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Planar Magnetic, Circumaural, Open Back headphone

HiFiMAN HE-560

  • Planar Magnetic, Circumaural, Open Back headphone

Recent Reviews

  1. Roderick
    Mini Review
    Written by Roderick
    Published May 1, 2019
    Pros - - One of the best sounding headphones one can get for less than $500
    - Bright but not peaky, generally well balanced headphone
    - Lightweight for a planar.
    Cons - - Quality control problems. I did not count these in to the overall score, but the problems in particular with Adorama versions are alarming.
    - Extra cable would have been nice, since the only one has a 6.35mm connector
    - Might be too bright for some people
    - Midrange can sound too thin depending on listeners preferences
    - Requires decent amplification
    - "Adorama Orange" looks tacky
    - No matter how good these are, Sundara is better and cost about the same
    Hifiman HE560 (Adorama versions)


    Unit I have here was bought used. To my knowledge it is Adorama version of HE560. V3 to be exact. According to Hifiman the drivers are the same as on original HE560 so to some extent this review should apply on other versions too. I think Adorama HE560 was $199 for a short period off time, more common price was a bit higher. As I write this both V2 and V3 are $899 on Adorama. Even if the discount prices were only temporary it did create seconhand market in which HE560 can be easily acquired for $200.

    Build quality and comfort:

    If you have ever handled Hifiman Sundara, you know what is necessary to know about build quality off Adorama HE560. I red somewhere that V3 has more extension room on the headband than V2. I have not tried measuring the two but on my head Sundara and V3 behave the same way. Both are quite comfortable. I can adjust them to proper size without a problem. They clamp quite tight and some people might have problems with it. I don't mind the clamp but these definately don't vanish on my head. You know you are wearing headphones. Weight is nicely distributed and for a planar they're not heavy. I don't have experience with original HE560 but to my head both HE400i and HE560 V3 are equally comfortable. So the changes in design are more about durability than added comfort.


    Design itself feels cheap. Sundara style headband is nice but the cups don't look like something you would want on a $899 headphone. That orange color is a matter of taste but I find it gaudy. Attach a mic and a flashing led and these look more like $50 gaming headset than a serious audiophile headphone. Funny enough I came across I-rocks headsets that I suppose are rebranded Hifiman's. They look like this:


    Cable is dual entry connected with 3.5mm plugs with 6,35mm plug at the amplifier end. I wish they had kept 2.5mm connectors so one could use old hifiman cables but with Sundara also having 3.5mm connectors it makes sense.


    When talking about build quality on most Hifiman headphones you can't really do it without mentioning quality control. Reason why prices on Adorama HE560 succumbed so low was that the quality control was non-existent. Many units had dead drivers on arrival and a lot broke in first few weeks. If prices for Adorama HE560 come down again I would advise to think twice. Even though there is warranty you might just get another faulty unit in return. Many of us don't have the time and nerves for that cycle of returns. I't might be better to save a few bucks and buy a used unit with some hours on it. It seems that faulty drivers die quite soon so an unit that has been previously used quite a bit is more likely to withstand long term use.

    I encourage to do a proper research before investing on HE560 because of the quality control problems. I'm not an expert on these matters but there is a lot off information available.

    Sound quality:

    HE560 frequency response. Measured with minidsp H.E.A.R.S.

    I find HE560 to be a bit bright sounding headphone. Treble is not particularly peaky or sibilant. However I must admit that I prefer darker sounding headphones, so getting used to HE560 signature after Audeze LCD-3 took a while. Treble emphasis seems to be at it highest at 4khz and 10khz. I'm not that sensitive to those areas and in my experience emphasis on 7-9khz region is worse as it can introduce quite a bit of sibilance. So like said, despite the bright tonality HE560 is not a sibilant headphone and I don't find them fatiguing to listen. I much prefer this approach to the one provided by another planar, Brainwavz Alara. Alara was just way too dark but not in a good way like Audeze headphones or Audioquest Nighthawk's.

    Midrange on HE560 is pretty much flawless. I'd say they sound bit too ”dry” and I do prefer something with more body to the sound but HE560 does deliver a coherent sound whatever music I'm listening to. I prefer mids on iBasso SR1 but iBasso does have exceptionally nice midrange. There is no sibilance(HD700), shoutiness(DT1990) or noteworthy grain(ath-R70x) to the sound.

    HE560 is not as detailed nor does it have the soundstage of Sennheiser HD800 but for fraction of the price it does get pretty darn close. It is still a step behind HD800 when thinking about how well defined different sound sources are. HD800 sounds faster, more resolving and has a darker background from which the music appears. I'm bad at describing this kind of stuff but major difference between HD800 midrange presenation and HE560 is the ability to deliver the virtual space for music. HD800 is just more transparent, there is very little between me and the music. HE560 is more traditional ”looking into the music” with headphones instead of really feeling you are in the, in the audience. However just the fact HE560 can be compared to HD800 speaks volumes. Of course HE560 used to cost a lot more but now that it is available for $300 it is heck of a bargain. Only thing diminishing the bargain factor is ironically Hifiman Sundara. I find Sundara to be a direct upgrade over HE560. Take everything I've said about HE560 and add 5% of quality and you have Sundara's.

    Here is HE560 measured with Sundara's. Volume was not perfectly matched but you get the idea.
    HE560 vs Sundara.jpg

    Talking about Sundara's there is one are I find HE560 outperforming it's successor(OK, technically Sundara is HE400i successor). Bass on HE560 is better extended, more present and in other aspects equal to my ears compared to Sundara. It would be fun to experiment how much of the difference comes from different earpads and how much is caused by the Sundara's new lighter diaphgram. Bass on HE560 is not on par with marvelous bass on Brainwavz Alara but among other affordable planars it is top notch. Out of dynamics I enjoy bass on iBasso SR1 more because it has such a kick to it but when talking about sheer speed and ability hande complex bass sequences HE560 and Alara are the best I've heard for the price.

    HE560 vs Alara:
    ALARA vs HE560.jpg

    Few words about amping:

    HE560 is not very difficult to drive. Of course it one should not try to pair it with a smartphone. Which you can't of course because of the 6.35mm plug. Chord Mojo does a decent job driving them but my beefier desktop amps (SPL phonitor, Gustard H10, Burson Soloist) do a better job. With Sundara the difference is still there but it is not as big. My favorite amp for HE560 is the cheapest one; first generation Schiit Vali. I feel that even though Vali is a tube hybrid not a full tube amp, it does clean the edges out a bit and make HE560 more enjoyable to listen. If someone purchases HE560 for $250 and Vali+Modi combo for $250 it is a $500 setup that is near impossible to beat.



    HE560 has technicalities that were on par with many flagship headphones just five years ago. Now that it has been made available by Adorama for fraction of it's original cost, it is one of the best deals in the headphone game. On the downside there is the increased lack of quality control. This is something to take seriously. I won't let the quality control affect the final rating of this headphone. If I did I'd propably rate these 1/5 and that would not be fair either. If you are not dead set on needing the little extra bass that HE560 has over Sundara I'd advice to wait for a discount and get Sundaras for $350.

      trellus likes this.
  2. antdroid
    Hifiman HE560: Planar Bliss
    Written by antdroid
    Published Sep 2, 2018
    Pros - Great Sounding Headphone
    Linear Bass response
    Neutral/Bright sound signature
    Lightweight (for Planars)
    Cons - Build Quality of Yokes
    Treble Peak may bother some people

    The Hifiman HE560 has been around for a few years now, and I figure I should give a proper review to one of my favorite headphones. Oh shoot, spoiler alert, this review will be a recommended rating!

    Hifiman was one of the first headphone companies to start the recent Planar Magnetic driver wave that has grown in popularity in recent years, along with Audeze, and created a market of headphones that have spectacularly low distortion levels and linear bass response, something that is very challenging to do on a normal dynamic driver in headphones.

    This planar magnetic technology has been around for a very long time with audio names like Magnepan using it in their speakers for many decades now. Yamaha (Orthodynamic series) and Fostex (Regular Phase) have had several planar magnetic headphones from over 30 years ago with Fostex still in this market with their popular RP series.

    So what makes the recent wave so much better? Well technology has improved and on top of that, these new headphones from Hifiman and Audeze are extremely attractive. They also cost quite a bit.

    The original HE560 was introduced at $899 and still retails at that today. Through many aggressive sales, one can find it for as low as $299 brand new on sites like Adorama now. And I can say that this is a fantastic stellar deal.

    P1020131.JPG P1020051.JPG


    The version I own is the V2 or V1.1 or something… The original version used SMC connectors. The version I have replaced those finicky connectors with 2.5mm connectors on each ear cup. There is a new version that recently came out that replaces the original headband with the Sundara headband which is an all-metal construction which improves build strength but has less freedom of movement.

    Back to the one I own again – The headband is extremely comfortable. The notorious yokes swivel and and the cups can rotate, giving a very large amount of movement on your head. This allows the headphone to fit on any head comfortable.

    So why do I call it notorious? Well, a recent batch of these yokes were very prone to cracking and breaking very quickly. Hifiman customer service has responded quite well and offered replacements very quickly each time though. And because of this issue, the new version using the all-metal headband was released.

    The pads that come with the HE560 are just okay. They are faux leather and angled with a velour pad that goes against your face. The velour helps keep you cool and sweat-free for longer listening sessions, while the faux-leather helps keep the treble in check.

    Now that said, I don’t like the original pad too much. I’ve since upgraded to the Dekoni Elite Hybrid Leather pad. It’s pretty much the same idea as the original: it’s angled, with a velour pad but made with a real leather pad and soft memory foam inside. The inside of the pad has perforated leather. Essentially, it’s a hybrid of all of Dekoni’s pad types. This pad is super comfy and soft, and I have no qualms about wearing it for hours.

    The cables that came with my package were a 6 foot long XLR Balanced and 6 foot long ¼ inch stereo cable. The cables are very stiff and inflexible and generally annoying. I sold the balanced cable immediately, and the other cable has been relegated to the box which is in the garage behind other boxes in a corner.

    Luckily the 2.5mm cable is very common and one can find replacement cables very easily. For example, NeoMusica makes a good cheap cable for under $20 that works perfectly fine for this headphone. I elected to make my own balanced XLR cable for this headphone and it was easy and works well.

    HE560 vs Harman Target 2018.jpg


    Some people say the HE560 is bright and can be harsh. Others, like me, think this headphone is nearly perfectly neutral. Yes, its neutral-bright. There is a slight peak in the lower treble that can be harsh for treble-sensitive ears, but for me, I love this sound signature. It’s a very well-balanced signature, with some very slight recessed mids that some may call dry.

    The bass response on this is nearly perfectly linear down to sub-bass levels. It’s got rumble and texture and is a good example of what planar bass is. If you are coming from a dynamic, you’ll miss some of the big impact and boom, but you will be rewarded with a super clean and smooth transition into the lower mids. Muddiness will never be an issue on these.

    The upper-mids, again are slightly recessed, while the lower treble does peak up a bit which gives the headphone a lot of air and detail. This effect does give some people the sense that it sounds harsh.

    Due to it’s low distortion numbers and generally true with all planars, they do respond well to EQ across the board.

    The soundstage width is open and imaging is very good on these as well.

    HE560 - Flat Compensation.jpg HE560 THD.jpg
    HE560 Waterfall.jpg HE5650 Channel Matching.jpg


    Overall, I really dig these headphones. There are some general concerns with the headphone build quality (when price is considered), but I actually think it is well built now that I have a functional headband. I actually am using a 3D-Printed Yoke, but my final supplied headband from Hifiman works fine as well as the metal Sundara headband.

    Tonality has some small issues in the upper mids and lower treble, but it doesn’t affect me at all. I can listen to this headphone for hours at a time (and I have).

    Included accessories are pretty poor though. So I would probably look into buying additional accessories with it if that matters to you.

    IMG_20180604_134923.jpg IMG_20180828_215553.jpg P1020049.JPG


    1. HE560 - FR.jpg
      phthora and volly like this.
  3. Rhamnetin
    Not as good as I'd hoped
    Written by Rhamnetin
    Published Jun 21, 2018
    Pros - Lightweight and comfortable.
    - Very good bass extension, texture, detail. Outclasses dynamic headphone bass.
    - Mids sound linear, male vocals sound good and no instruments here sound unnatural to me. Female vocals usually sound authentic too, though some harshness can occur in the worst case scenario at least with a Schiit Lyr 3.
    Cons - - Treble is too forward, making it the focal point of the headphone. Treble performance is not bad but is not excellent, bordering on grainy at times.
    - Unimpressive imaging for an open back headphone.
    - Cheap build quality and materials, 2.5mm cable connectors that will wear out if used often.
    - The Sundara sounds far better/more natural for the same price and is built better (not that saying it's built better means much, HiFiMan sets the build quality bar quite low).
    The HiFiMan HE-560 is an open back planar magnetic headphone with a single sided magnet array. For more information about planar magnetic headphones, read Tyll's excellent article on the subject:


    This is going to be a more concise review than my others, simply because I don't love this headphone so I don't feel compelled to write as much in this review. I will write as much as I feel is necessary to describe its sound and build quality, which is what matters. I bought it for $320 from Adorama, for that price I'd give it 4 starts. But for the typical price of $450-500 in Q2 2018, 3 stars seems about right. If you get it from Adorama, you won't get the case with it. Otherwise you will get what seems to be a nice case, but I can't speak for it. HiFiMan is nice enough to include two cables with the HE-560; a single ended 1/4" one and a balanced XLR cable.

    Audio Chain:
    - Breeze DU-U8 digital interface
    - Chord Mojo DAC
    - Schiit Lyr 3 amplifier with Raytheon VT-231 tube (was NOS when I bought it in 2018).

    Build Quality and Comfort


    The first thing that jumps out are the plastic yokes. Cheap, people have had them break. The inner headband is a synthetic material that seems fine, the pads are pleather with velour where it touches your ears. HiFiMan can't even use real leather on their $6,000 SUSVARA so of course they don't use it here.

    The biggest problem though is the fragile 2.5mm cable connectors. So don't unplug your cable often at all, it will not handle repeated use very well.

    Comfort is excellent however, thanks to the suspension headband design, large soft pads, light weight. It is highly adjustable and should fit most adults. But the build quality just supports stereotypes of Chinese made products. Cheap, cheap, cheap. Though I like how much the cups rotate.


    Sound Quality
    The general sound signature of the HE-560 is a bright and somewhat forward one. Good extension in both directions, mostly linear but with a slightly forward treble response. Too bright for my taste, doesn't have the bass slam or awesome aggression of say the HE-6 to accompany such brightness which could make for a very "fun" listening experience for many listeners. Detail retrieval is nothing extraordinary nor is it weak by any means.

    Very good extension that goes firmly below 20 Hz. Easily outclasses 99.9% of dynamic headphones here. Good texture, mostly linear sounding bass with no mid bass bloom or hump. A bit more bass slam than most dynamic headphones but not a major focus of this one at all. I prefer more full bodied bass than what the HE-560 provides.

    I directly compared the HE-560 to two headphones: the ZMF Blackwood (also a planar, a heavily modded closed back Fostex T50RP MK3 in fact) and the Sennheiser HD 6XX. As expected, the bass completely outclasses the HD 6XX's in every way; deeper, better texture and detail, more impact. The ZMF Blackwood however beats the HE-560's bass in every way, again deeper but also more full bodied, and more impact. Sub-bass is the biggest improvement for the Blackwood.

    The mids here sound linear, nothing really stands out more than anything else here and the bass doesn't overshadow anything since it's not a particularly bassy headphone. Good detail, doesn't sound thin in the mids at all which is one of the most important aspects of a headphone for me. No instrument sounds particularly unauthentic.

    Vocals sound authentic for the most part, but female vocals can become a bit harsh/strident on the most demanding songs like Sledgehammer (Rihanna). That might be my Lyr 3's fault but the ZMF Blackwood and Ori for reference don't sound strident there. That harshness is actually worse on the HD 6XX.

    Nothing in the mids is amazing, but aside from rare and mild harshness in the upper mids that the Lyr 3 probably exacerbated, there are no problems with the mids either to my ears.

    The most prominent frequency region of the HE-560. It's not as bright as say the Beyerdynamic T90, but the treble is more prominent and will get the most of your attention, like it or not.

    Thankfully, the treble is not terrible. It sounds like a fairly linear treble response to my ears, using treble sweep tests (it easily reaches my hearing limit of 19 KHz) and listening to music that emphasizes it. The treble presentation is not smooth, perhaps even a touch grainy at times but again I never used the HE-560 with an excellent amplifier.

    The forward nature of the HE-560 contributes to it being an overall forward sounding headphone, though the only thing in your face will be the treble. I really wonder why HiFiMan went for this sound signature (this is the only HiFiMan headphone with this sound signature).

    Sound Stage/Imaging:
    It sounds open and airy, but lacks precision and the very noticeable dimensions of top tier open back headphones. Imaging is actually weaker and less precise than the closed ZMF Blackwood.

    Focus vs Focus-A Pads:
    I ordered Focus-A pads since I was anticipating the HE-560 sounding too bright based off my memory of it, having listened to it in the past (albeit in a noisy environment). The Focus-A pad is said to make the HE-560 sound more neutral/linear, move the treble back a bit.

    The truth is, to my ears the Focus-A pads hardly sound any different than the stock ones. The pads are extremely similar and are crafted with the same materials. The only difference I hear is that yes, the treble is a teeny weeny bit less forward overall, but now slightly less linear sounding too. But the differences for both are very mild, and the treble sounds no more smooth nor grainy with either pad to me.


    I love how the HiFiMan HE-500 sounds. For a long time, it was by far my favorite sub $1,000 headphone and I liked it more than flagships and past flagships like the Sennheiser HD 800, Audeze LCD-3F, and JPS Labs Abyss AB-1266.

    The HE-560 is the HE-500's successor but not a worthy one. I never owned an HE-500 so can't give an accurate comparison, but the Sundara is the real HE-500 successor.

    The Sundara is almost the opposite of the HE-560 with its more laid back character, a dip when the upper mids transition into the treble that doesn't cause recession like Audeze headphones, just moves the overall presentation back a bit as if you're in the audience opposed to being on the stage (similar to the HE1000). I don't prefer the laid back character of the Sundara in general, but to me it sounds considerably better than the HE-560's treble forwardness. The Sundara is more natural, images better and has a better defined sound stage. It also has metal yokes, but seems to have its own QC issues right now based on reception here on Head-Fi.
      Sefelt103 and SilverEars like this.
    1. NA Blur
      Good honest review. Keep it up.
      NA Blur, Jun 23, 2018
      trellus likes this.
  4. The Correlation
    Great price/perfomance ratio, but it's not perfect
    Written by The Correlation
    Published Aug 15, 2017
    Pros - Fast bass with good sub-bass kick and rhythm, detailed mids and highs, wide soundstage, nice box, very light and comfy for a planar.
    Cons - Veneer rough in areas and hinge on one side loosens over time, inside of focus pads can touch large ears, somewhat dry mids, tizzy and hazy highs at times.
    A very linear headphone that has a great price/performance ratio, but it is far from perfect.

    I love my audio, and I love my headphones. I mainly listen to well produced electronic music (Skylar Spence, Oliver Nelson, Skogsra. ODESZA), though I really also enjoy jazz fusion (Dirty Loops), rock and a lot indie. I bought these HE560s on an Amazon deal in the UK recently. I am powering them with my Geek Pulse, an amp which has proven to me to be a great benchmark. Neutral, powerful, it shows you what the headphones really sound like.

    My version came in a new style hifiman box which was not wood and metal, but rather a hard pleather laminate on very stiff and thick card/plastic. Its a nice box. The cable has a good cloth finish and is a convenient 2m in length. The connectors are the new 2.5mm plugs without the old screw-in mechanism. I'm glad hifiman is listening to the community on this one.

    The headphones are light for a planar, The headband is a spring steel, whilst the arms and cups are plastic. The wood surrounding the cups is a veneer. It looks ok from a distance, though it does have rough patches. The hinge on my earcup has significantly loosened after just a day of use. NOT GOOD hifiman, but I've come to accept this from your build quality as of late.

    The comfort is decent. The headband distributes weight fantastically do it better than heavier planars like the LCD series. The cups are a bit small for my ears, even though my ears aren't that large. The focus pads are pleather on the sides and have a velour surface that touches your face. These pads can be replaced by the Focus-A pads (a preproduction pad) that some have found to be more comfortable. I haven't tried those yet, though.

    The bass, in keeping with the planar technology, is tight and fast with good slam. The upper bass is linear, with no hump as one would usually find on most dynamic drivers. The midrange is also clear, with a slight dip in the upper mids. Vocals are crisp, though they could sound thin at times as a result. Vocals still aren't as restricted as those on the Elear or the new LCD2F 2016 revision. These are not 'warm' headphones and this is only made more apparent by the dry midrange. It is not unlike the HD800 in this regard, though acoustic guitars do have a bit more body on the HE560.

    The treble is extended, airy and detailed. These are very reminiscent of some of the best STAX headphones I've heard. There is one slight problem, however. There is a lot of 'tizz' and haze in this region at times. Cymbals can sound a little bit too splashy and vocals can sometimes bite a bit too hard. These are not as bright as the HD800, though whilst the HD800 peaks at around 6K, these seem to have this broad treble bump/resonance at around 8k that could get tiring quick.

    Soundstage is decently wide, but not very deep or 3D. Better than the PM1 and HD650, but far behind the HD800. I'd say it is just slightly better than the LCD2 and Denon AHD7200 in terms of imaging.

    Overall a good headphone that has a very natural tone for pianos and guitars. It does have build issues, but not as bad as usual hifiman standards, The treble also is a bit tizzy, though some might actually enjoy that.


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      Pharron and Light - Man like this.
  5. nurxhunter
    This might be the best set of headphones I've owned
    Written by nurxhunter
    Published Dec 17, 2016
    Pros - Excellent integration--the mids are warm, clear and superb
    Cons - If bass were a bit more pronounced, efficiency ~6 dB better from present and not so bulky, they would be more perfect.
    Cannot add to what others have said vis a vis breaking down the sound.
    Burson Soloist drives HE-560 nicely.The HE-560 can sound spectacular out of a tube amp, so long as the amp has good power (>10W/ch).  Forget OTL amps, in my opinion.
    All in all, If I had to pick one set and one set only, it would be HE-560.  They just sound swell to my ear, especially for ~$550 new.  A  good value all in all.
    HiFiman ought to be commended for being innovative and a value-leader.  The owner seems to be a bit of a genius, and he has learned fast how to improve build.  Frankly, the HE-500 were a joke compared to the German phones, but sounded nice.  Too warm for me, though.  With the new line, including HE-560, he is getting the hang of build that is a compromise between quality and value and not like a helmet, but more like headphones.  Still, not quite like the Germans.  Perhaps the next models will get closer to German build, yet remain affordable. My guess is the HE-1000V2 are a quantum leap up, but I will not spend that kind of dough on phones.
    This is my first ever headphone review.  I like the HE-560 that much.
      Light - Man likes this.
  6. Sil3nce
    The HIFIMAN HE-560. Do you want it?
    Written by Sil3nce
    Published Jan 2, 2016
    Pros - TOTL sound for less. Comfortable for an Ortho. Bass accuracy and quality.
    Cons - Gets hot after long listening sessions. Questionable long-term build quality. Makes you question owning more expensive headphones :wink:
    I am not affiliated with HIFIMAN at all.
    I did not receive anything from them to review, nor did they have any influence on my final impressions/review.
    About me:
    As opposed to some reviewers out there, I’m usually hesitant to endorse a product unless it fully impresses me in terms of performance vs. value.
    Or it just sounds damned good.
    I’m pretty brutally honest in regards to how I perceive a headphone’s strength and weaknesses. There’s no point in wasting your time, my time, or anyone’s time.
    I think the reader should be learning something new with each review they read.
    I’m not here to regurgitate information others have repeatedly said. I’ll try not use hearsay or affirmations from other reviewers. This means: I will neither confirm nor deny any opinions you might have read elsewhere regarding this headphone.
    Now let’s get onto the good stuff!

    Initial Impressions / Unboxing:
    I’m not one of those people that like to spend a lot of time talking about how the headphone is crafted from exotic, purple wood that’s petrified and aged in Japanese lacquer (Looking at you Fostex TH900).
    The headphones came in a nice wooden box with a metal faceplate. The box, unfortunately, looks prone to damage and probably shouldn’t be utilized as a carrying case.
    I am told though that HIFIMAN offers a travel case that isn’t too expensive. A must, in my opinion, if you take them anywhere other than home.
    Upon opening the lid,  I’m greeted by the unmistakable design of HIFIMAN’s traditional orthodynamic headphones. I’d like to note that the HE-560 did have a very pleasant and earthy smell. Pretty important when you’re about to sample the headphone itself.
    Build quality seems about average upon first contact. The headphones themselves are much lighter than their predecessors, built out of sturdy plastic and wood trim.
    -The stitching on the headband did seem to be kind of rough, with a little bit of stitching inching out of the edges on the headband.
    -The hinges that swivel are well-oiled so that the contact points don’t scratch off against each other--a problem that the HE-400S seems to exhibit.  
    -The Focus pads are amazing as ever, decently plush with plenty of room to fit even larger ears.
    -Clamping force wasn’t too bad straight out of the box. Much better than its “400 series” siblings.
    These HE-560s come with the screw-on copper/silver/crystalline hybrid cable. It does kink a bit, but can be persuaded to behave for the most part. Both ends screw on nicely, reminiscent of the HE-6. Cable length is ample.
    Equipment Used:
    Chord Mojo
    Chord Hugo
    Resonessence Concero HP
    We can always talk about equipment synergy and amp/dac pairing for the HE-560 elsewhere. The important part is that I consider all three units relatively neutral and resolving to where I’m easily able to discern the HE-560’s character and specific attributes.

    Sound Impressions / Comparisons:
    The HE-560 is without a doubt a romantic headphone. Romantic in every sense. It is positively alluring in how smooth it’s able to present a landscape of music, without sounding dark in the process. If you could have a headphone sing ballads to you, this would be it.
    Overall signature/tonal balance can be considered neutral. The treble does get splashy at times (bad recordings don’t help the case).
    My first thought was to compare the HE-560s to the HD650s, one of my favorite reference headphones.
    Boy, was I wrong. The HE-560s are nothing like the HD650s or say the Fostex TH-600s--headphones commonly known for being warm, bassy, and generally well-liked.
    For one, I find the former to have much cleaner treble/mids/bass than the latter two.
    It also simultaneously sounds more airy, has better layering, and possesses timbre/naturalness previously unheard of outside of TOTL headphones.
    However, it did take the strengths of what the HD650 was known for. The ability to seamlessly integrate music as a collective entity. And to perform admirably for all genres of music. A headphone that can be both calming and engaging when called upon.
    You can say I was pleasantly surprised. Just because the HE-560 is the midrange headphone in the HIFIMAN lineup, didn’t mean it was in the same class as similar offerings from Sennheiser, AKG, or Fostex.
    As soon as I realized the caliber the HE-560s were punching at, I knew I had a serious contender.
    Many people systematically state that they can differentiate between how orthodynamics sound from dynamic headphones. After listening to just about every planar on the market, I’m not sure I can tell you that there’s a particular trait all orthodynamics differ from their dynamic counterparts. If there is a orthodynamic “house” sound, however, I’m sure the HE-560 encapsulates all of its outstanding features.
    This is a full-bodied headphone that’s fast, detailed, and moves enough air in the lower registers to where headphones like the HD800 or T1 can’t match it. Short of electrostats, you really can’t find better layering and texturing in the quality of the bass. And that’s saying a lot.
    Of course, if you prefer the emphasis on quantity, best look towards Audeze’s line up.
    The HE-560 isn’t a particularly bass-heavy headphone. It usually sounds just right
    There are two things that the HE-560s does so well that I simply have to give it props.
    Likewise, if we had to reward the HE-560 for two things, it would certainly be the vocals/mid-range presentation and naturalness of instruments (esp. piano).
    Both of these stood out to me. I don’t think there are many headphones that can do both vocals and timbre of musical instruments right, without skewing towards a mid-centric signature with recessed treble.
    So let’s talk about the vocals.
    -Incredibly and painstakingly brilliant.
    This is the headphone you put on when you want to hear someone sing.
    Male and female vocals both possess clarity and are accurate to the recording.
    Voices never sound artificial or processed at any point.
    Remember when I said you needed that all-arounder headphone?
    I wouldn’t mind living with just the HE-560 simply for this fact.
    Note: If you like your vocals lush and “Audio Technica” -esque, this might not be your preference. The HE-560’s mid-range takes a step back in the recording and may sound lean at times.
    Similarly, the tonality and presentation of musical instruments are just right.
    In particular, piano and stringed instruments are hauntingly beautiful in the way they’re portrayed by the HE-560.
    Delicate and soft, as if tragedy.  
    Emotional and stirring, as if destiny.
    Is the HE-560 worth getting?
    For the Black Friday price of $699, you get a brand new HE-560. Street prices are even lower.
    The answer is a resounding YES.
    You get a spacious and encompassing-sounding headphone that many people should be able to agree with for the rest of their lives.
    Best of all, if you’ve never tried a TOTL headphone, the HE-560 will most likely give you that “WOW” moment for the first time you’ve experienced something above and beyond what you’ve been used to.
    Hopefully you’ll be telling yourself, “Maybe I’m really not crazy for spending hundreds of dollars on this hobby.”
    For me, I decided to keep the HE-560 over even the HE-6 for the improved comfort, driveability, and price-to-performance ratio. Which isn’t to say the HE-6 isn’t better in many aspects. It is. But the HE-560 is infinitely less fickle and easier to drive.
    It’s safe to say the HE-560 is my standard for what a planar is capable of~
    Average Rating:
    Bass: 8
    Mids: 9
    Treble: 8
    Imaging: 8
    Soundstage: 7
    Detail Retrieval: 8
    Timbre/Naturalness: 9
    Transient Response (Cymbals, Snares, etc.): 8
    Cohesiveness: 9
    Efficiency: Fairly efficient, does need a dedicated amplifier. Not very source picky.
    Overall Score: 8.5
    As close as you can get to TOTL sound for less money.
    This isn’t a bright headphone, nor is it a dark one. Somewhere in the middle with excellent extension both ways.
    Soundstage depth is above average, while soundstage width is slightly smaller than expected.
    Overall, a very enjoyable listen.
      volly, natto, Happydog and 10 others like this.
    1. ender25
      What do you think are the differences between HE560 vs. HE1000 vs. Lcd 2 Fazor ?
      Can HE1000 be so much better to justify the asked price?
      ender25, Jan 6, 2016
    2. Sil3nce
      I've never been a fan of the LCD-2s. 
      If you're looking for resolution, details, while not sacrificing bass slam/weight--
      I'd recommend you to look at the HE-6. They only seem to scale better with high-end equipment.
      The HE-1000 is worth it if you have the money to spend. Once you listen to them, it's hard to go back. But you could be satisfied with the HE-560 once and for all. Save you quite a bit of money too.
      Sil3nce, Jan 7, 2016
  7. titaniumgrade5
    Great detailed headphone
    Written by titaniumgrade5
    Published Jul 9, 2015
    Pros - mosty neutral, detailed, angled pads, no discomfort after long listening sessions
    Cons - everyone can hear your music in other rooms
    This is a really nice headphone. It comes with a rigid and solid stock cable and packaged in a wooden box with a sliding wood and metal lid. The amount of foam prevents damage from shipping well.
    It is quite smooth and actually quite forgiving of recording flaws, especially high frequency noise. You won't hear noise in the recording too audibly. Yet the detail and timbre for the music is excellent and loud. So there is great musicality.
    Thus it has reproduces some of the most realistic woodwinds and brass I have heard.
    The bass is clear, not muddy at all. Neutral headphone, that reaches high but rolls off a bit on the high end. Relatively smooth rolloff with only one hum on treble.
    Some people say it's a bit analytic, but I find it a bit warm. So if you like a slightly warm sound but not too warm, with punchy base, this is for you.
    While there is not a huge amount of bass (so you need to equalize it a bit to get more), since the bass is rather detailed, this doesn't hurt the sound at other frequencies.
    Needs a reasonably good amplifier for maximum detail and volume. But also works well, 1/2 turn of the volume knob, from things like studio equipment (meant for recording and monitoring, not so much listening or running difficult to run headphones).
    The design is solid and very comfortable, my ears don't touch the cushions. Seems to disappear when playing, very airy sound and wide soundstage.
    Needs a bit of equalization for string concert music, but then works great. Works great right off for all other kinds of music.
    The nice thing about this is that it is very easy on the ears. Long listening sessions won't produce discomfort. Which is quite important.
    No cons at the price <900, although I like brighter headphones. With the HE560 I merely boost the volume and get the detail I demand but without fatigue. Maybe this is actually a better long run approach perhaps.
      happy0713 and Invalidated like this.
  8. Koolpep
    Don't listen to this headphone - unless you have $899
    Written by Koolpep
    Published May 14, 2015
    Pros - Light, extremely comfortable planar magnetic headphone, amazing sound quality, cool looks
    Cons - no accessories, wishing it would have tiny bit more bass
    Hifiman HE-560 Review
    Many thanks to samma3a.com for providing me with a Hifiman HE-560 to review.  
    Hifiman is a relatively young producer of audio gear. The company was started by Dr. Fang Bian in 2005 and started selling under the HiFiMAN brand since 2007. The company was founded in New York, USA, but moved the head quarter to Tianjin in China in 2011 where their two factories are located as well.
    They design and manufacture high performance headphones, portable players and amplifiers. The HE-560 is the successor of the HE-500. HiFiMAN’s flagship headphone is the HE-6 and they offer as well the legendary earphones RE-400 and RE-600.
    The headphone under review here was awarded the Audio Excellence Award (2015)  and the CES Innovations Design and Engineering Award in 2015. Hence I am pretty excited to be able to listen to it.
     Manufacture’s Specifications
    1. Type: Full size - over ear
    2. Drivers Size: 
    3. Drivers Type: Planar-Magnetic
    4. Frequency Response: 15Hz to 50KHz
    5. Sensitivity: 90dB @1mW
    6. Impedance:  50 Ω
    7. Weight with cable: 375g  
    8. Connector: 6.5mm single ended
    9. MSRP:  $899
    Wooden cups with pretty black accents and a black metal cover, innovative head band. Very clean and modern looking headphone. I think it has stellar looks. Makes my LCD-2 look very old-fashioned. Sturdy build, these headphones will stand the test of time.  However I am not so happy with the connectors, they are the same as on my HE-400 which is great if you have more than one Hifiman, so you can use the cables again. I prefer the plug-in cables of Audeze to these screw in ones, they also see to be a bit more fragile and fiddly. I do like their slight forward angle, helps getting the cable out of the way from your shoulders.  The cable runs on both sides into the ear cups, so upgrading to balanced cables is just a very simple cable swap.



    Earcups have the classic round shape, angled leather ear pads are very comfortable and create a great seal..it’s a muted, elegant and clean style/design. You don’t look too silly with them on, the square headband…well…. but at least it’s very slim.


    Build quality:

    I wouldn’t call it exceptional - I think it’s pretty much what you would expect in this price range. Maybe you could call me a slight bit disappointed. EDIT: After owning this headphone for some time, I am still not yet decided if the build quality is good or just ok. It's light, comfortable and does everything it should. Nothing seems to fail and every connector etc. is study and seems to last. So in the end I would call the build quality OK to good but not outstanding.  It's probably the extreme lightness for a headphone of it's size and materials that makes me think the build quality is not that great, so beware this might be just my own desire for "heft" :wink:

    HE-560_-7.jpg    HE-560_-8.jpg

    HE-560_-9.jpg      HE-560_-10.jpg

    Awkward looking headband is very comfortable on your head since it wraps around the shape of your head instead of creating a “hot spot” at a specific location. A very comfortable headphone I was able to wear for hours. They are also the lightest planar magnetic headphones I have ever experienced and that alone makes them amazing headphones to wear. 

    Supplied accessories

    A nice sliding wooden box, headphone and one cable. Not what you would expect from a $899 headphone. Pretty sparse. Slightly disappointing but the sound quality makes you forget this. How often do you unpack your headphones? I rather have a second set of ear pads or an additional cable (shorter/longer) etc. than a box. My personal preference.
    The overall impression you get when putting these on the first time is: Music and details are just everywhere… the sound quality is amazing on these. I will get into the details below but they deliver. The first few minutes with these I was really very impressed. Music is all around you with these headphones. You are IN your music. the music is not in your head - you are in your music - hope you understand what I am trying to say. Amazing clarity that reminds me of the HD800 - the detail monsters. The HE-560 has some of it traits. Details galore without being clinical.

    HE-560_-15.jpg    IMG_4782.jpg


    Don’t expect a boosted bass (in quantity) these are balanced headphones. Not bass-shy but also no emphasis on the bass. The bass is there, tight and perfectly layered. You won’t get the slightly emphasized bass of the LCD-2 but it’s very pleasant to listen to, even with EDM and modern pop/rock music. The bass reaches really low in best planar tradition. They are easier to drive than other Hifiman headphones but if you want them to sound their best, then use a proper powerful amp and a good DAC, these headphones deserve them. You get used to the signature of these headphones. I still would prefer the bass of the LCD-2 for pure enjoyment but could happily live with this headphone for…well forever? Just $899 hmmmm……. So it’s neutral but can reach very low, well textured and planar magnetic fast! 


    Compared to the LCD-2 you have a bit more mids, the exact right amount. Vocals sound lovely female or male. Instruments come out where and when you expect them to, brilliant. String instruments are full of power and energy - brass has timbre you haven't’ heard before.


    Details, details, details. Lots of detail in the treble, you hear everything but it’s not forcing it on you. It’s not a clinical headphone. It has all the detail but still giving you a musical experience that is not fatiguing. It has air around it and from wha tI can judge it’s very natural (for a lack of a better word).

    Sound Stage and instruments separation:

    Coming from the LCD-2 on a single ended cable I couldn’t help but saying a loud WOW. Music surrounds you. You are taking a bath in your music. While other headphones like the ATH-M50, HD-25 etc. are playing everything between your ears, this headphone just wraps around you, near and far and plays it all beautifully to give you goosebumps. The soundstage is not artificially large - it’s just right. Enough width and depth, you can pinpoint instruments in space.
    Pros & Cons


    1. One of the lightest planar magnetic headphone i the world
    2. extremely comfortable
    3. replaceable cable and ear-pads
    4. high quality cable (unlike some other Hifimans)
    5. high build quality

    1. disappointing accessories (headphone with cable, box, that’s it)
    2. with a tad more bass it would be the most amazing headphone ever
    1. Comfort                       9/10
    2. Sound Quality             9/10
    3. Design                        8/10
    4. Durability                    8/10
    5. Value for Money         10/10
    Is it silly to call a $899 headphone a bargain? Probably. I would still call it that. This headphone is really something you will enjoy for a very long time. Pair it with a good amp play some high-resolution content and just forget the world around you… It’s a worthy successor of the HE-500 and slots in nicely behind the HE-6. But it’s so much more accessible. While the flagship HE-6 needs an insanely powerful amplifier (and your own nuclear power plant to supply the power) to sound its best, this headphone is surprisingly easy to drive. My Gloveaudio A1 or Cayin C5 could drive it properly. Using a Violectric V200 or Gustard H10, Schiit Lyr or Asgard, Fiio E12 and you are set. Going balanced does get you a tad more soundstage but it’s not needed. I had a Plussoundaudio Dionysian Series Custom Balanced cable lying around from my HE-400 and while there is an improvement - it’s not as dramatic as with other headphones. The stock cable is very nice (and VERY well made). It has high quality connectors, the massive plug is from Neutric.
    If you want to experience the pleasures of planar magnetic technology go and don’t settle for second place headphones. Go in all the way on this one. 
    I am very sad that I have to return the review headphone to samma3a.com again but I am very thankful to have experienced this headphone.
    I have not heard a better headphone in this price range (list price). 
    You have been warned - don’t listen to this headphone - trust me, you WILL spend $899 after you do. 
    EDIT: I ended up buying this headphone - it left such a great impression that I had to own it. Now a lot of other headphones have to go :wink:
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Hypnotic Rhythm
      Great review Koolpep. I was contemplating about whether I should get these headphones, but after reading this review, I am bound to get them sometime this summer. I can't hardly wait.
      Hypnotic Rhythm, May 16, 2015
    3. NA Blur
      Anyone know if there is any bass venting on the HE-560 like that on the Grado line?  Different beasts I know, but I am talking about airflow and how to get a bit more bass out of the HE-560.
      NA Blur, May 18, 2015
    4. barleyguy
      @NA Blur The HE-560, like all of HifiMan's orthos, is open backed and then damped with felt. Fang spends hours and hours tuning the damping before he releases something, and often makes minor tweaks even after release. You could theoretically adjust the damping for more bass, but it's extremely likely that it would throw something else out of balance.
      barleyguy, May 19, 2015
  9. DreamKing
    Very impressive planar
    Written by DreamKing
    Published Apr 24, 2015
    Pros - Top-notch lifelike sound; non-fatiguing yet dynamic and greatly engaging / Performs with any music genre / Most comfortable headphone I've worn yet
    Cons - Might require modding as it may develop build-related rattling (more in review) / Flimsy cable connectors / Low quality pads
    This is my first review on head-fi. I had humble beginnings in the headphone world that only officially started once I got the wonderful AKG K550 and grew more conscious of the link between the importance of sound reproduction and the music that I love. Ordinarily, I started with a bunch of earphones I'd subsequently replace each time one would die after typically being squashed or walked on. All of which I cannot remember, besides Apple iPod earbuds I guess. This is until I got the Sony MDR-XD200. In retrospect, it was a terrible headphone with a gimmicky music/movie switch on one of its cups that did absolutely nothing but it was the longest I had kept a headphone this cheap (paid about 40 bucks canadian with the tax). I kept it until it died out, got the K550 and then that led to more headphone/gear buys. Here we are today with the HE-560 and I never imagined I'd have a ~US$900 headphone in my possession- got it for much less in like-new condition, mind you- but this is an exciting time This review will unsurprisingly not have comparisons with other high-end headphones but I felt the need to snapshot and condense my thoughts on the HE-560 to compare with future experiences through gear acquisitions.

    Build Quality, Comfort, Accessories:

    The build and design of the HE-560 is suitable for the price point but not very solid and is both gorgeous as well as understated. The mesh grill looks particularly great. I like the look of the headband too, though not so much how the metal top-part of it looks on the head, well at least my head. I've seen how great HiFiman's headphones, including the HE-560 look on their female models after all or maybe that's just me looking at the women...
    The comfort is incredible, from the earpads to the headband, it feels very lightweight for a planar. It felt weightless vs my other headphones which are much lower priced with dynamic drivers. My K550, for example, are about 305g- mine are even more than that with the LCD-3 leather pads I swapped the deteriorated memory foam stock pads with. Somehow the 365-375g of the HE-560 feel lighter on my head and weightless in comparison. The weight is expertly distributed with materials chosen not to tip the scale This is a perfect headphone for prolonged listening sensations and it has the sound signature for it as well, which I will discuss next.
    The clamp feels tight but in no way excessive to my head at least, so this could potentially cause concern for those with different head shapes or those annoyed by this kind of clamp. Earpad seal is therefore perfect for me.
    As far as accessories, you get the HE-560 wood/metallic box and the 1/4" terminated cable. The cable ergonomics are pretty good, but it isn't very flexible and so it can be prone to kinks depending on the temperature. The connectors are a bad design, you tighten by screwing the tiny gold ring only; if you twist the cable or tighten it too much you risk breaking the wire that links the connector to the cable, and the cable will be rendered useless after enough duress. The connector design is horrendous and is the biggest drawback of this headphone by far.
    Update 6/02/2015:
    This is important to say, the HE-560 may or may not develop a rattling when reproducing sub-bass, in one of the drivers or maybe both because of the single-ended design. I replaced my first HE-560 when it had rattling in the right driver. This second HE-560 was performing well but alas, there's now rattling in left driver when there's quiet sub-bass notes/sounds. This appears to build related and not unit dependent. Good thing this can be remedied.
    I fixed it by re-screwing the aluminium ring very tightly onto the driver housing in the left driver and also did the right driver for good measure. Another fix (haven't tested this myself at this time) or a way to fully seal the earpad to the aluminium ring is quoted by jerg:
    "If you are talking about the rattling when you play very low frequency music / tones at loud volume, I described why I my HE560 mod thread. It's because the drivers are single-ended, so there is no two-way magnetic field locking the diaphragm in place, meaning at very low frequencies, the diaphragm can over-shoot which causes the rattling.
    The way to fix it is to create a good seal on the ear-side, so there is back-pressure against the diaphragm when it oscillates low frequency tones. Find the earpads that fit onto your head the nicest (Focus or Focus-A), and perfect the seal (my mod guide outlines a silicone glue method; some also use electrical tape for an easier but uglier way to seal off).
    Once the seal is in place, HE560 has zero rattling issues and is able to reproduce low frequencies with startling authority."
    link for jerg's mod: http://www.head-fi.org/t/738912/he-560-enhancement-mod-v1-5
    Update 3/11/2016:
    The pads deteriorate with use, meaning that they break off the stitching and expose the blue foam inside. I bought Lawton Pads from lawtonaudio.com as a replacement, as they are better quality but quite expensive (US$109). This is true for all versions available (Focus pads, Focus pad-A).



    burn-in with pink noise loop and regular listening: 150+ hours exceeded (HiFiMan's own recommendation)
    Associated equipment (Edited 05/2015):
    Beresford Bushmaster MKII

    Gustard H10, Beresford Capella
    Headphones for direct comparison: AKG K550, JVC SZ2000

    Being the real meat of this headphone, as it should be, the sound is delightful. It is a unique (haven't heard a headphone tuned like this before) and addicting sound, so the most I can do is try my best to describe it. There isn't a particular part of the sonic spectrum or frequency response that is highlighted like you would hear from a dynamic headphone or other planars in general, like the reported "lush" mids of the Audeze headphones. The adjective that came to mind as I heard it for the first time was "natural", with reality / real instrument playing as reference. I'd say the sound is slightly smooth in the bass and the midrange compared to dynamic headphones, like is commonly attributed to planars -- though the smoothness is less pronounced in the HE-560 than the norm. Highly capable of attack. It's an almost perfect balance of smoothness vs attack IMHO. It's a disciplined attempt at a natural sound so as to not dampen the bass too much nor the rest of the sonic spectrum. It's as if the mix was calculated not to deviate away from the apparent goal HiFiman set out with this headphone.
    As far as the measured 4kHz peak is concerned, I've got no problem with it. I tried to see if I would prefer EQ'ing it down, but preferred the little more harsher tinge from the un-eq'ed HE-560.
    I'd like to add that after testing my hearing with an audiogram, I found out I'm much more sensitive to high frequencies -- 6kHz and up, but more precisely 8 kHz -- like the 9 kHz peak found on the K550 rather than frequencies below the high frequencies like the 4kHz peak found on the HE-560. But I have to say that 4 kHz (and the rest of the high mids) is still more sensitive to me than 2 kHz, 1kHz, 500 hz but not 250 hz and the bass region. It comes to my understanding that being more sensitive to the 1 kHz to 4 kHz frequencies and less sensitive to the low and high frequencies is the norm for most people. So I found out I have abnormal hearing through this hobby. My 20 Hz - 19 kHz hearing limit is pretty normal though.
    Music genres to pair with:
    As far as choice music for the headphone, every song, from every musical style I threw at it, fit. It's that simple. At no point was I looking for another headphone for a particular song or artist. This is an important factor for why I like the HE-560 as much as I do since I have one of the most eclectic music tastes I know of.
    Sure, my SZ2000 have more impact for bass heavy tracks when I feel like it and that's exactly why I love it for that mood but for long sessions there is no substitute to the HE-560 regardless of genre in my mind. HiFiman has a reputation for making all-rounder or "genre master" headphones- to use the term @DavidMalher employs to describe them -- and this one is no exception.
    Sound summary
    Extends past human audibility (even below 20hz). Completely linear full bass extension.
    Depth and breadth reproduction is incredible to the point of giving me deep chills (pun intended) on a regular basis.
    First thing to come to mind is: they are liquid smooth and clear.
    The cello notes, for example, that go from where the bass meets the low mids are spot on. 
    The treble is clearly defined, textured and crisp. Very much capable of impactful or penetrating transient attack in the lower treble / high mids.


    Top-notch lifelike sound; non-fatiguing yet dynamic and greatly engaging / Performs with any music genre / Most comfortable headphone I've worn yet
    1. Cable connectors
    2. Build quality could be better
    The rating reflects what I got for the money, my relationship with the headphone so far and the rise in quality as well appreciation for the sound signature I got accustomed to going from my main (previously) mid-fi bright and clear headphone (K550) to this more high-end but relatively affordable headphone. The HE-560 is now my new main set.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. DreamKing
      HAha! no way, when I need that ear & facial massage and deep grooves, I get too much pleasure from the SZ. And thanks man, really hope you get to have these too :) 
      DreamKing, Apr 26, 2015
    3. money4me247
      enjoyable review to read. good job on your first review man.
      money4me247, Apr 28, 2015
    4. DreamKing
      thank you man, much appreciated
      DreamKing, May 28, 2015
  10. C.C.S.
    Exceptional Sound; Almost Reasonable Price
    Written by C.C.S.
    Published Apr 6, 2015
    Pros - Almost neutral, fantastic bass, excellent timbre, costs less than $1k
    Cons - Aggressive at 4 kHz w/ stock pads, a little bright, moderate dip between 1-3 kHz, needs a semi-strong amp, price
    Short Review:
    This is a fantastic headphone for anybody who wants to hear something that approaches neutrality. This produces a resolving, highly detailed sound, that comes pretty close to sounding flat. It's a little bright and aggressive and the transition from the midrange to the upper mids is a little bit recessed, but with mods, pad swaps, equalization or any combination of the three, you can chase down an even flatter sound that is characteristic of a reference class product.
    It is perhaps not the last word on resolution - I have yet to hear any other headphones on this tier of technical performance - and it is not the most neutral headphone out there (the HD600 is still the best reference I currently have for neutrality), but a few tweaks to its sound has made it the best headphone I've yet heard, by far.
    $900 is more than I like to spend on headphones, but the sound has justified the price. All things considered, I can recommend this to anyone who has at least an okay amplifier on hand. If you have the money and you can justify it to yourself, try this one out.


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