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HE-400 vs. HE-500 vs. HE-4 Comparison - Page 5

post #61 of 349
Thread Starter 

I did. I did some extensive listening last night with the HE-4 and that puppy can definitely power them, but so can the Ember. In fact, the Ember is a better amp all around, but not by a long shot. Emotiva is slightly thicker and slightly more congested. Ember has just as much speed and punch, but it sounds airier and separates instruments so flawlessly.

 

For example, if you listen to Heavyweight by Infected Mushroom, about halfway through the song there is a section where the intensity drops right before going into a high energy rhythm guitar with a wicked guitar solo on top. Now, if you listen very closely to the rhythm guitar, there is a very quiet yet sharp electronic synth that "sparks" alongside the guitar. With most of my dynamic headphones, you have to try really hard to hear it, with planars it's much easier. With the HE-4, even easier. With the Ember + HE-4, you couldn't miss it.

 

I would say that after my session last night, the Emotiva is about 90% as good as Ember (at Ember's lowest output impedance setting). Yes the Emotiva is a lot cheaper, but Ember has the ability to switch out tubes, adjust output impedance, and adjust gain. I haven't ever needed to increase the gain on Ember, if that puts it into perspective.

 

This brings up the power debate again (oh no!) but I found a table, thanks to a user at another headphone forum, which helps describe the amount of power "required" for each headphone. I'm going to just copy a tiny bit of info from it for the three headphones mentioned in this thread:

 

  Power Rating Efficiency 90dB SPL 105dB SPL 120dB SPL
HE-400 1W 92 0.72mW 22.75mW 720mW
HE-500 1W 87 2.00mW 63.20mW 2000mW
HE-4 2W 86 2.30mW 72.68mW 2300mW

 

I didn't include voltages because I don't think it's necessary to show that even though Ember doesn't put out as much power as many of the amps out there, it puts out enough to get to 110dB, which I will kindly stay away from, haha.

post #62 of 349

Thanks for comparison! IMO, the importance of power is a bit overestimated. As we can see, the additional power of Emotiva doesn't give any real benefits. Theoretically it should improve dynamics and soundstage over Ember... As for the bass, looks like its quality\quantity\punch on Ember is as great as on Emotiva? 

 

Purchasing Emotiva for HE-4 is not a great idea for me. The price with shipping to Russia is 300$ + adapter. Also the size of Emotiva is not optimal for me. But Ember seems great! Now I have to choose between Ember and Lyr...

post #63 of 349
Thread Starter 

No problem! The Emotiva is a bit thicker, with a touch more bass rumble, but not more punch than Ember. Ember is very "clean" sounding whereas the Emotiva seems slightly congested in comparison. Don't get me wrong, it is not a congested amp by any means. Ember just provides a more spacious sound.

 

I know it's hard to tell based on all the differing reports with the Lyr. Some love it with the HE-4, some think that it's slightly lacking. The general consensus seems to be that Emotiva>Lyr for the HE-4. Right now, I'm saying Ember>Emotiva, so I definitely don't plan on getting a Lyr any time soon.

 

As far as value goes, I think that the Emotiva is still a great value (though, not when you have to ship it to Russia, apparently :o). In fact, I don't see myself selling it, at least not for a long time. I still want to add a 1/4" jack on the front and ultimately, it's a sweet little speaker amp! At $170 shipped, this didn't put a huge hole in my wallet and, like I said, it isn't too far behind Ember with respect to the HE-4.

post #64 of 349

So would you say that the HE-4 would be better for something like Drum and Bass. From what you are saying they sound airier and more balanced than the HE-400, and I really prefer and balanced sound like what I have with my Airmotiv Studio monitors. The only thing I am wondering about is how much of a difference there is in their sub-bass response, from what you are saying it seems like they have faster decay than the HE-400 since they have less "rumble." 

post #65 of 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rinx7 View Post
 

So would you say that the HE-4 would be better for something like Drum and Bass. From what you are saying they sound airier and more balanced than the HE-400, and I really prefer and balanced sound like what I have with my Airmotiv Studio monitors. The only thing I am wondering about is how much of a difference there is in their sub-bass response, from what you are saying it seems like they have faster decay than the HE-400 since they have less "rumble." 

 

Heres the thing, do you listen to more than JUST edm or drum and bass? Because the he4 literally does every last thing better than the he400. for every other genre. I cant speak for drum and bass though. The sub bass, i would almost chalk up to being less conceived on the 4 because its a more "balanced" hp. Every genre i have thrown at the he4 has sounded vastly superior to the 400, so much to the point that im honestly amazed the 400 is popular at all. The he4 is just a better hp, the only flaw it has is its amping requirements. But you can pay 110 for a fiio e17 for the 400, or 30 to 170 for a vintage pioneer or a brand new emotiva mini x. They literally do everything better though, ask anyone who owns one that owned a 400. Im glad i owned the 400, simply for the fact that i now know exactly how good the he4 is. Its my endgame...

post #66 of 349

I think the HE400's popularity is riding off the HE500 simply because people think that the 500 is the step up from the 400 strictly by model number. Also considering that the HE4 came out before the HE400, it's easy for people to assume that the HE4 is an older/inferior model. Considering the fact that a good portion of people getting the HE400s are getting their foot into planar magnetics for a relatively excellent price. Combine all those factors and you have the ever popular HE400 to the newcomers. Also that fact that it's the easiest to drive of the family, people can usually get by with low to mid-level sources. To me it's brilliant for the price and easy-to-drive factor. This was my thought process when getting mine. Check the classifieds and there's someone always selling one, so if you don't mind used then they're an even better deal!

I will be getting my HE4 on Wednesday, this thread got me interested and a heads up from another member on a sale and I got one. So... I'll know soon. I'm excited as I've also upgraded my amp to a Balanced AudioGD cranking something like 6W into 32ohms.


Edited by Soundsgoodtome - 12/13/13 at 8:01pm
post #67 of 349
Will be awaiting your review and thoughts. For me, my pioneer sx727(when I've completed its rebuild 100%) plus probably the tubemagic d2 as dac, is going to be the end of mu adventure for a while. That and selling off the rest and getting a mad dog for when I need to be quiet. But, I'm glad we have another he4 owner coming. Slowly but surely, the holy trinity of Matttcg,magicman and preproman, with the assistance of the likes of thujone and other great reviewers, will convert the he400 owners and show them the light.
post #68 of 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thujone View Post
 

I did. I did some extensive listening last night with the HE-4 and that puppy can definitely power them, but so can the Ember. In fact, the Ember is a better amp all around, but not by a long shot. Emotiva is slightly thicker and slightly more congested. Ember has just as much speed and punch, but it sounds airier and separates instruments so flawlessly.

 

For example, if you listen to Heavyweight by Infected Mushroom, about halfway through the song there is a section where the intensity drops right before going into a high energy rhythm guitar with a wicked guitar solo on top. Now, if you listen very closely to the rhythm guitar, there is a very quiet yet sharp electronic synth that "sparks" alongside the guitar. With most of my dynamic headphones, you have to try really hard to hear it, with planars it's much easier. With the HE-4, even easier. With the Ember + HE-4, you couldn't miss it.

 

I would say that after my session last night, the Emotiva is about 90% as good as Ember (at Ember's lowest output impedance setting). Yes the Emotiva is a lot cheaper, but Ember has the ability to switch out tubes, adjust output impedance, and adjust gain. I haven't ever needed to increase the gain on Ember, if that puts it into perspective.

 

This brings up the power debate again (oh no!) but I found a table, thanks to a user at another headphone forum, which helps describe the amount of power "required" for each headphone. I'm going to just copy a tiny bit of info from it for the three headphones mentioned in this thread:

 

  Power Rating Efficiency 90dB SPL 105dB SPL 120dB SPL
HE-400 1W 92 0.72mW 22.75mW 720mW
HE-500 1W 87 2.00mW 63.20mW 2000mW
HE-4 2W 86 2.30mW 72.68mW 2300mW

 

I didn't include voltages because I don't think it's necessary to show that even though Ember doesn't put out as much power as many of the amps out there, it puts out enough to get to 110dB, which I will kindly stay away from, haha.

Can you elaborate a bit more on that? I can hear this faint "bzz bzz" synth noise on top of the rhythm guitar between 4:48-5:32, not sure if that's what you are talking about.

post #69 of 349
Thread Starter 
I used to say that the HE-400 was the king of DNB but it has been dethroned. They both have equal extension, the HE-400 just has more bass quantity IMO. But like hemi said, I completely agree that the HE-4 does everything better. It's more balanced and it doesn't lack the punch and clarity of its brethren. Soundsgoodtome also proves a good point that the HE-4 has (unfortunately) been overshadowed by the 400's and 500's. That has to do with drivability of the HE-400 and (IMO) the price of the HE-500. One would hope that a $700 headphone would sound "better" than a $450 but they are easily on par with one another with proper amping. Some may disagree with me though.
post #70 of 349
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

Can you elaborate a bit more on that? I can hear this faint "bzz bzz" synth noise on top of the rhythm guitar between 4:48-5:32, not sure if that's what you are talking about.

Exactly. It's hard to pick up on my HD580, much easier on all these HFM. The HE-4 on Ember can pick out little things like that very well. Every layer is easily distinguishable.
post #71 of 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thujone View Post


Exactly. It's hard to pick up on my HD580, much easier on all these HFM. The HE-4 on Ember can pick out little things like that very well. Every layer is easily distinguishable.

I dunno man, my $30 ONN extra-bass AD700-OEM dynamic headphones picked up that detail quite easily, albeit not as precisely as the HE500s did.

post #72 of 349
Thread Starter 

Once you know what to listen for, you can hear it with just about anything. You're missing my point though.

post #73 of 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thujone View Post

 

This brings up the power debate again (oh no!) but I found a table, thanks to a user at another headphone forum, which helps describe the amount of power "required" for each headphone. I'm going to just copy a tiny bit of info from it for the three headphones mentioned in this thread:

 

  Power Rating Efficiency 90dB SPL 105dB SPL 120dB SPL
HE-400 1W 92 0.72mW 22.75mW 720mW
HE-500 1W 87 2.00mW 63.20mW 2000mW
HE-4 2W 86 2.30mW 72.68mW 2300mW

 

I didn't include voltages because I don't think it's necessary to show that even though Ember doesn't put out as much power as many of the amps out there, it puts out enough to get to 110dB, which I will kindly stay away from, haha.

 

 

Hey, where's this full graph at? I'd love to see the specs for other headphones as well. 

 

Also, while I'm looking forward to my HE-400's arriving, I can't help but feel that I should have just gone ahead and snagged the HE-4 when it was on sale at headamp and sucked it up and bought a new amp. Ah well, no regrets as I got a great deal (black Friday) on the 400's. I'll wait till I hear them before I feel really bad about not going HE-4.


Edited by Modular - 12/13/13 at 10:26pm
post #74 of 349
Thread Starter 

This table was compiled by Solderdude, so I don't take any credit for it. Here it is: http://www.mediafire.com/view/dzwe1g73q6pbhnx/headphone%20power%20table.pdf

post #75 of 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post
 

I dunno man, my $30 ONN extra-bass AD700-OEM dynamic headphones picked up that detail quite easily, albeit not as precisely as the HE500s did.

rotfl!! ...but is it a very quiet yet sharp electronic synth that "sparks"???? i think notttttttt :p

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