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He-4xx /He-400i

Hello, I have been looking at hifiman he-4xx/ he-400i and I need to decide upon a dac/amp to power them. It's only a temporary solution and I will be getting a dac amp stack in the future but for now I need a £100 max dac/amp combo. Please help, thanks in advance. 

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25 minutes ago, Janettebot said:

Hello, I have been looking at hifiman he-4xx/ he-400i and I need to decide upon a dac/amp to power them. It's only a temporary solution and I will be getting a dac amp stack in the future but for now I need a £100 max dac/amp combo. Please help, thanks in advance. 

I'd recommend the Sound Blaster G5 or X3.

PM or DM me if you have any questions about audio or about your PC.

My PC specs & audio gear

CPU > Intel core i7 9700k, GPU > RTX 2070 8gb, RAM > Corsair Vengance 2x8gb 3000mhz, Motherboard > Z390 Gigabyte Aorus Pro Wifi, Storage > 1TB HDD & 2pcs of 500gb M2 SSDs, Cooling > H100I Corsair Platinum, PSU > Corsair RM750X V2

🎧Current Audio Setup For Gaming/Music🎧

Philips Fidelio X2HR as daily driver

Soundblaster AE-9 Soundcard

The T.bone SC400 XLR mic

Other peripherals

Keyboard > Razer Chroma v2 Orange Switches

Mouse > Cooler Master MM711, had a G502 HERO but was too heavy for my liking.

VR > Valve index kit

Why spend thousands on peripherals and your PC and forget one of the most important things... Audio.

Read this post if you want a "gaming" headset ;)

 

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33 minutes ago, light-v said:

Your best option is the Schiit Fulla 3 at $99 and you won't even have to upgrade from it with the HE-4XX/400i

Would probably get a magni modi stack when I next get the money but for the moment I think the fulla is a great option, thanks 🙂

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1 minute ago, Janettebot said:

Would probably get a magni modi stack when I next get the money but for the moment I think the fulla is a great option, thanks 🙂

No worries, feel free to expand your headphone collection before moving to the Schiit stack, the general rule of thumb would be 80% budget in headphones and 20% on amps and dacs, obviously this doesn't apply when you have one but yeah, I personally ran my Sundara off my motherboard audio for a while and it wasn't bad and going from the Fulla to the stack will not be that massive of a difference 🙂

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Typically a stack starts at $100 per item so $200 at which point the world is your oyster for options.  The schiit fulla as @light-v said is one of the few to have both at $100 that I'm aware of.

 

With that said I would recommend forgoing the stop gap solution and run onboard until you have the funds for a good or even end game solution depending on your long term goals.  I wrote up a little experiment with the 400i and onboard and the 400i did admirably at least with my onboard solution.  But there is certainly more to be had from a dedicated external setup.  Then you'll have some time with onboard and you'll know the setup well enough to appreciate what a better solution will do for you when the time comes.

 

Also I wanted to make sure you are aware that the 4xx and 400i are not interchangeable as they have different sound signatures, at least I believe that's what Josh Valour said, the 4xx is a bassier headphone.

 

And one last comment for much further down the road, if you ever want to get into custom headphone cables I'll save you a lot of beating your head on the wall trying to find "affordable" custom cables and mention Periapt cables and Hart cables as the two that are affordable by cable standards and still high quality.  The only drawback is they can cause issues with the cable rubbing but I have little to no problem with it.  Never buy custom cables from amazon, I have a couple and they're garbage and a waste of money.

 

Oh and balanced is an option on these can's, they really enjoy it.

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13 minutes ago, Psittac said:

Typically a stack starts at $100 per item so $200 at which point the world is your oyster for options.  The schiit fulla as @light-v said is one of the few to have both at $100 that I'm aware of.

 

With that said I would recommend forgoing the stop gap solution and run onboard until you have the funds for a good or even end game solution depending on your long term goals.  I wrote up a little experiment with the 400i and onboard and the 400i did admirably at least with my onboard solution.  But there is certainly more to be had from a dedicated external setup.  Then you'll have some time with onboard and you'll know the setup well enough to appreciate what a better solution will do for you when the time comes.

 

Also I wanted to make sure you are aware that the 4xx and 400i are not interchangeable as they have different sound signatures, at least I believe that's what Josh Valour said, the 4xx is a bassier headphone.

 

And one last comment for much further down the road, if you ever want to get into custom headphone cables I'll save you a lot of beating your head on the wall trying to find "affordable" custom cables and mention Periapt cables and Hart cables as the two that are affordable by cable standards and still high quality.  The only drawback is they can cause issues with the cable rubbing but I have little to no problem with it.  Never buy custom cables from amazon, I have a couple and they're garbage and a waste of money.

 

Oh and balanced is an option on these can's, they really enjoy it.

Only reason I'm looking for a dac is because with every headphone or iems I've tried, the inbuilt audio has audible whines and hisses, I'm also looking specifically at the he 4xx because it is cheaper when converted from dollars to pounds. However I am concerned about shipping and customs price. I'm in the uk btw for any other suggestions l.

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38 minutes ago, Janettebot said:

Would probably get a magni modi stack when I next get the money but for the moment I think the fulla is a great option, thanks 🙂

I think it would be best if you just spent your cash on the magni now and run that off your motherboard. And get a modi later. But I just saw you seem to behaving issues. You can also get a cheap dac like a apple USB C dongle dac or the Samsung one which sounds slightly better 

 

CPU : ryzen 3600x  Motherboard: msi mag b550 tomahawk RAM:32 gig G.Skill Neo GPU: RTX 3070 Case:phanteks p400 

Storage:x1 500 gig WD blue SSD x1 500 gig 860 evo SSD x1 1tb WD blue hdd x1 2tb seagate barraccuda 

 PSU:750W Focus G Cooling:be quite! dark rock pro 4Keyboard:ducky one 2 rgb full sized Mouse:G502, Model o Operating System:win 10

Desktop audio gear: topping d10 ---> Liquid spark DAC---> monolith Cavelli Liquid Spark/Liquid Platinum---> Beyerdynamic dt 990 , Sennheiser Hd 58x, Hifiman HE4xx, AKG k240, AKG k52

Speaker Setup: Topping PA3--->Micca RB42

My portable setup: fiio Q1 mk2, fiio ubtr, fiio btr1k,fiio btr5---> whatever bud or IEM Im feeling that day

 AKG y50bt,Sennheiser HD 4.40

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1 minute ago, Janettebot said:

Only reason I'm looking for a dac is because with every headphone or iems I've tried, the inbuilt audio has audible whines and hisses, I'm also looking specifically at the he 4xx because it is cheaper when converted from dollars to pounds. However I am concerned about shipping and customs price. I'm in the uk btw for any other suggestions l.

System noise is a constant problem until you get to some crazy solutions and so many different things can affect it.  I have a topping dx7 dac/amp and most of the time it's noise free however when I switched psu's to a still top notch psu I got a load of noise so I sought a solution (wifi hat).  A month or two later I went back to a direct usb connection and the noise was gone.  Replaced the psu again with the RMA unit and no noise problems.  So your guess is as good as mine when it comes to why I was getting so much coil whine through even a USB connection.  But that's not to say the problem is gone, last night I warmed up one of my tube amp's and ran it off the line out of the dac/amp and the tubes could pick up the noise floor.  I'm thinking about setting up my pi2aes again just for when I want to listen to my tubes.  But anyways noise is a constant struggle when dealing with a PC.

 

Honestly I'd just go onboard at first and see if there's noise because not even external is sure fire for eliminating noise, but it will reduce it.  If you get the cans and they are to noisy then go for the fulla.  But if they are acceptable you have a potentially $300 budget that you're talking about and if you waited you could dump that extra $100 into a nicer amp, not that it's required.  If you're worried about spending that initial $100 before the time comes, just buy a schiit dac now and wait for an amp later.

 

Anyways just trying to give food for thought, nothing wrong with a fulla now and a stack later, could sell the fulla at a small loss later too.

 

For VAT and all of that I really couldn't comment, typically buying thing's from outside of the states is a headache in the case of return shipping, I have some very expensive paper weights in my basement in the form of gpu blocks that I ended up returning the gpu's while they were in the mail.  Return shipping to Germany was going to cost as much as I paid for them more or less.

 

I'm going to do some 6xx testing onboard now

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6 minutes ago, Janettebot said:

Only reason I'm looking for a dac is because with every headphone or iems I've tried, the inbuilt audio has audible whines and hisses, I'm also looking specifically at the he 4xx because it is cheaper when converted from dollars to pounds. However I am concerned about shipping and customs price. I'm in the uk btw for any other suggestions l.

If you are in the UK I'd suggest going for the HE-400i 2020 as you won't have to deal with customs and having retailers here means you've got warranty coverage (Hifiman occasionally have QC issues, I naver had any but that's something to keep in kind) than if you were to buy the HE-4XX. Do bear in mind as @Psittacpointed out they are not the same headphones but the differences are very subtle though

 

Regarding hissing I'll still suggest trying first before pulling the trigger on an external source, planars are less sensitive (requires more power to draw than typical consumer audio) and therefore are less prone to hiss. 

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If hissing is an issue from. One board the apple dongle dac or Samsung one is a really cheap good fix as a holdover dac. 

 

CPU : ryzen 3600x  Motherboard: msi mag b550 tomahawk RAM:32 gig G.Skill Neo GPU: RTX 3070 Case:phanteks p400 

Storage:x1 500 gig WD blue SSD x1 500 gig 860 evo SSD x1 1tb WD blue hdd x1 2tb seagate barraccuda 

 PSU:750W Focus G Cooling:be quite! dark rock pro 4Keyboard:ducky one 2 rgb full sized Mouse:G502, Model o Operating System:win 10

Desktop audio gear: topping d10 ---> Liquid spark DAC---> monolith Cavelli Liquid Spark/Liquid Platinum---> Beyerdynamic dt 990 , Sennheiser Hd 58x, Hifiman HE4xx, AKG k240, AKG k52

Speaker Setup: Topping PA3--->Micca RB42

My portable setup: fiio Q1 mk2, fiio ubtr, fiio btr1k,fiio btr5---> whatever bud or IEM Im feeling that day

 AKG y50bt,Sennheiser HD 4.40

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14 minutes ago, light-v said:

If you are in the UK I'd suggest going for the HE-400i 2020 as you won't have to deal with customs and having retailers here means you've got warranty coverage (Hifiman occasionally have QC issues, I naver had any but that's something to keep in kind) than if you were to buy the HE-4XX. Do bear in mind as @Psittacpointed out they are not the same headphones but the differences are very subtle though

 

Regarding hissing I'll still suggest trying first before pulling the trigger on an external source, planars are less sensitive (requires more power to draw than typical consumer audio) and therefore are less prone to hiss. 

I'll probably get the he 400i 2020s then because it frees about £100 for the fulla if needed and if not needed I might get some closed backs for different listening conditions ( I currently have soundmagic e80 iems so a pair of closed back and open back cans to finish the set would be nice ) is the noise is unbearable though, I will probably just get the fulla

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18 minutes ago, rice guru said:

If hissing is an issue from. One board the apple dongle dac or Samsung one is a really cheap good fix as a holdover dac. 

Will probably get one of the cheap dongles however I just hope they can drive the he-400i because it is only 35ohm but the sensitivity it 93db.

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3 hours ago, Janettebot said:

Will probably get one of the cheap dongles however I just hope they can drive the he-400i because it is only 35ohm but the sensitivity it 93db.

Oh what I mean to say is you use the do for as a dac for a magni this way instead of saving up for a modi magni stack . You can spend like $10 extra on a cable and a cheap dongle and a magni instead of the original plan of getting a fulla now and a schiit stack later. Cause I will tell you as a owner of both dongles and a 4xx they won't power the 4xx properly and the 4xx does like quite a bit of power to get it's full potential due to the nature of the driver. this way the only thing you will have to save money for  is the modi. 

 

CPU : ryzen 3600x  Motherboard: msi mag b550 tomahawk RAM:32 gig G.Skill Neo GPU: RTX 3070 Case:phanteks p400 

Storage:x1 500 gig WD blue SSD x1 500 gig 860 evo SSD x1 1tb WD blue hdd x1 2tb seagate barraccuda 

 PSU:750W Focus G Cooling:be quite! dark rock pro 4Keyboard:ducky one 2 rgb full sized Mouse:G502, Model o Operating System:win 10

Desktop audio gear: topping d10 ---> Liquid spark DAC---> monolith Cavelli Liquid Spark/Liquid Platinum---> Beyerdynamic dt 990 , Sennheiser Hd 58x, Hifiman HE4xx, AKG k240, AKG k52

Speaker Setup: Topping PA3--->Micca RB42

My portable setup: fiio Q1 mk2, fiio ubtr, fiio btr1k,fiio btr5---> whatever bud or IEM Im feeling that day

 AKG y50bt,Sennheiser HD 4.40

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4 hours ago, rice guru said:

Oh what I mean to say is you use the do for as a dac for a magni this way instead of saving up for a modi magni stack . You can spend like $10 extra on a cable and a cheap dongle and a magni instead of the original plan of getting a fulla now and a schiit stack later. Cause I will tell you as a owner of both dongles and a 4xx they won't power the 4xx properly and the 4xx does like quite a bit of power to get it's full potential due to the nature of the driver. this way the only thing you will have to save money for  is the modi. 

Ok, thanks.

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