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HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by jigf, May 21, 2010.
  1. Hansotek
    Those headphones are so different, it's not even funny. 
  2. musicbuff

    How are they different?
  3. bosiemoncrieff
    The HEX is also like $1K more than the HE-6, which exists much cheaper on the secondhand market. The only 1K I'd shell out 1K for is the K1K [​IMG]
    They are, in fact, secondhand. I knew the bass would blow me away—and it's superb, even out of my meagre MJ2 and its stock tubes—but what really surprised me was the quality of the mids. Don't get me wrong, I love my HD800, but these mids have a tactility, especially for more intimate ensembles (like the Beethoven cello sonatas, which I'm listening to at the moment), that HD800s don't quite match. You can feel Rostropovich drag his bow across a string, you can feel Richter's touch on the keyboard. Piano has always been a sticking point for me—I haven't yet been satisfied with its reproduction. Short of electrostatics, I think this is the most natural I can expect a piano to sound. An HE1000 is vaguely on the horizon, I suppose, but why not just save a little more for an SR009 and a starter amp for it? I prefer the HD800 for orchestral things, I think, its soundstage feels more coherent, but for small ensembles I think HE6 executes in a more natural way. 
    I listened to the Fame Monster for kicks, and wow Gaga sounds excellent through them.
    I hope to write up a more detailed comparison with respect to classical music in due time.
  4. raybone0566
    New owner of he6's here. I should have pulled the trigger on these a long time ago. Could've saved a lot of money & wouldn't have to wait to buy dedicated amp. I had edition X loaner here last week an imo they are way overpriced for what they offer.
  5. Hansotek

    No value judgement here, different strokes for different folks. IMO, HE-6 is more tactile and dynamic sounding, whereas the HEX has more emphasis on being smooth and lush. To me the difference is very experiential... Much like the HEK, the HEX is made for floating away into a sea of all-encompassing sound. It is about relaxing and forgetting yourself. It is a waking dream. A type of euphoria you can almost fall asleep to. The HE-6 is just the opposite. It is made for rocking out. It is pure adrenaline. Lighting in a bottle. Whatever else you say. It will make your body dance and your head bang until there isn't a drip of energy left in you.

    Make sense? Neither one is better or worse. But they are very, very different beasts.
    philo50 and JamieMcC like this.
  6. musicbuff

    Very good simile. Not a smooth, lush or sleeping with HP's on my head fan so sounds like I'll be sticking with HE-6.
  7. jarnopp

    Funny, I just literally today received a new balanced cable from BestintheVerseCables.com. I felt like the Stock cable was too short and thought this 8ft cable would be like twice the length. I hadn't measured, but upon receipt, yes, it's only 1.5 ft longer, but at makes a pretty good difference where it's at in my system. Also, it's Canare cable, so not exotic, but with 30 minutes of listening, maybe the bass is a bit fuller? Highs a little smoother/rolled ever so slightly?

    Lots of options on colors and terminations, but lead time is a few weeks. Probably because the price seems very reasonable.

    Would like to hear opinions of other options...
  8. ohhgourami

    20awg Canare does indeed have fatter bass.
  9. bosiemoncrieff

    I wouldn't want to nod off with anything more expensive than an HD600 on my head, but that's just me...
  10. Jozurr
    Different strokes..
    It is not universally better for everyone. The soft bass issue similar to the HEK still persists and the treble doesn't have the same sparkle. Where it excels is the bigger soundstage and bass that extends lower (but does not have the same slam as the HE-6).
  11. punit
    Well Said. Totally Agree.
  12. Oregonian

    Only in comfort.
  13. Armaegis
    I felt the HE-X had more oomph and some emphasis in the midbass region which makes the overall bass feel stronger but not as well extended or clean. The top end is overall smoother, but ultimately less resolving than the HE-6. I'm quite certain the HE-X has some distortion issues due to the shell. It's not awful by any means, but it drops it down below the HE-6 in my mind. Weight and comfort though easily goes to the HE-X.
  14. bosiemoncrieff
    Yeah HE6 has a clamping force that's not pleasant. If they could reproduce their sound in an HEX/K body, I would buy that in an instant. 
    I have the stock velour pads—what's the difference between the focus pads and the focus pads-A? 
  15. Armaegis

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