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Hifiman He-400 or He-500?

post #1 of 508
Thread Starter 

I currently have about $620 saved up for either of these two headphones. I can get a used He-500 off of amazon for about $614, which will leave me without a good amp (I'll have to use my Logitech THX headphone output for an amp) for a while until I save enough for a schiit magni, or I can purchase an He-400 with the schiit stack. My question is, is the wait and extra money worth it for the He-500? What more does it offer, and is the less amount of bass that it provides EQ-able? Basically, is the He-500 just a "sidegrade" of the He-400, and does it provide things that are not EQ-able such as soundstage and clarity?

 

Thanks!

 

(here is a link to that Logitech THX system that has a headphone out: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16836121121


Edited by Nimzerz - 2/18/14 at 6:36am
post #2 of 508

IMO the HE500 and HE400 are in different leagues. The level of detail is absolutely amazing on the HE500 which the 400 cannot compete. Both are of course excellent. I would find a cheaper used HE500 (you can find it for around $500 if not cheaper) and get the schiit magni.

post #3 of 508
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jd007 View Post

IMO the HE500 and HE400 are in different leagues. The level of detail is absolutely amazing on the HE500 which the 400 cannot compete. Both are of course excellent. I would find a cheaper used HE500 (you can find it for around $500 if not cheaper) and get the schiit magni.

Only problem is, I'd like to use amazon for their amazing return policy. If I for some reason happen to dislike them (maybe soundstage or not enough bass) then I'd like to be able to return them. This is pretty much what happened with the Dt880s that I had. Do the He500's have more bass impact than the dt880s?

post #4 of 508

I find it hard to believe that detail would be in different leagues between the two-- most likely it'd be where the two are most equal.

 

The biggest difference is coloration.  HE-400 is tuned for a specific coloration, HE-500 is more neutral.

post #5 of 508
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

I find it hard to believe that detail would be in different leagues between the two-- most likely it'd be where the two are most equal.

 

The biggest difference is coloration.  HE-400 is tuned for a specific coloration, HE-500 is more neutral.

Which is why I'm wondering if the differences are pretty much EQ-able...

post #6 of 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

I find it hard to believe that detail would be in different leagues between the two-- most likely it'd be where the two are most equal.

 

The biggest difference is coloration.  HE-400 is tuned for a specific coloration, HE-500 is more neutral.

I used to think that way, but now I'm a believer that detail is more than meets the "eye". Transparency lets detail across the freq spectrum across more evenly, so it gives another dimension to the perceived detail on top of the raw degree of resolution that the drivers have. It prevents "details masking other details" from occurring.

 

From that light IMO a well-modded well-driven HE500 gives a lot more detail than an HE400 treated the same way.


Edited by jerg - 7/21/13 at 2:53pm
post #7 of 508
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

I used to think that way, but now I'm a believer that detail is more than meets the "eye". Transparency lets detail across the freq spectrum across more evenly, so it gives another dimension to the perceived detail on top of the raw degree of resolution that the drivers have. It prevents "details masking other details" from occurring.

 

From that light IMO a well-modded well-driven HE500 gives a lot more detail than an HE400 treated the same way.

So basically, the He-500 wins in everything except in bass impact? 

post #8 of 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

I used to think that way, but now I'm a believer that detail is more than meets the "eye". Transparency lets detail across the freq spectrum across more evenly, so it gives another dimension to the perceived detail on top of the raw degree of resolution that the drivers have. It prevents "details masking other details" from occurring.

 

From that light IMO a well-modded well-driven HE500 gives a lot more detail than an HE400 treated the same way.

 

 

If that were the case I would have found the much more balanced LCD2 to be considerably more detailed sounding than the HE-400.  That's far from the truth though.  It would also insinuate that eq'ing the HE-400 to be much more balanced would give it considerably more detail-- which just isn't the case either.


Edited by TMRaven - 7/21/13 at 3:01pm
post #9 of 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimzerz View Post

Which is why I'm wondering if the differences are pretty much EQ-able...

 

 

I'm not sure if their differences can be totally mitigated by EQ, but I do know that the two most common complaints of the HE-400 can be largely solved by EQ, it's just that half the head-fi community are either too stubborn or purist to even use EQ to begin with.  Too much treble can be fixed via treble rolloff, and too much upper midrange recession can be fixed by upper-midrange bump.

 

There are difference in thd numbers between the two.  HE-500 has more in the bass and HE-400 has more in the mids.  Those you can't solve with EQ.  There's also general smoothness in sound characteristics that I learned you can't solve with EQ either.

 

Honestly I think if you already have the 620 and are in the position to get an HE-500, then get the HE-500.  Amps and Dacs can come later, the headphone itself gives you most of the sound.

post #10 of 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

 

 

If that were the case I would have found the much more balanced LCD2 to be considerably more detailed sounding than the HE-400.  That's far from the truth though.  It would also insinuate that eq'ing the HE-400 to be much more balanced would give it considerably more detail-- which just isn't the case either.

HE400s are detailed-sounding in nature, not to say that it does let more details through, but it just sounds as though it oozes details due to its peculiar tonal balance and speed.

 

But conversely the fact that it is fairly coloured relative to HE500s causes a lot of details (e.g. upper midrange/lower treble nuances) to be masked by other details aggressively, which doesn't even respond well to EQ (I'm guessing because the drivers just aren't mechanically capable of behaving cleanly in those frequency ranges...pretty evident in the THD measurements) as you said.

 

In practice, I just hear more background nuances, and with better clarity, with my HE500s relative to my HE400s, which tend to throw the "front and center" details more in my face.

 

Hey I've not had any extensive listening experience with LCD2, so I can't comment on your experiences there.

post #11 of 508

I'm gonna make a quick photoshop analogy of what I mean.

post #12 of 508
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

 

 

I'm not sure if their differences can be totally mitigated by EQ, but I do know that the two most common complaints of the HE-400 can be largely solved by EQ, it's just that half the head-fi community are either too stubborn or purist to even use EQ to begin with.  Too much treble can be fixed via treble rolloff, and too much upper midrange recession can be fixed by upper-midrange bump.

 

There are difference in thd numbers between the two.  HE-500 has more in the bass and HE-400 has more in the mids.  Those you can't solve with EQ.  There's also general smoothness in sound characteristics that I learned you can't solve with EQ either.

 

Honestly I think if you already have the 620 and are in the position to get an HE-500, then get the HE-500.  Amps and Dacs can come later, the headphone itself gives you most of the sound.

I care more about the bass than mids...but do the He500s give me enough bass? thats the main question at this point. Im looking for something between dt880 and dt990 bass impact. I know it will smoke them in bass extension and clarity though.

post #13 of 508

What I mean with regards to http://www.head-fi.org/t/673378/hifiman-he-400-or-he500#post_9636086

 

HE500

 

HE400

post #14 of 508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimzerz View Post

I care more about the bass than mids...but do the He500s give me enough bass? thats the main question at this point. Im looking for something between dt880 and dt990 bass impact. I know it will smoke them in bass extension and clarity though.


As far as i know, a punchy bass is an inherent characteristic of all planar magnetic headphones.

post #15 of 508
Buy the he400 and forget this site exists. Live long and prosper.
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