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HiFiMan HE4XX

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by ProtegeManiac, Aug 2, 2017.
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  1. crazywipe
    IMG_6688.jpg

    I got the Hifiman 4xx one week ago, here my thoughts and some comparison against the Sennheiser hd600:

    • Build quality: Good. I got some minor imperfection on the plastic headband part (where the Hifiman logo is) basically I can see some yellow glue on the right side (on the left side is not present) and the plastic part is not perfectly attached on the headband. For now, it's not an issue. I hope it will not detach in the future.
    • Comfort: Excellent. They are heavier than my Sennheiser hd600 and equally comfortable. The earpads are very plush, like pillows. Headband makes a good work to distribute the weight. I got other headphones with less weight and much less comfortable than the 4xx. Massdrop and Hifiman did a great job on this part.
    • Power Requirements: Not hungry beast. They are very well driven by my Audioquest Dragonfly Red (2,1V Output) and they got the same volume as my hd600. I can even drive them with my MacBook Air headphone out, not the best pairing of course. I will say even a basic dac/amp can drive them with good results. Another good point.
    • Sound Quality: Amazing for the price. I am still burning-in (about 50 hours now) But they sound as good as my Sennheiser hd600, and they beat them in some areas. Bass is full and extended and more visceral on the 4xx. Easy win here for the planar driver. Also, there is no mid-bass hump, so the transition between bass and midrange is more linear. Midrange and vocal performance are nice on the 4xx, but nicer on the hd600 that got a very special midrange with some upper-mids emphasis, vocals and guitars cut in the mix. The 4xx has a more safe approach, upper mids are more controlled and pushed a bit down. Compared to hd600 the 4xx can sound a bit muffled in the presence region, but honestly, I will not call the 4xx a muffled headphone, it's very clear sounding just missing some decibel or two of presence, where the hd600 is a bit too forward. Treble is smooth and controlled on the hd600, a bit more forward sounding on the 4xx. Very resolving on both headphone, maybe the 4xx just a bit more. Soundstage and instrument separation is where the 4xx easily outclass the hd600. The sound is more wide and open on the 4xx, big difference. The background is blacker with the 4xx planar driver and you can pinpoint instruments easily. The hd600 sounds more intimate, like switching from a bigger room to a small one. Instruments are closer to each other and sometimes a bit more confused sounding. Both headphones are tuned very well and they sound close to what I consider neutral/natural sound. The difference: 4xx has more low-bass and upper-treble emphasis, the hd600 more mid-bass and upper-mids/low-treble emphasis.
    I am pretty impressed by the 4xx. I was looking for my first planar and the 4xx deliver. I think the musical presentation is better on the 4xx. The combination of big soundstage, black background and instrument separation is very easy to like. WOW factor is here. I'll never sell the hd600, for that midrange I love. Vocals and rock guitars really cuts, an absolutely classic headphone.
    EDM, Dubstep, Electronica the 4xx has the edge. Rock/Metal is a draw, The 4xx has better speed and better impact, the hd600 better guitar tone. Acoustic music is better on the hd600, 4xx is very good too. Overall... It's somewhat a draw.

    Hope it helps!
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
    J The Killer and trellus like this.
  2. crazywipe
    Hey Guys, Do you think I can take off the cloth from the back of the grill? Some improvements on the sound?
     
  3. crazywipe
    0.jpg

    Nevermind guys, I did the mod :D

    It seems to be easily reversible. From first listen, the midrange seems to breathe more with slightly better presence.
    They look amazing!
     
    shwaz, trellus and displayname like this.
  4. turbomustang84
    well I got my HE-4XX today and I've only listened to it for around 15 minutes because grandkids are visiting.

    The only Headphone i have that is comparable would be my HD-600 and the Bass is a bit worse but.the highs are great.
    I must say compared to my newest Headphones like the HD-6XX and even the HD-58X Jubilees these are a bit out classed but when listening to tracks with less Bass and more emphasis on highs these sound incredible and I've not even given them a fair chance yet but I'm already glad I got them and the earpads are great as is the stock cable but I will buy a venture cable when massdop drops them again but since this is the first planar Headphones I've bought and my only other planars were a pair of Magnepam speakers so far so good
     
    displayname likes this.
  5. displayname
    Interesting so many find them lacking in bass. I just don't have that impression at all. But I haven't done extensive listening with a large range of options, but I am very comfortable with the bass impact these provide. In any case, solid review! If you're looking for a new cable sooner than later, Massdrop has Cardas cables active right now. I don't know if those run more or less than Venture cables, but I do know cardas is top notch! https://www.massdrop.com/buy/cardas-premium-clear-light-headphone-cables
     
  6. airil
    I'm not too sure if the cables you are talking about, Venture, and the Venture Electronics are the same but I ordered from their website, VEClan, arrived, and it is a good quality cable.
     
  7. Slashn77
    For a $179 HP I would not recommend this cable as $135 for a 1 meter cable. First off last drop was like 5 feet for $135 now it is $165 for only 1.5m cable or $195 for a 2.5m cable which is crazy for a HP in this price range IMO.
    I don’t mind the stock cable with 4XX but it is pretty short so to pay $165 for a little bit longer cable is ludicrous to me.

    Obviously I am not into aftermarket cables=Better SQ(unless you want a different length, style or material)

    Maybe spending $200 on a cable I would consider for a HP that is like $800+ for a better length.
    I recently got hd 700s and the cable is nice but crazy long at like 10 feet when for my setup 6-8’ would be much better but I would be spending almost as much as much as what I paid for the 700’s.
    I will wait for another cheaper brand to drop
     
    bobbooo, displayname and riffrafff like this.
  8. riffrafff
    Agreed. Just yesterday I priced the materials to make two 2m cables (for my HD6XX and HE4XX). About $65, total, using Mogami quad cabling and Neutrik connectors. I know which route I'll be taking. :ksc75smile:
     
    displayname likes this.
  9. turbomustang84
    I would still give the edge to the 600 but after a bit more listening I will say what the 4XX does well it does very well .
    and they really make me wonder about the higher end models.
    oh and these are worth keeping just because how well they play the Smashing Pumpkins and pixies
     
    BrokeSkoolBoi and displayname like this.
  10. hsdrggr
    Slashn77, I agree with you 100%. I build headphone cables for myself and friends since I have the time, equipment and skill set. I'm retired and my father was a military Avionics Tech so when I was growing up he spent a lot of time teaching me a ton about working on electronics. IMO silver plated wire is a waste of money especially for portable usage. If anything it may accentuate high frequencies and in my experience most headphones already push the limits in the uppers and really need to be calmed down to be enjoyable anyway. Then there is OFC, OCC, monocrystaline, and polycrystaline copper wire and IMO there isn't much difference when listening through most headphones with short lengths and listening through the type of equipment most of us use day to day. I like to use Mogami 2893 mini starquad OFC copper cable because it is extremely flexible, durable, has low microphonics, has a nice feel, has good RFI copper shielding and is easy to get. It runs about $1 a foot. 2.5mm and 3.5mm TRS and TRRS ends run about $2-$3 each. Good quality Sennheiser headphone plugs are the highest cost, around $15 a pair. I like to use Rean Tiny XLR 4-pole connectors on all my cables so the cable can be instantly switched to any type of single-end or balanced-end you want; they run $2.50 for the female or male end respectively. So doing the math you can see that the headphone cable manufacturers are doing pretty well. Most of the cost is labor, especially if its hand soldered and assembled. You can literally spend hours of time in making a single cable set. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  11. crazywipe
    Pumpkins fan here too :D
    I just talk to a friend that is a long time he6 owner, and he just buys the Susvara two weeks ago. He said that burn-in is very important with Hifiman, 150 hours before makes any judgement. Even the Susvara was not amazing out of the box like the one he tried in the shop.
    The only real drawback for me against the hd600 is the 4xx bit muffled vocals and the slightly dry sound. I hope the midrange will clear with burn-in. I'll try a pad change after, also a re-cable.

    The he500 should have that midrange and richer sound (like the Senns 6xx), this is another option to look for.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
    turbomustang84 and Sonnycz like this.
  12. turbomustang84
    I have every one of the sennheiser 6 series except the 660 and what's funny is the 650 dropped to #2 on the list after the new 58x jubilees which are incredible and a complete surprise but I'm now about 15 hours in on the 4xx but after listening to some Dinosaur JR Las night I already do not want to not have these in my collection.
    my favorite band tool still sound best on the HD-650s the 4XX just loses a bit too much Danny Careys Drum impact
     
    displayname likes this.
  13. crazywipe
    Can you give some comparison against the he500? It will be great!
     
    displayname likes this.
  14. 36aMAN
  15. 36aMAN
    what is this modd ? what did you did ?

    and can you put it back to original he4xx ?
     
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