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Senn HD 558 vs Fidelio X1 vs HiFiMan He 400

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 

Hello guys, I'm looking to upgrade my current headphones and these three are the candidates.

 

What I love when listening to music is being able to follow individual instruments (specially the bass guitar) and being able to hear details, like the sound of cymbals (which sometimes are hidden behind everything else) or secundary voices, etc. I seldom (or don't) listen to electronic, pop, acoustic, jazz, etc. I listen mainly to rock, metal, classical, and darwkave.

 

For reference, I currently have Sennheiser HD 518 and HD 598, and well, the 518 have too much bass and the 598 have too few. I've heard that the 558 are exactly that: less bass than 518 but more than 598. In all other aspects, I found my current headphones very nice for music, movies and gaming, so I use both regularly.

 

However, I can push my budget a bit more and I think I could go for a used Fidelio X1 or a used HE 400, and I'm wondering if it would be worth. In a not so distant future I could also invest in amp/dac. Like a Schiit Magni/Modi, which I've heard are a great bang for the buck.

 

What do you think?

Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 56

What sources do you currently plug your headphones into?

Sell off the HD518 & HD598 and get the HD558.

post #3 of 56
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply.

Mostly in a PC with a Fiio E10. I used to have a receiver, but it died months ago.

post #4 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralphsv View Post
 

Thanks for the reply.

Mostly in a PC with a Fiio E10. I used to have a receiver, but it died months ago.

 

The X1s and HE-400 are well liked headphones, but the HD558 is only $123.

post #5 of 56
To me, the hd700 is the logical progression from the hd558. Depending who you ask, the hd700 and he400 are roughly on par. I personally prefer the 700 to the 400, but the 400 has that bass that just makes you sigh with content. Not sure what darkwave is, but the 400 sounds great with rock and metal, and can certainly be enjoyable with classical, although I personally feel the mids are just slightly too recessed to be a great match. In the long run, the 400 is just the better headphone versus the 558 for most people. It is also quite a bit cheaper compared to where it used to be due to the 400i.
post #6 of 56
Thread Starter 

Yeah, the 558 are the cheapest, but I was wondering if I might go for the others. I thought it could be a good choice as I plan to go for an amp and a dac further this year.

post #7 of 56

I own the 598s, X1, and HE-400. For me, the X1 is an uber-refined version of the KSC-75 type sound. Enjoyable in its own way but kinda...ordinary, for me. I can't get excited about it. That doesn't make it bad - it's a beautiful phone and especially good for movies. I just don't think it's much of an 'upgrade' - it's more of a 'sidegrade'. Whereas the Hifiman is in a class by itself among this lot, and if you could afford it I recommend it without hesitation. You won't believe the clarity/articulation of these things, especially on attacks and vocals. I don't often use my 598s and maybe offloading them soon, but iirc they had a nice, laid back sound that did very well with vocals while still retaining a nice soundstage. So either way, both will be very different experiences, at least. (I don't own the 558s so can't speak to that.).

post #8 of 56
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much bilditup1.

I'm leaning to the HE400 very much (more now, thanks to your comment). A used he400 is within my budget, so I may go for it. I think I could even go for a new pair, but i have to think it through $$.

I'll probably order the chosen one in the next few days. Thanks.

post #9 of 56
Razordog has some b-stock HE-400s for $245. Great vendor. I wouldn't hesitate to order those from them if I was looking for the HE-400s (I already have a pair).
post #10 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralphsv View Post
 

Thank you very much bilditup1.

I'm leaning to the HE400 very much (more now, thanks to your comment). A used he400 is within my budget, so I may go for it. I think I could even go for a new pair, but i have to think it through $$.

I'll probably order the chosen one in the next few days. Thanks.

 

It looks like the newer Hifiman HE-400i is coming out, so the prices on the older HE-400 should be dropping, if they have not already (check eBay).

post #11 of 56

I would skip the HE400.  The treble spikes are a PITA, and the midrange and treble don't sound natural, thus making it a poor choice for acoustic genres like classical.  Try to find a cheap used HD650 or Q701.

post #12 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Za Warudo View Post
 

I would skip the HE400.  The treble spikes are a PITA, and the midrange and treble don't sound natural, thus making it a poor choice for acoustic genres like classical.  Try to find a cheap used HD650 or Q701.

 

Personally, I agree with this post.  I had been looking to buy some balanced, mid-tier cans that are more 'lively' than my 558s and recently listened to the HE400s (as well as the 500s).  I ruled the 400's out because of the midrange/treble -- although the bass was very nice!  I ended up getting a 'like-new' Q701 from Amazon for $139...which works fine out of an E10 as well as the Magni.

 

To me, the 400s just don't cut it for my taste at $250 to 300.  Actually, now that I've listened to the Q701s, I'm not sure I'd buy the HE400s for $150 if I came across that kind of deal.

 

What I did learn is that I definitely want the HE500s and will be saving up for them.  Hopefully, someone runs a 'Black Friday' deal!  And yes, I'll even pay $599 for them (if I have to) but am hoping for $500 new by then.

post #13 of 56
Just to throw this into the mix take a look at the DT880 line nice balanced sound when I was looking for a new set the Q701 DT880 and HE400 where the three I looked at. I went for the HE400 I liked the "fun" sound they have for rock and jazz. The DT800 came in 2nd.
post #14 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kozic View Post

Just to throw this into the mix take a look at the DT880 line nice balanced sound when I was looking for a new set the Q701 DT880 and HE400 where the three I looked at. I went for the HE400 I liked the "fun" sound they have for rock and jazz. The DT800 came in 2nd.

I second the DT 880, I prefered the 880 over the HE 400 when I had it, the DT 880 and the Schiit Vali make for a Dangerous combo! 

post #15 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

I second the DT 880, I prefered the 880 over the HE 400 when I had it, the DT 880 and the Schiit Vali make for a Dangerous combo! 

 

Yeah...after listening to the HE400s, it really became a contest between the Q701 and the DT880 for me.  Didn't feel I'd go wrong with either choice.  It was the 'like new' deal under $140 and the fact that I wanted to try the AKGs that made me pull the trigger.

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