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= HiFiMAN HE-560 Impressions & Discussion Thread = - Page 169

post #2521 of 17297

With regard to the "10-12kHz" region, I feel that region is far too much in my HE-400. My EQ'd HE-400 is much tamer going from 9kHz to 14kHz. I hope the HE-560 doesn't have that same treble emphasis, which from your impression it doesn't seem to. Thanks for the comparison, by the way!

post #2522 of 17297

HE-560's treble can get uncontrolled at times too with regards to harshness.  I think a simple EQ or mod can fix it.

post #2523 of 17297
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post
 

HE-560's treble can get uncontrolled at times too with regards to harshness.  I think a simple EQ or mod can fix it.

Added your impressions to first post.

 

The lower treble emphasis does seem to be a bit of a crux on the overall HE560 signature. It doesn't bother me much and in some ways it enhances the flavour of music. It'll be interesting to see proper measurements...especially CSDs, hopefully soon.

 

Edit: the difference in overall treble smoothness and 'real' detail extraction is staggering going from HE400 to HE560 though, it's not in the same ball park, not even the same city.


Edited by jerg - 5/17/14 at 11:24am
post #2524 of 17297
Clearly not!
post #2525 of 17297

I'm not a fan of those types of hyperbole.

post #2526 of 17297
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post
 

I'm not a fan of those types of hyperbole.

And I'm not a fan of people using songs exclusively for audio reviews. So what?

 

This is something I'm starting to embrace nowadays, that often objective differences might be small when we are talking high-end headphones, but the brain derives so much more enjoyment from these seemingly minuscule improvements.

 

In a way it's like if "A" does something at 95% of perfection, and "B" does 97%, it's only 2% improvement, but conversely it is a 40% improvement if you calculate based on how much closer it gets to 100%. So in measurements we see 2%, but an acute ear would perceive closer to the 40%.


Edited by jerg - 5/17/14 at 11:55am
post #2527 of 17297

Let's put it this way.  If I spent one week with HE-560 and went back to the HE-400 I would not miss the HE-560's detail extraction capabilities over the HE-400.  It's not staggering, but it's there.  What I would miss however, would be that headband.  Others who appreciate a linear signature would probably miss the more controlled upper treble and more present upper midrange of course.

post #2528 of 17297
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post
 

Let's put it this way.  If I spent one week with HE-560 and went back to the HE-400 I would not miss the HE-560's detail extraction capabilities over the HE-400.  It's not staggering, but it's there.  What I would miss however, would be that headband.  Others who appreciate a linear signature would probably miss the more controlled upper treble and more present upper midrange of course.

Detail extraction isn't just about quantity, quality is just as critical. I find HE400's treble detail extraction to be inferior to my modded HE500's because though the former pushes detail forward more aggressively, it is a hot mess and I often find it hard to pick out real details. 

post #2529 of 17297
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post
 

HE-560 Impressions:

 

 

I won't go too much into looks and build quality because most of it has been covered.  I have the pre-order version and emailed hifiman to send me it anyways without the currently worked upon upgrades.  As is with most anything wooden, the HE-560 looks considerably better in person than in pictures.  The teak cups have a deep richness to them with an eggshell finish, so they're not completely matte.  The transition from cup to the pleather of the earpad is solid feeling, and I'm glad the new pads don't have the little rubber lip to them as the previous velours did.  The headband both looks and feels very nice and sturdy, the stitching and finish of the suspension strap is top notch.  Overall the 560 is a big leap in build over the HE-400 at least, and I'm sure the other previous HE models as well.  Comfort is for the most part outstanding: I haven't had a headband disappear on the top of my head like this other than the AD700 with its wing system.  The earpads are a mixed bag.  I'm not too upset over the choice to use velour on the surface of the pads over pleather or leather, but from time to time they can get slightly itchy-- is as with most things velour on the skin.  The openings of the earpads themselves are big enough for me, although I take bigger issue in the actual depth of the pads, as my ears gently touch the fabric covering the diaphragm, and I assume will touch them even more as the pads compress over time due to their plush nature.  I will be getting the larger earpads and see how those pan out when Hifiman eventually rolls them out.  A couple of people have mentioned the yokes being too close to the cups and wearing the finish of the wood some.  That is indeed true and I hope it gets resolved.  I'm surprised something so glaring would make it past alpha stage.  I went into a lot of detail afterall-- oh well.

 

 

When I ran my first song through the HE-560 I thought it sounded cold and a bit diffused (keep in mind I'm coming from an EQ'd HE-400, but other neutralish headphones like the Focal Spirit Pro and Audeze LCD-XC were warmer even still.)  I wasn't too happy with what I heard.  The bass hit a bit soft, and the mids sounded the tiniest congested.  However multiple hours later I realized that it's actually pretty hard to pinpoint an actual overall sound characteristic of the HE-560, it tends to transform sonically according to whatever recording is being played through it, more so than any other headphone I've heard.  This is most likely attributed to its neutrality.  However through careful listening, observation, and pink noise, I've come to realize that there might be a little of a trouble spot in the lower treble area-- somewhere along the lines of 'ch' and 'th' sibilance-- I'm guessing the 6-8khz area.  The HE-560 exhibited sibilance in this area in some songs that my EQ'd HE-400 did not (and my EQ'd HE-400 still has quite a bit of treble, more so than the HE-560 in the 10-12khz range.)  On certain songs the lower midrange of the HE-560 tends to sound too soft and lacking focus/body, but on others it's fine.  I'm thinking it actually might not be linear to 1khz like most others and starts rolling off gently after the upper bass of 250hz down to 2khz or so, giving it less thickness than the usual planar magnetic, and making it a bit dry sounding... depending on the song.  However on other recordings it can sound very low-mid heavy, so it's hard to be conclusive about this-- I know it's weird but at times I think I'm listening to the EQ'd HE-400 when I still have the HE-560 on my head.  That says something about this headphone's ability to change its sonic presentation depending on the recording and the consistency of Hifiman's house sound between their products.

 

The bass extension is about on par with the HE-400.  The bass of the HE-560 might have slightly more presence in the 25-30hz area, but the difference shouldn't be enough to make any appreciable difference while listening; it doesn't extend as well as an Audeze.  The impact of the bass feels soft in general, especially compared to the HE-400, which is more authoritative and snappy down low in general.  I think it was Jerg who mentioned that Hifiman will be working on improving the bass for the 'production' release of the HE-560, and I think that will be a warm welcome.  The balance of the HE-560's bass is well in line to my ears, but the impact could use a bit of strengthening.

 

The actual soundstage of the HE-560 seems to be on par with the HE-400, which isn't a bad thing but a good thing.  It's not massive like the HD800.  That's that.

 

 

The HE-560 is the most detailed pair of headphones I've had the pleasure of listening to so far.  I've listened to the HD800 multiple times, but never had sessions long enough  to my own to really get a sense for their detail.  The treble of the HE-560 is very articulate, well in balance in the 10-12khz region, decently extended, and a little hard in the lower region around 6-8khz.  Strings are rendered extremely well on the HE-560, and I've been able to pick out subtle details in recordings I'm well familiar with that other headphones just plain glaze over (common expression I know.)  The lower midrange is as good as the HE-400 when it comes instrument separation when multiple instruments harmonize together, and giving a wealth of textural layering as a result-- which is to say it's better than the Audeze offerings.

 

When Hifiman eventually releases the 'production' model with supposedly improved bass performance for more impact and a sweeter sound, plus larger earpads for improved comfort, I think you'd be extremely hard-pressed to find a better all-rounder under 1000 dollars than these.  Aesthetics, comfort, build, neutrality and detail retrieval, the HE-560 has it all.

 

 

I will be getting the Audeze LCD-X next week and I'll be posting a short but concise comparison between the two then.  If the LCD-XC was any indication, I might like the LCD-X better, but who knows.

 

The points I've highlighted raise a small degree of concern to me. The bass will be probably fine with the retail version. The treble tizz/sibilance though does worry me a bit.

What was the setup you used? DAC and amp please.

post #2530 of 17297

Although I can't comment on the HE-500 I could agree with you if you were listening to the HE-400 with unEQ'd treble.  Massive treble spikes do tend to push macro-detail aggressively in your face, like the saliva in a singer's mouth of a hand on guitar strings.  Do note that a lot of headphones play that trick though.  HD800, T1, and yes even the 560 to an extent, all varying amounts of elevated treble to push macro-detail into your face.  I am referring to more subtle cues though, like tiny bits of instruments I hear 6-7 layers deep into the recording, tiny amounts of dynamic changes within those said instruments, ambience cues, and so forth.  I found that those types of elements manifested with components all throughout the frequency range and not just the treble.  HE-400 is very good and portraying detail throughout its lower midrange and not just its treble, and not because it has an elevated treble.  I also don't know what real detail is supposed to mean; anything in the recording is real.  What is fake detail?  Something that's added to the recording during the mixing process?

 

Either way the point I'm trying to get across that while the refinement and aptitude of the HE-560 to dig down really deep into the recording to extract very subtle cues is very great, I still don't think it's a dramatic jump from the HE-400.. just a nice, small step up. (Which is a good thing to have because usually you don't even get that half the time with the nature of dramatically steep diminishing returns in the business.)  This isn't a shot at the HE-560 to insinuate that I don't think it's all that it's not what it was hyped up to be.  It's saying that I think it's a good performing headphone for the money, and is an appropriate step up from lesser-priced headphones.


Edited by TMRaven - 5/17/14 at 12:39pm
post #2531 of 17297
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post
 

The stiffness doesn't bother me at all.  I like the shortened length too.

 

That's what she said.

 

BTW, has anyone heard from RazorDog on HE-560 pre-orders?  Will we be getting the newer version?

post #2532 of 17297
Quote:
Originally Posted by conquerator2 View Post
 

 

The points I've highlighted raise a small degree of concern to me. The bass will be probably fine with the retail version. The treble tizz/sibilance though does worry me a bit.

What was the setup you used? DAC and amp please.

Don't worry, it's nothing like a not-so-well driven HE-6.

This is very marginal and depending on the equipment and the song, you might well not hear it at all. I can hear it - on only very few songs - with the DA8, but I've never heard that with the SA-2.

It could also well be that the resolving power of the 560 show the defect of the Sabre sound, in which case the culprit is the DAC and not the headphone.

With your m-stage, you should have no such problem :beerchug: 

 

Also, the bass comparison with Audeze put a smile on my face: sure, if Audeze is your reference, the Hifiman bass will probably sound light on its feet (though very agile). Conversely, if Hifiman is your reference (it is mine), the Audeze just sound like a heavy Elephant. YMMV.

 

My Audeze experience is limited to the LCD-X I owned and I was pretty underwhelmed by it, considering the price.

The X also exhibited a treble emphasis in some not so welcomed regions, that manifested as an increased hiss in songs. Not pleasant if you ask me. I don't know if that's a downside of the planar magnetic technology? The Alpha Dogs had a treble spike too.


Edited by Clemmaster - 5/17/14 at 12:54pm
post #2533 of 17297
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post
 

Don't worry, it's nothing like a not-so-well driven HE-6.

This is very marginal and depending on the equipment and the song, you might well not hear it at all. I can hear it - on only very few songs - with the DA8, but I've never heard that with the SA-2.

It could also well be that the resolving power of the 560 show the defect of the Sabre sound, in which case the culprit is the DAC and not the headphone.

With your m-stage, you should have no such problem :beerchug: 

 

Also, the bass comparison with Audeze put a smile on my face: sure, if Audeze is your reference, the Hifiman bass will probably sound light on its feet (though very agile). Conversely, if Hifiman is your reference (it is mine), the Audeze just sound like a heavy Elephant. YMMV.

 

My Audeze experience is limited to the LCD-X I owned and I was pretty underwhelmed by it, considering the price.

The X also exhibited a treble emphasis in some not so welcomed regions, that manifested as an increased hiss in songs. Not pleasant if you ask me. I don't know if that's a downside of the planar magnetic technology? The Alpha Dogs had a treble spike too.

Thanks :beerchug:

Then again, most dynamic have a treble spike as well... It wasn't nearly as problematic with the HE-6 as I recall [my comparison is my current over-achiever the K612, which has a treble spike too...]

I might roll a different op-amp if I don't like something [my current LME49710 does not push vocals nearly as much as my other op-amps LM4562, OPA2134, LT1364,... so I am still getting used to it. I am also starting to think that the MStage might as well drive them fine... Otherwise I'll have to look at the Compass 2/NFB 28]

Regardless, thanks! I am sure I might not get as much annoyance from that treble tizz, since I am used to lesser, much cheaper dynamics now and I suspect that my bass reference - K612 - is much more in line with the HiFiMANs as I remember, which is ruler flat from high bass to sub-bass, no emphasis anywhere.

Cheers :L3000: 

post #2534 of 17297
Quote:
Originally Posted by drews View Post
 

 

That's what she said.

 

BTW, has anyone heard from RazorDog on HE-560 pre-orders?  Will we be getting the newer version?

 

Yeah I'm wondering about this too. I'm assuming we'll be getting the final final version since I haven't heard anything from RazorDog for like a month.

post #2535 of 17297
Quote:
 

It could also well be that the resolving power of the 560 show the defect of the Sabre sound, in which case the culprit is the DAC and not the headphone.

 

Maybe a AKM4399 dac with perfect analog stage would fix the tiz

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