Hifiman HE400se
May 9, 2021 at 1:41 AM Post #256 of 306

samandhi

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Just bought a pair about a week ago and have been listening to them ever since. I absolutely love these headphones. They wouldn't be my first choice for modern music (for that I have a pair of X2HRs) but for jazz, classical, and some classic rock they are beyond my expectations. Can't go wrong for $150. Although, I like many others despise the ever living crap out of the included cable. Thankfully my Hart Audio cables are on their way to replace it. Now I just need to start looking in to a balanced amp to really drive these even more.
Just get a Fiio K5 Pro for just 150$ or maybe for even cheaper. I know it is not balanced, but even in unbalanced mode it pushes out 1.5W into 32ohm!!! It drives my HE 400i 2020's perfectly
Or, if you are looking for a all-in-one solution honestly any of the newer mid-tier DAPs are fantastic also. Most of the better ones (around $200-$400(ish)) are pushing 1W or better. I have the DX160 and I am absolutely loving it. Not being pinned to my (insert type of furniture here) has been great. Just my 2¢!
 
May 9, 2021 at 2:05 AM Post #257 of 306

toastloop

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Just get a Fiio K5 Pro for just 150$ or maybe for even cheaper. I know it is not balanced, but even in unbalanced mode it pushes out 1.5W into 32ohm!!! It drives my HE 400i 2020's perfectly
Right now I'm using the SMSL M500 DAC/Amp to power them and it works great, but I know if I get something like an SH-9 (3watts into 32 ohms) or a Topping A50 (2.8 watts into 32 ohms) and use them over balanced it could provide even more juice to make them sound better. Plus I've had hit or miss QA issues with Fiio in the past.
 
May 9, 2021 at 2:10 AM Post #258 of 306

Cricket4life247

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Right now I'm using the SMSL M500 DAC/Amp to power them and it works great, but I know if I get something like an SH-9 (3watts into 32 ohms) or a Topping A50 (2.8 watts into 32 ohms) and use them over balanced it could provide even more juice to make them sound better. Plus I've had hit or miss QA issues with Fiio in the past.
It is your choice at the end of the day👍
 
May 9, 2021 at 2:44 AM Post #259 of 306

samandhi

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Right now I'm using the SMSL M500 DAC/Amp to power them and it works great, but I know if I get something like an SH-9 (3watts into 32 ohms) or a Topping A50 (2.8 watts into 32 ohms) and use them over balanced it could provide even more juice to make them sound better. Plus I've had hit or miss QA issues with Fiio in the past.
To be honest, I am not sure you need that much juice. I don't own the HE400SE, but DO own the HE400S and they don't really scale that well. If you had some HD800s or something like that then I would say heck yeah, but these are pretty easy to drive, and really only need a little bit more juice because they are planars. Having right around 1W is really the sweet spot to "wake them up" IMO. But as was mentioned, it is what makes you happy in the end. :)
 
May 10, 2021 at 6:23 PM Post #260 of 306

vormhat

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To be honest, I am not sure you need that much juice. I don't own the HE400SE, but DO own the HE400S and they don't really scale that well. If you had some HD800s or something like that then I would say heck yeah, but these are pretty easy to drive, and really only need a little bit more juice because they are planars. Having right around 1W is really the sweet spot to "wake them up" IMO. But as was mentioned, it is what makes you happy in the end. :)
Really, even 1w into 32ohm is plenty for 99% of cans. Unless you're talking HE-6 or the an exotic like the AKG K1000, most headphone amps are near overkill these days. We are blessed with tons of clean power options nowadays.
 
May 13, 2021 at 6:10 PM Post #261 of 306

theangelboy

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So this is interesting. I saw that Drop.com just released a new HIFIMAN headphone, the HE-X4. What's interesting about it, is that it appears to have the exact same driver as the HE400se International Version (no "Stealth Magnets") and according to a review that did a direct listening comparison and measurements of the Stealth 400se and the X4, those rounded magnets don't make any audible (or measurable) difference in this design, at least. The real kicker (to me, at least) is that the X4 is ~$20 cheaper than the current going price for the 400se here in the USA. Sure, you can get a 400se for $100 on Taobao, but unless you live in China, by the time you pay the freight forwarding cost it's almost certainly going to be north of the X4's price.

I was tempted with the 400se but I'm now even more tempted to pick up an X4 and just mod the heck out of it and see if there is any room for improvement.
 
May 13, 2021 at 6:41 PM Post #262 of 306

samandhi

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So this is interesting. I saw that Drop.com just released a new HIFIMAN headphone, the HE-X4. What's interesting about it, is that it appears to have the exact same driver as the HE400se International Version (no "Stealth Magnets") and according to a review that did a direct listening comparison and measurements of the Stealth 400se and the X4, those rounded magnets don't make any audible (or measurable) difference in this design, at least. The real kicker (to me, at least) is that the X4 is ~$20 cheaper than the current going price for the 400se here in the USA. Sure, you can get a 400se for $100 on Taobao, but unless you live in China, by the time you pay the freight forwarding cost it's almost certainly going to be north of the X4's price.

I was tempted with the 400se but I'm now even more tempted to pick up an X4 and just mod the heck out of it and see if there is any room for improvement.
Very interesting find. Heck at those prices, just buy them both and compare in person... :)
 
May 14, 2021 at 3:04 PM Post #263 of 306

pk4425

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So this is interesting. I saw that Drop.com just released a new HIFIMAN headphone, the HE-X4. What's interesting about it, is that it appears to have the exact same driver as the HE400se International Version (no "Stealth Magnets") and according to a review that did a direct listening comparison and measurements of the Stealth 400se and the X4, those rounded magnets don't make any audible (or measurable) difference in this design, at least. The real kicker (to me, at least) is that the X4 is ~$20 cheaper than the current going price for the 400se here in the USA. Sure, you can get a 400se for $100 on Taobao, but unless you live in China, by the time you pay the freight forwarding cost it's almost certainly going to be north of the X4's price.

I was tempted with the 400se but I'm now even more tempted to pick up an X4 and just mod the heck out of it and see if there is any room for improvement.
Not the same headband, though. There's more padding on the HE-400se. It's stiff as hell at first and needs some break-in, either through gentle kneading with fingers or use. But it looks more comfy than that thin, flimsy-looking band on the HE-X4.
 
May 14, 2021 at 3:30 PM Post #264 of 306

theangelboy

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Not the same headband, though. There's more padding on the HE-400se. It's stiff as hell at first and needs some break-in, either through gentle kneading with fingers or use. But it looks more comfy than that thin, flimsy-looking band on the HE-X4.
Very true. However, I own a 4XX, Edition XX, and HE-400 which all have very similar headbands to X4 and I find them quite comfortable for my head so that isn't an issue for me. In fact, the Edition XX's headband fits so perfectly to my head that the contact patch is literally the entire underside of the headband, which makes it one of my most comfortable headphones that I own. Also, heavy headphones don't bother me either so the increased weight of the X4 over the 400se wouldn't be a problem for me, either. But everyone's head is different so I think those are all important things to consider when choosing between them, since sonically they are basically identical.
 
May 15, 2021 at 10:46 AM Post #265 of 306

pk4425

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Very true. However, I own a 4XX, Edition XX, and HE-400 which all have very similar headbands to X4 and I find them quite comfortable for my head so that isn't an issue for me. In fact, the Edition XX's headband fits so perfectly to my head that the contact patch is literally the entire underside of the headband, which makes it one of my most comfortable headphones that I own. Also, heavy headphones don't bother me either so the increased weight of the X4 over the 400se wouldn't be a problem for me, either. But everyone's head is different so I think those are all important things to consider when choosing between them, since sonically they are basically identical.
Cool. I have a huge dome and pretty big ears, so comfort always is an issue for me with over-ear cans. Luckily, the HE-400se fit me beautifully.
 
May 15, 2021 at 12:50 PM Post #266 of 306

r31ya

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I did some testing regarding volume on the motherboard and these are the results. Note, that it's quite complicated to test because there are too many factors. Each headphone has different tuning, each song is different, so it's just an approximation to give a general idea of how loud each headphone is. I was trying to set the comfortable volume with each one. I was also checking back and forth if I didn't change the volume.

song: Jarreau Vandal, Zak Abel - Make You Love Me

660S32%
M40X (Brainwavz pads)32%
58X35%
Phantom (Brainwavz pads, no front foam, no back-cover)40%
HD60042%
K71242%
PC38X (max volume, velour pads)42%
TYGR300R60%
400i202062%
Sundara66%
Deva67%
400se80%
I found volume comparison for HD400se, its more than twice harder to drive than my ATH-m40x. I didn't buy HE4xx due to my BTR5 (audition on 3.5 jack) have hard time driving it. It seems HE400SE is also out from equation.

Tough 400i2020 might still within BTR5 driving range.
 
May 15, 2021 at 1:29 PM Post #267 of 306

samandhi

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I found volume comparison for HD400se, its more than twice harder to drive than my ATH-m40x. I didn't buy HE4xx due to my BTR5 (audition on 3.5 jack) have hard time driving it. It seems HE400SE is also out from equation.

Tough 400i2020 might still within BTR5 driving range.
It has always been my opinion that planar drivers are harder to drive (well) than is indicated by the numbers. My HE400S are not hard to drive straight from a phone, or the SE on my DX160, but they sound pretty flat. But from 4.4mm balanced, they come alive. Hell, even my Tinhifi P1 (also planars) are easy to drive according to the specs, but in reality they need more power to sound their best.

The kicker is that once you reach that plateau though, they don't just get better and better with more power. So, they don't scale as well as something like the HD700, or HD800, that just seem to keep getting better with more power.
 
May 15, 2021 at 1:40 PM Post #269 of 306

samandhi

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Can the Shanling UA1 drive the Hifiman he400se?
I would say yes, but 1.6V@32Ω(80mW@32Ω) might not be enough to get the full potential from them. Just my opinion.

It has been my experience that 800mW + is a good sweet spot for the budget Hifiman headphones. This is just a general rule of thumb that I personally follow. YMMV
 
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May 15, 2021 at 8:34 PM Post #270 of 306

r31ya

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Can the Shanling UA1 drive the Hifiman he400se?
Not sure about Shanling UA1, but HE4xxx on BTR5 (bluetooth, 3.5mm jack) didn't even make any noise until the upper half (50%+).
I need to max it, on high gain, to hear "enough" volume and it still not loud enough for me.

To be fair, later i tried on another hifiman (i forgot which, brown one), It have much better volume but still not close on how BTR5 drives my ATH-M40x.

Its really annoying as Hifiman HE400se is the sold nearly at MSRP in my country. There rest of its peers (HD6xx, HD560s, Fidelio X2HR) is marked up at 40%+ making it a bit too expensive for me.
 
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