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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. musedesign
    Hi dc430,
      So far I have not had luck with Taobao.  I am using taobaoring.  First they said the price was $479, now they are saying they are unable to ship. 
  2. figgyburn
    Hi,do you think a jds element would be a good match for the he 400i.At the moment i use a cambridge dac xs through an creek obh 11se for added volume(getting a bit deaf so the xs on its own does not go loud enough).Or will there be little or no improvement by getting a better amp/dac for the 400i.
  3. drwlf

    Don't know about the JDS Element, but I've heard the DacMagic XS with the 400i, it doesn't sound too great. Can't remember the specs/cba to look them up, but either it can't drive the 400i properly or the synergy is just way off.
  4. Selfish Android
    I still don't know why people keep saying the HE400i are easy to drive, i have to turn gain to high in both my Little Dot i+ and my Fiio E10K and even with that, i have to crank the volume up quite significantly to get them to a loud level, at max they are no even ear piercing in some songs, i'm waiting for a Schiit Magni 2 i hope i don't have to use high gain.
    CRITICALSHOT and aquietamerican like this.
  5. peter123

    Yes, I agree. I need higher volume level on my amplifiers with them than with the HD700. Actually they're about as hard to drive as the HD650.
    CRITICALSHOT likes this.
  6. GirgleMirt
    Hmm... About to start digging into amplification for 400i...   I have an Aune T1 and Schiit Magni, both original versions, would there be a point in upgrading to a more powerful amp?  I'm eying an A30 which is basically about as powerful as the Magni 2 Uber from what I can tell from the specs.  Should there be a significant performance improvement (sound quality) by going with more power, assuming the A30 say similar to Magni 2 uber?
    A30 links;
  7. peter123

    The Magni should have more enough power for the HE400i. I'm not sure about the matching though since I found the Magni to be very neutral, maybe even a bit cold, in the overall presentation and also lacking some dynamics making it pretty lean sounding. For me this is a combination that might not be the best but unfortunately I had sold my Magni before getting the HE400i so I haven't tried them together. If you've got them both anyway just give it a try and see if the sound is good for you.
  8. caecillius
    I have the Magni2 Uber and use it with both 400i and HD-6XX cans. The Mangni has plenty of power and I've never felt either needed to be used with the high gain setting. I bought the Mangni as my first headphone amp and it seemed too bright to me so I started using a Project 1217 Solstice tube amp with my 400i. Take note though that in the year or so since I initially stopped using the Magni with the 400i I've gone back to that pairing and didn't feel the original brightness was there any more. Maybe burn-in, mental or otherwise, changed my perception but I'm happy with the purchase either way.
  9. KarloMatuguinas
    i have joined the band wagon and he400i is in the burn in process of 150hrs... currently on the 70hr mark.... 

    so what's the best amp/tube amp below $200?  shiit vali 2?

    thanks guys
  10. GirgleMirt
    Hmmm, which of the quotes is correct?  Does the Magni have enough juice for the 400i or is it lacking and as a result sounds lean?  Magni measurements (can't link due to head-fi link restrictions) show that it's almost flat to 10hz, so if it sounds lean with 400i, then it's not performing as it should and so is lacking?  Would more juice help then?
    The issue is that I have an Aune T1 and a Magni, and I'm under the impression that the T1 isn't driving the 400i as well as the Magni, but I don't know how much of an improvement I'd get with the Topping A30 vs Aune or Schit...  Would extra power help or does the Magni already drive the 400i to its potential?   Does the 400i benefit from Magni 2 Uber vs a normal Magni?
    The A30 specs are very similar to Magni 2 Uber, at less than 60% of the price for me!   So if it the Aune T1 dac to Topping A30 was an improvement vs Schiit modi+magni, that could be something interesting.  And I could even go Modi + A30 and T1 + Magni, in case the A30 did better than the Magni but the Modi did better than the T1...
    Sigh...  So I'm 50/50... From search results in that thread, majority seem to think the T1 isn't the greatest with the 400i, imho, it works and sounds 'good', but does not drive the 400i to its full potential.  In the short term, think I'll repatriate the Schiit stack, as for A30...  I'm starting to lean away from it, but...  Upgraditis dictates is could be an upgrade!  :wink:
  11. peter123

    It's exactly what I said. The Magni has enough power but it's signature is lacking dynamic presentation to my ears. Pretty much every well designed amplifier measure flat, yet I never heard two of them sounding identical....

    I believe that the sound signature of the Magni won't be ideal (or at least wouldn't be for me) but please remember that although I've owned both for a long time I've never used them together.
  12. mike138
    The Magni/Modi 2U with the 400i is my main listening setup at home. Personally speaking, I like the pairing. Compared to other setups I've listened to (which is admittedly limited), I don't feel like this lays a particular sound signature over the music. Different albums and genres all sound different to my ears based on musical and recording style, so I feel like this setup is just letting the music be what it is. 
  13. GirgleMirt
    Yeah I see what you mean, for me also on the Magni it sounded really clean.  It definitely has its own sound though!  But what headphone hasn't...
    Ah ok I think I understand what you meant;  I guess relatively it can definitely sound lean eventough its FR is flat to 10hz...  What about lacking dynamics though? "lacking some dynamics making it pretty lean sounding" I thought dynamics was largely correlated to power, as in with large transients, an amp might be able to reproduce most of the sounds given a set volume, but with large volume spikes in the recording, it might not be able to render these sounds accurately (without distortion), making them less dynamic...
    I think I'm leaning towards A30; the Aune T1 tube boost in bass is a bit nice, opens tube rolling and bypasses T1's possible unoptimal amplification...

  14. peter123
    To put it in another way, the original Magni is the dedicated amplifier of all I've heard (maybe with exception of the O2) that has the most lean and least dynamic presentation. The HE400i does also have subdued upper bass and lower midrange, if one like this combination will be totally up to ones personal preference.

    Don't get me wrong, the Magni is a great starting point and the only reason I sold mine is because I got an O2 instead but yeah, it got its limitations as everything else.....
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