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HE-400 vs HD650

Poll Results: Which one should *I* buy?

 
  • 68% (11)
    HiFiMan HE-400
  • 31% (5)
    Sennheiser HD650
16 Total Votes  
post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Looking for my 4th brand new headphone in the last year, but can't decide which one. Hopefully this headphone can put a rest to my quest for more (that is, until I decide to buy some nice portables/IEMs anyway). :p

 

 

What I have now and what I enjoy about them:

 

- ATH-M50 -- sub bass, efficiency, good clarity, easy to drive, lots of headroom

- HD 518 -- punchy mid bass, open sound, comfortable, warmth, no sibilance

- HD 598 -- wide soundstage, airiness, natural sound, beautiful mids, very comfortable, nice sparkle, instrument separation

 

 

What I listen to:

 

- Hip Hop

- Electronic (House, Trance, Dance, D&B, Trip Hop, Chillwave, Ambient, etc.)

- Jazz

- Reggae / Dub

- R&B / Funk

- Rock (Classic, Indie, Alternative, even some Folk)

- Pop ('80s and '90s mostly)

- May use for TV/movies and gaming, but not necessarily.

______________________________________________________

 

 

The choices:

 

HE-400 with a set of velour pads included for $349 CAD. Said to be the "final batch" (is this about the multiple revisions?).

 

or

 

HD650 for $475 CAD.

 

 

Thoughts:

 

- I like what I've read about the HE-400's bass extension and energetic sound, but I'm worried about sibilance and comfort issues.

 

- I have enjoyed every Sennheiser I've ever listened to and I like the HD650's scalability and what I've read about it's rich sound, but I'm worried that the improvement over my HD598s will be negligible for the price of admission only.

 

- Basshead or not? I thought I was, but my 598s are my go-to cans. Which is odd, because I listen to lots of bass-driven music, and usually prefer generous sub-bass and flat mid-bass, which the 598s are not.

 

-  I have not heard either headphone and have no way of doing so. I do not have an amp or DAC yet, but will purchase one accordingly.

 

 

Let me know what you guys think. Thanks in advance guys!


Edited by Autoholic - 7/30/14 at 6:48pm
post #2 of 17

Might help to know what DAC and headphone amplifier you use to drive your headphones?

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Might help to know what DAC and headphone amplifier you use to drive your headphones?

Thanks for the reply!

As of now, I use an iPhone 4S, my HP laptop, or a Pioneer receiver when listening to music. When watching shows or gaming, I use an Astro Mixamp with my PS3.

I will be buying an amp and/or DAC once I choose the new headphone. That way, I can choose an amp/DAC that has good synergy with the can. smily_headphones1.gif

Am I going about this the wrong way?

EDIT: I have been eyeing the Schiit stack, the Fiio E07K/E09K, JDS O2 ODAC, and couple others.
Edited by Autoholic - 7/30/14 at 7:46pm
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Pretty sure I'm going with the HE-400. Lower price, an extra set of pads (velour), won't be around much longer in retail stores (400i replacement), easier to drive. And 2 votes lol! tongue.gif

BUT I'm still worried about comfort, sibilance, and/or treble fatigue.

Anyone else want to chime in before I pull the trigger?
post #5 of 17

HD 650 will almost certainly be the more comfortable headphone.  Some people really don't like the HE-400's treble, others are okay with it, the only way to tell would be to test it out for yourself but easier said than done.  

post #6 of 17
I would go for the HD650 due to SQ, versatility and comfort. Or you can wait a month or two for the HE400i to come out. The HE400 are not worth the $300 price they go for currently.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Za Warudo View Post

The HE400 are not worth the $300 price they go for currently.

 

Why do you say that?  It's still a good $100 less than the HD 650, and $200 less than the HE-400i.  

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Za Warudo View Post

The HE400 are not worth the $300 price they go for currently.

That is a remarkably subjective statement. With a lot of what the OP listens to, I've found it to me a rather capable headphone. I don't have any issues with the treble or comfort personally, although it is surely a heavy headphone. I'd argue its a great compliment to the hd598.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Autoholic View Post

As of now, I use an iPhone 4S, my HP laptop, or a Pioneer receiver when listening to music. When watching shows or gaming, I use an Astro Mixamp with my PS3.

I will be buying an amp and/or DAC once I choose the new headphone. That way, I can choose an amp/DAC that has good synergy with the can. smily_headphones1.gif

Am I going about this the wrong way?
EDIT: I have been eyeing the Schiit stack, the Fiio E07K/E09K, JDS O2 ODAC, and couple others.

 

Your iPhone 4S would work best with a low Ohm headphones (under 50-Ohms), your Pioneer receiver would work better with high Ohm headphones (120-Ohm or higher)

With your iPhone 4S and laptop, i would think you would want headphones that are more portable (folding?) and closed to block noise.

With the PS3/mix-amp and Pioneer I thinking larger open headphones for surround sound would be preferred.

The HE-400 and HD650 should do fine plugged directly into the Pioneer.

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhamnetin View Post
 

HD 650 will almost certainly be the more comfortable headphone.  Some people really don't like the HE-400's treble, others are okay with it, the only way to tell would be to test it out for yourself but easier said than done.  

Thanks for the reply!

 

Yeah, that's the problem. I tend to be sensitive to overly bright or piercing treble, but unfortunately I have no way of trying before buying. No returns either for the store I will be buying from (other side of the country), but they have the lowest price I've seen by far.

 

I have yet to read any harsh criticism for the sound quality of the HD650s. Maybe the "veiled" upper mids and treble, but that (to me) just means I can turn up the volume with no jarring results.

 

The comfort of the Sennheisers are absolutely believable given how often I forget I have my HD518s or HD598s on my head. I also tend to listen for long periods, especially during the night when shrill treble can be especially fatiguing.

 

On the other hand, the sub-bass and instrument separation of the HE-400 sounds enticing.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Za Warudo View Post

I would go for the HD650 due to SQ, versatility and comfort. Or you can wait a month or two for the HE400i to come out. The HE400 are not worth the $300 price they go for currently.

 

Thanks for the reply!

 

Versatility. I assume you that it's ability to cover all genres with no real missteps and it's superior scalability with amps (which may put an end for my quest for 'sonic bliss' lol). If so, that aspect is definitely attractive.

 

I am surprised you say the HE-400s aren't worth their asking price...very interesting to hear. They certainly don't *look* like they cost what they do, but may I ask what it is about them that makes you feel that way? I've heard the opposite many times (they "punch above their weight class", etc.), but never that they are unimpressive for the cost.

 

The HE-400i, from what I've seen thus far, will be much more pricey...even more than the HD650s (at least up here in Canada). I like the weight loss though! Hmm...

 

EDIT: Za Warudo, I just noticed in your profile that you actually owned the HE-400 and sold them, but currently have the HD650s. I would definitely love to hear more from you if you don't mind! :)


Edited by Autoholic - 7/31/14 at 12:21pm
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saoshyant View Post


That is a remarkably subjective statement. With a lot of what the OP listens to, I've found it to me a rather capable headphone. I don't have any issues with the treble or comfort personally, although it is surely a heavy headphone. I'd argue its a great compliment to the hd598.

 

Thanks for the reply!

 

HD598 would be the relaxed, atmospheric can to lose myself in...

 

HE-400 would be the energetic can for getting pumped...

 

Would that be accurate?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

 

Your iPhone 4S would work best with a low Ohm headphones (under 50-Ohms), your Pioneer receiver would work better with high Ohm headphones (120-Ohm or higher)

With your iPhone 4S and laptop, i would think you would want headphones that are more portable (folding?) and closed to block noise.

With the PS3/mix-amp and Pioneer I thinking larger open headphones for surround sound would be preferred.

The HE-400 and HD650 should do fine plugged directly into the Pioneer.

 

 

I work from home, and drive wherever I go. At the gym, I have a pair of cheap Sony buds. I don't have a huge need for IEMs or nice portables, but will eventually spoil myself.

 

My real listening sessions are at home, so isolation isn't required. I'll definitely try whatever headphone I choose with what I have now (Pioneer receiver especially) before buying a dedicated USB/DAC.

 

Thanks for the reply again, BTW. You actually helped me back when I was mulling the Astro Mixamp purchase. :)


Edited by Autoholic - 7/31/14 at 12:17pm
post #12 of 17
The hd598 is certainly relaxing. By contrast the he400 will feel heavy, but I've never felt it so much that it's uncomfortable. The music envelopes you with this can, and the bass is impressive for an open can. It was my first expensive headphone purchase, and still serves a purpose alongside my hd700.
post #13 of 17
The HE400 is only really suitable for EDM and other bass heavy music. The uppermids are recessed causing vocals and other acoustic instruments to sound unnatural. The treble has some spikes that make music sound strident and fatiguing. Basically a lot of my favorite music just didn't sound right to me.

The HD650 is really smooth and euphonic. It lacks treble extension and resolution, but that's part of why people love it because you can listen to it all day without any fatigue. If the HD650 is too expensive maybe you can get the HD600 for less. It should sound fairly close to the HD650 with less bass.
post #14 of 17
Also the part about it not worth $300 is that since having the HE400 I've gotten the Q701 and Fidelio X1. Both for much less then $300, and both I prefer over the HE400. YMMV.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Za Warudo View Post

Also the part about it not worth $300 is that since having the HE400 I've gotten the Q701 and Fidelio X1. Both for much less then $300, and both I prefer over the HE400. YMMV.

 

FWIW, I went to a shop a several weeks ago predisposed to buying the HE400s.  I listened to them and couldn't pull the trigger for $300.  

 

For me, the 400s upper mids and low treble were disappointing.  Then I listened to the HE500s...they are my next upgrade.  To my ears, the 500s are worth every penny, the 400s?...not so much.

 

Came back home somewhat disappointed -- no headphones in hand!  A couple days later, I stumbled across 'like new' Q701s on Amazon for $139 and am thoroughly enjoying them for less than half the cost of the 400s.  

 

The 400s have very nice bass, though.  But overall, I don't like them as much as my D600s ($150 at Best Buy) for Hip Hop & Electronic.  From my vantage point the combo of the Q701 and the D600s for the same price as the 400s was a much better value proposition that provides me with more listening flexibility and enjoyment.

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