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[REVIEW] HiFiMan HE-560

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Is the cable as crummy as the one that came with my HE-500s?  I even had to buy a new cable for my LCD-2s as well.  Why are all these high-end headphones so cheap?  After $500 you start getting into the esoteric drivers category and things start getting out of whack in the balance between design and driver R&D when it comes to cost.  Beyer and Sennheiser buck the trend in that category, but I'm talking about BOUTIQUE brands not international powerhouses that make the occasional statement headphone for enthusiasts.  At least they make them with removable cables.

 

As for the notion of a high-end headphone bust, it's already happening just nobody can see it yet.  Hifiman is coming out with a cheaper HE-1000 called the HE Edition X not 5 months after releasing it at a $3k MSRP.  How much do they want for the basically HE-1000 factory seconds?  Only $1700.  And they were open to negotiating with fans and other industry people what the price "should be".  Way to show your hand at how much your markup is, or in this case, how inefficient your manufacturing process is.


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It doesn't matter much, since the wood is only a veneer, so once it's gone, it'll be just plastic, and not affect the headphones other than looks.

Fair enough. I was just concerned that since it costs a bum load of cash, I was hoping it wouldn't lead to it breaking. Glad to know Hifiman wasn't too forgiving in QC.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Is the cable as crummy as the one that came with my HE-500s?  I even had to buy a new cable for my LCD-2s as well.  Why are all these high-end headphones so cheap?  After $500 you start getting into the esoteric drivers category and things start getting out of whack in the balance between design and driver R&D when it comes to cost.  Beyer and Sennheiser buck the trend in that category, but I'm talking about BOUTIQUE brands not international powerhouses that make the occasional statement headphone for enthusiasts.  At least they make them with removable cables.

 

As for the notion of a high-end headphone bust, it's already happening just nobody can see it yet.  Hifiman is coming out with a cheaper HE-1000 called the HE Edition X not 5 months after releasing it at a $3k MSRP.  How much do they want for the basically HE-1000 factory seconds?  Only $1700.  And they were open to negotiating with fans and other industry people what the price "should be".  Way to show your hand at how much your markup is, or in this case, how inefficient your manufacturing process is.

 

The cable is not great. Hifiman tried to dress it up by throwing an unnecessarily bulky Neutrik 6.35mm jack on there, to make it feel "quality". Oh, and it's "textile sleeved". Whoopy-doo. But as I mentioned in the review, it still has those monumentally stupid mini-coaxial connectors or whatever they are. Not only are these connectors a pain to use, but they are extremely flimsy and subject to defects, as I found. All this nonsense would have been easily avoidable by using mini-XLR.

 

Another thing about the cable, Hifiman uses a silver-plated crystaline copper material or some bullshit, because it supposedly sounds the best. So basically they are forcing everyone who buys their headphones to pay an extra $150 at the whim of the audiophile crazies.

 

That's a good point about the Edition X. I hadn't thought of it like that, but it makes perfect sense. Of course, the head-fi hype machine has people working themselves into a lather over this more "accessible" HE-1000.

 

Fair enough. I was just concerned that since it costs a bum load of cash, I was hoping it wouldn't lead to it breaking. Glad to know Hifiman wasn't too forgiving in QC.

 

Funny you should mention that. The initial production run of the HE-560 had solid teak ear cups. Guess what? They cracked open like eggs on fucking Easter. You'd think Hifiman would have learned when they tried that failed experiment with the HE-5.

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Funny you should mention that. The initial production run of the HE-560 had solid teak ear cups. Guess what? They cracked open like eggs on fucking Easter. You'd think Hifiman would have learned when they tried that failed experiment with the HE-5.

Well... shit. 

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Hue. I'm starting to wonder if there is a headphone currently in existence that I'll be happy with. The problem I had with the HE-560 would have been 100% avoidable if 1. HiFiMan used mini-XLR and 2. they did any QC whatsoever. I might just end up getting a HD600/650 and waiting to see where things are in 5 years. Problem is, I suspect that we're either going to see increasingly astronomically priced flagships, or else the hi-fi bubble will burst and headphone tech advancement will stall.

 

Perhaps you could grab something like HE-400i and be happy with it. $500 is probably all you really need to spend to get an almost ToTL level headphone

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After the K7xx I really would not want a proprietary cable, even mini-xlr. I have to live with the stupid cable on the 400is, but I got mine with an extra custom cable, so not too worried if I break one. You may want to try out the 400i, especially since the newer ones come with 3.5mm inputs. I am now also considering trying to find a used pair of HE-500s, even though I really need to just start selling off all of my other headphones...

 

I wouldn't mind sending you my 400i's for a week if you wanted to pay shipping.


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Posted · Original PosterOP

Perhaps you could grab something like HE-400i and be happy with it. $500 is probably all you really need to spend to get an almost ToTL level headphone

 

After the K7xx I really would not want a proprietary cable, even mini-xlr. I have to live with the stupid cable on the 400is, but I got mine with an extra custom cable, so not too worried if I break one. You may want to try out the 400i, especially since the newer ones come with 3.5mm inputs. I am now also considering trying to find a used pair of HE-500s, even though I really need to just start selling off all of my other headphones...

 

I wouldn't mind sending you my 400i's for a week if you wanted to pay shipping.

 

No, and no. The 400i is going to have the same quality issues, which is my main gripe.

 

Are you sure that the newer 400i are fitted with TRS? I was under the impression that all 400i and 560 still used the dumb coax. Also, mini-XLR is not proprietary. It's just the only connector that should be used because it doesn't SUCK.

 

Thanks for the suggestions, tho.

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No, and no. The 400i is going to have the same quality issues, which is my main gripe.

 

Are you sure that the newer 400i are fitted with TRS? I was under the impression that all 400i and 560 still used the dumb coax. Also, mini-XLR is not proprietary. It's just the only connector that should be used because it doesn't SUCK.

 

Thanks for the suggestions, tho.

2.5mm not 3.5mm my bad. I would not know which stores have updated the plug, but it is definitely a thing.

 

I will agree that the build is sub-par, as I have already had to re-attach the leather strap with superglue (which was a bitch to get the connector piece apart).

 

As long as sound and comfort is good, I can live with fixing things on my own. 

 

If I could, I would have a single 3.5mm input on all of my headphones, since a replacement cable is so easy to get, as well as it makes things like a BoomPro or a bluetooth receiver an easy headset upgrade.

 

Maybe the HE-500 since they are a heftier build? 


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Did you have any distortion at high volumes if they weren't completely sealed to your head?

 

The HE-560 thread on head-fi awhile back when I used to view it had lots of people complaining about driver excursion with glasses on


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Posted · Original PosterOP

Did you have any distortion at high volumes if they weren't completely sealed to your head?

 

The HE-560 thread on head-fi awhile back when I used to view it had lots of people complaining about driver excursion with glasses on

 

I don't listen at ear shredding levels, so I encountered no issues. Even at slightly louder than comfortable, it seemed just fine in that respect.

 

2.5mm not 3.5mm my bad. I would not know which stores have updated the plug, but it is definitely a thing.

 

I will agree that the build is sub-par, as I have already had to re-attach the leather strap with superglue (which was a bitch to get the connector piece apart).

 

As long as sound and comfort is good, I can live with fixing things on my own. 

 

If I could, I would have a single 3.5mm input on all of my headphones, since a replacement cable is so easy to get, as well as it makes things like a BoomPro or a bluetooth receiver an easy headset upgrade.

 

Maybe the HE-500 since they are a heftier build? 

 

Well, shit, why aren't they doing that to the HE-560? I would be much more likely to buy again if they did that. What is going on with this company???

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Posted · Original PosterOP

2.5mm not 3.5mm my bad. I would not know which stores have updated the plug, but it is definitely a thing.

 

Good news, hifiman customer support tells me that they are updating the 560 with TRS connectors as well. Now, just to see if I can get my paws on them without paying more than the $700 I got them for, and I'll be happy.

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Good news, hifiman customer support tells me that they are updating the 560 with TRS connectors as well. Now, just to see if I can get my paws on them without paying more than the $700 I got them for, and I'll be happy.

oh boy. If that's the case, I may have to grab a pair.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

oh boy. If that's the case, I may have to grab a pair.

 

Like 'em that much, then?

 

Also, got my Schiit today. Sounds great; dead silent in the noise department. Definitely brighter than the Fiio E10. I'm using it with an audiophile-grade USB audio interconnect, which I highly recommend.

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Like 'em that much, then?

Also, got my Schiit today. Sounds great; dead silent in the noise department. Definitely brighter than the Fiio E10. I'm using it with an audiophile-grade USB audio interconnect, which I highly recommend.

kek. Mainly I'm considering getting something I can use to replace the he500. Also, I think I'll experiment with 3d printing some closed cups and seeing what happens.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

kek. Mainly I'm considering getting something I can use to replace the he500. Also, I think I'll experiment with 3d printing some closed cups and seeing what happens.

 

Interesting. Based on what happened when I held my hands up to the grills, it'd sound like ass; but that might be fixable with suitable damping.

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Interesting. Based on what happened when I held my hands up to the grills, it'd sound like ass; but that might be fixable with suitable damping.

I had the same experience with my 500. That being said, I never said anything about having small chambers, or inadequate damping, did I? ;)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I had the same experience with my 500. That being said, I never said anything about having small chambers, or inadequate damping, did I? ;)

 

You didn't!

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You didn't!

lol, I'm kind of thinking about some ridiculously large chamber (3+ inches deep) just so that I can keep the sound stage and everything, but have them be closed... Plus, with the way that hifiman secure the grill, it would be easy to swap back and forth.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

lol, I'm kind of thinking about some ridiculously large chamber (3+ inches deep) just so that I can keep the sound stage and everything, but have them be closed... Plus, with the way that hifiman secure the grill, it would be easy to swap back and forth.

 

Yeah, I've seen that kind of stuff on head-fi. I'd say go all-out, put large cone-shaped chambers on there, so the sound can expand outward unimpeded. That might be interesting, actually. Or not, I dunno.

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Yeah, I've seen that kind of stuff on head-fi. I'd say go all-out, put large cone-shaped chambers on there, so the sound can expand outward unimpeded. That might be interesting, actually. Or not, I dunno.

Now what would be the point?

Closed would be mostly for where you can't use open, and there is usually other people around. And you would look really stupid with big cones sticking out of the side of your head.

That said, you should do it!


n0ah1897, on 05 Mar 2014 - 2:08 PM, said:  "Computers are like girls. It's whats in the inside that matters.  I don't know about you, but I like my girls like I like my cases. Just as beautiful on the inside as the outside."

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Now what would be the point?

Closed would be mostly for where you can't use open, and there is usually other people around. And you would look really stupid with big cones sticking out of the side of your head.

That said, you should do it!

That's exactly why. I live with two (soon to be three) other people... So I kinda need a closed set of cans...

Hey! New SIgnature! 

 

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Good news, hifiman customer support tells me that they are updating the 560 with TRS connectors as well. Now, just to see if I can get my paws on them without paying more than the $700 I got them for, and I'll be happy.

Yay hifiman is becoming smarter!

 

kek. Mainly I'm considering getting something I can use to replace the he500. Also, I think I'll experiment with 3d printing some closed cups and seeing what happens.

When time comes to sell your HE-500s I will most likely be willing to take them off your hands for you. 


Internets Machine: Intel 4690k w/ Be Quiet! Pure Rock 4.7Ghz. MSI Krait z97. 16GB Crucial Ballistix Sport Ram. MSI GTX 970 SLI 1520mhz. 500GB Samsung EVO 840  & 3TB WD Blue Drive. Rosewill 1000w Modular PSU. Corsair Air 540

My Beats Yo: Desktop:SMSL SA-160 Amp, KEF Q100 w/ Dayton 100w Sub Theater: Micca MB42X-C x3, MB42X x2, COVO-S x2 w/Dayton 120w Sub Headphones:  HIFiMan HE-400i, PSB M4U2, Philips Fidelio X2, Modded Fostex T50RP, ATH-M50, NVX XPT100, Phillips SHP9500, Pioneer SE-A1000, Hyper X Cloud 1&2, CHC Silverado, Superlux 668B

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Yay hifiman is becoming smarter!

When time comes to sell your HE-500s I will most likely be willing to take them off your hands for you.

I doubt I'll be selling them any time soon. A screw broke off in one of the brass inserts as I was taking them apart, so I'm working on a few unorthodox solutions, and they are probably just going to end up being a modding platform for me.

Hey! New SIgnature! 

 

I'm supposedly a person on the Internet, but you'll never know if I'm human or not ;)

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That's exactly why. I live with two (soon to be three) other people... So I kinda need a closed set of cans...

But if you have 3 inches sticking off the side of your head it would look weird. But it would be cool


n0ah1897, on 05 Mar 2014 - 2:08 PM, said:  "Computers are like girls. It's whats in the inside that matters.  I don't know about you, but I like my girls like I like my cases. Just as beautiful on the inside as the outside."

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But if you have 3 inches sticking off the side of your head it would look weird. But it would be cool

I don't care much about looks, since they will only ever be worn at home :P

Hey! New SIgnature! 

 

I'm supposedly a person on the Internet, but you'll never know if I'm human or not ;)

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