HIFIMAN HE-R10 Closed-Back Headphones Discussion & Impressions
Dec 10, 2023 at 6:07 AM Post #1,111 of 1,211
Hello everyone,

I would like to share my impressions with you today.
Actually I bought the HE1000V2 headphones. Unfortunately, the treble was so sharp that I couldn't hear any song with a female voice.
I then added a Cayin HA-3A headphone tube amplifier to my amplifier (AVM CS2.3)
Unfortunately, this didn't bring any improvement either, so I looked for an alternative.
And I ordered an upgrade to the R10P.

Now an R10D arrived instead of the R10P, yes, I don't understand how this can happen at Hifiman.

And so I now come to my conclusion about the R10D and the comparison with the Audeze LCD2 Closed Back.
I'm not a professional review writer, just a buyer and music lover.

Setup:
AVM CS2.3 lineout into Cayin Ha-3A via RCA.
Audeze - standard 6.3 jack unbalanced; mid impedance setting
Hifiman - balanced xlr; low impedance setting

Lana Del Rey : Born to Die
The warmth of the R10D suits the song very well, the somewhat shrill highs of the song are attenuated and there is a lot of power in the bass so that the short concise inserts of the kick pressure are well presented.
The LCD plays brighter here, less emotional.

Imagine Dragons : Believer
Similar to the first song, the track plays more in the upper mids, not too dense in the upper bass. Pauses, higher vocal range. It's precisely these songs that are a lot of fun with the R10D: songs that already have a lot of energy in the treble range and play more selectively in the bass.

Miles Davis: So What
Here the R10D lacks both the low bass and the energy in the treble range to reproduce double bass or trumpet.
It simply lacks clarity, contour and brilliance. It sounds dull.
The Audeze outshines the R10D 10 times from my point of view - in this song.

Nirvana : Smells like Teen Spirit
With the guitar intro you immediately hear the darker timbre.
Then the rest of the band kicks in and the bass guitar dominates the action instead of the guitars.
This makes the song sound dull, lacking brilliance and above all space in the mix. Too bad.
The bass solo is different. Here the guitar is missing, the overemphasized high bass can take up the whole room and is only complemented by the voice. It sounds really phenomenal.
Now the whole thing with the Audeze:
The guitar intro sounds much more aggressive, rockier, you can feel that a thunderstorm is about to break out and that's how it is. The snare hits your ears wonderfully. Kurt's voice unloads in a rage: this is how grunge works!
In contrast to the R10D, the bass solo is a pause, restrained, the voice enjoys full attention.
The song is much more fun with the Audeze, more emotional, more authentic, more in your face.

Van Halen: You really got me
By today's standards, this is a thin bung that plays out mainly in the mids and highs. Sounds exactly the same with the Audeze: thin and a bit squeaky.
The R10D gives the guitars much more assertiveness, the whole song sounds much darker. But the voice loses presence, which doesn't help the song. The bottom line is that the sound is much closer to a live performance.
In both cases, the mix is not convincing.

Norah Jones : Don't know why
With the R10D you can really turn up the volume here. The headphones take any sharpness out of the voice, even at high volumes. The dark timbre makes the whole song more personal, more intimate, more personal. It creates the image of a small smoky bar, Norah Jones on stage, it could be a local jazz club. I like that very much.

With Audeze it's completely different, everything shimmers, a big stage, a great tuned piano, you're sitting in a concert hall, on the big stage: the world star Norah Jones!
Every nuance of her voice is precisely illuminated.
World class, but no longer intimate.

Conclusion:
The R10D clearly wins again on my tube amplifier. The bass becomes even stronger, but with more contour it also takes up more space.
With the right songs, the headphones are a lot of fun.
Especially if the piece has a present female voice and there is room for the over-emphasized bass in the lower mids.
There is a lack of neutrality, resolution, brilliance and a lot of songs sounded not good at all. Deep male voices and rhythm guitar fade in the background by the massive bass presentation. That's especially true for metal genre with low tuned guitars and fast steady bass guitar.
There is also a lack of depth in the bass compared to the Audeze. E.g. Bad guy from Billie Ellish, that song is 10x more enjoyable with the Audeze. Depth, sharp and crisp bass. Sounds perfect.

As a complement to the Audeze LCD2 Closed Back and with the option of the Bluetooth module, I find the R10D exciting, especially if you buy it for under $500. For many music titles, it helps if you lower the range 150-500 khz using EQ and raise it 1-2.5 khz.
The bottom line is that I would really only view the headphones as a supplement for very specific applications.
Exotic and exciting.

Now I'm excited about the R10P!
 
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Dec 10, 2023 at 6:51 AM Post #1,113 of 1,211
Hello everyone,

I would like to share my impressions with you today.
Actually I bought the HE1000V2 headphones. Unfortunately, the treble was so sharp that I couldn't hear any song with a female voice.
I then added a Cayin HA-3A headphone tube amplifier to my amplifier (AVM CS2.3)
Unfortunately, this didn't bring any improvement either, so I looked for an alternative.
And I ordered an upgrade to the R10P.

Now an R10D arrived instead of the R10P, yes, I don't understand how this can happen at Hifiman.

And so I now come to my conclusion about the R10D and the comparison with the Audeze LCD2 Closed Back.
I'm not a professional review writer, just a buyer and music lover.

Setup:
AVM CS2.3 lineout into Cayin Ha-3A via RCA.
Audeze - standard 6.3 jack unbalanced; mid impedance setting
Hifiman - balanced xlr; low impedance setting

Lana Del Rey : Born to Die
The warmth of the R10D suits the song very well, the somewhat shrill highs of the song are attenuated and there is a lot of power in the bass so that the short concise inserts of the kick pressure are well presented.
The LCD plays brighter here, less emotional.

Imagine Dragons : Believer
Similar to the first song, the track plays more in the upper mids, not too dense in the upper bass. Pauses, higher vocal range. It's precisely these songs that are a lot of fun with the R10D: songs that already have a lot of energy in the treble range and play more selectively in the bass.

Miles Davis: So What
Here the R10D lacks both the low bass and the energy in the treble range to reproduce double bass or trumpet.
It simply lacks clarity, contour and brilliance. It sounds dull.
The Audeze outshines the R10D 10 times from my point of view - in this song.

Nirvana : Smells like Teen Spirit
With the guitar intro you immediately hear the darker timbre.
Then the rest of the band kicks in and the bass guitar dominates the action instead of the guitars.
This makes the song sound dull, lacking brilliance and above all space in the mix. Too bad.
The bass solo is different. Here the guitar is missing, the overemphasized high bass can take up the whole room and is only complemented by the voice. It sounds really phenomenal.
Now the whole thing with the Audeze:
The guitar intro sounds much more aggressive, rockier, you can feel that a thunderstorm is about to break out and that's how it is. The snare hits your ears wonderfully. Kurt's voice unloads in a rage: this is how grunge works!
In contrast to the R10D, the bass solo is a pause, restrained, the voice enjoys full attention.
The song is much more fun with the Audeze, more emotional, more authentic, more in your face.

Van Halen: You really got me
By today's standards, this is a thin bung that plays out mainly in the mids and highs. Sounds exactly the same with the Audeze: thin and a bit squeaky.
The R10D gives the guitars much more assertiveness, the whole song sounds much darker. But the voice loses presence, which doesn't help the song. The bottom line is that the sound is much closer to a live performance.
In both cases, the mix is not convincing.

Norah Jones : Don't know why
With the R10D you can really turn up the volume here. The headphones take any sharpness out of the voice, even at high volumes. The dark timbre makes the whole song more personal, more intimate, more personal. It creates the image of a small smoky bar, Norah Jones on stage, it could be a local jazz club. I like that very much.

With Audeze it's completely different, everything shimmers, a big stage, a great tuned piano, you're sitting in a concert hall, on the big stage: the world star Norah Jones!
Every nuance of her voice is precisely illuminated.
World class, but no longer intimate.

Conclusion:
The R10D clearly wins again on my tube amplifier. The bass becomes even stronger, but with more contour it also takes up more space.
With the right songs, the headphones are a lot of fun.
Especially if the piece has a present female voice and there is room for the over-emphasized bass in the lower mids.
There is a lack of neutrality, resolution, brilliance and a lot of songs sounded not good at all. Deep male voices and rhythm guitar fade in the background by the massive bass presentation. That's especially true for metal genre with low tuned guitars and fast steady bass guitar.
There is also a lack of depth in the bass compared to the Audeze. E.g. Bad guy from Billie Ellish, that song is 10x more enjoyable with the Audeze. Depth, sharp and crisp bass. Sounds perfect.

As a complement to the Audeze LCD2 Closed Back and with the option of the Bluetooth module, I find the R10D exciting, especially if you buy it for under $500. For many music titles, it helps if you lower the range 150-500 khz using EQ and raise it 1-2.5 khz.
The bottom line is that I would really only view the headphones as a supplement for very specific applications.
Exotic and exciting.

Now I'm excited about the R10P!
If I may... I have the impression that with the HE-R10P you will return to the starting point, that of the HE-1000V2. What is happening to you reminds me a lot of what happened to a friend of mine who used a Matrix... since you purchased a Cayin HA-3A what I recommend is to try connecting a Cayin dongle (RU6/RU7) to it. With the RU6 you will have an R2R DAC like the one present in the 10R Bluemini, while with the RU7 you will have a 1bit like the one present in their N7 dap. The difference between the two is that the RU6 is the maximum of analogue sound, of musicality, all the edges will disappear in a moment but at the same time the details will not be shot in your face like on other DACs and the sound will become "magical" . On the other hand with the RU7 you will have the possibility to set three conversion levels (DSD64-DSD128-DSD256) going from the sound closest to the RU6 with the DSD64 to the one closest to a delta/sigma DSD256 and with a huge soundstage . Another difference is that the RU7 is equipped with a line out output while the RU6 must be set to 76 volume in high gain before connecting it to its bigger brother HA-3A. I use them with the iHA-6 also from Cayin with extraordinary results. If I understand your situation correctly, the sound of an R2R is what you're looking for and that's what ultimately convinced my friend to sell the Matrix and keep the Audezee. In the end, with 180 euros (not a big expense) you can try an RU6 and understand if the R2R really expresses "your" sound as it was for him.
 
Dec 10, 2023 at 7:04 AM Post #1,115 of 1,211
I found RU7, that i still own, to be far superior (from memory) to RU6 that I did own a while ago. I also think that combines superbly with the R10D
Listening Napoleon soundtrack right now!
Certainly from a purely technical point of view the RU7 is superior to the RU6 without any doubt, but I would not define it superior in everything, especially because it is unable to match the "magic" of the R2R sound (even if set to DSD64) even if between DACs are the closest.
 
Dec 10, 2023 at 7:25 AM Post #1,116 of 1,211
Another reason for him to try the RU6 is that an R2R is really the DAC that is furthest from the one he listens with now... it will be like visiting the dark side of the moon. It is no coincidence that Hifiman only puts R2R in their implementations both at the Bluemini level and at the amplifier level... the sound of the Himalaya in my EF400 is simply sublime.
 
Dec 10, 2023 at 7:38 AM Post #1,117 of 1,211
Just to understand it correctly. You think that the harsh trebles from my HE1000V2 is a result of the DAC in my AVM CS2.3
And adding a tube amp does not help.

Well, I thought that the HE1000V2 had technical issues. The trebles were so harsh I could listen to anything. Not even to James' voice at nothing else matters..
Thus I asked for replacement. But Hifiman did not have another refurbished at hand, so I decided to upgrade not to susvara but to R10P because I think a closed back suits my environment way better.
The R10D does not improve with the R2R dac in the Bluetooth modul. I prefer the dac of my AVM and tubeamp more. As it adds to the low end.
But my main point of the story is that I hope that the R10P adds the missing clarity is less dark and has no harsh trebles.
And maybe I consider to keep the R10D if the sound of the R10P is a lot different- what I hope (10x the price of the refurbished R10D).

Are you assuming that the R10P will have harsh trebles and the R2R helps dealing with it?
 
Dec 10, 2023 at 8:10 AM Post #1,118 of 1,211
Just to understand it correctly. You think that the harsh trebles from my HE1000V2 is a result of the DAC in my AVM CS2.3
And adding a tube amp does not help.

Well, I thought that the HE1000V2 had technical issues. The trebles were so harsh I could listen to anything. Not even to James' voice at nothing else matters..
Thus I asked for replacement. But Hifiman did not have another refurbished at hand, so I decided to upgrade not to susvara but to R10P because I think a closed back suits my environment way better.
The R10D does not improve with the R2R dac in the Bluetooth modul. I prefer the dac of my AVM and tubeamp more. As it adds to the low end.
But my main point of the story is that I hope that the R10P adds the missing clarity is less dark and has no harsh trebles.
And maybe I consider to keep the R10D if the sound of the R10P is a lot different- what I hope (10x the price of the refurbished R10D).

Are you assuming that the R10P will have harsh trebles and the R2R helps dealing with it?
Mine is advice for finding "your" path in sound... and then being able to decide to follow it even with much better DACs than the RU6. The fact is that the Bluemini, like all R2Rs, has a very soft and warm sound and therefore creates a short circuit with the equally warm sound of the R10D, while with headphones like the HE1000V2 that you had or my HE6SEV2 or with my HE1000 Stealth it creates an extraordinary synergy and I think this will also happen with the 10P that is coming your way. What I proposed was a test of the least expensive R2R in circulation (RU6) coupled with the Cayin amplifier you already have and with revealing and neutral headphones. If at the first listen you get a big smile on your face (as I think) you will have understood what "your" path is and it won't take you long to follow it. To answer your last question... the answer is yes, the R2R DAC is the one that alone will solve all your "problems", the amplifier does nothing but amplify and the headphones do nothing but put all that into your ears which it finds connected to it. I think the type of DAC (in your case) is the answer to your initial question... a super-defined DAC connected to super-defined headphones doesn't work... just as a super-musical DAC connected to super-musical headphones doesn't work. The DAC makes the music, not the amplifier or the headphones, the quality and transparency of the latter two can only modify it... but the music always comes out of the d/a conversion. If you like, try an RU6 and then you'll tell us if that's your path. :wink:
 
Dec 10, 2023 at 8:30 AM Post #1,119 of 1,211
Dec 10, 2023 at 10:30 AM Post #1,120 of 1,211
OK, I have no problem buying an RU7 and test it. But in that case I need my smartphone to hear music. And by this I have to deal with all kind of settings. I use qobuz app for music. And the AVM CS2.3 is also a streamer with nativ support for qobuz. I don't know if that works easily with the recommended setup.
It would be Smartphone android s22 / qobuz / usbc >ru7>LO 4.4mm > Ha-3a xlr > headphones xlr.
+ I need a wired connection to my smartphone and can't charge the battery.
Alternativ might be to buy a N7. But that's a lot of money and I won't use most of the features. A qobuz streamer with r2r dac?
 
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Dec 10, 2023 at 11:24 AM Post #1,121 of 1,211
OK, I have no problem buying an RU7 and test it. But in that case I need my smartphone to hear music. And by this I have to deal with all kind of settings. I use qobuz app for music. And the AVM CS2.3 is also a streamer with nativ support for qobuz. I don't know if that works easily with the recommended setup.
It would be Smartphone android s22 / qobuz / usbc >ru7>LO 4.4mm > Ha-3a xlr > headphones xlr.
+ I need a wired connection to my smartphone and can't charge the battery.
Alternativ might be to buy a N7. But that's a lot of money and I won't use most of the features. A qobuz streamer with r2r dac?
You can also use a notebook with the RU7, but if you want to try it with your smartphone I recommend using UAPP where you can log in with your Qobuz credentials because it completely bypasses Android's 48kz resampling and sends everything to you in bit perfect on the RU7 with perfect control the DAC inside. You can also use these two accessories to provide switching power to the RU7 (which therefore no longer draws power from the phone) and connect the smartphone to the home network via a normal RJ45, turning off the WiFi antenna and the 4G/5G of the mobile phone and further reducing plus all the interference. You can connect everything as shown in the photo and connect the RJ45 network adapter to one of the three free ports of the hub.

fc6s2.jpg


HUB:

https://www.amazon.it/dp/B0BTYVL57R?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

https://it.aliexpress.com/item/1005...t_main.33.25623696SyFfnP&gatewayAdapt=glo2ita

USB RJ45 adapter:

https://www.amazon.it/dp/B07M8GSLQB?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details
 
Dec 10, 2023 at 11:37 AM Post #1,122 of 1,211
Dec 10, 2023 at 11:46 AM Post #1,123 of 1,211
The synergy between the R10D and the very small Hiby FC6 (despite the unbalanced 3.5mm connection) is simply something that will leave you speechless... simply unbelievable!

sinergia.jpg
 
Dec 10, 2023 at 12:17 PM Post #1,124 of 1,211
And still haven't jumped. I was debating between the FiiO FT5's and the HE-R10D's. Then this weekend I was presented with the opportunity to buy a used set of ETA 02's.

Tick, tick, tick... :smile:
 
Dec 11, 2023 at 3:24 PM Post #1,125 of 1,211
I cannot speak to many of the DACS and Amps you all are speaking to. Although, I can speak to using the R10D with A&K35, Chord Mojo or Chord Hugo. I will refrain to speaking to the Bluemini. The Chord Hugo to many surprise is the least favorable sound signature. The bass is to loud and prominent. A&K35 provides 90% of sound bliss, but with the Mojo it is perfect. The sound signature sounds balanced. So far, this is the best combo so far. The Bluemini I use to watch TV or play video games. So, I am not analyzing the sound. It appears to me the R10D does not like to be overpowered.
 

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