Official HIFIMAN HE1000 Impressions Thread

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  1. negura
    Beta testing SQ impressions
     
    I now have approx 100 hours on the HE1000s, having played music 24/7 through them. These are my consolidated impressions at this point. Obviously some of this may change over further listening and I reserve the right to disagree with myself on any of this in the near or distant future. =)
     
    Firstly: Well done Hifiman! I am sure a lot of people are going to love these. Physically big cups transcend to limousine like comfort and effortless sound quality. The HE1000s produce sound in an uniquely smooth and relaxed way, with a large soundstage presentation. They have good detail, but are understated about it.

     
    Rig: please see my sig below

     
    1. Tonal balance
       Rich body and very smooth sounding. Beautiful presentation. I hear these as comparatively warmer than the HD800s or SR-009s. Some are talking about the treble decay. I don't see this as an issue.
       
    2. Detail
        In regard to details these headphones are almost like the opposite of the HD800s. If the HD800s could be seen as detail forward, almost necessarily wanting to show all the little garbage there is, the HE1000s can cruise effortlessly through a lot of trouble. However, I rather think the macro detail is actually mostly there, albeit a bit subdued. They also seem to have that trait that some Audeze or Stax 007s have, in making a lot of recordings sound good, but while being more technically competent than the former first.
     
    3. DR 
        Perhaps a result of the combination of understated detail, mostly tonally correct response and lack of effort producing big sound, this can produce an impression of big DR casually. That said, I think the HD800 are a bit better.
      
    4. Mostly genre masters
       The relaxed and smooth sound presentation works quite well with all genres. I do like them quite a bit with metal music, but it's a toss with the HE-6s. I also prefer the HD800s for above averagely recorded acoustic and classical music. I prefer the HE-6s with electronic music.
      
    5. Sound stage 
        Mostly really digging it. Large and open sound stage, albeit more upfront than with some other headphones. Very little parallel in presentation to other headphones I've heard or own.
      
    6. Euphonic
       Some of the most euphonic sounding flagship headphones. The smooth, non-aggressive presentation sounds luxurious and inviting.
       
    9. Transients
       Less visceral and articulated than the HE-6s, but reasonable for a flagship. I have to admit I have a certain preference for impactful transients. So far the HE-6s are still kings, followed quite closely by the HD800s.
     
    10. Easy to drive (relatively)
        Despite needing a bit of volume, even my portable RWAK gets these to sound quite well. Obviously they get quite a bit better with a better system behind.
        
    11. Bass
        Good quality planar bass. I don't think it's better than the Abyss. In some ways it may be a bit better than the HE-6s? But since the transients are more impactful on the HE-6s, I am not so sure this is the case.
     
    I applied to a beta and since this is the beta thread, this is where I would prefer to see improvements:
     
    - transient attack/energy. Transients are currently softer/more relaxed/smoother/edges more undersharpened than any of the HD800s, HE-6s, LCD-3Fs. Some may have hinted the transient response is similar to Stax. I don't think it's very similar to the 009s. Perhaps more like the SR-007 MK2? I don't have the latter here to verify. I don't even know if this is possible, within the current design, big drivers etc. But it's my number one improvement to convince me to buy a pair.
      Example: Guitar plucks lack energy. I don't feel acoustic music is favoured by this type of sound (i.e.: Rodrigo&Gabriela). Other genres would benefit this too. Real music is more energetic imo.
     
    - soundstage depth. The height and width are exemplary, but some music ends up a bit too upfront. I wouldn't call it in your head, but you get the idea. Further angled pads? Similar depth as with the HE-6s would be great.
      Example: Vocals too upfront sounding. A bit more space there would be more realistic imo.
     
    - colouration. These to me sound warmer than neutral, but also very relaxed and polished sounding, which is a departure from previous Hifiman flagship sound. I'd prefer less of this. Issue: Nice sounding, but I am not in particularly looking for nice at this level. Examples: HD800, HE-6s, Abyss, SR-009. More that way for me. Less good examples: Audeze.
     
    - Velour please. This is purely preference but if it's any similar with the HE-6s, I would prefer the Focus-A type of pads, but thicker, to give the drivers some more distance and a better angle to the ear.
     
    I said that with the advent of the HE1000s I will have 4 flagship headphones at home, and as a result two will go. They are all very good, but I will try to stick to my guns. I have not decided which two will stay, but as of today I am very optimistic for the HE-6s. A few days later it may be different. Who knows.
     
    To be continued or updated....
     
    Please for the love of all that's holy don't block quote. It's annoying to other readers!
     
  2. daltonlanny
    Fresh out of the box the HE1000 sounds pretty good.
    Alittle laid back, and soft, but very transparent, and very wide sound stage.
    Right now they actually sound more laid back in the mids than the HD650, but they are more transparent than the HD650, and sort of make the 650 sound alittle grainy. The bass is better extended on the 1000, and doesn't have the slight mid bass emphasis that the 650 does.
    The soundstaging is clearer and more open on the 1000 compared to the 650.
    The 1000 does not embarrass the 650 at this point though.
    The 650 still sounds excellent.
    The highs are a touch edgy on the 1000.
    Unfortunately last night I blew out one of my boards in my Beta 22 amp, so I didnt get to try them with that amp...Bummer!
    I cannot compare them to the HE-6 fairly right now, cause the HE-6 doesnt sound that good with my receiver.
    If the Beta 22 was still working I would have did a quick comparison between all three headphones with it.
    Been trying the 650 and 1000 out on a Harman Kardon HK 3490 receiver headphone jack.
    Keep in mind, the Beta 22 amp is way ahead of the Harman headphone jack.
    Hope to get the B22 fixed real soon.
    Also still waiting on the Gustard.
    Got them burning in now...
     
    negura likes this.
  3. ohhgourami
    Direct comparison with modded HE-6 and HE1k:
     
     
    Listening through Yggy > audio-gd Master -1 preamp > Krell FPB 300cx.
     
    Like the new headband design compared to HE-6, plus the thing is much much lighter. I like the size (L x W, diameter) of the cups but dislike the shallowness (ear touches the driver side) and the velour material (woolly and makes my ears itchy). I don't like the sleeving on the cable either, but I think most of us will be upgrading cables and probably hardwiring later.
     
    At first listen, I think the differences between HE-6 and HE1k are obvious. HE1k is more detailed, faster, better layering, imaging, and soundstage. A better headphone, technically. BUT (here it comes) it's not engaging; it's laid-back - a bit boring. I've had to crank up the volume on the HE1k to get that engagement/raw energy of the HE-6. I'm so used to that level of excitement and magic, my ears kept digging for it then gave out in fatigue. There's a warmth to the HE1k bass that is bloomy and does not feel solid (like bass from SR-009). HE-6 forcefully thumps you in the chest while HE1k blows air in your face. If anyone heard the HE1k at CanJam, these sound VERY different from those. I'm inclined to say the pairs at CanJam were broken.
     
    The whole time, I was longing to reach for the HE-6 because it's got the sound I know and love. I want that attack, visceralness, engagement in the mids that grabs you by the neck and doesn't let go. The HE1k is the better headphone no doubt, but it's not quite what I like. I think a lot of HE-6 owners will agree with me here. For all the other guys who didn't think the HE-6 was that special, this might be the perfect headphone.
     
     
    Throughout all of yesterday, I was in a lot of disappointment and confusion. I finally got a headphone that's an upgrade after all these years of waiting, but I didn't like it; it didn't make me happy. Something ticked in my mind and decided to do something about it. What if I put my Audeze Vegan pads on these?
     
    HOLY CRAP!  THERE IT IS!!!  The MAGIC is BACK baby!  All the excitement, engagement, attack came back from a simple pad change! I love how they sound now. There is a minor annoyance in that theres a midbass boost which I'm currently still trying to fix, but it's a huge leap forward in the right direction. It finally sounds like a headphone with focus and man do those mids pop right out. I want to say the imaging and layer is better than the R10 now. The subbass is also earthshaking which I'm sure Abyss lover would like.
     
    I would highly suggest that Fang should keep working on the pads. They are really holding the driver back.
     
    At this point, I can almost say this is the best headphone in the world (haven't heard an Orpheus though). Hifiman did a very good job with the driver and now with my mod, I can say these are an HE-6 replacement. Last month, I shoved my modded HE-6 in Fang's face and told him these are the real benchmark! I sort of take that back now because the HE1k is the new benchmark once they have been modded.
     
    preproman, negura, Articnoise and 2 others like this.
  4. moodyrn
    On my very limited listening, while out of the box, I don't find these as engaging as modded he6. That has nothing to do with the treble. Honestly I haven't listen enough to form an opinion on the treble. And the less engaging thing may change with burn-in. I can only speak for myself and I think others may feel the same way, when I say less engaging, it's the sound as a whole and have nothing to do with treble. I will say even out of the box, overall these are superior to the he6. And I'm sure the sound as a whole will improve. But I don't think the bass impact and slam with catchup to a modded, properly driven he6. But I could be wrong.
     
    Like I've said previously, I don't plan to do anything with the pads. But I do think, even out of the box, some changes needs to be made to them. While I am a believer in burnin, I don't think a  headphone can completely transform with it. But I do think subtle things like, glare, grain, harshness along with s slight improvement in bass weight and impact can improve.  My opinion also is not because I'm so accustomed to the brightness of the he6 which I don't find to be bright at all, though it can be very bright depending on the amp and source. I also currently own the w3000. And it couldn't be more different from the he6.
     
  5. Cotnijoe
    image.jpg
    image.jpg
    image.jpg

    So i got this going on now. Smallest adjustment and this thing still eats my tiny head haha
     
    Unique Melody Feel free to reach out to us at any time! To reach me personally, leave me a PM or email me at umwang@uniquemelody.org and I'll get back to you as soon as I can! Stay updated on Unique Melody at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
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  6. doctorjazz

    Had a very short listen, and did get to compare to my 560 (which I really like), and notices immediately that it is the old cliched, "wiping a film off a window" kind of improvement. Didn't find the 560 veiled until I heard the 1000 in comparison. Open, detailed, didn't find them "uninvolving", but that is more a taste and judgement impression than a SQ impression.
     
  7. Kojaku
    DSC_0084.jpg

    Goooooooooood. Let the heat flow throuuuuugh youuuuuu.

    Kojaku
     
    saidentary and AxelCloris like this.
  8. goldendarko
    I have the feeling this will be a very popular headphone for people who like the HE560, it's a very similar sounding headphone in terms of it's sound signature, I feel like it just does everything better, although it really makes the HE560 look like a WAY better value for only $899, considering this will cost $3000. That being said, just ilke the LCD-3 is twice the price of the LCD-2, you can't expect it to be twice as good because unfortunately it doesn't work like that in hi end audio .

    I'm also not getting too much of a laid back sound signature from this headphone, I find it to be very natural and engaging just like the HE560, but with significantly better dynamics, speed, bass control and clarity and treble extension are what really stand out to me so far. The bass body feels signifcantly better to me than the HE560, which I found to be the one weak point of that headphone - it's bass was a little thin for my tasts, particularly being a fan of the Audeze headphones. I feel like the bass has a bit more body like the Audeze's, but still the excellent control and detail of the HE560 that allows you to hear individual notes. It's also been my finding that bass is one thing that usually changes most after burn-in, so I think there is still room for improvement too.

    My only particular quibble so far is how huge this thing is, I had to put the headband on the smallest possible setting to make it fit comfortably, which it does thankfully, but if you've got a small head this thing may end up being a dealbreaker as I think this thing truly just wants to eat your head. Luckily once the fit is adjusted it is EXTREMELY light & comfortable just like the HE560, not nearly the heavy beast my LCD-3's are.

    Also, I plan to try the LCD-3 pads eventually, but I think I will give it a few months until I am more familiar with it's sound and it has had a chance to fully break in. That being said, I am planning on keeping it because quite frankly, it's the best headphone I've ever heard, though I've still never heard quite a few of the highest end headphones (Abyss, SR-009, HE-6).

    That's all for now, back to listening :)
     
    Articnoise likes this.
  9. TeamHiFiMAN
    Hi all,
     
    This thread is currently dedicated to the participants of the Beta test program linked here:
     
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/761919/hifiman-flagship-headphone-he1000-beta-testing-opportunity-closed-and-shipping
     
    Please keep the discussions on-topic. This impressions thread will be monitored much more closely, so off-topic posts will be deleted.
     
    Impressions will be open once the headphones are in official production, but please just use this as a dedicated space for the beta testers to compare their findings for the time being.
     
    Thanks!
     
    HiFiMAN Innovating the art of listening. Stay updated on HiFiMAN at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    http://hifiman.com
  10. goldendarko
    I'd like to start this thread off by discussing the virtues of Rolex watches....err..J/K

    Here's my early impressions from the other thread, figured I would put them in the right place and get subscribed to the "good" thread at the same time :)

    I have the feeling this will be a very popular headphone for people who like the HE560, it's a very similar sounding headphone in terms of it's sound signature, I feel like it just does everything better, although it really makes the HE560 look like a WAY better value for only $899, considering this will cost $3000. That being said, just ilke the LCD-3 is twice the price of the LCD-2, you can't expect it to be twice as good because unfortunately it doesn't work like that in hi end audio .

    I'm also not getting too much of a laid back sound signature from this headphone, I find it to be very natural and engaging just like the HE560, but with significantly better dynamics, speed, bass control and clarity and treble extension are what really stand out to me so far. The bass body feels signifcantly better to me than the HE560, which I found to be the one weak point of that headphone - it's bass was a little thin for my tasts, particularly being a fan of the Audeze headphones. I feel like the bass has a bit more body like the Audeze's, but still the excellent control and detail of the HE560 that allows you to hear individual notes. It's also been my finding that bass is one thing that usually changes most after burn-in, so I think there is still room for improvement too.

    My only particular quibble so far is how huge this thing is, I had to put the headband on the smallest possible setting to make it fit comfortably, which it does thankfully, but if you've got a small head this thing may end up being a dealbreaker as I think this thing truly just wants to eat your head. Luckily once the fit is adjusted it is EXTREMELY light & comfortable just like the HE560, not nearly the heavy beast my LCD-3's are.

    Also, I plan to try the LCD-3 pads eventually, but I think I will give it a few months until I am more familiar with it's sound and it has had a chance to fully break in. That being said, I am planning on keeping it because quite frankly, it's the best headphone I've ever heard, though I've still never heard quite a few of the highest end headphones (Abyss, SR-009, HE-6).

    That's all for now, back to listening
     
    potkettleblack likes this.
  11. ohhgourami
    Copied from the other thread:
     
    Direct comparison with modded HE-6 and HE1k:
     
     
    Listening through Yggy > audio-gd Master -1 preamp > Krell FPB 300cx.
     
    Like the new headband design compared to HE-6, plus the thing is much much lighter. I like the size (L x W, diameter) of the cups but dislike the shallowness (ear touches the driver side) and the velour material (woolly and makes my ears itchy). I don't like the sleeving on the cable either, but I think most of us will be upgrading cables and probably hardwiring later.
     
    At first listen, I think the differences between HE-6 and HE1k are obvious. HE1k is more detailed, faster, better layering, imaging, and soundstage. A better headphone, technically. BUT (here it comes) it's not engaging; it's laid-back - a bit boring. I've had to crank up the volume on the HE1k to get that engagement/raw energy of the HE-6. I'm so used to that level of excitement and magic, my ears kept digging for it then gave out in fatigue. There's a warmth to the HE1k bass that is bloomy and does not feel solid (like bass from SR-009). HE-6 forcefully thumps you in the chest while HE1k blows air in your face. If anyone heard the HE1k at CanJam, these sound VERY different from those. I'm inclined to say the pairs at CanJam were broken.
     
    The whole time, I was longing to reach for the HE-6 because it's got the sound I know and love. I want that attack, visceralness, engagement in the mids that grabs you by the neck and doesn't let go. The HE1k is the better headphone no doubt, but it's not quite what I like. I think a lot of HE-6 owners will agree with me here. For all the other guys who didn't think the HE-6 was that special, this might be the perfect headphone.
     
     
    Throughout all of yesterday, I was in a lot of disappointment and confusion. I finally got a headphone that's an upgrade after all these years of waiting, but I didn't like it; it didn't make me happy. Something ticked in my mind and decided to do something about it. What if I put my Audeze Vegan pads on these?
     
    qeJFCSml.jpg
    pkg01gEl.jpg
     
     
    HOLY CRAP!  THERE IT IS!!!  The MAGIC is BACK baby!  All the excitement, engagement, attack came back from a simple pad change! I love how they sound now. There is a minor annoyance in that theres a midbass boost which I'm currently still trying to fix, but it's a huge leap forward in the right direction. It finally sounds like a headphone with focus and man do those mids pop right out. I want to say the imaging and layer is better than the R10 now. The subbass is also earthshaking which I'm sure Abyss lover would like.
     
    I would highly suggest that Fang should keep working on the pads. They are really holding the driver back.
     
    At this point, I can almost say this is the best headphone in the world (haven't heard an Orpheus though). Hifiman did a very good job with the driver and now with my mod, I can say these are an HE-6 replacement. Last month, I shoved my modded HE-6 in Fang's face and told him these are the real benchmark! I sort of take that back now because the HE1k is the new benchmark once they have been modded.

     
    Day 3 update:
     
    I'm still very pleased with this headphone. There are truly no flaws to the sound, but I believe they can be even better with more minor tweaking on dampening and use of earpads.
     
    reddog and kikouyou like this.
  12. Cotnijoe
    Eye Candy:
    FullSizeRender.jpg
     
    Unique Melody Feel free to reach out to us at any time! To reach me personally, leave me a PM or email me at umwang@uniquemelody.org and I'll get back to you as soon as I can! Stay updated on Unique Melody at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
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    reddog and potkettleblack like this.
  13. Cotnijoe
    Early impressions from other thread + a few additional thoughts to consolidate early thoughts:

    Its pretty obvious right off the bat that the 1000 is better and by a decent margin. It has much better imaging and a cleaner treble as well as being a bit fuller sounding and more natural sounding than the 560 to me, bringing the HE1000 a different level of realism that the HE560s are not capable of (As excellent as they are). Overall the two definitely share an overall somewhat similar sound signature, with the HE1000 being just a bit less peaky in the upper range and having a tad bit more bass.

    I think the HE1000 is one of the few headphones that i feel actually sounds like a decent speaker set up. It has a nice out of head soundstage with good imaging.

    I dont plan on changing or modding the HE1000 in any way for the beta test, and I personally dont find the HE1000 to be too relaxed as some people have stated, but I do believe these headphones will be very sensitive to changes such as earpads, since even moving my hands 3 inches from the drivers will cause a change in the headphone's sound.

    The HE1000 are certainly less forward sounding than something like the HE6, so I can see why some who came from the HE6 can say that, but I find the HE1000 much more natural. I personally think that HIFIMAN nailed it in terms of sound signature for these. 

    What I would love to see HIFIMAN change though is maybe to make the adjustable headband just a tad shorter. I'm talkin maybe 1cm or so. That'll ensure that those with miniscule heads like myself can comfortable wear these. As of now, they fit me fine, but would be better if they just rest a tad higher on my head.

    Oh, also, big thumbs up to HIFIMAN for the new connectors.
     
    Unique Melody Feel free to reach out to us at any time! To reach me personally, leave me a PM or email me at umwang@uniquemelody.org and I'll get back to you as soon as I can! Stay updated on Unique Melody at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
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    potkettleblack likes this.
  14. goldendarko
    Good point, Cotnijoe, forgot to mention how nice and simple the new connectors are compared to the old Hifiman ones, it will be way easier to swap cables now, plus I think they are also the same as Oppo's if you happen to have a pair of those.
     
  15. doctorjazz
    As I mentioned on the other thread, my short listen so far has these, compared to the 560, removing those cliches veils...more item, more extended, more detail. Good recordings sound more real. I think I see what some of the laid back complaints are about, but haven't listened long enough or broken them in enough to put my finger on exactly what's going on here.
     
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