**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread**
Feb 20, 2013 at 2:36 PM Post #7,636 of 22,060

Marleybob217

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I've used M.C. Hammer before.  Oh wait ... he's a rapper and not a wrapper
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I wanted to respond with a rapper that crashed joke, but I couldn't think of one :frowning2:
 
Feb 20, 2013 at 2:37 PM Post #7,637 of 22,060

beaver316

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My right driver occasionally makes a loud kind of tick or flex sound. Not sure if it's a source issue (I have an Aune T1) or my HE400s... anyone experienced this?

 
Yup happens to me too. I don't think source related at all, the sound isn't coming from the driver from what I can tell. Probably just flex like you mentioned.
 
Feb 20, 2013 at 3:43 PM Post #7,638 of 22,060

jiggahwhat

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After a fair amount of time evaluating the HE-400s, I'm leaning towards either selling them or returning them. I might spend a few more days listening to some albums but I think I've got a good notion of what these cans are capable of. 
 
They are a good headphone, I can't call them bad, but I am convinced they are flawed in a couple of ways:
 
1) Treble - The treble balance isn't right. This is exposed in most electronic music where the repetitive hi-hats rise above the rest of the music in an unnatural fashion. It's sometimes fatiguing (nowhere near the D2000 of course), and although it can be EQed I'm just not as impressed with the resulting sound. 
 
2) Warmth - I think I'm done with so-called "dark" headphones or U-shaped headphones. I'm going after warmth/lushness now, that inverted-U or completely flat signature with some degree of roll-off. I just don't think this sound signature is musical enough or "colorful" enough (I do not mean to say colored). At least for me.
 
3) Quality/Price Level - It's a bit of an oddity. I demoed the HD 650 and it's a worse headphone but a more complete and robust one. I don't think the improvements versus that (or the D2000 which I owned previously) are big enough to warrant this new intermediate price point at 399. My next target is the HE-500 and perhaps eventually the LCD-2. 
 
I don't have much experience with headphones but as I demo more headphones it's becoming clearer to me what I'm looking for out of my audio equipment. I think the HE-500 and LCD-2 are two headphones that will better suit what I'm looking for and provide something I will be satisfied with. 
 
Feb 20, 2013 at 3:56 PM Post #7,639 of 22,060

Marleybob217

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After a fair amount of time evaluating the HE-400s, I'm leaning towards either selling them or returning them. I might spend a few more days listening to some albums but I think I've got a good notion of what these cans are capable of. 
 
They are a good headphone, I can't call them bad, but I am convinced they are flawed in a couple of ways:
 
1) Treble - The treble balance isn't right. This is exposed in most electronic music where the repetitive hi-hats rise above the rest of the music in an unnatural fashion. It's sometimes fatiguing (nowhere near the D2000 of course), and although it can be EQed I'm just not as impressed with the resulting sound. 
 
2) Warmth - I think I'm done with so-called "dark" headphones or U-shaped headphones. I'm going after warmth/lushness now, that inverted-U or completely flat signature with some degree of roll-off. I just don't think this sound signature is musical enough or "colorful" enough (I do not mean to say colored). At least for me.
 
3) Quality/Price Level - It's a bit of an oddity. I demoed the HD 650 and it's a worse headphone but a more complete and robust one. I don't think the improvements versus that (or the D2000 which I owned previously) are big enough to warrant this new intermediate price point at 399. My next target is the HE-500 and perhaps eventually the LCD-2. 
 
I don't have much experience with headphones but as I demo more headphones it's becoming clearer to me what I'm looking for out of my audio equipment. I think the HE-500 and LCD-2 are two headphones that will better suit what I'm looking for and provide something I will be satisfied with. 

After taking some time off from the HE-400 and using my other audio gear the flaws of this headphone do become more apparant.
The treble is very detailed, and could be perfect if it wasn't so darn high pitched. Although I must say jergpads and other earpad mods work wonders!
 
But yeah, with the dip in the high mids, and the incoherent treble I can see why people would rather buy the He-500.
I don't really have money for the He-400 let alone the HE-500, that is why I'm doing any tweak possible to improve this headphone. I must say with the earpad modifications the sound is much more coherent.
 
But if you have the money don't mess up the earpads and just exchange it for the HE-500.
 
Feb 20, 2013 at 4:04 PM Post #7,640 of 22,060

TMRaven

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The LCD2 actually isn't a radical departure from HE-400 at all.  In fact, with minimal EQ, I'm pretty convinced you can get the HE-400 sounding near the same as the LCD2, minus some refinements on the LCD2's behalf.
 
Feb 20, 2013 at 4:49 PM Post #7,641 of 22,060

Flisker

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The LCD2 actually isn't a radical departure from HE-400 at all.  In fact, with minimal EQ, I'm pretty convinced you can get the HE-400 sounding near the same as the LCD2, minus some refinements on the LCD2's behalf.

 
This is exactly something I am thinking about already few days ... I really love HE-400 ... today probably finished EQing and every piece of music sounds so much better to me than without EQ it's like I have next level headphones.
 
Because I like HE-400 so much I was also thinking about HE-500 ... but will it be rly so much better after EQing vs EQued HE-400 ? Will it be worth nearly twice more $$$ ? Or will I be disappointed if I decide to give them try sometime in future ?
 
Feb 20, 2013 at 4:56 PM Post #7,642 of 22,060

LarryKingsShoes

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The LCD2 actually isn't a radical departure from HE-400 at all.  In fact, with minimal EQ, I'm pretty convinced you can get the HE-400 sounding near the same as the LCD2, minus some refinements on the LCD2's behalf.


What might those EQ tweaks be? I assume it involves a slight low boost. I spent some time trying different settings with some good results. I wouldn't mind adding one more preset to the list though.

I really owe you guys a big thank you. Had I not been following this thread, I doubt I would have ever tried different EQ plugins with JRiver. It's made a world of difference in making fine adjustments. Some mild EQ tweaks can really bring out the best in these headphones.

Flicker, I'd also enjoy seeing your curves, if you willing. They may at least serve as a starting point for some of us.
 
Feb 20, 2013 at 5:08 PM Post #7,643 of 22,060

TMRaven

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Actually, no.  No low end boost.  The audeze bass seems to be hand in hand with HE-400's bass to me.  In fact I think it's overall less 'phat' if you were to call it something, meaning it's even more tight than HE-400's bass, if that's even possible.  This tightness means less bass presence on symphonic instruments such as chello and double bass etc, meaning more of the texture from their harmonics come though.  I never much understood when people talk of bass texture, but I imagine this effect goes a long way in giving perceived texture.  Conversely, many HD800 owners say it has better bass texture than the LCD-2, which should be technically impossible.  I also believe that the added 'impact' people say LCD-2 has might be because it has more energy in the upper mids, meaning the slap of percussion comes through easier.  It also helps that LCD-2 hits a clean 30hz with good pressure while HE-400 tapers off a bit at 30hz.  LCD-2 isn't that strong under 30hz, but I don't expect any headphone to be strong under 30hz, you need full-sized subwoofers for adequate pressure there.
 
I don't really know what most people use for EQ, but I only use iTunes-- so.  What I'll try to do is develop an EQ for iTunes and one for foobar using the parametric EQ that everybody uses that makes HE-400 sound closest to LCD-2 to my ears.  There will naturally be limitations, because the LCD-2 does something that HE-400 doesn't.
 
Feb 20, 2013 at 5:08 PM Post #7,644 of 22,060

bareyb

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What might those EQ tweaks be? I assume it involves a slight low boost. I spent some time trying different settings with some good results. I wouldn't mind adding one more preset to the list though.

I really owe you guys a big thank you. Had I not been following this thread, I doubt I would have ever tried different EQ plugins with JRiver. It's made a world of difference in making fine adjustments. Some mild EQ tweaks can really bring out the best in these headphones.

Flicker, I'd also enjoy seeing your curves, if you willing. They may at least serve as a starting point for some of us.

I'm using Accudio on the Mac. Just installed it last night. It's pretty cool. It's even got some presets to make your own headphones sound like other Brands such as Audeze LCD-2s. Kinda fun... It's also got a nice EQ that is totally configurable any way you want it. I haven't tried the JRiver stuff I'll have to Google that.
 
Just for kicks I bumped up the Bass at 90hz (+2) and 40Hz (+1) and now that DEEP Bass just rolls right off. Sounds like Pro900 Bass only cleaner. I don't mess with the highs, once I got the new Cable they seem nice to me now. I may try the 4000 kHz bump though, just to see how it effects the mids. 
 
Feb 20, 2013 at 5:22 PM Post #7,645 of 22,060

Marleybob217

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Oh boy, I just noticed that my right driver is a tad softer than my left driver... I think it's about 1~2 db so it is quite noticable.
 
I switched everything around, pads, cables even switched dacs and amps. And it's always the right driver that's softer, I even did a blind test with my girlfriend. She could clearly hear that the left driver was softer (I switched left and right for science).
 
I know that it's common that drivers aren't perfectly matched, but is such a noticable difference in spl normal?
Any other things I can do, like clean the driver?
 
Feb 20, 2013 at 5:29 PM Post #7,646 of 22,060

Flisker

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What might those EQ tweaks be? I assume it involves a slight low boost. I spent some time trying different settings with some good results. I wouldn't mind adding one more preset to the list though.

I really owe you guys a big thank you. Had I not been following this thread, I doubt I would have ever tried different EQ plugins with JRiver. It's made a world of difference in making fine adjustments. Some mild EQ tweaks can really bring out the best in these headphones.

Flicker, I'd also enjoy seeing your curves, if you willing. They may at least serve as a starting point for some of us.

 
I ended up with this one :
 
 

 
It's first gain 2.6dB on 20Hz ,BW 3.0 (but with fiio e11 on bass boost 1 it's more like 4.6dB imo) , second gain 4dB on 3500Hz, BW 2.2 , third middle gain is just for lowering everything under 0dB line to.. as others say "prevent clipping" if that's the technical term ... basicaly to prevent "volume dropping" as I would call it with my limited language 
biggrin.gif

 
I am not looking for neutrality or something but to simply enjoy music. Without EQ bass is nice but there is not enough punch to "feel it" by your ears. I love when I can feel low bass flowing thru headphones, guitar "vibrations" or whatever is it called etc. This need solves for me "first gain" on 20Hz. Second imperfection for me was vocals ... they was kind of buried under everything else and it felt to me like if singer would be behind whole band instead infront of. This solved for me "second gain" on 3500Hz.
 
Sound isn't in any way deformed or anyhow distorted. At least from what I can hear ofc.
 
Listening to HE-400 with this EQ bit louder makes me feel like there is electrical current flowing thru my body 
very_evil_smiley.gif
 Just love it.
 
Feb 20, 2013 at 5:31 PM Post #7,647 of 22,060

Marleybob217

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Oh wow, there is a huge difference with the left and right drivers! Either Tyll and me got faulty pieces, or this imbalance is quite normal...

It's not perfect with the HE-500 but a lot better than with HE-400.
 
EDIT: The main difference between left and right in the HE-400 is below 20hz, which we can't hear. We can feel it, but I doubt it would be such a big difference. And I think the difference quite audible.
 
Feb 20, 2013 at 5:35 PM Post #7,648 of 22,060

jerg

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Oh wow, there is a huge difference with the left and right drivers! Either Tyll and me got faulty pieces, or this imbalance is quite normal...

It's not perfect with the HE-500 but a lot better than with HE-400.
 
EDIT: The main difference between left and right in the HE-400 is below 20hz, which we can't hear. We can feel it, but I doubt it would be such a big difference. And I think the difference quite audible.

The imbalance is quite normal. And it's not an "imbalance" persay, just that the FR of the drivers are never perfectly matched because there is a lot of variability involved in making these ortho membranes (tension control, tracing adhering, etc), compared to dynamic cone diaphragms which are just stamped out of the same mold each time.
 
Feb 20, 2013 at 5:51 PM Post #7,649 of 22,060

Marleybob217

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The imbalance is quite normal. And it's not an "imbalance" persay, just that the FR of the drivers are never perfectly matched because there is a lot of variability involved in making these ortho membranes (tension control, tracing adhering, etc), compared to dynamic cone diaphragms which are just stamped out of the same mold each time.

This has been a long day, I might not be in the best shape to do these kinds of tests.
 
I just flipped the headphone, and left was louder with L and R driver... The most logical explanation is I'm a bit deaf at the right ear (or just a snot build up) and my girlfriend got lucky picking the right driver? I need some sleep before I end up selling the HE-400...
 

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