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Hello head-fi peeps! Need help choosing a headphone

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

So yea I am new here so I am trying to learn about headphones. I am interested in buying either the HE-400 or HE-500 cans but I can't decide. I think the 500's are too expensive considering that you need an expensive or hackish amp to drive them. The 400's are priced ok but people say they have some treble distortion. I forget the word for it. I can't imagine $400 headphones having that kind of problem but so be it. IF I do buy the 400's I would pair them with an O2/ODAC. I wish I could feel comfortable driving the HE-500's with the same amp, but I am reading threads about them and they seem to need more power. Right now my headphones are a cheap Sennheiser headset for gaming. I think they are the PC151 or something close to it. They are old and they need to go. I play games and listen to music so I want something that sounds good for music but can enhance the sound of games. I don't play shooter games so I can care less about positioning. Anyway, thanks for reading and any advice would be helpful. 

post #2 of 28

I have been listening music in HE 400 for the past 2 months. I am happy with it. The soundstage and bass are awesome. You just need to reduce treble in EQ settings.

 

Do you already have O2 ODAC?

HE 500 needs a good amp!

post #3 of 28
There is no treble distortion the HE-400s. The problem is that the treble is sibilant, meaning that sssss and tttttt type sounds sound harsh. This is easily fixed by lowering the treble with EQ. The treble is just a bit too loud without EQ.

For the HE-500, a very popular amp is the Emotiva Mini-x. I believe it is $169. It is a speaker amp, so you need to get an adapter cable to connect headphones. These can be purchased for around 40 dollars. Or you can build your own for less. It's not difficult. No soldering required, just the ability to strip wire and use a screwdriver.
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post

There is no treble distortion the HE-400s. The problem is that the treble is sibilant, meaning that sssss and tttttt type sounds sound harsh. This is easily fixed by lowering the treble with EQ. The treble is just a bit too loud without EQ.

For the HE-500, a very popular amp is the Emotiva Mini-x. I believe it is $169. It is a speaker amp, so you need to get an adapter cable to connect headphones. These can be purchased for around 40 dollars. Or you can build your own for less. It's not difficult. No soldering required, just the ability to strip wire and use a screwdriver.

Ok thanks. I am still considering the 500,but the 400 is more likely. Where did you get the adapter for the speaker amp? I don't have any good amp/dac or headphone yet so I am still thinking about what I want. Thanks for your help.

post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by raxx View Post
 

Ok thanks. I am still considering the 500,but the 400 is more likely. Where did you get the adapter for the speaker amp? I don't have any good amp/dac or headphone yet so I am still thinking about what I want. Thanks for your help.


what is your budget for a dac/amp?

post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubinstein View Post
 


what is your budget for a dac/amp?

Maybe $300 max. 

post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 

Also I hear people get custom cables that cost $100+. Is it worth it? Some people say they do it because the stock cable is stiff and others say

there is a microphonics problem. 

post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by raxx View Post
 
Where did you get the adapter for the speaker amp? 


I built mine using a Switchcraft model 1230 jack (which doesn't require soldering) and some Canare wire, but you can have one built at BTG Audio for a reasonable price. 

post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by raxx View Post
 

Maybe $300 max. 

for that budget, it is hard to beat Audio GD 15.32. It can drive wide range of headphones.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by raxx View Post
 

Also I hear people get custom cables that cost $100+. Is it worth it? Some people say they do it because the stock cable is stiff and others say

there is a microphonics problem. 

 

I have got the HE 400 along with stock cable and also extra cable (it is very soft). I think you can try the stock cable first. I am not using stock cable, because it is very long. microphonics and stock cable being stiff are subjective.

post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 


I built mine using a Switchcraft model 1230 jack (which doesn't require soldering) and some Canare wire, but you can have one built at BTG Audio for a reasonable price. 

Good to know! Thanks!

post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubinstein View Post
 

for that budget, it is hard to beat Audio GD 15.32. It can drive wide range of headphones.

 

 

I have got the HE 400 along with stock cable and also extra cable (it is very soft). I think you can try the stock cable first. I am not using stock cable, because it is very long. microphonics and stock cable being stiff are subjective.

 

Where do you buy the Audio GD 15.32? Direct from the company? Can it drive a HE500 or just a HE400? Thanks to everyone for all the advice.

post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by raxx View Post
 

 

Where do you buy the Audio GD 15.32? Direct from the company? Can it drive a HE500 or just a HE400?

It can drive both HE 400 and also 500. You can order directly in http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1532/NFB15.32EN.htm

Suppose if you are from Europe. You can order from audiophonics.fr. this will avoid problems in customs.


Edited by rubinstein - 12/23/13 at 3:34pm
post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubinstein View Post
 

It can drive both HE 400 and also 500. You can order directly in http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1532/NFB15.32EN.htm

Suppose if you are from Europe. You can order from audiophonics.fr. this will avoid problems in customs.

Thanks. I am in the states.

post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubinstein View Post
 

It can drive both HE 400 and also 500. You can order directly in ***

Suppose if you are from Europe. You can order from *** this will avoid problems in customs.

Thanks!

post #15 of 28

what have you decided?

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