**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread**
Sep 13, 2012 at 2:38 PM Post #691 of 22,054

IEMCrazy

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The Valhalla is plenty to power they and you wouldn't be missing anything. These are reasonable efficient hp's honestly. You might get a touch more witht the layer but if I had a Valhalla that's all the I feel that I'd need  for them. 
 
gL!!

 
As a rule, OTL tube amps and orthos don't mix.  If these do, I think HE-400 would be the singular exception to the rule.  I'm not saying it won't....I'm just making sure you know it definitely works or not!
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Sep 13, 2012 at 2:41 PM Post #692 of 22,054

MattTCG

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I do not know for sure. I have had the he400 on the Asgard and the lyr and it worked well with both. But I have not tried it with the Valhalla. 
 
Sep 13, 2012 at 2:54 PM Post #694 of 22,054

phanboy_iv

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Nothing, I mean nothing beats the AD700 for comfort, if they work for your head.   They're feather light, have no clamp and just kind of float on your head.  On the other hand it's 100% dependent on head shape and people they don't work for find they just fall off their head at the slightest motion.  But if it fits, AD700 is without a doubt the most comfortable thing around for any amount of money.
 
AD700 sound stage width and depth is also much deeper and wider than the somewhat confined HE-400.  Unfortunately AD700 seems to roll anything below 120Hz into a foam padded room...it simply has little to no bass.   AD-700 is the quintessential mid-fi headphone.  Really good performance for the money but with one or more serious compromises to do what it does get right.  HE-400 and the like is true hi-fi despite what some high-end hi-fi'ers promote. You're hearing that difference as you compare AD700.
 
HE-400 is very magical with classical.  There are places where I prefer HD650 to HE-400, and places I prefer HE-400.  Contrary to audiophile dogma that classical needs thin, bright, hyper-fast speakers, HE-400 sounds, to me, far more like a real concert hall.  Weighty with some around the head reverb without missing attack speed.  Jazz for me is split 50/50 between HD650 and HE-400.  Some recordings work better with one or the other and some work equally well on both. I said in another thread to someone to think of the differences between some of these headphones as listening in different venues.  You can listen to the same show as though you're hearing it in different buildings.
 
I'm not sure what your source chain is, but one thing HE-400 does (other than bass) that AD700 does not is scales well with signal chain.  Better amps, better sources do manifest in better performance from HE-400.   AD700 is sort of a one stop shop....what you get out of the box is what you'll always get.  Which is bad for building a hi-fi system but good for making portable devices sound good!

 
I can't notice much in the way of soundstage degradation in the HE 400's versus the AD700s, but I need to break them in a bit more.
 
Agreed about the classical and jazz, newer better recorded jazz sounds amazing, as does the more intimate stuff.
 
Source chain is FLAC->Foobar2K->uDAC-2. That's been good enough for me so far, and I made an effort to avoid this place after I bought that and the AD700s for as long as I could, because every time I come here and get the "upgrade lust" it means my budget's going to get shot to heck.
smile.gif

 
Velour pads shipped from head-direct, so we'll see about those. I prefer velour based on comfort alone anyway.
 
Sep 13, 2012 at 3:41 PM Post #696 of 22,054

IEMCrazy

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I do not know for sure. I have had the he400 on the Asgard and the lyr and it worked well with both. But I have not tried it with the Valhalla. 

Asgard and Lyr are both known to be fine with planars (Schiit's own site on the Valhalla FAQ specifically has a question relating to "can it power my low impedance orthos" and an answer referring to "Not a chance.  You want Lyr.  For LCD-2, HE-4, HE-500, Asgard would also work if you prefer SS." (I'm paraphrasing.) That FAQ predates the HE-400, but the idea is, generally, Asgard & Lyr will both do well with low impedance current hungry orthos, Valhalla simply will not behave in that setup...they push lots of voltage but little current.
 
So if HE-400 works (it's semi-sensitive, so it very wall may), it's probably the only ortho that would actually run well on it.  I'd just verify with someone that's tried it before counting on it working :) OTL & low impedance, low sensitivity is generally a no-go.  HE-400 is just on the cusp of "almost kind of sensitive." But I suspect it's also less sensitive than the printed spec.  Fang likes to play the numbers loose....
 
Sep 13, 2012 at 3:46 PM Post #697 of 22,054

wje

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I headed home during lunch to get my package.  However, since it was insured (thanks Brian, seriously), they just left a post card in my mailbox.  So, I'll head to the P.O. tomorrow to pick up the HE-400s and the other variation of Fostex T50RPs to evaluate. 
wink.gif

 
Also, my pair of Audio Technica ATH-A900X headphones should be arriving from Canada within the next couple of days.  I'm getting excited to compare those to the HE-400s to see where they stand, in regards to a closed, non-orthodynamic headphone vs. the ortho.  While others might have been able to make such a comparison / test, I haven't been able to, up until now.  I do have the ATH-AD900, so I can compare the two open cans against each other.  The ATH-AD900 drivers are 53mm in size, so they are quite large - along the lines of the HE-400s, but they don't have the weight of the HE-400s (not that I'm ever complaining about the weight of the HE-400s, either.
 
Sep 13, 2012 at 7:13 PM Post #700 of 22,054

MattTCG

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It's a pretty fair fight IMO. The hd598 has one of the best sound stage that I've heard. The he400 might be a very slight tick behind it...maybe. They are very very close.
 
gL!!
 
Sep 13, 2012 at 7:26 PM Post #701 of 22,054

daniel521

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It's a pretty fair fight IMO. The hd598 has one of the best sound stage that I've heard. The he400 might be a very slight tick behind it...maybe. They are very very close.
 
gL!!

Do you think the HE400 will be good for gaming? Something else I wanted to ask, there seems to be a debate on whether the HD598 or the HE400 has better mids. I think its clear that the mids in the HE400 sound better, but which mids are more present? Is there a big difference in the presence? (especially vocals) 
 
Sep 13, 2012 at 7:34 PM Post #702 of 22,054

jerg

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Do you think the HE400 will be good for gaming? Something else I wanted to ask, there seems to be a debate on whether the HD598 or the HE400 has better mids. I think its clear that the mids in the HE400 sound better, but which mids are more present? Is there a big difference in the presence? (especially vocals) 

 
HE400s are not the best in terms of gaming pinpoint 3D imaging (you need basslight headphones for that) aka competitive FPS gaming; however its sound quality (full grand textured bass, extremely clear clear clear mids, and a detailed non-sibilant treble) is fantastic for regular gaming as well as films.
 
You want the growling heavy-hitting realistic bass for action-oriented entertainment, it's got it more than any other cans at this pricepoint. Ditto with mids and treble. The overall detail level across the frequency is astounding and really immerses you into whatever you put the cans up to.
 
 
Mids presence is dead-on, not too "in-your-face" nor too distant. 
 
Sep 13, 2012 at 7:36 PM Post #703 of 22,054

MattTCG

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Do you think the HE400 will be good for gaming? Something else I wanted to ask, there seems to be a debate on whether the HD598 or the HE400 has better mids. I think its clear that the mids in the HE400 sound better, but which mids are more present? Is there a big difference in the presence? (especially vocals) 

 
The mids on the he400 sound better to me and clearly so. Although the hd598 has good mids, it's tough for the dynamic driver hp's to compete with the planar for "natural sound," especially when it comes to mids. 
 
+1 on what Jerg said about gaming...
 
Sep 13, 2012 at 8:08 PM Post #704 of 22,054

KneelJung

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WJE...what's up with the new variation of the t50's? 


It's my T50 mod...they rode shotgun in the box with his HE 400's back to Virginia. He's heard some different variations so I thought he might have some thoughts on how my mod stacks up against some of the other variations. I think Wayne's HE 400's were superior in many ways to my T50 mod. The 400's have much more sound stage, and more top end sparkle. I imagine if I ever heard a an LCD 2 or 3 I may think the same thing. The T50's I modded though aren't laid back like the 400, they got some boogie, and the mids are more forward than they are in the 400. I also think they do a better job with electric guitars. If I buy another headphone though it will be the HE 400, just a great all arounder IMO.
 

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