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quadpatch's picture
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Hifiman HE-400 - review
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I was lucky enough to try out my first high-end production 'orthodynamic' (or Planar Magnetic) headphone recently. I had a month to play with this one and I've purposely started at the low-end (if you can call it that) with the £400 Hifiman HE-400. So far I'm pretty damn impressed with these headphones and I can't wait to try out the HE-500 (hopefully soon).

http://noblehifi.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/hifiman-he-400-review.html

Now I just need to find someone willing to let me try out the Audeze range (both of them :P)

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RE: Hifiman HE-400 - review

Thanks for the great review. I shall be purchasing either HD650s or the HE-4 headphones in the next month so this is very helpful.

I will be using the Fidelity Audio HPA-200 SE heaphone amplifier and listen to lots of different music from hip-hop to jazz to funk/soul to techno. Which do you think would be a better choice. I only ask as auditioning the HE-5's is nearly impossible.

Thanks again

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RE: Hifiman HE-400 - review

Nice review, thanks.

Interesting when comparing to the HD650 that the price difference is almost exactly reversed in the US.

I'm another one who's trying to choose between the two and from the brief comparison you make I get the impression that they seem to be similar sounding? A head to head comparison would be very much appreciated!

So I have to ask, which do you think you would pick, disregarding cost? 

quadpatch's picture
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RE: Hifiman HE-400 - review

Pete68/pauln: You both seem to be asking a similar question here so I will answer you both together here.

I would mostly choose the HE-400 over the HD650, it's more exciting than the HD650. I guess some will prefer the HD650 for being a little better balanced throughout the frequencies. Different amplification seemed to push the headphone rather differently too, but I think the HE-400s were equally as demanding.

Pete68: I always assumed that the HE-5 was discontinued because there was no use/need for it with the new models (mostly the HE-500).

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RE: Hifiman HE-400 - review

quadpatch -  apologies for the confusion, I meant the HE-400 and thanks again for the review and your answer.

It looks like it could be a 'buy it blind' on the HiFimans.

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RE: Hifiman HE-400 - review

That's a pretty thorough review, thank you. One question only: If you remember when you first tried this HE400, were you impressed that it had a "different" kind of bass sound or character, compared to dynamic headphones? Or would you say that it was merely stronger or weaker or tighter or something like that - that would be the kind of difference you hear between any other headphone 'A' and 'B'? I'm just curious whether this is something I'd fire up with a FiiO or v-moda etc. amp, and exclaim "Oh - this is what they mean by planar sound", or whether my impression would more likely be "Yeah, that's good, but not unusually so".

AKG K812/K712, Beyer T1/T90 Jubilee/DT1350, v-moda M100/XS, Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Portaphile Micro/PA2V2 amps.

quadpatch's picture
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RE: Hifiman HE-400 - review

Pete68: You meant the HE-400s both times, or just the latter? I assumed you meant the HE-400 the first time, but it seems like I was confused as well because I now realise that the HE-4 is significantly cheaper model. I have done an update to my post to better explain the models at the beginning, but I'm still not confident that I have got it right  :?

dalethorn: Thanks! That's a very good question. I had heard people say very positive things about the bass of orthos before (not all), so I was looking out for this. Although I think the HE-400 is purposely tuned to be more enjoyable to the bass loving masses I think Hifiman have done a really good job with it. Do I think that it has something quite special about it's sound, but is blisteringly obvious that the bass is different and better than any dynamic driver? No. It's vastly different in it's bass presentation compared to the only other ortho that I've heard - the Mad Dog. The HE-400 has more weight and greater kick to the bass, but as good as it is there are dynamics that beat it for me, like the Denon AH-D7000. I was actually lucky enough to have the Fostex TH600 at the same time as the HE-400. The TH600 is like a new version of the Denon D7000, without the wood cups. It's still a great headphone with amazing bass, but it's not quite as fun, warm, or as smooth as the Denon (the lack of wood perhaps). The TH600 is a little better than the HE400, but certainly not for value (being twice as much). I guess I'm going off topic a bit, so I will shut up now and get working on finishing the TH600 review...

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