Originally Posted by Soundsgoodtome
I wonder how different sounding the HE-5LE is to the HE4 since they're basically the same driver with the HE4 only a single ended. FWIW I much prefer the HE4 to the HE500
HE-5LE and HE-4 sound very close. The only difference as I could hear it was the HE-5LE is more refined sounding - less etched, smoother, more realism in the vocals. Basically a bigger, more mature brother to the HE-4. I like both btw, and would use the HE-4 over the HE-500 too.
Originally Posted by Clemmaster
The 500 does not have better bass than the 5LE. It has more quantity but it is slightly boomy and elevated. The 5LE is tighter and more neutral.
As for the mids, I agree, the 500 is mid-centric and has a very nice lushness that make vocal so seductive. The 5LE is less lush (drier if you will) but still closer to the 500s than the 4s in that area. In tonality, the 5LE sits in the middle of HE-500 vs HE-4/6. Technically it is probably on par (if not slightly better) with the 500.
The 5LE has raw treble that makes it better suited for Rock music (and its derivatives) than the 500. It is more airy and more dynamic but has less bottom end impact. Tighter, cleaner, less romantic... you got it ;)
I love both but ended up keeping the 5LE in the end.
Well said. It does come down to preference. I quite prefer the vocals of the 5LE to the 500. You said it though, the 500's vocals are lush and seductive. That's just not for me - I don't want my vocals romanticized, I want them realistic and life-like. The 5LE does a better job of this, imo. As for bass, I also prefer the 5LE - tighter with great impact, thus less slow sounding. As for highs, I also prefer the 5LE, but then again I listen to a lot of rock and aggressive music ;)