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HiFiMan HE4XX

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by ProtegeManiac, Aug 2, 2017.
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  1. rafaelo
    I was also trying to order by them and I was also confused and finally ordered from eBay the following balanced cable which is around 40 £ and is UK hand made and is fabulous in sound quality and also very good looking. IMG_20180718_194505399.jpg

    I am using this cable in balanced mode with my es100 and the sound quality I am getting defies both the law of physics and economics. I am also using this same cable in unbalanced mode with the following adapter with my little bear b4 tube portable amplifier. IMG_20180718_194221866.jpg

    What I am sacrificing from the balanced mode I am getting back plenty from the burson audio opamp V5i which I reviewed recently. This opamp transforms the little bear to a potential giant killer and is driven unbalanced again from the es100. Altogether, 53 £ (little bear) + 75£ (es100)+ 40£ (opamp) + 40£ (cable) a very budget friendly package which matches the budget price of he4xx.

    I have also tested xDSD with he4xx also a fabulous sound quality but less budget friendly package. At that time though I did not have this balanced cable so I tested in unbalanced mode.

    I have also two other balanced cables from the same seller one for my HD6XX and the other for my Meze headphones, roughly same prices and also magnificent sound quality albeit different colours and all 1.5 meters long.
     
    Mavismodz and trellus like this.
  2. chimney189
    I just received my new HE-4XX pads and the difference in comfort is so immediate and satisfying!
    They now feel secure and comfortable on my head. I highly recommend replacing the stock pads.
     
  3. shwaz
    did ssome quick reading when i got mine and this is the first (only) mod i've done. the mids were overpowering before, to the point that i wanted to sell them. this seemed to tame them a bit and balance things better to my liking.
     
  4. crazywipe
    A976A93A-3C38-491A-91C5-984D0A264B9C.jpeg

    He4xx and velour pads.
    I bought them for the mounting ring, not expecting too much because of the ultra-cheap price.
    Honestly, I like this pads a lot!
    The sound is more airy, with better high frequency extension.
    They are a bit stiff, maybe they will loose some stiffness over usage time.
    Now I am more than 150 hours with my 4xx, the harshness is disappeared. Still a bit dipped in the upper mids, but less than out the box with stock pads.

    I suggest to try this pads.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
    KarmaPhala likes this.
  5. crazywipe
    Modding is a good thing to fine tuning the sound. When you get a good result, you can also be a bit proud of the work. :)
     
  6. hsdrggr
    Link to pads ???
     
  7. hsdrggr
    I have the same setup except I use the ES100 as a preamp into the little bear B4 with V5i-D op amp chip. After the V5i-D the HE4xx’s sounded better but not at their full potential. I find that planars just don’t quite get it done with tube amps. To much modulating distortion at medium to higher volumes and bass loses its fullness. With this setup what sounds exquisite is Philips X1 headphones, and the TRN V80 IEMs. Senn Hd650s are ok but the X1’s are better and the TRN V80’s are plain euphoric. I just received Senn HD58X Jubilees and have HiFi Boy OS V3 IEMs coming from Penaudio. So I’ll follow up with how they work with that combo later.
     
    SolaVirtus likes this.
  8. crazywipe
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
    trellus and rafaelo like this.
  9. rafaelo
    It is difficult to reach the full potential for the 4xx for any of the budget amps I tried. Even my Marantz amp cannot drive them properly but a lot of performance with the little bear and V5i Dual is lost because I am using the unbalanced output from es100 and power output fells considerably. Also, we need to keep in mind that v5i was not designed specifically for little bear.

    I do not think it is possible but I am not sure as well but it would be great if with some appropriate adapters to be able to use es100 in balanced mode in order to take the extra power needed and with a special converter cable use it with the little bear. In any case, this is a budget solution and not one that will exploit ever fully this demanding headphone. Even xDSD is going close to red in order to drive 4xx.
     
  10. bagwell359
    The Ragnarok (XLR Gain 2) drives them well, but, that's hitting a pin with a sledge. Sounds quite good on my main DAP - FiiO X3 FYI, but my peak levels are 92 db, usually in the 80's.
     
  11. shuto77
    I'm looking into pad-rolling my HE4XX. From what I've read, the ZMF Ori Cowhides are quite good. I've read some people don't like the MrSpeakers Alpha Pads, but some do, and the Brainwavz pads (in all their permutations) are usually bad for sound quality but good for comfort.

    Has anyone heard any of the ZMF pads?
     
  12. hsdrggr
    I agree with all that. I use a TOPPING NX4 DSD when I use the HE4xx’s. Even though it’s single ended it’s a very sweet combination. There are also setting inside the ES100 for impedance and sensitivity matching headphones. It seems adjusting those settings sort of puts the ES100 into an overdrive mode per say. But I'm sure it will use up the battery faster. This is available only through the home panel on the Android version of their app. Not sure if ES100 holds those setting once Bluetooth with android is severed, but I think so. 6B4F1916-2903-47DA-AB86-6D1F163A8CC5.jpeg
     
    rafaelo likes this.
  13. smallcaps
    I'm using the auteur pads and overall the 4xx get more neutral. I wouldn't use any other pads with them.

    As for power, a simple SMSL SAP-II is enough to drive the 4xx to ear-bleeding volumes for me. Awesome budget combo if you already have a decent DAC.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
  14. BrotherKathos
    I've got the Dekoni fenestrated lambskin pads. Maybe a bit better bass than stock and a bit tamer in the high end, but Honestly I can't really tell much. The biggest difference is comfort. They are way way more comfortable for me.Softer pad and smooth lambskin vs the scratchy stock velour. Great pads and quick shipping from massdrop on them as well.
     
  15. rafaelo
    Great tip thank you, I will try to experiment at some point with these settings.

    Another thing that I would like to share from my experience is that the cable that I am using from my es100 to little bear matters and does not need to be expensive at all. I am using one from Amazon that is costing 3.5£. only problem is 1M I could not find shorter. A 30cm 7£ I got also from Amazon is not so good and the very short included one - at least my version - is not so good. From that change alone I got an nice improvement for only 3.5£.

    I am sure that there many other good budget propositions out there someone need to have them all for a proper comparison. But es100 with a good balanced cable is such a surprising good combination and with a price/portability combination very difficult to be beat. But there might be other excellent options out there that I do not know. And all this using only apt-x from my phone. Not LDAC or aptx-HD so still a suboptimal set up.

    Finally, I agree with a lot of you, I also believe break in (mental or otherwise) is important for this headphone and makes a noticeable difference.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
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