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HiFiMan HE4XX

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by ProtegeManiac, Aug 2, 2017.
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  1. Mshenay
    That's excellent, here's to hoping things continue to roll out smoothly for you guys! Some more impressions for you guys

    Two tracks this time, I'll share them

    Loved the warmth and body on the Vocal Track, excellent energy on the hights hats as the song ends too! I'm also impressed with the clarity of each hit of the large drum, a lot of headphones in an around this price point miss it,
     
    WillBright and Beau Cauchemar like this.
  2. Beau Cauchemar
    This seems to be a common misconception, but you’re actually describing the regular Focus pads, as the Focus A pads do not have the inner perforations and therefore sound a tad less strident and feature better treble control according to a bunch of community members.
     
  3. Mshenay
    Well that's good to know, and your right! There are some third party manufacturers that sell the regular focus pads AS the A Pads :/

    Hmmm, yea the Focus A Pads [no perforation] took a little bit of the umph in the lows but also reduced that hump, there's also a tad less body in the mid range and a little more energy up top... nothing seriously game changing though

    So let's clarify then @WillBright what pads are shipping with these?
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
  4. WillBright
    The 4XX ships with Focus A pads, despite our pictures being taken with regular Focus pads. The QC units on my desk are Focus A pads.
     
    Drop Stay updated on Drop at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
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  5. DancingShade
    Sounds like everything is shaping up very positive and I'm feeling pretty glad I jumped on this drop when I first heard about it.

    Looking forward to giving them a good listen end of the year or so when they start shipping.
     
  6. joostdh
    My thoughts exactly!

    Thank you Mshenay for the impressions and WillBright for the clarifications and progress update.
     
    Mshenay likes this.
  7. Mshenay
    Listening out of my Project Ember II with a Sylvania 6sn7 1944 Tall Bottle White Label Bottom Getter [say that three times really fast lol] I'm really very impressed!!!! Another close listen and the Pico Power/Ember II do things differently, the PicoPower is blacker and helps the HE 4XX resolve a little more ambient noise, while offering a more tactile sound the sound stage though is a little more disjointed, where as the Ember II allowed for a more cohesive open sound stage without as much of the ambient detail, and a little more sweetness in the midrange with marginal losses in tactility. Both did very well with Micro Detail, and I'm again impressed at how the HE 4XX is scaling!

    Actually taking that thought a step further, I'm having a moment of clarity with NFB10ES2 & my HM 901. Neither being the last word in anything, but it would appear that the Vintage filter on my HM901 increase resolve a little but at the cost of imaging... with the HD Filter on the two sound almost identical with the 901 matching the imaging/resolve of 10ES2, swapping into Vintage how ever increases the 901's resolve but takes away from the imaging a little bit!

    Again very impressed to have had this eye opener during my time listening to the HM901 Pico Power and my NFB10ES2, I don't often listen to my portable rig with either my Eikon or my HE 4, which are my go to's for Amp/Dac Comparisons, either way the HE 4XX continues to impress me as I dig through my collection of gear!!! It's doing a spectacular job with vocals during my time with it, it's resolved almost 98% of what the HE 4 pulls from vocalists, while the HE 4 still takes the edge on various instruments and maintains resolve even on busier passages where the HE 4XX falters a little, the HE 4XX resolves vocal transients phenomenally well!
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
    joostdh and Beau Cauchemar like this.
  8. Mshenay
    Here's something odd from my Shanling M2s listening... I actually have the M2S set to Line out, as it uses a different opAmp. And frankly it sounds quite good! I'm really really impressed! I mean there's no Head Room, as even with the Line Out setting I can only get up to a calibrated 66.1 dB Pink Noise Measure, which net's me peaks right around 87.8 dBs with the Eagles Live Rendition of Hotel California from the Hell Freeze's over Album.

    Still, despite the utter lack of head room, the Line Out opAmp drives the HE 4XX REALLY well! Noticeably better transient response than with the Variable Head Amp topology their using, speaking of the variable amp, Though the tricky part is Volume Matching... I get an average of 66.1 dBs of pink noise calibration with both, but the LO setting will peak a little bit higher... by about .5 dB's so with actual music it's on average about .3 dB's louder. I typically like to do impressions within .1 dB volume matched on both pink Noise and Peak's with real music, but I don't quite have the option with the m2S's line out

    Either way, my pico power and Ember II also peak around the same .2/.3 dB higher than the M2S Variable Head Amp Loop, so I suppose in the end it's all moot. Technically if I amp the HE 4XX up to peaks of 90 dB's it sounds the best! But I've kept my impressions at an average of 87.8, with some of my amps peaking up to 88 dBs,

    Switching over to the HM 601, I can say the HM601 like the Ember II Pico Power and M2S Line Out, peaks at 88 dB's while pushing out 66.1 with pink noise, the line out of the HM 601 is colder than what the Head Amp maxs out to... which is nice actually,

    In terms of sound... WOW, I recently choose to switch over to the M2S as my primary entry level dap... and that said, the Hm 601 still impresses me. It's got better resolve than the M2s, with a smoother top end and a much HEAVIER low end. But that heaviness in the lows soften the vibrato of the big drum in the intro of this track. So while the 601 resolves better in the mids/highs it's a bit softer/diffuse in the lows... still the added weight is a fair enough trade off. The mids are also much the same, a trade off, the 601 with the HE 4XX resolves more transient information, more detail and vibrato on the trailing edge of both the vocals and the guitars with the hm601, but it lacks some of the tactility that I get from the M2S! Given how warm the HE 4XX already is, I doo prefer the more tactile presentation of it with the M2S, the added details and mid range sweetness on the 601 are nice, but not something I'll notice as much when I'm listening on the go. For an entry level portable, something I carry with me when I travel on planes or go any where that's super noisy and "hectic" I'd rather have the tactility over the marginal improvements to resolve, in a noisy environment I'm going to notice and enjoy the tactility more from the M2S than the quite details the 601 brings

    Either way, both pair nicely with the HE 4XX, which I like!

    I gave the JDS Labs EL Dac a listen with the Vali 1 and HE 4XX, I fed the EL Dac with Coax from my Shiit Etir, when Pair'd with the Vali 1 the combo brought a very heavy well resolved low end to the Planar! It was really a lot of fun! I usually stick with Hotel California when I'm evaluating how an amp/dac pair with a headphone, but I went off the rails an enjoyed some EDM with the Vali 1 Combo! It was really a lot of fun! Resolve and imaging were wider than deep with the Vali 1 EL Dac combo, and the mid range had a nice polite tactility in both the low notes and further up the neck, the vocals were beautiful too! In Terms of resolve, the EL Dac Vali 1 combo were... comparable to my HM 601, really the EL Dac and Vali 1 had all the strengths of each of the portables I compared it to! I still want to pair the EL Dac with my Pico Power and see how the Dac/HE 4XX scale with a better amp
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
  9. Mshenay
  10. Beau Cauchemar
    Wow. Very thorough workup! Thanks for all your time on this as I've been getting more and more excited for their arrival.

    Out of curiosity, do you plan on doing any mods or pad swaps with these? I had a custom silver-plated copper cable made (which being 2.5mm I can also reuse), a pair of ZMF Ori lambskin pads, and have the material ready to do the much-lauded Hifiman grill mod. From the sound of it on another forum, their real power seems to unlock after a bit of he6/he400/etc mods and in particular, the ZMF pads vs the stock Focus As. Might want to look into it considering how much you already enjoy these cans. I'll be sure to post some notes on my results of this experiment.
     
  11. Mshenay
    Sadly the pair I had were not mine, but let us know what benefits you found from modding! I also ran through a modding thread else where and it does seem like a great way to extend their potential
     
  12. joostdh
    I just received my shipping notice so nice to see Massdrop were able to deliver earlier than originally planned. I’m in Europe so it might take some time yet to arrive but I am looking forward to them!
     
    felix3650 and Mshenay like this.
  13. felix3650
    Please post your impression once you get to know them :)
     
  14. jaywillin
    fedex has my 4xx, and i have a tracking number that it should arrive on the 30th :smile:
     
  15. RoMee Contributor
    Anyone know how this compare to the Audeze EL-8?
     
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