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Hifiman HE1000 Planar Dynamic Headphone

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by jelt2359, Dec 30, 2014.
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  1. MacedonianHero Contributor
    Have you seen the measurements? Maybe you're confusing "bright" with neutral and neutral may not be your thing? If that's the case, seems that the HE1000V2 might be up your alley. They are warmer and still manage to compete very well with the Utopias in many ways.

    FWIW, I find the Utopia's frequency response to be among the most neutral headphones I've heard. The HE1000V2s offer a different sound, but still quite excellent overall to my ears.
  2. Ekul61
    Bright to me means , after a hour or so horns seem sibilant. I find myself wanting to turn the volume down on the Utopias. Switching over to the inexpensive 400i on same track wanting to turn the volume up. Not as good sound. But easier on the ears.
  3. MacedonianHero Contributor
    I'd definitely look at your upstream rig or the music you're listening to...the 400i are likely not picking up the issues you have upstream as they aren't as transparent. The HE1000V2s are however that transparent and would likely yield similar results...though over overall, the HE1000V2s would be "easier" on your ears for a more "relaxed" presentation. I love the HE1000V2s (and Utopias), definitely in my top 5-7 headphones of all time.
  4. tuna47
    Try the mojo with the jot sounds great with hekv2
  5. Gavin C4
    V2 pads vs V1 pads.
    The V2 pads really give a great improvement over the V1. More micro detail is perceived when using the V2 pads. I think more than 70% of the improvements from the HE1000v1 to HE1000v2 upgrade is due to the change in the earpads.
    ezekiel77 and Hifiearspeakers like this.
  6. SilverEars
    How did you get the V2 pads? 70% sounds a bit excessive though.
  7. heliosphann
    They've been available to purchase from HiFiman for months now.
  8. Hifiearspeakers
    He’s right. Most of the V2 changes are cosmetic and just increase the comfort or stability of the headphones. The only changes that alter the sound are the earpads and the removal of excess space from the original cups (which allowed more distortion).
  9. Gavin C4
    TBH, we are using exactly the same driver in the V1 and V2. As we could pay for an upgrade from V1 to V2 initially. From my listening experience, most of the change is due to the earpad and driver distance between your ears.

    I bought the earpads from a local shop. They got a few stocked. Huge sound difference comparts between V1 and V2pads.
    I listened to the V2 demo at the shop and my V1 with V2pads at home. I can say, it is very similar. I would say the sound of V2 is a bit closer, less wide sound stage as the V1 as the driver is closer to your ears.

    It is a very small investment on an earpad. Compared to the price of Audeze LCD earpad / senhi HD800 /grado earpads.... It is already worth the purchase solely for the improved comfort.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  10. SilverEars
    The one on the right look larger in size, and either it's less used or just looks to be better built. Although I haven't compared both, the V1 sounds quite spacey, like it or not. It just sounds to me like biggest headstage I've ever heard. It's interesting how people refer to HD800 as quite large sounding, but I don't really experience that, but they generally had a narrow sounding response and was partially due to tightened sound with raised mid treble, and typical dynamic open headphone subs roll-off. I just think people listen to symphony a lot. LOL.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  11. tuna47
    Has anyone tried the Rupert neve amp with v2
  12. TheAttorney
    Some of you may have come across Maxx134's recent "Feilian" port mod for HEK V2, on the other site (not that one - it's the other other site). In short, the mod uses some soft neoprene washers to introduce a tiny air port into the otherwise fully sealed pad enclosures. Max suggested that anyone could simulate a similar effect by slightly prising away the pads from the head. Well, I tried that in various ways without too much success - the sound changed slightly, but I couldn't reliably quantify the differences. I then tried adding a port in a different way: by simply putting on my glasses! [Background: as a long term Stax user, I always take off my glasses in order to keep a full pad seal for best SQ of these headphones. And also for comfort. And I've maintained that ritual for my HEK V2's].

    So, now I slip on my glasses whilst listening to music and… voila! An instant improvement in SQ. It's across the board, but I particularly noticed a sharpening of images and details.Taking my glasses of gave softer, more diffuse images and a flatter soundstage. I haven't noticed any downsides yet - the resulting greater impact and presence does not appear to have a trade-off with increased glare/brightness as sometimes is the case. Ignoring for the moment that these early findings could be affected by imagination, I think these changes are quite substantial - in the same ball park as, say, a good cable upgrade to the stock HEK cable.

    My immediate question is how close does my glasses trick get to the Feilian mod proper? Because if the full mod gives still better results then that will be something well worth hearing. My glasses frames are very small - just over 1mm diameter at the pads, so visually they don't appear to be affecting the pads much. I imagine that different sized/shaped frames will give highly variable results - cue lots of jokes about audiophile glasses (does a titanium frame sound better than plastic?).

    Anyway, I'm now very interested in doing the mod properly. Apart from the extreme care needed not to touch the ultra thin driver membrane, the mod looks quite straight forward and is well documented - the only thing I can't see clearly from the pictures is the exact cut shape of the underneath of the washer pairs. Are the cut shapes identical and just positioned in opposite directions?

    Edit: After a 2nd evening's listening, I've turned down my excitement-o-meter by a notch, as the effects of my glasses-port mod do vary with the recording, with compressed/flat/thin recordings benefitting less than the more dynamic recordings that I listened to the first time. But the benefit is still there overall. Only @Maxx134 probably knows how his proper internal mod compares to the temporary "pull away the pad" type of mod.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
    Weilli and Thenewguy007 like this.
  13. SilverEars
    HE1000 sounds quite good with electronic music. I think it's due to it's bass and speed of the drivers.
  14. Liu Junyuan
    Not downplaying your preferences at all. This isn't in regards to either Utopia or HEK, but it's related to your comment and MH reply that the Utopia's are neutral, which is something I have been thinking about a lot recently.

    If you listen to horns playing next to you for more than one hour, to use your metric, in real life, which is the standard "neutral," it wouldn't be very pleasant. The snap of the drum, stroke on the violin, can be piercing IRL.

    I actually agree with your point. Most users here who spend multiple thousands of dollars on gear want to use that gear by listening to extended periods. To listen to hours on end without damaging your hearing, you're eventually going to need a tuning that is not neutral or one that is but at lower volume levels. Something like the HEKV1 or HD650 is perfect for this type of listening.

    This perception has come into tighter focus for me recently. There is equipment that is brighter than neutral, but there is also equipment whose aim is to proximate the highest fidelity possible. To faithfully translate the real experience of music often involves discomfiting slam, sharp leading edges, natural decay of sounds, the ability to snap you out of attention and lull you to a whisper, small gradations of shifts in volume, tangible texture and bite, etc. What I have found for my own habits and preferences is that I cannot handle this for long periods of time. For that, I need something that does not compromise detail and technicalities but that is still pleasant enough to enjoy without blowing my ear drums.

    High Fidelity does not equal bright, but it does not support "unnatural" sustained listening sessions of sizzling violins, cracking snares, or blaring horns bordering on the sibilant. I am finding myself preferring a happy balance between the two extremes as of late.

    Finally, what strikes me as highly plausible without having heard them, is that the HEK2 are exactly the kind of transducer I need to try, since it would appear to ride between the two extremes nicely. I pair the Utopia with tubes for a reason.
    marhol and Hifiearspeakers like this.
  15. TheAttorney
    I agree in general with your assessments Liu, and I think you really should try the HEK V2.
    I should add though that no headphone is perfectly neutral, and both Utopia and HEK can be helped by a touch of EQ. Apart from that, I've found that the primary cause of most "brightness" issues in any good setup is most likely to be the digital source. The FR peaks of any headphone will of course give it a certain sound characteristic that may also exacerbate upstream issues. But it is the quality of the source that most likely will determine if that "characteristic" becomes a "problem". There's also the recording itself, but we can't do much about that, so no point in fretting about it.
    Liu Junyuan likes this.
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