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Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by ProtegeManiac, Aug 2, 2017.
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  1. gfabbri
    Do you all think that the X7 mk II could effectively drive these with the stock AM3 amp, or would one need the extra power of the AM5, or are they really not portable-appropriate?

    Looking at these as an iem alternative.
  2. bagwell359
    The Cayin N3 just sees to have just enough for casual listening, but nothing punishing. My X-3 easily juices them, but still not with full authority. Of course the Ragnarok drives them - but that can drive Audezes no problem so that's not really fair. It does sound good on the X-3 though and that surprised me a bit. X3 is pretty forgiving because that's the only way I can listen to the Fostex FH-X00, which the Ragnarok throws all the things I don't like about them in your face.
  3. philk34
    It sems right on my DX200, but only with AMP3. High gain and 80-100 on 150.
  4. DivineCurrent
    Hopefully it's fine if I post my impressions here. I'm assuming there isn't a dedicated HE-4XX impressions thread.
    Just got them today, after a few hours of listening I think I can accurately describe their sound.

    I have the HD-650 to compare on hand. I don't know why people think the 4XX have no bass. There is plenty of bass here, just not basshead amount. Yes, less than the 650, but not THAT much less. Also, they extend down to sub bass better than HD650, not surprisingly since it's a planar. Test tones respond all the way down to 25hz.

    Mids, are slightly laid back. Just enough to give some distance to the sound. Not too much different than the HD650 actually, but a little less. There's a dip at 2khz that contributes to a wider soundstage than the 650 (not necessarily "better" soundstage, just wider and open). Things are easier to pinpoint, and details are more there. There is a greater sense of space and openness with the 4XX compared to the 650. Also, these have zero isolation, and while both the 650 and 4XX are open, the 4XX is even MORE open. You can hear everything going on around you, and they leak a lot more than the HD650. Not a bad thing for open headphones just something to note.

    Highs are the greatest difference comparing the two. 4XX's have clearer (slightly peakier) highs. You can hear a lot more detail, but it is definitely not in your face. Beyerdynamic DT880's were in your face when I had them, but I really think these are better than any Beyer I've tried. The treble is still smooth, not as smooth as the 650. 650s have smoother more realistic highs in my opinion.

    From my memory, the HE-400i and these 4XX's are essentially the same sound signature. I thought there was more bass and treble in the 400i, but probably not since I'm relying on my memory having them more than a year ago. What I do remember clearly however was the comfort. HE-4XX comfort is a lot better than the HE-400i, even with the old style headband. I prefer the old style headband. There is less clamping force than the 400i, and the build quality is very good. There are more high quality metal parts, and the grills don't rattle or rotate like they did with my 400i.

    I was actually expecting the 4XX to be much more peaky and uneven than the HD650, but surprisingly they have a somewhat similar sound. I do recommend EQ to get the best out of them. I like giving them a slight bass hump (2 dB) at 125 hz, and I cut the treble down 4 dB at 7-9 kHz. Perhaps raising 2 Khz a bit will make the mids more neutral, but I like where it is normally.

    Overall, awesome headphones, a steal for $169. I would get them over the HE-400i because of the higher quality headband and materials, and of course price.
    Philimon, trellus, jaco61 and 3 others like this.
  5. bagwell359
    Not familiar w/ your equipment, can you set the EQ in your bass lower than 125 Hz? I think at that setting and frequency you mention the HE's might have too much upper bass.

    You are right about the general curves being similar, if I handicapped the output, I'd say the HD650 is +2 in the bass, -1.25 in the mids and -1.0 in the tweeter compared to the HE. Subtle on paper but over time w/o EQ I always end up rejecting the 650. Still happy with my burned in HE's, in another 10 days or so they'll be balanced, and we'll see what that does - expect more control and speed in the bass along with some uncovered low bass.
  6. DivineCurrent
    The 125 hz bass EQ is personal preference really. I'm just used to the slight upper bass hump in the HD650. It gives it a fuller tone, but just enough to not overdo it. I'm trying out raising 75-100 hz right now, there is more impact with bass heavy music. Clean low distortion sub bass is where planars really shine over dynamics.
    I still prefer the HD650 for general use, as it's more comfortable and more neutral in the mids and treble. But the 4XX brings out that missed detail you can't hear with the 650, and it's wider soundstage. HD650 is a more focused but smaller soundstage.
    trellus likes this.
  7. jdoo
    I felt the soundstage was better on the 6xx and upper range as well with better mids and bass on the 4xx. I have a few days of burn in on the 4xx now and there isn't the congestion I felt at first from them and the soundstage opened up I think with the improved response. They definitely improve with burn in. They are right about where I was hoping them to be in sound.
  8. s2kPanda
    Just got my HE-4XX in today and listening to them right now. People weren't lying when they said these lack bass impact. It's subjective but these headphones definitely lack the sub-bass and mid-bass extension bass-heads like. It's just a very clean real bass sound being reproduced. No unnecessary slams or muddying of the mids and highs. Really amazing clarity for the price point, I'd take these for clarity and soundstage over the m1060s.
  9. John Q Lin
    I own the he500, I'm really impressed by the HE4XX
    crazywipe and trellus like this.
  10. RockaRolla
    Received my HE-4XX today, gotta say fresh out of box, the sound is pretty impressive already:o2smile:
  11. mtmercer
    I spend some time last night seeing how the HE4XX sounded for watching movies. I watched a few scenes from Rogue One via Netflix. I have to say the HE4XX sounded really good for movies. Soundstage was nice and open. Dialogue was crystal clear. The bass is slightly less that I would consider optimal. This will likely replace my HD598 was my go to movie watching headphone for my PC.

    The comfort is 1 area where I will have to evaluate. My current thoughts is that comfort is acceptable but my other HPs (HD598, HD650, & Aeon Flow Open) are more comfortable. I also have the Oppo PM-3s but I will be selling those and I have gotten to used to the larger earcup headphones.

    My HE4XX was being driven by my AGD NFB 28.38.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
    natto likes this.
  12. wwmhf
    I also think HEXxx can mate with AGD NFB 28.38 well.
  13. coolhandlukeboy
    I too was unimpressed with the bass slam that I was expecting here. I have my 6xx ordered and I guess it will be until Spring when I receive them. Honestly I need that much time to earn money for an amp.

    I am not disappointed with the headphones, though. The bass is very clear and it does extend down. The mids are more recessed than I am used to, but I think I'm actually liking that now...Highs were a bit sibilant at first and was a tad harsh at times... this is mellowing out. I guess burn in really is a thing!

    I did equalize it a bit, but I do that for every headphone I own. My only grief is that I hear distortion at times. Interestingly, I put on my AD900x to check and a lot of it is in the source, because I can also hear it on improper audio source... the 4xx just makes it more apparent. Still getting used to it, but it's not that bothersome.

    Gaming, I freaking love these. The bass doesn't muddle my mids. The positional audio is superb as well. For movies, they are really very nice for many of the same reasons. Actually I love their clarity and layering. These are going to be my go to gaming and movie headphones.

    Comfort, I also love these. I have a large head, but mine is wide. If you have a tall head, I could see these being less comfortable. I also have a lot of problems with my TMJ muscles and I wear glasses. These aggravate me less than my Audio Technica AD700x and AD900x with their superb wing construction (and I'm talking the old AD700x purple/gold edition where there was less clamping for large melons like mine!). For me, this is saying something because I wake up with a headache if I sleep the wrong way. For whatever reason, these are super comfy.
    trellus likes this.
  14. Petri
    Just got mine tonight and am now listening to them for the first time. So far so good, they have more bass than I was expecting after reading the initial comments. They are not basshead cans by any stretch, but I don't feel like I am missing anything while listening to techno (real techno, not the generic term for electronic music). I did a quick A/B with my Beyer DT990 Pro and I feel like the HD4XX has more bottom end but it's close.
  15. squee116
    Impressions from my first outings:
    1) Power
    The efficiency of the cans sits something like 400s<HE4xx<400i in terms of power requirements. Running the HE4xx side-by-side with the 400i on my Lake People G103 seems to require an 1/8 rotation of the volume knob on the 4xx to reach volume parity with the 400i, while the 400s needs about 1/8 to 1/4 rotation less power than the 4xx.

    2)Sound Sig
    The first obvious results are a boomier bass (that seems to slightly bleed into mids) than either 400i or 400s, and more recessed vocals, by a good couple of steps. Not to say the 400i and 400s have less, just that it's more controlled, and thus less pronounced. This actually kind of saddens me, as I felt like vocals were top notch on the 400 series for the money.
    the sound stage does sound a mite bigger on the 4xx. The microdetails are definitely more pronounced on the 400i and 400s, and the there's just a slight "obstruction" for the highs that makes it sound just the tiniest bit artificial and veiled. In terms of genre, these likely pair up better with instrumental music, or something where vocals are low key. Classical is surprisingly pleasant. French horns are present, but a bit muted, but most of the other instruments are pretty solid, strings are rocking. I just don't get the impact or intimacy that makes rock and punk so engaging that I normally get out of the 400x brethren. Metal fares a little better. Surprisingly, hip hop is alright.

    I haven't had a chance to test this on my gaming rig, as finals are in full swing, so I can't speak to its imaging accuracy, or amp pairings. Currently, all impressions are from Modi 2U -> LP G103 -> 4XX. I'll run them through a Bimby->V200 and Bimby->MAC 1900 later to see if more power, and darker amp make much difference.

    I was actually really hesitant about the switch in headband, since I got in on Hifiman with the 400i, and 560, and only had experience with that headband, and had no issues with it. The new headband is comfortable, and the cables don't provide microphonic issues, which is a nice step up.

    Overall, for the msrp, they sound damn good. I'm surprised they're pushing my g103 as hard as they are though. I think these would probably pair best with a brighter amp with more power.

    As far as Massdrop specials go, I've got the TH-x00, T-x0, HE4xx, Noble X, and HD6XX.
    If I had to rank them on pure performance, to my tastes, It'd probably look like HD6XX, THx00, HE4xx, Tx0, Noble X.
    If value entered the equation though... HD6xx, HE4xx, Tx0, THX00, Noble X*.

    The real difference between the HD6xx and HE4xx is a large matter of taste. The 4xx has more pronounced (meaning apparent) bass, and a different sound presentation. I'm usually more interested in microdetails and vocals, and the 6xx handles those things with aplomb for the money. The 6xx may have more extension in the bass, but I'm definitely getting the same impact from both, perhaps because the mids and highs are more present, its harder to volume match bass. There's a constant battle as to whether I want to wear the 400i or the HD6xx any given day, and that's with the HD800 and Ether's sitting in the background.

    In terms of the the 400s, I still prefer the 400i and 400s, and if you can get those on sale, I'd highly recommend them. If you prefer soundstage to vocals, and a bit of boom to your bass instead of control, maybe the 4xx's are for you.

    *It should be noted I'm just not into the Noble X's sound sig, as I'm a vocals man, and they're just too recessed for me, but the sound stage is killer for IEMs. Tradeoffs.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
    Arthur Li and trellus like this.
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