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HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by jigf, May 21, 2010.
  1. Tobes
    Not sure about the "whole different deal", but I agree speaker amps sound better in the ways you describe. 
    However they are hardly essential, if one is willing to accept merely very good as opposed to exceptional performance.
    I've been using speaker amps with my HE6 for many months and agree it sounds best that way - and scales with the quality of the amp used.
    I agree that an amp of superior SQ to the ones I own may elicit even better performance from the HE6.  I don't see anything unusual with this - good speakers scale the same way.
    Nonetheless, IMO, the HE6 can still sound very good driven by an adequate headphone amp. YMMV (and clearly does).
    jazzfan likes this.
  2. KewlMunky
    I'm curious as to how much power my HE-6 is receiving form my Emotiva Mini-x A-100. I have it running into a four pin XLR that is wired onto the speaker taps. I'll have to grab a multimeter some time and figure it out. I'm mostly curious because people claim the Schiit Mjolnir that puts out 5W at 50Ohms doesn't properly drive it, so I wonder how "properly" I'm driving it. I think it sounds leaps and bounds above the HE-500 I previously owned and also ran off the Mini-x.
  3. jarnopp

    I agree with Tobes, both that HE-6 buyers needn't be scared off by the amping requirements and that it all comes down to preference. I am wondering if the latter matters more to those who like the vintage amp sound...if it's more the sound than the power. When I tried two "modern" SS amps, the Cavalli Liquid Carbon headphone amp (rated 1.5w continuous bit stated by the maker as actually 2.8w continuous into 50ohms) and the speaker taps from an Odyssey Stratos Stereo Extreme - very clean and powerful, I am struggling to hear more impact difference in bass slam, dynamics, etc. There is a difference in sound signature, some (the LC is a bit fuller and darker sounding), but both are very enjoyable. I would like to try a vintage tube amp...wish I still had my Dynaco Mk3s.
  4. Jozurr
    I agree. I don't mean the performance is bad with nothing short of a speaker amp. Just that the upgrade from headphones amps to good speaker/power amps is a sizeable upgrade to an already great headphone even with a headphone amp.
    We call it that last push for an upgrade [​IMG]
    In all seriousness, I don't mean the headphones don't sound good from headphone amps. Just that there is still a lot of scaleability to experience going up the chain, amp wise. Even with headphone amps, the HE-6 still sounds much better than many many headphones and can surely be an end game for many. I agree, the LC sounds extremely good and drives the HE-6 well. Just that having heard the HE-6 on bigger amps, that last bit of scaleability is very apparent to me personally and I wouldn't want to go back, although I could still live with the LC yes.
  5. jelt2359 Contributor
    For me personally, I don't know. I think the he6 does sound better from my speaker amp, but tbh, my speaker amp also costs way more.

    When I tried a cheaper class t desktop bookshelf speaker amp, the sound was good enough, not remarkable, could live with it- kinda like the headphone amps that had enough power.
  6. Shini44
    i am driving my HE-6 using goldmund job 225


    Coming from LC it was a way bigger upgrade, the LC used with a good power cable was head and head with the Master 9 , both had 1000$ difference or 800$ at least , yet not so far SQ wise
    yet this not so expensive amp was what a i call a real upgrade, it took the HE-6 to another level. 

    SQ wise an amp could different , but what HE-6 need before the SQ/Preference is "Power"
     without enough Power its basically  an under powered HE-6 with beloved SQ.

    but shini? isn't a speaker amp going to blow my HE-6?  yes i was so not going to go with a cheap speaker amp for this main reason!!
    but using a good pre amp, like Hugo Chord TT, DAC + pre amp , i was able to indicate were to stop, which is right after the green, safe to the max. my friend @Jozurr helped me testing as well, he used Hugo (portable) + speaker amp, and the result was epic. 

    other than this i saved 2000-2500$ , and ended with a great speaker amp with and SQ and Power that a headphone owner must pay a lot to achieve. 

    bottom line people, do your research and go with a speaker amp for your HE-6, you will save money, and you will get a very very good combo. 
  7. Clemmaster
    How is the JOB in terms of tonality, compared to the Master-9? Brighter?
  8. Shini44
    not bright, its similar to the cavali audio LC. musical yet engaging (no lack in Treble/Bass) , and thanks to the enough power the HE-6 true form got unleashed 

    the Bass is controlled tight, and punchy to the max, for a TH900 lover this bass was really epic, its on another level.
    the Mids are transparent and clear, lush and sweet but never warm, i would say neutral with a hing of musicality.

    the Treble is ultra detailed  and extended, without being harsh at all!! and as a Treble head i am getting enough Treble to make me very happy. 

    The details are crazy good, and so is the sound stage on the open grill mode (+ remove cotton), and sound was never thin as well. 

    i am hearing details in the music that i was never able to hear ever. the dynamic are crazy good. 

    i will buy a Cavali Audio Liquid Gold in the future to compare this speaker amp vs 3500$ amp, the LAu is in top 5 amps if not top 3 , which can drive the HE-6. 

    this will at least help the debate of Speaker amp vs Headphone amp, specially for the value and SQ. 
  9. Happy Camper
    There are a lot who've "been there, done that". Do your thang and join the crowd. :D
  10. musicbuff
    New to the thread and enjoying it.  I just got my HE-6 today, plugged it (XLR balanced) into my Violectric V281 HP amp and fell in love. I've been searching for 1 headphone that would allow me extreme satisfaction when listening to ALL my music on it and I have found it.  I have the Sennheiser HD 800 and 650 and was trading back and forth (not unhappily or dissatisfied) but a bit inconvenienced.  No more of that. The HE-6 has oh so satisfying palpable, accurate bass, luscious mids absent of graininess and a non-strident, detailed high frequency.  I don't need to turn my volume past 9 o'clock (7-8 was the max with my other headphones). My Audeze LCD-X and Sennheiser HD 800 are going up for sale and the Sennheiser HD 650 will be relegated to TV and movie watching (the 650's are great at that). Onward to the goal of buying an above-average set of speakers (probably stand-mounted) and I will be in music bliss.
  11. Tobes

    Nice choice.
    I've been curious about the Job amp myself. Excellent SQ rep, fairly compact and cool running. Enjoy.
  12. Clemmaster
    But on the leaner/brighter side, per the reviews. Don't want that for the HE-6.
    Audezes, maybe.
  13. Tobes
  14. Articnoise

    Did you have a Master 9 at home to do the head and head compare or was it from memory? 


  15. Shini44

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