Hifiman HE6-SE
Jan 9, 2021 at 9:24 AM Post #1,051 of 1,667

wormsdriver

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Just a heads up, I posted this also on the deals thread:

"Adorama has some open box and a couple of used in excellent condition Hifiman He6se V2. Price is $639 and $589 respectively.

It's worth double checking what exactly the warranty is given Hifiman's track record. I know used only carries a 90 day warranty, I'm not sure what the open box ones fall under as far as warranty goes.

I put the used $589 ones in my cart and the total came out to almost $650 (with taxes and cheapest shipping option) so I'm not sure if it's worth it over the sale price of brand new ones.

BTW, they're also listed on eBay if you have eBay bucks, etc."
 
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Jan 9, 2021 at 6:09 PM Post #1,052 of 1,667

KCXT

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I'm still in my ear-adjustment period for the sound (so far, quite good...) but I'm finding the comfort/fit a bit disappointing. Clamp is light and I'm just beyond 5 clicks of extension on each side, so all the weight is just sort of resting on a 1.5-2" contact point in the middle of by head. Might just be that my dome is a bit more narrow/pointy or something but I can even wear my OG HE-500s for hours with zero issues. Was hoping these would be at least similar to that tolerability but not the case thus far.
 
Jan 9, 2021 at 9:09 PM Post #1,053 of 1,667

antdroid

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I'm still in my ear-adjustment period for the sound (so far, quite good...) but I'm finding the comfort/fit a bit disappointing. Clamp is light and I'm just beyond 5 clicks of extension on each side, so all the weight is just sort of resting on a 1.5-2" contact point in the middle of by head. Might just be that my dome is a bit more narrow/pointy or something but I can even wear my OG HE-500s for hours with zero issues. Was hoping these would be at least similar to that tolerability but not the case thus far.

I had some weight hot spot issues as well. I bought this to try out and it helps greatly: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0814D2NG7/
 
Jan 10, 2021 at 11:19 AM Post #1,054 of 1,667

WyldRage

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I've been switching between my two main (and new) headphones for a bit, and I thought I'd post my comparison of the two:

Hifiman HE-6SE V2 vs Focal Elex
I'm using high/resolution Progressive Rock music files for this comparison (24/96 and 24/192), as well as some High-Res and some vinyl rips of Metal albums (Heavy/Doom/Thrash).
The chain: PC -> USB -> Soncoz LA-QXD1 -> XLR -> Topping A90 -> XLR. The Hifiman plays at 12 to 2 o'clock on med gain, the Focal Elex at 9 to 11 o'clock on low gain.

Hifiman HE-6SE advantages
- CLEAN and NEUTRAL: It is very impressive how clean and neutral the HE-6SE sounds. There is little to no peaks or valleys to be had here. Bass could be a touch more powerful (Antdroid's measurements are on point), especially compared to the Elex.
- TRANSIENTS and DECAY: The impacts on drums and cymbals come out strong and clear, making the easy to follow. Decay is also very quick, which leads to the next point:
- INSTRUMENT SEPARATION: I have absolutely no trouble hearing every instrument in the mix.The Elex is more congested on complex, layered passages.
- VOCALS: Vocals come out clearer and more natural on the HE-6SE. The Elex is thicker sounding.
- EXTENSION: Both Treble and bass are well-extended and every sound is present and clear.
- LESS FATIGUING: I don't know exactly what causes this, but moving from the HE-6SE to the Elex, I feel the Elex sound is more fatiguing on long periods.I'm not talking about comfort here (that's a latter point): there is something in the sound that fatigues me. Maybe a resonance on a particular frequency, maybe the slightly stronger bass, higher air pressure, I just don't know.

Focal Elex advantages
- BASS: The Focal Elex has a stronger bass and lower midrange bass presence than the HE-6SE. It gives a warmer sound, but it makes it more congested and thicker in complex passages.
- SOUNDSTAGE: The Elex feels like speakers on your ears, and really give a good, enveloping sound. The HE-6SE's soundstage is a bit... tall: it feels as though sounds are coming above and below my ears sometimes, or at other times it feels like a wall.
- BUILD QUALITY: The Elex looks and feels premium. The HE-6SE looks nearly identical to the 400i.
- LOWER VOLUME: The HE-6SE does not like to play at low volume it seems: when I lower the volume lower than where I feel is the appropriate volume, the HE-6SE seems to lose some parts of the music, making it sound very dry. It's particular and I've never really noted something like this in my other headphones.
- GF FACTOR: Both headphones are open, but the HE-6SE is completely open, and my girlfriend can hear it from the living room. Not so with the Elex, which doesn't project outwards as much.

± COMFORT: Comfort is a wash between the two. The Elex is lighter, but the headband touches only the top part of my head. The HE-6SE is heavier, but the headband touches a wider part of my head and the weight is better distributed. Some days I prefer one over the other, some it's the other way around, and some I just put on the DCA Aeon Flow Closed RT which is more comfortable than both.

Conclusion
The HE-6SE is the more proficient headphone of the two: it has a fantastic transient response, has a very clear and neutral sound. It is amazing at critical listening, and plays very well with the genres I prefer (complex, layered Progressive Rock and energetic, guitar-driven Metal). The Elex is a great headphone as well, and has a speaker-like quality to its sound, but it is simply not on the same level as the HE-6SE, technologically speaking, especially when it comes to the complex music I enjoy.

I'm keeping both, and with the Aeon Flow Closed RT (retuned), they will form the triumvirate of my main home headphones for the foreseeable future.
 
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Jan 10, 2021 at 1:39 PM Post #1,055 of 1,667

YtseJamer

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I've been switching between my two main (and new) headphones for a bit, and I thought I'd post my comparison of the two:

Hifiman HE-6SE V2 vs Focal Elex
I'm using high/resolution Progressive Rock music files for this comparison (24/96 and 24/192), as well as some High-Res and some vinyl rips of Metal albums (Heavy/Doom/Thrash).
The chain: PC -> USB -> Soncoz LA-QXD1 -> XLR -> Topping A90 -> XLR. The Hifiman plays at 12 to 2 o'clock on med gain, the Focal Elex at 9 to 11 o'clock on low gain.

Hifiman HE-6SE advantages
- CLEAN and NEUTRAL: It is very impressive how clean and neutral the HE-6SE sounds. There is little to no peaks or valleys to be had here. Bass could be a touch more powerful (Antdroid's measurements are on point), especially compared to the Elex.
- TRANSIENTS and DECAY: The impacts on drums and cymbals come out strong and clear, making the easy to follow. Decay is also very quick, which leads to the next point:
- INSTRUMENT SEPARATION: I have absolutely no trouble hearing every instrument in the mix.The Elex is more congested on complex, layered passages.
- VOCALS: Vocals come out clearer and more natural on the HE-6SE. The Elex is thicker sounding.
- EXTENSION: Both Treble and bass are well-extended and every sound is present and clear.
- LESS FATIGUING: I don't know exactly what causes this, but moving from the HE-6SE to the Elex, I feel the Elex sound is more fatiguing on long periods.I'm not talking about comfort here (that's a latter point): there is something in the sound that fatigues me. Maybe a resonance on a particular frequency, maybe the slightly stronger bass, higher air pressure, I just don't know.

Focal Elex advantages
- BASS: The Focal Elex has a stronger bass and lower midrange bass presence than the HE-6SE. It gives a warmer sound, but it makes it more congested and thicker in complex passages.
- SOUNDSTAGE: The Elex feels like speakers on your ears, and really give a good, enveloping sound. The HE-6SE's soundstage is a bit... tall: it feels as though sounds are coming above and below my ears sometimes, or at other times it feels like a wall.
- BUILD QUALITY: The Elex looks and feels premium. The HE-6SE looks nearly identical to the 400i.
- LOWER VOLUME: The HE-6SE does not like to play at low volume it seems: when I lower the volume lower than where I feel is the appropriate volume, the HE-6SE seems to lose some parts of the music, making it sound very dry. It's particular and I've never really noted something like this in my other headphones.
- GF FACTOR: Both headphones are open, but the HE-6SE is completely open, and my girlfriend can hear it from the living room. Not so with the Elex, which doesn't project outwards as much.

± COMFORT: Comfort is a wash between the two. The Elex is lighter, but the headband touches only the top part of my head. The HE-6SE is heavier, but the headband touches a wider part of my head and the weight is better distributed. Some days I prefer one over the other, some it's the other way around, and some I just put on the DCA Aeon Flow Closed RT which is more comfortable than both.

Conclusion
The HE-6SE is the more proficient headphone of the two: it has a fantastic transient response, has a very clear and neutral sound. It is amazing at critical listening, and plays very well with the genres I prefer (complex, layered Progressive Rock and energetic, guitar-driven Metal). The Elex is a great headphone as well, and has a speaker-like quality to its sound, but it is simply not as proficient as the HE-6SE when it comes to the complex music I enjoy.

Thanks for the mini-review.
 
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Jan 10, 2021 at 1:56 PM Post #1,056 of 1,667

rcstevensonaz

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So far and luckily, I've only experienced this with HEDDphone. Driver flex is what it's called? People metion it frequently for iems, in which I've never experienced.

I have noticed the crinkle sound (driver flex?) whenever I put on the HE6SE with a bit of "acceleration". That is, I don't hear anything if I gently place the headphones on. But if I am putting them on and "release" the ear can while it is still a little distance away from my head, I will hear a crinkle sound as it lands on my ear.

Question: is the resulting crinkle I hear just an irritating sound? Or, is that causing damage to the materials in the planar driver?
 
Jan 10, 2021 at 3:52 PM Post #1,057 of 1,667

DeafAudiophile

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I've been switching between my two main (and new) headphones for a bit, and I thought I'd post my comparison of the two:

Hifiman HE-6SE V2 vs Focal Elex
I'm using high/resolution Progressive Rock music files for this comparison (24/96 and 24/192), as well as some High-Res and some vinyl rips of Metal albums (Heavy/Doom/Thrash).
The chain: PC -> USB -> Soncoz LA-QXD1 -> XLR -> Topping A90 -> XLR. The Hifiman plays at 12 to 2 o'clock on med gain, the Focal Elex at 9 to 11 o'clock on low gain.

Hifiman HE-6SE advantages
- CLEAN and NEUTRAL: It is very impressive how clean and neutral the HE-6SE sounds. There is little to no peaks or valleys to be had here. Bass could be a touch more powerful (Antdroid's measurements are on point), especially compared to the Elex.
- TRANSIENTS and DECAY: The impacts on drums and cymbals come out strong and clear, making the easy to follow. Decay is also very quick, which leads to the next point:
- INSTRUMENT SEPARATION: I have absolutely no trouble hearing every instrument in the mix.The Elex is more congested on complex, layered passages.
- VOCALS: Vocals come out clearer and more natural on the HE-6SE. The Elex is thicker sounding.
- EXTENSION: Both Treble and bass are well-extended and every sound is present and clear.
- LESS FATIGUING: I don't know exactly what causes this, but moving from the HE-6SE to the Elex, I feel the Elex sound is more fatiguing on long periods.I'm not talking about comfort here (that's a latter point): there is something in the sound that fatigues me. Maybe a resonance on a particular frequency, maybe the slightly stronger bass, higher air pressure, I just don't know.

Focal Elex advantages
- BASS: The Focal Elex has a stronger bass and lower midrange bass presence than the HE-6SE. It gives a warmer sound, but it makes it more congested and thicker in complex passages.
- SOUNDSTAGE: The Elex feels like speakers on your ears, and really give a good, enveloping sound. The HE-6SE's soundstage is a bit... tall: it feels as though sounds are coming above and below my ears sometimes, or at other times it feels like a wall.
- BUILD QUALITY: The Elex looks and feels premium. The HE-6SE looks nearly identical to the 400i.
- LOWER VOLUME: The HE-6SE does not like to play at low volume it seems: when I lower the volume lower than where I feel is the appropriate volume, the HE-6SE seems to lose some parts of the music, making it sound very dry. It's particular and I've never really noted something like this in my other headphones.
- GF FACTOR: Both headphones are open, but the HE-6SE is completely open, and my girlfriend can hear it from the living room. Not so with the Elex, which doesn't project outwards as much.

± COMFORT: Comfort is a wash between the two. The Elex is lighter, but the headband touches only the top part of my head. The HE-6SE is heavier, but the headband touches a wider part of my head and the weight is better distributed. Some days I prefer one over the other, some it's the other way around, and some I just put on the DCA Aeon Flow Closed RT which is more comfortable than both.

Conclusion
The HE-6SE is the more proficient headphone of the two: it has a fantastic transient response, has a very clear and neutral sound. It is amazing at critical listening, and plays very well with the genres I prefer (complex, layered Progressive Rock and energetic, guitar-driven Metal). The Elex is a great headphone as well, and has a speaker-like quality to its sound, but it is simply not as proficient as the HE-6SE when it comes to the complex music I enjoy.
Man, I'm starting to question whether the He6sev2 I got fell subject to QC as it seems like I'm the only one who doesn't enjoy the combo.
 
Jan 10, 2021 at 4:29 PM Post #1,058 of 1,667

Slim1970

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Man, I'm starting to question whether the He6sev2 I got fell subject to QC as it seems like I'm the only one who doesn't enjoy the combo.
What amp are you using?
 
Jan 11, 2021 at 1:07 PM Post #1,060 of 1,667

nahpungnome

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My HE6se (v1) has developed an issue on the headband where the position doesn't stay on the right cup. I emailed customer support and got an RMA, but they want me to send back the whole headphone....Anyone have any thoughts as to whether I should do this or just live with the loose adjustment? I have no idea what I'd be getting back in return if I sent mine in.
 
Jan 11, 2021 at 1:14 PM Post #1,061 of 1,667

jaker782

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My HE6se (v1) has developed an issue on the headband where the position doesn't stay on the right cup. I emailed customer support and got an RMA, but they want me to send back the whole headphone....Anyone have any thoughts as to whether I should do this or just live with the loose adjustment? I have no idea what I'd be getting back in return if I sent mine in.

Tough one... I think there is a good chance you might get a V2 sent as a replacement as it does not appear they have any V1's left in stock. I'd ask them what the repair/replacement options are first and decide if you would be okay with receiving a V2 instead.
 
Jan 11, 2021 at 2:27 PM Post #1,062 of 1,667

nahpungnome

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Tough one... I think there is a good chance you might get a V2 sent as a replacement as it does not appear they have any V1's left in stock. I'd ask them what the repair/replacement options are first and decide if you would be okay with receiving a V2 instead.
I've also reached out to the official hifiman account here. Customer support and the account here gave me vastly different experiences the last time I had issues.
 
Jan 11, 2021 at 4:50 PM Post #1,063 of 1,667

antdroid

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I've also reached out to the official hifiman account here. Customer support and the account here gave me vastly different experiences the last time I had issues.
Ask if they can just send you a replacement headband?
 

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