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HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by jigf, May 21, 2010.
  1. Drrizzt
    After a bit more than a week in company of this gem, i came to realise all the qualities of the He-6:

    Really Botomless bass entension, i wasn't expecting this. it goes lower than my former lcd3. Absolutely outstanding.
    Genre master, everything is good, excepted some rare tracks who have too much emphasis in the highs frequencies. This is rare.
    Massive sounstage and imaging
    Super clean and neutral sound
    Transient response out of this world - This makes the principal quality of the He6 to me, so visceral!


    Lack of coloration, sometimes i miss the ultra addictive coloration of the Odin, nothing to be found here.
    Not the most resolving - The Odin has a better resolution
    Hungry ****ing bastard, my big Marantz is pushed to the limit. I feel it would need 70w to avoid slight sound clipping. Hahaha.
    I suspect my amp (Marantz pm6010ose 50w 8ohms) not being able to provide enough steam as i have - very rarely - some clipping on the deepest bass note when the volume is high
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
    Turdski likes this.
  2. LarsHP
    Hopefully you are not driving your speaker amp to it's clipping driving HE-6 ...

    If you in fact are getting clipping, then the peaks are above 116dB. In other words, you are literally listening at ear damaging levels.

    The math is like this:
    HE-6 is measured (by Inner Fidelity) needing just short of 20mW to reach 90dB. So:
    100dB = 0.2W
    110dB = 2W
    113dB = 4W
    116dB = 8W (which is the minimum power that a 50W speaker amp can provide)

    Please note that 90dB as an average SPL is already quite loud.
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
    bosiemoncrieff likes this.
  3. Drrizzt
    Good question, i admit, on some tracks, where there's a lot of bass going on and no high frequencies, i push the volume quite high as i feel my ear safe (maybe i'm wrong but i have the feeling that only high frequencies can potentially pierce and dammage earing).

    Note that with the mjolnir, with 5w, at the max volume i'm not even on my regular listening volume. (Yeah maybe my earing is already ****ed up).
  4. Keithpgdrb
    First. Yes. You can damage your hearing on both ends. People just notice more loss at the top because that is where you hear consonants in speech. But loss on the bottom is as real. You are severely under amping the he6 with the mjolnir. There are currently NO headphone amps I would recommend for the he6 outside of the Hifiman offerings I suppose. A high quality speaker amp is truly the way to go.
  5. Drrizzt
    Yup, the dynamics are constrained with the mjo. If the exaclty same amp would have more power, it would be terrific, it's a super clean quality amp. It just lacks juice for it. I feel my Marantz pm6010 a bit less resolving, but immensely more dynamic and impactfull.
  6. NickedWicked
    Anyone have experience with the HE-6 and a Violectric V281? One of the few headamps that can manage the HE-6 with room to spare.
  7. Drrizzt
    From Tyll at innerfidelity:

    The V281 drives the difficult HE-6 with pants-flapping aplomb, making this a highlight of my listening for the week. Prelude and Fugue on B-A-C-H: Prelude hits like a young Mike Tyson on this setup. The only thing missing is that visceral full-body subwoofer experience which sadly remains out of reach for headphone listening...but the V281/HE-6 combo does so well that my brain almost fills in the blanks.

    The difficult HE-6, when not fed enough juice, tends to underwhelm. It remains decent but nothing special, and honestly I prefer the more affordable HE-500 under those circumstances. Running HE-6 from a powerful amp like Violectric's own V200 is where things start to change. The headphone begins to "wake up" and show its true abilities—bass slam solidifies which is a lot of fun, but more importantly the mid to high transition becomes more evenly balanced. Without proper amplification I find the somewhat bright HE-6 top end to overshadow the midrange. The V200 helps level things out but the V281 in balanced mode goes a step farther, showing HE-6 as a truly world class headphone. V281 clamps down on those highs with vice-like authority, letting clarity shine through while maintaining control and focus. And that midrange, so often buried, really comes out to play, showing a sense of swiftness and versatility rarely matched by other headphones. I dare say this is the best I've heard HiFiMAN's stubborn flagship"

    Read more at https://www.innerfidelity.com/conte...eadphone-amplifier-page-2#AvQ8vpgjFsVuZGVx.99
  8. musicbuff
    I've used Viiolectric's V281 HP amp (now sold) with the HE-6 and had very satisfying results. But it was inconvenient (for me) disconnecting the XLR cables from the power amp to attach to the HP amp then back. I didn't have a pre amp at that time or it would've been easier. Plus I kept reading the best way to drive the HE-6 was with a speaker amp. My power amp has dual speaker taps so I figured why not use the 2nd set for the HE-6 and I do and it's fantastic.
    NickedWicked likes this.
  9. Angelbelow
    Been a while.. still very happy with my HE6 but curious what everyone's thoughts were regarding some of the newer Hifiman headphones. Any of them similar or even an upgrade considering the strengths of the HE6?
  10. Drrizzt
    I'm not sure if it's possible to have a clear upgrade without spending the 4.000$ required for something like the Utopia/Lcd4

    Even though, i'm not sure that the visceralness of the He-6 is matched with those.
  11. cskippy
    I sold my HE-6 for Utopia. Check with The Source AV for good pricing. HE-6 is still absolutely amazing but the treble did get on my nerves.
  12. Keithpgdrb
    I spent some time with the v281 and he6. while it does work, my ears still found it lacking when compared to my speaker amp.
    koiloco and NickedWicked like this.
  13. Keithpgdrb
    honestly, for what I like, I still find the HE6 to be the king of the hifiman offerings. if not for the difficult amping, it would be much more popular among the masses.
    koiloco likes this.
  14. lukipela
    How much would a unmodded 4 screw go for nowadays? Just realized i have one and i’m thinking about trading it..although i really like it, and i guess i’ll never see another one.
  15. Drrizzt
    It's not difficult., A very common Marantz pmxxxx is a very good deal to start with. And very, very cheap, I bought mine for 60€ and it's very impressive sound giving the price.

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