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Hifiman he-400i Impressions and Discussion - Page 7

post #91 of 2132
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaver316 View Post
 

 

Honestly, if the HE-400i sorts out the sonic issues of the HE-400 (treble and upper mids) and retains it's positive aspects (speed, bass) whilst being lighter, more comfortable, and only $100 more, then Hifiman have a real winner on their hands here.

It already exists. Only, it's $50 more, and a bit harder to drive. :)

post #92 of 2132

Will the HE-400i be an improvement SQ-wise over the original HE-400? I'm planning to buy new headphones come summer and HE-400 were under my consideration along with the Sennheiser HD 650. Better comfortability and possible SQ improvements might tip the scales towards the new HE-400i. 

post #93 of 2132
Thread Starter 

This is direct from Peter at hifiman:

 

Wow, it is great to see all the interest in the upcoming HiFiMAN HE models. 

 

Here are a few responses to answer comments and questions:

 

Headband- the new design has nothing to do with cost of manufacturing. The cost is in the tooling. Goals were to decrease weight, increase comfort and improve serviceability. The "squareish" design is to increase travel so it accommodates wide range in head sizes.

 

Appearance- feedback we had at CES to the appearance of the samples was universally positive. 

 

Sonic signatures- yes, they are still being tweaked so any comment on what they will sound like is premature. My sense is that HE-400i will sound more like current HE-500 and HE-560 will sound like HE-6 with a slightly wider soundstage. 

 

Efficiency- sensitivity will be same or better than current models. 

 

All aspects of the designs are still being improved. Our CES showing was a preview to take advantage of such a large international launch and to get feedback. Official launch will take place as we get closer to delivery.

 

Thanks to everyone for their interest. If you are in the NYC area and want to hear the HE-560, Fang will have it at AC Gears this Thursday evening Jan 23rd. www.acgears.com

 

Peter 

 

 

I have just found my new hp. :veryevil:


Edited by MattTCG - 1/20/14 at 4:25am
post #94 of 2132
Thread Starter 

So the gist of it is I believe, that hifiman is going after a more lush sound with the 400i and a more airy spacious signature with the 560. That it if these comments are accurate and believe that they are. 

 

I prefer a darker more lush signature, so this is just fantastic news for me. The 400i will be right in my comfort zone. I have always loved the signature of the he500 but weight and price have always put me off from it. Now, if hifiman can pull this off and put the sound of the he500 in a lighter more comfortable package. That would be exciting stuff indeed. 

post #95 of 2132
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post
 

So the gist of it is I believe, that hifiman is going after a more lush sound with the 400i and a more airy spacious signature with the 560. That it if these comments are accurate and believe that they are. 

 

I prefer a darker more lush signature, so this is just fantastic news for me. The 400i will be right in my comfort zone. I have always loved the signature of the he500 but weight and price have always put me off from it. Now, if hifiman can pull this off and put the sound of the he500 in a lighter more comfortable package. That would be exciting stuff indeed. 


It is still unclear if Hifiman is going for total product segment differentiation or if these phones represent more of a generational change. Because the aesthetics and features are so similar between all their products, there is nothing to sell on aside from sound quality, really.

 

Here is an attempt to summarize (make your own suggestions)

 

HE-400 $400 Fang claims "JBL-like" sound, double-sided driver. Somewhat recessed upper midrange highlights bass and treble. Tizz, sibilance noted. Noted for bass depth, texture, and punch. Much beloved value-leader in Headphonia. Apparent damping issues addressed with modded pleather pads, or use of velour pads.

HE-4 $450 - "First V-Shaped" frequency response, single-sided Driver, according to Headphonia. Have been described as superior to the HD-650s and HE-400s overall by Thujone ('equal to the HE-500s', aggressive, fast, and natural) - if less efficient.

HE-400i (unreleased) $500 "Electrostat / Abyss / HE-500-like" sound, single-sided driver. New sound and higher price may or may not place it as a good value. Will efficiency exceed the HE-400? HE-500 comparison invites possibility that V-Shape will not be present. Early indications (IMO) are that they risk more distortion, and will be 'fast'. Too fast?

HE-500 $700 "European-like / warmer / natural" sound, double-sided driver, Lush midrange, tame-er treble. Well balanced sound wins over Tyll. Too expensive to be accessible to all, but too cheap to not be outstanding value in high-end phones. Less efficient. Fang comments that HE-500 offers a similar sonic signature to the HE-6 with less expensive amps, albeit with less ultimate resolution.

HE-560 (unreleased) $900 "HE-6-like" sound, Single-sided driver, more open. Higher efficiency helps negate need for massive amps. Few have probably heard an HE-6, so this phone is hardest to 'guess'. But frequent comparison to HE-500 online beg the question - is it outselling the HE-400? Is that the sonic signature the founder prefers? Is that the signature 'the market' is preferring?

HE-6 $1200 "Flagship" noted for slightly elevated treble, tizz. Probably lowest distortion outside of HE-500. Fang comments that HE-6 pushes driver to 'limit', with trade-off being low efficiency - but, HE-6 can offer ultimate performance given the right equipment.

 

If both the 400i and 560 are are taking, as starting points, the HE-500 and HE-6, then it would seem Hifiman is trying to go up the performance ladder at lower price points. Given that Fang himself considers the HE-500 not totally unlike the HE-6, it would seem that the HE-500 represents sonic goals. This is a good thing, as that should indicate tamer treble and a more balanced overall sound signature. If even the HE-6 has been noted for a willingness to play up treble, I expect somewhat aggressive sound. But clearly, Hifiman is sort of"filling in pricing gaps" left between models. Summarizing in very simple terms what each can's claim to fame has been does not make a compelling case for choosing one model over another . . .

 

But the real critical change is the switch (or, I guess, return) to single-sided drivers, and I think that speed is going to be the biggest sonic change, though I am not sure those what with more experience with Hifiman's product range would say about the differences in sound between models, typically. Perhaps this is an evolution of the previous single-sided designs, to be followed in the coming years with more double-sided cans.


Edited by MrMateoHead - 1/22/14 at 2:34pm
post #96 of 2132
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

 

I have just found my new hp. :veryevil:

 

All of these reports are certainly whetting my appetite for the HE-400i. Can't wait to see the first impressions start rolling in.

post #97 of 2132

@MrMateoHeadThujone is totally going to freak out on you for leaving off his beloved HE-4.

post #98 of 2132

lol is it better to have double sided or single sided magnets? it is really unclear. i understand you can have good or crappy headphones with either tech, but what are the real-life, actually noticeable pros & cons of the two different approaches?

post #99 of 2132

They both have tradeoffs.  In theory, double sided offers a true isodynamic field with better diaphragm control and less distortion, while single-ended offers less weight for better comfort and less resonance for a more spacious perceived sound, but has less diaphragm control.

post #100 of 2132

As long as the build quality is improved, I am sure the rest won't disappoint :]

post #101 of 2132
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post
 

They both have tradeoffs.  In theory, double sided offers a true isodynamic field with better diaphragm control and less distortion, while single-ended offers less weight for better comfort and less resonance for a more spacious perceived sound, but has less diaphragm control.

lol that is what i thought... i would imagine that double sided would offer better potential for sound quality improvements. like the at&t comericials that state the obvious: more is better.

 

weird how the abyss is single sided & there is all this hype over the single-drivers of the he-4. i would imagine it's more the tuning or whatever than the single-sided-ness.

post #102 of 2132
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post

lol that is what i thought... i would imagine that double sided would offer better potential for sound quality improvements. like the at&t comericials that state the obvious: more is better.

weird how the abyss is single sided & there is all this hype over the single-drivers of the he-4. i would imagine it's more the tuning or whatever than the single-sided-ness.
I would too wink.gif
I imagine the difference would be negligible if tuned correctly.
post #103 of 2132
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 

@MrMateoHeadThujone is totally going to freak out on you for leaving off his beloved HE-4.


Edited. I see it priced for about $450, but someone else should tell me what the $0.01 sonic characteristics are like. Where does it fit it?

post #104 of 2132
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 

lol that is what i thought... i would imagine that double sided would offer better potential for sound quality improvements. like the at&t comericials that state the obvious: more is better.

 

weird how the abyss is single sided & there is all this hype over the single-drivers of the he-4. i would imagine it's more the tuning or whatever than the single-sided-ness.


I am trying to do research on the single / double sided thing. There is a suggestion out there that one of the important tradeoffs could be that single-sided risks more distortion, primarily because there is less control over the diaphragm and lower linear drive limits. Where will the distortion appear? I am not sure, but I suspect the lower frequencies through to the midrange. On the other had, I assume that the diaphragm will be waaaay less obstructed from your ear, like a dynamic driver. Also the weight savings and reduced complexity should be economic gains.

 

So, unfortunately, the initial research doesn't make this a clear case of "single-ended > double-ended". Implementation is going to be critical.

post #105 of 2132

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