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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. Nachash
    Finally bought a pair, paid around $250 for it but the customs are gonna kill me with taxes once it arrives in Europe.
    Still cheaper than buying it in Europe.
  2. phthora
    I just tried this with my Note 5. I had volume all the way up in order to get to a listenable level. But, I've got to say, they sounded terrible. Everything was blended together and indistinct, no mids, almost no stereo separation. I don't why anyone would put up with driving these with a phone.
    I realize that the point you were making is that these cans are easy to drive, but I think they definitely need an external amp to sound good.
  3. DavidA
    I let a few none audio friends listen to my 400i from my S5 phone, X3ii and with Bimby/Ember combo, 3 out of 4 can't tell the difference so either your Note 5 is really different from my S5 since you have to max out the volume to get to your listening level or something else is amiss.
    Also tried at a higher level of 76dB avg and at this level all could tell which is the S5 phone (volume maxed, overly bright and thin sounding) but can't tell between the X3ii and Ember so it would seem that an individual's listening level is a factor as to sound quality with various devices.
  4. phthora
    The weird thing is that the 400i had a hard U-shaped signature through the Note 5. More bass than I've ever heard on them.
    Maybe it sounded so bad because I was maxing out the amp on my phone. I don't know. What I do know is that I will never be running them that way again.
  5. DavidA
    that's interesting, usually under driven headphones tends to be thin sounding, not bass bloated.  My guess would be the Note 5 is very different from my S5 (which is not very good), I don't have any of the EQ (soundalive, adapt sound, or smart volume) turned on, could this be a reason for the differences?
  6. phthora
    My guess is that with the mids sucked out, I raised the volume to make it feel loud, and all I was hearing was the mid-bass bloat and the highs. No EQ on the phone, but I think it sounds a little u-shaped in general.
    The headphones also sounded very blurred in imaging and very narrow in terms of soundstage, maybe that's contributing to my hearing them as U-shaped.
  7. DavidA
    Guess that's why there are so many different opinions and experiences with these headphones.
  8. whiteknave2
    I've a question concerning the HE400i and thG1217 Project Polaris. Namely (for this pairing specifically), which is generally considered the most optimal bandwidth configuration to go with: aggressive, or mellow?
    Also, have folks here used the original iFi Nano iCAN portable headphone amp (not the SE) with the HE400i's? If so, what were their (your) impressions?
    Quick refresh on the iCAN's specs in relation to the HE400i's: https://www.audiobot9000.com/match/hifiman/he-400i/with/ifi-audio/nano-ican
    A bit about my listening habits: I have a fair bit of broad spectrum hearing loss in my right ear. I tend to listen to music fairly loudly as a result to better immerse myself in it. With that said, I'm also a bit sensitive to hot treble. See my conundrum? 
    I don't find the HE400i's to have overly hot, or harsh treble - but they certainly straddle the line for me, especially at my usual listening levels. It's why I've taken a look at these two particular amps (three if you consider the SE version of the iCan). They are, from what I've gathered, considered rather warm for solid state offerings. I'd like to have one dedicated desk amp, and a battery operable travel solution. 
    Why not just EQ? Certainly a viable soultion, but I do in fact need a headphone amp as I don't currently own one. While the HE400i's are lovely out of my LGV10 they tend to sound a bit thin (and treble forward) when comparing them to listening through a friends Asgard 2.
    Anyways, thanks for taking the time to read.
    - Nate
  9. fumblingforward

    I've found the same to be true regarding the Asgard 2/He-400i. Plenty of volume left over in high gain and I used low gain only initially. I tried my hifimans through headphone outs on iPhone, tablet and laptop and found them dull. Maybe a portable amp? I've also found this headphone to sound quite nice via the headphone output on my NAD preamplifier despite the resistance imbalance (100 ohm output). To my ears it actually sounds a little bit more detailed while being a little more full than the Asgard 2. The neutrality remains about par between the two but the headphone out on the preamp just sounds better over these cans. This is not the case with my Philips SHP9500 headphones. Not unpleasant but not at all as pleasant as what they are through the Asgard.
  10. fumblingforward

    Sorry for the back to back posts but I find the G1217 stuff terribly interesting. I see recently on their website there is an inline eq specifically tailored to the consumers headphones, the he-400 specific filter addresses the treble peak, the bass and "adds warmth" in addition to the information the previous individual mentioned in curious if anyone has tried this product either beta or consumer release and their thoughts.
  11. Zimtron
    I power mine on low gain with ease ... ?
  12. DavidA
    While I haven't tried anything specific to the 400i, I did get to listen to the module for the HD-650 on a friends system, its like using sonar works but done with hardware.  I do have an Ember and a friend has the Polaris which is a great SS amp for the 400i.
    It really depends on the level that you listen to, every 3dB louder and you need double the power.  If your average listening level is say 65dB and another listens at 68dB, this person will need double the power to get to his or her listening level.
  13. Zimtron

    I am aware, I cant believe the amount of people running 250ohm Beyers with their Fiio E10k on reddit claiming it powers them fine.

    I couldn't bear the amount of distortion and brightness.
  14. DavidA
    Tried my DT-990 premium (250ohms) on my Fiio X3, doesn't sound distorted but the bass is a little flabby and the over all sound is a bit thin compared to using my BH Crack.  The 400i is easier to drive than the DT-990 and sounds about as good as from my Ember as it does from the X3, good enough that some non-audio friends can't tell the difference so those that are saying the E10k can drive the 250ohm Beyers may just not know how good it can sound if driven properly, sometime ignorance is bliss.
    Zimtron likes this.
  15. Zimtron

    I'm still running my E10K as a DAC but debating on upgrading to a Modi Uber. Still unsure if the difference would be worth it... what do you think?
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