Originally Posted by takato14
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.