What the heck is the difference between Hifiman's "current" 400i and the 2020 version of the 400i?
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Hello, all. I'm hoping someone can help me out here!

After looking at frequency responses between the 400i and Sundara, I've decided that the Sundara isn't worth the $$ (nor is it really affordable to me unless I were in the U.S. which is not the case right now).

Anyway... I can't get any info on this supposedly same headphone other than the obvious fact that it looks like it's different in color (the housing) and headband. Almost makes me wonder if it's just the Drop + 4xx made to look more like a 400i?

Anyone have any experience with this?
Here's the old ver: https://hifiman.com/products/detail/178
Here's the new ver: https://hifiman.com/products/detail/304

They say the only difference is the band in their graphic. But I doubt this because their "stealth revisions" seem to change... something. Like frequency responses. It can't be that the band is what sets the price difference alone. Maybe it's actually worse than the actual pre-2020 HE-400i?

Ty in advance to anyone who knows what it is that HiFiMan has done here.
 
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The HE4XX is the old design HE-400i drivers in the HE-400 body. The 2020 HE-400i is the same sound wise as the old design but with an updated headband so 2020 HE-400i and HE4XX are the same sound wise and very similar design wise, that being said the 2020 HE-400i looks to have a better more sturdy headband than either the old HE-400i or HE4XX and it's only $9 more than the HE4XX so I'd say get the 2020 HE-400i.
 
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The HE4XX is the old design HE-400i drivers in the HE-400 body. The 2020 HE-400i is the same sound wise as the old design but with an updated headband so 2020 HE-400i and HE4XX are the same sound wise and very similar design wise, that being said the 2020 HE-400i looks to have a better more sturdy headband than either the old HE-400i or HE4XX and it's only $9 more than the HE4XX so I'd say get the 2020 HE-400i.
Wow, cool! Thanks for telling me.
That's an incredible price difference! I thought the HE4XX with the old design was crappier (with many QC issues reported) for "better" drivers, so I'm surprised that it's the same exact driver with no changes to it. Same surprise for the older 400i and the newer Deva-like 400i.

Good to know. If anyone else has anything to add, please do. Tyvm!
 
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Wow, cool! Thanks for telling me.
That's an incredible price difference! I thought the HE4XX with the old design was crappier (with many QC issues reported) for "better" drivers, so I'm surprised that it's the same exact driver with no changes to it. Same surprise for the older 400i and the newer Deva-like 400i.

Good to know. If anyone else has anything to add, please do. Tyvm!
Yeah if I was looking at purchasing it then I would go for the 2020 HE-400i since it's the exact same sound wise as the old HE-400i and HE4XX but it has a better headband than both. Old design HE-400i is still so expensive compared to the 2020 HE-400i and the 2020 HE-400i is only $9 more than the HE4XX and likely shouldn't have the QC issues.
 
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Yeah if I was looking at purchasing it then I would go for the 2020 HE-400i since it's the exact same sound wise as the old HE-400i and HE4XX but it has a better headband than both. Old design HE-400i is still so expensive compared to the 2020 HE-400i and the 2020 HE-400i is only $9 more than the HE4XX and likely shouldn't have the QC issues.
Right. The QC issue is a huge deal breaker for me. I was going to go for Sundara version instead, but with high failure rates on those and the horror stories I read, I rather not take a chance (not convenient to send stuff back and forth from my current/temporary location in the world). I guess the newer stuff should be better in that sense. I think they're aware of the issues with QC. How can they not be? Lol
 
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Right. The QC issue is a huge deal breaker for me. I was going to go for Sundara version instead, but with high failure rates on those and the horror stories I read, I rather not take a chance (not convenient to send stuff back and forth from my current/temporary location in the world). I guess the newer stuff should be better in that sense. I think they're aware of the issues with QC. How can they not be? Lol
Oh they are definitely aware of the issues but I think most of the time they are just drunk lol. The new headband on the 2020 HE-400i looks a lot more sturdy than before so it should be fine, fingers crossed.
 
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Just got my new computer and the HE-400i 2020 but sadly forgot the key of my account so registered a new one to answer your question. Lol.

Here's my two cents:
I've had the old version HE-400i for years. As the earpads are torn and the yoke finally broke last month, I decided to buy the 2020 ver.instead of buying a headband at $75. I've also tried the SUNDARA but ended up returning it because it's a bit uncomfortable for me. I may consider trying it again but not now. SUNDARA is definitely much more sturdily built then the HE=400is, almost all metal. I was lucky enough to get a perfect pair without QC issues. Don't know whether I can win the lucky draw next time. Deva is also tempting and I just found they just release a wired version at 219! https://store.hifiman.com/index.php/deva.html

Back to the HE-400i 2020, I'm sure it has the same driver as the previous version, just with a black Deva headband. The new headband is lighter and more comfortable to me. It's soft and based on the price I don't expect a leather one it should be pleather or something but it does fit me well. The yoke is made of plastic but feels sturdier than the old version. I bought the old one at $449 so the new version just like a steal. The HE4XX…em...the old style headband...just no! The 2020 HE-400i is a no brainer at its price range. Go ahead!
 
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Just got my new computer and the HE-400i 2020 but sadly forgot the key of my account so registered a new one to answer your question. Lol.

Here's my two cents:
I've had the old version HE-400i for years. As the earpads are torn and the yoke finally broke last month, I decided to buy the 2020 ver.instead of buying a headband at $75. I've also tried the SUNDARA but ended up returning it because it's a bit uncomfortable for me. I may consider trying it again but not now. SUNDARA is definitely much more sturdily built then the HE=400is, almost all metal. I was lucky enough to get a perfect pair without QC issues. Don't know whether I can win the lucky draw next time. Deva is also tempting and I just found they just release a wired version at 219! https://store.hifiman.com/index.php/deva.html

Back to the HE-400i 2020, I'm sure it has the same driver as the previous version, just with a black Deva headband. The new headband is lighter and more comfortable to me. It's soft and based on the price I don't expect a leather one it should be pleather or something but it does fit me well. The yoke is made of plastic but feels sturdier than the old version. I bought the old one at $449 so the new version just like a steal. The HE4XX…em...the old style headband...just no! The 2020 HE-400i is a no brainer at its price range. Go ahead!
Haha, that's funny. Thank you for doing that :D

Well, based on what you've said about your old 400i version, it seems that it wasn't so bad after all in terms of quality, especially if the yoke broke after so long. In that case, you could theoretically have fixed it by buying a replacement (a metal one instead).

That's surprising that you say that the Sundara is a bit uncomfortable. What did it feel like exactly? I thought that this headphone would have a more comfortable band (what I've read, at least)?

How about the sound between the new 400i and Sundara? I always hear how it's superior in every way, almost making the 400i not worth it. But the thing that's off-putting to me is that even though the Sundara does have a "better" design (metal and all) and perhaps freq response, it still suffered from QC issues in 2019 and likely is an issue in 2020 (latest reviews, even on Amazon). As for the price bump from $170-ish --> $300 seems excessive for just those changes? My DT770s are quite sturdy for what they are (which are ABS/metal, I guess). I'm personally surprised how well the 4XX (which are inferior to 400i it seems) sell. Clearly people are buying them for the sound and design? o.O -- wondering what you think.

Very helpful and useful review, many thanks for that!
 
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Haha, that's funny. Thank you for doing that :D

Well, based on what you've said about your old 400i version, it seems that it wasn't so bad after all in terms of quality, especially if the yoke broke after so long. In that case, you could theoretically have fixed it by buying a replacement (a metal one instead).

That's surprising that you say that the Sundara is a bit uncomfortable. What did it feel like exactly? I thought that this headphone would have a more comfortable band (what I've read, at least)?

How about the sound between the new 400i and Sundara? I always hear how it's superior in every way, almost making the 400i not worth it. But the thing that's off-putting to me is that even though the Sundara does have a "better" design (metal and all) and perhaps freq response, it still suffered from QC issues in 2019 and likely is an issue in 2020 (latest reviews, even on Amazon). As for the price bump from $170-ish --> $300 seems excessive for just those changes? My DT770s are quite sturdy for what they are (which are ABS/metal, I guess). I'm personally surprised how well the 4XX (which are inferior to 400i it seems) sell. Clearly people are buying them for the sound and design? o.O -- wondering what you think.

Very helpful and useful review, many thanks for that!
I think I'm soooooo lucky or maybe the early batch has better quality? It seems a certain batch of the HE400i has an extremely fragile yoke, around two years ago? So does SUNDARA I think. I got the SUNDARA directly from HIFIMAN and confirmed it belongs to the latest batch. Not sure whether others bought theirs from dealers or anyone else. You know that dealers may have some old stock and sometimes they even don't know which version they are selling. Lol.

I quite like the sound of SUNDARA, crystal clear especially when it comes to vocal, it's brilliant. It has more treble than the HE400i which many people don't like but it's fine for me. Definitely not a headphone that blows your head off but with quite decent bass. I'm not a bass head so very happy with the bass part. It's kind of an upgrade from the HE400i to SUNDARA but maybe not that much as you imagined. An open box unit may be better for you is only $299 now and you can also get a full warranty if you buy it from HIFIMAN. The only problem for me is the headband. It's not for my head. It's sooooo funny that I feel SUNDARA is too heavy for me though it is 372g shows on the product page while the HE400i is only 2g lighter. The 2 gram may be the last straw for my neck. Lol. I can't wear it for too long. It feels like there's someone pressing my head. The new-style Deva headband is more friendly for me. My suggestion is to try yourselves. Many people complained that the clamping force is too strong but it doesn't bother me.

For the HE4XX, it's just a Drop X HIFIMAN thing. The company just combines the HE400i driver with their ages-old headband to reduce the cost. You can get the classic "HE400i" at 100+ bucks. When it launched, the HE400i is still around $200. People cannot resist insanely cheap things. The headband just keeps me away. The plastic part is terrible. If you have a limited budget, just buy the 2020 version. Deva seems also a good choice as all the reviews on Amazon are five-star. How it is possible?
 
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It seems a certain batch of the HE400i has an extremely fragile yoke, around two years ago? So does SUNDARA I think. I got the SUNDARA directly from HIFIMAN and confirmed it belongs to the latest batch.
The Sundara of 2 years ago has this problem including the latest batch? Because that's the only one that exists, I think? There is no new revision of it from what I read (read this on headphone review site that asked Hifiman about whether the newer stealth revision had anything different, but all they said was that they changed the dust filter and pad glue or something else cosmetically). Is the yoke fragile with Sundara? I thought the whole thing is metal? Sry about my confusion here.

In general, it's so hard to tell from pictures or video what the materials are because they make it look like metal, even if it's not. Sure, nice eye foolery! But someone out there knows the truth.

It has more treble than the HE400i which many people don't like but it's fine for me.
Really? I thought Sundara has LESS treble? At least this is what frequency response charts show. Or maybe it's the bump around ~6k that we're talking about (IIRC)? (What's that, lower-mid treble?)

Definitely not a headphone that blows your head off but with quite decent bass.
Would you say it has more bass or less than the HE-400i? I've seen contradictory graphs, but it appears that it has more noticeable bass because its response is less rolled off? The diaphragm is apparently 80% thinner of the HE-400i which means it should be "better" for bass? I'm not sure what a thinner diaphragm is supposed to do. That should in theory actually INCREASE the treble, no? Thinner would be more resonant with higher frequencies?

It's kind of an upgrade from the HE400i to SUNDARA but maybe not that much as you imagined.
Is it a worthy upgrade though? Maybe not at this price point, but if they have some tweaks (for quality) and a more comfy headband maybe? I'm thinking that at some point that I may want to get it w/a better headband. When that will be, I don't know, but that's going to not be cheap (considering the headbands are already something like $100+). I know I'd like durable, metal cans though. That's a big thing for me. I'm OCD with things that last. I hope I don't come off as too OCD with these questions... this stuff or the thoughts of something like that literally keep me up at night, no joke.

An open box unit may be better for you is only $299 now and you can also get a full warranty if you buy it from HIFIMAN.
Unfortunately, one of the reasons I'm NOT going for Sundara (even though I want to) has to do with import duties/taxes of where I currently reside (will be moving away soon enough, though) and the problem of returns if it does happen to break. Those costs will kill my budget. If I were in the U.S., I would have definitely gone for it because it'd be a lot easier to handle issues. There are plenty of complaints (from a year and two ago) about driver failures and even more recently about all Hifiman headphones like Sundara and other series.

https://www.reddit.com/r/headphones/comments/9lokvl/regarding_hifiman_sundara_quality_control/ said:
The Sundara has really bad QC, I've had two Sundaras and three of the drivers died or were in the process of dying, one took a day and the other one a little less than a month to start exhibiting issues.
:scream::scream::scream::scream::scream:

It's sooooo funny that I feel SUNDARA is too heavy for me though it is 372g shows on the product page while the HE400i is only 2g lighter. The 2 gram may be the last straw for my neck. Lol.
Haha, that's pretty funny. I think it has to do with weight distribution compared to the new band.

My suggestion is to try yourselves.
Dang, I'd really like to, but nowhere in sight is there a music store or anything that carries this stuff. It's pretty much a rarity (I'm in Eastern EU currently, although I intend to move to East Asia in a year or two and that'll make access much easier to this sort of stuff).

Many people complained that the clamping force is too strong but it doesn't bother me.
Clamping force of the Deva headband? How was the clamping force of Sundara vs the HE-400i? Is it similar? I mean with the new headband? Is the HE-400i not too hard? I heard it's not so bad now?

For the HE4XX, it's just a Drop X HIFIMAN thing. The company just combines the HE400i driver with their ages-old headband to reduce the cost.
That's awful. I hate cost-cutting stuff like this. The main reason this is an issue is that it's like shoes: if you buy cheap shoes, you gotta keep buying them because they wear out too fast. That means in the long run, you actually spend more than if you just spent more originally. And that means more waste and more profit for the company. I just don't believe the materials even cost anything close to that to make. I know it's mostly R&D, but still... even Bose is less expensive (and I know it's not an audiophile thought, but I do really like the sound of them... if only they made them metal and with durable cables! Their freq response is amazing--I've never seen any headphone with such a lack of peaks/troughs based on third-party tests).

The headband just keeps me away. The plastic part is terrible.
Yeah, I saw the reviews on the band. It has SERIOUS issues. Not only is the sliding mechanism kinda crap (I hear it can get stuck or not move at all), but it breaks easily (at the plastic part where you said).

If you have a limited budget, just buy the 2020 version.
Yeah, I guess I have to for now... even though I could do the Sundara, I'd probably end up needing to buy different pads and doing all kinds of extra stuff that would bump up its price another $200. I just need something to get me through until I have the funds for the Sundara. Then I'll use the HE-400i unamped for remote applications (I don't listen to music loudly) and Sundara for mixing and producing music stuff.

Deva seems also a good choice as all the reviews on Amazon are five-star. How it is possible?
That is odd. Maybe the people that are attracted by that sort of thing will give 5* naturally? The thing that I look at is longevity (say, 20 years), and I am going to guess the Deva will not last that long. What's worse is having a battery that cannot be easily replaced. Plus, battery tech has been lagging behind forever (the fact that phones don't last a good week or two on a single charge is an obvious testament to that). I also don't like wireless much because you can't just plug it into hardware. I just like tactile stuff more.

I've definitely settled for the 2020 at this moment. You've convinced me that it's worth getting over the HE4XX. I like the design of them, but they're neglected in their problems...
 
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The Sundara of 2 years ago has this problem including the latest batch? Because that's the only one that exists, I think? There is no new revision of it from what I read (read this on headphone review site that asked Hifiman about whether the newer stealth revision had anything different, but all they said was that they changed the dust filter and pad glue or something else cosmetically). Is the yoke fragile with Sundara? I thought the whole thing is metal? Sry about my confusion here.

In general, it's so hard to tell from pictures or video what the materials are because they make it look like metal, even if it's not. Sure, nice eye foolery! But someone out there knows the truth.


Really? I thought Sundara has LESS treble? At least this is what frequency response charts show. Or maybe it's the bump around ~6k that we're talking about (IIRC)? (What's that, lower-mid treble?)


Would you say it has more bass or less than the HE-400i? I've seen contradictory graphs, but it appears that it has more noticeable bass because its response is less rolled off? The diaphragm is apparently 80% thinner of the HE-400i which means it should be "better" for bass? I'm not sure what a thinner diaphragm is supposed to do. That should in theory actually INCREASE the treble, no? Thinner would be more resonant with higher frequencies?


Is it a worthy upgrade though? Maybe not at this price point, but if they have some tweaks (for quality) and a more comfy headband maybe? I'm thinking that at some point that I may want to get it w/a better headband. When that will be, I don't know, but that's going to not be cheap (considering the headbands are already something like $100+). I know I'd like durable, metal cans though. That's a big thing for me. I'm OCD with things that last. I hope I don't come off as too OCD with these questions... this stuff or the thoughts of something like that literally keep me up at night, no joke.


Unfortunately, one of the reasons I'm NOT going for Sundara (even though I want to) has to do with import duties/taxes of where I currently reside (will be moving away soon enough, though) and the problem of returns if it does happen to break. Those costs will kill my budget. If I were in the U.S., I would have definitely gone for it because it'd be a lot easier to handle issues. There are plenty of complaints (from a year and two ago) about driver failures and even more recently about all Hifiman headphones like Sundara and other series.


:scream::scream::scream::scream::scream:


Haha, that's pretty funny. I think it has to do with weight distribution compared to the new band.


Dang, I'd really like to, but nowhere in sight is there a music store or anything that carries this stuff. It's pretty much a rarity (I'm in Eastern EU currently, although I intend to move to East Asia in a year or two and that'll make access much easier to this sort of stuff).


Clamping force of the Deva headband? How was the clamping force of Sundara vs the HE-400i? Is it similar? I mean with the new headband? Is the HE-400i not too hard? I heard it's not so bad now?


That's awful. I hate cost-cutting stuff like this. The main reason this is an issue is that it's like shoes: if you buy cheap shoes, you gotta keep buying them because they wear out too fast. That means in the long run, you actually spend more than if you just spent more originally. And that means more waste and more profit for the company. I just don't believe the materials even cost anything close to that to make. I know it's mostly R&D, but still... even Bose is less expensive (and I know it's not an audiophile thought, but I do really like the sound of them... if only they made them metal and with durable cables! Their freq response is amazing--I've never seen any headphone with such a lack of peaks/troughs based on third-party tests).


Yeah, I saw the reviews on the band. It has SERIOUS issues. Not only is the sliding mechanism kinda crap (I hear it can get stuck or not move at all), but it breaks easily (at the plastic part where you said).


Yeah, I guess I have to for now... even though I could do the Sundara, I'd probably end up needing to buy different pads and doing all kinds of extra stuff that would bump up its price another $200. I just need something to get me through until I have the funds for the Sundara. Then I'll use the HE-400i unamped for remote applications (I don't listen to music loudly) and Sundara for mixing and producing music stuff.


That is odd. Maybe the people that are attracted by that sort of thing will give 5* naturally? The thing that I look at is longevity (say, 20 years), and I am going to guess the Deva will not last that long. What's worse is having a battery that cannot be easily replaced. Plus, battery tech has been lagging behind forever (the fact that phones don't last a good week or two on a single charge is an obvious testament to that). I also don't like wireless much because you can't just plug it into hardware. I just like tactile stuff more.

I've definitely settled for the 2020 at this moment. You've convinced me that it's worth getting over the HE4XX. I like the design of them, but they're neglected in their problems...
Sorry for the confusion. The yoke of the SUNDARA is metal as it looks like. What I mean is that SUNDARA's driver issue seems only happened among a certain batch just like the HE400i yoke problem. The latest batch that I got directly from HIFIMAN is fine. The metal yoke looks quite sturdy. The treble... for my ears, SUNDARA has more. For the clamping force, SUNDARA is stronger. The Deva-like headband is more friendly to me.
If you are lucky enough to get a SUNDARA without any driver issues, I think it worth the upgrade. The HE400i 2020 is definitely a great choice if you need something to help you get through.
A little tip for you, HIFIMAN also have stock in the EU. You could contact them to check whether they have stock of the model you want in the EU. One of my friends bought an ANANDA from them and no import tax:).
 
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Sorry for the confusion. The yoke of the SUNDARA is metal as it looks like. What I mean is that SUNDARA's driver issue seems only happened among a certain batch just like the HE400i yoke problem. The latest batch that I got directly from HIFIMAN is fine. The metal yoke looks quite sturdy. The treble... for my ears, SUNDARA has more.
Ah, no problem. Now I get it. I thought Sundara did have a metal yoke because all of it is metal.

If you are lucky enough to get a SUNDARA without any driver issues, I think it worth the upgrade. The HE400i 2020 is definitely a great choice if you need something to help you get through.
Aye, something to get me through is right for now. I'll likely pick them up later. It's good to know that they're worth the upgrade. At least this confirms my intentions. At moment I use $8 Samsungs, and while they work, they're not headphones (partial in-ears), and they lack clarity (but sound great otherwise for what they're worth, lol).

A little tip for you, HIFIMAN also have stock in the EU. You could contact them to check whether they have stock of the model you want in the EU. One of my friends bought an ANANDA from them and no import tax:).
That means I have to ask them if they have EU stock... hmm. I didn't think of that. In fact, I assumed they don't. I can say that that when I tried to order directly, I ended up being shown stock from China itself (their site says that everywhere outside of the U.S. is affected in shipping times because of the current leg of the epidemic). That's why I didn't end up getting from them. Instead, I went through a reseller on Taobao because I figured Hifiman doesn't do EU stuff if they work only with China and U.S./Canada stock. Why go through them and wait 2 months when I can speed up the process? May not actually be the soundest logic, though.

I ended up getting the 400i 2020 ver. shipped from a reseller and the cost to ship by DHL (not sure if it includes taxes or not) was around $120. That's insane, but appears to still be less expensive than getting the Sundara (the 400i was $155+120 = $275 + duties/taxes on the total price I think, which is still less than the $450 or so I'd pay for Sundara). I don't even know if that shipping cost includes any taxes or duties. I sure hope it does, though! Crazy how costs add up. Really over budget here, but what am I gonna do? :tired_face:

Again, thanks for answering all my questions. Very helpful!!
 
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Ah, no problem. Now I get it. I thought Sundara did have a metal yoke because all of it is metal.


Aye, something to get me through is right for now. I'll likely pick them up later. It's good to know that they're worth the upgrade. At least this confirms my intentions. At moment I use $8 Samsungs, and while they work, they're not headphones (partial in-ears), and they lack clarity (but sound great otherwise for what they're worth, lol).


That means I have to ask them if they have EU stock... hmm. I didn't think of that. In fact, I assumed they don't. I can say that that when I tried to order directly, I ended up being shown stock from China itself (their site says that everywhere outside of the U.S. is affected in shipping times because of the current leg of the epidemic). That's why I didn't end up getting from them. Instead, I went through a reseller on Taobao because I figured Hifiman doesn't do EU stuff if they work only with China and U.S./Canada stock. Why go through them and wait 2 months when I can speed up the process? May not actually be the soundest logic, though.

I ended up getting the 400i 2020 ver. shipped from a reseller and the cost to ship by DHL (not sure if it includes taxes or not) was around $120. That's insane, but appears to still be less expensive than getting the Sundara (the 400i was $155+120 = $275 + duties/taxes on the total price I think, which is still less than the $450 or so I'd pay for Sundara). I don't even know if that shipping cost includes any taxes or duties. I sure hope it does, though! Crazy how costs add up. Really over budget here, but what am I gonna do? :tired_face:

Again, thanks for answering all my questions. Very helpful!!
Np. That sounds a bit crazy. My friend contacted them before place the order with them and was told they have stock in the EU. He got his Ananda just a few days after placing the order. I also heard that if you buy it on Taobao you won't get HIFIMAN warranty service. It's better to confirm that with your seller whether that can offer aftersale service.
 
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evlesoa

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Np. That sounds a bit crazy. My friend contacted them before place the order with them and was told they have stock in the EU. He got his Ananda just a few days after placing the order. I also heard that if you buy it on Taobao you won't get HIFIMAN warranty service. It's better to confirm that with your seller whether that can offer aftersale service.
Dang, really? They could do better with advertising that they have EU stock. Crap.

And no warranty if on Taobao? Even if it's the legit thing? Where'd you hear that? That's really odd. I'd do it through Hifiman, but as I said, they only offer one shipping service price / carrier from what I saw (I could be completely wrong). I did order an item from them (the ear pad rings for using other pads) and that came out to be $29 on the shipping on a $10 item (argh!). Maybe I should have gotten it through them now that I think about it. The price was also $29 for shipping (really odd, IMO). A mistake of mine in the end, I guess. Should have done it.

As for the warranty, I'm doing it through an agent and they do offer a return service should anything go wrong (hope it doesn't because that's one of the reasons that I'm going for 400i and not Sundara to avoid potential issues). They also open the package and inspect it to make sure all is authentic/legit (which it was--they sent me pics and it looks really nice with a nice braided-looking cable). I know that Hifiman has its own Taobao store (their price is 999 RMB for their headphones on their Taobao site, which is around $25 less than the $169 on their official online store, but I got these for 899 + a service fee which puts it slightly under 999).

Random question: how are they for gaming? Have you tried? I have someone who is asking me about that. Any idea how they would compare to the Astro a40s or SHP9500? I read somewhere that they're overkill for such a thing (but aren't most mid-fi and better overkill for gaming anyway?).
 
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Dang, really? They could do better with advertising that they have EU stock. Crap.

And no warranty if on Taobao? Even if it's the legit thing? Where'd you hear that? That's really odd. I'd do it through Hifiman, but as I said, they only offer one shipping service price / carrier from what I saw (I could be completely wrong). I did order an item from them (the ear pad rings for using other pads) and that came out to be $29 on the shipping on a $10 item (argh!). Maybe I should have gotten it through them now that I think about it. The price was also $29 for shipping (really odd, IMO). A mistake of mine in the end, I guess. Should have done it.

As for the warranty, I'm doing it through an agent and they do offer a return service should anything go wrong (hope it doesn't because that's one of the main reasons that I'm going for 400i and not Sundara). They also open the package and inspect it to make sure all is authentic/legit (which it was--they sent me pics and it looks really nice with a nice braided-looking cable). I know that Hifiman has its own Taobao store (they ask 999 RMB for their headphones--I got these for 899 + a service fee which put it under 999 anyway).
Yes, I once bought their RE600 from HIFIMAN Taobao store when I'm on my business trip to China and it takes me a while to replace it in the US. My friend bought his HE560 from a random seller on Taobao. However, the seller is unauthorized so he paid for the replacement when the yoke broke. No luck. Lol
 
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