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HiFiman HE-500 (HE as in High End) Proving to be an enjoyable experience in listening.

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by jamato8, Apr 26, 2011.
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  1. Rune1221
    Wow, this "mini" thing is huge, I guess just a shipping to Israel would cost close to the unit price.
    Also I'm intended to use it on my work in office, and it's quite big to fit on my table I'm afraid.
    But still I'll read about it, thank you.
    Regarding matching the E17 with HE-500, I had a really bad experience with HE-4, which was very sibilant, just unbearably so, so I sold it.
    It may be the ringing at 5k, which appears at its CSD plots, but I've never read about somebody having the same experience.
  2. benjaminhuypham
    Sorry man, I didn't know you are in Israel. Shipping fee of its weight over 12 pounds would be painful. It looks much smaller in person than in the pictures, but still very heavy. I can't suggest any alternative options cos I haven't had much experience with amplifier for Orthos. Good luck with the amp haunting dude, sale forum is a great place to get started.
  3. daerron
    Look at the Garage 1217 Project Polaris. Its a very powerful solid state amp for a good price. The feedback I've read so far, looks to be a good match with the HE-500.
  4. eth3rton
    I am using a Aune T1 with my HE-500's. Seems to be running them fine.
  5. hifimanrookie
    hi Daerron! damn..i was lurking but now it looks i am back again [​IMG]
    i had cables of all the brands i mentioned..and i never said its a day and night improvement...but u know how it goes..some exagerrate because they like it..just like the grill and pad mods..if u read how some people write about it u would believe the he500/he560 would be on same level as a sr009 or something with those mods....but the truth is always somewhere in between..i know as i had both mods on the he500 i once had.
    about the cables...well...there are a couple of really reasonable comparisions about toxic cables and some other brands by some posters here...nothing exxagerated about that. its clear and simple what they write...so u just have to search on this wonderful forum for the reviews [​IMG]
    never checked reviews about DHC and NORSE audio..but am sure at least one sane person writes about them what the good and bad things are of a cable...
    i am in the process of waiting for a new headphone cable (end game for me) and i hope to get it next month and i promised some people to compare it to the standard hifiman cable and my custom Black Widow i have now before i sell him, as i dont believe in having two things of the same kind and maybe i can include a few more cables of other brands/diy..dont know yet..but for sure i will be honest..just like my review about my amp..i also mentioned the sound parts that could be improved upon!
    and yeah...a cable is not a miracle maker! its just that last bit of happiness u can get out of ur rig...the better ur rig, the better u will find differences a good cable provides..(good OR bad)
    soooo dearon..yeah..there are good reviews about at least Toxic Cables around without them saying the headphone got so much better, as we all know thats not true, but if u want to get all out of ur phone then in my opinion a good cable can help in that...Hell, even a good chosen powercable can do that, i now found out recently...(i now have the cable for a few weeks..and first week my system sounded weak and lifeless with it compared to my beloved custom aura cables i had! but now (almost 2months later) its back again on same level as before and i still need at least 2months of burn in time!)..
    so even a powercable can influence the sound for the better OR for the worse!!
    at least in my rig i could hear it...not big differences but they are clearly heared, especially on bass impact, how the soundstage is portrait or when big orchestra's are playing live..it was messy! With normal music it was almost not hearable, except the lack of bass ofcourse and the shrill treble..in first week it sounded like i only had midbass the rest was gone, i even mailed the builder (BC) about it: What was this? but he confirmed me it needed burn-in time...and it turned out he was right...
    am not saying everyone now needs to get 800usd worth of big gauge powercables and 800usd worth of headphone cables, if u have a regular ( or more budget) rig...i believe it has no justice to buy such expensive cables as u probably wont hear it then, or u will then be one of those saying buying expensive cables is rubbish as they are not working....stick to moderate investing in cables or ask thurstonx (or modulor if i am not mistaken) to make u a good cable for affordable pricing [​IMG]
    no cable will make ur rig sound good if it sounds bad before..BUT if ur rig is already at the max, then a good cable (no need to go bezerk on prices...u can get a good cable for 200usd already) can give it that extra spark, whether headphone cable, RCA cable or powercables...(i tried couple of usb cables..and didnt find any difference in sound, only difference in built quality and looks. But am sure others will say a good usb cable does improve sound...on my rig i didnt hear it...or my ears are not good enough) or i didnt have the right USB cable? [​IMG]
    ofcourse its all imho opinion..
  6. daerron
    Well no cable is going to help my system in its current form as I don't have a proper headphone amp yet and I haven't bothered with much headphone listening since I got the KEF LS50 speakers which pretty much trounced my headphone rig. [​IMG] 
    Thanks for clarifying your POV. I get a bit annoyed with folks who claim their cables can make it rain in the Namib desert. Have to say I'm quite tempted to go with the Norne Vanquish cable, price looks reasonable, build quality looks great and the shipping isn't too bad. It makes the Hifiman Crystalline cable look very overpriced for what it is... Unfortunately I won't buy anything from Toxic Cables no matter how good they might be, I had one on order last year and waited in vain for 5 months without any feedback from them which left a sour taste. Kudos the refund was entirely hassle free even though my cable was almost next in line. Personally I'd prefer spending my money with a company that cares about its customers Could well be that they've sorted their issues in the mean time, but the currency exchange rate is not in favour of the Pound.
    I've been impressed with the responsiveness of Norne Audio and Forza Audio Works so far. I have to compliment Head-Direct as well. Their shipping is lightning quick.
  7. hifimanrookie

    i agree with u on toxic cables how they were in past...i had to wait 4 months on my first and 5 months on my last cable...but they improved a lot..they now have a sales contact even! and backlog is back to 6weeks i understand...only for specials u have longer waiting times.(as my new cable) but thats reasonable..but if u check the last post u will see something very interesting if ur in the market to order soon..they give free postage worldwide for a short period over any cable over 150gbp...so that would for sure rule out the exchange rate between the dollar and GBP...but the norse audio cable is also good....but as i said..i prefer toxic...they just have a better price for what they deliver and with same quality as norse...but thats personal...i just like the cables...thats why i already had 4 of them...and waiting for my fifth...and many more toxic buyers stay loyal to toxic..some even have 20! cables for their huge amount of headphones, as they love the cables so much (and they can easily buy the most expensive cables around without a flinch..but choose to stay with toxic!)..from iems to full size Abbys....
    and ps...i agree with you that many people exagerate about the stuff they own...but i think thats human nature...they are proud on what they have..and just want to express it..most of them dont lie (if they are not bought by a certain brand with free stuff ofcourse!!) about what they say...u just have to read between the lines... [​IMG]
    like the he560....same stories here as was with the he500 back then..when some people said the he500 was a better balanced phone then the then new h500 (when it was priced 899usd)..some even sold their he6 to buy a he500...and as far i understand (rumor) part of the price reduction of the he500 to 699usd was also because the he500 was hindering the sales of the he6...as many bought the he500, delivering almost same quality sound with easier to match amp for much less then the he6.
    and still i think the he500 was one of the best deals in headphone land..and some who compare the he500 to the more analictic, 'in ur face' and more technical he560,  prefer the more natural, softer, 'back in the row' presentation of the he500 (especially with the modular/jerg pad and opengrill mod)..as the he560 has a total different sound character...hope to have one in a few weeks...the distributor here wants to give me a demo model on loan...to compare to my code-x. so wish me luck.
  8. Drrizzt
    Absolutely, i got mine for 290€, fully modded jergpad and open grilled. Can't imagine having better sound for the price, considering the fact that i bought a good cheap second hand Project sunrise and a hifimeDIY sabre dac. For less than 500€ in total i'm in total musical bliss for my ears. I'm just scared of the futur desire to upgrade but it won't be cheap to have a good improvement, at least 1500€ for the LCD-3...i'm going to stick with my rig a long long time.
  9. davidsh
    There's always amps and DACs to try out. 
    Else, I recommend just being on the lookout for used stuff at attractive prices. I don't regret doing so, got me in many exciting and interesting directions (such as vintage Stax).
  10. ThurstonX
    Just finished comparing the stock HE-500 and HE-560 cables on the HE-560s.  There is a difference.  Where the HE-500 cable has a lot of top-end energy, to the point of sibilance, if the song mastered that way (this with male vocals on Echo and the Bunnymen's "Stormy Weather"), and accentuates cymbals, esp. splashes, the HE-560 cable tames those sibilants very well.  It also packs a bigger bottom-end overall, while not bleeding into the mids (or if it does, it doesn't bother me).  It's a smoother presentation.  I tested the aforementioned song, as I know I should be hearing some solid bass, and "Tom Sawyer" (24-bit 96kHz version), since it's a pretty neutral mix, and if the low-end is being accentuated at all, it'll show.  The HE-500 cable doesn't really slouch on the bass, and maybe is a tad more accurate, but the over-accentuate highs can definitely detract.
    I also listened to Hugh Laurie's "The Whale Has Swallowed Me" to have a non-rock, acoustic track, in there.  I didn't focus on it as intently.  The above stands for it, as well.
    I should probably add that while the HE-560 cable has what I'd call a smoother presentation and a fatter bottom, details are not lost (or if they are, it didn't bother me).  I was definitely listening for that with that cable.  So in the end, with the HE-560s.... I'll stick with my DIY'd cable [​IMG]... but only because I compared it to the stock HE-560 cable (for sound and ergonomics).  For me, HFM definitely improved the cable along with the cans.
    HTH  [​IMG]
    daerron likes this.
  11. borrego
    As we are talking about cable now, just to post that I received my pure silver custom cable last week. I thought of DIY but after comparing the price of silver wires and cost of parts, I decided to order from a taobao seller.
    The silver cables are much more flexible compare to the stock HE-500 silver plated cables. At first listening I was shock at how much more sibilants I have with the new cables. I regretted that I didn't order the OCC type from the seller instead. Then I realize the pure silver cables are much more conductive that I am now listening to much higher volume. I turn the volume down 10 degree and now I am back at my "normal" listening volume level. I found there are much more details the pure silver cables can reveal comparing to the stock cables. Together with my "Black Pearl" mod, my HE-500 no longer sounds slow.
    At times I missed the warm and lush sounds signature of the stock HE-500, I added a 1M OFC extension cord to the pure silver cable, to form my own "Silver/Copper" cable set. With the extension cord that I have to turn up the volume again.
  12. daerron
    So how does the Project Polaris sound with the HE-500? I can't decide whether to buy it, or rather the Lake People G109/S... I've settled on a Norne Audio Vanquish cable.
  13. Drrizzt
    The Polaris is on the same level that of the Ember, wich have A LOT of praise. I guess there are better out there but for for much more money. (The same old good law of diminushing returns). Beyond the Polaris, the improvement shall be rather sublte i assume.
  14. StanD
    I see, HiFI has finally hypnotized you. [​IMG]
  15. ThurstonX
    I know, it's crazy, right.  But since someone asked me to compare cables, I did.  And then I volunteered to do it for the HE-560s.  I was pretty surprised, so I repeated the comparisons.  There was absolutely no doubt about the affect on the sibilants (easily the most noticeable), and somewhat less apparent but still perceptible change in the overall sound sig.  The "silver" HE-500 cable was a little... what?  Brighter, more treble energy, less smooth... than the HE-560 cable.  The Magick Monkey cable is nicely in the middle, which is why it's still on my HE-500s.
    Back to the Lab to see if I can get the iron and solder hot enough to melt the enamel coating on some Litz wire (pretty sure it will, since TrollDragon did it), and then get on with making Magick Monkey Cable Mark II.  She'll be a braided beauty, that one [​IMG]  And yes, I will try it on the HE-500s (yeah! on topic!).
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