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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. DavidA
    I got the idea from the TH-X00 thread since attenuation rings are included with some ear pads (can't remember which) and some were saying it worked really good and other said it made the bass over powering. So a few experimented with card stock which is where I started since its free and easy to do. The size and position seems to vary with the different ear pads I've tried this with but seems to work pretty good with LCD-2f, EL-8 and Hifiman Foucs pads but not so good with the Foucs-A since the material on the inner side of the Focus-A pads are different. It made the bass seem more mid bass centric unlike the small boost in the sub-bass with the Focus pads. It also does not work well with my TH-600 since they have built in attenuation rings in the stock pads but if I use the TH900 Dekoni sheepskin pads then the attenuation rings are good but need to be on the smaller side to get a good balance between bass and mids
    drwlf likes this.
  2. oswalakhil
    I tried stuffing some folded tissue in the same format as shown. I don't know if its placebo, my audio memory is bad. But I do feel that the highs are a bit tamer, the distance from the driver seems to help as well. I think the balance is slightly better. I also modified my equalizer to this :
    and the bass balance seems spot for me on right now.

    Timbre-wise, there is something still off, and like you all mentioned, it could be a Planar Magnetic thing. Hopefully, that will go away with the HD6xx. It takes away the amount of involvement/rush I always felt while listening to this piece on my now broken Etymotics :

    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
  3. Mr Makarov
    What a great tune! Listened to it like 10 times. Really liked it!!!
    Now. Timbre-wise - I agree with you. Something is off. There is some sort of "hollowness" to the music, Like some "gaps" in it are filled with somewhat "lifeless/dry/gray" thing (if it makes any sense). Clarity is pretty good, sense of realism is also good. About "It takes away the amount of involvement/rush I always felt while listening to this piece" - completely agree! Emotion-wise it sounds more on the "sterile" side.
    After reading your post and listening to the tune (still listening), I started to compare how different HPs and and IEMs reproduce it. First of all, I liked original HE-400 (modded) much more than the HE-400i´s. Soundstage is wider, more and meaty bass, sound is more sparkly and alive. Enjoyable and emotional. Best presentation was with Senns IE800 - very natural, wide soundstage, very alive and emotional, no "hollowness" anywhere, just full bodied,crystal clear and fun. Also SE846 sounded noticeably more natural, fuller and clearer than HE400i.
    Just my opinion.
  4. DavidA
    +1 for the song, love it and after reading @Mr Makarov post above I decided to try it with different headphones also:
    Not bad on my HE400i, agree that the timber seems a bit off after listening with my RS2e, HD650 and Nhoord Red V2 which made the song really smooth and emotionally involving to me. On the HE400i its good but doesn't draw me in to want to listen to it again. The last headphone I tried is my EL-8 open which is a planar but it actually sounded about as good as the Nhoord Red V2 and much more engaging than the HD650 to me.
  5. misteral201103
    Just wanted to quickly say that having listened quite a bit on the Cayin C5 and the iFi iCan (which I now really like with the 400i's) I went back to the Little Dot MkIII today, ran through a few tubes and....nope. So much upper frequency detail missing, it makes an even worse pairing than with the Nighthawks. So a bit of a shame that a quite nice tube amp is not suitable for my two best headphones. However, really REALLY enjoying the 400i's. The more I listen to them the more I appreciate what they are doing. Not end-game, but a really nice set to pick up along the way!
  6. DavidA
    Your LD Mk3 is really designed for high impedance headphones like the HD600, HD650, HD800 etc and as you noticed not a good pairing with planar or low impedance dynamics.
  7. Paddy
    I received my HE 400I the other day for $400 NZ, i already have had the HE400S for a month or so now so i've been able to compare. The main differences i noticed is the He 400I is probably one of the most accurate headphones i've ever listened to when it comes to bass, the HE 400S are a bit under neutral and i found this niggled at me at times to the point that i had to buy the He 400I. The vocals on the HE 400S are more forward and overall is a much brighter headphone. I noticed the soundstage and accuracy of the He 400I right away and it is so detailed music has come to life in a new way. I love how pure it makes music sound, i want to hear music the way it was made, not with over exaggerated bass or treble etc. The He 400S are certainly an amazing accurate headphone that does everything almost right but for me the HE400I does everything just right therefore giving it the edge. I keep hearing the hype around the HD650 as being what so many headphones are compared against and i'm eager to try them but given that apparently it has much a much less bass response than the HE 400I so they would be too inaccurate for me, how can the HD650 which produce under neutral bass be compared against headphones that are more accurate?
  8. Paddy
    Also what would people recommend the best Amp you can pair this with on a mobile phone as i'm currently using my s8+ and a FIIO A5 which sounds amazing but i find i have to put the amp almost to max to really drive them. I also wanted to compare the HE400I and HE560 in store but no amps for mobile phones in the shop could drive the HE 560 at a good volume. For me i need a headphone that could be driven by not just by an amp with a desktop but also with the mobile phone so i'm not forced to listen to it in one area so the fact that the HE 560 couldn't be driven by a mobile amp put me off
  9. DavidA
    Welcome to Head-Fi and congrats on your new HE400i.

    The HD650 has more mid bass than the HE400i and is a warmer sounding headphone but to me they have a better tone with some instruments like the piano, violin, acoustic guitar and with female vocals, it also needs a proper amp to get the most from them. Not many would recommend the HD650 if you are looking for neutral but the HD600 is what many base neutral sound on and I don't consider either the HD600 or HD650 as portable headphones due to the requirement of a amp to properly drive them.

    The HE560 is more difficult to drive compared to the HE400i and I don't know anyone that uses it as a portable. I have a Fiio X3, X3ii and X1 for portable use but only use efficient headphones like V-Moda XS, MDR-1A, MDR-7506 and Momentum on-ear/over-ear when out but my old GF used to use a Fiio X3 with a HD700 almost every day when she walked the dog and its a pretty nice pairing, much better than the X3 paired with the HE400i to me.
    drwlf likes this.
  10. Paddy
    Thank you. Ohhh I really want to try the HD650 based on that lol. Having a powerful mobile amp Means I can listen to music not just at my desktop but also in the lounge as my partner doesn't mind the sound leak at all but if there is someone else in the lounge I wouldn't listen to out of courtesy so I switch back and forth. I would find it hard to justify spending so much money on a headphone that I could only listen to in one area because while I don't mind listening at a desktop I much prefer being relaxed in the lounge listening to music. I'll have a look out for more powerful mobile amps as i'd been to keen to hear the difference in the HE 400I and HE560
  11. DavidA
    I don't know if this is within your budget but a friend of mine used to use a Hugo with his HD800 and HE560 and I liked the Hugo a lot, its a slightly warm DAC/amp but to me it goes great with the HD800 and HE560, one of the few that will. Since the Hugo2 came out you might be able to find a used Hugo for much less that they were originally.
    Paddy likes this.
  12. peter123
    Are you looking for a portable amp/dac or just an amp?

    Also, are you planning on using a phone as source?
  13. Paddy
    Yea I'm planning on using my phone as the main source and desktop as secondary. I don't mind if it's a dac/amp or just amp
  14. Paddy
    It would be out of my price range at the moment but looking at the chord mojo it also seems to have enough juice to drive the likes of the HE 560
  15. DavidA
    The Mojo is good with the HE400i but I didn't care for it with the HD650, HE560, HD800 and T1 the 2 times I borrowed one from a friend. With the HD800, HE560 and T1 sound was a bit thin, sound stage wasn't as spacious as the Hugo and it didn't seem to have the details in the highs that the Hugo had which surprised me since the specs on the Mojo and Hugo are very similar. I didn't like either the Mojo or Hugo with the HD650, a bit boring with no life in the sound, its one reason I think some say the HD650 has a "veil" which is quite dependent on the audio chain used.
    Paddy likes this.
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