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Yes...as much as it's a company's right to make any product(s) and priced it anyway they want, the public and the loyal customers have a right to criticise and talk about it.
I owned my brand new pair of HEK for 3 months before it was replaced with V2...and I am not sure if all those who upgraded have received their V2 as yet and now Edition 6 is announced. Asking $650 for the "upgrade" (actual cost for this upgrade is closer to $1K from where I am) is ridiculous but that has been discussed to death already so i won't add further.
As someone who have spent well over $7K on various HFM products, it worries and saddens me to see the trend of price gouging and one-upmanship that is gaining traction in this hobby of mine, and I would say Fang (and HFM) leads the way. I have to be honest and say that most of my HFM products are badly made for it's asking price (thankfully my HEK is still working just fine) and many can no longer be used (HM-901 turned into an extremely powerful hand warmer, the remote for my Dock is no longer responsive, both my iem have one side malfunctioned etc) and this practice of HFM made them an untrustworthy and unreliable company for me to continue with my support.
This is strictly my honest opinion and my experience, and if you have opposite experience, consider yourself lucky!
And we have the right to speak our minds...
Eventually you'll have to humble yourself to the unanimous opinion of the community. I have never seen such a backlash at a product launching....EVER.
The fact that this thread is still open possibly attests to the fact that the mods can't deny the validity of the complaints here.
Sure they have to protect the Sponsors but at what point does the communities need for protection from such outrageous pricing and poor showmanship need to be prioritized as well. In this case the community has spoken and defended themselves, and has been allowed to.
Open your eyes if possible. A simple turning away from being defensive and doing your homework in implementing the suggestions here will earn you loyal fans.
Humility is admirable, otherwise be humiliated.
I do not envy the jobs of the guys keeping this thread clean. Cheers
How exactly is it commercial suicide to sell cheaper headphones which sound better, when everyone will buy them, instead of trying to top the prices of other flagship manufacturers, when it doesn't have the same kind of quality? Sennheiser was smart enough to realise this wont be a great business decision, and released the HD800S at a competitive price of USD 1700, the old price of a HD800, since it is a tweaked driver and similar to the HD800 in many ways. Hardly anyone complained about it. How can HFM charge 5x the price of the HE-6 for a similar thing?
Also, to say that the tooling was not ready, and that HFM did not know better, and then they fixed these problems in V2 of HE-1000, WHY were HE-1000 v1 released then if they weren't properly quality tested? WHO wants to be a beta tester for a $3000 product? How does HFM not expect to be blamed by releasing products which fail in quality, and then give excuses like tooling wasn't ready?
Focals have become examples because they did it once with the higher end headphones, but they did it right. They released a product which sounds good, looks good, and feels extremely sturdy. The elear build quality brings shame to my HE-6 quality. I've never held more premium feeling headphones than the Utopias. When focals only had experience in lower tier headphones like the focal spirits, and they can come up quality which has become an example, and sounds terrific while being at it, what excuse does HFM have to release sub quality headphones, after being close to a decade in business? How about investing some money in R&D not just for SQ but for build quality too? How can one rely on the fact that the NEW products are better, when a V2 of a flagship has come out very recently,
All this makes no sense.
Considering I was told due to being a customer and questioning some policies, that I sound like the police and the LA police is better, Im expecting the LA police to buy some of their headphones, specially the Edition 6, and then not voice their concerns in any way.
Top line impression: until @ohhgourami a/b tests the E6 against the modded HE-6 on a Krell amp and gives us in-depth impressions, I think all discussion is worthless.
The problem is that HFM's brand is about great sound and cheap build quality. (It used to be about aggressive prices as well; it is now about impressing well-heeled audiophiles with high prices and sneaking in that same cheap build quality.) As your prices slide higher, expectation is that look and feel will become commensurately premium. They haven't. If anything, HE1K is flimsier than my sturdy HE-6, which I expect could weather a nuclear blast. Edition 6 has a new design that sort of stretches HE1K window shade to fit the circular HE-6 shape. Unfortunately, the spacing of the shades is irregular and anyone with the least visual sense can tell. I'm reminded of the difference between a recent phone of Apple and Samsung. The comparison isn't a flattering one:
Your point about CNC machining is nice, though you claim that an increase in BOM cost (by 3-5x) is pushing the cost up. However, if the BOM went from $10 to $50, that would not—I believe, to most consumers—be a justification to increase the product cost by $3000. The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that any of the changes you've made actually increase the materials cost.
I suspect you would rather claim that the BOM is proprietary information than admit that your margin on HE1k is in the ballpark of 2,900%.
It sounds as though you used one compromised design for HE1K (comfortable, but flimsy and cheap-looking and -feeling), and are switching to one that doubles the cost of your previous flagship. You still end up with an industrial design that would embarrass a designer of knock-off IKEA products. Yet—yet!—it is more expensive than literally every product currently manufactured by Apple, home to the best industrial designers in the world. It is 2x the cost of a tricked out 5K iMac, with all the bells and whistles.
I'm appalled. Buying HE-6 made me feel good. It is one of the best headphones in the world, and yet I—a public school teacher—could afford it (used) without breaking the bank. The company that produced HE-6 was about bringing great sound to as large an audience as possible. Today's HFM is quite different, apparently interested in catering to the same gaudy, tasteless Chinese plutocracy of which Fang would aspire to be a member.
My only question: where's the gold trim, the gold cables, the gold box? When will Fang...
I won't buy any Hifiman product in the future. Just personally don't like them. The CEO Fang posted the following picture himself, and it's really BS. What a joke!
Once upon a time it was said "you get what you pay for". I like the older adage of "there's a sucker born every minute". I've owned the HighWayRobbers phones and they have been very cheaply constructed. I was an early HE-5 adopter and was an unwitting beta tester. A new model was introduced before the resonance decayed in the diaphragm, from the playing of the very first song. This has been going on for a very long while.
Somebody really wants to be compared with that somebody!?
Ouch. Um, ...
stax 009 looks like a steal now