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HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by jigf, May 21, 2010.
  1. negura
    I heard my pair on the HA-1 with high DR classical at a show. The SQ was not bad at all ranking amongst the better headamps. But it is entirely possible to completely max out the volume with that kind of music, and I am not a loud volume listener. It did not seem to clip though, but still this limitation doesn't really make it a very feasible long term amp for the HE-6. I don't know what voltage the source was putting out.
    To give a frame of reference for example the V281 had a lot more volume mileage, but the HE-6s sounded dreadful and unrecognisable. Gain change did not help.
  2. TheGhostWhoWalks
    Thanks. Was this through the balanced input? 
    Is there a theory as to why so much power is needed? Every 3dB needs double the wattage, and at 83.5dB at 1mW, I'm getting 1024mW for 114.5dB, which seems loud enough for pretty much anything, so why people promoting 100W power amps? 
  3. Tobes
    I've been messing with the fuzzor mod on my HE6 In an effort to regain a bit more top end air and sparkle (stock velour pads).
    Decided to experiment with the middle lower magnet bars - around the ear canal area - I found that I didn't need to remove much felt to have a quite significant effect.
    I removed just 2 strips which restored a more proper cymbal ring/decay - and also provided a more characteristic HE6 transient attack. Curiously, I think bass also improved - but perhaps this is related to transient performance.
    My fuzzor needs a tidy up after removing/replacing strips - but the pic below shows the strips I removed.
    *EDIT: I've since stripped back more of the fuzzor - actually leaving 'fuzzored' only the 1/4 circle area originally treated by Hifiman.
    In hindsight I was missing too much liveliness in the presentation - even compared to the HD600 - and that didn't sound right. The 1/4 fuzzor restores the liveliness in the HE6. 
    Curiously, though the 1/4 fuzzor has less material, the sound seems appreciably better balanced than with the original Hifiman 1/4 treatment.
    Clearly more experimentation is in order, but.....the permutations are so many that it could drive the neurotic truly crazy.[​IMG]
    I think I need to sit back, listen, and take stock of the situation.
  4. kernel8888

    There's a bunch of hooligans around here that like to over-exaggerate. You'll love the he-6 fed by 2w, as long as there is synergy in the pairing. I loved the he-6 out of my fiio e12.
  5. ohhgourami
  6. Hansotek
    SMH :/
  7. Fink24
    What cables are you using with your HE-6?

    The previous owner of my HE-6 gave me a custom cable by Peter Neumann, which I used from the beginning, and I realized just recently at a local meet how bad the stock cable was. (when I had no possibility to use my custom cable) 
    I thought at first, that the amp was too weak, but then I tried a different cable from another member and my HE-6 sounded as he should.
  8. JamieMcC
    The he-6 sounded pretty good to me out of my hot rodded 2W Bottlehead Sex amp. Well at least I thought it did but that was before I heard it out of a 5 watt class A Nelson Pass amp so now I know better [​IMG]
    Fearless1 likes this.
  9. rsbrsvp
    I wanted to ask some advice based on experience from others.    My LCD-3F was a creamy full bodied headphone which was on the polite and slightly muddy side with my old dac.  I love the full bodied tone but was not so happy with the negative consequences.  With my new yggy dac,  I do not detect one drop of muddiness and there is a significant “bite” to the sound- very much in the direction of how I remember my old HE-6  which I sold and which I was using with a more polite dac at that time.  I would not classify my LCD-3F as an ulta- polite headphone at all anymore when driven by the yggy.
    My question is how about an HE-6 with the yggy?  It must be ultra- aggressive.  Does anyone have the combo and if so is it just to strong of an approach?
    Thanks to all in advance.
  10. kernel8888
    yea im sure it can sound better with more quality and power, but the implication has been that it sounds BAD with less, and that is false. it still sounds as good or better out of an iphone as an lcd-2f, and incrementally sounds better as you scale up in source. The he-6 just has a higher ceiling before you reach its potential because it can handle so much more power making your amping options much broader. get an adapter and you can hear many similar improvements on other headphones out of big amps.
    LarsHP likes this.
  11. TheGhostWhoWalks
    See, this confuses me. The difference between 2W and 5W is roughly 4dB. As far as I can tell, the only time you'd notice a difference would be on music where a brief peak would need that extra 4dB of headroom, since 2W already gets you to ~117dB. In all my years of listening to highly dynamic classical on speakers, where I'd keep a decibel meter by for reference, there were only a few times where I ever got peaks to over 115dB, and these were usually on things like canon shots (Telarc!) and modern music like Stravinsky and Shostakovich. Almost zero popular music has that much dynamics, especially anything modern with dynamic range compression, and nobody--at least, I hope nobody--is listening to compressed music at 115dB! 
    So... yeah, I'm confused... 
  12. Articnoise

    Think about it as a car engine. In a car engine you want a good amount of horsepower to be able to accelerate. You also want torque. Without a decent quantity of torque the engine will be weak. It’s almost the same with an amp. Only measuring the amount of Watt is only telling you one part of the story. It’s in combination with a good amount of Voltage and Ampere you get the headphones to sing.


    To complicate it some more, [​IMG] it’s also about how much power the amp has in reserve (caps) and if it is class A, A/B or D. Then we have the “fact” that tube amps generally don’t sound as bad as SS amps if pushed near its limits. Don’t forget that the quality of the power is as/or more important than the amount, at least then you have reached a certain amount of headroom.


  13. raybone0566
    I thought my he6's sounded pretty darn good out of my carbon. Then I got a speaker amp & realized how wrong I was.
  14. TheGhostWhoWalks
    I know nothing of cars so that analogy went right over my head! 
    Can the differences between class A, A/B, D be discerned in blind tests? It's been years since I was reading about this stuff, don't remember much. IIRC, tubes "soft-clip," which sounds better than SS's hard-clipping, kinda like how film grain looks better blown-up than pixels do. 
    I thought that it might have something to do with bass demands. It's (somewhat) common knowledge in speakers that subwoofers need more power and might overwhelm an amp trying to power them and the mids-treble, hence the proliferation of powered subwoofers. I imagine the same would be true of headphones, ie, that demanding headphones might need more power to make sure there's enough for the entire frequency range. Of course, I know much of the subwoofer power requirement is due to the larger drivers (more mass to move), which doesn't affect headphones, so I could be completely off-base. 
  15. Articnoise

    Class A, A/B and D is one of many design difference we can find in an amp or DAC. Everything else equal class A can sounds a little bit more refined and effortless IMO. Other design aspects and components are equally important, so a really good class A/B or D will sound better than a good class A.


    Yes, tubes "soft-clip," which sounds better than SS's hard-clipping.


    A transducer is not only receiving power it return some waste power back to the amp. Some speakers gives strange impedance signals back that are hard for the amp to handle. Everything that is hard for the amp to handle will degrade SQ. Better amps can do difficult loads better.


    Yes a transducer can be more or less demanding. Most subwoofers with built in amps are class D. Class D amps are normally smaller and doesn’t get as warm as class A/B and class A gets much warmer. The lower the frequency the more power is needed to move the transducer and air. 


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