Surprised to see a misleading statement like that coming from a rep. Everybody in this thread keeps associating the improved comfort to the headband instead of the reduced weight. I'm not saying this to puff out my chest, and I'm not saying this to TeamHiFiMAN (odds are, s/he has had a chance with it), but if one has never extensively auditioned an HE-4, then s/he clearly would have no way of knowing what the new suspension headband contributes to the extended comfort experience of a ~350g HiFiMAN planar. [That's clear, right?] At 350g, or maybe now 340g(?), you're talking about a planar that weighs less than a Beyer Tesla... Of course it's going to be significantly more comfortable than the 500, 6, any Audeze model, or even the 400...
Can't remember who it was, but one of the reps already came right out and said it earlier - the actual design purpose of switching to suspension was/is to sell more headphones to people with wider heads. That's it. But now that everybody already endorsed the supposed comfort benefits of the suspension style, even with a pre-prod re-work, we still lose what was already IMO a really great headband for a 350g headphone. Unnecessary. Maybe even a little dumb.
It also seems pretty transparent at this point that HiFiMAN wanted to use the switch as an opportunity to improve the lackluster branding, mounting that huge "H" on the side. Annoying, yeah... but whatever, can't blame them too much. Easy to see that this <<http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/CES2014_HiFiMan.jpg>> is better for competing in situations like this <<http://www.razordogaudio.com/pages/brands>>.
Also remember what was seen at CES and other demos were still mostly in prototype stage. I recall reading that they were still making a few changes to the headband and other styling mostly, less so with tuning (HE-560 tuning being complete and HE-400i being tweaked still but mostly complete). So the overall styling may change a bit with the release models but he principle design will remain the same with the suspension band of course due to positive feedback. The logo is a bit big IMO, I think the full company logo in small size would look nicer, or perhaps the model on the sides and the company logo across the top of the headband. Either way, these things are the least of my worries
I was playing catch-up last night on my phone and couldn't believe it took several pages of back-and-forthing from longtime thread followers for somebody to finally point this out. If people can't remember what they read 20 pages ago in the thread, then how reliable are their short-term recollections of the headphone SQ going to be once these start popping up at meets?...
Regardless, couldn't have come up with a better summary comment myself. There are going to be missteps, but in the end, both models are going to at least be successful - any HE-4 owner would agree.
Edited by raspiguy - 2/12/14 at 3:16pm