HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone
Nov 23, 2010 at 3:04 AM Post #1,276 of 21,170

Maxvla

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Unfortunately, my budget for this hobby is limited. I don't make a lot of money so it takes a while to build up the gear. Now that I'm at this point of investment, the overall money will stop, and only selling current gear to buy new gear will happen. I'm a 1 main headphone guy so I'll spend as much as I need to on the gear I need for a complete rig, but I'll sell off any extras, save beater cheapies like these IEMs. At present I have approximately $3k invested in gear I currently have. Rolling this figure around to other gear should easily provide ample room for high end IEMs while maintaining a good amp and source.

As for the JH3A system, I'll keep reading up on it, but as great as it appears to sound, I'd rather not be limited to digital only sources and 1 specific amplifier/crossover. Thanks for the suggestions.
 
Nov 23, 2010 at 3:14 AM Post #1,277 of 21,170

Maxvla

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I wonder sometimes if the goal for some of headphone listening is to recreate true 3D live sound.  If it isn't (and I don't think it always is), there's a fundamental difference in perception of what makes good sound.  
 
For me, headphones are better than speakers.  I enjoy their sound more.  They sound less like real live sound, but they sound better than real live sound to me.  Maybe I'm crazy.


In my experience, if you don't have a properly constructed room, even the best speaker system still doesn't sound like live. I'm not about to spend $100k to build a room only then to spend $100k on gear for it. If I can get within a hair of live with IEMs I will be happy. I was so hoping I would get this from the HE-6, but am disappointed to find out it isn't the case.

As to your more direct point, I build for live sound when I make changes to my gear. One of the things that has irked me for quite some time is that there aren't 2 options on albums, one for speakers, one for headphones. Tracks laid out for speaker playback usually don't sound right on headphones.
 
Nov 23, 2010 at 3:28 AM Post #1,278 of 21,170

DavidMahler

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Quote:
Quote:
I wonder sometimes if the goal for some of headphone listening is to recreate true 3D live sound.  If it isn't (and I don't think it always is), there's a fundamental difference in perception of what makes good sound.  
 
For me, headphones are better than speakers.  I enjoy their sound more.  They sound less like real live sound, but they sound better than real live sound to me.  Maybe I'm crazy.




In my experience, if you don't have a properly constructed room, even the best speaker system still doesn't sound like live. I'm not about to spend $100k to build a room only then to spend $100k on gear for it. If I can get within a hair of live with IEMs I will be happy. I was so hoping I would get this from the HE-6, but am disappointed to find out it isn't the case.

As to your more direct point, I build for live sound when I make changes to my gear. One of the things that has irked me for quite some time is that there aren't 2 options on albums, one for speakers, one for headphones. Tracks laid out for speaker playback usually don't sound right on headphones.


I'm confused as to why the HE-6 have been designated the only alternative to IEMs.  Just in theory, the closer a transducer is to the ear, the soundstage is going to become smaller.  The further a transducer is from the ear, the wider the soundstage will be and that is a major principal of creating live sound.  Being that IEM transducers are inside the ear within millimeters of the ear drum, the soundstage between the cheapest IEM and the most expensive is not going to be significant.  The sound presentation will change dramatically granted on the materials used, so for instance, the presentation will be much better from a JH13 than an ER4P, but the soundstage from a JH13 is never going to exit the head, because it simply cannot.  Therefore I don't suspect IEMs are the route to live sound.  If you are looking to create live sound with a headphone, AKG models may be your thing, and the HD800.
 
Nov 23, 2010 at 3:33 AM Post #1,279 of 21,170

Maxvla

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As I stated before I have listened to the K1000, K701 and HD800, among others including stats.

I can't explain why IEMs sound more live despite having a tiny 'real' sound stage, but they do. It may not be a sound stage at all, but more of a head stage as defined by Darth Nut.

Anyways, I'll leave my comments on my IEM transition to other threads as this is about the HE-6. I will be happy to answer any questions specifically referring to the HE-6.
 
Nov 23, 2010 at 3:54 AM Post #1,280 of 21,170

daveDerek

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Quote:
In my experience, if you don't have a properly constructed room, even the best speaker system still doesn't sound like live. I'm not about to spend $100k to build a room only then to spend $100k on gear for it. If I can get within a hair of live with IEMs I will be happy. I was so hoping I would get this from the HE-6, but am disappointed to find out it isn't the case.


hence the suggestion about the Smyth Realiser system which can mimic the sound of any hi-fi rig.  get access to that killer system and have the measurements done there. then when you play it back thru your headphones it can sound akin to that, without having to invest in the room and gear.
 
Nov 23, 2010 at 4:56 AM Post #1,282 of 21,170

Maxvla

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Quote:
Thanks for the suggestion, Larry. You were one I hoped would make a suggestion since you have heard many IEMs and also the HE-6.



I have one as well - try wearing them the wrong way round (i.e. turned through 180 degrees) and swapping the cables


What does this change? This has completely fixed the center imaging problem as well as the forever deep soundstage. I could tell right away. Imaging is now precise in all directions. Are my HE-6 or cables defective?

Even though this still doesn't give a 3D effect like the IEMs, with this change they are certainly more enjoyable. I will have to reconsider returning them. I will still pursue the IEM path, but if I keep the HE-6 I will definitely sell my HD600 and use that money to explore mid to high range universal IEMs.
 
Nov 23, 2010 at 5:15 AM Post #1,283 of 21,170

jamato8

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I get an out of head soundstage on my JH13's. This on well recorded music and often. I use the Cio MB dac with optical in and the fi.Q or the D12 or a few other amps but I also use my own silver IC's and the Twag helps a lot. 
 
I am looking for more reports on the HE-6 with a higher powered no compromise amp. 
 
Nov 23, 2010 at 6:29 AM Post #1,284 of 21,170

sillysally

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I have my HE-6 and am using them now with my WA5LE (parts upgrade, Alps RK50, nos WE300B's matched date codes 26/56, nos TS 6SN7GT BGRP matched date codes 08/42, EML matched new design 5U4G, all tubes are matched pairs). I am also using a Smyth Realiser with the reference systems from AIX, Pioneer BDP-09 7.1 analog out to my Realiser then to my WA5LE. For SACDs I am using my Oppo BDP-83SE Nuforce Edition analog out.
 
Anyway I had to run 20-3000 HZ for about 20 min. to loosen up the diaphragm's on the HE6. The WA5LE is very capable of powering the HE6, however I have the volume about 3/4th the way up but any higher and I will really hurt my ears. The one thing I am noticing is there seems to be a little distortion in the very low sub bass but that seems to be going away and also because the Realiser is feeding the sub woofer when on the source disc that may have something to do with why. Also I use a Crowson Level 2 Shadow Stereo Motion System: A300b Amplifier with TES100SS, imo because the Crowson system TES 100ss are piston air driven open headphones seem to pick up on the sub base when the A300b Amp is turn up to a high volume levels.
 
I am comparing the HE6 to my HD-800s. Without the Cardas cord for the HD-800s I would say the HE6 may be close to the HD-800 except for the sound-stage HD-800 is much bigger, however with the Cardas cord the HD-800 betters.
Lets hear what happens in a few days.
 
The HE6 are good as far as comfort, fit and quality.
 
Update; The more time I get on these HE6s the better they are sounding, just heard something that may be swaying me over to the HE6s. That something is the clarity of the HE6s over the HD-800s. imo one thing is for sure the HE6s do need to be broken-in. I have now turn down the volume on my WA5LE because I had it turn up to head banger levels and it was hurting my ears, but I had to make sure there is still plenty of head-room for the volume.
 
2nd Update; I am having to drop the volume level on my WA5LE, its down to about 11:50. The sound-stage is starting to pull out up and down.
For you guys that have the Realiser, I have had to lower the volume level for my Tictile out-put, I use copy the headphone's base for the Tictile outs.
One thing is for sure, the HE6 is heading in the right direction, better and better.
If I had to guess why I am dropping the volume on my Amp but the volume remains the same on the HE6, is because my amp is strong enough to get things going in this new and very stiff head phone loosening it up.
 
Nov 23, 2010 at 9:01 AM Post #1,285 of 21,170

Ridy1

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look like this thing very difficult to drive, not many amp can drive he-6
L3000.gif

 
Nov 23, 2010 at 10:38 AM Post #1,287 of 21,170

daveDerek

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Nov 23, 2010 at 10:54 AM Post #1,288 of 21,170

daveDerek

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Quote:
Even though this still doesn't give a 3D effect like the IEMs, with this change they are certainly more enjoyable. I will have to reconsider returning them. I will still pursue the IEM path, but if I keep the HE-6 I will definitely sell my HD600 and use that money to explore mid to high range universal IEMs.

 
Max, you may want to check out this thread given the descriptions of the soundstage they're reporting out of this iem:
http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/523741/review-hifiman-re262-a-beautiful-voice
 
Nov 23, 2010 at 10:57 AM Post #1,289 of 21,170

hawkhead

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"er, (other than being a cable) what is it?"
 
One end plugs into the HE6, the other four plugs go into my Exposure XXV 60wpc integrated amp
 
and OMG - Bass, speed, control, attack all improved - it does sound like the amp has got control of the headphones
 
listening between 10 and 11 o' clock (silence is 7 o' clock)
 
Nov 23, 2010 at 10:59 AM Post #1,290 of 21,170

Frank I

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Quote:
The only time I had 3D listening experience with my own system was with a full range ribbon speakers. With direct to disk jazz recordings, each player has their own space. With good orchestra recordings, the layering is there and I am aware where the different instruments are, the arrangement. I'm not sure if hps/IEMs can even get close because the room acoustics get into the mix.
 
With hps/iems, the instruments are bunch together but if you listen to big planars like Apogee Divas or Maggie 20s, the image are much larger and bigger separation.



I cannot say about the Maggie 20's but I get the same 3D sound with the MMG. Listening to jazz recordings I can hear a sax player  instruments well defined and the actual lifelike size of the instrument being played. Sometimes listening to a female vocalist is scary real. I must say my LCD2 gets the tone close but no can IMO competes with a full range planar and many dynamic speakers do not do the tone of planars including the 15K Genesis V ribbons I once owned. But I must say I do enjoy the planar headphone especially since i can use low wattage tube amps.
 

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