Hifiman he-400i Impressions and Discussion
Jun 10, 2015 at 6:35 PM Post #4,321 of 14,355

DDDamian

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I think Audeze LCD2.2 (prefazor) is up your alley - altho i hear there quite dark. 

Matched with a Gustard H-10 they are probably the most neutral can I've heard yet (late 2013 pre-fazor).
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 7:05 PM Post #4,322 of 14,355

manbear

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Personally, i find that the HE-400i is a bit of a chameleon. When I first got them after selling my ZMF Vibro (which is very, very lush and on the polite side), I thought the HE-400i sounded clean, hard-hitting, fast and aggressive.

Fast-forward a few months to where I get my TH-600, and the HE-400i sounds lush and polite in comparison, almost like how I remember the Vibro.

Overall though, I think the 400i has lush (but not extra lush--it's too fast) mids that are slightly forward. Bass extension is excellent and impact is average to above average, quantity is neutral. If you are used to drier sounding bass I could see the bass sounding a little soft, but never loose or sloppy IMO. Air is average to below average for open headphones, but you'd have to be used to the best closed headphones in the world to think these sound closed. IMO they are obviously more open sounding than the TH600, which itself is exceptionally open for a closed headphone.
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 7:59 PM Post #4,323 of 14,355

DavidA

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Personally, i find that the HE-400i is a bit of a chameleon. When I first got them after selling my ZMF Vibro (which is very, very lush and on the polite side), I thought the HE-400i sounded clean, hard-hitting, fast and aggressive.

Fast-forward a few months to where I get my TH-600, and the HE-400i sounds lush and polite in comparison, almost like how I remember the Vibro.

Overall though, I think the 400i has lush (but not extra lush--it's too fast) mids that are slightly forward. Bass extension is excellent and impact is average to above average, quantity is neutral. If you are used to drier sounding bass I could see the bass sounding a little soft, but never loose or sloppy IMO. Air is average to below average for open headphones, but you'd have to be used to the best closed headphones in the world to think these sound closed. IMO they are obviously more open sounding than the TH600, which itself is exceptionally open for a closed headphone.

Getting the TH-600 also slightly changed my impression of the HE-400i, very similar to your impressions.
 
Jun 11, 2015 at 12:32 AM Post #4,324 of 14,355

chowmein83

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Personally, i find that the HE-400i is a bit of a chameleon. When I first got them after selling my ZMF Vibro (which is very, very lush and on the polite side), I thought the HE-400i sounded clean, hard-hitting, fast and aggressive.

Fast-forward a few months to where I get my TH-600, and the HE-400i sounds lush and polite in comparison, almost like how I remember the Vibro.

Overall though, I think the 400i has lush (but not extra lush--it's too fast) mids that are slightly forward. Bass extension is excellent and impact is average to above average, quantity is neutral. If you are used to drier sounding bass I could see the bass sounding a little soft, but never loose or sloppy IMO. Air is average to below average for open headphones, but you'd have to be used to the best closed headphones in the world to think these sound closed. IMO they are obviously more open sounding than the TH600, which itself is exceptionally open for a closed headphone.

 
I've never heard the Vibro or the TH-600 (though I have heard the TH-900), but I find your impressions to exactly what I heard.
 
Jun 11, 2015 at 4:44 AM Post #4,325 of 14,355

swspiers

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  Getting the TH-600 also slightly changed my impression of the HE-400i, very similar to your impressions.

Can you elaborate a little more?
 
Jun 11, 2015 at 9:55 AM Post #4,326 of 14,355

DavidA

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  Can you elaborate a little more?

The TH-600 has a different sound signature from the HE-400i, it has more of a fun signature, more "U or V" shaped.  I like it for certain genre of music like classic rock and EDM.  The bass is more prominent and with the mids a little recessed, highs a little on the bright side it makes a good complimentary headphone to the HE-400i.
 
Jun 11, 2015 at 1:35 PM Post #4,327 of 14,355

manbear

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The TH-600 has a dry, crisp sound. Very clean and on the thin side (the mids and treble, that is). The HE-400i is fuller and juicier in comparison, while also having a softer, more refined texture.

I find them to be great complementary headphones too. They are about equal in technical ability with no glaring weaknesses either way, but they have very different signatures that put you in touch with different parts of the music.
 
Jun 12, 2015 at 7:23 AM Post #4,328 of 14,355

WriterHead

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  Scratch what I said earlier on these...don't know if that was just hype or what but listening to these further they aren't nearly as good as the hype leads on. I do have to disclaim that I am coming from T90s...which are a definite higher class, but honestly even then I really don't think these are worth the $500 price tag. The bass was slightly less in most cases and looser than what my T90s can produce, while they produce more off the bat...they just don't beat the T90's is bass offering with the proper EQ/amp. The mids were not as good as the T90s, they were kicked to the side and left there. They weren't much airier than the T90s and I suspect the grills on these to be the problem (as they are on the T90s) and the vocals were about the same as the T90s as well. As for soundstage...slightly more than the T90s but not very good. These jsut don't compare to higher end cans.
 
However, if these were priced at $350-$425 (they were around this range new when I bought them) I can solemnly say that they are worth that price. The soundstage is better than that of $650 cans, the bass is almost as good with the extension and reproduction both being slightly better, they just need to be more open and fix the mids.
 
I feel like I am really bearing down on them, but they just aren't worth $500 and aren't as good as others have claimed.
 
I guess you could consider this a mini-review, but overall...they're not for me, but I'm glad I got to experience them. Perhaps Audeze can offer better, but for now I will see what the HD700s can do.

I find them much better than T90, cymbals sound completely exagerated on them due to its treble spike. 
 
Jun 12, 2015 at 8:36 AM Post #4,329 of 14,355

xskugga

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  I find them much better than T90, cymbals sound completely exagerated on them due to its treble spike. 

 
I wouldn't say a single instrument sounding better on them constitutes as them being better, sure they weren't as hot as the T90s...but they didn't excel greatly in any areas vs. the T90s. The T90s are quite hot, but honestly that is only one of their two flaws...the other being that it can sound lifeless due to the precision. I will say though, they do compete with the T90s, but for me the T90s win due to them being so versatile.
 
Jun 12, 2015 at 10:43 AM Post #4,330 of 14,355

Hardtrancing

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How much more "Omph" would I get with a DAC/Amp for my HE-400i's?
I have been having fun with them, but I can't look past the fact that I need some more impact or power from my music. Also the treble doesn't seem to suit about half the tracks I have been playing, so is there anyway a darker sounding amp would be able to tame the highs just a bit?
 
Jun 12, 2015 at 10:53 AM Post #4,331 of 14,355

WriterHead

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I wouldn't say a single instrument sounding better on them constitutes as them being better, sure they weren't as hot as the T90s...but they didn't excel greatly in any areas vs. the T90s. The T90s are quite hot, but honestly that is only one of their two flaws...the other being that it can sound lifeless due to the precision. I will say though, they do compete with the T90s, but for me the T90s win due to them being so versatile.


I could not bare them with rock or rap due to the treble spike so not versatile for me. I listen to every genre with LCD2 or HE400i
 
Jun 12, 2015 at 10:55 AM Post #4,332 of 14,355

q2klepto

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  How much more "Omph" would I get with a DAC/Amp for my HE-400i's?
I have been having fun with them, but I can't look past the fact that I need some more impact or power from my music. Also the treble doesn't seem to suit about half the tracks I have been playing, so is there anyway a darker sounding amp would be able to tame the highs just a bit?

 
Imo not much unless your current amp is near max and still not at loud enough volumes. Tube amps can color the lower end to give you more punch maybe. Anything around 1W@32Ohm should power them to ear damaging levels. IIRC innerfidelity needed about 600mW to hit 90db. 
 
Planars dont have crazy impedence swings..so yea.  Plus i hear 400i dont scale as well as other headphones. 
 
Jun 12, 2015 at 11:00 AM Post #4,333 of 14,355

Hardtrancing

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Imo not much unless your current amp is near max and still not at loud enough volumes. Tube amps can color the lower end to give you more punch maybe. Anything around 1W@32Ohm should power them to ear damaging levels. IIRC innerfidelity needed about 600mW to hit 90db. 
 
Planars dont have crazy impedence swings..so yea.  Plus i hear 400i dont scale as well as other headphones. 


I'm running them directly through my laptop, they do get loud enough though. I'm after some more bass impact or slam or what you call it.
 
Jun 12, 2015 at 11:53 AM Post #4,334 of 14,355

q2klepto

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I'm running them directly through my laptop, they do get loud enough though. I'm after some more bass impact or slam or what you call it.

 
Then yes it would be much better off a dedicated amp :) I know off my usb soundcard - the signal had noise, sound was harsh.  Once i ran them off my old Aune T1 it was better, but ive gotten 2 amps after that (emotiva mini-x and my current audio-gd nfb15) improvements have been subtle/non-existent other than having more room to play with on the pot. 
 
Still in the air about getting a Valhalla2, or possibly Liquid Cavalli Carbon next. Might just upgrade my video card lol
 
Jun 12, 2015 at 1:21 PM Post #4,335 of 14,355

Hardtrancing

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Then yes it would be much better off a dedicated amp :) I know off my usb soundcard - the signal had noise, sound was harsh.  Once i ran them off my old Aune T1 it was better, but ive gotten 2 amps after that (emotiva mini-x and my current audio-gd nfb15) improvements have been subtle/non-existent other than having more room to play with on the pot. 
 
Still in the air about getting a Valhalla2, or possibly Liquid Cavalli Carbon next. Might just upgrade my video card lol

Seems like it's worth trying them with some proper gear then :)
 

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