**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread**
Jan 23, 2021 at 1:44 PM Post #22,021 of 22,060

richierich

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Thanks guys! I just ordered an Asgard 3 because I currently have an older USB DAC and I figured if I upgrade headphones in the future the Asgard 3 will suffice. It’s practically the same cost at the Modi/Magni stack with more power.
 
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Jan 27, 2021 at 4:45 AM Post #22,022 of 22,060

DavidA

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Hi! I had a DT990E 250ohm which is too edge for me, trebles and bass hurt my ears. Recently i buy grado sr60 but pads isn't has that much comfort as around ear and it's too bright.

I has also Akg k371 it's sounding good but pads are too small for my ears.

I have Fiio K5 pro dac and i'm considering sold it and buy ifi zen dac which isn't analytical like fiio.

Does this hifimans will be good for me? Isn't it fatiguating or hurting ears?

I love listen Elvis Presley, Billy Joel, music with good vocals.

I listen so much genres - pop, rock 80s,90s, classical.

My headphones doesn't have good vocal and i want to find something better.
I'm guessing that you are interested in a used HE400 since they were discontinued back in 2015 IIRC. If vocals is what you are looking for I'd look elsewhere since vocals are not a strong point with HE400.

If you still have the SR60 I'd suggest modding them: G-pads versus the stock flat ones for comfort and slightly damping the brightness, dynamat in the cups and dynamat or sorbothane on the back of the driver magnet along with opening 2 holes to up the bass a bit and clean up the overall sound.

As for the DT990 I still like mine but only when driven with a OTL amp (BH Crack w/ mods and selected tubes), a lot better than my HE400 for vocals IMO.
 
Jan 29, 2021 at 6:55 PM Post #22,023 of 22,060

richierich

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Ok so I got my Asgard 3 in yesterday and finally had a good chance to listen to a bunch of genres with his combo.

All I can say is, wow. Everything that I enjoyed about the HE-400's is on another level.

I haven't been giving my HE-400's enough juice this whole time.

Now I'm contemplating upgrading my DAC but I feel like if there are any more upgrades I should put money towards headphones and not another DAC. I just don't know what the next tier would be since I enjoy the HE-400's so much now. But you know how this hobby goes.....
 
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Feb 12, 2021 at 10:43 AM Post #22,024 of 22,060

Bboy500

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Ok so I got my Asgard 3 in yesterday and finally had a good chance to listen to a bunch of genres with his combo.

All I can say is, wow. Everything that I enjoyed about the HE-400's is on another level.

I haven't been giving my HE-400's enough juice this whole time.

Now I'm contemplating upgrading my DAC but I feel like if there are any more upgrades I should put money towards headphones and not another DAC. I just don't know what the next tier would be since I enjoy the HE-400's so much now. But you know how this hobby goes.....

Honestly the only worthy upgrades from the OG HE-400s start in the range of the LCD-2's and up. If you aren't willing to go to $700+ for headphones, then I wouldn't bother. Maybe you want to sidegrade with a headphone that does vocals better, but outside of that your in a great place for the money.
 
Feb 12, 2021 at 12:20 PM Post #22,025 of 22,060

MattTCG

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Ok so I got my Asgard 3 in yesterday and finally had a good chance to listen to a bunch of genres with his combo.

All I can say is, wow. Everything that I enjoyed about the HE-400's is on another level.

I haven't been giving my HE-400's enough juice this whole time.

Now I'm contemplating upgrading my DAC but I feel like if there are any more upgrades I should put money towards headphones and not another DAC. I just don't know what the next tier would be since I enjoy the HE-400's so much now. But you know how this hobby goes.....

But you already have hot extasy DAC. Doesn't get any better than that, right? Haha, tease you just a little here. This is the OP of this thread chiming in to say glad to see people still enjoying this thread. This is one of the headphones that got me serious about the hobby. That visceral planar bass really hooked me in. Enjoy guys!
 
Feb 13, 2021 at 4:57 PM Post #22,026 of 22,060

richierich

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Honestly the only worthy upgrades from the OG HE-400s start in the range of the LCD-2's and up. If you aren't willing to go to $700+ for headphones, then I wouldn't bother. Maybe you want to sidegrade with a headphone that does vocals better, but outside of that your in a great place for the money.

I'm open to suggestions to $700+ headphone upgrades but will continue to enjoy these cans in the mean time. They're still really good at everything I play through them.
 
Feb 13, 2021 at 6:02 PM Post #22,027 of 22,060

Bboy500

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I'm open to suggestions to $700+ headphone upgrades but will continue to enjoy these cans in the mean time. They're still really good at everything I play through them.

Then I would start at exactly 2 options that I feel like improve the HE-400s and go from there (These are the two headphones that I ultimately replaced my HE-400s with after years of trying and failing):

LCD-2's: If the sibilance starts bothering you, these are a fantastic upgrade at sounding like a HE-400 with toned down highs, slightly improved bass quantity and much improved comfort.

Hifiman Aryas: If you want to take the HE-400s entire sound sig to the next level and not change much, this is it. The only thing the HE-400s do better then the Aryas is bass quantity, nothing else. Soundstage? Huge Upgrade. Bass depth/quality? Upgrade. Mids? Fixed, Upgrade. Female vocals? HUGE Upgrade. Highs? Ups the detail, lowers the sibilance... Upgrade. Comfort? Woo, what a upgrade! Build Quality? Oh yeah, upgrade. If you can think of it, its better on the Arya's.

Anything below either of these are either totally different sound sigs or sidegrades at best. LCD2's New start at $1k, Aryas start at $1.5k but you can find used LCD2's for about $700 and used Aryas for around $1,100. There are also other great headphones that I would call an upgrade (eg: ZMF atticus) around that price mark but are a totally different sound in general so I wont mention those. You have to do research about other types of sounds yourself and figure out what you will or wont like.

I have been using the HE-400s for close to 8 years-ish? I did not find anything worthy of the upgrade until these price points. They are the most incredible value in headphones as far as I am concerned.
 
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Mar 13, 2021 at 8:25 PM Post #22,028 of 22,060

richierich

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I managed to jump on the Adorama $650 Hifiman HE6SE V2 deal and boy they are definitely the upgrade to the HE-400 that I was looking for. They bring the mids foward just a bit and the treble isn't as fatiguing. They need a ton of power though. Which is why I had to upgrade to the Jotunheim 2.

The HE-400 + Asgard 3 combo is very good.
HE6SE V2 + Jotunheim 2 combo is even better.
 
Apr 22, 2021 at 3:47 PM Post #22,029 of 22,060

MarcelE

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I've been on the verge of replacing my HE-400 for either a Sundara or Ananda.
Reason was that I was experiencing (for a longer time) some sort of harshness in mostly male voices or guitar parts. Like it was a bit too loud/mechanical.
It's not the highs/sibilance that you usually read about these cans.
In the past I already played a bit with EQ and never really got a good setting. I mean the phones sounded great, but that weird harshness stayed.
Well it seems that the problem frequency, for me, was 1KHz. I lowered that by 4dB, Q2 and a bit of the higher freqs as well though not that much and it's like listening to a whole new thing.
Gone is the harshness and it got somewhat open/more spaciousness, switching between default and the new EQ setting it's really night and day.
Might still pull the trigger some day for a new one, but it must be really better then what I have now.
 
Apr 22, 2021 at 4:47 PM Post #22,030 of 22,060

SilverEars

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I've been on the verge of replacing my HE-400 for either a Sundara or Ananda.
Reason was that I was experiencing (for a longer time) some sort of harshness in mostly male voices or guitar parts. Like it was a bit too loud/mechanical.
It's not the highs/sibilance that you usually read about these cans.
In the past I already played a bit with EQ and never really got a good setting. I mean the phones sounded great, but that weird harshness stayed.
Well it seems that the problem frequency, for me, was 1KHz. I lowered that by 4dB, Q2 and a bit of the higher freqs as well though not that much and it's like listening to a whole new thing.
Gone is the harshness and it got somewhat open/more spaciousness, switching between default and the new EQ setting it's really night and day.
Might still pull the trigger some day for a new one, but it must be really better then what I have now.
If the hardness doesn't jive, just go with HD650 or 6XX.
 
Apr 22, 2021 at 5:30 PM Post #22,031 of 22,060

mmurach

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Own the HE400i for several years and thinking of moving to the Ananda. Overall the 400 are decent with good bass that's easy to follow and integrates well with the mix. Definitely not over powering just right for me. My concern is with the imaging and soundstage. I'm looking for a wider more precise presentation with pinpoint location and clarity. Hopefully the Ananda will get me there. Any insight on the Ananda would be helpful.
 
Apr 22, 2021 at 5:35 PM Post #22,032 of 22,060

richierich

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I've been on the verge of replacing my HE-400 for either a Sundara or Ananda.
Reason was that I was experiencing (for a longer time) some sort of harshness in mostly male voices or guitar parts. Like it was a bit too loud/mechanical.
It's not the highs/sibilance that you usually read about these cans.
In the past I already played a bit with EQ and never really got a good setting. I mean the phones sounded great, but that weird harshness stayed.
Well it seems that the problem frequency, for me, was 1KHz. I lowered that by 4dB, Q2 and a bit of the higher freqs as well though not that much and it's like listening to a whole new thing.
Gone is the harshness and it got somewhat open/more spaciousness, switching between default and the new EQ setting it's really night and day.
Might still pull the trigger some day for a new one, but it must be really better then what I have now.
If the HE6SE from Adorama goes back on sale try to get those.
 
Apr 22, 2021 at 10:30 PM Post #22,033 of 22,060

Oregonian

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If the HE6SE from Adorama goes back on sale try to get those.
Agree 100%...............fed right (KEY here is power) the HE-6SE is outstanding and at $699 the deal of the century IMO. I did the open grill mod and last weekend did the Audeze headband mod - talk about the perfect headphone (to me). I had the HE-400 for about 6 years and loved them - fed them straight from the speaker taps of a vintage speaker amp and the bass was out of this world.
 
Apr 23, 2021 at 1:15 PM Post #22,034 of 22,060

MarcelE

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Thanks for the tip about the HE-6SE, I'll keep an eye out when it's on sale again.
Right now I still can't believe the change in sound, no more weird mid harshness and it's more open/smoother and still have that amazing bass.
That weird mid thing was also affecting some lower kick sounds,can't really explain but it had some plastic quality to it, which is now completely gone.
(I'm a nitpick in these things I now).
I was at my work office but couldn't wait to get home to get back to listening again.
This completely rekindled my interest in hearing more music with my HE-400 again. And also interesting in maybe looking out for some other amp/dac. :wink:
 
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