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Hifiman HE-400i and HE-560: From CES to Pre-Launch - Page 79

post #1171 of 3090
The ability to drive the HE400's easily (without an amp) and many rave reviews is what led me to it. Little did I know this purchase would really begin my journey into the world of great headphones. It's this site which opened the doors of sound quality for me- There's a wealth of information shared by many here who are more than happy to point you in the right (and often very rewarding) direction. All I can really say is Thank You.
Edited by Zuckfun - 1/27/14 at 4:17pm
post #1172 of 3090
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdrm360 View Post
 

I think MattTCG is talking about the HE-400.

 

How to know when you've been on head-fi too much...other members offer to correct your post, and they're right. :o

post #1173 of 3090
Anyone have specs on the output of the ef2a? It can power my he-500 WELL past comfortable listening levels, is it just overly strong or are other similar size amps equally powerful? I'm always confused by people say an amp isn't enough for orthos, I would think any HP amp is more than enough, otherwise what's the point in having one? If your HP can'tbe driven well off portable players, I'm surprised that a dedicated amp isn't enough, when I just had my denons I had no need for an amp at all.

Certainly the new ones need amplification, but I don't think 90db sensitivity is outside the realm of small amps. Am I missing something here? I understand if the ef2a just pushes a lot, maybe that's why I'm confused.
post #1174 of 3090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultramus View Post

Anyone have specs on the output of the ef2a? It can power my he-500 WELL past comfortable listening levels, is it just overly strong or are other similar size amps equally powerful? I'm always confused by people say an amp isn't enough for orthos, I would think any HP amp is more than enough, otherwise what's the point in having one? If your HP can'tbe driven well off portable players, I'm surprised that a dedicated amp isn't enough, when I just had my denons I had no need for an amp at all.

Certainly the new ones need amplification, but I don't think 90db sensitivity is outside the realm of small amps. Am I missing something here? I understand if the ef2a just pushes a lot, maybe that's why I'm confused.

 

Yes, most desktop amps will drive a planar magnetic hp to a "loud" level, excluding the he4/6. But if all your looking for is loud you can do that for a lot less money and really with no amp for that matter. 

 

For me, it's about finding the "right" amp for any headphone but especially for a planar. What is the signature of the hp? How does the amp complement or not complement the hp? Are there still enjoyable dynamics at lower listening levels or do you have to really crank the pot to get good dynamics. These are some of the things I consider when shopping for a desktop amp. 

post #1175 of 3090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultramus View Post

Anyone have specs on the output of the ef2a? It can power my he-500 WELL past comfortable listening levels, is it just overly strong or are other similar size amps equally powerful? I'm always confused by people say an amp isn't enough for orthos, I would think any HP amp is more than enough, otherwise what's the point in having one? If your HP can'tbe driven well off portable players, I'm surprised that a dedicated amp isn't enough, when I just had my denons I had no need for an amp at all.

Certainly the new ones need amplification, but I don't think 90db sensitivity is outside the realm of small amps. Am I missing something here? I understand if the ef2a just pushes a lot, maybe that's why I'm confused.

EF2A is 320mW at 32ohms. That isn't even enough to properly drive the HE400. Try 700mW for the he400 and 1500mW for the HE500. Those should give good dynamics.

post #1176 of 3090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundsgoodtome View Post

EF2A is 320mW at 32ohms. That isn't even enough to properly drive the HE400. Try 700mW for the he400 and 1500mW for the HE500. Those should give good dynamics.
+ 1
post #1177 of 3090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundsgoodtome View Post

EF2A is 320mW at 32ohms. That isn't even enough to properly drive the HE400. Try 700mW for the he400 and 1500mW for the HE500. Those should give good dynamics.

Where do these numbers come from? Yeah I liked the mjolnir more than the ef2a but that was balanced through a much better DAC. Comparing the liquid gold to the ef2a, yes one sounds much better, but I feel that has more to do with design than output power.

Also isn't required power entirely dependent on the level of the input? I understand the superiority of better amplifiers, I just do not understand how power output factors into it. I can't really turn the pot past 2, which is barely listenable. Even at 9 volume is sufficient without hitting the noise floor, which as I understand increase(usually) with output power.

Is it better to have a low gain high power amp then a high gain low power given a fixed listening level? Is that the preferable case?

Not meaning to hijack and I get synergy, but in termsof loudness at 90db/mW I feel you will get desired listening level out of 90% of amps. I'm always astounded when people claim an amp,"isn't powerful enough for orthos"
post #1178 of 3090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultramus View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundsgoodtome View Post

EF2A is 320mW at 32ohms. That isn't even enough to properly drive the HE400. Try 700mW for the he400 and 1500mW for the HE500. Those should give good dynamics.

Where do these numbers come from? Yeah I liked the mjolnir more than the ef2a but that was balanced through a much better DAC. Comparing the liquid gold to the ef2a, yes one sounds much better, but I feel that has more to do with design than output power.

Also isn't required power entirely dependent on the level of the input? I understand the superiority of better amplifiers, I just do not understand how power output factors into it. I can't really turn the pot past 2, which is barely listenable. Even at 9 volume is sufficient without hitting the noise floor, which as I understand increase(usually) with output power.

Is it better to have a low gain high power amp then a high gain low power given a fixed listening level? Is that the preferable case?

Not meaning to hijack and I get synergy, but in termsof loudness at 90db/mW I feel you will get desired listening level out of 90% of amps. I'm always astounded when people claim an amp,"isn't powerful enough for orthos"


Look to your own words for the explanation.  You're conflating gain with power in your early sentences, but then you seem to recognize that fact later and even suggest the reason higher output power is desired.

 

Granted, that power must be clean.  If the increase in power is of a higher distortion or noise level, then the advantages are wasted.  In headphone gear, we're into micro-transients and as low a noise floor as physically possible.  Assuming that's all equal (a big assumption), then that amplifier that has more power reserve is more desired.

 

In airplanes and cars, one can reach a physical limit in speed, almost completely dependent on the airflow limitations, instead of power.  Yet, the vehicle with more power reserves is going to have more acceleration at that speed, enabling quicker turns, faster response, and the ability to maintain the achieved level in spite of external influences.  Amplifiers are somewhat analogous - just don't carry it too far. ;) 

post #1179 of 3090

If you're satisfied with the EF2A and the HE400 paired then good for you.

The 1.5W was recommended by Fang of Hifiman. The 700mW for the 400 is an estimate by what people have tried. Think of it this way, the EF5 was used to showcase the more efficient 560 at CES and those are putting out 2W I believe. If the HE400i are more efficient than the HE400, why not use the 300mW EF2A to showcase it's efficiency?

post #1180 of 3090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundsgoodtome View Post

If the HE400i are more efficient than the HE400, why not use the 300mW EF2A to showcase it's efficiency?

Well the answer to that is fairly obvious, isn't it? Obviously on their first public outing you want them putting forward their best step sonically, so using a better amp is a given.
post #1181 of 3090
True. The Ef2a's burr brown probably won't get you the best sound even with the EF5 as an amp.

Hifiman don't have dedicated dacs do they? I wonder what they're using at the show.. their DAP with a line-out?
post #1182 of 3090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundsgoodtome View Post

True. The Ef2a's burr brown probably won't get you the best sound even with the EF5 as an amp.

Hifiman don't have dedicated dacs do they? I wonder what they're using at the show.. their DAP with a line-out?

 

Yeah, it's a 901 DAP through an EF5.

post #1183 of 3090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandala View Post

Yeah, it's a 901 DAP through an EF5.

Neato. So any word on new impressions yet? or if demo units r in the future
post #1184 of 3090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post


Neato. So any word on new impressions yet? or if demo units r in the future

  Here's a cut and paste of a cut and paste from another forum. It's seems like a fairly level-headed assessment.

 

Quote:
 

Caveat: All listening was done via the Hifiman EF5 and the 901 DAP. There was an Emotiva CD player there but they refused to hook it up because they said it sounded so bad, it was only there for show I was told. The EF5 is a colored amp w/ some headphones and might have interesting synergy issues. IME, it tends to be tuned w/ Fang's headphones in mind, so keep that in consideration w/ impressions from it.

The 400i seems to have fixed the weird midrange distortion that some are able to pickup. They do sound better, more coherent overall signature and better clarity. Still less smooth and refined than the other Hifiman phones further up the range.

560 sounds quite a bit like the name implies a 500 adding a bit of 6 treble in the signature to brighten and open it up. Less warm than the HE500 with better clarity. Whether there are serious sibilance or treble issues is hard to tell as I have found in the past the EF5 to take the edge of such artifacts at times.

Overall, the HE6 had less of that full fleshed out bass compared to the 560, but every other technical metric apart from FR like speed, smoothness, refinement, imaging, were all superior on the HE6 still.

post #1185 of 3090

I always thought that the HE6 SQ was far away from others in the pack. I would be very surprised if HiFiMAN has a new model close to it. It now appears that the HE6 is still king of the hill at this time.

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