to me as I listen to a lot of acoustic vocalists and and love to hear them singing right into me - an experience the HD650 doesn't quite provide. At the same time, I'm sensitive to accentuated treble, will the HE 400 punch a hole in my earbud after a couple of hours? 

 

Please let me know what you think, and thank you biggrin.gif

post #2 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by seqasim View Post

2) The HYPE

- Both surrounding orthodynamics and the HE 400 in particular. I don't want to get swallowed by the hivemind hype here. I keep hearing that the mids will blow my mind 

 

Unless your mind is routinely blown from people around you talking, I'd curb the belief into hype. Though planar mids are pretty nice.

post #3 of 27

The comfort thing, imo they're vastly underrated on the comfort front to me.  The cups are deep and spacious, so your ears have plenty of room to work with.  The headband spreads pressure evenly, so pressure buildup is minimal.  It's not so much a comfort thing as it is a fit thing.  The heft of the HE-400 make it so they'll move around easily if you move around too much.  Other than that, there are times where the HE-400 disappear on my head.   .   .   I know.

 

The mids, I've never really been blown away by any mids in particular.  If you're looking to get 'blown away' by anything, then you're not in the right hobby.  Any time somebody gets blown away in this hobby it's because they're hearing a sound signature/coloration that really fits them, and they were coming from something else that sounded drastically different.  You-- might-- get blown away from the bass and treble of the HE-400 compared to the HD650, or you might not.  People say the HD650's mids are super awesome for vocalists, so if you were left disappointed with them for vocals then I'm not entirely sure what coloration you're looking for.  I love my HE-400 as much as the next guy, but it's safe to say that yes, they ARE overhyped.  So don't expecting to be blown away from them-- or anything in the hobby for that matter.  Just give them time and see if they grow on you.

 

 

I think bass is HE-400's strongest point, mids second strongest point, and treble its weakest point.  But that weakness in the treble is easily solved by a simple EQ.

post #4 of 27

The mids on the he400 are decent. The hd650 mids are better. The mids on the maddogs are better still. If you are looking for a complementary hp then look to the maddogs. The he400 is a fun sound signature but there is a treble spike in the 10 hz range. 

 

If you are a mids guy, then look elsewhere. 

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

The mids on the he400 are decent. The hd650 mids are better. The mids on the maddogs are better still. If you are looking for a complementary hp then look to the maddogs. The he400 is a fun sound signature but there is a treble spike in the 10 hz range. 

 

If you are a mids guy, then look elsewhere. 

Thanks, I 'd been thinking of the Maddogs and I may try them instead. 

 

The mids on the HD650 are beautifully clear, but it really lets me down on female vocalists. I think that maybe the word I'm looking for are "forward" mids? I basically want articulation and LIVELIHOOD, only one of which the HD650s seemed to satisfy. 

post #6 of 27

Mids on 650 are forward by nature of their bass and treble being rolled off.  Maybe you want more treble?

post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

Mids on 650 are forward by nature of their bass and treble being rolled off.  Maybe you want more treble?

 

That might be it? The mid boost but without the treble rolloff (though no treble enhancement - too fatiguing!)?

post #8 of 27

The HE-400's were nice. Definitely a hype train, though. A good value, but I feel so many people liked different things, that it converged into this "THIS DOES EVERYTHING PERFECTLY" mindset.

post #9 of 27

You might also want to look into an Audio Technica Air series headphone as a complement to the HD 650. I own a AD1000PRM, and it has a more forward midrange, more air, and a quicker pace than my HD 580. The HD 580 is a better all-rounder due to a more natural frequency balance and more bass weight, but the AD1000PRM wins easily when it comes to female vocals and acoustic guitar. 

 

For $400, you can get a used AD2000 or a new AD1000x. I haven't heard the new x series yet, but they are supposed to increase bass quantity versus the previous models. Based on sensitivity numbers, you can drive any of the AD models easily with just your Dragonfly.

post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by seqasim View Post

 

 

 

 The mids are most important to me as I listen to a lot of acoustic vocalists and and love to hear them singing right into me -

 

 

W1000x.

post #11 of 27

I listened to all of the hype surrounding them, which I admit, was my own mistake.

 

Then when I had my buddies on loan for a week, I was under whelmed.


Edited by whirlwind - 3/24/13 at 4:02pm
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by seqasim View Post

Thanks, I 'd been thinking of the Maddogs and I may try them instead. 

 

The mids on the HD650 are beautifully clear, but it really lets me down on female vocalists. I think that maybe the word I'm looking for are "forward" mids? I basically want articulation and LIVELIHOOD, only one of which the HD650s seemed to satisfy. 

 

In that case, the HD600 may be what you want, instead of going in a whole different direction. It's basically a HD650 with less bass, and a livelier top end that helps a lot with female vocals, and a more forward (less laid back) presentation. 

post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 

So far I'm hearing that the hype is indeed strong with the HE 400 and they don't really fulfill the specific qualities I'm looking for. Thanks for clearing the fog on that guys! 

 

In terms of general recommendations, I've gotten:

 

ATH W1000X (450.00)

MadDogs by MrSpeakers (275.00)

Sennheiser HD600 (225.00)

 

Besides each headphone is the USD value I can get them for. Which is the best value for what I want? 

post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post

 

In that case, the HD600 may be what you want, instead of going in a whole different direction. It's basically a HD650 with less bass, and a livelier top end that helps a lot with female vocals, and a more forward (less laid back) presentation. 

I can support this. I haven't gotten to try the 650, but I loved my 600's. If you get both, by all means get a Bottlehead Crack. Amazing sound, and you can start stalking Ebay for tube deals ;)

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by seqasim View Post

So far I'm hearing that the hype is indeed strong with the HE 400 and they don't really fulfill the specific qualities I'm looking for. Thanks for clearing the fog on that guys! 

 

In terms of general recommendations, I've gotten:

 

ATH W1000X (450.00)

MadDogs by MrSpeakers (275.00)

Sennheiser HD600 (225.00)

 

Besides each headphone is the USD value I can get them for. Which is the best value for what I want? 

 

225 bucks for a new HD600 is a crazy good deal, that's for sure. But to say that the HD600 does vocals better (which is what you are after if I am not mistaken) or in a way that you'd like better... Really can't say, would be a crapshoot imo.

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