HE-400i.. or HE-400 at half the price
Nov 2, 2014 at 6:35 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

Xerber

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OK, not really half the price, but €499 vs €299. :rolleyes:

With the launch of the 400i's, a local online store has been offering the HE-400's at significantly reduced price.
I've been going over countless of reviews online. From what I understand, the HE-400i's have been improved in terms of comfort (lighter, better headband), but also feature a very different sound signature. Which, in your opinion, is the one to get? I don't want to buy one over the other just because they are cheaper at the moment. Unfortunately, I don't know of any physical store in the vicinity that carries them.

I mostly listen to rock, (smooth) jazz, and occasionally 80's. I generally don't like headphones with an analytical sound, but prefer warmer sounding headphones with a big soundstage. I always thought I liked the darker Sennheiser sound, but ever since getting the Grado 225e's two months ago, I find myself listening to the Grado's instead of the 650's most of the time. I tend to dislike headphones with an overemphasised bass.

Thanks in advance for your advice, suggestions and help. Much appreciated.
 
Nov 2, 2014 at 10:58 AM Post #2 of 6

TMRaven

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HE-400 is darker from bass to midrange, but brighter in the mid-treble.  HE-400 has the bigger bass and larger soundstage, but unless you liked really peaked treble, you'll want to EQ its mid-treble down.
 
HE-400i is a little more neutral from bass and midrange, with more upper mids and lower treble in comparison to the HE-400, and less mid-treble.  It has a smaller soundstage, and is of course, more comfortable due to its suspension strap.
 
It all depends on your priorities imo.
 
If you're soundstage first, then HE-400 might be a good choice.
If you're bass first, then HE-400 might be a good choice.
If you don't want to mess with EQ and want a slightly less colored sound, then HE-400i might be a good choice.
If you see yourself wearing your headphones for hours at a time, then HE-400i might be a good choice.
 
Nov 3, 2014 at 4:07 AM Post #3 of 6

torta

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I use them a lot for classical, jazz (all genres, but mostly 60s) and electric blues. Classical sound fairly good, but jazz is probably most suited for them. Although as mentioned ... sound stage is on the smaller side. They are fairly resolving and balanced but not analytical - smooth resolving sound with warm tilt. I use them regularly out of iPad with Deezer and from flac/dac/amp setup all sounds good without fatigue.
 
Nov 3, 2014 at 4:22 AM Post #4 of 6

cocolinho

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Did you try Senn HD600? they might fit the bill.
You can also have a look at HE-4 from Hifiman if you want planar technology. I never had them but I plan to try them out soon.
 
I owned both HE-400 & HE-400i, sound-wise I found mids too recessed on HE-400 (maybe my source was NOK) & they are quite uncomfortable because of the pads, HE-400i was a bit too dark sounding for my taste & soundstage was too small, lighter than HE-400 but still not comfortable enough for a long session.
 
If you can manage the weight of HE-400, then you can have a look at HE-500, they are very good.
 
Nov 5, 2014 at 3:49 PM Post #5 of 6

Xerber

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Thank you for all the input, everyone.

Based on your feedback, I decided to go with the HE-400. The shop didn't have any in stock any more, but will be receiving one of the last few HE-400's from HiFiMAN this week. Hopefully I'll be able to enjoy my new cans over the weekend.

Thanks again for all the input. Much appreciated.
 
Jan 27, 2015 at 12:50 AM Post #6 of 6

DavidA

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I would say get the HE-400 and do the grill mod ($20) and see if you can find someone to make a better padded head band ($35).  The HE-400 to me is a much better deal and for most of the music that I listen to the better sounding HP IMO.  The only thing that I like better on the HE-400i is that it is more efficient so it can be used with some portable devices with some limitations.
One of the issues I had with the HE-400i is the stock cord that it is shipped with is too short and I don't like the right-angle connector so figure on spending an extra $100 for the cable if you go with the HE-400i.
 
I have both the HE-400 and HE-400i along with the HE-560.  I got the HE-400i and HE-560 a few months ago thinking that I would sell the HE-400 if the HE-400i was a better over all HP than the HE-400.  Ended up keeping both, to me the sound from the HE-400 and HE-400i was different enough that having both for different types of music and my different setups was the way to go.  I have done the grill mod (used this grill - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F3FJYGS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and this fabric - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0056BHGV4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) and changed the ear pads on the HE-400 along with fabricating a custom leather head band with extra padding that makes it very comfortable to use for hours at a time.  I haven't done the grill mod on the HE-400i yet, ran out of the grill material, used to material I had for doing the grill mod on the HE-560 where it made a bigger difference IMO than on the HE-400i.
 
I listen to jazz, classical, pop, new age, rock, classic rock, K-pop, J-pop, dance and techno. 
 
Current Equipment that I have:
Amps/DACs: Asus Xonar XTS, Modi/Magni, Bifrost/Asgard2/Lyr2, Teac AH01-B, Fiio X1 and X3. 
Other HPs: Phillips X1, HD-598 / Momentum over-ear/on-ear, HD-455, Stax SRD-4/SR-30 (w/ beyer pads), M-50x (w/ Shure pads), MDR-7506 (w/ Beyer pads), Vmoda XS.
 
If given a choice would listen to my regular stereo system:  (most over 20yrs old)
Linn or Micro Seiki turn table w/ Grado, Shure or Monster Cartridge
SAE or Nakamichi preamp
SAE, Mark Levinson or Harman Kardon amp
KEF Ref 103.2, Rauna TYR, Magnepan 1.6 or DCM Time windows speakers
(I don't use my regular stereo system much since moving to condo unit, used to live in house that had a dedicated listening room/home theater, if I move to a two bedroom condo with setup one room just for listening/home theater again)
 

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