HE-400 VS HE400i VS Fidelio X2 (Need Input)
May 7, 2015 at 9:10 PM Post #16 of 81

TJ Browning

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Awesome. Well, I don't have any experience with the 400, but I can say I'm very pleased with the 400i. It's a gorgeous headphone, however this has led me to some obsessive-compulsive cleaning as the gloss finish shows fingerprints and dust quickly. They are comfortable, but I find the headband adjustment a little quirky. The X2's are definitely more comfortable in my opinion. One of the most comfortable set of cans I've worn. Soundwise, the 400i is more neutral and precise, with the mids definitely stealing the show. As I'm sure you're aware these are not bass-heavy cans. The bass is there when the recording calls for it and it is tight and controlled, however overall I find myself wishing there was just a little bit more oomph. Some may disagree; if you like a balanced sound, these are superb. However if you listen to a lot of electronic music you'll probably be underwhelmed with these, although playing them through a good amp/dac does bring out the bottom end. That being said, the 400i's sound awesome. Less spacious than the X2, but more detailed, present, and responsive. Again, the real magic is in the mids and highs. The mids are lush and fluid and the highs sparkle without being harsh. Instrument separation and texture is amazing. I would probably rate these phones as low high-fi, where I'd probably place the Philips in the mid to high med-fi. I've heard them called a little cold and analytical, but I disagree. They are very musical and enjoyable. A bit more picky about amplification than the X2; I'd definitely put some good equipment behind them before judging them. I usually play them through the Musical Paradise MP 301 MK3, which is a decent tube amp, and I can say that vocal-driven music, jazz, and rock just sing through these. Adele, Springsteen, Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd- I literally get goosebumps. My overall opinion: a stellar sounding set of cans, but a little picky. If I had to choose one single pair of phones to own, these would probably not be it. However where they shine, they really, really do shine.
 
The X2, on the other hand, is a killer headphone in its own right. I may be somewhat biased, but I love these phones. For the price, I don't think you can beat them. They don't really do one thing exceptionally, but they do everything well. They are comfortable, look great, and are just fun. I own much more expensive pairs of headphones and still find myself on these most of the time. The soundstage is airy and there is distinct instrument separation. Bass is incredible for an open-back headphone, especially sub-bass. The bass doesn't quite have the quality of the 400i, but the quantity is there without being overwhelming. It does bleed a little into the low midrange, but they're so enjoyable to listen to that it's not a concern to me. Has a bit of a V-shaped signature yet the midrange is still pleasingly present. To me the sound is in the same vein as the HD 650- not quite as detailed but more lively and fuller bass; given the choice I would take these over the 650. Also not nearly as detailed or textured as the 400i, but very warm, musical, and non-fatiguing. You can listen to these all day, and they sound good with whatever equipment or genre of music you throw at them. Granted, they're not going to rival flagship headphones in sonic accuracy, but they are an all-around enjoyable workhorse, and a steal for what you pay. For a solid, rocking med-fi headphone, I would recommend these all day.
 
May 12, 2015 at 3:44 PM Post #17 of 81

TJ Browning

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Thanks! Case in point, I ordered the Fostex TH600 from Amazon a couple weeks ago and have been feeling them out. I compared them to the X2 through my Sony PHA-2 (which is a surprisingly good sounding headphone amp/DAC combo in my opinion) and just couldn't love the TH600s. They had precision over the X2 and were more refined especially in the bass department, but the highs were a tad harsh. Granted, they sounded great, but clocking in at twice the price of the Fidelios, they just didn't seem worth it, in fact sounded somewhat boring in comparison to my ears. Maybe a different setup would have made the TH600 sound better? Anyways, I ended up returning them. The Fidelio X2's are really just awesome for what you pay. They've kind of become my "go-to" for comparison based on price.
 
Kind of a change in subject, but I'm thinking about trying the Fostex TH900 instead of the TH600. I've heard great things about the 900, but wasn't blown away by the 600. Anyone have any experience with both? Are they worth the jump in price compared to the 600s? 
 
May 12, 2015 at 4:21 PM Post #18 of 81

manbear

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IMO the TH600 sounds best with SS gear tending towards the warm or smooth side.

I havent spent enough time with the TH900 but my basic impression is that it gets you more refinement, especially in the treble, and incrementally better soundstage and detail.
 
Jul 18, 2015 at 6:49 PM Post #21 of 81

TJ Browning

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Definitely the X2. Very open and spacious.
 
Jul 18, 2015 at 8:40 PM Post #22 of 81

richlaw

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 The X2's are definitely more comfortable in my opinion. One of the most comfortable set of cans I've worn.

 
I have both and I agree with pretty much everything you said, but this most of all. I'm actually going to be selling/trading my HE-400i as soon as my account here is old enough to post them.
 
The HE-400i are great headphones, but comfort is really big factor for me. I read that these are better than the HE-400's, but I suppose I may have a fat head. The clamping force was a little tight and didn't seem to want to loosen up whereas the X2 did after a few hours. They also get a little warm after extended wearing, which may be a combo of me living in Florida and being in a room full of powered electronics more than anything else :)
 
Jul 18, 2015 at 9:19 PM Post #23 of 81

TJ Browning

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Haha, could be! Yeah, initially the 400i was very uncomfortable to me, especially after being used to the X2. I couldn't understand people who were saying they were like little pillows on the head. They do break in though. Interestingly, I just returned my 400i to Hifiman last week and received a replacement pair because I pulled the pads and the right driver had wrinkles in it. I've never seen anything like that before. Customer service was great about it, but they did send a refurbished pair instead of a new pair. I was worried about this at first, but the pair they sent looks and sounds great. Point being, the pair they sent is actually MUCH more comfortable than the pair I had; the cups swivel much more freely and the clamping force is practically gone. My pair was only about 3 months old; I can only guess that this pair is more broken in than mine were? I either had a super uptight pair, or they break in beautifully with time. If you like the sound, perhaps give them some time? Maybe by the time your account is old enough they'll feel better. If you don't sweat to death, that is :wink: 
 
Aug 11, 2015 at 4:50 PM Post #24 of 81

camui78

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I just got my HE-400i and I must have gotten one of the earlier models since the clamp is so tight, especially pressed on my ears and top of my head. The pads sit right on my cheek bones which hurts to the point I don't want to wear them.

I have been adjusting the headband some but I hope things get better!!
 
Aug 12, 2015 at 4:44 AM Post #25 of 81

TJ Browning

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Ouch. My original new pair was a tight fit, but I don't remember them being that uncomfortable... Maybe they do vary a little. They should loosen up though, don't worry. Judging by the replacement pair I got, they really do break in- in fact, I almost wish these fit more snugly now! Keep working with the headband... If you haven't already, you might also look into one of the "head" style stands that "wears" the headphone as opposed to just hanging it, etc. That should help work the band/pads in even when you're not wearing them. I have the Brainwavz Peridot for my X2s and it looks/works great.  
 
Aug 12, 2015 at 8:08 PM Post #26 of 81

camui78

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Sorry to go OT: I bought the Luxa2 headstand, so cannot spend any more $$ ATM.  I have a travel pillow that could work which I am using right now... not too bulky but should be OK.  Is there a way to take the ear pads slightly off my ears to make it a little more comfortable?
 
Aug 13, 2015 at 4:51 AM Post #27 of 81

TJ Browning

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That's a cool stand! I think the "hang" stands work better with the 400i, but for what you're trying to do it won't help much. Yeah a pillow should work, or anything really. Hell a small cardboard box would probably work, it just needs to hold them open so they loosen a bit.
 
As far as moving out the pads like you mentioned, I'm not sure... I like the focus pads so I haven't looked into changing them, but swapping the pads might help. Of course, it could make it worse too, depending on the pad and there again you're looking at more $$$. You might have to do some digging in the threads here to see what replacement pads people are using with the 400i. If memory serves, the HM5 pads fit... Don't quote me on that though. I do know they are a pretty popular memory foam pad and they come in both velour and leather/pleather. Pretty sure they make angled ones as well. There's a lot of other choices out there too. 
 
Aug 13, 2015 at 9:35 AM Post #28 of 81

camui78

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I have decided to return them back to Amazon and they will process my claim even though the reseller wouldn't since I got the 400i at a discounted price.

Now I am on the hunt for a "comfortable" HP (which I thought the HiFiMan was) with about the same sound signature.
 
Aug 13, 2015 at 9:40 AM Post #29 of 81

camui78

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I initially looked at the Philips X2 but don't like a bass heavy HP. Too afraid to buy another pair without first trying them on, but no good headphone shops where I live. However, Moon Audio is 3 hours away which is too far to drive to test some out.

TJ, you said the X2 is better than the HD 650 which someone recommended to me since I wanted to get rid of the 400i. I truly hope they are very comfortable and is a definite upgrade to my AT AD700.
 
Aug 23, 2015 at 7:29 AM Post #30 of 81

TJ Browning

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I initially looked at the Philips X2 but don't like a bass heavy HP. Too afraid to buy another pair without first trying them on, but no good headphone shops where I live. However, Moon Audio is 3 hours away which is too far to drive to test some out.

TJ, you said the X2 is better than the HD 650 which someone recommended to me since I wanted to get rid of the 400i. I truly hope they are very comfortable and is a definite upgrade to my AT AD700.


Yes, I did say I preferred them over the HD650 and I stand by that; however, I recently re-bought the 650, and to its credit it is still a great headphone. The Sennheiser definitely has clarity and ability to scale over the X2, but yes, the X2 is more spacious and more fun to listen to overall. It is without a doubt more comfortable. If the clamp of the 400i bothered you, I don't think you'd like the Sennheiser. You might look into the Audioquest Nighthawk. I haven't heard it, but from what I read it fits and hits like the X2 but has the clarity of the HD650. I'm eagerly eyeing a pair myself...
 
If you already ordered the Fidelio, congrats! I really do think you'll be impressed. It has a little more rumble than some prefer, but they are a blast. I haven't heard the AD700 so I can't comment there, but I'll never get rid of my X2.   
 

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