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Fantastic sounding (with EQ adjustments), decent build quality, very comfortable
When headphones arrived I was eager to test them and at first was a bit disappointed with how they sounded out of the box. I connected them to my Topping DX3 Pro, and they sounded slightly worse than my Sennheiser PC320 (gaming headset). Slightly muddy and quickly fatiguing, although adding much more bass than pretty much nonexistent bass on my Sennheisers. But the Sennheisers sounded very clean and pleasant while Hifiman were muddied and making me nervous and agitated in mere seconds. Strange thing to describe but listening to them wasn't pleasant. Imagine my surprise. At first I thought maybe I got defect ones. So started reading a bit, as these are my first planars and found out about equalizing as a means to compensate for uneven frequency response of headphones. So I found out EQ preset for HE4XX by Oratory1990, equalized to Harman target here https://www.reddit.com/r/oratory1990/wiki/index https://www.dropbox.com/s/rp71fprbe1lmz7u/Hifiman%20HE4XX.pdf?dl=0
I installed Equalizer APO and Peace GUI extension for it, manually applied the preset and it made all the difference, by compensating for uneven frequency response and making it more neutral it started sounding great to me. I know many of you will think it's placebo, but the difference is very real and audible and can be easily checked by turning EQ on and off. I've been listening to music on them for hours at a time now and everything sounds crisp, detailed but pleasant and mild and non-aggressive, it doesn't sound muddied, and most importantly it doesn't cause fatigue or make me nervous anymore. So for anyone that feels they don't sound right out of the box, I'd recommend to try the EQ preset I mentioned before. As I understand that measurements and calculations for EQ were done by professionals with expensive professional equipment.
Maybe some people will like these and their frequency response and their signature sound out of the box, I don't know... But with professional EQ preset these sound great to me and really pleasant and listening to music is real joy now for me. I've tried switching EQ on/off many times just to be sure and every time it makes all the difference.
Would recommend to a friend.
I also use the DX3Pro and wanted to purchase these cans. I don't want to equalise as i use different computers Win/Linux/MacOS. Didn't the DX3pro's gain switch improve the sound? Just curious. Ah well.
I tried the gain switch and it adds volume, but otherwise it sounds the same. I really don't use the gain switch because for my listening levels DX3 Pro delivers plenty of power without it. After few months of use I really love the cans, they sound fantastic and pleasant. Yes, with equalization. But maybe that's just my preference, maybe I just like neutral sound the best instead of their frequency response. It might differ with other people, other sets of cans and ears :D
On Linux use pulseeffecrs. Miraculous free software.