Pretty much the same.
Edited by Edwood - 3/28/14 at 6:57am
Pretty much the same.
HE-560 INITIAL IMPRESSIONS (before my review):
I probably won't post much more after this until I've had several intensive listening sessions with the HE-560 for my review, which will include these comments below.
I received the HE-560 today, and plugged them into my Nuforce CDP-8 > PWD Mk2 coax > ZDT amp right away. I was impressed right away in the first 5 minutes. Again, the following was with just a 60 second listen with 5 or 6 songs off the CD player before heading out the door tonight. I'll need to spend many days with them to get a more accurate idea of how they perform.
My initial thoughts about them when I put on the HE-560 to listen were (1) spacious (2) detailed and crisp (3) fast. I'd say that my 1st thought was actually on the soundstage, where the HE-560 reminded me a little of my HE-60 - the sound seemed to come from everywhere except the ear cups. I need to listen more to see if they have a somewhat more vague & wide imaging and/or placement of instruments, there just wasn't time tonight. The HE-5 had that issue with imaging which was improved with the HE-5LE and then HE-500, but the others never had this large of a head-stage. Their soundstage may very well belong in the elite group with HD800, SR-009, and HE-60.
I can say that they are not as forward sounding as the HE-500, and they sound more light and airy or delicate than my HE-500 which sound a little more rich and organic at times. Maybe the description would be, they have more finesse and speed (like a stat) than the HE-500. This probably brings them closer to the HE-6 (which I did not compare to yet tonight). PRAT is excellent.
From this brief exposure I'd say they are fairly well balanced sounding, as far as frequency response goes. Bass is tight and fast, mids are crisp and clear, and treble for me was sparkly or plucky. You could almost believe the guitar was in the room with you. With my 52 year old ears I won't know if they are more or less extended in the treble than the HE-500 or HE-6 though, even when I compare them side by side later with test tones and music. They may still turn out to be a little more dry and analytical than my HE-6 when I compare them later, but they were just as smooth and grain free during my brief listen.
The 560's disappear pretty quickly, physically and audibly, due to excellent transparency, out of head projection, and light weight. Comfort is improved with the ear pads being more like the HE-60 pads, and due to the big drop in weight vs all of my other orthodynamics (although I think these are planar dynamic not ortho, right?). Compared to the HE-500 these things could float away.
I was heading out the door and couldn't listen much till tomorrow, but I did try them briefly with my iPad Air and I felt that it could drive them fairly well, although the volume was set at 75-95% most of the time. Lack of power didn't result in a lack of bass, and with the iPad at 100% there was no distortion - it was louder than I like for casual listening but not close to concert levels. They definitely benefit from an amp, but they are not unusable at all un-amped.
Most of the time I know immediately after putting on a headphone if I would enjoy owning them or not. Occasionally a headphone sounds nice when listened to by itself at first, but over time when you compare them to others then their flaws become quite apparent when you switch back (Edition 9 for example). This is not one of those - it's a headphone I would absolutely want to own, and it doesn't fall down in comparison to the HE-500. I'm sure it will stand up to my other phones as well.
Only need one open can at this point.. That being said, I'll be watching this thread religiously for Jerg's impressions vs. his modded HE-500. I have Jergpads coming in (Modular's next batch) and will be doing the regrilling mod tomorrow. If he finds the difference to be minute that I'll definitely keep the HE-500 (I LOVE them with my stock tubed Project Ember).
Larry pretty much was very accurate in some of the things I heard after about 7 hrs of listening to it yesterday. The bass is nice and deep with impact. The midrange is excellent and the treble has no harshness or glare. The HE560 has excellent prat with very good transparency. It also is very accurate with instrument tonality. The soundstage is similar to the other Hifiman headphone . I think this is a step up from the HE500 and have not done extensive comparison to the HE6 which I will do over the next couple of weeks and compare the HE560 to the Audeze phones and Dan Clarks magnificent Alpha Dog. I think the musicality from the HE560 is admirable in a headphone priced this competitively.
I am proud of what Fang has been able to accomplish with the improvements and to lessen the weight of the planar headphone without sacrificing sound quality. I was able to spend the time yesterday without any discomfort. The sound coming from both the GSX MK11 and WA5 both very transparent amplifiers that reveal major faults and the HE560 delivered the music with you are there realism and musicality. More to come as the day and weeks come and a full review.
Thanks to all the guys posting impressions here. The head-fi faithful have been waiting, somewhat impatiently on my part, to hear what this new hp could do.
I'm glad to hear that the 560 can sound decent from lesser sources and still be enjoyable, which the he6 could not. I wonder how much "scale" the 560 offers with better amps and sources. If anyone who is reviewing has a lyr, I'd appreciate some thoughts (my amp for planar mags).
Thanks guys and keep up the good work. Could someone fix jerg a cup of coffee?
I'm also a Hifiman's fan. Looks like He560 has all the strength of He6; speed, imaging, tactility.
In my opinion one of the He6's weakness is it's prone to have sibilance at singer's voice (PS1000 and HD800 also have sibilance problem but LCD3 and LCD-X don't.)
Could you please comment to this aspect of He560?
Thanks Jerg. I would say transient response is what causes transparency (the transfer of low level detail by quick diaphram movement), so yeah in my mind they're the same thing. I'm guessing by your reaction that the 560 is indeed a bit more transparent than the HE-500, which is good news.
Looks like Fang really delivered with this one. I guess the only thing that I'm dissapointed by is that it's just as inefficient as the HE-500. I was hoping it would be considerably easier to drive like the HE-400. Oh well, at least we have the HE-400i coming.
Also, I find it weird that the magnets are on the outer side rather than the inner to prevent reflections (Abyss). I guess there must be technical reasons Fang is doing this I can't fathom as a non-engineer.
To be fair they did release the efficiency specs and HE560 is 90dB/mW, compared to HE500's 89dB/mW, so basically the same with some decimals rounded off. It shouldn't be much of a surprise. The cool thing is these are single-ended so drivers are like 60% the weight, yet efficiency is retained.
The magnets on the inner side would induce baffle reflections (see my fuzzor mod, also Purrin did a similar mod for his Abyss), maybe Hifiman just doesn't want to deal with it for their new line.