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He-400 or HD-650?

post #1 of 77
Thread Starter 

I'm looking to get a new set of cans to complement my K701s.  I've narrowed my choices down to the He-400 and HD-650, but I'm torn between these two and cant decide.  Ive been happy with my k701s over the years but I want something a little less analytical, warmer and just more full sounding.  My current set up is Macbook pro > HRT MSII > Matrix M Stage (class a bias mod) and I really do not want to have to upgrade my amp or dac to sound good with these headphones (at least not right away).  From what I've read the he400s are relatively easy to drive, but can anyone comment how the hd650s sound with an M Stage or similar amp?

 

I listen to electronic (EDM, electro-pop, ambient), Indy, and some rock, folk, jazz.  To give you a better idea some of my most played bands are: Radiohead, Panda Bear, TV on the Radio, Pink Floyd, Sufjan Stevens, Deerhunter, Carl Craig, Art Department, Little Dragon...

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks.

post #2 of 77

I really think its a toss up between the two based on your preferences. if you plan on upgrading in the future, the HD650 scales quite well. However, the HE-400 sounds sonically superior to the HD650, but you already have a K701. I think youre just looking for a different flavor headphone and i cant say i blame you one bit. Therefore i would recommend you go with the HD 650.

post #3 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post

I really think its a toss up between the two based on your preferences. if you plan on upgrading in the future, the HD650 scales quite well. However, the HE-400 sounds sonically superior to the HD650, but you already have a K701. I think youre just looking for a different flavor headphone and i cant say i blame you one bit. Therefore i would recommend you go with the HD 650.

 

So to you the HE400s sound is more similar to the k701s than the HD650s are to the k701s?  I don't plan on selling my k701s so that is why I say something with a different sound would be ideal.  And can you explain what you mean when you say that the HE400s sound "sonically superior"?  Does that mean you prefere the HD650s?  Thanks for the input!


Edited by nickwin - 5/31/13 at 11:30am
post #4 of 77
Thread Starter 

Based on everything I've read about these two headphones it seems like they are both pretty comparable in terms of overall sound quality but with totally different presentations. The HE400s having a more u shaped freq response with huge bass presence and more dynamic sound and the HD650s having a warmer presentation with a relatively laid back treble.  Is this pretty accurate or am I over simplifying?  Am I correct in thinking that both of these would be less analytical than the k701s?

 

A couple questions:

 

Can anyone comment on how these two compare with ear fatigue?  One problem I have with my k701s is that they sound rather thin with some recordings and the treble can get a little fatiguing with long listening sessions.  From what I've read it seems like the HD650s would be the less fatiguing of the two.

 

How will the HD650s perform with the kind of music I listen to?  Are they as impressive with electronic, Indy and rock as they are with jazz, folk and classical?  Again based off what I've read it seems like the HE400s might suit my musical preferences better than the 650s. ( I do listen to jazz and folk, but the vast majority if my listening is Indy and electronic)

 

Lastly can anyone comment on the HD650 M stage combo?  Thanks!


Edited by nickwin - 5/31/13 at 11:34am
post #5 of 77

I think of the two, the HE-400 is warmer sounding in general because of very full-bodied bass and lower mids, and a lowered upper midrange response, and would probably be more different from your 701 than the 650.  However, The HE-400 definitely has an upper treble spike that can cause fatigue on a select number of bright recordings.

 

You can try out the HE-400 then return it using head-direct's return policy, then get the HD650 afterwards if you don't like the HE-400.

post #6 of 77

The HE-400 is more versatile for the genres you hear. Do not, that if you focus on timbre and tonality and vocals and such as a very important factor, you should go with the hd650. The hd650 might not be as good for EDM and rock as the HE-400, and the hifiman does all the genres you hear very well. The general consensus is, that the 400 is technically superior, but it lacks when it comes to vocals and timbre. Especially, it lacks with female vocals.

 

It can easily be fatigueing for some. If you get it, I would advise doing a treble roll of EQ at 8+ kHz or so.. The hd650 would be more relaxing after all. You could also consider the x1.

post #7 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

The HE-400 is more versatile for the genres you hear. Do not, that if you focus on timbre and tonality and vocals and such as a very important factor, you should go with the hd650. The hd650 might not be as good for EDM and rock as the HE-400, and the hifiman does all the genres you hear very well. The general consensus is, that the 400 is technically superior, but it lacks when it comes to vocals and timbre. Especially, it lacks with female vocals.

 

It can easily be fatigueing for some. If you get it, I would advise doing a treble roll of EQ at 8+ kHz or so.. The hd650 would be more relaxing after all. You could also consider the x1.

 

I think I would have already have decided on the HE400 if it werent for its treble peak.  It seems like a better match in just about every other regard but I really do not want to have to buy a outboard eq to make it enjoyable and have the k701s which can also be fatiguing.  How does the he400 compare to the k701s in terms of brightness?

 

On a side note, are my expectations to high thinking that both of these would be an upgrade from the k701s?  Is it really more of a lateral move?  Would I be better off upgrading to a $500 range amp (like the Lyr for example)?


Edited by nickwin - 5/31/13 at 6:13pm
post #8 of 77

Why would you need an outboard EQ?  You're playing music through the macbook pro?

post #9 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickwin View Post

I'm looking to get a new set of cans to complement my K701s.  I've narrowed my choices down to the He-400 and HD-650, but I'm torn between these two and cant decide.  Ive been happy with my k701s over the years but I want something a little less analytical, warmer and just more full sounding.  My current set up is Macbook pro > HRT MSII > Matrix M Stage (class a bias mod) and I really do not want to have to upgrade my amp or dac to sound good with these headphones (at least not right away).  From what I've read the he400s are relatively easy to drive, but can anyone comment how the hd650s sound with an M Stage or similar amp?

 

I listen to electronic (EDM, electro-pop, ambient), Indy, and some rock, folk, jazz.  To give you a better idea some of my most played bands are: Radiohead, Panda Bear, TV on the Radio, Pink Floyd, Sufjan Stevens, Deerhunter, Carl Craig, Art Department, Little Dragon...

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks.

I like your music. How do you like Monomania? 

 

If I was in your position, I would get the HE-400 as I feel the HD650 is not fast enough for Panda Bear nor Deerhunter. 

post #10 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

Why would you need an outboard EQ?  You're playing music through the macbook pro?

Do Macbook pro's have the ability to EQ music built in?  Are you talking about the Itunes EQ?  I've always tried to keep digital sound processing to a minimum, but I've admittedly never really looked into it.

 

I'm really leaning toward the he400's at this point, but now I've got another option in the mix, the HD600.  I had kind of overlooked them but it seems like they might actually be better for me than the 650s.

 

Can anyone comment on how the He400s and k701s compare in terms of fatigue?


Edited by nickwin - 5/31/13 at 8:25pm
post #11 of 77

I just assumed you'd be using iTunes-- unless you wanted a system-wide EQ for videos and other stuff.

post #12 of 77

Also just be weary that the HE400 will be heavier and the ear pad will be stiffer than the K701.  I don't have the K701 or the HD650, but do have the K702 Anniv. which I'm assuming is similar in built shape, size, and weight as K701.  Not that I found the HE400 uncomfortable, but coming from my K702 AE I do notice the difference although I will say that I do find the HE400 headband more comfortable.  Although the HE400 pads are stiffer, it does hold it shape better and keep your ears from touching the inner cup.  As for the weight, when wearing them, I don't really 'feel' the weight of the headphones until after 3+ hrs. where the K702 AE I can wear pretty much infinitely.  I don't feel a strain on my neck are anything, but never the less, I feel the weight, kind of like when you hold your arm up (except your arm gets tired much much more quicker and the tireness are much more noticeable.)

 

I'm not trying to push you away from the HE400 as they are still my favorite headphone.  I also want to make a comment that not everyone are bothered by the treble peak of the HE400, I'm one of those.  I did notice it at first, but after a week or two, I either got accustom of them or just don't notice it anymore. 

post #13 of 77

For a warmer, fuller sound than the K701, I wouldn't rule out the HD600, X1, or the HE-4. The HD600 is very similar to the HD650, but less expensive and a bit more neutral, while still being a warm sounding headphone. The X1 is smooth in the highs and has a big bass emphasis, if you want something with a lot of low end punch, though not as natural sounding as the HD600 / HD650. The HE-4 is way too overlooked here; not enough people have tried it. For $50 more than the HE-400, I would buy it every single time over the HE-400. Its bass is less obtrusive but still very extended and punchy, its upper mids / lower highs are actually there.

 

Now, I don't like the HE-400, but that's because vocals are very important to me. But its bass is really impressive. I would say this, if all you care about is bass, the HE-400 is awesome. If you want ortho bass but care about vocals, then HE-4. If you really care about vocals, then HD600 / HD650, as they do vocals the best in this price range. The Senns also have a more realistic soundstage over the orthos, although it's not as wide or panoramic.

 

Such are my opinions based on my experiences.

 

I'd pick HD600 / HD650, but you know my biases.

post #14 of 77
Dude above me sums up my exact thoughts. I owned the HE400 for a month and sold them. Couldn't stand the fatiguing treble. Tested my friends HD650 and totally preferred it. Too bad I didn't buy the HD650 after selling the HE400. Jumped the gun and bought the LCD2'S...
post #15 of 77

Yeah, the HE-4 might be a safer bet, but it isn't 'relaxing'. The vocals can be a bit forward. One problem, though. Better amplification might be prefered for the HE-4. It is less efficient than the HE-500.

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