HiFiMAN HE-500 = Waste of Money (and general discussion)
Apr 7, 2015 at 8:34 PM Post #226 of 280

whatup69

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If you are looking for an OTL amp try the 339 by la figaro its great with the HE-500 as well, you will need to do some tube rolling though

In my experience OTL tube amps and planars, particularly the he500 do not pair well at all. They simply don't output enough current at the lower resistance of modern planars. As such, the he500 sounds bass light and thin, not very full or musical at all. OTL and planars, at least in the case of the he500 don't mix well.
 
Apr 7, 2015 at 9:32 PM Post #227 of 280

Liu Junyuan

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True for most planars, but it's well documented that La Figaro 339/Dark Voice 337 can drive both low and high Z headphones.
 
Apr 7, 2015 at 9:33 PM Post #228 of 280

Liu Junyuan

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If you are looking for an OTL amp try the 339 by la figaro its great with the HE-500 as well, you will need to do some tube rolling though


I've already ordered one, primarily for Senns, but I cant wait to try my HE 500s too.
 
Apr 8, 2015 at 1:01 AM Post #234 of 280

ruthieandjohn

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I have bought the HE-500 (used like new), then traded it away toward some vintage Grados, then missed it, then bought another pair (used like new), then sold it as part of paring down my collection from 45 to about 33 pairs.
 
I miss it.  In particular, I miss the fact that it was the only full-sized headphone that provided both subbass so strong that you could feel it AND clear, airy treble (as well as everything great in between)
 
So I went to my local audio store, which stocks the HiFiMAN line, and listened with my short music segments that look for palpable bass, transparent highs, and good soundstage.
 
I listened to the HE-500, the HE-560, and the HE-400i.  Here is what I concluded:
 
  1. HE-500:  Strongest of the three in subbass, just as I was looking for;  however, side-by-side with the HE-560, it did not have nearly as large a sound stage, and the treble was less airy
  2. HE-560:  Slightly weaker in the subbass than the HE-500, but overall better listening experience due to better soundstage and somewhat airy-er trebles.  Also costs nearly twice as much ($899 vs. $499).
  3. HE-400i:  Shares the larger soundstage and slightly airy-er trebles with the HE-560 over that of the HE-500, but MUCH weaker in the subbass, so much so that it sounded similar to the Grados that I have (known for modest bass but sparkling treble clarity).
 
For the moment, this has kept me from getting my THIRD pair of HE-500s.  I particularly am going to listen more to my Sennheiser HD 800 with HDVD 800 DAC/amp, which has stronger subbass than my Grados, but not as much, I don't think, as the HE-500s. 
 
The HE-560s were quite similar to my memory of my HD 800s (didn't have them with me in the store, of course!).  Both the HE-560s and the HE-400is were more comfortable than the HE-500 (lighter, softer earpads, better headband), and both had "normal" cables, covered with black knit cloth, rather than the twisted pair of silver wires of the HE-500.
 
A quick listen to my HD 800 as I reread this confirms that its subbass does have some degree of palpable strength, perhaps in line with the HE-560, though not as much as the HE-500.  However, it also has the superlative soundstage and upper clarity for which it is known.
 
May 6, 2015 at 12:34 PM Post #235 of 280

takato14

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HE-500's bass anemic?

yeah. okay then.
 
May 6, 2015 at 12:53 PM Post #236 of 280

kernel8888

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  I have bought the HE-500 (used like new), then traded it away toward some vintage Grados, then missed it, then bought another pair (used like new), then sold it as part of paring down my collection from 45 to about 33 pairs.
 
I miss it.  In particular, I miss the fact that it was the only full-sized headphone that provided both subbass so strong that you could feel it AND clear, airy treble (as well as everything great in between)
 
So I went to my local audio store, which stocks the HiFiMAN line, and listened with my short music segments that look for palpable bass, transparent highs, and good soundstage.
 
I listened to the HE-500, the HE-560, and the HE-400i.  Here is what I concluded:
 
  1. HE-500:  Strongest of the three in subbass, just as I was looking for;  however, side-by-side with the HE-560, it did not have nearly as large a sound stage, and the treble was less airy
  2. HE-560:  Slightly weaker in the subbass than the HE-500, but overall better listening experience due to better soundstage and somewhat airy-er trebles.  Also costs nearly twice as much ($899 vs. $499).
  3. HE-400i:  Shares the larger soundstage and slightly airy-er trebles with the HE-560 over that of the HE-500, but MUCH weaker in the subbass, so much so that it sounded similar to the Grados that I have (known for modest bass but sparkling treble clarity).
 
For the moment, this has kept me from getting my THIRD pair of HE-500s.  I particularly am going to listen more to my Sennheiser HD 800 with HDVD 800 DAC/amp, which has stronger subbass than my Grados, but not as much, I don't think, as the HE-500s. 
 
The HE-560s were quite similar to my memory of my HD 800s (didn't have them with me in the store, of course!).  Both the HE-560s and the HE-400is were more comfortable than the HE-500 (lighter, softer earpads, better headband), and both had "normal" cables, covered with black knit cloth, rather than the twisted pair of silver wires of the HE-500.
 
A quick listen to my HD 800 as I reread this confirms that its subbass does have some degree of palpable strength, perhaps in line with the HE-560, though not as much as the HE-500.  However, it also has the superlative soundstage and upper clarity for which it is known.


dude you need to try the he-400, if you can find a used one with lcd vegan pads even better. Great subbass similar to the he-500 with a little more impact, with more holographic 3d imaging than the 500 and airy treble.
 
May 6, 2015 at 6:15 PM Post #237 of 280

takato14

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I have bought the HE-500 (used like new), then traded it away toward some vintage Grados, then missed it, then bought another pair (used like new), then sold it as part of paring down my collection from 45 to about 33 pairs.

I miss it.  In particular, I miss the fact that it was the only full-sized headphone that provided both subbass so strong that you could feel it AND clear, airy treble (as well as everything great in between)

So I went to my local audio store, which stocks the HiFiMAN line, and listened with my short music segments that look for palpable bass, transparent highs, and good soundstage.

I listened to the HE-500, the HE-560, and the HE-400i.  Here is what I concluded:

  • HE-500:  Strongest of the three in subbass, just as I was looking for;  however, side-by-side with the HE-560, it did not have nearly as large a sound stage, and the treble was less airy
  • HE-560:  Slightly weaker in the subbass than the HE-500, but overall better listening experience due to better soundstage and somewhat airy-er trebles.  Also costs nearly twice as much ($899 vs. $499).
  • HE-400i:  Shares the larger soundstage and slightly airy-er trebles with the HE-560 over that of the HE-500, but MUCH weaker in the subbass, so much so that it sounded similar to the Grados that I have (known for modest bass but sparkling treble clarity).

For the moment, this has kept me from getting my THIRD pair of HE-500s.  I particularly am going to listen more to my Sennheiser HD 800 with HDVD 800 DAC/amp, which has stronger subbass than my Grados, but not as much, I don't think, as the HE-500s. 

The HE-560s were quite similar to my memory of my HD 800s (didn't have them with me in the store, of course!).  Both the HE-560s and the HE-400is were more comfortable than the HE-500 (lighter, softer earpads, better headband), and both had "normal" cables, covered with black knit cloth, rather than the twisted pair of silver wires of the HE-500.

A quick listen to my HD 800 as I reread this confirms that its subbass does have some degree of palpable strength, perhaps in line with the HE-560, though not as much as the HE-500.  However, it also has the superlative soundstage and upper clarity for which it is known.



dude you need to try the he-400, if you can find a used one with lcd vegan pads even better. Great subbass similar to the he-500 with a little more impact, with more holographic 3d imaging than the 500 and airy treble.
and awful grating grainy midrange due to distortion :/
 
May 6, 2015 at 6:33 PM Post #238 of 280

kernel8888

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after back to back comparisons, I can tell you that compared to jergpads, the vegan lcd pads clear up the midrange to give clarity on par with my lcd-2f. Different flavor, but similar clarity and no more grain than the lcd-2. also have don't the fuzzor mod. But i'll agree there is some grain with jergpads.
 
May 6, 2015 at 7:39 PM Post #239 of 280

daltonlanny

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Been doing a head to head between my grill modded HE-500 and the HE-5LE the last few days, using a Beta 22/Sigma 22 amp, and my digital disc players..
Despite all the hype over the HE-5LE, I MUCH prefer the HE-500.
I know this is contrary to alot of other opinions on here, but this is how I hear it.
The HE-500 is easier to drive, a more balanced, and forward midrange, which is more organic and natural, smoother highs, better bass, and a more open sound.
To my ears, the HE-5LE sounds sort of claustrophobic, narrower soundstage, somewhat withdrawn mids, and slightly tizzier in the treble than the HE-500. The bass on the HE-5LE is also somewhat weaker, but maybe tighter
The 5LE might be just very slightly more detailed on top, and maybe alittle airier on top, but I still feel the HE-500 is a more balanced headphone.
I would sell the HE-5LE before I would sell the HE-500.
I also prefered my HE-500 to the HE-560. I just like the HE-500's signature better, even if its not quite as spacious and detailed as the HE-560.
To my ears, the HE-500 sounds more warm and inviting in the mids, more dynamic, and has more top octave extension than the HE-560 even if the bass is looser, and the overall sound is somewhat darker on the HE-500.
Using the HE-500 with the Beta 22 reminds me a WHOLE alot of the Sennheiser HD650, except with more detailed and faster highs, somewhat deeper bass, and without the midbass hump.
The differences between the HE-500 and HD 650 aren't that huge though.
They share alot of the same qualities, and are both excellent sounding cans.
I still prefer my HE-6 to all of them on most days, but sometimes I actually enjoy listening to my HE-500 over the HE-6.
Just my 2 cents.
 
May 8, 2015 at 9:56 AM Post #240 of 280

Ishcabible

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Did you remove the felt from the HE5LE? I think the HE500 sounds closed in compared to the HE5LE.
 

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