HE-400i... a bad choice for a 'fun' headphone?
Nov 17, 2016 at 2:16 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19

439598

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I moved up from m50s to he400i  last week and my first thought was that I needed an amp to bring out the greatness of the 400i's.
Well I got my amp (o2+odac) and im quite shocked, the 400i sound slightly better amped but the old m50s sound quite a lot better amped even though they should be relatively easy to drive compared to the planars. 
 
so I am now seeing the true ability of both these headphones and frankly im not impressed enough by the planars considering they are roughly 5 times the price ,and buying an amp only made my m50s sound even better.
 
In some aspects I even prefer the m50s, 
the famous 'planar bass' was the most disappointing thing, the bass is great,accurate fast and deep,  but it doesnt carry the same impact as the m50s bass... I really wish Hifiman had made the 400i into a refined he400 instead of basing it off the he560's signature.
I guess I should have expected the disappointing bass but a lot people seemed to say that 400i bass was not worse than 400, just different.
 
considering that im quite a fan of m50s I think the neutrality of the he400i is whats making it hard for me to enjoy them.

do you have any suggestions for a pair that you think would impress me more than 400i for less or the same price?



 
 
Nov 17, 2016 at 8:12 PM Post #2 of 19

buke9

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I moved up from m50s to he400i  last week and my first thought was that I needed an amp to bring out the greatness of the 400i's.

Well I got my amp (o2+odac) and im quite shocked, the 400i sound slightly better amped but the old m50s sound quite a lot better amped even though they should be relatively easy to drive compared to the planars. 

so I am now seeing the true ability of both these headphones and frankly im not impressed enough by the planars considering they are roughly 5 times the price ,and buying an amp only made my m50s sound even better.

In some aspects I even prefer the m50s, 
the famous 'planar bass' was the most disappointing thing, the bass is great,accurate fast and deep,  but it doesnt carry the same impact as the m50s bass... I really wish Hifiman had made the 400i into a refined he400 instead of basing it off the he560's signature.

I guess I should have expected the disappointing bass but a lot people seemed to say that 400i bass was not worse than 400, just different.

considering that im quite a fan of m50s I think the neutrality of the he400i is whats making it hard for me to enjoy them.


do you have any suggestions for a pair that you think would impress me more than 400i for less or the same price?




 
Haven't heard the 400i's so can't say. I've only heard the M 50's once and that was out of a Schiit stack not for sure which one. I found the bass muddy the rest was ok but not great. I have the 400's and 400S's and if I'm looking for fun it is the 400's no doubt. If the 400i's are in line with what the 560's are to the 500's then you want the 400's. They will tell you what you thought the planar sound was about.
 
Nov 17, 2016 at 8:29 PM Post #3 of 19

buke9

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If you want fun the Th-X00's are also a great choice.
 
Nov 18, 2016 at 4:56 PM Post #7 of 19

tz0531

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  they seem pretty rare in europe but i found one that delivers to my country for €230, would you say they are worth it for that price?

 
I'm surprised that the X2 is rare in Europe, considering Philips is headquartered in the Netherlands. In the US, the X2 goes for around the same price as the Sennheiser HD600 and is slightly cheaper than the Hifiman HE-400S, so take that into account. If you shop around, I'm sure you could find an even better price, but they do offer excellent sound quality for the price so even full list price is not unreasonable.
 
Nov 18, 2016 at 7:20 PM Post #9 of 19

buke9

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What is a "fun" headphone? My wife refers to clothes or hairstyles as "fun". Men using the word fun are usually talking about cars or guns.
I'm car shopping right now that is no fun but guns are fun got a Sten MKII 32 rounds in under 3 seconds puts a smile on my face every time.
 
Nov 18, 2016 at 7:26 PM Post #10 of 19

ProtegeManiac

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What is a "fun" headphone? My wife refers to clothes or hairstyles as "fun". Men using the word fun are usually talking about cars or guns.

 
That depends. If men are talking about tail-wagging old air cooled 911s, that's "fun" to them, but the same people aren't going to be happy about an Audi RS6 that goes around a corner with mild understeer and no inclinations to do a 720 spin out of that hairpin and then straight down, boot first into the canyon.
 
Similarly, those who like aircooled 911s for their tail slapping action would prefer a Grado's jagged response emphasizing the percussion in the upper bass than the flatter response of the HD600 or HE400i.
 
Nov 18, 2016 at 10:10 PM Post #11 of 19

Monsterzero

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To me a "fun" headphone is something that has PRaT....Ive always disliked that acronym but since its used often in lieu of "foot tapping ability" I begrudgingly include it here.

IMHO a musical headphone AKA PRaT AKA foot tapping ability in a headphone is one of,if not the most, overlooked quality in this hobby.
 
Nov 18, 2016 at 10:14 PM Post #12 of 19

buke9

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To me a "fun" headphone is something that has PRaT....Ive always disliked that acronym but since its used often in lieu of "foot tapping ability" I begrudgingly include it here.


IMHO a musical headphone AKA PRaT AKA foot tapping ability in a headphone is one of,if not the most, overlooked quality in this hobby.
Totally agree. When I listen to my Ether-C's I hear things I haven't heard before in some songs but with my HE-400's turned up I don't care just having fun.
 
Nov 18, 2016 at 10:20 PM Post #13 of 19

Monsterzero

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Totally agree. When I listen to my Ether-C's I hear things I haven't heard before in some songs but with my HE-400's turned up I don't care just having fun.

I can relate..I heard stuff from old T1+WA2 combo that I had never heard before,but it had all the soul of a fire hydrant.

when i put on a pair of my 40 year old Sextetts plugged into my 50 year old receiver,i just flat out rock....It has nowhere near the technical capabilities nor audiophile qualities of my old set-up...but I simply dont care.
 
Nov 18, 2016 at 10:32 PM Post #14 of 19

buke9

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I can relate..I heard stuff from old T1+WA2 combo that I had never heard before,but it had all the soul of a fire hydrant.


when i put on a pair of my 40 year old Sextetts plugged into my 50 year old receiver,i just flat out rock....It has nowhere near the technical capabilities nor audiophile qualities of my old set-up...but I simply dont care.
: )
 

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