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Hifiman he-400i Impressions and Discussion

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by MattTCG, Jan 8, 2014.
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  1. circlecrystal

    For maybe 250 dollars you can get Elemental Watson, which I like a lot because of its cost-performance ratio with its price range (below 300 dollars). Probably the CP king given everything I have tried and compared below 300 dollars.

    It's a duo mono design amp, which really helps channel isolation (reduce channel interference). The result is a much cleaner sound, instrument isolation, and larger soundstage than those without duo mono.

    Then Watson also have the class A design, which helps the sound delivers a faster speed and cleaner sound.

    IMG_0024.jpg
    IMG_7146.jpg
    IMG_7148.jpg

    http://www.head-fi.org/t/823002/elemental-watson-class-a-valve-mosfet-hybrid-headphone-amplifier-review-added

    I have paired Elemental Watson with my previous HE400i, and it sounds quite impressive for its price --- though it did took around 100 hours to burn in.
     
  2. peter123

    Eh, still looks like an open chassis to me which I personally would never pay that money for but as always ymmw. I'm not the one looking for an amp (I've got more than enough :wink:), my post was to another member looking for one.

    Great pictures BTW!
     
  3. circlecrystal

    Thanks! Based on the answer I gatherred from the design team of this amp when comparing it with some other amps, I was told if this amp was not an open chassis, the price would definitely be no less than $400 in US. (But even at that price, I feel it's still a steal given its performance.)

    I didn't believe this amp sounds so good till I heard it myself. And surely for $400 one can get a low/mid end OTL amp (and I did buy one and like Watson more)...

    Most of all, Elemental Watson can power both high impedance dynamic and low impedance planar magnetic equally well, because of its hybrid tube + mosfet design. And it sounds good.

    To me, it's the best amp below $500 for HE400i. Several weeks ago when I bought it, it cost me only 160 USD. But now the price has been raised to 250 USD at the same local store where I purchased it... I am so glad that I got it earlier than late.

    OTL tube amp cannot power HE400i well, because of its high output impedance. And HE400i definitely sounds much better on a tube amp. So the best option left is a hybrid amp. I would recommend anyone hoping to hear the better sound from HE400i, to compare Watson with some other hybrid design tube amps below $400... And you won't be disappointed, especially if you have only listened to SS amp before.
     
  4. JeoO
    For the Hidizs AP100 owners:
    Using the AP100 as USB DAC while setting the EQ beforehand to a flat user customizable one (User1,2,3) sounded always a bit meeeh.
    But as soon as i turned the windows bitrate for the AP100 up to 24/192 (not using the integrated SRC of the AP100 itself)  it completely solved all of my bass needs for the 400i. Without any additional amp.
    Some might argue with the windows resampler etc. but at least for my ears its a big improvement.
    And honestly, increasing the joy for our music should be the only really important parameter to judge what is right or wrong in our hobby.
     
  5. mapotofu
    Really digging the angled HM5 ear pads with the HE-400i. Might need to get another set for my HE-350.
     
  6. NA Blur
    HE_400i_Cables.jpg

    Above is what I have. This is a TRS 6mm to 2.5mm TRS instead other cables I see go from the 6mm TRS to just TS 2.5mm. Anyone know what they use TRS on the headphone side of the cable?
     
  7. NA Blur
    This answers my question too.
     
  8. DavidA
    Doesn't really matter, but it could be that its easier to work with, got a deal from manufacturer, same price, etc
     
  9. WaffleIron
    Anyone know if there are any 'full' teardowns of the HE400i, or any other newer Hifiman planar? As in like even the driver taken apart, or is it just not possible? Google isnt helping much.
     
  10. InsTwin
    This is all I found in a quick search:
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SZ1BllYXTI
     
  11. WaffleIron
     
    That video doesnt take apart the driver. Just the main housing and driver unit.
     
  12. Zimtron
    My god these things sound amazing with Metal, listening to 'Cowboys From Hell' is a whole new experience again ...
     
    Vartan likes this.
  13. Nachash
    Is it hard to change pads on the HE400i? What if I want to change the stock ones with the angled hm5 ones, can I do that? Or is there a lock-on mechanism alà akg/sennheiser?
     
  14. EarDrumExplode

    its not hard at all the only thing you might need is the "o" ring around the old pads or buy a pair of focus pads from hifiman's website I think for $10 and use those so you don't have to mess with your stock pair. I just recently did mine and it was a lot easier than I thought, I recommend not using any kind of glue or adhesive. I know on youtube there's a couple of videos that could help you 
     
  15. drwlf
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/572327/mission-replace-the-hifiman-ear-pads-with-other-brand-ear-pads/540#post_12665489
    + the few posts below.
     
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