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Is the HE-400 a significant upgrade from DT 990 PRO's?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi,

I'm thinking about upgrading my dt 990 250 ohm pro's to something more expensive, but people are saying to if you upgrade to more expensive ones, you will not get a technically superior headphone, just different sound signatures.

I'm seeing HE-400 but I don't know if I should pay so much for it (it costs 3 times as much as the DT 990 pros in my country) if the reward from the investment isn't worth it. I'm also using a Fiio E12 amp, and I'm pretty sure a more expensive headphones than my DT 990 pro's requires a much more expensive amp, which I do not plan to buy.

Any advice?

post #2 of 6

The E12 will supply plenty of power to the HE-400. I'm using mine on my DT770 600 ohm as we speak. 

 

It all depends on if you want to find a headphone with a similar signature to the DT990 or not. The DT990 is a very bright headphone, it's brighter than most. I haven't owned the HE-400, or heard one, but many people LOVE the mids of the HE-400. Both the DT990 and the HE-400 seem to have a good amount of bass presence, so there won't be a huge change there. I think if you want to give them a try, go for it. The risk of buying an expensive pair of headphones around here isn't too high. There are always people looking to buy headphones used and save a little money rather than buying a brand new pair, just keep them in tip top shape in case you want to get rid of them.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

If buying a used HE-400, wouldn't the should quality be good, or better than a new one because of burn in?

post #4 of 6

1.) I personally don't believe in burn in and you can always just burn it in yourself.

 

2.) the general consensus on the he-400 thread is that the he-400 has improved bass sound quality (detail/texture/impact/extension) compared to the dt990 and there are people saying other sound quality improvements on the he-400, but i don't remember what exactly was said. of course, i have not been to the dt990 thread to see what they said and I have not had a chance to directly compare the dt990 against the he-400.

 

3.) however, from my personal experience of owning the he-400, I will say they are amazing sounding headphones and their price is currently down to $300 as hifiman is planning on releasing the new he-400i at $500 and the he-560 at $900. I personally don't think you can get any better performance for price at this price bracket up to even $500. (if you are looking for a darker sound signature & love amazing bass).

 

4.) the he-400 will run fine with the e18. it's pretty low impedance and high efficiency. you can actually achieve listenable volumes directly out of a 3.5 jack. some people do say that sound quality improves as you scale up your external equipment, but basically almost any amp will be able to drive the he-400.

 

ymmv :)


Edited by money4me247 - 2/8/14 at 2:21pm
post #5 of 6

I can not speak for the 990 pros but I can speak for the 600ohm premium.  Most of the times people raving about sound quality improvements on head-fi have found a particular headphone that has a sound signature that suits their particular taste more than another headphone.  Very rarely will you have a headphone be a true upgrade to another one.  This holds true all the way to the highest-end of things with LCD3/Abyss/007/009 etc.  This is the same for DT990 vs HE-400 in my opinion.  There are some things the HE-400 do better on a technical level, such as bass extension, but for practicality sake, the biggest difference for you will be their two sound signatures.  You might like the sound signature of the DT990 pro over the HE-400 or vice-verse.  I particularly like the signature of the HE-400 over the DT990.  The HE-400's midbass isn't as 'loud' as the DT990, but its bass extends lower with more authority.  The HE-400 has more present lower mids that make it an overall more warm headphone.  DT990 will have more upper midrange presence as a result of having less upfront lower mids.  Both have a good treble peak, although the DT990's affects a wider area than the HE-400's.  I find myself EQ'ing the treble of both down.

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post
 

I can not speak for the 990 pros but I can speak for the 600ohm premium.  Most of the times people raving about sound quality improvements on head-fi have found a particular headphone that has a sound signature that suits their particular taste more than another headphone.  Very rarely will you have a headphone be a true upgrade to another one.  This holds true all the way to the highest-end of things with LCD3/Abyss/007/009 etc.  This is the same for DT990 vs HE-400 in my opinion.  There are some things the HE-400 do better on a technical level, such as bass extension, but for practicality sake, the biggest difference for you will be their two sound signatures.  You might like the sound signature of the DT990 pro over the HE-400 or vice-verse.  I particularly like the signature of the HE-400 over the DT990.  The HE-400's midbass isn't as 'loud' as the DT990, but its bass extends lower with more authority.  The HE-400 has more present lower mids that make it an overall more warm headphone.  DT990 will have more upper midrange presence as a result of having less upfront lower mids.  Both have a good treble peak, although the DT990's affects a wider area than the HE-400's.  I find myself EQ'ing the treble of both down.

+1. that is a good explanation :) yea, alotta times people talk about sound quality improvements but it is more sound signature stuff that they are noticing. the he-400 does have a really linear bass and has some sonic technical advantages over other headphones, but the best way to figure out if a pair of headphones sound better is to try em out yourself & see if you like em! :)

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