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HiFiMan HE-560 Review

post #1 of 203
Thread Starter 

HiFiMan HE-560 Review

 

Review to come, need some quality, quiet, late night listening time for a few days.  I will update this thread soon.  In the meantime, enjoy the pics.

 

Review is in progress.

 

 

 

 

HARDWARE USED

Source = HiFiMan HM-901
Amp = HiFiMan EF-6


HEADPHONES COMPARED

HE-6
HE-500


MUSIC USED


COMFORT AND WEARABILITY

- New Headband is the largest improvement, much more comfortable, A larger range of adjustment, and now suitable for those with other than large and larger heads. There is less clamping force.
- The new Hybrid Leather / Velour Faced Earpads are the best of both worlds.  The softness and suppleness of leather, with the more hot weather friendly velour touching your face.  There is a slight angle to the pads, being thicker at the back.  The stitching is not easily felt on the face.

- Weight, the HE-560 weighs significantly less than the HE-6.  The HE-560 weighs in at 395grams(?Oz), while the HE-6 weighs in a heftier 557grams(?Oz).

 

 

FIT and FINISH

The Ear cups are now made of Teak wood with a satin, very smooth finish to the wood.  The styling is refined, without being flashy.  The Headband is glossy painted spring steel.  The ear cup hangers and headband sling adjusters are a matte black plastic.

 

 

INDUSTRIAL DESIGN AND STYLING

HiFiMan takes an evolutionary approach to styling, with form following function.  The ear cups are the familiar cylinder shape with chamfered edges. The ear cups depth are shallower now, so they are not quite as thick, meaning they will stick out slightly less than the HE-500 and HE-6. (Measurements?)  The Cables use the same connectors as before, but the connector exits are at a more forward angle, so they are worn, the cables exits are tilted forward rather than straight down.

Most notable change is the Headband.  Completely new, the new headband employs a single spring steel headband for tension, while an adjustable headband sling is what rests on the top of your head.  The sling is attached to the sides with adjusters that have positive notches for adjustment up and down, giving a much wider range of adjustment than the previous HiFiMan HE headphones.  The Adjustments are fixed dimple holes, so they do not have the finer adjustment of the predecessors. You can somewhat get an in between half step adjustment by raising or lowering just one side rather than both at once.  I have a rather large head, but I still have 1 notch left over on both sides.  My wife has never been able to wear the previous HE Headphones without wrapping a towel or cloth around the headband to reduce the headspace clearance height, but the HE-560 at the

smallest adjustment fits her perfectly.

The Ear Pads are completely new as well.  Inspired by Sennheiser and jerg's ear pad modifications, they are a very soft, thin, and lambskin like PU Leather on the sides, and a fine plush velvet microfiber on the face sides.  They are very finely stitched together, I do not feel any scratchy protrusions from seam stitching.  The attachment method is

the same as previous HE Headphones, so you can buy these new Ear Pads separately for use with previous HE Headphones like the HE-500 and HE-6.
Since the ear pads are deeper, angled, and reflect the sound a bit due to the less acoustically transparent PU Leather, they do alter the sound characteristics.  So far, I am finding that these pads give a slight increase in bass due to the better seal of sound.  There are some undesirable sound changes as well as desirable changes with the HE-6, depending on your sound preferences.  I found that these Ear Pads slightly soften the edge of the high treble frequencies of the HE-6.  The Mid bass does seems to get a bit more emphasized due to the aforementioned better seal.  Overall, the added internal sound reflection of these new ear pads reduce the tranparency and airiness of the HE-6 for me, giving it a bit more of a tunnelish honkiness to the soundstage signature.   

 

 

SOUND QUALITY

 

SOUNDSTAGE
The HE-560 has a wider and more even soundstage presentation than the HE-6. Comparing the soundstages from what I can hear with the HE-560 vs. the HE-6, the HE-560 is more of a pinched oval while the HE-6 is more squished circular in shape (Not a perfect circle). <Insert Image Illustration> The HE-560 has a wider soundstage, but less deep than the HE-6.  The HE-6 has a deeper soundstage, but not as wide.  

<HE-500 comparison here>
The HE-560 is not quite as airy and transparent as the HE-6, though.

 

DETAILS
The HE-560 is a big improvement in details compared to the HE-500.  Compared to the HE-6, it's very close, almost too close to call.  A lot of the sound quality differences come down to the soundstage and especially in dynamics, which will be addressed below.

 

PRAT (Pace Rhythm and Timing)


DYNAMICS
The #1 area where the HE-6 is still superior to the HE-560.  The HE-560 is still no slouch or laid back by any standard.  It just lacks the sheer punch and viseralness of the HE-6 when properly amped.  


FREQUENCY RESPONSE

-BASS - Tight and extends low.  Bass is tighter than HE-500 and a little bit tighter than the HE-6 as well.  I can feel bass all the way down to 12 Hz, although this feat was to be expected as previous HE-500 and HE-6 are able extend that low as well.

-TREBLE - Far smoother than the HE-6, but more extension than the HE-500.   

-MID RANGE - More neutral than the HE-500, but still a bit warmer than the HE-6.  The HE-560 is more reference level sound than colored, but not too analytical sounding.


CONCLUSION

 

 

For those that are wondering, this HE-560 weighs in at 395g vs the HE-6 weighing in at a hefty 557g.

 

Between the Leather(pleather?) Velour faced Ear pads, the new head band, and the lighter weight, the HE-560 is one of the most comfortable headphones I've ever worn.

 

Also, the biggest stand out so far is how fast and smooth the sounds are, especially the treble.


Edited by Edwood - 5/10/14 at 8:05pm
post #2 of 203
Thread Starter 

 

Placeholder


Edited by Edwood - 3/26/14 at 6:35pm
post #3 of 203
Thread Starter 

HiFiMan's Offical Press Release

 

 

The HiFiMAN HE-560 is a premium quality, full-size planar magnetic headphone designed for reference quality use in the home or studio. 
 
HE-560 is 30% lighter than comparable planar magnetic headphones allowing the listener to comfortably enjoy music for hours on end. In addition, a newly-designed headband and  beveled ear pads provide added comfort as well as improved sound quality.
 
Using single-ended drivers, HE-560 delivers a lifelike soundstage and spatial imaging. Its increased efficiency allows it to be driven with a modest size amplifier. A premium cable is included comprised of Crystalline metal with Oxygen-free copper and silver.  
 
HE-560 features Teak wood ear cups for a rich classic look.  
 
The HiFiMAN HE-560 will be available in April 2014 with an MSRP of $899. 
 
  • Single-ended planar magnetic driver provides superior soundstage and spatial imaging
  • 30% lighter than other full-size planar magnetic designs for increased comfort
  • Increased efficiency so it is easier to drive
  • Beveled ear pads for increased comfort 
  • Newly-designed cable of Crystalline metal featuring Oxygen-free copper and Oxygen-free silver

Edited by Edwood - 3/27/14 at 11:07am
post #4 of 203

God you 560 sample testers are teaser whores.  I came in expecting a full review :(

 

The pics are high quality though, thanks for them.  I still wonder why hifiman refuses to use oval openings for their earpads and stick with the same crappy circular opening.


Edited by TMRaven - 3/26/14 at 6:29pm
post #5 of 203

Yes, I shall wait

 

Edit; If Hifiman really wants to succeed in making the perfect HE, while pertaining to the drive-ability of the He-500, then they only need to improve on the original He-500. Extra 6K treble is not necessary, just a faster transient response. But that is extremely hard to achieve with a looser diaphragm and high efficiency. The tonality of the He-500's is hard to disagree with; they just lack speed to achieve near perfection and total control.


Edited by headphonatic - 3/26/14 at 6:40pm
post #6 of 203

Looking forward to the review. Headband stayed the same it seems?

post #7 of 203
We shall all wait for this review.
post #8 of 203

I want those pads!!!

Do the stitching directly on the surface feel odd at all? And are they angled pads?


Edited by Soundsgoodtome - 3/26/14 at 6:38pm
post #9 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post
 

God you 560 sample testers are teaser whores.  I came in expecting a full review :(

 

The pics are high quality though, thanks for them.  I still wonder why hifiman refuses to use oval openings for their earpads and stick with the same crappy circular opening.

Well the earcup is round... and this will minimize resonances etc

post #10 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post
 

God you 560 sample testers are teaser whores.  I came in expecting a full review :(

 

The pics are high quality though, thanks for them.  I still wonder why hifiman refuses to use oval openings for their earpads and stick with the same crappy circular opening.

Probably more difficult to make an oval planar driver, also pretty much ALL the real estate is driver, so I like the complete circle, both aesthetically and functionally if it means more diaphragm.

post #11 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by D4rkst3EL View Post
 

Looking forward to the review. Headband stayed the same it seems?


Other than a more matte / less shiny plastic, it seems to have the same shape and ergonomic design as the originals.  Confusing.

post #12 of 203

:popcorn:

post #13 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by raspiguy View Post
 


Other than a more matte / less shiny plastic, it seems to have the same shape and ergonomic design as the originals.  Confusing.

Posted about this in the other thread, the upper bend is now evident at rest, CES version at rest was flat across the top, thus the initial Abyss impressions.

post #14 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post
 

God you 560 sample testers are teaser whores.

That may be a little harsh. ROFL :veryevil: 

 

+1 on the photo work, good stuff!

post #15 of 203

I wonder if there is any damping material behind the grills. Can you take a picture of the drivers ?


Edited by musicman2006 - 3/26/14 at 6:58pm
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