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HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by jigf, May 21, 2010.
  1. SilverEars
    Have you heard of sound dampening? Which is applied in the environment such as walls to dampen or prevent reflection of sounds for speaker systems. Shinier the surface, the more sound reflective it is. There are also diffusers to break up the sound as well. This is what i mean by reflective and something of dampening nature like the Velour.

    But yes, seal does have effect on the bass response.

    When they use spots, dots, or hole looking things in the pads, I think it has more to do with surface tuning of the pads. It's just adding some dampening dots to a leather surface without completely dampening surface. Isn't it a form of control of the surface? Or perhaps, it's a form of a diffuser?

    The seal has more to do with how cushony the pads are. For example, stock pads are stiff in shape, and won't shape to your facial contours. Whereas, something like Velpads or the new Focus pads will shape to the contours better. And of course adds comfort.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
  2. LarsHP
    Of course I have heard of sound dampening, but - as far as I know - this applies only to upper frequencies, not sub bass. This is exactly why I have modded my pads with cloth on the inner "walls", because this way, I get both extended sub bass and reduced reflections.

    Sealing of headphones is related to all kinds of leakages - including seal between pad and face as you say - which is about having a soft pad. However, memory foam is in my experience superior in this regard since it closes all gaps while being relatively firm. This combination in memory foam appears to conduct bass punch, slam etc. more than any other pad I have tried.

    I think I have read that the design-intention of the holes in leather pads has been described as a way to reduce bass amount by leaking air (probably put in other words by the maker).
  3. SilverEars
    I'm listening to classical on my HE-6, and really enjoying the sound. It sounds airy, and very detailed. It's one of the most detailed headphones out there. I think if you have the wrong setup, it can sound not so detailed and treble can sound scratchy. It sounds wide and airey. I particularly like hearing horns and cymbals out of it. I think the benefit of planar compared to typical dynamic driver is the metallic sounds like guitar strings and cymbals having more convincing (stronger and more realistic) attack.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
  4. SilverEars
    Ok, I realize how these sound when driven properly. The sound gets airier, and becomes a bit spacial like it sounding like there is space around your head. When it comes to this spacial sound characteristic, I think it has partially to do with the pads I'm using as well. I'm using Hifiman Velpads, and I really do find them to put out better response than the Focus pads. Focals pads do indeed output a more 'focus'ed sound, but it flattens the sound a bit in terms of imaging and dynamics in terms of warmth. I wouldn't have expected pads to have such a degree of effect on imaging. Velpads just seems most correct in terms of imaging from what I've tried so far.

    These Velpads are really comfortable as they are pretty much like Sennheiser HD6-- series pads.

    HE-6 does indeed have very high dynamics for a headphone. Dynamics are so great that some tracks sound significantly muted compared to some that are much greater in dynamics. Also, characteristically sound articulation of HE-6 very vivid, and forward. Articulate parts of sounds tend to pop out more than most headphones, which creates a vividness and greater distinction of sounds. This sound popping out creates also a high level of holography. Particularly cymbals have high degree of dimentionality to the sound. It does indeed have a high degree of holographic characteristic, and I think it's this nature that makes HE-6 distinct from most other headphones out there.

    In comparison to HE-500, HE-6 does have better articulate mids, more dynamics, and sounds more holographic.

    If you want to try ideal recording with HE-6, try this one. It has female vocals, cymbals, and horns. Which are sounds suited well with Hifiman planars. Also, it's just simply good quality jazz. :k701smile:

    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
    sennfan83261 and alphanumerix1 like this.
  5. SilverEars
    I realized with the integrated amp, you need a good active pre-amp. Since my Bryston BHA-1 is a good match with my Gumby, using it as an active pre-amp to my integrated speaker amp reaps good results. It results in realistic staging and imaging (in terms of attack and decay, in terms of spacial sound ability). The decay seems quite right with the velpads, creating a good timing response for expressing spacial characteristics. Also placement of sound is really emphasized, in terms of imaging, the placement of sounds in terms of layering. I think this characteristic is attributed to Gumby's capability of outputting good attack for the sounds. For example, the holographic imaging is result of the Gumby DAC I believe. I think Gumby tend to output more mid-bass (with impact) bringing out good volume of bass strums that strikes in volume, making it sound thick and well present, yet HE-6 separating the sounds.

    Recordings really do come alive with the imaging. With this setup, trumpet and cymbal textures become more articulate, and if the recording is right, the female vocals becomes more realistic. The caveat is the some recordings, the female vocals can have a bit of shhhhaa sibilance (usually Hifimans have this characteristic in the treble). But the textures of female vocals (I guess vocal tracks in general with good amount of textures) are just so vivid, really enhanced. I guess in a way, we can say female vocals are forward how Hifimans are usually tuned. But, this is usually recognized for those tracks that has female vocal emphasis, but I think this setup takes an extra step in terms of vocal textures and the vividness.

    Definately with this setup, when the cymbal gets hit, you hear it dimentionally, in a holographic sense. Same with string strums, particularly plucks. When a instrument is distance away, those minute sounds gets emphasized as making you recognize the queue, which I find to be an interesting characteristic of this headphone if fed properly (which I find to be the case with this setup). Definitely, the characteristic of planars is the strong attack, and instrumental shimmer.

    I think the one of the strong attribute of HE-6 is the mids, which doesn't sound on the dipped or not weighted enough for male vocals with some of the other Hifimans. You get the weight to the sounds.

    Hifimans are easily recommendable for jazz.

    Based on this experience, I would recommend going with a good active pre-amp as opposed to passive when connecting to speaker taps.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
  6. Drrizzt
    Any idea of what is going on with Hifiman ?

    Three months ago, my right driver stopped working. I've sent the headphones explaining it's a heavy moddified one, the drivers are in a he350 enclosure with 2,5mm connectors.
    A month and a half later, i got it back and i immediatly noticed that they didn't change the drivers as there are still some trace of a previous fazzor mod on them. Anyway, they worked well...for about 10 minutes, then the left driver stopped working.

    Again, i have sent the he6 to hifiman. Hoping this time it will be fine...
    I just got it back two days ago, i was confident...but i was wrong because they worked for about 2 minutes, then again the left driver stopped working.

    What the hell the did to the headphones for having them working 2 minutes after a repair ??? Is it the fault of my Denon pma1500pma ? the he6 is plugged directly to the bananas loudspeaker connectors at the rear.

    As they didn't change de drivers, what the hell they did ? Solder some lost connexion inside with the wire ?

    I'm so pissed off. I don't want to send the headphones for the third time and again having this problem.

    What do you guys suggest ? i'm clueless now.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
  7. Drrizzt
    They proposed me to exhange my faulty he6 with a whole new He6se. At last my nightmare with the hifiman service come to an end.
  8. Velomane
    You hope!:ksc75smile:
  9. Clemmaster
    It only comes to an end when you stab both drivers with a wooden stake and burn the headphones on a full moon night.
    omniweltall likes this.
  10. Drrizzt

    C'est si beau.
  11. Happy Camper
    Oh no. Mine are back and this isn't reading like a Merry Christmas. Sounds like a vain attempt at patching the blown trace. For the cost, that's not acceptable.
  12. Drrizzt

    Absolytely, you pay for a driver replacement, they should REPLACE the driver, instead of trying to patch him up.
    Anyway, after two failed attempted, they will offer me a whole new He6se.

    I still think the service sucks. The link between the person who resopnd to the email and the technicians are unefective, its impossible to know what they are doing when they are asked.
    omniweltall likes this.
  13. jarnopp
    I’ve really been enjoying the Dekoni hybrid pads (sheepskin outer wall, fenestrated sheepskin inner, and velour on the face) the past several days. My prior favorite was the Dekoni Elite Velour, which had a very nice, euphoric mid-centered sound. It took some getting used to, but these new pads offer more bass, more detail, and a more forward vocal/mid presentation. But, still accurate, as far as I can tell. My HE-6 are 6 screw modded with blu-tak, bass lens, and open grill.
  14. SilverEars
    The quarter foam covering the the driver, what is the purpose of it? Why is there only a quarter foam there? What would happen if you remove that or if you completely cover the driver with the foam of same density? I'm wondering what frequency ranges it effects.
  15. jarnopp
    I and many others have removed it in the course of performing other mods. It didn’t seem like it did much, but probably tamed the high end a slight bit.

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