Hifiman he-400i Impressions and Discussion
Jan 31, 2017 at 7:07 PM Post #11,417 of 14,355

GU1DO

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Clarity and Details? Really? I would like to disagree. I think you 'feel' the sound is more detailed because of the more restricted soundstage? because the sound feels closer to you. I tried my Fostex X00's right after the brainwavs 400i's. and the fostex were offering identical width and space. it was just appalling really. the 400i's on stock are a brilliant pair of headphones for my preferences. but then again each and every person has a slightly different opinion of what 'Good sound' is. 

Sound stage is not the best quality of this headphone ,,
you are loosing a lot by expanding the sound stage withe the stock pads ,, 
 
to the opposite , the TH-900 for example have huge sound stage without loosing any details at all ,
so i think if you wont better sound stage go for different headphone like the HE560 with the stock pads
or you can go for more populer headphones with huge sound stage like the TH-900 or K812 or HD800 with all the details and clarity you can get ..
 
Jan 31, 2017 at 8:08 PM Post #11,418 of 14,355

Mani ATH 87

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HE400i with stock pads for me is simply anemic, poor, not worthy headphone .

 
This is a mind boggling ridiculous statement to me, and I couldn't disagree with you more, but again...to each their own.
 
Also, you can't quantify the bass being 30% better and the sound stage being 5% worse, etc etc. So I don't know why we bother we this silly analysis 
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Jan 31, 2017 at 8:39 PM Post #11,419 of 14,355

DavidA

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  Sound stage is not the best quality of this headphone ,,
you are loosing a lot by expanding the sound stage withe the stock pads ,, 
 
to the opposite , the TH-900 for example have huge sound stage without loosing any details at all ,
so i think if you wont better sound stage go for different headphone like the HE560 with the stock pads
or you can go for more populer headphones with huge sound stage like the TH-900 or K812 or HD800 with all the details and clarity you can get ..

Agree with you about the sound stage not the best on the HE-400i.  For those which the sound stage is important these are not headphones I would consider and all the pad rolling is really just to find the best compromise between comfort and sound IMO.
 
Don't agree about these headphones being bad with the stock ear pads, to me they give the best compromise to the sound signature that I like.
 
Jan 31, 2017 at 8:54 PM Post #11,420 of 14,355

Change is Good

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Agree with you about the sound stage not the best on the HE-400i.  For those which the sound stage is important these are not headphones I would consider and all the pad rolling is really just to find the best compromise between comfort and sound IMO.

Don't agree about these headphones being bad with the stock ear pads, to me they give the best compromise to the sound signature that I like.


Yup, definitely not the best open headphones for soundstage. Still has good depth for gaming, though. The K7XX (other gaming favorite, but no longer own) had a bigger soundstage but nowhere near the detail and instrument separation as the 400i.
 
Jan 31, 2017 at 10:17 PM Post #11,421 of 14,355

mks100

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HM5 Angled Sheepskin Pads.  I would say the sound difference between the FocusPad is negligible.  Perhaps a slight Bass increase and a slight Sound Stage decrease but I would be hard pressed to tell the difference.  Comfort is night and day.  Purchased a pair of Velour Pads from HIFIMAN's site and used the Rings.  It does take some effort.  That being said, if I managed to do it successfully I imagine the majority of folks will not have an issue.  Highly recommended.
 
Jan 31, 2017 at 10:56 PM Post #11,422 of 14,355

chowmein83

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I don't think any set of pads are going to make the 400i have a huge soundstage, though some pads will do better there than others.
 
My personal recommendation would the the ZMF Ori Pads - they're quite comfortable, they smooth out the highs (but don't really diminish them) and slightly bring up the bass, and they widen the soundstage a bit. Basically, to me it has much of the same sound as the Focus Pads but with a slightly larger soundstage. And they're not any more expensive, than say the Dekoni TH-X00 pads mentioned earlier (though they are somewhat pricey at $60).
 
Feb 1, 2017 at 10:30 AM Post #11,424 of 14,355

trivium911

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Yup, definitely not the best open headphones for soundstage. Still has good depth for gaming, though. The K7XX (other gaming favorite, but no longer own) had a bigger soundstage but nowhere near the detail and instrument separation as the 400i.


My sennhesier 598s have a large soundstage, i try and use these for gaming more the odd time when i have time out of the pc, if im gaming on xbox one out of headset adapter the 400i does not fair well at all and the 598s work better. I suspect for the same reasons the 400i does not sound good out of my note 5 phone is because there is simply not enough current even if there is enough voltage to make the 400i sound full. Ive tried using headphone amps out of the xbox one chat adapter but they just amplify all the bad quality sound coming out. The chat adapter has just enough volume for the 598s. Would the hd650s have more soundstage than the 400i? I read that the 650 has less soundstage than the 598, so perhaps not... regarding the soundstage on the 400i maybe its just a lost cause due to the planar magnetic technology. They have alot of great qualities for music but soundstage when its really needed for games is sadly not one of them, especially for the amount of sound they leak.
 
Feb 1, 2017 at 11:12 AM Post #11,425 of 14,355

marhol

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if sound clarity, details and bass attack is better by 30-50% i think 5% loss in sound stage is reasonable ,
HE400i with stock pads for me is simply anemic, poor, not worthy headphone .

Give me a break 
rolleyes.gif
  I haven´t heard all fancy headphones out there, but with respect to your hearing I sinceraly doubt there is a headphone in this world which has up to 50% better clarity, details and bass attack all together in relation to stock HE-400i, even with the best available pads or the best available cable, cough cough...
 
Feb 1, 2017 at 11:40 AM Post #11,426 of 14,355

drwlf

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We cant really quantify 'soundstage' but its quite drastic. its enough to make me want to switch back to the focus pads. and yes the sound is slightly better if you consider the sub-bass and the bass, which have more texture to them. BUT the sparkly highs have diminished slightly IMO. and I feel that the 'depth' is definitely reduced, its not the same. but thats just my opinion, I've spent a good amount of time A/B ing them and this is what I've noticed. In the end it comes down to what kind of music you're listening to, really. 
If I'm listening to the eagles on DSD, I'd like to have the open soundstage and the treble of the focus pads. and if I'm listening to EDM/Spotify I like the sound that the Brainwavz offer. So its not set in stone which Pads are better. It's a matter of personal preference. 

 
I think we've covered the topic rather extensively, as @DavidA said.
The treble issue I mentioned earlier in this thread got a wee bit smoother; which I compared to ripping paper inside your ear canal in certain songs/mixes, brought up the sub-bass a tad, and felt that even with the negligible soundstage reduction, clarity/instrument separation/details didn't suffer.
I'm happy, and so seem a vocal? majority of people who have tried the pads according to this thread&some others, and wouldn't want to go to stock FocusPads for general listening - only for some genres I use them though. If I want a larger soundstage, I can go to other cans as well. No problem.
 
And genre-wise, what I personally think, if you're interested, kind of related to your post:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/698974/hifiman-he-400i-impressions-and-discussion/11010#post_13172991
http://www.head-fi.org/t/698974/hifiman-he-400i-impressions-and-discussion/9690#post_12865610
 
And what @GU1DO said; I could agree on the anemic sounding, but not on the worthy part :p
Anemic was quite coincidentally the word first sprang to mind after the first A/B vs. the LCD-X.
Don't get me wrong, the 400i are of stellar value nonetheless.
Edit: Stock pads or without :p
 
Feb 1, 2017 at 2:55 PM Post #11,427 of 14,355

trivium911

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I think we've covered the topic rather extensively, as @DavidA
said.
The treble issue I mentioned earlier in this thread got a wee bit smoother; which I compared to ripping paper inside your ear canal in certain songs/mixes, brought up the sub-bass a tad, and felt that even with the negligible soundstage reduction, clarity/instrument separation/details didn't suffer.
I'm happy, and so seem a vocal? majority of people who have tried the pads according to this thread&some others, and wouldn't want to go to stock FocusPads for general listening - only for some genres I use them though. If I want a larger soundstage, I can go to other cans as well. No problem.

And genre-wise, what I personally think, if you're interested, kind of related to your post:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/698974/hifiman-he-400i-impressions-and-discussion/11010#post_13172991
http://www.head-fi.org/t/698974/hifiman-he-400i-impressions-and-discussion/9690#post_12865610

And what @GU1DO
said; I could agree on the anemic sounding, but not on the worthy part :p
Anemic was quite coincidentally the word first sprang to mind after the first A/B vs. the LCD-X.
Don't get me wrong, the 400i are of stellar value nonetheless.
Edit: Stock pads or without :p


I had some minor issues with the treble, now im running the little dot i+ with viskhod tubes and no longer have that issue. I now get a smoother more laid back but still very detailed sound. Cant wait to try mullard tubes.
 
Feb 1, 2017 at 4:34 PM Post #11,428 of 14,355

Carcajou

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After owning several higher-end-ish portable headphones (Senn Momentum 2, B&W P7), Beyerdynamics DT990's and Grado SR325e's, the He-400i are the first pair of more sophisticated headphones I've owned and I have to say that I was blown away by their level of detail and by the ridiculous response the Planar thechnology offers. I love the fact that they're fairly neutral while remaining fun and engaging.
 
I really got tired of the excessive warmth of the P7 and of the Dt990's crazy V-Shape (I won't even talk about the Grados, they're in a different world imo) and, at the risk of bringing up a cliche, I really rediscovered my music collection thanks to the 400i's.
 
I'd say I'm slightly treble sensitive (which I've figured out thanks to my Dt990's), and I think that the 400i's have it spot on (for my taste). Sub-bass is really there when you need it and bass is very accurate.
 
For that price, I really can't think of anything negative to say.
 
I'm planning on changing the cable for a balanced 4-pin XLR cable. Any suggestion?
 
Feb 1, 2017 at 10:12 PM Post #11,429 of 14,355

GU1DO

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Guys ,, i may over exaggerated in my comment  , but really i like my HE400i ,,
i think it is  the best headphones under 800$
even better than the Focal Elear which got all the tension these days ,,
i compared it to its bigger sister HE560  and  i found it is more balanced and kept it in my collection,
 
stock pads or others .. all are OK ,, but please consider pads rolling specially with Regrilling mod
Regrilling mod is a must and will decrease the effect on sound stage and will compensate the loss,
wich will make the sound a bit more open.
 
No need for full Regrilling ,  i just peeled off the fabric mesh and its working like if there is no grill at all
or at lest the difference is minimal 
 
About the pads ,, any Fostex TH series pad will fit perfectly like the original pads
 
i tried  : 
- Hifiman pads .. stock old he400 leather , velour pads , ebay large pads , etc,,
- TH-900 Lawton pads ( i think all other models are the same)
- TH-900 , TH-X00 , TH-610 - stock pads 
- Dekoni Premium Pads for Fostex TH-X00
- Dekoni Premium Pads for Fostex TH-900
- Brainwavz Angled Memory Foam Earpad
- Brainwavz Memory Foam Earpads

The best pads that i think amplifyd the qualities of this headphone is the
(Dekoni Premium Pads for Fostex TH-X00) , if you cant find it , the Fostex TH-X00 stock pads are good alternative ,,
for lower effect on sound stage , larger opening pads is the best option (Lawton pads or TH-900 pads)..
 
 
Cables also effect the sound ,, but this is in another topic ..
 

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