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Hifiman he-400i Impressions and Discussion - Page 59

post #871 of 2540
So from the descriptions, I think I'm going to be much happier sticking with my HE-4... just wish I could get the new suspension headband assembly. I know Hifiman has no desire to offer it, but with any luck, someone will offer an after market option!
Edited by mrscotchguy - 8/1/14 at 7:39pm
post #872 of 2540

What does the cable have to do with the HE-4.

post #873 of 2540
Thread Starter 

I think that he meant the impressions that have been given here. 

post #874 of 2540
Quote:
Originally Posted by imac2much View Post
 

Excellent impressions!  Thanks so much MattTCG!  I am eagerly anticipating these headphones :)

I did forget about the Oppo PM-2.  I like the look of the PM-1 but I've read the sound does not justify the high price.  I wonder how the PM-2 will compare to the HE-400i... though I think the PM-2 are expected be debut at around $699 and the HE-400i should be around $499?  I don't know if these prices are accurate though.

 

I preferred the HE-400i to the PM-2 when I heard them. Granted neither were 100% finalized so some minor tweaking has gone on since, but both the Oppo and HiFiMAN representatives mentioned that they were near the end of voicing and should have been very close to the final sound. So with that in mind, the 400i ended up being more engaging than the PM-2. The PM-2 had a more balanced response along the bass and mids compared to the 400i. Unfortunately the treble fell off too early for my tastes and the PM-2 ended up lacking some of the energy that the 400i has. If you're looking for a laid-back presentation then you'll probably end up enjoying the PM-2 very much. But from what I heard I'd pick up the 400i every time instead.

 

Of course, Matt will be hearing release versions so his impressions will be both more recent than my own and using the release candidate models. Looking forward to what he thinks.

post #875 of 2540
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

What does the cable have to do with the HE-4.

Edited.. phone decided to randomly add a quote, mah bad! cool.gif
post #876 of 2540
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AxelCloris View Post
 

 

I preferred the HE-400i to the PM-2 when I heard them. Granted neither were 100% finalized so some minor tweaking has gone on since, but both the Oppo and HiFiMAN representatives mentioned that they were near the end of voicing and should have been very close to the final sound. So with that in mind, the 400i ended up being more engaging than the PM-2. The PM-2 had a more balanced response along the bass and mids compared to the 400i. Unfortunately the treble fell off too early for my tastes and the PM-2 ended up lacking some of the energy that the 400i has. If you're looking for a laid-back presentation then you'll probably end up enjoying the PM-2 very much. But from what I heard I'd pick up the 400i every time instead.

 

Of course, Matt will be hearing release versions so his impressions will be both more recent than my own and using the release candidate models. Looking forward to what he thinks.

 

Thank you for the loan!! 

post #877 of 2540
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

 

Thank you for the loan!! 

 

Happy to help. I'm sure many wanted to know your comparisons between the 400 and 400i, only makes sense to have both on hand to do so.

post #878 of 2540
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post
 

HE 400i impressions:

 

Build Quality and Comfort

 

No matter how good the sound of a headphone, if you have a model that is poorly constructed or prone to break it will be difficult to enjoy and appreciate them in the long run.  Despite some problems with build quality on earlier hifiman models, there are simply no problems to report here.  I’m very appreciative of the crew at hifiman who’ve listened to the community and redesigned the 400i, making the quality, fit, and finish leagues above most offerings.  I just love the design choices here. The paint is beautiful and some of the best looking painted cups in the business.  The color is difficult to photograph, but looks much like the he4.  I call it black chrome. The suspension pad is without a fault in choice of material and fit. The adjustment of the headband comes with solid clicks and feels very secure.

 

Comfort, while previously questionable on older models, now leads the way with some of the most comfortable headphones I’ve had the pleasure to wear.  The clamp, reduced weight, and pad construction are exceptional and offer a headphone that can be worn easily for hours with no fatigue.

 

My only real complaint with the design of the headphone is the connectors. I just don’t like them, period. I know that many of you have never had problems but please appreciate that many have. There are just too many very nice single click and forget it connectors to be using these screw on type.  The cable is improved this time and with a nice insulated jacket and is more flexible.  But mine is only about six feet and I’d prefer a slightly longer cable.

 

Sound Quality

 

So now that I’ve proclaimed the 400i wonderfully redesigned and supremely comfortable, how do they sound?  I’m happy to say this this is a great sounding headphone.  There is good balance across the spectrum with that signature warm tilt of the sub bass. The bass blends well into the mids without bleeding into the vocals in any perceivable way.

 

And just what about that bass? Does it retain the wonderful extension and weight of the original he400? Well, almost. Previously the only bass that I’ve found to surpass he400 bass was the LCD 2.2 (pre-fazor). For extension, weight and texture it just doesn’t get any better than the lcd 2.2. I’ll give them a 10/10 for bass presentation in my book. The original he400 for me would rank a 9.0, while the 400i comes in at 8.0. Overall, across different  genres of music, the he400 seems to go down a little deeper and with better weight than the 400i. I’d call it a difference of about 15%. Disappointed? Don’t be. I’m certainly not. Let me explain why.

 

Other than the slight difference in sub bass, there is nothing that the 400i doesn’t trump the 400 on. The mids on the 400 are rich and tonally accurate. In fact, the only headphone that I’ve found to improve on the mids, in this price category, is the hd6x00. And the difference is surprisingly small. No tizzy, peaky treble here either. Just smooth and extended. The 400i is just a joy to listen to and does most every genre of music well. For me personally, the weak mids and peaky treble made the original 400 relegated that headphone to EDM, Dub and Chillstep. The 400i does those genres well also but now also does vocal centric music just as enjoyably. There’s a little sparkle to the treble but nothing harsh. Guitar plucks have a nice leading edge. Hi hat cymbals and drum brushwork come across clearly and naturally without getting muddy or unrefined. It’s a very good balance of sound.

 

I'll admit that I’m a poor judge of sound stage. I suppose it’s in the anatomy of my ear canals. I’ll leave this category to be judged by others who have a better appreciation for the subtle differences in this category.

 

Conclusion

 

Overall, I’m very pleased with the results with the 400i. There is enough sub bass to offer plenty of  a fun factor and enough good natural tone to the mids to be taken seriously with vocally centered music.  The goal stated by Hifiman was to voice the 400i similarly to he500. I’ll go on record and say that they accomplished that goal. Those two headphones are very similar in their voicing and overall sound signature.  This is a compelling headphone and should make a lot of waves in its price bracket against the likes of the venerable Sennheiser hd6x00 and soon the Oppo PM-2 to name just a few.  My hat is off to Fang and everyone on the Hifiman Team for an excellent product.

 

:beerchug:

 

Miscellaneous:

 

*all testing was done through the Oppo HA-1/Normal Gain/Single ended

 

*Focus A-Pads came on this unit

 

I've been waiting for this, thank you. I really want to try these, is there a demo program, or a seller that allows a trial period?

post #879 of 2540

^Porbably not at the moment, just review pairs for certain people right now.

post #880 of 2540

Thanks for the impressions, I can't wait to demo these somewhere! I was originally going to go for the HD650/HD600 when I learnt about planars, and when I saw how deliciously flat their bass FR was I wanted to buy a pair straight away. Holding out for the 400i though, painful as it may be. And an audition, since I can't buy something so expensive without being 100% sure I want it in the first place.

 

For comfort alone I'm not considering the HE400 and HE500, but from impressions so far these seem to trump both in most areas, especially since I don't want to void the warranty by modding.

 

I'm glad to hear SS amps are recommended, since I plan to be getting an ODA + ODAC to power these. Tubes look interesting, but I don't think my wallet would survive a foray into that particular aspect of audio :( 

post #881 of 2540
Quote:
Originally Posted by garunamodi View Post

Thanks for the impressions, I can't wait to demo these somewhere! I was originally going to go for the HD650/HD600 when I learnt about planars, and when I saw how deliciously flat their bass FR was I wanted to buy a pair straight away. Holding out for the 400i though, painful as it may be. And an audition, since I can't buy something so expensive without being 100% sure I want it in the first place.

For comfort alone I'm not considering the HE400 and HE500, but from impressions so far these seem to trump both in most areas, especially since I don't want to void the warranty by modding.

I'm glad to hear SS amps are recommended, since I plan to be getting an ODA + ODAC to power these. Tubes look interesting, but I don't think my wallet would survive a foray into that particular aspect of audio frown.gif  

You could try a Vali! Schiit has some very nicely priced stuff. (The magni/modi sounded great, so imagine the 02/0DAC will sound nice as well.
post #882 of 2540
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePianoMan View Post


You could try a Vali! Schiit has some very nicely priced stuff. (The magni/modi sounded great, so imagine the 02/0DAC will sound nice as well.

Not O2, ODA ;)

 

I'd be interested in the Schiit products if they had better distribution in Europe and if they came with options. I've not got much money, so I'd far prefer to spend it on DIYing an ODA (designed by agdr) which, on completion, will measure better than the O2, has multiple output jacks, and up to 6 different gain positions. And, if I want, up to 6 different attenuation positions. As far as SS goes it's an end-game amp for anything except the HE-6 (or harder to drive) hps. 

post #883 of 2540
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AxelCloris View Post
 

 

I preferred the HE-400i to the PM-2 when I heard them. Granted neither were 100% finalized so some minor tweaking has gone on since, but both the Oppo and HiFiMAN representatives mentioned that they were near the end of voicing and should have been very close to the final sound. So with that in mind, the 400i ended up being more engaging than the PM-2. The PM-2 had a more balanced response along the bass and mids compared to the 400i. Unfortunately the treble fell off too early for my tastes and the PM-2 ended up lacking some of the energy that the 400i has. If you're looking for a laid-back presentation then you'll probably end up enjoying the PM-2 very much. But from what I heard I'd pick up the 400i every time instead.

 

Of course, Matt will be hearing release versions so his impressions will be both more recent than my own and using the release candidate models. Looking forward to what he thinks.

 

Thank you for the loan!! 


MattTCG, can you please compare the 400i to the Alpha Dogs?  Are they different enough to warrant owning both?

post #884 of 2540

I don't think the 400i lack any bass extension at all. They're perfectly fine next to 400 and 560.

post #885 of 2540
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cute View Post
 


MattTCG, can you please compare the 400i to the Alpha Dogs?  Are they different enough to warrant owning both?

 

I'd say that given one is closed and one is open, that is enough to own both. As far as the signature of the hp's go, I'd say that they make fairly good complements. The AD has a little more pressure with the sub bass, I suppose because of the closed nature. 

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