HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening.
Sep 18, 2021 at 9:39 AM Post #19,698 of 19,778

eswng679

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Yesterday, I became a proud new owner of a pair of HE500s in excellent condition. I've only had about 1.5 hours of listening but my goodness they are such a step up from the HD650s I've been rocking for the past decade. They are what I wanted the 650s to be.

My current setup is a Modi Multibit --> Asgard 3. The Asgard seems to drive the HE500s quite well, even on low gain, there is a lot of dynamics and slam. The headphone came with the stock cable and I am looking to upgrade as they are atrocious. It seems like the only option for legacy Hifiman is either ETSY or Custom Cans (which ships from the UK).

Now that I am shelling out for a new cable, I am at a cross roads of whether to get a single ended cable or a 4-pin XLR. Again, I am quite happy with the HE500s single ended from the Asgard. I tried SE into the Jot 2/BF2 as well and again, no complaints. However, there is a voice in the back of my head telling me...maybe it'd be nice to get a balanced cable. I am not at a point where I want to buy both.

What is the setup for all the veteran, long time owners of the HE500s? Do you guys run them single ended or balanced?
 
Sep 18, 2021 at 9:45 AM Post #19,699 of 19,778

wormsdriver

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Yesterday, I became a proud new owner of a pair of HE500s in excellent condition. I've only had about 1.5 hours of listening but my goodness they are such a step up from the HD650s I've been rocking for the past decade. They are what I wanted the 650s to be.

My current setup is a Modi Multibit --> Asgard 3. The Asgard seems to drive the HE500s quite well, even on low gain, there is a lot of dynamics and slam. The headphone came with the stock cable and I am looking to upgrade as they are atrocious. It seems like the only option for legacy Hifiman is either ETSY or Custom Cans (which ships from the UK).

Now that I am shelling out for a new cable, I am at a cross roads of whether to get a single ended cable or a 4-pin XLR. Again, I am quite happy with the HE500s single ended from the Asgard. I tried SE into the Jot 2/BF2 as well and again, no complaints. However, there is a voice in the back of my head telling me...maybe it'd be nice to get a balanced cable. I am not at a point where I want to buy both.

What is the setup for all the veteran, long time owners of the HE500s? Do you guys run them single ended or balanced?
Just depends what amp you have and what you need. If your Jot2 is better through the balance output maybe buy a balanced cable and spend a bit more for a single ended pigtail for your Asgard 3.
 
Sep 18, 2021 at 12:14 PM Post #19,701 of 19,778

vlach

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Yesterday, I became a proud new owner of a pair of HE500s in excellent condition. I've only had about 1.5 hours of listening but my goodness they are such a step up from the HD650s I've been rocking for the past decade. They are what I wanted the 650s to be.

My current setup is a Modi Multibit --> Asgard 3. The Asgard seems to drive the HE500s quite well, even on low gain, there is a lot of dynamics and slam. The headphone came with the stock cable and I am looking to upgrade as they are atrocious. It seems like the only option for legacy Hifiman is either ETSY or Custom Cans (which ships from the UK).

Now that I am shelling out for a new cable, I am at a cross roads of whether to get a single ended cable or a 4-pin XLR. Again, I am quite happy with the HE500s single ended from the Asgard. I tried SE into the Jot 2/BF2 as well and again, no complaints. However, there is a voice in the back of my head telling me...maybe it'd be nice to get a balanced cable. I am not at a point where I want to buy both.

What is the setup for all the veteran, long time owners of the HE500s? Do you guys run them single ended or balanced?
Get a balanced cable and also get a balanced to single ended adapter, that way you are covered for all amping scenarios. That's what i did since i have several amp types.
 
Sep 18, 2021 at 12:39 PM Post #19,702 of 19,778

Kukuk

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Get a balanced cable and also get a balanced to single ended adapter, that way you are covered for all amping scenarios. That's what i did since i have several amp types.

Definitely agree with this. This is the cable I'm using:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GQ7LZDQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Which I absolutely adore. Every time I upgrade cables on other headphones I get one from this brand. The one drawback is it's a little on the short side, so if you need a long run you might look elsewhere.

Then when I feel like running it single ended, which isn't often, this is the adapter I use:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D7LG5BL/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 
Sep 18, 2021 at 4:32 PM Post #19,703 of 19,778

eswng679

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Definitely agree with this. This is the cable I'm using:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GQ7LZDQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Which I absolutely adore. Every time I upgrade cables on other headphones I get one from this brand. The one drawback is it's a little on the short side, so if you need a long run you might look elsewhere.

Then when I feel like running it single ended, which isn't often, this is the adapter I use:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D7LG5BL/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Thank you! I just ordered the same cable and this was exactly what I was looking for.

As much as I like custom cables, I also don't mind getting new cables the next day via prime. =)
 
Sep 21, 2021 at 4:29 PM Post #19,704 of 19,778

KCXT

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Pulled these back out after a few months of listening to my Audezes and Dan Clarks and oh my is it a reminder of just how fantastic they are, even better now that I'm dialing in a few dB of sub bass and high mids with the Lokius. Amazing detail and resolution to go with that vibrant presentation. A true classic IMO.
 
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Sep 21, 2021 at 5:33 PM Post #19,705 of 19,778

bagwell359

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Yesterday, I became a proud new owner of a pair of HE500s in excellent condition. I've only had about 1.5 hours of listening but my goodness they are such a step up from the HD650s I've been rocking for the past decade. They are what I wanted the 650s to be.

My current setup is a Modi Multibit --> Asgard 3. The Asgard seems to drive the HE500s quite well, even on low gain, there is a lot of dynamics and slam. The headphone came with the stock cable and I am looking to upgrade as they are atrocious. It seems like the only option for legacy Hifiman is either ETSY or Custom Cans (which ships from the UK).

Now that I am shelling out for a new cable, I am at a cross roads of whether to get a single ended cable or a 4-pin XLR. Again, I am quite happy with the HE500s single ended from the Asgard. I tried SE into the Jot 2/BF2 as well and again, no complaints. However, there is a voice in the back of my head telling me...maybe it'd be nice to get a balanced cable. I am not at a point where I want to buy both.

What is the setup for all the veteran, long time owners of the HE500s? Do you guys run them single ended or balanced?
Happy with my two Custom Cans cables and wildly happy about their super customer care.

All my headphones run with XLR - but that is because my amp is well better in balanced than SE. Even my HD-600 running on my BHC is XLR (because I put the plug in the amp, and the connection is more secure with XLR IMO) - plus I'm waiting to freak someone out when they see me about to turn that rig on. "Oh my god the BHC is SE, what they heck are you doing !!". Sadly my friends are too smart to fall for that one.
 
Sep 25, 2021 at 3:49 AM Post #19,706 of 19,778

Fegefeuer

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Yesterday, I became a proud new owner of a pair of HE500s in excellent condition. I've only had about 1.5 hours of listening but my goodness they are such a step up from the HD650s I've been rocking for the past decade. They are what I wanted the 650s to be.

My current setup is a Modi Multibit --> Asgard 3. The Asgard seems to drive the HE500s quite well, even on low gain, there is a lot of dynamics and slam. The headphone came with the stock cable and I am looking to upgrade as they are atrocious. It seems like the only option for legacy Hifiman is either ETSY or Custom Cans (which ships from the UK).

Now that I am shelling out for a new cable, I am at a cross roads of whether to get a single ended cable or a 4-pin XLR. Again, I am quite happy with the HE500s single ended from the Asgard. I tried SE into the Jot 2/BF2 as well and again, no complaints. However, there is a voice in the back of my head telling me...maybe it'd be nice to get a balanced cable. I am not at a point where I want to buy both.

What is the setup for all the veteran, long time owners of the HE500s? Do you guys run them single ended or balanced?

The Jot 2 should be used with a 4-PIN XLR cable.

Right now I am actually listening to these babies so I decided to post about it. Ha!

1632555019130.png

1632555763415.png

1632556030739.png

1632555417949.png




A friend from the UK modded mine into a brand new HE-560 shell and did a few mods like exchanging the connectors to 2.5mm (3.5mm is possible too, most of my cables are 2.5), Sorbothane, Blu Tack etc.. On classic shells he exchanges all the screws and changes the headband mounting screws so that you can simply add your favorite Audeze headband if you ever wanted. All by yourself.

He added Sorbothane to the hollow parts of the shell and it really helps keeping everything clean, no matter the (sub)bass. I'm really proud of this beauty, no matter whatever else I own. The HE-500 are unique with their liquid and dreamy presentation, especially in their mids. I find blu tack and sorbothane the most important, they really get the most out of the driver. The bass texture and control is a huge stepup and I don't need to EQ it ever at all. Just fyi as some people fear losing out on bass with the mods. Yes, the bass will get tighter but also cleaner and rise up in quality.

HE-6 is technically on another level but a different beast (you should own one too). The modded 5LE simply got eaten up as it was a baby version of it or let's say trying to be a HE-6 but not quite reaching the technical competence and linearity. HE-500 just wanders along to its own tune and melody.

It's uniqueness can not be overstated.



20200811_123753.jpg
 
Oct 1, 2021 at 3:35 PM Post #19,707 of 19,778

eswng679

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It turns out used unit I purchased is missing a rubber spacer between the driver cup and the yoke. Unfortunately, I just noticed now.

Does any one know the size for a one-off replacement? I am hoping that I can match one locally.

Normal side:

IMG-1516(1).jpg


Missing spacer:

IMG-1517.jpg
 
Oct 1, 2021 at 8:15 PM Post #19,708 of 19,778

Dogmatrix

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It turns out used unit I purchased is missing a rubber spacer between the driver cup and the yoke. Unfortunately, I just noticed now.

Does any one know the size for a one-off replacement? I am hoping that I can match one locally.

Normal side:

IMG-1516(1).jpg

Missing spacer:

IMG-1517.jpg
Might want to just live with it as those screws are notoriously fragile and difficult to remove often glued or even soldered inside the cup
 
Oct 1, 2021 at 10:23 PM Post #19,709 of 19,778

eswng679

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Might want to just live with it as those screws are notoriously fragile and difficult to remove often glued or even soldered inside the cup
Ah. I appreciate the response. On the surface, it looks like it could be an easy fix but you're probably right.
Unfortunate no less, but more bummed that I didn't catch it earlier.

Regardless, they still sound amazing to me, especially after spending more time with them.
 
Oct 1, 2021 at 10:45 PM Post #19,710 of 19,778

bagwell359

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The Jot 2 should be used with a 4-PIN XLR cable.

Right now I am actually listening to these babies so I decided to post about it. Ha!








A friend from the UK modded mine into a brand new HE-560 shell and did a few mods like exchanging the connectors to 2.5mm (3.5mm is possible too, most of my cables are 2.5), Sorbothane, Blu Tack etc.. On classic shells he exchanges all the screws and changes the headband mounting screws so that you can simply add your favorite Audeze headband if you ever wanted. All by yourself.

He added Sorbothane to the hollow parts of the shell and it really helps keeping everything clean, no matter the (sub)bass. I'm really proud of this beauty, no matter whatever else I own. The HE-500 are unique with their liquid and dreamy presentation, especially in their mids. I find blu tack and sorbothane the most important, they really get the most out of the driver. The bass texture and control is a huge stepup and I don't need to EQ it ever at all. Just fyi as some people fear losing out on bass with the mods. Yes, the bass will get tighter but also cleaner and rise up in quality.

HE-6 is technically on another level but a different beast (you should own one too). The modded 5LE simply got eaten up as it was a baby version of it or let's say trying to be a HE-6 but not quite reaching the technical competence and linearity. HE-500 just wanders along to its own tune and melody.

It's uniqueness can not be overstated.



Once the Q of the bass is lowered with Sorb and/or Dynamat I agree the bass can do without EQ.

However adding these changes: (analog bell 2 on a parametric EQ)

* the big dip 1840 Hz (+2.8 db Q 2.20) - hollow smokers voice female singers w/o change. A must IMO.
* the slight raise in mids at about 980 Hz (-1.3 db Q 2.60) - if not set, 1840 Hz setting makes mids too dominant/warmfat
* between 3400-4500 Hz (unit variation, search for it - 4460 for me) is ringing. set-3.0 db Q 7.70 - makes voices and other things sound gritty/sharp - add 1840 Hz cuts it a bit, but this puts in the knife.
* between 8600-9850 Hz (9840 for me) there is ringing find it and apply -2.8 db @ Hz Q 7.60) quite important.
* back to bass: but because of the screen gone and non sealed cup/pad I add 2.4 db @ 34 Hz, with a Q of 1.05 (Low Shelf) - but it isn't required.

There are other places to make changes, but the net effect is trivial. I found my recommended EQ settings from 6 motnhs ago - rubbish. Either listen to the experts or plumb the depths yourself - and keep at it.
 
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