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