**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread**
Feb 28, 2013 at 1:39 AM Post #8,057 of 22,060

disastermouse

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In my profile 
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And yes, it does drive HE500 loud enough. Just...doesn't have the dynamics nor the bass control nor the immersive soundstage that a much superior more powerful amp delivers.

Try the Schiit Magni. I thought my HE-500 had zero sound stage on the E9. It was only with the Magni that I got that 'bang-zoom' effect. The jump from E9 to Magni was as big as the jump from the HD650 to the HE-500 originally was (both on the E9 or O2). I can't believe how much better they sound with the Schiit amp.
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 1:56 AM Post #8,058 of 22,060

bareyb

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Quote:
Its always good to read another opinion in the HE400 vs HE500 debate. Patiently impatiently waiting for the comparison.

I have both here right now. There's not a clear winner. They sound alike yet different. I expected the 500 to have less Bass, but to my ears they are about the same, but again, different. The 400 is more punchy and the 500 is deeper and more full. They both have great articulation.
 
The 500 is able to be driven by the CEntrance DACMini,but for my listening levels I wouldn't mind a little more power. The 400 is a more efficient in that regard. It sounds more dynamic on the DACMini and the highs are more defined. The 500 is a bit smoother at the top end. If you A/B compare both phones the 500s make the 400s sound a bit too bright. Something I hadn't thought before, but in comparison, the 500 has smoother highs with no trace of Tizz or Siblance. Vocals are good on both, but are a little more forward on the 500. 
 
So far, it's a tough call if I were to keep only one. I'd feel like I'd need more power to drive the 500 to the volumes I like, but it's looking like there might be a Burson Conductor in my future (4 wpc!) so power wouldn't be a problem anyway. If I had to pick one and they both cost the same, I guess I'd probably take the 500 at this point. There doesn't seem to be much downside if you have a powerful Amp and the highs and mids are really sweet. My biggest concern was that it was going to be "Bass light" and that would never do. Turns out, It's anything but, and throws down great Bass just like the 400. I think anyone would be happy with either. If cost is a consideration then  go for the 400s. You aren't losing much and the price is a heck of a lot more reasonable. 
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 2:17 AM Post #8,059 of 22,060

jerg

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Try the Schiit Magni. I thought my HE-500 had zero sound stage on the E9. It was only with the Magni that I got that 'bang-zoom' effect. The jump from E9 to Magni was as big as the jump from the HD650 to the HE-500 originally was (both on the E9 or O2). I can't believe how much better they sound with the Schiit amp.

Yeah, I've been stalking around the amp FT/S forum every day recently for a good Modi/Magni deal.
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 2:46 AM Post #8,060 of 22,060

beaver316

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I have both here right now. There's not a clear winner. They sound alike yet different. I expected the 500 to have less Bass, but to my ears they are about the same, but again, different. The 400 is more punchy and the 500 is deeper and more full. They both have great articulation.
 
The 500 is able to be driven by the CEntrance DACMini,but for my listening levels I wouldn't mind a little more power. The 400 is a more efficient in that regard. It sounds more dynamic on the DACMini and the highs are more defined. The 500 is a bit smoother at the top end. If you A/B compare both phones the 500s make the 400s sound a bit too bright. Something I hadn't thought before, but in comparison, the 500 has smoother highs with no trace of Tizz or Siblance. Vocals are good on both, but are a little more forward on the 500. 
 
So far, it's a tough call if I were to keep only one. I'd feel like I'd need more power to drive the 500 to the volumes I like, but it's looking like there might be a Burson Conductor in my future (4 wpc!) so power wouldn't be a problem anyway. If I had to pick one and they both cost the same, I guess I'd probably take the 500 at this point. There doesn't seem to be much downside if you have a powerful Amp and the highs and mids are really sweet. My biggest concern was that it was going to be "Bass light" and that would never do. Turns out, It's anything but, and throws down great Bass just like the 400. I think anyone would be happy with either. If cost is a consideration then  go for the 400s. You aren't losing much and the price is a heck of a lot more reasonable. 

 
Excellent writeup, and very informative. I also thought that by moving to the HE500 I would sacrifice the great bass on the HE400 but you have allayed those fears. So it seems there's nothing but positives moving to the HE500. Would you say it's worth the extra $300, considering you have the right amp to power it? There may be a new Hifiman in my future.
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 3:05 AM Post #8,061 of 22,060

bareyb

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Excellent writeup, and very informative. I also thought that by moving to the HE500 I would sacrifice the great bass on the HE400 but you have allayed those fears. So it seems there's nothing but positives moving to the HE500. Would you say it's worth the extra $300, considering you have the right amp to power it? There may be a new Hifiman in my future.

They are sounding better with each hour of break-in too. The Bass is just... amazing. It's so detailed and deep. Sounds like a very high end speaker system. Very full and robust. I thought the 400s articulated Bass well, but these hit some lower frequencies that the 400s do not. It's a beautiful sounding headphone.
 
I personally think they are a good deal even at $700.00. I personally will probably go for them myself. So it's worth it to me, that's for sure.  
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Feb 28, 2013 at 4:15 AM Post #8,062 of 22,060

catspaw

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I'm using the Pico amp/dac. I was considering Asgard 2 anyways, so I might pick one up along with a Bifrost. Originally I was set on the HE-500, but after all the rave reviews of the HE-400, I figured I would save some cash.
 
I'm still considering the HE-500 after my experience with the HE-400. Don't get me wrong, the HE-400 is pleasing--just not quite the religious experience I was hoping for (and might not exist with any can for me). 

Hmm hard to say. I think once you get used to it, the "religious expirince" is gone and you are looking for your next fix.
In my case, unless i someday plan to get something like the HD800, HE-6 or LCD-3, im probably going to stick with the HE-400. I havent tried the HE-500 yet (the store that was supposed to have them 2 weeks ago did not tell me anything about it yet), and if i tried i might be wrong, but for me if the increment in quality is not about 50% (subjectivly ofc), i dont feel like spending more money on something i already have.
 
I do feel like id like to have another can that would be more neutral like the HD600, but ill first have to try the various EQs submited already on this thread.
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 4:17 AM Post #8,063 of 22,060

jerg

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Quote:
 
Excellent writeup, and very informative. I also thought that by moving to the HE500 I would sacrifice the great bass on the HE400 but you have allayed those fears. So it seems there's nothing but positives moving to the HE500. Would you say it's worth the extra $300, considering you have the right amp to power it? There may be a new Hifiman in my future.

There are two main things that HE500s just do right where HE400s don't, in my opinion.
 
1) HE500's midrange is much closer to neutrality, without that upper midrange dip
 
2) HE500 is more refined, smooth, and transparent across the entire frequency range
 
Whether or not those two things are worth almost doubling the price, depends on if you value them. I personally value them a lot so to me the price difference is more than justified; but for many others it is trivial.
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 4:25 AM Post #8,064 of 22,060

beaver316

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There are two main things that HE500s just do right where HE400s don't, in my opinion.
 
1) HE500's midrange is much closer to neutrality, without that upper midrange dip
 
2) HE500 is more refined, smooth, and transparent across the entire frequency range
 
Whether or not those two things are worth almost doubling the price, depends on if you value them. I personally value them a lot so to me the price difference is more than justified; but for many others it is trivial.

 
Although listening to the HE400 it's 'flaws' don't bother me at all, but I wouldn't mind a smoother experience with a more fleshed out midrange. In this game, $300 more isn't really that much. $700 total is probably just as much a steal for the HE500 as $400 is for the HE400.
 
But I'll be waiting for what Hifiman have in store, reading their customer support thread i get the impression that they have something new lined up for this year.
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 4:57 AM Post #8,065 of 22,060

disastermouse

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See, I lucked out on a great Amazon Warehouse deal where I got the HE-500 for around $500. I made a huge leap in sound quality over the HD650 and then AGAIN with the Magni. If I already had the HE-400 I'm not sure I'd go for 'the same but better'. Since I've never heard the HE-400, I can't compare them. However Katun has a really amazing review of the HE-500 on Amazon where he compares the HE-500 to the HE-400 (as well as the HD650). I'd link it, but I'm posting from my phone.
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 5:02 AM Post #8,066 of 22,060

bareyb

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There are two main things that HE500s just do right where HE400s don't, in my opinion.
 
1) HE500's midrange is much closer to neutrality, without that upper midrange dip
 
2) HE500 is more refined, smooth, and transparent across the entire frequency range
 
Whether or not those two things are worth almost doubling the price, depends on if you value them. I personally value them a lot so to me the price difference is more than justified; but for many others it is trivial.

They are impressive! Very addictive to listen to. I'm definitely keeping them.  
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Feb 28, 2013 at 7:28 AM Post #8,067 of 22,060

MattTCG

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It will be interesting to see how many decide that they need to "graduate" to the he500. I've owned the he500 twice and went back to the he400. I never bought the he400 to have wonderful mids...my hd650's are for that. The he500's extra weight, amping requirements and price ultimately kept it off my list. 
 
IMO the he400 (with Jergpads/j$) plus a pair of hd650's or other complimentary hp's, gives you a nice collection. On my budget, there is no "perfect hp." But there are some very good compromises that make for an enjoyable listen at the end of the day. 
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 10:52 AM Post #8,068 of 22,060

jiggahwhat

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I was running the HE-400 on a borrowed E17 which I've since returned and for a couple of days I had to run it unamped and even unDACed. Today my new Hifimediy Sabre DAC came in and it sounds superb (don't really understand the complaints about USB noise, seems like a placebo problem). Vocals have really opened up. Should sound even better once my Fiio E12 arrives. 
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 11:13 AM Post #8,069 of 22,060

stereolab

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See, I lucked out on a great Amazon Warehouse deal where I got the HE-500 for around $500. I made a huge leap in sound quality over the HD650 and then AGAIN with the Magni. If I already had the HE-400 I'm not sure I'd go for 'the same but better'. Since I've never heard the HE-400, I can't compare them. However Katun has a really amazing review of the HE-500 on Amazon where he compares the HE-500 to the HE-400 (as well as the HD650). I'd link it, but I'm posting from my phone.

Katun's review was the basis for my desire to own the HE-500. IIRC, he mentioned he preferred his $50 pair of Sennheisers to the HE-400. Interesting how comparisons vary to such a degree.
 
$500 is quite an amazing deal!
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 1:14 PM Post #8,070 of 22,060

lowrider007

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Thinking about jumping on these but I can't find anywhere in the UK at a good price, I've found this chap in ebay (http://tinyurl.com/bvxlooc) willing to ship them from the states to the UK which works out at £275 inc devl if I don't get clobbered by the tax man, has any UK folk used this seller before? do they look 'legit'?
 

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