HiFiMAN HE-400i

HiFiMAN HE-400i

Average User Rating:
4.45/5,
  • Specifications:

    Driver Type: Planar Magnetic
    Impedance @ 1kHz: 35 ohms
    Sensitivity: 94 dB SPL/V
    THD+N:
    Isolation:
    Connector Type: 1/4"
    Cable Length: 2 m
    Cable Style: Straight Y
    Weight: 12.7 oz.
    Manufacturer Warranty: 1 year

Recent User Reviews

  1. Jiawen Zhen
    5.0/5,
    "Unbeatable for the price"
    Pros - Sound Quality, comfort, packaging, price
    Cons - Clamping force
    At 240 dollars new (price I paid) there is not a single headphone in the world with better price/performance ratio. Each song is a new listening experience and these sound far superior to any other cans or speakers I have ever heard. I am currently using a C&C BH amp Colorfly C3 combo. Sound is very addicting with very pleasant musicality with great tonal balance. Clamping force was high on initial use but they fit much more comfortably after a few days of use. I would gladly pay 400 even 500 for these headphones. 
  2. DeeKay10
    5.0/5,
    "Detailed and Revealing but Lacks Musicality"
    Pros - Detailed, comfy ear pads.
    Cons - Not musical as detailed, vicious clamp (fixable), treble characteristics of cheap headphones.
    I'll keep this relatively short as the HE400i has over 20 reviews here, some of which are very detailed and some that contradict others. This is just my 5 cents on the matter.
     
    I think @jerg summarized it perfectly in his review, that these are a "compromise between musicality and technicality". On one hand, they are detailed and accurate, have great separation and for acoustic music, there's good layering. On the other, listening through them simply isn't immersive enough, as if they are too detailed, soul left outside the box. It's kinda hard to explain in words, but if you ever get the chance to listen to a pair of Shure SE535 (*) or something with a similar audio profile, you'll understand what I'm talking about. Imagine the audio equivalence of drinking just enough to feel the effect.
    (*) My listening (and evaluation) mule for the past 5-6 years.
     
    Other than musicality, my second and final con on audio with these, is the treble. It's too extended, causing things like cymbals to sound too distant from the rest of the record (think one floor above). Some call it separation, I call it "the thing that's wrong with half the cheap headphones I listen to", except the HE400i ain't cheap. A lot of companies seem to do that as it adds sparkle and detail (I guess?), but personally, I'm not a fan.
     
    Unto actual usage, these are pretty easy to drive from anything. Smartphones, Fiio amps, 1st gen Schiit Fulla, no problem.
    On comfort, the pads and headband are very nice and comfortable, but the grip is very tight. I've been looking around for a solution on Google without avail, till I got tired (and pissed) and took the "manual" approach: Bent them myself at 5 points across the upper steel gate, now it's just fine (the 2 L bends, middle, and half-way through to the middle).
    I read about these having some issues with the cable and Hifiman mentioned on their website about swapping them. For what it's worth, I got the new cable, and no complains. It's thick and conductive, really all I have to say. The 6.5mm adapter is crap though, had connection issues so I threw it to the bin (having another 5 laying around).
     
    Lastly, Hifiman states in the manual that "to obtain optimal performance", these should be burned in for "at least 150 hours", constantly. Subjectivity aside, this is, by far, the dumbest remark I've seen on any headphone, from any manufacturer. Just think about the prospect of, well, buying a pair of $500 headphones, eagerly anticipating them, finally getting the package and then, "welp, here they are, let's just put them there playing and wait another week". By now I imagine I passed the 150 hour mark, and frankly? I don't remember how they sounded a week ago in comparison, to be bothered with. If it wasn't important enough to burn them during production, this can't be too meaningful at the customer's hand.
     
    To close the review, you might be wondering why the 5 star rating. Simple: Supposedly these retail for $450, but occasionally they will go as low as $250, and for that price, it's very impressive value.

    Equipment used: Schiit Modi Multibit and Vali 2.
  3. PrinceWilliam
    4.5/5,
    "HiFiMAN HE-400i vs DT880 250 Ohm Special Edition Chrome"
    Pros - Comfortable and excellent sound quality
    Cons - Cheap build quality, replacement parts will be hard to find.
    I will keep this short.  I currently have both the HiFiMAN HE-400i and the Beyerdynamic DT880 250 Ohm non-pro version.  I read a lot of reviews with people bagging on the DT880 vs the 400i, so when I got the DT880 I figured that I would be sending them back and keeping the 400i.  I had been listening to the 400i first, and I really liked them.  I love the focus pads and the sound is really good.  I got them on sale, so they were a great deal.  As a matter of fact, I did not even plan on opening the DT880.  However, I decided to give the DT880 a shot.  
     
    Well, after listening to both the 400i and the DT880, I am returning the 400i.  I used my on-board sound card to power these.  I listened to Deadmau5, Nora Jones, Metallica Enter Sandman, Steppenwolf.  I did a side by side comparison switching back and forth adjusting volume levels, and honestly the DT880s just sounded clearer to me.  The bass on the DT880 hits harder, the trebles and mids were clearer.
     
    I was shocked by what I found after reading all these reviews.  I don't know if people are making some of this stuff up, or what, but after owning both and doing a side-by-side comparison to me the DT880 seemed better, at least for my taste.  They are also lighter than the 400i.  Don't get me wrong, I like the 400i, but compared to what I experienced switching back and forth between the two.... That being said, I would consider myself to be your typical listener.  I got the 400i for $249 and the DT880 for $149.  I am surprised, but I am sending the 400i back to HiFiMAN.  For me the DT880 is the winner.  I still think the HE-400i is a cool headphone.
     
     
    Other headphones I have owned that are worth mentioning are the DT990 Pro and the ATH-M50X.

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Cover Image

joe
570608131_d6678a0e_he400ilarge.jpg

Quick Stats

HiFiMAN HE-400i, 30 votes
Author:
joe
Category:
Over-Ear
Views:
426
Images:
1
Reviews:
30
Comments:
0
Average User Rating:
4.45/5, 30 votes

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