Hifiman he-400i Impressions and Discussion
Jan 27, 2017 at 11:57 PM Post #11,371 of 14,355

Mani ATH 87

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 11, 2012
Posts
983
Likes
358
Location
British Columbia, Canada
  Only way to get cheaper is to DIY, which is what I've been doing for the past few years.  I've tried a few high end cables from Forza and Double-Helix and while the craftsmanship is incredible and they look like works of art I didn't notice any sonic differences so felt my resources are better used on other gear in the audio chain like the amp (and tubes), DAC and better/more music.  With cables I'm more concerned with the physical properties such as length, microphonics, weight and flexibility.

 
Yeah, I hear you. I'm not an advocate for cables making a sonic difference really. Even still, I like having a nice quality cable and things like length, microphonics, weights and flexibility are all important factors as you mentioned. The cheapest of the cheap when it comes to cables usually just don't fit the bill. I'm OK spending $100 or so on a cable, it's mostly the quality of the cable I'm paying for, the workmanship going into it, so I'm good with it. Despite it maybe not giving you a sonic improvement, the quality of life is worth the price of admission for me personally.
 
Jan 28, 2017 at 6:58 PM Post #11,373 of 14,355

DavidA

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 4, 2014
Posts
9,900
Likes
3,391
Location
Hawaii
  What is the reason for the three pole connectors? The ring is not connected to anything. When I was listening to these at a local dealer they had a custom cable with mono plugs for each side. Any advantages or disadvantages?


​no, a while back this same question was asked and there are many possible reasons for the TRS vs TS plugs, if you want the real reason you might have to contact Hifiman and ask them
 
Jan 28, 2017 at 8:45 PM Post #11,374 of 14,355

Born2Cuddle

Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 9, 2015
Posts
68
Likes
21
I posted this in another thread but I am guessing that this thread gets more super hot action.
 
Has anyone tried the Little Bear B4 out with a pair of Hifiman 400i headphones? I currently use them with a Fiio X3  and an O2 amp and was wondering if the Little Bear would be better/different.
 
 
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01K4BS9WU/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ADPE7GPX91ORE
 
 
 
 
P.S. the 400i are back down to $250.
 
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MULH672/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_35?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2RJQ91IHY4NS4
 
Jan 29, 2017 at 12:43 AM Post #11,375 of 14,355

Mani ATH 87

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 11, 2012
Posts
983
Likes
358
Location
British Columbia, Canada
I just got my Impact Audio Cables today, and they are very nice cables!
 

 

 

 
The quality of the cables is awesome! I highly recommend these for anyone looking for a custom cable or a replacement cable.
They are handmade so they took a good amount of time to get. I ordered mine on Jan 1st and they arrived at my door Jan 27th.
 
I did notice something odd, however this could be a slight imperfection in the headphones. The 2.5 mm plugs that go into the headphones seem to fit differently on each side. I hadn't noticed this with the stock cables as they both seem to fit into the headphones the same, but with this cable one side is a lot more snug then the other side. They both insert and snap in, but one side requires a bit more pressure to get in there. At first I thought maybe this was the cable, but i noticed the same issue happens regards of which side of the cable I plug in. The left and right plug on the headphones both snap into the right side very easily, but are very snug on the left side. The plugs on the cable appear to be identical, so this would lead me to think there is some kind of difference between the left and right connectors on the headphones. These plugs are the same 2.5 mm plugs the stock cable uses, I mean...they may be just a tiny bit bigger in size based on brand or something being different, I'm not sure. It doesn't have any effect on anything, but it is a little strange.

 
 
Jan 29, 2017 at 1:50 AM Post #11,376 of 14,355

DavidA

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 4, 2014
Posts
9,900
Likes
3,391
Location
Hawaii
  The quality of the cables is awesome! I highly recommend these for anyone looking for a custom cable or a replacement cable.
They are handmade so they took a good amount of time to get. I ordered mine on Jan 1st and they arrived at my door Jan 27th.
 
I did notice something odd, however this could be a slight imperfection in the headphones. The 2.5 mm plugs that go into the headphones seem to fit differently on each side. I hadn't noticed this with the stock cables as they both seem to fit into the headphones the same, but with this cable one side is a lot more snug then the other side. They both insert and snap in, but one side requires a bit more pressure to get in there. At first I thought maybe this was the cable, but i noticed the same issue happens regards of which side of the cable I plug in. The left and right plug on the headphones both snap into the right side very easily, but are very snug on the left side. The plugs on the cable appear to be identical, so this would lead me to think there is some kind of difference between the left and right connectors on the headphones. These plugs are the same 2.5 mm plugs the stock cable uses, I mean...they may be just a tiny bit bigger in size based on brand or something being different, I'm not sure. It doesn't have any effect on anything, but it is a little strange.
 

This is one reason I don't like the 2.5mm connector, its not as secure connection as the old SMC and to me does not last as long.
 
Jan 29, 2017 at 1:28 PM Post #11,377 of 14,355

ls13coco

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 23, 2016
Posts
371
Likes
152
Location
BC, Canada
I'm thinking of ordering some HM5 pads for my HE400I.
Does anyone have input on the benefits of the certain types?
I'm not considering the sheepskin, but I'm debating on angled or non angled pleather, velour or hybrid.
Thanks
 
Jan 29, 2017 at 2:01 PM Post #11,378 of 14,355

InsTwin

Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 19, 2015
Posts
82
Likes
17
I'm thinking of ordering some HM5 pads for my HE400I.
Does anyone have input on the benefits of the certain types?
I'm not considering the sheepskin, but I'm debating on angled or non angled pleather, velour or hybrid.
Thanks

I went with the flat Hybrid pad and angled Velour pad for mine.
 
Differences are pretty subtle, I would say the flat hybrid sounds very close to stock, while being more comfortable.  Angled Velour I need to spend some more time with, but maybe a bit more comfortable than the flat hybrids and slightly less bass impact.
 
Those are the main differences to my ears.
 
Jan 29, 2017 at 2:05 PM Post #11,379 of 14,355

spookanide

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 21, 2015
Posts
116
Likes
30
Location
The Netherlands
I'm thinking of ordering some HM5 pads for my HE400I.
Does anyone have input on the benefits of the certain types?
I'm not considering the sheepskin, but I'm debating on angled or non angled pleather, velour or hybrid.
Thanks


From what I read here, a full slick leather pad may cause the mids to get a little congested (search for alpha pads). Hybrids, velour or suede seems the way to go. The reports I heard on those hybrids is that they add a good deal of comfort, look the rest up yourself.
I heard from another member that put on the suede Audeze LCD pads with great results. A bit more comfort, a bit more bass (less accurate) and no other impact on the sound. I ordered these myself and I'm still waiting on them.
Angled seems the way to go in all cases for a bit of soundstage (that's how sound hits your ears from the front naturally). The stock pads use this shape too.
 
Jan 29, 2017 at 2:30 PM Post #11,381 of 14,355

ls13coco

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 23, 2016
Posts
371
Likes
152
Location
BC, Canada
  I went with the flat Hybrid pad and angled Velour pad for mine.
 
Differences are pretty subtle, I would say the flat hybrid sounds very close to stock, while being more comfortable.  Angled Velour I need to spend some more time with, but maybe a bit more comfortable than the flat hybrids and slightly less bass impact.
 
Those are the main differences to my ears.

 
 
From what I read here, a full slick leather pad may cause the mids to get a little congested (search for alpha pads). Hybrids, velour or suede seems the way to go. The reports I heard on those hybrids is that they add a good deal of comfort, look the rest up yourself.
I heard from another member that put on the suede Audeze LCD pads with great results. A bit more comfort, a bit more bass (less accurate) and no other impact on the sound. I ordered these myself and I'm still waiting on them.
Angled seems the way to go in all cases for a bit of soundstage (that's how sound hits your ears from the front naturally). The stock pads use this shape too.

 
  I have the angled pleather pads coming today. I will let you know what I think!

Thank you all for the info! I'm also planning to order some for the X2 and k712 if you have any input on those, too. :p (nothing wrong with the pads, just looking to improve/have backups and also ordered hd 600 headband cushions for all 3 for 5 usd)
Slightly less bass impact with the angled hey? Interested to hear more about that, as I really love the planar bass and don't want to lose any.
Angled I hear for the X2 because of it's angled drivers isn't the way to go, but this is all good info.

Thanks guys.
 
Jan 29, 2017 at 5:00 PM Post #11,382 of 14,355

spookanide

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 21, 2015
Posts
116
Likes
30
Location
The Netherlands
  I did notice something odd, however this could be a slight imperfection in the headphones. The 2.5 mm plugs that go into the headphones seem to fit differently on each side ... The plugs on the cable appear to be identical, so this would lead me to think there is some kind of difference between the left and right connectors on the headphones. These plugs are the same 2.5 mm plugs the stock cable uses

I noticed this trying out custom cables myself. If you look at the holes of the cups where the plug goes, you should note how the female 2.5mm is fastened onto the cup:
a threaded outer sheath goes into some sort of ring/nut that's probably held in place with a screwdriver (I expect the same on the inside to lock it). This ring is big enough to block whatever jack you are trying to insert at the butt-end, the bottom of the sleeve part.
It so happens to be that with my headphones, the ring and sheath on either side were sitting at different locked heights, so the left side it would be flush but not on the right. I think this might also be the case for you. For me, this caused a custom set of cables (2.5mm TS, not as long as stock) to just pop out on that one side. I suspect the little wedge on the female end isn't be able to catch under the tip and hold it in place.
I don't know how I'd fix this without taking out the drivers, any ideas?
 
Jan 29, 2017 at 6:02 PM Post #11,383 of 14,355

InsTwin

Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 19, 2015
Posts
82
Likes
17
   
 
Thank you all for the info! I'm also planning to order some for the X2 and k712 if you have any input on those, too. :p (nothing wrong with the pads, just looking to improve/have backups and also ordered hd 600 headband cushions for all 3 for 5 usd)
Slightly less bass impact with the angled hey? Interested to hear more about that, as I really love the planar bass and don't want to lose any.
Angled I hear for the X2 because of it's angled drivers isn't the way to go, but this is all good info.

Thanks guys.


The slightly less impact is just my personal opinion, I guess the angle velours might have more impact but sounds muddier? Whatever it is, it's just not quite as pleasurable of a thump as I get with the flat Hybrids.
 
Here's a post where a guy compares a bunch of the pads on the HE560 that was referenced earlier in this thread.  I did not have the same experience with the flat Hybrid's that the poster does, although I do want to tame the treble a bit.  Mids are still very clear, with maybe slightly more sub bass than stock.
 
http://www.head-fi.org/t/711824/hifiman-he-560-impressions-discussion-thread/17025#post_12886234
 
Jan 29, 2017 at 6:16 PM Post #11,384 of 14,355

killeraxemannic

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 14, 2011
Posts
102
Likes
33
Listening to the Brainwavz angled pleather pads right now. Initial impressions compared to the stock focus hybrid pads are positive. Seems like the treble peaks are gone at the expense of a tiny bit of detail and mid presence. I also feel like the bass might be a tad bit boomier. I am going to have to do some gaming to comment on the soundstage but I don't really feel like there are any major changes. All of this is sort of best guess though because my stock pads tore so I can't A to B them. Comfort wise I am really pleased. The stock pads hurt my ears after about an hour... These seem like I could wear them all day as I have done with many other headphones so A+ on comfort. Brainwavz pads fit well with 3D printed rings from Thingverse https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1784520
 
Jan 29, 2017 at 7:04 PM Post #11,385 of 14,355

killeraxemannic

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 14, 2011
Posts
102
Likes
33
Ugh.... Ok only took 1 round of Overwatch to hear the soundstage problems. I entirely agree with the guy in the link InsTwin posted. http://www.head-fi.org/t/711824/hifiman-he-560-impressions-discussion-thread/17025#post_12886234
 
The Brainwavz angled pleather pads definitely squash the soundstage. For music it might be ok because I didn't really notice it until I started gaming. I would say its maybe a 15-20% reduction in apparent size. I have another pair of pleather pads that I have tried as well... Those are the stock pads from the AKG K550. They are just a hair big for the 400i's but they increase the soundstage from the focus pads by a little bit and have a smoother tamer and more bassy sound. They are my current favorites out of all I have tired on the 400i. The added bass and soundstage is very welcome and the relaxing of the highs is very nice as well. I have no complaints with the K550 pads except they don't quite fit right. I also find them more comfortable than the focus pads and about the same as the Brainwavz. 
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top