HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening.
Mar 20, 2015 at 2:49 PM Post #15,856 of 19,622

ThurstonX

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 13, 2012
Posts
4,311
Likes
760
Location
The Laboratory
While I've modded both pretty heavily, the HE-500s and HE-560s are different enough for me to keep both.  That's not good for my other cans, but that's life 
wink.gif

 
My HE-560s, while being very neutral/flat/polite/great all-rounders, have much better overall bass response than my HE-500s.  I attribute that to jerg's pad-sealing HE-560 enhancement, even though I did a similar mod to my HE-500s.  As @Rockcoon noted, however, the HE-500s "have some unexplainable live, very energetic sound with all my rock and metall tracks" (though I don't really listen to metal).  Since I switched to the Chinese AKG replacement pads (eBay) I've listened to the HE-500s quite a bit, and just recently went back to the HE-560s.  Both are great, and while they have their differences, I'd hate to have to choose between them.  If I were pressed on it, I'd choose the HE-560s for the aforementioned reasons, with comfort as an additional factor.  Happily, I'll keep going back and forth.
 
Mar 20, 2015 at 2:52 PM Post #15,857 of 19,622

StanD

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 2, 2013
Posts
9,002
Likes
1,120
  While I've modded both pretty heavily, the HE-500s and HE-560s are different enough for me to keep both.  That's not good for my other cans, but that's life 
wink.gif

 
My HE-560s, while being very neutral/flat/polite/great all-rounders, have much better overall bass response than my HE-500s.  I attribute that to jerg's pad-sealing HE-560 enhancement, even though I did a similar mod to my HE-500s.  As @Rockcoon noted, however, the HE-500s "have some unexplainable live, very energetic sound with all my rock and metall tracks" (though I don't really listen to metal).  Since I switched to the Chinese AKG replacement pads (eBay) I've listened to the HE-500s quite a bit, and just recently went back to the HE-560s.  Both are great, and while they have their differences, I'd hate to have to choose between them.  If I were pressed on it, I'd choose the HE-560s for the aforementioned reasons, with comfort as an additional factor.  Happily, I'll keep going back and forth.

What does Rangy have to say about this?
Now  you can get rid of all the other cans that have been hanging around taking up space.
 
Mar 20, 2015 at 3:13 PM Post #15,858 of 19,622

ThurstonX

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 13, 2012
Posts
4,311
Likes
760
Location
The Laboratory
  What does Rangy have to say about this?
Now  you can get rid of all the other cans that have been hanging around taking up space.

 
Rangy... pih!  He wants to switch to Grados, cuz he's got a little baby neck.  I'll be damned if I'm redoing that avatar, esp. with my rudimentary GIMP-fu.
 
Only the Fidelio X2s have any real re-sale value, and I'm not ready to part with them... yet.  Also, I need cans to hang on the fancy dual-can stand my wife gave me for my b-day.
 
Mar 20, 2015 at 3:53 PM Post #15,859 of 19,622

Liu Junyuan

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 22, 2014
Posts
2,215
Likes
702
I haven't heard the 560 or 400i, but from reviews it seems that neither of them perform on the level the 500's do. If I ever get a chance to hear the others I'll end up posting my thoughts and a comparison, but I really think the 500 is a fantastic deal, and a spectacular headphone for the money.


Well, after hearing both, I think they are both outstanding headphones, just different tonality. HE-560 has more micro-detail, wider soundstage, better separation--a very neutral sound apart from a peak at 4 hz (which is also present in HE-500 and is something the fuzzor mod seeks to redress along with back wave reflection from double magnets). HE-500 has a slightly warmer tone and seems to have more weight. creating a wall of sound effect. Thurston can comment more fully as owns both. I think the HE-560 definitely performs on the level of HE-500 does. I like both, probably prefer the HE-500 overall but need more time with HE-560 since I only had a week.
 
Mar 20, 2015 at 4:04 PM Post #15,860 of 19,622

Pirakaphile

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 10, 2013
Posts
815
Likes
108
Well, after hearing both, I think they are both outstanding headphones, just different tonality. HE-560 has more micro-detail, wider soundstage, better separation--a very neutral sound apart from a peak at 4 hz (which is also present in HE-500 and is something the fuzzor mod seeks to redress along with back wave reflection from double magnets). HE-500 has a slightly warmer tone and seems to have more weight. creating a wall of sound effect. Thurston can comment more fully as owns both. I think the HE-560 definitely performs on the level of HE-500 does. I like both, probably prefer the HE-500 overall but need more time with HE-560 since I only had a week.

I've yet to do the fuzzor mod, but that's something I aim to complete when I've got some free time. Of the two, which would you say is the better deal, with the 500 now hitting under $500 everywhere I look? 
I do look forward to hearing other headphones in the future (if I ever make it to a local meet, or even more improbable, find the funds to go to a bigger one) but I'm confident that I spent just the right amount of money on just the right headphone for me. Too bad I'm getting into speakers now. :p
 
Mar 20, 2015 at 4:27 PM Post #15,861 of 19,622

StanD

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 2, 2013
Posts
9,002
Likes
1,120
   
Rangy... pih!  He wants to switch to Grados, cuz he's got a little baby neck.  I'll be damned if I'm redoing that avatar, esp. with my rudimentary GIMP-fu.
 
Only the Fidelio X2s have any real re-sale value, and I'm not ready to part with them... yet.  Also, I need cans to hang on the fancy dual-can stand my wife gave me for my b-day.

That's your angle on getting a pair of HE-1000's. "Luvi, I need a new pair of headphones to hang on the empty spot on that lovely headphone stand that you got me."
 
Mar 20, 2015 at 5:38 PM Post #15,862 of 19,622

Liu Junyuan

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 22, 2014
Posts
2,215
Likes
702
I've yet to do the fuzzor mod, but that's something I aim to complete when I've got some free time. Of the two, which would you say is the better deal, with the 500 now hitting under $500 everywhere I look? 
I do look forward to hearing other headphones in the future (if I ever make it to a local meet, or even more improbable, find the funds to go to a bigger one) but I'm confident that I spent just the right amount of money on just the right headphone for me. Too bad I'm getting into speakers now. :p


Fuzzor mod was worth it for me. It was also fun in a relaxing way.

That is a very difficult question. With the current prices, I think the 500 is an extremely sensible decision. I paid $600 for mine last spring. I still listen to it all the time, and it continues to leave me in awe.

Also, if these are discontinued, it would be even more sensible to grab one prior to that happening.
HE-1000 is likely going to impact the entire orthodynamic market this year, though, so patience might be prudent. This is a time to enjoy the headphones you already have and silence the upgrade inclination :)
 
Mar 20, 2015 at 5:56 PM Post #15,863 of 19,622

Liu Junyuan

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 22, 2014
Posts
2,215
Likes
702
Sorry to double-post. I thought you had the HE-500 and were looking at 560, so that is why I said wait. I so not think it would be a mistake to get the 500 now. My apologies for the misunderstanding.
 
Mar 20, 2015 at 6:55 PM Post #15,864 of 19,622

Pirakaphile

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 10, 2013
Posts
815
Likes
108
Fuzzor mod was worth it for me. It was also fun in a relaxing way.

That is a very difficult question. With the current prices, I think the 500 is an extremely sensible decision. I paid $600 for mine last spring. I still listen to it all the time, and it continues to leave me in awe.

Also, if these are discontinued, it would be even more sensible to grab one prior to that happening.
HE-1000 is likely going to impact the entire orthodynamic market this year, though, so patience might be prudent. This is a time to enjoy the headphones you already have and silence the upgrade inclination
smily_headphones1.gif

Yeah, the HE-1000 may be a goal in the far future for me when people start selling them used. Since they're $3,000 now, and people have been comparing them to the Orpheus, I'm sure they'll sell a lot of em so the used market will be pretty active.
 
Mar 20, 2015 at 9:36 PM Post #15,865 of 19,622

prez

Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 20, 2014
Posts
72
Likes
55
So, I just tried changing from the pleather pads to the included velour. IMHO:  they suck.  Uncomfortable, and i really do not like the shift in the sound (less lows and low mids, brighter, unnatural).  Just wondering, have others tried them, and what are your thoughts?
 
Mar 20, 2015 at 10:14 PM Post #15,866 of 19,622

ThurstonX

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 13, 2012
Posts
4,311
Likes
760
Location
The Laboratory
  So, I just tried changing from the pleather pads to the included velour. IMHO:  they suck.  Uncomfortable, and i really do not like the shift in the sound (less lows and low mids, brighter, unnatural).  Just wondering, have others tried them, and what are your thoughts?

 
Cannibalize both and make your own super pads.  That's what I did.  Or check this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/572327/mission-replace-the-hifiman-ear-pads-with-other-brand-ear-pads
 
I've tried at least half a dozen different pads - more, if I include my DIY efforts - and many of them were better than either stock pads.  A couple didn't pass the fit-and-comfort test, like the Shure Alcantara pads; shame about those, as they are well-made, just too small for me.
 
http://www.amazon.com/Shure-HPAEC1540-Replacement-Alcantara-Headphones/dp/B00HXAV0UY
 
Mar 21, 2015 at 12:44 AM Post #15,867 of 19,622

Tobes

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Posts
485
Likes
175
Location
Australia
  So, I just tried changing from the pleather pads to the included velour. IMHO:  they suck.  Uncomfortable, and i really do not like the shift in the sound (less lows and low mids, brighter, unnatural).  Just wondering, have others tried them, and what are your thoughts?

 
They certainly sound different. 
I use the velour pads and after reading your comment I went back and had a listen to the pleather pads.
The velour certainly have more upper mid presence - whether this is preferable or not may be dependent on the balance of the source and the music being played.  FWIW I think the pleather sounds better than I remembered (I initially compared the pads on the Grace 903 amp - now using the Violectric v281).
When I listened to some female vocal I thought the pleather sounded a bit odd, pushing vocal fundamentals at the expense of the upper registers - leading to less articulation and expression. Ella sounded less like Ella to me.
Drier material certainlysounded better with the velour, but more lively or ambiently saturated material might be preferable with the pleather - depending on preference. 
That said, I'm listening to the pleather now with 'The Coryell's' playing - sounds quite good.
 
Comfort is another personal thing. Initially I found the velour pads coarse and scratchy - but either I've adapted or they've worn in. In comparison I find the pleather a bit sticky/plasticky - is that a word?  
 
Mar 21, 2015 at 12:56 AM Post #15,868 of 19,622

prez

Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 20, 2014
Posts
72
Likes
55
   
They certainly sound different. 
I use the velour pads and after reading your comment I went back and had a listen to the pleather pads.
The velour certainly have more upper mid presence - whether this is preferable or not may be dependent on the balance of the source and the music being played.  FWIW I think the pleather sounds better than I remembered (I initially compared the pads on the Grace 903 amp - now using the Violectric v281).
When I listened to some female vocal I thought the pleather sounded a bit odd, pushing vocal fundamentals at the expense of the upper registers - leading to less articulation and expression. Ella sounded less like Ella to me.
Drier material certainlysounded better with the velour, but more lively or ambiently saturated material might be preferable with the pleather - depending on preference. 
That said, I'm listening to the pleather now with 'The Coryell's' playing - sounds quite good.
 
Comfort is another personal thing. Initially I found the velour pads coarse and scratchy - but either I've adapted or they've worn in. In comparison I find the pleather a bit sticky/plasticky - is that a word?  

I will a/b them a bit more, but i was surprised to say the least!
 
I bought some velour pads for some Sony headphones I have, and they are exponentially better than the ones included with the hifiman set.  I may have to consider a mod at some point down the road.
 
Mar 21, 2015 at 1:37 AM Post #15,869 of 19,622

Tobes

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Posts
485
Likes
175
Location
Australia
  I will a/b them a bit more, but i was surprised to say the least!
 
I bought some velour pads for some Sony headphones I have, and they are exponentially better than the ones included with the hifiman set.  I may have to consider a mod at some point down the road.

 
BTW, have you tried the 'grill mod'?
I haven't modded mine - but as a test I removed the stock grills to see if I would like the effect.
It is like turning up a 'presence' control even further (than the velour pads - and I was using the velour pads for this experiment).
This disembodies the music, rendering it unrealistic (to me) - a curiosity, but not for serious listening IMO.
Of course people combine this grill mod with other pad mods/changes - so who knows, perhaps a reasonable compromise can be found.
Frankly, I don't find much wrong with the headphones in stock condition - so I feel these mods to be unnecessary/redundant. Of course YMMV.
 
Mar 21, 2015 at 1:44 AM Post #15,870 of 19,622

Rockcoon

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 23, 2015
Posts
464
Likes
51
Hm, i found velour pads a little more brighter. And that "little" was too much for me, so i changed 'em back. Now mission #1 to get rid of stock silver plated cable, and achieve pure cooper.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top