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HiFiMan HE4XX

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by ProtegeManiac, Aug 2, 2017.
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  1. kejar31
    not going to lie.... I feel like I cheated someone with these... After modding these headphones are way way better than they have a right to be at thier price point.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
    Peccz likes this.
  2. Peccz
    Looks great! The grill mod and perf pads really nails the look of these phones, and almost the sound as well apparently. ^_^
    About the lower mids, are they diminished compared to the other setups or just the least good part?

    I think the mounting rings from Hifiman will arrive today, but the pads haven't left the US yet according to the tracking...
     
  3. kejar31
    I wouldnt call the lower mids diminished its more like they are bumped up a bit (along with the bass) its not bad or anything I just feel like that bottom half of the feq has a hump of sorts. I am still on the fence as to which pads I prefer as the perf pads plus foam mod gives a good amount of air and soundstage to the sound on top of the bass bost. I might try doing the foam mod with just one ring today if I have time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  4. kejar31
    Humm, swapped out the two ring foam setup for 1 foam ring in each pad.. I think this fixes the low mid bass issues without effecting anything else (besides a little less bass on the bottom end as well but this was a minimal change)
     
  5. Peccz
    Cool, I really want my new pads!
    There is a lot of modern music my ears can't stand on the 4XX as it is now, I accidentally compared them to the HD-650... Some albums are awesome, like Alicia Keys - Unplugged, Eric Clapton - Unplugged and Bob Marley - Legend. Some David Bowie slipped in there as well, after the successful SpaceX/Tesla joint venture yesterday, both the launch and Bowie sound is amazing. ^_^
    New pop music with a slightly hot treble though is fatiguing, harsh and boring...
    However, there might be some confirmation bias in combination with anticipation at play here, since it got worse after ordering the new pads...
     
  6. kejar31
    Did you do the grill mod?
     
  7. Peccz
    Yepp, and I think it did a big difference. There was some resonance around 10 kHz which was reduced a lot, the sound stage got wider and it might have improved congestion in the treble when a lot is going on at the same time. But they still feel harsh on many modern albums, such as Briefly Shaking with Anja Garbarek, which I haven't heard before.
    But, as I said, I'm comparing to HD-650...

    Edit:
    I think they "relax" and sound more "pleasant" with if I swap my O2+ODAC to my HRT Microstreamer. Is the O2 and the Hifimans a bad match?
    I have to do some more testing to be sure, but I might just need an amp upgrade! :D

    Edit 2:
    After som A+B testing, the amps seem to make a difference. The O2+ODAC drive the phones better, which means tighter fuller bass, better separation and layering, and shriller treble. The difference is small, I think the grill mod made a bigger difference and guess the new pads will make a bigger difference too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  8. Beau Cauchemar
    Happy to hear that these perf Ori pads are getting similar results with other ears. Kejar, I can hear what you mean in terms of the slightly elevated mid-bass although I didn't give it much notice until your comment since I feel like it keeps the neutrality with just the right amount of heft. I actually was also on the fence between the perfs and non-perfs at first as well, but the back to back comparisons cleared that up for me entirely enough that I would return the non-perfs if I could. Give it some time/comparing.

    And you're right, these cans with this mod combo punch wayyyy beyond their weight. I would love to compare them to the Aeon Flow Opens or the Massdrop x Focal Elex at this point for best open cans under $1000. To my ears, they've already beaten the 400i, 560i, LCD2, HD650, and Elear for most genres in terms of total satisfaction and surprising amounts of pleasure.

    P.S. -

    I left my XDP-100R at work yesterday and decided to dust off my DX50 for a listen and have to say that source is more of a factor with the 4XX than I expected. There was definitely more sibilence with the iBasso and it really had me wanting my 100R back in all honesty. Something to keep in mind with these cans: have a quality, neutral source.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  9. heliosphann
    I quite like the Eikon pads with the 4xx. If I get around to it, I'll try and compare them to the Ori's and Ori perforated pads.
     
  10. bullbuchanan
    What's the foam material that folks are using?

    I would say every mod I've done on these so far has been a side-grade from stock, at best.

    Original Focus-a pads with Dust filter on : Best overall sound. Lots of Bass impact, a decent amount of air and a near perfect amount of mid range drive to music. Uncomfortable after an hour or s

    Original Focus-a pads with Dust Filter OFF: More air is introduced, but I feel like the sound loses all of it's drive/energy. I'm thinking the filter plays a role in keeping the sound focused. Drum heads don't seem to have the same snap they used to, and a strong baritone singer doesn't give me that shiver anymore. Just sounds too relaxed.

    ZMF Ori Lambskin with Dust Filter on: More bass volume and impact, mid/highs became a bit shrill. Very intimate/near sound

    ZMF Ori Lambskin with Dust Filter OFF: a little less bass volume, Mids/highs cleaned up - crisp and defined without being harsh. Quite a bit more air and takes a few steps back form the band. Overall improved setup.

    ZMF Ori Perforated Lambskin with Dust Filter OFF: less bass volume and impact. Bass almost sounds sloppy compared to the non-perforated pads. Sounds simultaneously more airy but also with less separation. most instruments sound pretty homogeneously mixed together except the things on the edge of the soundstage. I hear a veil with these over the non-perforated. Everything generally sounds warmer with less detail. Overall, I'm liking these less than the non-perforated.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  11. kejar31
    I am leaning towards agreeing with you on the perf pads, although I will say the foam mod does seem to correct the bass. While the foam pad also increases the soundstage and the perf pads give a vary airy presentation I think the instrument separation is being effected by it in a negative way.

    My take so far is

    1. Ori pads with grill mod is probably the most controlled and best sound overall. (also the most comfy)
    2. Ori perf pads with foam mod (only one as two is too much bass) created the greatest sense of air and filed of depth and width to the soundstage but fuzzy's up the instrument separation.
     
  12. bullbuchanan
    What foam did you use? Do you think different materials in that part of the pad would have different acoustic properties?
     
  13. kejar31
    Same stuff Beau Cauchemar used in this post

    Was able to pick it up at Hobby Lobby.
     
  14. bullbuchanan
    Ok, just did the foam setup. Hobby Lobby only had 0.45 cm thickness so I used one layer of that.

    How does it sound? Well, awesome. It sounds awesome. I was extremely skeptical this would have any effect at all, let alone one this significant.

    However, I have to pretty strongly disagree with Beau's sound signature description with this mod. I find this to be a detail/clarity mod. Air is further increased, and I actually hear a perceptible soundstage width and depth improvement. To my ears, removing the grill filter only increased air, but not so much soundstage. The upper midrange just grazes under a level of discomfort during peaks, which I think gets the most out of it.

    As far as bass goes, I find this mod actually decreases volume, though definition is probably doubled. I feel like I can hear the bass drum being struck like I was there, but I don't feel it as much. For the music I listen to, this is a more than acceptable tradeoff.

    I'm also noticing the clamp pressure on my jaw increases quite a bit with this mod, so I'm going to have to do something about that eventually.
     
  15. kejar31
    Hummmmmm now you are making me want to try .45 cm foam.. my drop by tomorrow and give it a try.
     
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