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HE-400 have let me down, what happened?

post #1 of 144
Thread Starter 

I'll just jump into this sad story.

 

Owned the Sennheiser HD-280's, cheap $100 pair. Wanted an upgrade, got the DT-880 pro's. Was disappointed heavily by their peircing highs and neutrality (even after hours of tweaking EQ's). If i knew what I know now, I know that is how they are supposed to be, they are focused on neutrality, whoops. I spent months researching my next pair. HE-400 was my choice. I was sold by the great great reviews and I was promised I wouldn't experience the same disappointment of neutrality I had with the DT-880's. Whelp, I sure did experience it. Hard.  I type this while listening to my HD 280s, the HE-400's are on the desk in front of me.

 

I have learned that open-back is NOT for me. DON'T get me wrong, these HE-400's blow the HD 280's out of the water on soundstage, overall clarity, and reaching the lows on the bass. The HD-280's just have the warmer punchy sound I look for in a lot of my genres. I'll go back to them if i listen to acoustic or orchestra. But overall they are boring, painful, and flat when I listen to any music with punchy drum kicks or toms, and with bass heavy electronic and rap. Whether plugged into my Onkyo TX-NR515 receiver or my Xonar Essence STX sound card, the HE-400's are unnatural sounding, harsh, and again neutral. My EQ for these things are unreal, the high end drops off like a cliff, the 16k frequency is as low as itll go, 8k not far behind. Something also just always sounds off, I can't figure out if its the peircing highs drowning out my mids or what. But its like no matter how much I EQ out a frequency, it just makes the whole sound seem unbalanced and a section of frequencies goes missing, I don't quite know how to explain it. 

 

I guess the big problem is trusting other peoples tastes and opinions. There are too many preferences and headphones to get an accurate depiction of what I will and will not enjoy based on other peoples reviews. HE-400's are my biggest regret as far as purchases, the DT-880's close behind.

 

The HD-280's are absolutely out of this world on bang for your buck. I haven't seen such a deal on any item on this planet. And this cracks me up, looking way back to the 280's I was told they were known to be light on the bass. With an EQ they get HEAVY on the bass. No matter what I do the other two headphones here cannot hold up on bass impact. Guess that's what I get for getting open and semi-open back. HE-400's will NEVER be worth $400 to me. I almost have better luck with the $250 DT-880's I got when I EQ them correctly. Their wearing and listening comfort potentially out do the HE-400's in my opinion. What I get from the HE-400's is good clarity and soundstage, but to me it is done in a BORING way. And stresses the hell out of my ears from the peircing highs. Anyone else hit a problem like this? what headphones did you end up with?

post #2 of 144

Perhaps you got the old revision that has higher treble.  If not, then the sound signature isn't for you.  Move on to the next headphone.

Looks like you are looking for a dark and bassy sound signature.


Edited by PFULMTL - 6/3/13 at 12:58am
post #3 of 144
Thread Starter 
Interesting they had a version with high treble. Another thing could just be my source. Maybe they don't mix well with the Xonar Essence. And yea I like bassy and colorful is a word people used a lot. I can move on but the money dropped on these is hard to look past.
post #4 of 144

The Ultrasone Pro 750 might be a good fit for your liking.

post #5 of 144

Sounds like the HD650 would suit you well. Nice and smooth  sound.

post #6 of 144

HD650 would not suit him well.  He wants the type of punchy bass that only closed headphones can give.  I advise the TC to never get another open headphone ever again if that's the case, because HE-400 has one of the strongest basses for open headphones.

post #7 of 144

I don't think you like the sound signature of the HE400.  It sounds like you are pretty much a bass head and bass seems to be your 1st priority.  You'll probable be happier with something like the Ultrasone Pro900, HFI 580, M100, DT770, yamaha Pro500, Q40, D1100, XB500, XB700 etc.

post #8 of 144

I'm kinda in the same boat as you, the HE400 didn't disappoint me as much as it did you but it did not live up to the hype for me. As for reviews, try looking for reviews from someone who has similar taste in music and sound signatures as you.

post #9 of 144

maybe a denon d2k or d5k?? also i think your source is not right for he400 atleast...

post #10 of 144

Ah yes if you want punchy bass and a fun sound then close headphones probably best bet. There are quite a lot about at the moment... Have a look at some of these....

 

Logitech UE6000

Denon D2000/D5000 (bit bright for you maybe)

Vmoda M100

Sennheiser momentum

Sony MDr-1R (maybe not right for you)

post #11 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fedelesk View Post

I guess the big problem is trusting other peoples tastes and opinions. There are too many preferences and headphones to get an accurate depiction of what I will and will not enjoy based on other peoples reviews. HE-400's are my biggest regret as far as purchases, the DT-880's close behind.

Yep. Testimonials from other people will only get you about 80% of the way there in headphones selection. There's no substitute for listening to them yourself. I've also found that headphones I thought I would NOT like based on what people said was inaccurate. I almost didn't try the Grado SR225i because of negative feedback about comfort and the highs, and yet they are my favorite overall.

Best thing to do is start attending some head-fi meetups so you can listen to a range of headphones.
http://www.head-fi.org/f/24/local-regional-head-fi-meets-parties-get-togethers

I would also agree with TMRaven. Sounds like you might want that kind of bass that can only be created with pressure from a good seal with closed cans. A good comparison is car audio. A smaller sub in a car with the windows up can sound quite different from a bigger, more powerful sub with the windows down because of the pressurization that happens in a small space.
post #12 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fedelesk View Post

 

The HD-280's are absolutely out of this world on bang for your buck. I haven't seen such a deal on any item on this planet. And this cracks me up, looking way back to the 280's I was told they were known to be light on the bass. 

 

I keep telling people they are an absolutely incredible headphone. Totally overlooked here. And they are NOT bass light. It's like people that have never heard them have all sorts of opinions on them. 

 

What the 280 has, and what you're looking for, is that sub-bass power. The 280 has loads of it. The Denon D2000 and D5000, if you can find them, is what you're after. No open can will give you the power of your 280, especially not planars like the 400 - even though they are considered to be bassier than some. 

 

Ultrasone HFI-580 and 780 might be worth a look. But I don't think they are really upgrades. VModa M-100 might do you well. Really well, in fact. 

post #13 of 144
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much for replies. Yea I need closed cans for sure I knew that much. I would have bought the d2000 but I cannot find them anywhere. I have heard the 650s before and same story, too neutral. My brother owns the v-moda m100 they sound like crap compared to the hd 280s.
Ill have to take my time and listen to ones for myself. Haha to the person about the grados, I have a weird hunch they are what I want to hear. I just need phones that dont rest on the ears themselves, they ache really quickly.
post #14 of 144
The Grados are worth listening to if you have never heard them (unique sound), but I don't think any of them will have the bass response you are looking for; most are bass light with rolloff starting in the midbass and no deep sub bass response. As far as comfort, the foam pads are quite different feeling on the ears from the stuffed leather/pleather pads on may on ear headphones. I find the L-Cush pads on the Prestige series to be fairly comfy when broken in (YMMV).
post #15 of 144

I don't get what you're really after, if you don't like the sound of the v-moda m100.

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