Help a noob pick headphones! HE-400i?
Jun 22, 2015 at 1:01 PM Post #19 of 47

Music Alchemist

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  What's bad about the HD700s? They're twice the price of the 400i's at retail. How can they not be better?

 
More expensive does not mean better. But it depends on preference. The HD 700 has bright, nasty, piercing treble...but ironically, that wasn't what bothered me about it. What I disliked the most was that it sounded a little veiled and muffled. Look up reviews, man. It is one of the least-liked Sennheisers. I like the HD 650 a lot more than the HD 700, and the HE400i slightly more than the HD 650.
 
Jun 22, 2015 at 3:47 PM Post #21 of 47

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  Interesting... All the reviews I read for the HD700s said they were good. I'm pretty used to piercing nasty bright treble from my Grados. So the HE400i's are actually better than the HD700s? Seriosly?

 
You didn't read many impressions, then. Don't rely on fancy mainstream reviews; they're little more than press releases. In my opinion, the HE400i is much better than the HD 700. But plenty of people prefer the HD 700. It's a matter of preference in the end. It's subjective. There is no such thing as better or worse in terms of enjoying headphones, so don't think like that. I like the $150 ($399 MSRP) Yamaha HPH-MT220 more than all the headphones I have heard so far, including ones that cost thousands of dollars. That doesn't mean it's better per se. By the way, the HD 700 was only originally released for $1,000. The current MSRP is $749.95. It is available new from Focus Camera for $529.99. Sennheiser had a sale last year where it was sold for much lower, like $300 or $400 or something like that. And it is available on the used market for $400 or lower. The HE400i usually goes for around $370 used.
 
Jun 22, 2015 at 4:31 PM Post #22 of 47

520RanchBro

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I have both the 400 and 400i and I think either would be great for your musical tastes.
 
400 I like better for Jazz and Electronic, more bass, slightly larger soundstage give the right emphasis for those genres. Sounds great with doom metal too like Sunno))), Electric Wizard and Bell Witch.
 
400i I like better for metal and rock music because the midrange is awesome and maintains the aggression of the guitars and bass. Still has solid bass response but it's not as good as the 400. 400i does female and most male vocals better and I also think the treble response is right in the sweet spot of maintaining clarity and detail without being harsh or grainy. The 400 can be a little harsh to some people I've heard but for me it wasn't bad at all, but the 400i is just a bit better.
 
Really think you'd be happy with either though. I suppose it depends on your preferences in sound signatures.
 
Jun 22, 2015 at 6:41 PM Post #23 of 47

mistersprinkles

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I'm taking the train to the big city tomorrow to check out these two headphones. It's going to be a long day... I will post back tomorrow night and let you guys know which headphone I preferred.
I decided the only way to decide would be to listen to both headphones and see which I liked better. It's going to cost me the same amount of money either direction I go. 
 
Jun 23, 2015 at 6:27 PM Post #24 of 47

mistersprinkles

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I bought the HIFI MAN HE 400i's. I'm listening to them right now. Listened to HD 700 with my amp. Bleh. Listened to HD 800 with a real amp. Sounded very nice. I'll never afford it though. 
 
So I got the HIFI MAN. I don't LOVE them, but they were better than the 700's IMO. So I got them. What a horrible day man....
 
40 minute train ride to Union station, 40 minute subway and bus ride to Ossington and Queen, 45 minute streetcar and subway ride to Yonge and York Mills, then a 20 minute walk, then another 25 minute subway ride, then a 40 minute train ride home. It was a hot day. I could detect my own stench with all my moving around and travelling. I smelled like fermented hog fat. Not pleasant. 
 
I'm all showered and cleaned up now and enjoying the 400is. Hopefully they'll sound better after they break in.
 
I will say this- in audio you do not get what you pay for unless you are buying entry level. The 400is at 3.5X the price of my SR80s sound maybe one and a half times as good. Hell, the HD800s at 10 times the price sounded twice as good at best.
 
Ridiculous....

It's a big money vaccuum this hobby.
 
Jun 23, 2015 at 6:31 PM Post #25 of 47

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  I bought the HIFI MAN HE 400i's. I'm listening to them right now. Listened to HD 700 with my amp. Bleh. Listened to HD 800 with a real amp. Sounded very nice. I'll never afford it though. 
 
So I got the HIFI MAN. I don't LOVE them, but they were better than the 700's IMO. So I got them. What a horrible day man....

 
Told ya!
biggrin.gif

 
Didn't you say you only had a receiver or something? It's possible you will enjoy the HE400i more with a headphone amp.
 
Jun 23, 2015 at 8:01 PM Post #27 of 47

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  I have a Marantz PM 5005 integrated amplifier. Yes, a proper headphone amp would be good. What do you folks recommend in the "No more expensive than the headphones were" category?

 
Hm, depends on your needs. I only used a Schiit Fulla when I owned the HE400i. Before that, I had a Magni 2 Uber, which is much more powerful and also has preamp outputs to connect active speakers and such. I plan on getting the JDS Labs The Element amp/DAC next, which is significantly more expensive. Any of those would be fine, but I would guess that the Magni 2 (or Magni 2 Uber) would make the HE400i sound better than the Fulla.
 
Jun 23, 2015 at 8:17 PM Post #28 of 47

mistersprinkles

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Magni is too entry level for me. I'd like to throw somewhere between $300-600 at this (taxes included. In Canadian dollars)
Also I'd prefer solid state amps if possible. These headphones are more than warm enough as it is. I can't be bothered buying replacement tubes. I really can't.
 
Jun 23, 2015 at 8:25 PM Post #29 of 47

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  Magni is too entry level for me. I'd like to throw somewhere between $300-600 at this (taxes included. In Canadian dollars)
Also I'd prefer solid state amps if possible. These headphones are more than warm enough as it is. I can't be bothered buying replacement tubes. I really can't.

 
I would recommend buying a Magni 2 and a more expensive amp, then comparing them to see if one sounds better to you, then. But make sure you are comparing just the amps, since some amps are amp/DACs too. The JDS Labs The Element is $349 and also has a DAC. Like I mentioned, that's the one I want next.
 
Also, if you want to change the sound, use a free parametric equalizer.
 
Jun 23, 2015 at 9:02 PM Post #30 of 47

mistersprinkles

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I would recommend buying a Magni 2 and a more expensive amp, then comparing them to see if one sounds better to you, then. But make sure you are comparing just the amps, since some amps are amp/DACs too. The JDS Labs The Element is $349 and also has a DAC. Like I mentioned, that's the one I want next.
 
Also, if you want to change the sound, use a free parametric equalizer.

 
I don't do parametric EQ. Long story. Anyways, I already have a $500+ DAC, a TEAC UD 301. So I don't need a dac just a straight amp.
 

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