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Hifiman HE-500 - review

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quadpatch's picture
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Here are my thoughts on the Hifiman HE-500. A few people have been asking for this one on my blog, so it seems like a popular one. click the following link to see what I thought of the mid-level planar magnetic headphone from Hifiman. Enjoy Smilehttp://noblehifi.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/hifiman-he-500-review.html

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Hifi: Audiolab M-DAC Audiolab 8200P Tannoy DC6T SE 

Headphone: Q701HP100HE500, M80TH900Mad DogD7000DT880M100K550TH600 

DAC: E7U100rPACModi/Magni120DsHP-A8DAC2 HGC, BDP 105EUEHP 02DiDAC 

matt49's picture
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Good review: very thorough

Good review: very thorough and clear, and IMO right on the money.

I've had a pair of these since July and am extremely happy with them. I auditioned them at home against the Audeze LCD2s, which I thought had the edge on SQ (especially in the bass department), but I found the HE-500s much more comfortable. With headphones of course SQ isn't everything.

I'm currently looking for a headphone amp/DAC for them. The requirement is that that the amp/DAC must have either optical digital or coax digital inputs. I'm thinking of waiting for John Westlake's new MDAC2 (due in the spring). Any other suggestions?

beauty, eh

Matt

quadpatch's picture
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RE: Good review: very thorough

matt49 wrote:
Good review: very thorough and clear, and IMO right on the money. I've had a pair of these since July and am extremely happy with them. I auditioned them at home against the Audeze LCD2s, which I thought had the edge on SQ (especially in the bass department), but I found the HE-500s much more comfortable. With headphones of course SQ isn't everything. I'm currently looking for a headphone amp/DAC for them. The requirement is that that the amp/DAC must have either optical digital or coax digital inputs. I'm thinking of waiting for John Westlake's new MDAC2 (due in the spring). Any other suggestions? beauty, eh Matt
Thanks Matt! I didn't know about the M-DAC2 actually. I must say that I have been really impressed by the combination of Schiit DACs and amps with the Hifiman range and that's only been with the very reasonably priced Modi & Magni. Stepping those up a range is quite a bit more expensive, but even the Bifrost adds the functionality that you're looking for. Then you can add either a solid state amp or a valve to that, as you see fit. Although I got rid of it a while ago the Yulong D100 mkii was a very capable combined DAC/amp that also has all the main digital inputs available. 

__________________

Hifi: Audiolab M-DAC Audiolab 8200P Tannoy DC6T SE 

Headphone: Q701HP100HE500, M80TH900Mad DogD7000DT880M100K550TH600 

DAC: E7U100rPACModi/Magni120DsHP-A8DAC2 HGC, BDP 105EUEHP 02DiDAC 

matt49's picture
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Posts: 1520
RE: Good review: very thorough

quadpatch wrote:
Thanks Matt! I didn't know about the M-DAC2 actually. I must say that I have been really impressed by the combination of Schiit DACs and amps with the Hifiman range and that's only been with the very reasonably priced Modi & Magni. Stepping those up a range is quite a bit more expensive, but even the Bifrost adds the functionality that you're looking for. Then you can add either a solid state amp or a valve to that, as you see fit. Although I got rid of it a while ago the Yulong D100 mkii was a very capable combined DAC/amp that also has all the main digital inputs available. 

Cheers, quadpatch.

I've been looking at the Schiit range, and the Bifrost seems like a good bet. Thanks fo the suggestion.

Another option would be to go for a plain headphone amp and plug it into the pre-outs of the Devialet. Cheaper and simpler.

matt49's picture
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RE: Good review: very thorough

Today I loaned a Musical Fidelity M1 HPAP from my local dealer. It's plugged in to the pre-outs of my Devialet 170. The SQ is excellent: smooth, rich and powerful Class A sound. The Hifiman HE-500s are singing beautifully. 

I might try some other options, but I'm not sure I can do much better for the price.

beauty, eh

Matt

caesar44's picture
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RE: Good review: very thorough

matt49 wrote:

Today I loaned a Musical Fidelity M1 HPAP from my local dealer. It's plugged in to the pre-outs of my Devialet 170. The SQ is excellent: smooth, rich and powerful Class A sound. The Hifiman HE-500s are singing beautifully. 

I might try some other options, but I'm not sure I can do much better for the price.

beauty, eh

Matt

Matt, the Burson Conductor SL range meet your requirements. People are talking positive about the synergy with the Hifiman hp's. 

matt49's picture
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RE: Good review: very thorough

Thanks, that's a good call.

Having tried the MF M1 HPAP, I've decided I'd really like a remote control. I do a lot of my headphone listening lying on a sofa and don't want to have to get up to change the volume. Lazy or what?

beauty, eh

Matt

caesar44's picture
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RE: Good review: very thorough

matt49 wrote:

Thanks, that's a good call.

Having tried the MF M1 HPAP, I've decided I'd really like a remote control. I do a lot of my headphone listening lying on a sofa and don't want to have to get up to change the volume. Lazy or what?

beauty, eh

Matt

 

You can place the headphone amp near your sofa, so that the volume control is within reach  Wink

matt49's picture
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RE: Good review: very thorough

caesar44 wrote:

You can place the headphone amp near your sofa, so that the volume control is within reach  Wink

If only ...

I think this requires a new thread.

beauty, eh

Matt