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Head-Fi CES 2015 Highlights - Page 2

post #16 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundsgoodtome View Post

That He1000 is so tempting, my god the Head-Fi community getting blown away?! That's saying something about this special rig.

 

I want one also, but.... I hope that it will pair well with my Eddie Current 445, and that I will not need to get the HifiMan EF1000 Amp to make it sing :rolleyes: 

post #17 of 137

Hmm, wonder if one of these posts will touch on the:

'Neoh' Headphones from 3D Sound labs - apparently an 'atmos'esque headphone...

Who knows perhaps someone could finally solve the issue and create a decent non stereo headphone.. (without heading into SR Realiser territory that is..)

post #18 of 137
Do you feel that they are better than the HD800?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilly87 View Post

HE1000 was INSANE! It's like a Hifiman with almost HD800-esque soundstage. The separation/black background effect isn't quite as distinct as HD800s, but that's because it's got a little warmth that makes the music more involving/romantic. It's a really amazing combination of an exciting/fun headphone and pure neutrality with truly incredible soundstage. The Hifiman sound usually doesn't do it for me, but the HE1000 was downright impressive on technicality alone, similar to how I feel about HD800.
post #19 of 137

Hard to say. Better in what sense?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by pearljam50000 View Post

Do you feel that they are better than the HD800?
post #20 of 137
Soundstage, bass, details ^_^
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilly87 View Post

post #21 of 137
Jude do you have any idea as to the material strength of the membrane? Kind of worry how long will it last being less than a micron thick. Thanks for the info.
post #22 of 137

Soundstage...ultimate size is hard to say because I didn't hear them side by side. Preliminary impressions, I'd say the HD800 has more distinct separation, but the HE1000 is more coherent. I've always thought the HD800 tried too hard to sound like speakers. HE1000 stage was definitely huge. If you put a gun to my head, right now based on what I've heard, I'll say HD800 for raw size, but I can't even pretend that's reliable intel, so take with a grain of salt.

 

Bass, the HE1000 definitely wins. I've always hated the HD800 bass; sure it's super "accurate" but it's just not realistic to my ears and doesn't have the prominent midbass texture or solid punch way down low that I prefer. Some cans, like the 650 (one of my faves), make up for it by sounding nice and full down to 50hz, but to my ears the HD800 just isn't satisfying. The HE1000 was for sure.

 

Details...aye caramba...I'll give the edge to HD800 on making details easier to hear, because it has more distinct separation, but keep in mind I heard at CES (though their listening booth was reasonably well-isolated) so that might not turn out to be true in more natural listening environs. Again, take with a grain of salt.

 

As for which is actually better at portraying microdetail, again, impossible to say due to lack of A/B.

 

The one thing I wasn't super sold on the HE1000 was the treble. All Hifiman cans have a certain "shininess" that doesn't really thrill me; not sure exactly what it is, possibly extra energy around 10k. Also their upper mids aren't quite to my liking, but I'll say it was less-so with the HE1000.

 

But from a technical perspective, the HE1000 is definitely a monster. One of the all-around most realistic cans I've ever heard.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by pearljam50000 View Post

Soundstage, bass, details ^_^
post #23 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by XERO1 View Post
 

AWESOME post, Jude!

 

Thanks!

 

Really hoping the HE-1000 is going to be at the SoCal CanJam.

 

Yes, it will be.  :smile:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by swich401 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jude View Post
 

Reserved.

 

We get it, you're a reserved kind of guy :tongue_smile: :wink_face:

 

Lol, he actually is!  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmichels View Post
 

I want one also, but.... I hope that it will pair well with my Eddie Current 445, and that I will not need to get the HifiMan EF1000 Amp to make it sing :rolleyes: 

 

I have no doubt that a 445 would drive it adequately, and may even have some special synergy with it.  But I get the distinct impression that the EF1000 was voiced to pair specifically with the HE1000... and vice versa... and I think that what many of us heard at CES would tend to reinforce that notion.


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post #24 of 137

Take my money

post #25 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by jude View Post
 

There was a lot of high-end personal audio to listen to at this year's Consumer Electronics Show--so much so that we didn't get close to hearing all of it. CES 2011 and 2012 might have had more total headphone goings-on, but that was largely due to more fluff, with things like headphones "by" Snooki, Tony Bennett, and Justin Bieber. Meaningless endorsements were so 2011 and 2012. It's 2015 now, and, thankfully, more substance ruled last week in premium personal audio, so let's get to our highlights from the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show.

 

HiFiMAN HE1000

 

I want to start out with what I'd award "best sound of show" (that I heard) at CES 2015: HiFiMAN's preview of the HE1000 at CES. This was an easy call--the upcoming flagship planar magnetic headphone from HiFiMAN was a sonic stunner. I first heard the HiFiMAN HE-1000 at the very loud Las Vegas Convention Center, and, even through the din, I knew I was hearing something very special, and I'll get to that sound in a minute.

 

The first time I saw the HE-1000 was on a Facebook post from HiFiMAN's launch event in China, and it looked downright gaudy to me, bedazzling with a super-shiny gold/chrome finish that made it look more like something you'd find on a sheikh's vanity than on an audiophile's desk. Thankfully, that finish was essentially a production snafu--the intended finish was a brushed satin, not mirror gloss; and in that brushed satin finish (which they had a couple units of in Vegas), the HiFiMAN HE-1000 is a more fetching headphone. (They still put the shiny one on display at CES, as HiFiMAN needed all available HE-1000 units on deck for the show.)

 

 

 

 

Physically, the HiFiMAN HE-1000 is an enormous headphone--thankfully, it's more of a lean, sinewy huge; not a Jecklin Float or Abyss AB-1266 blocky kind of huge. I have a pretty big noggin, yet the ginormous HE-1000 made even my head look tiny. Despite its size, the HE-1000 felt light on the head, which was made all the more remarkable because the HiFiMAN HE-1000 is a dual-sided magnet design, the magnets arranged in a rather unique asymmetric array (see diagram from HiFiMAN below).

 

 

As for its sound--powered by the HiFiMAN EF6 amp at the Convention Center--the first thing that hit me when listening to it was the thunder of deep, detailed, controlled bass. It reminded me of the type of bass physicality (from a headphone) that I've only experienced with a TakeT H2+ (but, thankfully, without the H2+'s need to equalize or adjust to get there). I'll have to ask Dr. Fang Bian what contributes most to this, but I'll guess for now that it's at least partly due to the HE-1000's seeming acreage of diaphragm area. According to Dr. Bian, the HE-1000's diaphragms are the largest of any current headphone, which, at first glance, is exactly what I guessed.

 

 

Of course, such a large diaphragm can move a lot of air, but doing so with quickness, precision, and control is critical. Fang has a PhD in nano tech, and he's been working to apply what he's studied to his products. In the HE-1000, he has what I believe are not just the largest, but also the thinnest diaphragms in any headphone, regardless of type--yes, even thinner than those found in the top electrostatic headphones. Because the HE-1000's diaphragm is less than one micron thick, HiFiMAN is describing it as the first headphone diaphragm with thickness measured in nanometers. These facts weren't known to me when I asked, "Fang, how thin are the diaphragms?" because HE1000 sounded so...fast. The speed, the microdynamics I was hearing--especially in the quieter HiFiMAN room at The Venetian--made the HE1000 among the most resolving headphones I've heard.

 

  

 

As for spectral balance, the HE-1000 had, to my ears, a neutral-ish bent, yet a fleshy richness in the sonic image objects throughout. Again, the HE-1000's bass performance was stand-out, in terms of impact, in terms of body, in terms of detail, through either of the two amps they had on hand to drive it (the HiFiMAN EF6 and the HiFiMAN EF1000). From the mids through treble, the HE-1000 powered by the EF1000 (an amp I imagine is going to be very expensive) was overflowing with gobs of finely rendered detail (in all the best ways); and through the EF6 it was still very impressively detailed, but smoothed over a bit in comparison. To be clear, I could easily live with the HE-1000 and EF6 combo, based on what I heard at CES--which is fantastic, as I've had an EF6 here for quite some time. However, if the EF1000 comes in at a price I can stretch my budget for, I likely will.

 

 

By the way, the EF1000 is the new HiFiMAN flagship amp, expected to be released at the same time as the HE-1000. It is a hybrid (tube and solid state) headphone/speaker amp. Into headphones, the EF1000 can output 8W to 12W, pure Class A. Into loudspeakers, it can output 50W, pure Class A; and 150W, Class A/B. It is a monster of an amp physically, too. Again, the EF1000's final pricing hasn't been announced, but its build and specs suggest to me that obtaining one may require one's wallet become a gaping maw.

 

It's important to note that what HiFiMAN was showing at CES were pre-production prototypes of the HE1000 headphones and EF1000 amp. I listened to three HE1000's, and, to my ears, one of them was different than the other two--still excellent, but harder sounding up top. (Fang said this unit had fewer hours on it.)  Yes, I hope (and expect) HiFiMAN will be able to release the headphones and amp in final production that sound as good or better than the pre-production prototypes I heard at CES, but it's important to mention they're still working on getting these done done.

 

As for availability and price, I have no specific word on those things yet. As far as I'm concerned, until I receive more of those details, I'm considering what I heard more of an early sneak preview than any kind of official launch of either the HE-1000 or EF1000.

 

As it stands, though, based on the HE1000 pre-production prototypes they were showing at CES 2015, again, HiFiMAN wins my award for "best sound of show" at CES 2015.

 


 

Next, I'll discuss one of the most amazing technology demonstrations at CES 2015 (specific to the Head-Fi world) that I think will have a huge impact on how we buy custom IEMs (in-ear monitors) very soon.

as ALWAYS: GREAT job Jude!!

 

Not being a Hifiman fan - and I've tried everything  - the HE-1000 was the first from them that I really enjoyed!

I just thought their sound, prior to the HE-1000 proto - always sounded like terrific "hi'fi" to me (like most Wilson Loudspeakers) but lacked soul.

The HE-1000 engaged me, and was a true pleasure to hear.

post #26 of 137

Really want to have a listen to this thing but my honest opinion about the looks and the design is that it looks like a toaster and it's just so ugly.

I heard the price will be more than 2 grand :(

post #27 of 137
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalo View Post

Jude do you have any idea as to the material strength of the membrane? Kind of worry how long will it last being less than a micron thick. Thanks for the info.

 

@Jalo, unfortunately, I don't have the answer to that.

 

Perhaps the good doctor (Bian) will answer what I think is a good question. Fang?

post #28 of 137

post #29 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundsgoodtome View Post

That He1000 is so tempting, my god the Head-Fi community getting blown away?! That's saying something about this special rig.


Not sure if that's sarcasm, but it's hilarious ! :D:rolleyes:

post #30 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by jude View Post

@Jalo
, unfortunately, I don't have the answer to that.

Perhaps the good doctor (Bian) will answer what I think is a good question. Fang?

In the likelihood that Dr. Bian picks up the question, I wonder if he has put the membrane through its paces. I also want to know how long is the warranty for the HE1000 and how much it will cost to replace the nanometer membrane. After all a nanometer is a billionth of a meter. It hardly has any weight as can be seen in the video.
Edited by Jalo - 1/17/15 at 8:17am
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