Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
creatip123

My personal review of Hifiman HE-400 (Image Heavy)

Recommended Posts

Posted · Original PosterOP

So I've been using the AD700, which I love for the clarity and wideness, but I still feel there's something missing. Can't quite put my finger on it though. So I began browsing around some more, reading reviews after reviews, and decided to get my hands on the Hifiman HE-400.

 

The HE-400 is actually getting ready to retire (discontinued). My speculation is to give way for the new HE-400i, but that's just my personal opinion though. Even the authorized Hifiman distributor in my country don't stock them anymore. After searching around a bit, I decided to buy the demo unit from a store that still have the HE-400 demo unit. in my country. I got a special discount from the last retail price (which is around $350 in my country), because it's a demo unit.

 

So let's start from the outside, the physical attributes.

 

IMG_0199_zpsbe466249.jpg

 

IMG_0204_zps3a1cd84f.jpg

* Please overlook the torn transparent plastic. It's a demo unit after all  :)

 

The packaging itself is very minimalist. Perhaps TOO minimalist, compared to its competitors. But somehow it makes sense. It's like they want to make a statement, 'our products are not the kind where you're strolling on a shopping center, see our packaging, and buy one on an impulsive drive. You look for our products because either you already have our products and are satisfied by it, or you heard good things about it and decided to buy one for yourself' Of course that was me talking, but I imagine that's what they're thinking :)

 

IMG_0161_zpsa0fa3bdb.jpg

 

IMG_0205_zps8911e2b3.jpg

 

IMG_0236_zps9a99074c.jpg

 

Its standard accessories that's included in the package are:

 

- Detachable cable (because it won't work without a cable :) ). Mine came with a Canare cable. I don't know if the Canare is their standard cable or not, though.
- 3,5mm to 6mm adapter
- Black velvet pouch

 

So let's take a look at the unit itself.

 

IMG_0186_zpse9823eb1.jpg

 

IMG_0192_zpsb15e73de.jpg

 

Just like the packaging, the unit itself is very minimalistic and utilitarian style. It doesn't implement blings, bells and whistles. No sexy curves, no harmonic colors, no nothing. Just plain cups attached to the metal headband. Again, I'd imagine they're making a statement, 'Its job is to produce good sounds, not giving out good looks. You buy it because you expect good sounds, not good looks'. I do love the dark blue with piano finish. The assembling is also very simple. It got screws in all of the moving joints, so we can tighten or loosen the joints easily.

Another thing to note is, this thing is heavy, compared to other headphones. It weighs at 440g without cord, almost half a kilogram. For reference, my AD700 only weighs 280g. For first few minutes, you'd feel the weight on your head, but after a while, you head adjusts to the weight. The trick is to keep the headband tight to the top of your skull. If there are some slacks between your skull and the headband, you'd feel it weighing your head down. The clamping force is also kind of tight, but again, you'd get used to it after a few minutes.

 

IMG_0984_zps9614e965.jpg

 

IMG_0239_zps630f9fdc.jpg

 

The cup's material is plastic, covered with metal (maybe aluminum) mesh. It's not cheap plastic though, it's thick, dense, and durable plastic. You can knock it with your fingernail to feel the density of the plastic. The standard pad that came with the packaging is the pleather (blend of plastic and leather) pad, or I use to call it synthetic leather. The pleather pads are very comfortable and cushy. Too bad, because of its material, it's hot and sweaty on the skin, especially for people living in tropical climate (like myself). Of course you can always order a pair of velour pads.

 

IMG_0233_zpsafae27a6.jpg

 

IMG_0235_zpscf16121e.jpg

 

They use their own unique/custom connector for the detachable cable (not the usual 3,5mm plugs normally used by other brands). It's supposed to be bright gold, but again, because mine was originally a demo unit, so the gold layer has peeled off. The connector uses a unique coupling screw to secure the cable's connection. It's a fine touch, especially for clumsy people like me. I found myself stepping on the cable on the floor a few times. The cable should have yanked out, but it didn't, because of the coupling screws. For the first times, you'd find attaching-detaching the cable a bit awkward, but you'll get used to it. The bad news is, this is not the type of connector you'd easily find on radioshack or electronic components' stores. The good news is, they sell the connector (by pair, of course) online for $11. So you can just buy the connectors, and build your own custom cable. Or alternatively, they also have custom cables complete with the connectors on their online store. 

 

IMG_0241_zps283c8768.jpg

 

IMG_0230_zps3892005b.jpg

 

The headband is also covered with pleather. Although the overall unit is kinda heavy, the headband really helps controlling the pressure on your skull. For the metal frames, they use thick metals with brushed surface. The metals are very strong. You can't bend it even just a little bit, with your bare hands (except the headband, of course). I also like the brushed metal style, as it looks good and elegant. 

 

IMG_0229_zps695d5ae9.jpg

 

The minus point is the markings though. It's kinda cheap and rubs away over time, as you can see from the picture above. Just avoid touching the markings directly with your hands, because sweats and oils from our hands can speed up the process. 

 

OK, enough with the exterior, what about the interior/sound itself?

 

First, you must understand that the HE-400 is a planar or orthodynamic (same thing, different name) headphone, meaning it uses planar drivers. Planar driver is not the same type as the dynamic driver commonly found on most headphones. Basically, dynamic drivers are like miniature cone speakers with a small magnetic disc to drive the membrane. Planar drivers use an array of magnetic chunks, or a big perforated magnetic plate to drive the membrane. If you wanna get more technical, read on here

 

We can see the difference visually:

 

IMG_0227e_zps4403eb6d.jpg

 

On the left is an example of a dynamic driver, on the right is a planar driver

 

Why am I even writing about this? The reason is, I found out that the 2 of them have very different behavior, and yield very different sound characteristic. I found the sound characteristic of the HE-400 somewhat similar to the Audeze LCD series, which also uses planar drivers with open backs. Of course the LCD series have better sounds than the HE-400 though, as they're on a different tier altogether. It's a bit different compared to the Fostex T50RP which also uses planar drivers, but with closed/semi-closed back, though. The sound signature of the HE-400 is EXACTLY what I found missing on my AD700. The sound is very warm and dense, while still maintaining good clarity. The AD700 sounds good, but too thin for me. 

 

I'd say the HE-400 is a neutral headphone, leaning a bit to dark sounds, while still maintaining good high clarity. It's a bit sibilant, but good ones, not bad ones. I'll explain below. You can see the frequency response graph here:

 

graphCompare_zps8c04a815.jpg

 

You know when somebody talks or sings close to your ears, and you can hear a bit of density and sibilance, but as he/she moves further away, the density and sibilance vanished (become inaudible)? Well, the HE-400 does a great job at reproducing those densities and sibilances (the familiar sibilances, not the annoying ones :) )The result? Vocals on songs become more natural and intimate, as though he/she is really singing 3 feet away from you. I just realized, why a lot of good headphone I've tried, albeit having good clarity, still don't sound natural enough for me, still sound like a recording. It's the familiar densities and sibilances that were missing all this time.

 

IMG_0982_zps78c88dca.jpg

 

IMG_0209_zps7729c3b4.jpg

 

So what else is different on the HE-400, compared to dynamic driver headphones? 

 

I found that the HE-400 (and I imagine other planar driver headphones) is power hungry. 

IMG_0254_zps461b5365.jpg

 

Hifiman claims that the HE-400 is so efficient that even small phones/media player have enough juice to drive it. I'd say, true and false. True, even my small crappy Nokia (you got me, I hate smartphones :) ) can drive it to decent volume, just a tad under normal enjoyable volume. My ipad 3 can drive it a little louder, reaching normal enjoyable volume. I don't have a smartphone, so I don't know how it will perform, plugged into a smartphone. But in order to reach its optimal performance, my phone and my ipad 3's amps seem to be not adequate. 

 

When you turn the volume/power up, dynamic driver headphones usually just become louder. That's not the case with planar headphones. They become louder and BETTER sounding. Seriously, the bass, the clarity, the separation, they actually got better with higher volume. I feel like there's a threshold of volume for quality sounding. Meaning, to get the optimal sound, I have to turn the volume up to a certain level (above that certain level, it just got louder only). I'm using a xonar DG that's supposedly have quite decent headphone amp power. Set to the highest gain (>64ohms), I can only set the volume to around 50%. Above 50% volume, the sound started to 'sway'. The bass would get smaller, then normal, then smaller again. I'd imagine the xonar is struggling to keep up. Unfortunately, below 50% is just isn't enough to push the HE-400 to its potential. I ended up getting the Fiio E07k Andes as a headphone amp to drive the HE-400. Well, I ended up using the Andes as an external DAC and amp, because it sounds better than my xonar anyway :)

 

To put things into perspective, lets take a look at the spec comparison between the HE-400 and the AD700:

 

AD700:
- Impedance: 32 ohms
- Sensitivity: 98dB

 

HE-400:
- Impedance: 35 ohms
- Sensitivity: 92.5dB

 

Looks close enough, right? In reality they behave very differently. Tested by playing a song in foobar, with the Andes as the DAC and amp, set to the highest gain (+12dB). With my AD700, 25 volume (on the Andes) is good enough. Any louder, and it started to hurt my ears. Switched to the HE-400, I need 45-50 volume on the Andes to reach the same loudness as with my AD700. From the specs comparison above, they shouldn't behave so differently in energy consumption, right? Well, that's what I meant, although the HE-400 could run on low power, it needs a lot of juice to sound good. That's why in audio community, planar headphones are renowned as 'performance dependent to what amp you're using', meaning to unlock their true potential, you'll need a good and powerful amp to feed them. 

 

IMG_0244_zps87ab7c31.jpg

 

Back to the sound then, how is it? 

 

Like I said earlier, it's warm, got great density, and familiar sibilant. Celine Dion's voice is one example where the sibilant actually make her voice better. Good separation between frequencies. The warmness and density makes instruments with natural low frequencies sound so much better. I found myself enjoying The Piano Guys, for the cello sounds. The cello they play sounds beautiful and hair-raisingly eerie at the same time. The highs are clear and nice, but not hurting at all. The warmness and clarity make the sounds more familiar and realistic.

 

What about the bass then? Now this is the interesting part. I'm not a basshead, and coming from AD700, I got used to low bass sounds. I didn't expect much from the HE-400 too, seeing that it's open backed. That's where I got a surprise waiting for me. The bass on the HE-400 is DELICIOUS!! I even set the Andes' EQ to bass boost, just to get that extra deliciousness. Seriously, it's the kind of bass you'd get from thousand dollars SQL car audio setup. It's punchy but smooth, it kicks but doesn't put pressures to the ears. It's so good, I can't get enough of it. Lindsey Stirling's Transcendence (trance version) sounds exceptional on the HE-400.

 

IMG_0242_zps6ce25c39.jpg

 

Soundstage? 

 

Being open back, the HE-400 have quite decent wideness, although it still doesn't compare to the AD700 (which is very wide. I only found the HD800 that's actually wider than the AD700). I use the HE-400 for gaming, and I still got good 3D positional audio in the game. Like I've said above, the warmness and clarity make the sounds more realistic, and this also apply to games. In-game characters' dialogue and remarks sounds so much better. Even sound effects like footsteps, gunshots, etc sound more realistic. So don't worry about using the HE-400 for games, as it does its job in games as well.

 

1 More point that I find particularly interesting: when you're using an open back headphone, you're not supposed to cup/cover the back mesh with your hands (or anything for that matter), right?

 

IMG_1019_zps80545273.jpg

 

With the HE-400, I found out I can only move my hands that close to the back mesh, before I could hear distortions on the sounds. Gets more distorted the more I move my hands closer to the back mesh. I was actually listening to my ipad in the picture (it's on my lap). It's not a bad thing, I just found this to be different (from most open back headphones) and quite interesting. You can try this yourself, when you have the chance.

 

Conclusion: Seriously, the best $300 (originally $400, but now they're on discount price, $300) headphone I've ever used. I don't own any other $300 headphones, but I've tried quite a few headphones on that price range, and I found the HE-400 to be the best out of the others in the price range. I've said this in another thread, but I will say this again: buy this, thank me later....

 

 

PS: As I stated at the top of this post, the HE-400 is retiring. You can still find it on Amazon.com and head-direct.com (official Hifiman store) on discount price ($299, from $399). Amazon should be in the western regions, head-direct ships from China. So just pick which one is closer to you. That is if you wanna get one, of course :) Better hurry though, before they vanish altogether, like the E10 or the AD700...

 

PSS: Sorry for the oh-so-long post. I was just excited talking (or writing) about this magnificent headphone....

Link to post
Share on other sites

wow, I'm really impressed by the very thorough research and work you did on this. The great pictures and your good review are going to make me take a closer look at these headphones!

 

I also felt like a professional audiophile wrote this guessing by the good structuring and personal experiences and comments here and there. I would also like to see more thorough reviews like this from people that do this for a living than in their free time on a forum! I would definitely read more reviews by you!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP

wow, I'm really impressed by the very thorough research and work you did on this. The great pictures and your good review are going to make me take a closer look at these headphones!

 

I also felt like a professional audiophile wrote this guessing by the good structuring and personal experiences and comments here and there. I would also like to see more thorough reviews like this from people that do this for a living than in their free time on a forum! I would definitely read more reviews by you!

 

1 thing for sure though, I'm not an audiophile. Audio mania, maybe, but definitely not an audiophile :) I wrote some more reviews, but not as long as this one. Guess I was just not as excited by the other headphones as I was with this one....:P

 

 

Too much incorrect usage of the word "power"

 

Perhaps you're right. When talking about headphone amp, people tend to measure in voltage, instead of power (wattage). I took my lessons from here: http://www.apexhifi.com/specs.html

 

From all of those mumbo jumbo, I tend to stick with the first equation, the power (wattage)-sensitivity-dBSPL, the X dB/mW. The simplest one, the more power (wattage) you give, the more dBSPL (loudness) you'll get. I understand the other equations, but it's hard to use them to just explain an idea. If it's for a real number calculation, then yeah, I'd use the other equations (although of course I'd just use the calculator...:P)

Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you mean when you claim the sound gets "better" with more "power"

 

The sound is always there, it just gets more apparent when you turn the volume up.. >.>

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fletcher%E2%80%93Munson_curves


Stuff:  i7 7700k @ (dat nibba succ) | ASRock Z170M OC Formula | G.Skill TridentZ 3600 c16 | EKWB 1080 @ 2100 mhz  |  Acer X34 Predator | R4 | EVGA 1000 P2 | 1080mm Radiator Custom Loop | HD800 + Audio-GD NFB-11 | 850 Evo 1TB | 840 Pro 256GB | 3TB WD Blue | 2TB Barracuda

Hwbot: http://hwbot.org/user/lays/ 

FireStrike 980 ti @ 1800 Mhz http://hwbot.org/submission/3183338 http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/11574089

Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps you're right. When talking about headphone amp, people tend to measure in voltage, instead of power (wattage). I took my lessons from here: http://www.apexhifi.com/specs.html

 

From all of those mumbo jumbo, I tend to stick with the first equation, the power (wattage)-sensitivity-dBSPL, the X dB/mW. The simplest one, the more power (wattage) you give, the more dBSPL (loudness) you'll get. I understand the other equations, but it's hard to use them to just explain an idea. If it's for a real number calculation, then yeah, I'd use the other equations (although of course I'd just use the calculator... :P)

 

Power, in Physics, is consumed not applied. It is work done, not fuel for the fire. Amplifiers don't truly have a max output power (until they flip a circuit breaker or catch fire obviously), so it is illogical to say you have a "powerful amplifier" when the limiting factor is actually voltage.

 

Honestly, this is just one of my pet peeves. Colloquially it's not really a big deal, but the more people say it, the more the usage spreads, the more it is misunderstood, and then idiocy spreads! *dun dun duuuuuuuuuun*

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP

 

What do you mean when you claim the sound gets "better" with more "power"

 

The sound is always there, it just gets more apparent when you turn the volume up.. >.>

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fletcher%E2%80%93Munson_curves

 

 

Well, that's exactly what I, and my friends feel though. We actually felt the sound got better, not just louder. I don't know the exact theory (if any) behind it, and frankly I'm not sure I even want to know. Sometimes we think too much of how the steak is cooked, that we ended up less enjoying the steak itself. One of the possible answer I found though:

 

 

Planar magnetic driver diaphragms are surrounded on either side by relatively large structures. The magnets are fairly large, and the opposing force they exert on each other is significant, so sturdy metal structures hold the magnets in place. There is a significant amount of trapped air in volumes of various sizes that must be moved before sound is radiated out of the driver. The springiness and resonances that may exist in this trapped air volume can cause problems.

 

So, my 'shooting in the dark' theory, based on the above quote is, yes all the sound and details are there, even with low volume. But the small amplitudes of the vibration of the diaphragm are just not quite enough to deliver all the quality and clarity to our ears, due to the amount of trapped air around the diaphragm. The sonic air waves are blocked by the trapped air, while the amplitudes of the vibration of the very very thin diaphragm are just not enough to move those trapped air out of the way. Probably like a guy talking with his mouth full. His vocal chord is doing its job, but the sonic air wave coming out of his throat is blocked by the food in his mouth, so he'd sound all muffled and garbled. When the volume got turned up, the amplitudes of the vibration of the diaphragm is now strong enough to push through the trapped air, delivering the quality and clarity to our ears. The guy shouts from the top of his lungs, and the food in his mouth got pushed out of the way by the air pressure from his throat. But of course I'm not a physicist, nor an engineer, so like I said, it's just 'shooting in the dark'

 

Power, in Physics, is consumed not applied. It is work done, not fuel for the fire. Amplifiers don't truly have a max output power (until they flip a circuit breaker or catch fire obviously), so it is illogical to say you have a "powerful amplifier" when the limiting factor is actually voltage.

 

Honestly, this is just one of my pet peeves. Colloquially it's not really a big deal, but the more people say it, the more the usage spreads, the more it is misunderstood, and then idiocy spreads! *dun dun duuuuuuuuuun*

 

Yes, I do understand, from the link in my previous post, they wrote about it:

 

 

In reality, headphone amplifiers also have a maximum amount of CURRENT that they can deliver.  This is often the limiting factor for how much power a headphone amplifier can deliver into a low-impedance load, say, 50 ohms or lower.  Power can also be calculated as P = I2 * R, where  I is current (and R is impedance again).

 

It's just one of those common misconception that have been going around for too long. For example, in physics, 'cold' and 'dark' is not a thing. Heat is a thing, because theoretically we can keep adding heat to something, until it has infinite amount of heat. But not cold. We can only substract heat from something until it reaches 0 degree Kelvin, which is absolute heat-less state. We can't go any further than that, there is no -5 degree Kelvin, for instance. Same thing with 'dark', as opposed to 'bright', which is actually the amount of light particles present at the time (represented with 'Lumen', I think?). We can keep on adding light particles until we're blinded by it, and keep on going, adding light particles until infinite amount. But as with cold, we can only substract so much light from something, until it reaches 0 lumen, which is pitch black, or the absolute absence of light particles. There is no -10 lumen. To put it in other words, in Physics, there are no such things as 'cold' and 'dark/darkness', just as there is no such thing as a 'powerful amplifier'

 

Now the real problem is, everytime we hear someone say something like, 'why is it so cold in here?', can we keep on correcting them, 'that's not physically correct. The physically correct term is, why is there so little amount of heat in here? In physics, there is no such thing as "cold" '. Same goes with 'why is it so dark in here?', the physically correct term should be, 'why is this room have so little amount of light particles?'. 1 time correcting, easy, 2 times, why not? 3 times? 4 times? 40 times? Later on we just go with them, if only just for easier communication and sharing ideas, 'yeah you're right, it's very cold in here....' :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

actually, all headphones become more better sounding if you increase their volume....


When 2 things meet each other, Quantum stuff happens.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP

Wow, did you take all of those photos yourself? Completely amazing review, keep it up! :)

 

Hey, thanks for the kind words. Yeah, I took the pictures myself. That's why I gave them my name's initial 'MS'. I've had bad experiences of people claiming my pictures as theirs :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP

I wanna share my recent experience with Hifiman (as a company):

 

So a while ago, one cup of my HE-400 produced crackling sounds. Like when a speaker is set too loud, that kind of crackling. As I said in my original post, I bought the HE-400 as a demo unit, so I automatically assumed the warranty was already expired. So I brought it to an electronic service guy. Turned out that the membrane had a tear on it, and that's what causing the crackling sound. The service guy said the whole driver must be replaced. Actually I only need the membrane, but of course there's a very small chance that I can buy only the membrane part.

 

So I e-mailed Hifiman's customer service, asking if I can buy just one driver only. Turned out they don't sell only the driver part, but they offered something in return. They have a 'replacement program', which is:

 

- The warranty expired, so claiming the warranty is out of question

- Send them the broken unit, along with the warranty card (expired). The main unit only, I didn't send the cables, box, and stuffs. Because I'm in Asia, so I sent it to their China address. 

- Pay the replacement fee, which is $60, including shipping and handling fee from their store to my home.

- They send me a refurbished unit (not my original unit). I could opt for them to send me my original unit, but that means I must wait for the unit to be serviced and reconditioned by them, which could take some time. So I opt for the refurbished unit.

 

Their customer service (the ones answered my e-mails were Emily and Yan) were very helpful and thorough. The whole ordeal took about 2 weeks, from the time I send the broken unit, until I receive the new unit. They send the new unit through DHL. It maybe a refurbished unit, but damn, it looks and feels like a brand new unit. Take a look for yourself:

 

IMG_3410_zps3636a7e4.jpg

 

BTW, the velour pads were the pads from my original unit, so it's kinda dirty (okay, very dirty....). The new unit came with pleather pads, but I replaced it with my velour.

 

IMG_3414_zpsd5272ec9.jpg

 

IMG_3417_zps16d5a87a.jpg

 

The metal parts got titanium-y color, while my previous unit was silvery white

 

IMG_3419_zps1057d2f5.jpg

 

IMG_3421_zps1b188bca.jpg

 

To be honest, I'm quite impressed with their after-sales service, that's the reason I write my experience here. My usual experiences with other electronic stuffs and brands were like, 'the warranty expired? tough luck, go buy a new one....'. Hifiman gave me the option of getting a new one (although it's refurbished, not brand new) with a very reasonable fee.

 

Please note that I don't work for Hifiman, I'm not advertising their products, and I got nothing from them by writing this. I'm just a very satisfied customer, and I think they deserve the credits....

 

Pairing it with Aune T1 MK2 now, and it sounds incredible! Review coming up....

Link to post
Share on other sites

tl:dr


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.1 Corinthians 13:4

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice review there, dude, keep it up! ;) Great photography too I might add, wish I had the equipment and skill set needed for such shots, but alas, I'm sorely lacking in that department. I'd ordered a HE400 from HiFiman, but changed my mind after a day or two, I'd decided to up my ante and bought a HD700 and an Alpha Dog instead, to this day it'd bothered me whether I'd did myself a disservice by canceling the HE400 order. Seems like a pretty good pair of cans from what you'd written in your review. 

 

I wish I had the ears and vocabulary to review the audio stuff I have, but since my hearing isn't what it used to be (it happens when you push past 50), and the fear of being criticized holds me back. Besides, I'm still in the process of learning.....


Rig 1: AMD AM4 R9 3900X (12C/24T) | Gigabyte X570 Aorus Xtreme | 4x 8GB XPG Spectrix D60G DDR4 3200 | PowerColor RX VEGA 64 Red Devil | 256GB Sabrent Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 (OS) | 4TB Samsung 860 EVO SSD + 2TB Samsung 860 QVO SSD + 6TB WD Black HDD | CoolerMaster H500M | Corsair HX1000 Platinum | Leopold FC660C + Logitech G703 | OPPO HA-1 + Philips Fidelio HTL9100 | Acer XR341CK 21:9 Freesync | 64bit Win10 Pro

Rig 2: Intel i7 3960X (6C/12T) | Asus R4E | 16GB Corsair Dom Plat 2133mhz | Leaadtek GTX1080 Hurricane | iFi Micro iDSD BL + Samsung HW-K651 | Caselabs M8 | Corsair HX-1050 | Leopold FC660C + Logitech G502 | Samsung C49HG90DME 49" 32:9 | 64bit Win10 Pro

HTPC Rig: Intel i7 4770K (4C/8T) | MSI Z87 G45 Gaming | 16GB RipJawsZ 1600mhz | Gigabyte RX EVGA64 Gaming OC | Tt View 31 | Enermax 1500 MAX Revo | Logitech G613 + G603 | Panasonic 65" UHD TV | 64bit Win10 Pro

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP

Very nice review there, dude, keep it up! ;) Great photography too I might add, wish I had the equipment and skill set needed for such shots, but alas, I'm sorely lacking in that department. I'd ordered a HE400 from HiFiman, but changed my mind after a day or two, I'd decided to up my ante and bought a HD700 and an Alpha Dog instead, to this day it'd bothered me whether I'd did myself a disservice by canceling the HE400 order. Seems like a pretty good pair of cans from what you'd written in your review. 

 

I wish I had the ears and vocabulary to review the audio stuff I have, but since my hearing isn't what it used to be (it happens when you push past 50), and the fear of being criticized holds me back. Besides, I'm still in the process of learning.....

 

HD700 should sound pretty similar with the HE400 from what I remember when I tried them a while back. HD700 might be a bit better because of its fuller mid, compared to the big mid dip in HE400. 

 

As for ears, there's a way to train your ears again. Google philips golden ears challenge. It's a set of quizzes on audio. It can be a tad boring, but I guarantee, if you passed all the test, your ears are gonna be much more sensitive to subtle changes in sounds :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

HD700 should sound pretty similar with the HE400 from what I remember when I tried them a while back. HD700 might be a bit better because of its fuller mid, compared to the big mid dip in HE400. 

 

As for ears, there's a way to train your ears again. Google philips golden ears challenge. It's a set of quizzes on audio. It can be a tad boring, but I guarantee, if you passed all the test, your ears are gonna be much more sensitive to subtle changes in sounds :)

I've always thought I'd have trouble with the highs on the HD700 seeing that some have reported that it was too hot. But, I don't know, either Senn fixed it with later 'revisions' of it, or my hearing's shot to hell. I do hear the highs, it's sparkly but not harsh at all. Will take the test when I have the time, I'm usually busy near end-of-month with a deluge of work, but should find some time early next month to do it. I'm pretty excited as I'll be getting three more cans (2 dynamic, one ortho) to add to my collection of cans, as well as a Schiit Vali and some tubes to roll for my Lyr. Anyway, thanks for the hint........and do keep up the excellent work with more reviews.


Rig 1: AMD AM4 R9 3900X (12C/24T) | Gigabyte X570 Aorus Xtreme | 4x 8GB XPG Spectrix D60G DDR4 3200 | PowerColor RX VEGA 64 Red Devil | 256GB Sabrent Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 (OS) | 4TB Samsung 860 EVO SSD + 2TB Samsung 860 QVO SSD + 6TB WD Black HDD | CoolerMaster H500M | Corsair HX1000 Platinum | Leopold FC660C + Logitech G703 | OPPO HA-1 + Philips Fidelio HTL9100 | Acer XR341CK 21:9 Freesync | 64bit Win10 Pro

Rig 2: Intel i7 3960X (6C/12T) | Asus R4E | 16GB Corsair Dom Plat 2133mhz | Leaadtek GTX1080 Hurricane | iFi Micro iDSD BL + Samsung HW-K651 | Caselabs M8 | Corsair HX-1050 | Leopold FC660C + Logitech G502 | Samsung C49HG90DME 49" 32:9 | 64bit Win10 Pro

HTPC Rig: Intel i7 4770K (4C/8T) | MSI Z87 G45 Gaming | 16GB RipJawsZ 1600mhz | Gigabyte RX EVGA64 Gaming OC | Tt View 31 | Enermax 1500 MAX Revo | Logitech G613 + G603 | Panasonic 65" UHD TV | 64bit Win10 Pro

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP

I've always thought I'd have trouble with the highs on the HD700 seeing that some have reported that it was too hot. But, I don't know, either Senn fixed it with later 'revisions' of it, or my hearing's shot to hell. I do hear the highs, it's sparkly but not harsh at all. Will take the test when I have the time, I'm usually busy near end-of-month with a deluge of work, but should find some time early next month to do it. I'm pretty excited as I'll be getting three more cans (2 dynamic, one ortho) to add to my collection of cans, as well as a Schiit Vali and some tubes to roll for my Lyr. Anyway, thanks for the hint........and do keep up the excellent work with more reviews.

 

Well, the impression that stuck to me on HD700 wasn't the high, but the warmness. Imo HD700 is the most warm Senn's I've tried. Not bassy, but warm. You can read a bit of my impression when I tried it on the link in my sig, the USF one :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the impression that stuck to me on HD700 wasn't the high, but the warmness. Imo HD700 is the most warm Senn's I've tried. Not bassy, but warm. You can read a bit of my impression when I tried it on the link in my sig, the USF one :)

It'd never occurred to me to click on links in other members' sig, yours was most enlightening, thanks, it's a nice read. As said, I'd be getting three cans next week, they're the AKG K812, HiFiMan HE400i (this was the vary same pair I'd gotten previously but returned to seller due to 'scratches' on one cup, turned out to be dried glue :wacko: ) and an Audio Technica ATH-AD2000 which comes in a Ltd Ed AT case. Have you tried any of them? Here at this forum, I value yours and a couple others' opinion on things audio. I'm wondering whether I should get a HE400 while it's still available.....but, with the HE400i, I'd have three orthos, so I don't think I'd get it......still quite undecided about this. :unsure:


Rig 1: AMD AM4 R9 3900X (12C/24T) | Gigabyte X570 Aorus Xtreme | 4x 8GB XPG Spectrix D60G DDR4 3200 | PowerColor RX VEGA 64 Red Devil | 256GB Sabrent Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 (OS) | 4TB Samsung 860 EVO SSD + 2TB Samsung 860 QVO SSD + 6TB WD Black HDD | CoolerMaster H500M | Corsair HX1000 Platinum | Leopold FC660C + Logitech G703 | OPPO HA-1 + Philips Fidelio HTL9100 | Acer XR341CK 21:9 Freesync | 64bit Win10 Pro

Rig 2: Intel i7 3960X (6C/12T) | Asus R4E | 16GB Corsair Dom Plat 2133mhz | Leaadtek GTX1080 Hurricane | iFi Micro iDSD BL + Samsung HW-K651 | Caselabs M8 | Corsair HX-1050 | Leopold FC660C + Logitech G502 | Samsung C49HG90DME 49" 32:9 | 64bit Win10 Pro

HTPC Rig: Intel i7 4770K (4C/8T) | MSI Z87 G45 Gaming | 16GB RipJawsZ 1600mhz | Gigabyte RX EVGA64 Gaming OC | Tt View 31 | Enermax 1500 MAX Revo | Logitech G613 + G603 | Panasonic 65" UHD TV | 64bit Win10 Pro

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP

It'd never occurred to me to click on links in other members' sig, yours was most enlightening, thanks, it's a nice read. As said, I'd be getting three cans next week, they're the AKG K812, HiFiMan HE400i (this was the vary same pair I'd gotten previously but returned to seller due to 'scratches' on one cup, turned out to be dried glue :wacko: ) and an Audio Technica ATH-AD2000 which comes in a Ltd Ed AT case. Have you tried any of them? Here at this forum, I value yours and a couple others' opinion on things audio. I'm wondering whether I should get a HE400 while it's still available.....but, with the HE400i, I'd have three orthos, so I don't think I'd get it......still quite undecided about this. :unsure:

 

Never tried the 400i, but general consensus is that it's definitely better than the 400. Main thing they fixed should be the spiking treble that many people find too sharp. 

 

Never tried AD2000 also, but my stereotype of Audio Technica is that they aren't doing very good at higher end stuffs. Out of all AT stuffs I tried, I found them to be quite similar sounding across the lines. This means, when you're buying their cheap stuffs, you get a bit more than you pay for, but when you're buying their pricier stuffs, you might get less than what you pay for. 

 

One product that I really like in AT is the Raffinato (there're few words about it in that USF topic), closed wooden back. I never liked closed back, with LCD-XC and Raffinato being 2 exceptions. 

 

Try them all, and if you find yourself loving orthos (they have quite distinct, hard-to-explain sound compared to dynamic drivers), if I'm in your shoes, I'd sell everything, and get me one of the LCD line. LCD-3 being the best I've tried so far. Nothing compares to it, any type, any brand. Well, it's my personal opinion, of course :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, as things stand, I have:

HD800

HD700

LCD2.2 NF

Alpha Dog

DT990/600

Plus the three I will be getting next week, I'm pretty happy with the LCD2 honestly speaking, so I don't think I'd look at an LCD3. With the K812, I will have two flagship dynamic, and one ortho in the LCD2 that can hang with its pricier siblings. I guess I am afraid I might love an LCD3 and spend yet another wad of cash on one. Besides, I believe I am a dynamic cans kind of guy and, well, variety is the spice of life after all. I tend to lose my head when I dive headlong into a hobby, my 30 keyboards speak volumes about my lack of impulse control.

Thanks for the advice though, much appreciated....will think about what you"d said.


Rig 1: AMD AM4 R9 3900X (12C/24T) | Gigabyte X570 Aorus Xtreme | 4x 8GB XPG Spectrix D60G DDR4 3200 | PowerColor RX VEGA 64 Red Devil | 256GB Sabrent Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 (OS) | 4TB Samsung 860 EVO SSD + 2TB Samsung 860 QVO SSD + 6TB WD Black HDD | CoolerMaster H500M | Corsair HX1000 Platinum | Leopold FC660C + Logitech G703 | OPPO HA-1 + Philips Fidelio HTL9100 | Acer XR341CK 21:9 Freesync | 64bit Win10 Pro

Rig 2: Intel i7 3960X (6C/12T) | Asus R4E | 16GB Corsair Dom Plat 2133mhz | Leaadtek GTX1080 Hurricane | iFi Micro iDSD BL + Samsung HW-K651 | Caselabs M8 | Corsair HX-1050 | Leopold FC660C + Logitech G502 | Samsung C49HG90DME 49" 32:9 | 64bit Win10 Pro

HTPC Rig: Intel i7 4770K (4C/8T) | MSI Z87 G45 Gaming | 16GB RipJawsZ 1600mhz | Gigabyte RX EVGA64 Gaming OC | Tt View 31 | Enermax 1500 MAX Revo | Logitech G613 + G603 | Panasonic 65" UHD TV | 64bit Win10 Pro

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

*shakes fist* you lucky man!

Heh, keep a lookout at the 'Show off your latest purchase' thread sometime next week, I'd be posting pics of the three new cans plus a Schiit Vali and some tubes (Telefunken and Amperex ECC88 6DJ8). next week's gonna be a fun time for me! Will keep a lookout for a used HE400 or HE500, not keen to pay for a new one here as price of cans here is ridiculously overpriced! I see a Mad Dog 3.2 going for a nice price, but since I have the Alpha Dog, I don't see a need to consider it.

 

Edit: A quick shot of the ATH-AD2000, will be taking 'glamor' shots later with the other cans in the 'Show off....' thread.

pic2_zps9laquhft.jpg


Rig 1: AMD AM4 R9 3900X (12C/24T) | Gigabyte X570 Aorus Xtreme | 4x 8GB XPG Spectrix D60G DDR4 3200 | PowerColor RX VEGA 64 Red Devil | 256GB Sabrent Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 (OS) | 4TB Samsung 860 EVO SSD + 2TB Samsung 860 QVO SSD + 6TB WD Black HDD | CoolerMaster H500M | Corsair HX1000 Platinum | Leopold FC660C + Logitech G703 | OPPO HA-1 + Philips Fidelio HTL9100 | Acer XR341CK 21:9 Freesync | 64bit Win10 Pro

Rig 2: Intel i7 3960X (6C/12T) | Asus R4E | 16GB Corsair Dom Plat 2133mhz | Leaadtek GTX1080 Hurricane | iFi Micro iDSD BL + Samsung HW-K651 | Caselabs M8 | Corsair HX-1050 | Leopold FC660C + Logitech G502 | Samsung C49HG90DME 49" 32:9 | 64bit Win10 Pro

HTPC Rig: Intel i7 4770K (4C/8T) | MSI Z87 G45 Gaming | 16GB RipJawsZ 1600mhz | Gigabyte RX EVGA64 Gaming OC | Tt View 31 | Enermax 1500 MAX Revo | Logitech G613 + G603 | Panasonic 65" UHD TV | 64bit Win10 Pro

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×