Hifiman Edition X

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by jozurr, Oct 2, 2015.
  1. arielext
    Well, the K712 is a good set and does a lot of things good. When your head has adapted to the sound signature of the HEX the K712 has a bit of a treble harshness and it's lacking bass presence. If that sounds like IMAX to you then yes :p
    sanity8me likes this.
  2. LugBug1
    I've always been a bit of a headphone "burn in" agnostic... And if anything, I more believe in the brain becoming accustomed and 'making sense' over time of the sound. However, I'm pretty sure at present these are becoming more open sounding. You would think that after night with the HD800 and then the following night with the HEX I'd be missing the soundstage, but I'm simply not. They don't seem as warm as they were when I first got them also. I really do enjoy the more natural soundstage, and it's the only time in the last 4-5 years or so of owning the HD800 that I've felt this way.

    Listening to Bach's St M Passion (Rene Jacobs) and the choral sections sound sooo textured, open and free. Not stretched open? If you know what I mean. The HD800 renders huge choruses brilliantly but they are also thinner in comparison, and to my ears at present - simply don't sound as realistic. The mids of the HEX have much more detail. The HD800 has more space - but a more synthetic quality about the sound.
    The faster transient response of planar drivers also helps a lot with complex music and what can be confused as 'decay' shows the HD800 as actually being a fair bit slower..

    Just some more positive thoughts on this superb (and I feel still underrated!) headphone.. :)
  3. Maelob
    Totally agree, I am surprised not a lot of people talk more about this headphone. I find them totally engaging, from the minute I put them on, I was hooked.
    LugBug1 likes this.
  4. arielext
    My favorite artist (Ayreon) has the tendency to produce bright albums, with the HE60 I find them a bit too bright, the HEX nails it.
  5. sanity8me
    Has anyone had second thoughts for purchasing the HEX v1/v2 after reading poorly rated reviews like the one at the top of page 2 here from headfi member Sil3nce:


    Everyone's miles may vary, but...

    "This is not a reference headphone by any means."

    "The lower registries of the HE-X are flabby and not very detailed.
    It gets really fatiguing especially if you prefer modern music (e.g. Electronica and Hip Hop). The bass is definitely not flagship material. Let's just put it like that."

    Anyone else ever feel like it has a flabby low end response??
  6. cskippy
    I've had two opportunities to listen to the HE-X. I thought they had decent tone and timbre and were an easy listen. They were comfortable and easy to drive. I feel like Hifiman hit the bullseye with what they were trying to achieve. The downsides though are they don't like a lot of power, they fall apart, or get distorted, and they aren't very dynamic, especially in the bass. It's an easy listen but I can see why the reviewer above has issues with them but I think he was a little hard on them.
    sanity8me likes this.
  7. Hedonism
    The thing to keep in mind is that everything is relative and different people have different biases. All his criticism is valid when it comes to the v1 (which I demoed today coincidentally), but you've got to see it from his point of reference. That's why it's so important to actually try the headphones for yourself, though I know it's not feasible for everyone.

    The bass is loose with slow decay, at least relative to the HD800 for instance. I'd like to emphasize that this is relative ONLY to the HD800. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. Slower decay works for acoustic bass and cello for instance, allowing for a more nuanced and textured experience compared to tight bass with fast decay. Maybe it doesn't work in EDM or hip-pop for him, though I thought the HEX did fine in those genres. I personally didn't find the quantity to be too much, and flat out disagree that it's fatiguing.

    I completely agree with him when it comes to mids. Here's where my biases show; organic yet transparent mids is paramount for me, and the HEX does this brilliantly. Therefore I would rate this headphone much higher than he would.

    His opinion of the treble of the HEX is where his biases show through the most. He apparently places great emphasis on treble extension and as a corollary, a 'reference' sound. He doesn't like a darker presentation, and that's completely fine. He even concedes that the HEX might be inherently detailed, just not upfront about it. For other biases, he finds warmth to be 'romantic' and less 'life-like'. I find that my HD800s are too 'studio-like' and not 'organic/natural' enough, whereas the HEX is better in that regard due to its warmth.

    From where I stand, I like a darker presentation, and even prefer it to a 'reference' sound. I listen to music louder than average, so a brighter presentation ala HD800 can get fatiguing and at times, sibilant. So I'm putting a decent amount of emphasis in avoiding that in my next headphone purchase. Calibrating, I would call it.

    So ultimately, it comes down to your preferences and biases. Frequency responses and written reviews only go so far; you'll only know for certain after trying the headphone for yourself. But I know that it's often expensive and unfeasible for people to try enough headphones to establish their preferences. It would help to know a few things about your listening habits: what genres you usually listen to, how loud you listen, or anything you can think of. Gotta compensate somehow.

    It's also completely fine to have second thoughts. These headphones are really quite expensive. It would be quite a hassle if you ended up disliking them, so it really is quite a risk. If you have cold feet regarding these, I would suggest that you dip your toes in first.

    Though I haven't heard these models personally, I would suggest Oppo PM3, Hifiman HE400i, or Hifiman HE560, just to experience the planar sound first. Especially the latter two; they'll probably hit rock bottom prices come Black Friday due to the upcoming Sundara.

    EDIT: or a used pair of LCD2 goes for about 600 USD if you want one of the best bass performances in its price class.

    Basically this was just a long-winded, round-about way of saying "your mileage may vary." But I feel like not enough people in this hobby really understand the significance of the saying.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
    LugBug1 and sanity8me like this.
  8. sanity8me
    I completely agree with you that the saying YMMV is perpetually overlooked in this hobby. I also feel that, in addition to that saying, most reviews and impressions don't cover what is in my opinion the most sacred criteria we have here and that is "immersiveness"...or maybe what I'm trying to say is the aspect of losing yourself in your music. It's subjective, yes, but the highly analytical of us here need to go down this rabbit hole sometimes.

    Sample of what I enjoy listening to:
    - Radiohead...all time favorite band
    - ‎Nirvana
    - ‎Pink Floyd
    - ‎Tool
    - ‎Godspeed You! Black Emperor
    - ‎Joy Division
    - ‎New Order
    - ‎Sigur Ros
    - ‎Neutral Milk Hotel
    - ‎Philip Glass
    - ‎Hans Zimmer
    - ‎Rolling Stones
    - Clint Mansel
    - ‎DJ Shadow
    - ‎M83
    - ‎MGMT
    - ‎Prodigy
    - ‎Notorious B.I.G.
    - ‎Nina Simone
    - ‎Smashing Pumpkins
    - ‎U2
    - ‎Miles Davis
    - ‎Bjork
    - ‎Norah Jones

    Am I all over the place? I would hate to be pigeon holed to a particular type of music.

    Other important criteria:
    - Not being tied up to my desktop or DAC. I'd like to be able to go outside on the porch, plug my headphones into my LG V30, pour my myself a glass of bourbon, and escape.
    - ‎Not a basshead (at least I don't think I am), but I definitely need some presence here. Again, my only reference with an impressive low end response are my now defective JH16's.
    - ‎I'd like my soundstage to be as wide as my K712's or close, but with more intimacy
    - ‎Comfortable...and at this price point, I'd expect a luxurious level of comfort for an extended period of time (regarding your suggestion of LCD2's, aren't they notoriously uncomfortable?)
    - ‎Nonfatguing sound
    - ‎Like yourself, I prefer a warmish sound sig. Don't care if it's "colored".
    - ‎Nonpeaky treble
    - Edit: And I definitely listen to my music at a loud volume more times than not

    I'm not sure I'd call what I'm going through as "second guessing" because I just don't see another set of full-sized cans that fit the bill as much as these, but I guess it's just making sure I'm completely not making a mistake here. I mean I have some time until hifiman's black friday deals come about.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
    Hedonism likes this.
  9. LugBug1
    The only time I've heard the HEX sounding flabby in the bass is when I've plugged them into a higher impedance HP amp or one of my vintage amps. The bass is tuned slightly above neutral but not by much. I personally find it full of detail - not as tight as the HD800 but defo as controlled as the LCD2 for example.

    But as Hedonism has pointed out and very eloquently, it's all relative and bias related. We can only compare to what we've heard or lived with before. What I am sure of %100 myself is that the HEX is a high end (based on current standards) headphone - and I would argue is a more neutral and advanced sounding hp than the HD800. And anyone who knows me on here knows how much I love then Senns.

    I also don't find them THAT easy listening either... They've got quite a flat treble and voices (especially sopranos) and wind instruments can become fatiguing depending on the recording etc. Strings sounded off to me when I first got them.... Now the HD800 sound worse with their dip in the lower treble and added sparkle at the top - more synthetic as I mentioned in a previous post.

    If you remove the slight sub bass lift, the HEX are about as neutral as you can get IMO - very similar to the HD600 in regards to the tuning.

    I think the efficiency is either going to be a blessing or a hindrance. Some on here, especially those who already own hard to drive hp's will have to rethink the matching for the HEX. I personally think it is a blessing - being able to plug and play direct out of a DAC's hp out is cutting out a huge expensive chunk of a system. All they require is small clean gain.
    Hedonism and sanity8me like this.
  10. Maelob
    Positives outweigh the negatives, in my opinion- great for wide range of music. I compared them to the Elear, ether, hd-800s, Oppo PM-1 and I just preferred the Hex2. I am using the Mojo for around the house. But even a dragonfly black with cck sounds great.
    LugBug1 and sanity8me like this.
  11. Sound Eq
    hello everyone

    today i heard the hifiman 1000 v1, and its amazing

    I was wondering which to buy edition x2, or hifiman 1000 v1 any thoughts

    hifiman 1000 v2 is out of option as its too expensive

    is there a link where i can read about what are the differences between edition x2 and hifiman 1000 v1
  12. Maelob

    The HE-1000 V2’s clamping force on the side of your head is a lot bigger than that of the Edition X V2, making it less comfortable than the new X V2. Sound wise the Edition X V2 is closer to the original HE-1000 V1 than it is to the update of that headphone. The New HE-1000 V2 is leaner sounding. The Edition X V2 (compared to the new HE-1000 V2) has bigger bodied mids and has more body overall. The HE-1000 sounds more airy and has better micro detailing and layering. It also seems to deliver the sound in a more effortless and clean way. Voices in the HE-1000 V2 are more natural and relaxed and they make the voices in the X V2 sound less natural and more forced. They’re still good though, the HE-1000 simply is a level up and that’s no shame.
  13. endgame
    Don’t know where you got the strong clamping force idea from, but that’s simply not true. My HEK V2 does not clamp hard and is the second most comfortable headphone I’ve ever owned, only bested by the Sennheiser 800S.
  14. Maelob
    Not my quote but from website
  15. endgame
    Fair enough. It’s not accurate though. The clamping force is like 2-3 Newton’s. They’re extremely comfortable.
    knopi likes this.

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