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Definitely looking forward to hearing this, and seeing what people come up with in terms of mods.
Doubt it uses the same drivers. Probably a thinner diaphragm design.
Also why not use the original headband setup like the did on the 4XX?
Ugh, I don't like the smell of this...
So they're bringing back the HE6.
I can't speak for anyone else, but suspension headbands are the only ones I find comfortable at all. I'm really glad they're going with this design and I'm 99% likely going to buy the 6SE where I wouldn't even consider the original HE6 or 4XX specifically because of those headbands.
Most suspension headbands are fine, but have you tried this specific design? They have no horizontal hing on the yoke which can make them quite uncomfortable to fit for some people. They already had a debacle with the 560v2 headbands and are replacing them all.
And as far as the original Hifiman headband design, I've always found it quite comfortable myself. Perhaps I'm just lucky with the size/shape of my head. Also the 4XX's were a bit higher quality than the original HE lineup headbands.
These are going to retail for 1800, so quite a bit more than the original MSRP.
Hifiman seems to think they will only make 700 units of the new version, but there has been no official announcement so far.
For me a suspension headband is required at this weight. Even headphones being almost 50% the weight of the HE6SE cause hot spots on my head after a while.
I never had any issue with the original HE-6 headband and weight. I've listened for hours and no problem at all.
I guess my head shape is a bit weird. Seriously I can't use any non-suspension band headphone. Even ones which have large consensus about being the most comfortable headphone ever (like the HD800).
I suspect this is the same driver and same everything, just new headband and pads and connectors. I don't think the HE-6 is worth $1,299 anymore let alone $1,799. I'm guessing the Focal Clear tops it in every way except sound stage. And aside from imaging, a Stax SR-007 (which can be had used for $1,100 - $1,300 nowadays) and a capable amp and DAC does really mean things to an HE-6.
Much thinner diaphragms and neodymium magnets go long ways for improving planar magnetic headphones and I assume the HE-6se has neither. One thing HiFiMan should've done with this is use less restrictive grills and dust filtering material, and implement some felt dampening material or similar like the fuzzor mod. And what they should not have done was raise the MSRP for no good reason.
As for comfort, I too had no issues with the original HE-6 but a suspension headband (barring critical design flaws and assuming the adjustment range is at least the same) is just outright superior in every way for everyone.
With my setup I prefer my HE-6 over my 007Mk1 on Mjolnir KGST
I was thinking of the real top of the line, the SR-007 benefits a lot from going beyond the KGST.
I've listened to 007 on a BHSE. Its weakness is it can be polite specially at the top. In the bass the HE-6 tops it. That's why the 009 beats the 007.
The problem with Stax is once you're heavily into it you're stuck. Planar magnetics is still evolving. And one doesn't need a T2, BHSE, Megatron, GG, ...
I definitely agree about the SR-009. I always found the bass of the HE-6 to be extremely overrated personally. When properly amped it's not bad, but noticeably worse and weaker than ZMF, Audeze, and the SR-007/SR-009 (though if I'm using an R2R DAC or any lower end DAC then HE-6 bass is not weaker/softer than the Stax, it's so system dependent).
Electrostats are still evolving too. MrSpeakers has thankfully entered the mix. But yeah they require expensive proprietary amps that are useless anywhere else in the audio chain. That was actually part of the reason why I sold my SR-007 setup, but then I found all planar magnetics and dynamics to be way too far behind, they'll never catch up to electrostats I think due to inherent technological weaknesses. I don't foresee any amount of evolution bringing a non-electrostat up to a properly driven SR-009, but indeed getting the SR-009 to that level is not just expensive but annoying (I'm personally annoyed by my SR-009 journey right now lol).
I briefly compared my 007Mk1 with Mr. Speaker's ES on a BHSE in Colorado last year, and I thought they were very similar. Not an evolution. There are speaker companies making planar magnetic drivers, like Wisdom Audio, even doing some R&D. I'm sure they can make headphones too if they want to. Frankly, these should not be this expensive.