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DAP shopping---HiFiMAN HM-700

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I am currently using a ZuneHD for my portable audio needs and while I am very happy with it, It is clearly on its last legs after frequent use,drops,etc. I am currently looking for a new player with 30ish gb of space and not a crazy price tag. I saw the HM-700 and it seemed good to me but I am fairly uneducated regarding audio quality specifics and the company Hifiman in general. I guess what I am wondering is will all the claims of superior audio quality make a difference? Is the player worth the price tag? Is there a better, comparable alternative? I am so uneducated Im not certain what to even ask about the product. Any advice or input would be appreciated.

post #2 of 17

There's the Fiio X3 which takes microSD cards vs the 32gb on-board on the HM700, and for about $40 less. However the HM700 comes with an RE400 already wired to take full advantage of its balanced amplifier circuit. I'm inclined to get the HM700, since I don't need my entire library on the go, but Im not too hot about the IEMs considering I already have IEMs that fit me properly and comfortably (but it has a removable cable so I can swap them out for a balanced cable on the HM700, and one with a mic on my smartphone if I can find one). I'm waiting for the Fiio X1 to be released and hopefully I can try this and the HM700 before I make a decision.

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

First off I appreciate the response. I understood most of what you said and from the research I have done, but I am still a little unclear of the balanced cables concept. From what I gather it seems like it allows for better sound quality, but would it be noticeable to someone that is currently listening to YES on a zunehd with 50 dollar Jlab  in ear headphones and completely satisfied with my sound quality? Additionally if i were to get a player with balanced cabling is it something that I would need headphones with balanced cables to take advantage of the benefits and would I need some kind of converter for standard headphones? Thanks again for any help provided. It doesn't benefit anyone but me to respond so I appreciate it.


Edited by jglatt - 2/5/14 at 9:57am
post #4 of 17

Actually, to be perfectly honest, I doubt the balanced circuit would make any huge improvements on my ASG-1, given it's efficient and I am yet to hear a general purpose or otherwise mainstream device fail to drive it properly (in terms of PRAT, distortion in the bass from overexcursion, etc) at my listening levels, but the only reasons why I'd rewire my IEMs for it is because 1) it has removable cables, so I can swap them out as necessary, and 2) I don't want the adaptor for single-ended cables to add bulk to such a sleek device. I don't doubt there can be some improvement, but really it's more of these two as far as I'm concerned.

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

If im understanding correctly, you are saying the whole balanced wiring thing will not be a positive or negative for a layperson such as myself? If that is the case, I guess Im just wondering if this is a player that is worth the money and has good build quality.

post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jglatt View Post
 

If im understanding correctly, you are saying the whole balanced wiring thing will not be a positive or negative for a layperson such as myself? If that is the case, I guess Im just wondering if this is a player that is worth the money and has good build quality.

 

Yes, personally the balanced wiring will only be good for producing more voltage and current for demanding headphones, and using the inluded adapter just gets in the way of the HM700's sleek and thin build, which is why I would bother rewiring my IEMs, given the cables are removable. If however you think you might like the RE400B (already wired balanced) matched to these, then it's a good buy - it's basically a $150 player with a $100 IEM wired specifically for it. The only reason why I wouldn't just jump on this thing is because, like I said, I don't intend to use the RE400 due to how comfortable the ASG-1 is - it relies on the shell shape to help it anchor to my ear rather than on the eartips, so a tight-fit on the tips isn't necessary.

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

Ok I think I'm going to go with a cheaper player with the option for expandable memory.  You have been remarkably helpful and you have saved me a lot of money that would have gone for a player that doesn't really fit my needs.

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jglatt View Post
 

Ok I think I'm going to go with a cheaper player with the option for expandable memory.  You have been remarkably helpful and you have saved me a lot of money that would have gone for a player that doesn't really fit my needs.

 

Well, technically, the HM700 is the cheapest player, if you remove the $100 RE400B it comes with it amounts to around $150, which is cheaper than the X3 and DX50, which will both still need a microSD card (unless you have, say, a 32gb lying around unused). The HM700's price only really goes up if you don't like the RE400B's fit, or have something else you really like, and like me you would consider that adapter a big P.I.T.A. that goes against its form factor :D

You could wait for the Fiio X1 though. It's scheduled for release in a few months and is roughly the size of the iPod Mini, but of course with a beefier amplifier circuit.


Edited by ProtegeManiac - 2/11/14 at 8:07pm
post #9 of 17

did anybody have the chance to compare the hm700 to the older hm601/2 and can comment on sound quality differences?

post #10 of 17

I have HM700 and HM601 Slim 4GB. HM700 sounds way above HM601. The sound of 700 is much more balanced and transparent than that of 601. Battery life of 700 is 2X more than 601 and size halved.

post #11 of 17

from what I am gathering, its not possible to use any headphones you have with hm 700 except ones that come with it? it does not have single ended output but only works balanced? that is very limiting if the case.

post #12 of 17

thanks for the info, didn't know the hm700 only works in balanced mode, this is indeed very limiting....

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhavp View Post
 

from what I am gathering, its not possible to use any headphones you have with hm 700 except ones that come with it? it does not have single ended output but only works balanced? that is very limiting if the case.

 

This is not true.

The newer HM700 shipment will give you two short interconnect cables: one for you to connect popular (unbalanced) iems to HM700; and one for you to connect RE400B to other (unbalanced) players.

However, I think the tone or sound of the HM700 is more old-fashioned and you may not like it or get used to it.

Try to hear it before you buy.

post #14 of 17
Nope, the hm700 works both single ended and in balanced mode.

I just want to add my two cents regarding this player- The UI can be a little sluggish. It can get a little slow when it comes to the scanning of songs. The device may also lag quite a while if you have a huge library of songs. So when you are playing a song and want to press back to go to your list of songs, your device may hang for about 50 seconds before it goes back to your playlist.

This problem should go away if you keep your playlist small or if you separate it according to albums.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by billliu View Post
 

 

This is not true.

The newer HM700 shipment will give you two short interconnect cables: one for you to connect popular (unbalanced) iems to HM700; and one for you to connect RE400B to other (unbalanced) players.

However, I think the tone or sound of the HM700 is more old-fashioned and you may not like it or get used to it.

Try to hear it before you buy.

nice to hear, then it is actually very capable as it has both options - balanced and unbalanced.

 

what do you mean by old-fashioned sound? more analog sounding (highs roll-off), compared to newer DAPs? I have the hm801 and like the fact that it sounds more "analog" (less bright) than other players, that's why I was also thinking about buying the hm601/2 for a more portable option with similar sound tuning to the hm801

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