Newbie Hifiman he-400
May 19, 2012 at 3:29 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

Luke-

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Hi,

After recently getting scammed in a trade for some he-400, I decided to buy myself some from an authorised dealer in the uk the cheer myself up.

This is my first set of proper headphones I did owm B&W p5 , miles davis tribute, I currently have westone 3 and like there sound.


But I am finding the he-400 to be bright and fatigueing does the treble calm down after burn in because I only have 14 days to return them.

I think I like a slightly more laid back sound I wonder if I should a brought the HD-650 but I didn't because what I can gather the bass is not quite as good with slam ,correct Me if I'm wrong as I am very new to the full size headphone game.


Please advise a newbie

Many thanks

Luke
 
May 19, 2012 at 6:38 AM Post #3 of 17

Luke-

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Hi,

Forgot to mention that my sources are iPod classics into raysamuels tomahawk portable amp ,

MacBookpro lossless into audiolab M-Dac via USB

Also I brought them from Analogue Sedution for £400 ,but I think I am going the return them and swap for the HD-650 hope I am making the right move the comfort was also a big issue for me they are quite heavy and padding is firm .


Do people have an opinion on the HD-650 vs HE-400 ?
 
May 19, 2012 at 7:45 AM Post #4 of 17

fedayn

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Haven't got them yet, but from what I've read so far, I could tell you there are some possibilities.
1) The treble might soften after some burn-in
2) It seems that the sound is heavy-treble-ish if you use it straight out of portable sources. But since you use a portable amp ... 
3) Velour pads might give the sound you want
 
Anyway, hope these 3 pointers give you a start to find the info you need. Look on the forum and check the reviews available. 
 
May 19, 2012 at 8:12 AM Post #5 of 17

MattTCG

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There are several threads here about the sound quality of the he400. One of them is mine and you can read through it in my signature. This is not an overly bright hp. In fact some say that there are dark qualities with the treble. I find it to be about perfect. With "some" material it can be just a touch fatiguing to me and I'll use a touch of hardware EQ to balance it out in my fiio e17.
 
It's a really good hp that I use daily. I'd stick with it. Oh, the velour pads are a big improvement in my opinion but will not fix bright issues. I commented on the velours over the pleather in my thread.
 
May 19, 2012 at 12:57 PM Post #7 of 17

IEMCrazy

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Quote:
The HD650s are brighter than the HE-400 in general, but if a song has real high treble information (aka 12-15khz) the HE-400 will bring it out more.  

I would say the HD650 is tonally brighter overall, but definitely rolls off the treble more.  Even with a silver cable (I just got my Silver Dragon for 650) HD650 has less bright end treble than HE-400 and is more laid back.  HE-400 extends more in both directions and has an ever so slight "fun" (smile curve) signature.
 
However HE-400 I agree is darker overall.  Neither should be fatiguing.  If you find it ftiguing I suspect a fatiuing amp or dac may be to blame.
 
May 19, 2012 at 1:00 PM Post #8 of 17

jerg

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Quote:
The HD650s are brighter than the HE-400 in general, but if a song has real high treble information (aka 12-15khz) the HE-400 will bring it out more.  

 
What TMRaven is trying to say (>9k hours in MSpaint etc):
 

 
May 19, 2012 at 5:42 PM Post #9 of 17

IEMCrazy

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Quote:
 
What TMRaven is trying to say (>9k hours in MSpaint etc):
 

Gorgeous picture.  It's like poetry in motion.  I'm weeping. :wink:
 
Seriously though, great drawing, and to ammend my former statement, I expect the dac oramp that is fatiguing.  Or he volume is up too loud.  It's much too easy turn planars up too loud with their low distortion and not notice.  But of the headphones I have, HE4000 is the second least fatiguing behind HD650, which is likely to remain the king of no-fatiguing for quite some time.
 
May 19, 2012 at 5:59 PM Post #10 of 17

Luke-

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Thanks for the replys guys.

I think the sound is growing on me but the weight of these is taking some getting used to,that why I was considering the he-650 for the comfort factor, just wished I could listen to both in abit of a dilemma weather swap for the hd-650.
 
May 21, 2012 at 5:00 AM Post #12 of 17

Luke-

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Hi

Also noticed that the only way the hp stop on my head is by the headband I don't get much if any support from the ear cups I wonder if this is the reason for discomfort of the headband pushing down on my head .other than that I am beginning to love the sound they don't seem bright to me anymore.

He-400 owners do you get support from the ear cups or does the headband put pressure on you head ?
 
May 21, 2012 at 9:59 AM Post #13 of 17

IEMCrazy

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Quote:
Hi
Also noticed that the only way the hp stop on my head is by the headband I don't get much if any support from the ear cups I wonder if this is the reason for discomfort of the headband pushing down on my head .other than that I am beginning to love the sound they don't seem bright to me anymore.
He-400 owners do you get support from the ear cups or does the headband put pressure on you head ?

 
HFM either has really shoddy quality control on the headband steel, or they use two different suppliers for the shaped steel.   I have two pairs of HE-400.  The one clamps on my head like a vice grip.   The other, the cups are so loose they would have no ability to hold the headphones on my head.
 
Since the band itself is shape-able, you may want to try bending the loose one inward somewhat to get the grip tighter if you desire.   In my case, on the tight one, I bend the band out a little...it's hard to do, the steel always wants to go back to original position, but I do finally have it to a point, with some persistence, where it is a lot less of a painful grip.  The down-side, is more weight on the headband. 
 
May 21, 2012 at 10:51 AM Post #14 of 17

wje

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Quote:
HFM either has really shoddy quality control on the headband steel, or they use two different suppliers for the shaped steel.   I have two pairs of HE-400.  The one clamps on my head like a vice grip.   The other, the cups are so loose they would have no ability to hold the headphones on my head.

 
For my head, I've experienced a very good fit for the headband on (3) pair of HE-400s, (1) pair of HE-5LEs, and (1) pair of HE-500s.  However, with the fit aside, I did notice that the finish on the steel of the HE-400s seemed to vary by quite a wide margain.  On one pair, the steel was quite smooth.  However, on another pair, one could not visibly see any issues - however, if you were to rub your fingers across the steel, you'd realize that the steel hadn't been finished off as well as the other pair.  I suspect you might be onto something by eluding to the use of several potential suppliers with various levels of QC / QA.
 
Last evening, I was nearly in tears.  My HE-400s that had just been replaced a handful of weeks back, started to make some vibration and rattle noises in the cups when the drivers were active.  For a moment, I had thought "oh no, not another month to have these guys swap another pair out." 
basshead.gif
  However, I quickly realized that the artist that I was listening to had recently been added to my Squeezebox library (no, it wasn't Dr. Dre, or any hip-hop), just some simple blues / folk music.  But, the rip apparently was done incorrectly and the distortion was embedded into the digital files.  Fortunately, I then ran another of my half-dozen typical "go to's" through the headphones and everything was just as it should have been.  <whew!>
 
May 21, 2012 at 1:23 PM Post #15 of 17

IEMCrazy

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Quote:
 
For my head, I've experienced a very good fit for the headband on (3) pair of HE-400s, (1) pair of HE-5LEs, and (1) pair of HE-500s.  However, with the fit aside, I did notice that the finish on the steel of the HE-400s seemed to vary by quite a wide margain.  On one pair, the steel was quite smooth.  However, on another pair, one could not visibly see any issues - however, if you were to rub your fingers across the steel, you'd realize that the steel hadn't been finished off as well as the other pair.  I suspect you might be onto something by eluding to the use of several potential suppliers with various levels of QC / QA.
 
Last evening, I was nearly in tears.  My HE-400s that had just been replaced a handful of weeks back, started to make some vibration and rattle noises in the cups when the drivers were active.  For a moment, I had thought "oh no, not another month to have these guys swap another pair out." 
basshead.gif
  However, I quickly realized that the artist that I was listening to had recently been added to my Squeezebox library (no, it wasn't Dr. Dre, or any hip-hop), just some simple blues / folk music.  But, the rip apparently was done incorrectly and the distortion was embedded into the digital files.  Fortunately, I then ran another of my half-dozen typical "go to's" through the headphones and everything was just as it should have been.  <whew!>

 
I was referring to the actual steel inside the leather headband, but yes, the struts/gimbals do seem to have various finishing as well, with some rough edges on the cut.  The varying headbands seem to be a common issue though. I've seen several people comment on incredibly loose grips both for HE-400 and HE-500, and my first thought after my headache inducing first one was "are you out of your mind or did you have your head shrunken by some witch doctor?"  After my second pair arrived, I understood.
 
The good news is my velours look like they may arrive today or tomorrow.  Though I may not install them right away, I'm not sure yet.  During the sweaty summer months, the easily cleaned pleathers may still be wise to keep mounted :)  I'll also have some earpad surgery to do on my D5k when the Angle Pads arrive.
 
That's a pretty nasty night to have
eek.gif
, I know how that sort of thing goes! Usually for me its tube issues though! Or one night it was a CFL dimmer causing all sorts of buzzing and hum on the power line.  It took me most of an album to figure out what was going wrong and that it wasn't my amp that was defective...  As far as bad rips go, yours isn't as annoying as some of mine have been.  I've had a few albums where one track ends up a few kb short, but I find out about it when listening to the album and half-way through one track I get ear-splitting 2x volume digital noise instead of music forcing me to rip the headphones off my head as fast as possible.  No idea why it happens, and re-ripping the track usually works.   Except one album where no matter how many times I re-ripped that track it still came up broken. The rest of the album was fine and there were no visible defects/scratches on the disc (and it was brand-new, just opened., and I ripped with full cdparanoia on.)  I still haven't figured that one out!
 

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