= HiFiMAN HE-560 Impressions & Discussion Thread =

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by jerg, Mar 25, 2014.
  1. phthora
    You know, I tried Eco mode while I was prepping a response to peter123, and it wasn't bad. Didn't get a whole lot of volume, obviously, but it also sort of changed the sound towards being a bit more relaxed. I could see running them in Eco for non-critical listening.
  2. peter123
    Thank you for your time, this is really helpful to me.

    I agree that the D14 is not the best pairing with the HE560 and I'd like a unit that I'm able to connect to an Chromecast Audio with an optical cable to use in different rooms in my house.

    I really really like the HE560 (and HD800S) with the Geek Out V2+ but it doesn't have that SPDIF input or volume knob and also can't be used while charging and is not the best with IEM's (to use when traveling) so a lot of good reasons to get a BL :wink:

    I'd guess I'm just afraid that I'd find the sq to be inferior to the V2+......
  3. phthora
    From a technical standpoint, you might. And if you A/B'd them a while, you might. But, the Black Label sounds fantastic and it does well at everything I can possibly think of it to do. It's difficult not to simply use the BL for everything and keep all my other gear on the bench. In fact, this morning, I've used the BL as a plug-in DAC/amp run from my computer, as a DAC connected to my P5 amp, and as a battery-powered amp connected to my DAP. I have other equipment for all the stuff, some of it better for a particular role, yet it's the BL that's getting the playtime.

    And it really does suit the 560 perfectly.
  4. mandrake50
    I had a V2+ for a couple of months. It is all about preference here, but I really like the BL with the 560 more. There is the DAC difference with the ESS. But it is one that I find to be in favor of the BL. Well beyond any potential technical differences, I find the signature to just work better for the BL and 560. If extreme flexibility is needed, you can't really go wrong with the iDSD .
  5. peter123
    Thank you again, I also appreciate different sound signatures so equally good (or better :wink:) but different would be ideal.
  6. peter123
    Thanks for your input, I appreciate it. It seems as if we've got a bit different experience with the V2+. It's also not my experience (and I know that this differs from many others) that the dac chip used has a very big impact on the final sound. I've heard so many different implementations of the ESS chip sounding so fundamentally different from each other that implementation means a lot more to me than what chips the designer chose to work with. Sorry for the rant, anyway I really do appreciate your input on the HE560/BL pairing.

    I'll see if I can find a good deal for used BL to try it out. It doesn't matter much to me if I'll have to wait a while to find one so I'll keep an eye out for a good bargain. That way I can always sell it without much loss if it doesn't do it for me.
  7. mandrake50
    Yes, I was talking specifically about the V2+. I didn't mean to appear negative about it. I just did not use it enough to justify keeping it. If you read soem of my previous posts on the 560, you will see that I have had some fundamental problems with the SS that require a certain set of parameters for the upstream gear. I just overall like the BL better than the V2 for my tastes.

    BTW, I agree about DAC chips, but in general I have found some pretty consistent differences regardless of implementation over the range of commonly used DACs.
    I do like what Larry does with the ESS chips. I use my Pulse Infinity in one system quite often and do like it.
    Anyway, not Important for this discussion. Enough to say I like the BL quite a bit with the 560.

    I got my iDSD BL on sale new and sealed with full warranty from an approved vendor for $378 (minus some credits that I had ) from Adorama. I saw that they ran it for that price one other time since I got mine. They usually have somebody post it when it goes on sale over on the iDSD BL thread.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
    peter123 likes this.
  8. peter123
    Thanks for clarifying and thanks for the heads up on Adorama. It might be too expensive including shipping and taxes but I'll keep an eye out for it. I've also seen a couple of used ones for sale over here but prices are quite high.

    I'm going to NYC in March so worst case I'll have to wait until then.
  9. Brahmsian
    1. Don't know if my ears are average or large. They fit into the cups but there is no sense of roominess the way there is with my M1060 modded with Audeze lambskin pads. The he560 cups feel close and kind of cramped by comparison, not to mention the clamping force is greater.

    2. That would be good, as I'm considering getting them. But I've received contradictory information about them.

    3. That's generally what I mean by sibilance, being most pronounced with "s" and "th" sounds. I don't hear any sibilance with operatic vocals, only in pop and rock songs. Strictly speaking musical instruments don't produce sibilance but they can sound shouty or piercing or produce something like a ringing.

    4. Playing the same tracks, I don't get any sibilance on my other headphones. It only happens on the he400i and he560. It was worse on the 400i though.

    5. a) The one I always mention is a song called "PHILOSOPHY!" by Baio because the sibilance is very pronounced on that one. But it depends how loud you play it. If you play it low enough you won't hear it. Come to think of it, one reason I might not hear sibilance with opera is that I tend to play pop and rock at a louder level. b) Tidal via Audirvana. MacBook. DragonFly Red. But as I said the sibilance has only been present with my two Hifiman headphones. My HD650 was never sibilant, and neither is my modded M1060.

    6. Like I said the sibilance doesn't bother me because I'm using the 560 as dedicated classical music headphones, where the sibilance is hardly ever apparent (sometimes massed strings can sound just a tad too bright). Generally, I really like how the he560 deals with classical. The problem I'm having is slight physical discomfort with the ear pads and clamping force. I'll try to fix that with a pad swap. If not, I'll probably try the HD700, which I hear is a very comfortable headphone, but I also hear from some people that they're very bright (as in way too bright).
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  10. mandrake50
    Have you stretched the headband a bit to open them up and reduce the clamping force? That may help the comfort issues a bit.
    Again, for several years and now two sets of 560s. One highly modified. I have had similar comments. The 560, with all of its positive attributes, it flat a bit thin and has this peakiness in the range that is quite close to that of sibilance.. which I hate. To me that makes things in the frequency range of sibilance more pronounced. It also removes a bunch of the body from vocals...which drives me crazy. That is why I have done the mods ...pad rolling, cable swaps, and looking closely for a warm pairing.. just to get them at a point where I can deal with the SQSFR to a point that I can let my self appreciate the other nice qualities that they undeniably have.

    I have two sets... so I guess that I have made peace with them well enough. It has been a bit of a struggle and some work. Will track down the music that you mention and take a listen.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  11. jaxz
    May I ask what pads and cable are you using and the effect in sound. Thanks.
  12. Brahmsian
    How do you like 'em? I want to change the stock pads on mine. The information I'm getting about pads is totally conflicting: the Ori pads are big and roomy -- nope, they're small and cramped; the hm5 are better --nope, they're smaller than the Ori; the Ori improves the sound - nope, it kills the bass.

    1. I haven't wanted to. Don't know if it's reversible and I didn't know if I was going to return them.

    2. Since you mostly listen to non-classical, I can totally understand how you feel about these headphones and the trouble you went through modding them. In fact, if I didn't want them exclusively for classical I would without a doubt return them.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  13. mandrake50
    Well not exactly. I listen to lots of acoustic based music. like good jazz , or well recorded "chamber music" music with a threesome or foursome. I do listen to a bunch of what some call "classic" rock. 1960s 1970s. early 80s. Pretty universally crap recordings, but nostalgic.
    Nice acoustic music of almost any kind with well recorded vocals is close to nirvana. I also like organ. concertos, Texas Outlaws country.... etc. I have a very esoteric collection. The only genres that. though I have, I don't gravitate towards are rap an opera. Though some rap is nicely recorded and has great bass... I just can't ignore the vocals long enough to "dig" it.

    I have a bunch of electronica... and dub step stuff. Though I listen to this stuff more for the sounds, rather than pleasing music.

    I admire you for having the discipline to use a specific set of headphones for a specific type of music. I don't have the patience. If I am sitting and really listening.. getting lost in the music..
    a rare but delightful time for me, I can't deal with changing headphones. It definitely kills the mood.
    I look for something as close to universal as possible. I love the electronica and similar through the Fostex TH series... but not much else.
    I like the Aeon Flow Closed and HEK V1 for most anything. Those have been my GO TO headphones for the last 3 or 4 months. Put them on and just listen.

    BTW, gentle stretching of the headband will probably not prevent you from returning the headphones. It is reversible. just bend in the opposite direction. If comfort is an issue, checking that out is required before returning them. Also letting them run for 100 to 150 hours is good. Not buying into burn in, per se, but all of the planars that I own have changed at least subtly over the first weeks of use.
    Brahmsian likes this.
  14. jaxz
    Wich pads tames the high frequency a little?
  15. mandrake50

    PADS. for me I have only used the Focus pads, The Focus A pads, and velour pads from Hifiman, and a couple of different iterations of the Jerg pads.
    My favorites are the Jerg Pads... but short of making them (very good instructions are out there on that thread), they can't easily be obtained. Next would be the Focus A pads.
    Now even though I have several sets of pads that I got to try, along with a few sets of rings, like you I have gotten too much conflicting data to have a clear cut direction on pad rolling.
    Rather than simply rolling with no real direction, I have just stood pat. I am going to be motivated to try the Ori perforated Sheepskin pads when they get here.

    My problem with doing pad comparisons is that I can't quickly A/B the sound. Say it takes ...round trip, 10 minutes of dead time to swap pads. One round trip.
    With audio memory being limited to under a minute, and concentrating on a manual task in between.. it is real hard to do a quality and accurate comparison.
    Typically the changes that pads make to my ears are not huge, which makes it even harder.

    Telling you about the fit for "me" will not translate to anything that you will feel, more than likely. I don't have any problem with the headphones using the Focus or Focus A pads...

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