HIFIMAN HE-R10 Closed-Back Headphones Discussion & Impressions
Dec 21, 2023 at 3:38 PM Post #1,156 of 1,211
There are different versions for different price tags. I used some EQ at the beginning when I used it with my tube amp.
In the end these headphones don't "like" too lich power in the bass. So I use them on my phone and now with a RU7.
I like them very much.
The fun part is that I received them by accident. I ordered the R10P and got these.
I decided to keep them.
And I don't use EQ any more.
 
Dec 30, 2023 at 4:57 AM Post #1,158 of 1,211
could someone please confirm the impedance of these?
most places i see them for sale state 32ohm, but hifiman site states 60ohm.
 
Dec 31, 2023 at 7:32 PM Post #1,161 of 1,211
So finally I got my R10 Planar Stealth Version.
This is not a review it's more about sharing my impressions after first 8 hours.
I was a bit nervous because the guys from headphone show rated them very badly - as all closed backs.

But I could not agree less with these guys.
First, I also have the R10D - and it's more fun - more upper bass - as any other I ve heard.
But the R10P is very serious in a way that you immediately start listening to the music. You don't think about the headphones or if the bass is too loud or if the instrument seperation is good. Everthing is so well balanced that you don't have anything in particular to pick out and focus on technically.
I don't know if that makes sense to you.

But it's simply the most immersive headphones I ever owned.

I'll do a more detailed review later. 😎
 
Last edited:
Dec 31, 2023 at 10:51 PM Post #1,162 of 1,211
Does anyone know if these are using the same drivers as the he-r9? Other than the wood these look to have an identical build.

They surprisingly do not, which is odd considering how alike they sound. The R10D has a 60 ohm driver, and the R9 has a 32 ohm driver. Outside of that, I don't know the specifics on the differences.
 
Jan 3, 2024 at 6:43 AM Post #1,163 of 1,211
I finally received the specific cable made for the HER10D by Venture Electronics, as soon as I get home I'll see if they did it as needed. If done well, I will finally be able to try them connected directly to the dongles with the 4.4mm... let's hope.
 
Jan 5, 2024 at 7:58 PM Post #1,164 of 1,211
Hello everyone,

it's time to write a more detailed review of the R10 Planar Stealth Version and the Cayin RU7.
As stated before, I am a buyer not a reviewer.
I am a strong believer in hearing not reading. So whatever I write is true for my hears only.
And I learned that it's mostly about matching. I will get into it later.

I update my last comparison and add my new R10 Planar.

Setup:
AVM CS2.3 lineout into Cayin Ha-3A via RCA for all headphones AND RU7 DSD64(!) directly into R10 Planar
Audeze - standard 6.3 jack unbalanced; mid impedance setting
Hifiman R10D - balanced xlr; low impedance setting
Hifiman R10P - 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.
The R10P with the RU7: The voice sounds very good! But the strings seem to interfere with her voice. It sounds too soft. Or in other words, the voice and the strings were to close to each other.

The R10P really improves with the more mature combo: AVM + HA3A! The bass is more present, clearer and everything is more separated. The interference between her voice and the strings is gone.
In the end I like both the super smooth and detailed presentation of the R10P and the bass heavy, emotional presentation with its dark timbre of the R10D.
But there is a total different level in clarity, staging, and tonality.

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.

The R10 Planar it's next level. Beyond comparison. It's clarity, resolution, speed, smoothness - everything adds up to really immersive experience.
The RU7 sounds good, but the AVM+HA-3A combo adds so much power to the song! The bass is much better, deeper and has more energy, but also all percussive sounds have so much more energy!

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.

The R10 Planar revealed something that I haven't noticed before: Distortion.
At 0:49 the unison of the trumpets have a lot of distortion on both sides but the right side is worse.
Beside this it sounds super realistic! You can hear so much more nuances in the play of both, trumpets and double bass.
So sad that the distortion is there. I checked with the other headphones and when you know it you can't ignore it.
But it's way more noticeable with the R10 planar.


Nirvana : Smells like Teen Spirit
With the guitar intro you immediately hear the darker timbre of the R10D.
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.

That's the only song that does not feel right with the R10 Planar. The R10 Planar is a lot smoother as the Audeze and has a bigger stage, clarity and more room, air.
But I don't think any of these good attributes adds any value to the song. I prefer the Audeze for it's more in the face feeling, harsher presentation and somehow energy.


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 (where most of the time the bass is too loud).
In both cases, with the R10D and the Audeze, the mix is not convincing.

The R10 Planar creates a lot more coherent experience. The hall effect sounds a lot more natural and the guitars have more energy and still everything is very smooth and less squeaky. I could really enjoy the song - the first time in my life.

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.

With R10P:
Well, I did a A/B testing 6 times, as I could not believe the difference between AVM into HA-3A vs RU7 only.
I have to admit, that this song sounds magical with the RU7 and headphones directly connected into the RU7. No tube amp and also the AVM (5800€!) could not deliver that magical tone.
So how to describe it?
This song is all about Norah Jones voice. And maybe some of you know that feeling of a live performance that would make you almost cry. And RU7 with R10 P simply replicate that feeling. And I believe it's created by perfect timbre and timing.
Above I described the room, the things you can discover by hearing and the setting created. Here it's totally different. You don't imagine a room, simply the lips of Norah Jones, you could literally not focus on anything else than her voice, her lips, the way she breaths.
I know how ridiculous that sounds.
And I could not believe that the RU7 is so much better. I mean it costs 7000€ less...
Don't get me wrong, it does not has that extreme sub bass and not the resolution, clarity as the expensive combo. But here that does not add any value.
Sweetness in her voice is key. And the R10 P with the RU7 delivers.
Side note: I listened to this song 8 times in a row.. - that means a lot.

Conclusion:
Well, the R10 Planar are exceptional good headphones! And it's so much ahead of the other two that a comparison to more expensive closed backs seems more reasonable.
But in the end it depends on the combination and the song that you are listening to.
The R10P shines with superb trebles. Very realistic, smooth and still very energetic.
You can experience that with violin songs, e.g "Hilary Hahn plays Bach - Sonata for violin solo no.1 in G minor" it sounds so smooth, realistic and detailed. It's pure pleasure!
And it's these kind of songs, upper mids, trebles and where timbre is key and the RU7 performance beyond belief.
It's the same as with the Norah Jones voice. RU7 smoothness and good timbre add so much emotions.
For all dense and fast songs with bass and percussive sounds I prefer to combine the R10P with a more analytical combo for better clarity, better bass, precision, more power and liveliness
But I can't tell you if the bass improves on the RU7 with a balanced connection.
Compared to the R10D the R10 Planar plays a few leagues higher.
But with some songs where the bass is more important and in the mids there is some room, the R10 D really shines.
And in contrast to my first impression I would recommend to use the R10D with less power (single ended cables) and more analytic sounding dac/amp.
My Ha-3a is quite neutral for a tube amp and still it adds a lot of weight to the R10D (could also be added by balanced cables).
The R10D are the least neutral sounding headphones in this trio. And it does not create these magical moments out of the RU7. But it's a lot of fun as an additional headphone. As the main heaphones I can't recommend it. It's too dark and too specific in it's voicing.

The Audeze is the one with the most harsh trebles in this trio. That's quite funny as I sent back the Hifiman HE1000V2 for it's harsh trebles in comparison to the Audeze.
The Audeze shines when you need a solid clarity, speed and a more in your face feeling. It also has the best isolation.
Thus for metal or grunge or other harsh music I prefer the Audeze for it's unpolished sound.

So what's next?
Maybe I can find a way to combine the good separation, bass, clarity with the magic of the RU7?
I tried to put the RU7 in front of my HA-3A, but it does not seem to add up, it's more like I lose the exceptional bass from my AVM and also lose the magic from the RU7 because the HA-3A is too analytic for the RU7 in DSD64 mode.
So maybe I can do some tube rolling for the HA-3A and get a balanced 4.4. cable for my R10P (and also get a balanced cable for my Audeze for fair comparison).

Chris
 
Jan 23, 2024 at 9:08 AM Post #1,165 of 1,211
If I can give some advice to owners of these headphones, have a cable made with a 4.4 mm connection and try connecting the HER10D to any dongle/dap... you won't believe your ears. I had it created by Venture Electronics on a specific connection for the HER10D... listening to these headphones with a real balanced cable (one in each cup) makes them gain an even higher level... and being able to enjoy them (thanks to their extreme sensitivity) connected to a small dongle is truly an experience to have. This is the cable that I had modified... just ask that no current is carried to the internal ring and that's it.

https://www.veclan.com/engappliance_sel_one?eng_ApplianceVo.eac_id=93

Just remember to send them a message with this image and ask for this type of connection.

Connection.png


P.S. 55 dollars and your beloved HER10D will fly even connected to a simple dongle.
 
Jan 23, 2024 at 11:54 PM Post #1,166 of 1,211
Which Audeze specifically are you citing here? LCD-XC 2021?

Hello everyone,

it's time to write a more detailed review of the R10 Planar Stealth Version and the Cayin RU7.
As stated before, I am a buyer not a reviewer.
I am a strong believer in hearing not reading. So whatever I write is true for my hears only.
And I learned that it's mostly about matching. I will get into it later.

I update my last comparison and add my new R10 Planar.

Setup:
AVM CS2.3 lineout into Cayin Ha-3A via RCA for all headphones AND RU7 DSD64(!) directly into R10 Planar
Audeze - standard 6.3 jack unbalanced; mid impedance setting
Hifiman R10D - balanced xlr; low impedance setting
Hifiman R10P - 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.
The R10P with the RU7: The voice sounds very good! But the strings seem to interfere with her voice. It sounds too soft. Or in other words, the voice and the strings were to close to each other.

The R10P really improves with the more mature combo: AVM + HA3A! The bass is more present, clearer and everything is more separated. The interference between her voice and the strings is gone.
In the end I like both the super smooth and detailed presentation of the R10P and the bass heavy, emotional presentation with its dark timbre of the R10D.
But there is a total different level in clarity, staging, and tonality.

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.

The R10 Planar it's next level. Beyond comparison. It's clarity, resolution, speed, smoothness - everything adds up to really immersive experience.
The RU7 sounds good, but the AVM+HA-3A combo adds so much power to the song! The bass is much better, deeper and has more energy, but also all percussive sounds have so much more energy!

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.

The R10 Planar revealed something that I haven't noticed before: Distortion.
At 0:49 the unison of the trumpets have a lot of distortion on both sides but the right side is worse.
Beside this it sounds super realistic! You can hear so much more nuances in the play of both, trumpets and double bass.
So sad that the distortion is there. I checked with the other headphones and when you know it you can't ignore it.
But it's way more noticeable with the R10 planar.


Nirvana : Smells like Teen Spirit
With the guitar intro you immediately hear the darker timbre of the R10D.
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.

That's the only song that does not feel right with the R10 Planar. The R10 Planar is a lot smoother as the Audeze and has a bigger stage, clarity and more room, air.
But I don't think any of these good attributes adds any value to the song. I prefer the Audeze for it's more in the face feeling, harsher presentation and somehow energy.


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 (where most of the time the bass is too loud).
In both cases, with the R10D and the Audeze, the mix is not convincing.

The R10 Planar creates a lot more coherent experience. The hall effect sounds a lot more natural and the guitars have more energy and still everything is very smooth and less squeaky. I could really enjoy the song - the first time in my life.

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.

With R10P:
Well, I did a A/B testing 6 times, as I could not believe the difference between AVM into HA-3A vs RU7 only.
I have to admit, that this song sounds magical with the RU7 and headphones directly connected into the RU7. No tube amp and also the AVM (5800€!) could not deliver that magical tone.
So how to describe it?
This song is all about Norah Jones voice. And maybe some of you know that feeling of a live performance that would make you almost cry. And RU7 with R10 P simply replicate that feeling. And I believe it's created by perfect timbre and timing.
Above I described the room, the things you can discover by hearing and the setting created. Here it's totally different. You don't imagine a room, simply the lips of Norah Jones, you could literally not focus on anything else than her voice, her lips, the way she breaths.
I know how ridiculous that sounds.
And I could not believe that the RU7 is so much better. I mean it costs 7000€ less...
Don't get me wrong, it does not has that extreme sub bass and not the resolution, clarity as the expensive combo. But here that does not add any value.
Sweetness in her voice is key. And the R10 P with the RU7 delivers.
Side note: I listened to this song 8 times in a row.. - that means a lot.

Conclusion:
Well, the R10 Planar are exceptional good headphones! And it's so much ahead of the other two that a comparison to more expensive closed backs seems more reasonable.
But in the end it depends on the combination and the song that you are listening to.
The R10P shines with superb trebles. Very realistic, smooth and still very energetic.
You can experience that with violin songs, e.g "Hilary Hahn plays Bach - Sonata for violin solo no.1 in G minor" it sounds so smooth, realistic and detailed. It's pure pleasure!
And it's these kind of songs, upper mids, trebles and where timbre is key and the RU7 performance beyond belief.
It's the same as with the Norah Jones voice. RU7 smoothness and good timbre add so much emotions.
For all dense and fast songs with bass and percussive sounds I prefer to combine the R10P with a more analytical combo for better clarity, better bass, precision, more power and liveliness
But I can't tell you if the bass improves on the RU7 with a balanced connection.
Compared to the R10D the R10 Planar plays a few leagues higher.
But with some songs where the bass is more important and in the mids there is some room, the R10 D really shines.
And in contrast to my first impression I would recommend to use the R10D with less power (single ended cables) and more analytic sounding dac/amp.
My Ha-3a is quite neutral for a tube amp and still it adds a lot of weight to the R10D (could also be added by balanced cables).
The R10D are the least neutral sounding headphones in this trio. And it does not create these magical moments out of the RU7. But it's a lot of fun as an additional headphone. As the main heaphones I can't recommend it. It's too dark and too specific in it's voicing.

The Audeze is the one with the most harsh trebles in this trio. That's quite funny as I sent back the Hifiman HE1000V2 for it's harsh trebles in comparison to the Audeze.
The Audeze shines when you need a solid clarity, speed and a more in your face feeling. It also has the best isolation.
Thus for metal or grunge or other harsh music I prefer the Audeze for it's unpolished sound.

So what's next?
Maybe I can find a way to combine the good separation, bass, clarity with the magic of the RU7?
I tried to put the RU7 in front of my HA-3A, but it does not seem to add up, it's more like I lose the exceptional bass from my AVM and also lose the magic from the RU7 because the HA-3A is too analytic for the RU7 in DSD64 mode.
So maybe I can do some tube rolling for the HA-3A and get a balanced 4.4. cable for my R10P (and also get a balanced cable for my Audeze for fair comparison).

Chris
 
Jan 24, 2024 at 6:11 AM Post #1,168 of 1,211
If I can give some advice to owners of these headphones, have a cable made with a 4.4 mm connection and try connecting the HER10D to any dongle/dap... you won't believe your ears. I had it created by Venture Electronics on a specific connection for the HER10D... listening to these headphones with a real balanced cable (one in each cup) makes them gain an even higher level... and being able to enjoy them (thanks to their extreme sensitivity) connected to a small dongle is truly an experience to have. This is the cable that I had modified... just ask that no current is carried to the internal ring and that's it.

https://www.veclan.com/engappliance_sel_one?eng_ApplianceVo.eac_id=93

Just remember to send them a message with this image and ask for this type of connection.

Connection.png

P.S. 55 dollars and your beloved HER10D will fly even connected to a simple dongle.
I've tried ordering this cable, apparently they don't ship to the UK?
 
Jan 24, 2024 at 6:16 AM Post #1,169 of 1,211
I've tried ordering this cable, apparently they don't ship to the UK?
If you created the account send them a message... they reply the next day due to the time but they always reply. It seems strange to me that they don't ship to the UK... however on Aliexpress there is the relevant shop also managed by Venture Electronics directly.
 
Jan 24, 2024 at 6:26 AM Post #1,170 of 1,211
If you created the account send them a message... they reply the next day due to the time but they always reply. It seems strange to me that they don't ship to the UK... however on Aliexpress there is the relevant shop also managed by Venture Electronics directly.
Hi, created an account yesterday. Messaged them and they have replied saying that they can make the cable, just to add another message when i order.
Went to order it and a message came up on the order page that they can't post to my address?
 

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