**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread**
Apr 29, 2013 at 11:38 AM Post #10,216 of 22,065

Lohb

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Another vote for the M-stage, very nice pairing. I haven't changed out the opamp yet though, I like the stock sound sig anyway so I don't feel the need change it, but I doubt you're going to hear any significant changes. I hear they also run hotter with class-a mods, bad idea in the summer. 


Great to know, but I think I'm being silly thinking I can feed the FLAC through a budget Muse 2704 DAC into the M-Stage and release the HFM magic ! Would I also need a $150 + DAC ?
 
Apr 29, 2013 at 12:37 PM Post #10,217 of 22,065

BigCabDaddy

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Great to know, but I think I'm being silly thinking I can feed the FLAC through a budget Muse 2704 DAC into the M-Stage and release the HFM magic ! Would I also need a $150 + DAC ?

 
dac wouldn't necessarily impact sound quality significantly unless it were a really crappy dac. Of course some people swear by dramatic CABLE differences so...
 
Apr 29, 2013 at 12:42 PM Post #10,218 of 22,065

beaver316

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Great to know, but I think I'm being silly thinking I can feed the FLAC through a budget Muse 2704 DAC into the M-Stage and release the HFM magic ! Would I also need a $150 + DAC ?

 
Yeah many agree that most dacs sound very similar, unless you go over the $1000 mark, or go for really cheap dacs. Personally I just went with the odac which everyone says is a bargain, and I'll be sticking with it for a long time.
 
Apr 29, 2013 at 1:07 PM Post #10,219 of 22,065

davidsh

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I want to add that some DACs are intentionally 'colored'. The one I own for example. So they don't necessarily need to sound the same.
 
Generally the difference with DACs aren't big.. But they can just give the last bit to a setup you really like, and make it sound 'just right'
 
Apr 29, 2013 at 2:58 PM Post #10,220 of 22,065

BobDob25

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After listening to the HE-400's last night, looks I might have to send them back. I just can't get over the treble spike and it is causing extreme fatigue even at normal volumes. I really do enjoy these headphones, bu the weight and high treble is difficult for my ears. I did EQ, but I shouldn't have to EQ as much as I am with 400 dollar headphones. Regardless, I appreciate them and boy am I going to miss their beautiful bass.
 
Apr 29, 2013 at 3:12 PM Post #10,222 of 22,065

BobDob25

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I did EQ and they are still fatiguing for me. Not sure what it is, maybe its the combined weight and certain spikes i cant get out? There is still quite a bit of sibilance, that I just cant get out with EQ. Its hard to explain, the more agressive I EQ, the more I change of the sound as well. They are great headphones and if it was a perfect world, i would do what i wanted and keep these and also buy the hd 650's. I listened to the 650's at the store today and they were very relaxed and light, seems that is what I need.
 
Apr 29, 2013 at 6:50 PM Post #10,224 of 22,065

gswilder

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Over the last year, I have done extended sampling of over 20 headphones. The HE400's are really really good. I am personally not too crazy about the look. Kind of old school industrial. But they are very comfortable and sound great when amplified.
 
I loved them so much, I bought a pair of HE-500's which I love even more. Both are easy to drive with about any amp I have tried.
 
Apr 29, 2013 at 7:31 PM Post #10,225 of 22,065

Marleybob217

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After listening to the HE-400's last night, looks I might have to send them back. I just can't get over the treble spike and it is causing extreme fatigue even at normal volumes. I really do enjoy these headphones, bu the weight and high treble is difficult for my ears. I did EQ, but I shouldn't have to EQ as much as I am with 400 dollar headphones. Regardless, I appreciate them and boy am I going to miss their beautiful bass.

Well you could try different pads, or the jergpad mod. It helps a lot with the treble and upper mids. But you are absolutely right, it's complete nonsense that you have to use an eq with a 400 dollar headphone. Then again I've heard 2000+ usd ultrasone headphones that could not sound good with any degree of mods or equalizers. So far any headphone in the price range of the HE-400 needs some sort of modification, whether it is an expensive amp (hd650), different pads or equalizing. I do hope headphones will start progressing into the more neutral sound. But as long as beats keep making crazy amounts of money, I don't think this will happen any time soon. I still think the HE-400 has one of the best performance/price ratios of any headphone, especially with pad modifications. 
 
Apr 29, 2013 at 7:32 PM Post #10,226 of 22,065

Marleybob217

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Does anyone know which of these 2 amps would be best for the HFM-400's ?
 
Matrix M-Stage with  Burr Brown OPA627BP with Class A Biasing Mod upgrade
or
Audinst HUD-mx2 Hi-Fi USB Audio DAC
 
Similar price range.

I can vouch for the audinst, although its dac section is probably better than its amp section. But this combo works excellent with the HE-400.
 
Apr 29, 2013 at 10:21 PM Post #10,227 of 22,065

earphiler

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man I can't wait to pipe 'Tomorrow's Harvest' out of these :D
 
Apr 29, 2013 at 11:52 PM Post #10,228 of 22,065

kothganesh

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How much does it cost??

go to www.sonicstudio.com. I think I paid $ 50 or so. You can ask for a trial - 15 days or so. Typically, they have an offer that if you buy the software soon after the demo, you get 15% off. My memory is vague so please check the latest on that web site. If my URL is wrong, please google Amarra Hifi and it will take you to the website. Hope this helps.
 
Apr 30, 2013 at 3:47 AM Post #10,229 of 22,065

beaver316

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Well you could try different pads, or the jergpad mod. It helps a lot with the treble and upper mids. But you are absolutely right, it's complete nonsense that you have to use an eq with a 400 dollar headphone. Then again I've heard 2000+ usd ultrasone headphones that could not sound good with any degree of mods or equalizers. So far any headphone in the price range of the HE-400 needs some sort of modification, whether it is an expensive amp (hd650), different pads or equalizing. I do hope headphones will start progressing into the more neutral sound. But as long as beats keep making crazy amounts of money, I don't think this will happen any time soon. I still think the HE-400 has one of the best performance/price ratios of any headphone, especially with pad modifications. 

 
The elevated treble on the HE-400 is on purpose. Mr. Fang intended for it so the headphone has a more "American sound". That's why I don't think it's complete nonsense that you need to EQ a $400 headphone, because this was how the sound sig was meant to be. Some people like it and some people don't. I mean, even the LCD2 which costs $1000 could be argued that it needs some EQing to bring up the shelved treble, well at least for some people. It's just the way the engineers decided they want it to sound like.
 
I think it's great that there are no two headphones that sound exactly the same. Gives up consumers greater choice. Imagine a world where every headphone was neutral, that would be quite boring no?
 
With that said, even for me the HE-400's treble untouched is a little too hot on some tracks, that's why I've EQed it down very slightly, just a couple of db's. The slight EQ adjustments along with the jergpad mod has made them perfect for me. Too much EQing and you change the signature which is what I love about this headphone.
 
Apr 30, 2013 at 8:04 AM Post #10,230 of 22,065

catspaw

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Personally i got used to the treble, and at start i could not manage it (in fact sometimes i add even more treble haha).
 
Not sure how it works, but in some games (especially mass effect) i have to tone down the treble (E17, thank god), or the guns in it basicly pierce my ears :D.
 
Im even actually looking at the HD600 as an adition to the HE-400 to get a more relaxed sound when i need it.
 

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