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HiFiMAN: Here to stay or FOTM? - Page 4

post #46 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by the-kraken View Post

It's interesting to read about the he-400's being overhyped, especially given that they are an entry-level planar targeted at mainstream listeners using budget gear & lossy tracks. For that demographic, they are pretty solid - and introduce a new audience to the HiFiMan brand, if not planar-magnetic technology. Look... the HE-400's can't compete against flagships, they don't feature stellar technicalities, and they won't scale well with better gear. 

 

But they don't have to do those things; that's not their intent.

 

Related: It's difficult to set expectations on a $399 pair of planar magnetic headphones. 

Uh, well, the HE-400 measures <FAR> better than any consumer grade headphone I've ever seen. Really good attack and decay, good square waves, excellent bass extension, good treble, nice flat response, AND its able to be driven by almost anything. Save for high THD, it's really damn solid.  I'd say the HE-300 is more of what you described. 

post #47 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

Uh, well, the HE-400 measures <FAR> better than any consumer grade headphone I've ever seen. Really good attack and decay, good square waves, excellent bass extension, good treble, nice flat response, AND its able to be driven by almost anything. Save for high THD, it's really damn solid.  I'd say the HE-300 is more of what you described. 

 

Headphones that measure and perform well can be targeted at the consumer market. I think I get what you were going for in bringing up the HE-300's, though they don't really fit the description of "entry level planar magnetic headphones". My point was simply that Fang Bian and the HiFiMan group did a little research and found that there was a large market of consumers not buying their headphones, and said market had attributes like:

 

May or may not use a portable DAC & amp. 

Probably don't listen to the vast majority of music in lossless formats. 

Want a "fun" sounding headphone that's easy to drive. (fun being described as bass & mids)

Have a low-ceiling on their spending for said headphones. 

 

HiFiMan found that they could mass-produce headphones that met those criteria, and perform (and measure) well. If anything, this is a testament to HiFiMan. In case anyone wants to see some HE-400 measurements:  http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/HiFiMANHE400.pdf 

 

 

Some quotes on the HE-400:

 

"The HE-400 is a fun headphone when listening to the right music and the sound is clear as you would expect from an orthodynamic headphone. What springs out most is the bass, and that (like Fang announced before) is definitely aimed to please a broader audience that listens to popular bassy hitlist music…"

 

"The HE-400 makes for a very appealing offering for an entry level orthodynamic."

 

"I think it’s fair to say that Hifiman does listen to what the market wants, and indeed the demand has been going toward a darker sound signature with full mids and bass"

 

 

It's not that I don't like the HE-400, quite the opposite. However, I feel that it's targeted towards a particular segment - and for that segment, they do a great job. My point is simply that they are entry level planars, with a specific voice that is most appealing to a certain consumer segment. And to the OP's question: I believe this is another reason that HiFiMan will be here for quite some time. 

post #48 of 69

I think a lot of the popularity of Hifiman has come from the popularity of planar magnetic drivers. The three main headphone companies (that I know of) that produce planar magnetic headphones are Fostex (with the T50RP), Hifiman, and Audeze. Audeze only sells in the high-end market, the T50RP is in the lower end (lower end audiophile, which would be low or mid mid-fi), and Hifiman fills in the gap. Were it not for Hifiman, we would have a planar magnetic headphone gap from $100-$1000 (excluding modification products such as those made by Mr. Speakers). The sub $1000 but over $100 market for headphones is huge, and planar magnetic drivers (now a very popular driver technology) in that market is almost exclusively filled by Hifiman.

 

I think Hifiman has been around for too long and has received far too many accolades across their line to be considered FOTM. At one point, it may have been the case, but it's outgrown that.

post #49 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taowolf51 View Post

I think a lot of the popularity of Hifiman has come from the popularity of planar magnetic drivers. The three main headphone companies (that I know of) that produce planar magnetic headphones are Fostex (with the T50RP), Hifiman, and Audeze. Audeze only sells in the high-end market, the T50RP is in the lower end (lower end audiophile, which would be low or mid mid-fi), and Hifiman fills in the gap. Were it not for Hifiman, we would have a planar magnetic headphone gap from $100-$1000 (excluding modification products such as those made by Mr. Speakers). The sub $1000 but over $100 market for headphones is huge, and planar magnetic drivers (now a very popular driver technology) in that market is almost exclusively filled by Hifiman.

 

I think Hifiman has been around for too long and has received far too many accolades across their line to be considered FOTM. At one point, it may have been the case, but it's outgrown that.

Honestly, the stock T50RP is trash. It can only be considered a headphone because it makes noise. It's honestly far worse than most consumer headphones. My M50s put it to absolute shame. 

 

The new version claims "Improved transient response"... and that makes me shudder to think how utterly terrible the previous version had to have been. 

 

But back onto the topic of HiFiMAN: some of their products are without a doubt world-class material. Not just their headphones either, their amps and portable players are all extremely competitive at their respective price ranges. I know they're here to stay, especially if Fang pulls through with that Jade II. 


Edited by takato14 - 8/27/13 at 7:30pm
post #50 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by the-kraken View Post

It's interesting to read about the he-400's being overhyped, especially given that they are an entry-level planar targeted at mainstream listeners using budget gear & lossy tracks. For that demographic, they are pretty solid - and introduce a new audience to the HiFiMan brand, if not planar-magnetic technology. Look... the HE-400's can't compete against flagships, they don't feature stellar technicalities, and they won't scale well with better gear. 

 

But they don't have to do those things; that's not their intent.

 

Related: It's difficult to set expectations on a $399 pair of planar magnetic headphones. 

 

That nailed it. 

post #51 of 69

I find most vintage orthos overrated one way or another even with mods applied. I prefer the HE-400 over the HE-500, I too find the T50RP's rubbish as well. That is until you buy a professionally modded unit by a skilled DIY'er or from MrSpeakers or LFF's Paradox.

post #52 of 69

^ I think you just need to mod harder.

post #53 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

Honestly, the stock T50RP is trash. It can only be considered a headphone because it makes noise. It's honestly far worse than most consumer headphones. My M50s put it to absolute shame. 

 

The new version claims "Improved transient response"... and that makes me shudder to think how utterly terrible the previous version had to have been. 

 

But back onto the topic of HiFiMAN: some of their products are without a doubt world-class material. Not just their headphones either, their amps and portable players are all extremely competitive at their respective price ranges. I know they're here to stay, especially if Fang pulls through with that Jade II. 

I was more considering modded (but not professionally modded) units.

post #54 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by vid View Post

^ I think you just need to mod harder.

Just don't like them, the only decent vintage orthos are the Yamaha's and few of the soviet models that I managed to grab a hold of. The stock T50RP is rubbish.

post #55 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by DefQon View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by vid View Post

^ I think you just need to mod harder.

Just don't like them, the only decent vintage orthos are the Yamaha's and few of the soviet models that I managed to grab a hold of. The stock T50RP is rubbish.

Ever heard one of the large driver Fostex's like the T50v1, T30, etc? From what I understand they're supposed to be far better than any of the Yamahas, and the measurements for kabeer's Aiwa HP-500 (a T30 OEM) prove that they're quite excellent:

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/AiwaHP500DIYModifiedKabeer.pdf

 

For comparison, the LCD-2.2's measurement sheet:

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/AudezeLCD2Rev2.pdf

 

And yes, the T50RP is completely unlistenable stock. 

post #56 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taowolf51 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

Honestly, the stock T50RP is trash. It can only be considered a headphone because it makes noise. It's honestly far worse than most consumer headphones. My M50s put it to absolute shame. 

 

The new version claims "Improved transient response"... and that makes me shudder to think how utterly terrible the previous version had to have been. 

 

But back onto the topic of HiFiMAN: some of their products are without a doubt world-class material. Not just their headphones either, their amps and portable players are all extremely competitive at their respective price ranges. I know they're here to stay, especially if Fang pulls through with that Jade II. 

I was more considering modded (but not professionally modded) units.

If it's not professionally modded, its <NOT> going to sound much different from a stock headphone. It just won't.

post #57 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

If it's not professionally modded, its <NOT> going to sound much different from a stock headphone. It just won't.

+1.

 

Speaking of which I got into an heated argument with another user while back (who started insulting me through pm's, quite funny) obviously he/she was just another no-brained T50RP fanboi, I told em that unless you know what you're doing i.e have knowledge on measurements, have access to tools to conduct measurements, understand what each mod does technically, a regular T50RP ain't going to sound much different compared to the stock turd. Seem's a lot of no brained, no experienced folks who read about a few posts about another user applying a bit of dampening will change a turd headphone into world class can's. It's like "hey I added baffle dampening, the headphones are night and day better, better detail retrieval and soundstaging", when people like Luis (LFF) have put hours if not hundreds of hours and many pairs for modding and measuring to get a sustained sound improvement. Oh the irony in that. rolleyes.gif

 

You know who you are if you're reading this. 

post #58 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by DefQon View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

If it's not professionally modded, its <NOT> going to sound much different from a stock headphone. It just won't.

+1.

 

Speaking of which I got into an heated argument with another user while back (who started insulting me through pm's, quite funny) obviously he/she was just another no-brained T50RP fanboi, I told em that unless you know what you're doing i.e have knowledge on measurements, have access to tools to conduct measurements, understand what each mod does technically, a regular T50RP ain't going to sound much different compared to the stock turd. Seem's a lot of no brained, no experienced folks who read about a few posts about another user applying a bit of dampening will change a turd headphone into world class can's. It's like "hey I added baffle dampening, the headphones are night and day better, better detail retrieval and soundstaging", when people like Luis (LFF) have put hours if not hundreds of hours and many pairs for modding and measuring to get a sustained sound improvement. Oh the irony in that. rolleyes.gif

 

You know who you are if you're reading this. 

Yeah most people don't understand that dampening is an extremely precise process that requires artful consistency and devotion to your craft. You can't just slap a treble reflex dot in and call it good. 

post #59 of 69

Haha tell me about it. Good thing I unsubscribed from that massive T50RP modding thread, apart from a few experienced users in that thread, the rest of the masses just didn't know what they were doing.

post #60 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by DefQon View Post

Just don't like them, the only decent vintage orthos are the Yamaha's and few of the soviet models that I managed to grab a hold of. The stock T50RP is rubbish.

 

I've never heard the T50RP. I was intending to point at you slamming vintage orthos.

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