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HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by jigf, May 21, 2010.
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  1. lambdastorm
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
    bosiemoncrieff likes this.
  2. Alexnova
    Are you running one AHB2 or two of them?
  3. Armaegis
    Just one, though coincidentally I have a second one arriving soon. It wasn't intended for the HE-6, but I'll probably give it a whirl. Even if I like it, it'll only be a temporary setup as I simply don't have that much desk space.
    Alexnova likes this.
  4. Trerit
    I'm on my third pair of earpads with the HE-6. one pair of the included leathers and two pairs of focuspads. Any hints for durable and comfortable earpads for the HE-6?

    edit: sorry if i bumped the wrong thread.. :jecklinsmile:
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
  5. bagwell359
    YES! The 6SE does suck up more juice, and they do not sound the same. The 6SE has a broad peak from 3.5-5 kHz. Sopranos and piano at/above C7 is notably too much.
    bosiemoncrieff likes this.
  6. Audio Addict Contributor
    I like the Dekoni pads as an alternative.
    Trerit likes this.
  7. bagwell359
    They are not the same, sibling - sure.

    1. Cables are different, the 6SE are trash, the original 6 appears to be prone to oxidation, but was built on a better scale.
    2. Pads as supplied different
    3. bodies - different, so different resonances.
    4. headbands different - more resonances
    5. Shape of the ear facing magnets different
    6. Also original has the 1/4 flap to cut resonances, 6SE does NOT, nor any "fuzzor" type change to make up for it;
    7. more glue used on 6SE
    8. Tension on the membrane said to be different, and who is to say the membrane is the same thickness?

    From a marketing POV it's much better for HFM to play up "it's the same" angle to connect this product with a legendary one. After all who wants "new Coke" over "original Coke".

    On the listening side using the same equipment (Cambridge CXC -> Calrad SPC coax -> Gumby 1 -> Canare SP11 -> XLR -> Rag 1

    Stock HE-6 (felt pads, stock cable, 1/4 flap removed) vs HE6SE (stock pads and cable), the differences are not subtle.

    SE6SE bass faster, HE-6 bass under 40 Hz growls better and holds up to 20 Hz better; sudden "eye shutting" transients strong in favor of HE-6

    SE6SE upper mids/low treble (3.2kHz - 5kHz) has a peak, far more substantial then anything the HE-6 sports. - try sopranos and piano C7 and higher

    HE6 has some ringing between 9kHz-11kHz, which draw out the decay of cymbals

    6SE's need more power than HE-6, I'd say 3-4 db difference

    overall (outside of HE6SE's nasty spike) HE-6's sound more aggressive - esp the treble which seems to have too much in the way of odd order harmonics.

    HE-6 is somewhat sibilant @ 5-6 kHz, but it doesn't overshadow nearly as much as the noted lower peak on the 6SE.

    I've tried Mr Speakers Ether Angled pads and the fuzzor mod - wider soundstage and better articulation in the highs; may try felt pads, screen off, and an EQ after that if that if spike still kills.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
  8. bosiemoncrieff
    I’ve had my screens off for years. The improvement was slight but material, and honestly I’ve forgotten what they sounded like with them on.
  9. billqs
    I'm in week 2 with my HE-6 that happened to be available as an open box from Hifiman. I just now changed out the stock leather (pleather?) pads to the included felt pads, and it does make a big difference in sound! It brings much more control to the sound signature. I see now why so many use the felt pads!
    sennfan83261 and cskippy like this.
  10. sennfan83261
    Seconding the recommendation for Hifiman velpads for my HE-6 (modded prototype with an HE-560 headband). The last owner (reddit) used the ATH-ADX5000 alcantara suede pads. Initially, they sounded great, but a third party storage box (made for the HE-560) that I kept the cans in was crushing the foam slowly but surely due to the clamp of the HE560 headband's spring steel. The mids started to dip and drift into the background. The previous owner supplied me with almost new Audeze vegan pads, and they sound great. However, I believe same thing would happen to them, hence I threw them on my HE-500's. FocusPads muted the sound profile of the HE-6 a bit, so they're a no-go. The stock velours were ill-fitting and rock hard, so nada. Enter the velpads. They are soft and provide great comfort. Moreover, with the HE-6 driven by a speaker amp, they brought the mids back and tempered some of the sharp treble reflections without losing much of the bottom end.

    The track below still has impressive extension and slam with the velpads. It is one of the tracks that I use to test the bass and sub-bass for extension and slam.

    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
  11. kernel8888
    So are the velpads different than the focuspads? Got a link?
  12. sennfan83261
    Yeah, they're physically different. Focuspads have perforated (p)leather lining the inner part of the pad whereas the velpad is just velour. Furthermore, the padding HFM used in the velpad is much softer out of the box (ootb) (feels like a broken-in HD6XX pad) than the irock-hard padding used in the stock velour (again, ootb). Alternatively, the Focuspad-A is velour except its outer side, so the inner part of the pad is velour. All of the pads listed above are angled pads. I never tried the Focuspad-A, so I cannot tell you how they sound on my HE-6. As for the build quality, the pads come already glued on to HFM's mounting rings, although just barely enough material wrapped around the mount ring for proper gluing.

    Link for the velpad ($15): http://store.hifiman.com/index.php/velpad-for-he400s.html
  13. bagwell359
    Quite a few like the MrSpeakers Ether Angled. Have the most even signature from top to bottom - and flatest treble (measured vs ~10 competitors -- in this thread) and a deep and wide sound stage per my experience and that of others.
    Oregonian and billqs like this.
  14. billqs
    @bagwell359 I know you've done lots of mods. Which are the best bang for the buck mods for the HE-6? I've been reading the fuzzor mod thread and it looks really interesting.
  15. bagwell359
    I've done a lot of mods on the he-500. But only cable and pad mods on he-6. I've read up on all of them. Of DIY mods I'd say fuzzor, pads, back screen and cable on that order
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