Drop + HIFIMAN HE-X4 Planar Magnetic Headphones
$89
$129

Drop + HIFIMAN HE-X4 Planar Magnetic Headphones

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$89
$129
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Honeybadgers
366
Apr 18, 2022
I got the 4xx's and then decided to try the X4's on a whim. They look the same as the 4xx, they supposedly use the drivers from the 5xx, and they're like $60 cheaper? there has to be a catch. There isn't. THERE IS NO CATCH. These are built identically to the 4xx. Down to every single detail, including the cord. The only way you could tell them apart is the 4xx has the "hifiman" and "drop" in white silkscreen, and on the X4, they're stealth black. You gotta hold them at just the right angle to see the words. They did the same for the "L" and "R" on the back of them, which is slightly annoying, but since the pads are asymmetrical and my Hart cables are labeled, I don't have a problem. Sound wise, these are daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn close to the 4xx. I spent a good two hours just switching between the two and I think that the 4xx's are a miniscule-amount more detailed and the X4's have a miniscule amount more bass extension. They do take a wee bit more power to drive, though. 27-28 was nice on the balanced 2.5 with the 4xx on my BTR5, these liked 30-32. They (both the 4xx and X4) really do like to have some kind of amplifier, even a tiny portable one. Out of a little unpowered dongle dac they sound good, but with my BTR5, they opened up ENORMOUSLY. And they loved a balanced cable. The only included cable was a little obnoxiously short, and I adored these cans so much that I dropped an unreasonable amount of money on a custom hart cable with an extension and multiple adapters. I also tried them with a balanced class A tube amp, and "Arrival of the birds" by the london metropolitan orchestra legit made my wife cry. Both my 4XX and X4's are the recent revisions and I've seen zero quality issues with either. But even if they do eventually develop the dreaded cracked headband (which I have seen no complaints about since hifiman said it was fixed), Hifiman will sell you a band from the sundara or you can buy lots of nice all-metal ones on aliexpress. It's genuinely bananas how great these are. Don't even look at the 4xx. You won't notice the extra detail of the 4xx or the extra bass of the X4 unless you had a pair of each sitting next to you, swapping them around like a madman, and even then, the differences are meaninglessly tiny. Sound wise, these are glorious. Nothing comes close for the money. They're not crazy neutral, but they're nowhere near the punch of meze 99's or the sparkle of grado's. They just make everything sound good, and have an energy to them that I love. They sound nice and wide, the imaging is great, the sub-bass goes all the way down and the detail and separation is stellar. I was wondering if this was gonna be my entry into planars, but now I don't know if I need anything else. I listen to absolutely all kinds of music, and I haven't found a genre that they don't love to play. And they're absolutely superb gaming headphones, too. Lots of detail and separation, so you can pick out exactly where sounds are coming from. Just factor in the price of a small, light duty amp and maybe a longer cable. A fiio BTR5 and a balanced 2.5mm cable for these is outstanding.
(Edited)
MRFUTURE111
14
Apr 7, 2022
I wish the 4xx had this colorway it would be perfect I enjoyed this color more than the blue
Bedlam-Inside
57
Mar 16, 2022
For the price point of my ATH50's, I wonder if they will perform better despite the difference of being open back. Very desirable looking "in" to the Hifiman brand. I've tried their Susvara's and Aria's with great results, but never any of their entry level stuff.
Honeybadgers
366
May 5, 2022
I can't really speak to mixing, and I don't really have any true REFERENCE cans but I can say that if there's sub bass, the X4's will recreate it clean and tight. "The Droid Invasion" from the star wars prequel soundtrack has those distant, low, rumbling tympany drums that just sound like a muddy rumble on most of my other headphones, but you can hear the texture of the beaters with the X4's. And by "worryingly cheap" I more mean as an outsider, looking in, seeing these cans for that price and thinking "there has to be a catch". Because once they're in the hand, the build quality is immaculate. The only complaint I could level at them is the included cable is too short for anything but portable use, but they're a bog standard dual 3.5mm plug and I loved mine enough that I spent half-again the price on a nice custom hart cable with switchable 3.5 and balanced 2.5, and a long home-use extension. I put them through a nice class A tube amp and "arrival of the birds" by the london metropolitan orchestra legit made my wife cry.
Bedlam-Inside
57
May 6, 2022
Wow that's always great to get the spouse into it. Soundtracks, classical, Jazz, strings, Latin styles are all music types I test my headphones with for dynamics, wide mixes, acoustic instrument textures and the detail I can hear in those styles always shows me the worthiness of headphones, DACs, Amps, etc. Just like your description of the tympany drums: you heard the space it was in, the balance of it in the mix, and it's sound as the musician played it. Balanced and unbalanced options sound great! Always good to have balanced option, but I'm curious with 2.5mm is there any 4.4mm adapters that would still qualify as officially balanced?
It appears the reviews on these 'phones are somewhat uneven. I reviewed the most critical 2021 reviews of this product. (a) inconsistent build quality. (b) dead drivers. (c) small cups. QUESTION - for the novelty aspect, is their sound significantly different from an HD6xx? I have a variety of high/low powered headlamps... Lemme know, eh.
Honeybadgers
366
Apr 18, 2022
I can say the build quality is identical to the HE4xx. I've had no issues. The cups aren't small unless you have enormous ears. I can't speak to the sound difference to 6xx's, but I will say that all planars have a uniqueness to their sound. The way they generate that sub bass doesn't really "hit" like a dynamic driver, it just kinda "snaps" in and out. Honestly, get them. These things are just unbelievable for the money. The sound differences between them and the 4xx are microscopic (not necessarily better or worse, a hair less treble detail, a hair more bass extension) and every other detail in the build and design is the same.
Ninjamokama3
0
Feb 21, 2022
Should I purchase these? wait for the HE4XX to get back on stock? or get something else (e.g, Sundara, he400se, etc)?
WOLFGANG420
22
Mar 23, 2022
sundara you will LOVE them.
Honeybadgers
366
Apr 18, 2022
The sundara's aren't going to give you 2.5 times the experience. They're amazing, but these are too. Proper amazing. The 4xx is literally identical in every way apart from the drivers inside that came from the 5xx. You'd never tell the difference between them without having a pair of each side by side (which I do) There isn't a genre of music that they don't perform spectacularly. I've had no issues of build quality in either. They do need a little more power than a phone or laptop can put out, so spend a bit on a small amp (if you want to splurge a bit, the $100 Fiio BTR5 is a do-everything amp that can even drive these on 3.5 and balanced 2.5 output, run as a desktop DAC/amp via USB-C, gives you bluetooth) and don't look back. These are a pair of cans that you can happily enjoy as your only home headphones for the rest of your life.
GTFODeathknight
166
Jan 17, 2022
If i own the 4xx and 5xx is it worth it getting these
Honeybadgers
366
Apr 18, 2022
no. I have both. These are literally just 4xx's that sound a little more like 5xx's and cost $60 less. Every other build detail is identical. I got both to see as well, and the X4's are a HAIR more bass extension and a HAIR less detail up top. Same laid back, effortless personality. These are straight up a tiny upgrade to the 4xx with a steep price drop. Get these if you're buying someone a gift, because there's zero reason for the 4xx to get made anymore, but if you HAVE 4xx's, there's no need to get these.
scottlu
344
Aug 4, 2022
enormous ears mean 5 inches ?
Mufaaf
17
Oct 29, 2021
I am very curious about these at $99. I want to know if these meet the following requirements:
  • Large soundstage? I am not too worried about imaging as i don't play competitive FPS, but I want a big, wide soundstage that's engulfing and surrounding.
  • Comfort. Are they comfortable for 3-4 hour sessions?
  • Power? Do these require power to perform? Will my LG C9 OLED TV's headphone power it enough? If not, which good but sub $100 dac/amp is recommended?
  • How do they compare to the Audeze Mobius? I already have them but I want something open-back, with a wide soundstage and more comfortable (Mobius is terribly uncomfortable even after stretching them).
I hope to get some answers before the discount is removed! Appreciate any help!
(Edited)
mattris
1189
Mar 4, 2022
I just wanted to note for all reading this thread: Due to a terrible customer service experience with the company ZMF Headphones, I no longer recommend their products.
WOLFGANG420
22
Mar 23, 2022
Schiit Fulla amp $109 on there site.
mechFIX
1
Oct 1, 2021
Looks to be china-market HE-400se (rectangular magnets) with the old style yokes and headband... missed opportunity to call them the HE-400seX! ...I'll see myself out...
(Edited)
ALMGNOON
25
Sep 30, 2021
HE-4XX, HE-X4, HE-400I Confusing lineup.. What is the difference between them, which one is better ?
ALMGNOON
25
Oct 20, 2021
Thank you for the reply, I ended up buying a used Sundara.
No problem, hope the Sundaras are treating you nice!
MikeyBikey
49
Sep 23, 2021
Alternate headband? I’m not a huge fan of the headband. Has anyone tried to mount the earcups on a different headband? At the very least I wonder if I could fit them on my 400i headband.
Audioholic924
2
Sep 23, 2021
Just buy the HE400se instead as HFM gave up the original terrible silver cable.
mechFIX
1
Oct 1, 2021
Or if you prefer suspension strap, go for the Sundara/Ananda style? https://a.aliexpress.com/_mLpdKZx
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