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Dynamic or Planar?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I've set a budget of $400 for a decent open back headphone.  There is nowhere within 100 miles that sells this type of headphone so I'm going to buy something blind on line.  At the top of my list are the Sennheiser HD600 and the HiFi Man HE400. I.e. dynamic vs. planar.  They are at the top of the list based solely on reviews.   I'm not thrilled with the size of the HiFi Man unit because it seems like it might be uncomfortable.  But my speaker experience tells me I might like the way it reproduces the treble.  Does anybody have comments on these two (or even others at or under $400) that would help pull the trigger?  Thanks.

post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by blades View Post
 

I've set a budget of $400 for a decent open back headphone.  There is nowhere within 100 miles that sells this type of headphone so I'm going to buy something blind on line.  At the top of my list are the Sennheiser HD600 and the HiFi Man HE400. I.e. dynamic vs. planar.  They are at the top of the list based solely on reviews.   I'm not thrilled with the size of the HiFi Man unit because it seems like it might be uncomfortable.  But my speaker experience tells me I might like the way it reproduces the treble.  Does anybody have comments on these two (or even others at or under $400) that would help pull the trigger?  Thanks.

 

The HE-400i, the replacement model for the HE400 is to be released at around August. If you can wait, they are only $499 and comfort has improved greatly from reports.

 

Good luck!

post #3 of 10

first thing first, skip the he400, they definitely DO NOT reproduce treble right. I've heard good stuff about the he400i though; they sound simillar to the he500, which is a very good thing.

 

if you had to get a headphone now, go with the hd600/ used he500. Otherwise, wait for the he400i

post #4 of 10

HE-400i will be just over your budget but you might want to consider saving up that extra $100.  What amp and source will you be using?

post #5 of 10

This particular issue isn't dynamic vs planar, it's entirely dependent on your taste in sound signature.  The HD600 is very neutral, but borderline n-shaped, meaning rolled off extreme low bass and upper treble.  The HE-400 has a very broadband sound, offering very good low bass and upper treble extension, but it is also u-shaped, with recessed upper midrange, and a peaked upper treble.

post #6 of 10

It all hinges on your perception of treble - I'm a little sensitive to it so the HE-400 sound is perfect for me. I've always liked a dip in the midrange too.

 

Comfort wise, I've never had a problem but this doesn't mean you won't.

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post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input.  This will be my first headphone purchase above entry level.  The best cans I have now are the Grado SR80.  I'm glad Raven responded.  I'm not much of a bass head but I am a bit of a treble head.  I recently replaced the tweeters in my main speaker towers to get more sparkle in the treble.  The HE-400 sounds like it might appeal to me more, despite their ponderous size.  I notice they are being closed out at $300 - probably a pretty good deal.

 

I have 4 sound systems in the house and each is driven by either a receiver or integrated amp.  Those will drive the headphone.   I don't have to worry about driving the cans with a portable player or sound card.  No need for a headphone amp.  Thanks again.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post
 

This particular issue isn't dynamic vs planar, it's entirely dependent on your taste in sound signature.  The HD600 is very neutral, but borderline n-shaped, meaning rolled off extreme low bass and upper treble.  The HE-400 has a very broadband sound, offering very good low bass and upper treble extension, but it is also u-shaped, with recessed upper midrange, and a peaked upper treble.


As you can tell from the Avatar I went for the HiFi Man HE-400.  As it turns out, they seem comfortable enough for me despite being on the heavy side.  I would describe the sound as a little on the dark side probably due to the dip in the upper midrange as you mentioned.  I don't have much with which to compare them.  I have some cheap Sennheiser that I probably can't listen to any longer and the Grado SR-80.  These are noticeably better than the Grado.  I can't imagine needing any better music reproduction than these provide.  I'm also glad that the output from the open back is minor.  Not an issue at all.

 

I'm powering them with the headphone preamp in a Teac stereo receiver.  Nice sound.

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by blades View Post
 


As you can tell from the Avatar I went for the HiFi Man HE-400.  As it turns out, they seem comfortable enough for me despite being on the heavy side.  I would describe the sound as a little on the dark side probably due to the dip in the upper midrange as you mentioned.  I don't have much with which to compare them.  I have some cheap Sennheiser that I probably can't listen to any longer and the Grado SR-80.  These are noticeably better than the Grado.  I can't imagine needing any better music reproduction than these provide.  I'm also glad that the output from the open back is minor.  Not an issue at all.

 

I'm powering them with the headphone preamp in a Teac stereo receiver.  Nice sound.

 

 

It takes a lot of money to offer the same type of sound characteristics as the HE-400 but being generally better.  Other 'upgrades' like the HE-500, LCD2 etc are just different sound signatures.  The closest thing to a true upgrade of the HE-400 I've personally heard has been the LCD-X.  It offers the same type of sound, with a little dip in the upper midrange, but has a cleaner background and offers a fuller sound, but it is also 1700 and it's also really heavy.

 

In short it's hard to beat the HE-400 unless you want a different sound.


Edited by TMRaven - 7/14/14 at 2:24pm
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback.  This product certainly produces a clean, detailed sound with no aggressiveness, if that is the term that describes the cheaper cans.  I has very clean bass reproduction compared to the Grado.  I'm happy as a clam and set for the future for headphones.  Take care.

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