He400i NEED eq?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by Acke, Nov 12, 2017.
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  1. Acke
    Going from HD650 to He400i was disappointing

    I could hear their potential but they were way too bright.

    from my experience eqing the m50s (impossible, the entire high end was too harsh so toning them down lead to recessed highs and a really dull sound) there wasnt much hope for the he400i but it worked very well.

    I found that 400, 1k, and between 8-10k were the source of pretty much all the brightness.
    If I boost these frequencies they really ring (10k only very slightly, all other bands sound good when boosted , nice and smooth.
    I do find with very specific tracks they are better without the EQ but this is really rare, 99% of tracks NEED this EQ or the experience is ruined by the brightness.

    still tweaking the volume levels of these problematic frequencies (1k is the worst, 10k is barely an issue) but Im curious do any others find the he400i need EQ to be enjoyable or sound better?

    If you have use foobars graphics EQ you could also post your settings.

    Edit: Heres one of the EQ presets for foobar - https://ufile.io/xptf6
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  2. SilverEars
    When you go from HD650(smooth, organic sounding, considered dark sounding relatively to the avg headphone) to something with higher treble, it's quite reasonable to perceive the headphone you transition over to be bright due the contrast in switch over. I recommend do an extended listen of 400i, and don't listen to the HD650, and see how your ears adjust to the 400i's signature. Give it some time, and see how the ears adjust before EQ.

    At the point you switch headphones, ti's common for the contrast of signature to be felt more intensely, and over time levels off. See what happens once you get used to 400i and switch back to HD650.

    HD650 is very good headphone for slower paced genre like Jazz for example. With the right setup, HD650 sounds very pleasing and great.

    Headphone preference has to some degree has to do with genre of music preference.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  3. Acke
    I have listened to the he400i for much longer than the HD650 , I suppose I do get used to them but its that transition from HD650 back to he400i that really lets me see how bright they are. I didnt like the idea of EQing them because I felt like I was just trying to make them be more like HD650s but the problem is with such specific frequencies that they are still very much their own beast with the EQ.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  4. SilverEars
    If that's the case, either 400i brightness goes beyond what avg would consider or you have a preference of signature that HD650 fits, and perhaps FR is genre specific your taste. Just doesn't sound like 400i is the headphone for you. Why EQ if you can enjoy the HD650 the way it is? My philosophy is really simple, what you enjoy and listen to most is the headphone for you.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  5. Acke
    My OP is a bit unclear but Im basically saying that I couldnt enjoy the he400i much without EQ but with it they are amazing and in a totally different way to the HD650.
    the EQing I mentioned has very little change on the 400i sound , Im talking 0.5-3 dB reductions to dull the tip of the spikes. Wondering if anyone had a similar experience and what sort of EQ settings they use
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  6. bigshot
    A 3dB correction is a noticeable difference. Put that in the 4 to 6kHz range where our ears are more sensitive and it's a very noticeable difference.

    The fact is, beyond a certain point in quality, you should be able to EQ any set of cans to sound pretty much like any other set of cans. If you have good quality headphones like the Senn 650s, you'd do better to EQ them to what you want than you would going out and buying a different set of headphones with a slightly different response. I'd invest in a good digital equalizer before I spent a penny on more cans.
    Strangelove424 likes this.
  7. SilverEars
    What would be considered a good digital equlizer? I've mainly used software, and the outcomes were mediocre.

    Ony one good experience was with portable player the company specializes in recorders.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  8. bigshot
    What’s your source?
  9. DivineCurrent
    May I recommend using Equalizer APO? Assuming you have Windows (I don’t think there is a version for Mac). It’s a systemwide EQ that has much more flexibility than a fixed frequency graphic EQ. You can adjust any frequency you want.

    Also, I have the HE-4XX, pretty much the same as the 400i. Perhaps the 400i has slightly more treble response, however I found that lowering both 7 and 9 kHz by 2 or 3 dB really helps with the treble. But really I find that is all they need in terms of EQ, and if you want smoother HD 650 like bass, try adding a low shelf centered at 150 Hz. I prefer the HD 650 in terms of solely frequency response, but the HE4XX has a better sense of space, probably because of the larger drivers.
  10. Kdubbs82
    I’m really curious to try this!! I really wanted to like my 400i’s. But the brightness and accurate, yet thin low end left me fatigued and wanting more. If this makes thsss headphones better I’ll be ecstatic!!

  11. DivineCurrent
    Definitely try it! Also, in addition to the EQ settings I mentioned, try lowering 4 kHz down by 4 or 5 dB. I found that takes away the clinical nature these headphones tend to have.
  12. Acke
    I returned the 400i and got hd600s instead because the sound cut out in one side but i noticed the same clinical essence with the hd600 at first listen, the problem was the objective 2 amp... or rather its lack of problems. When it comes to amps, assuming you are listening for fun and not work, you want something designed to sound good not to sound transparent. Dont underestimate the importance of finding the right amp, its not that mid to hi fi gear needs a lot power ,its that they will expose the true sound of your amp/source.

    p.s planars do like current that some amps might not deliver, could also be contributing to the thiness
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  13. bigshot
    My Oppo PM-1s don't benefit from amping.
  14. Acke
    not sure if the 400i need much power either, they did sound much better on an iphone and ipod than the o2... maybe the o2 is just a bad sounding amp? does transparency really sound that bad? seems like everything compared to it sounds better regardless of the power.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  15. pila405
    "Better" in this case is a matter of preference, not quality.
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