I'm a budget audiophile. So this review is built upon that. Prior to these, I never spent over $100 for headphones, but for over 30 years have had varied audio systems in cars, boats, and homes, that were built upon quality, budget conscious components....Yamaha, Pioneer, Infiniti, Boston Acoustics, Klipsch, Denon, Definitive, Martin Logan (their LOW end,) etc.
This was my first experience with planar headphones.
Coming from Grado SR60i, that I already thought were phenomenal, I can hear so much more detail from my HE-4XX.
I drive them with a Yamaha RX-A780 from a Mac Mini (over HDMI) with good results. On the fence with whether a moderately priced dedicated HP amp ($200-300) will be an improvement.
Comfort....I have a SMALL head and equally small ears (or so I'm told) so please note that, but the comfort is excellent. I can wear these for 8+ hours and there is no discomfort. Even in the summer with ambient temps of 80+ and stuck in a <70 sqft room, I don't feel they get too warm very often.
Sound....a smooth sound with detail and an openness I haven't experienced from headphones.
One of my all time favorite tracks, Fast Car, by Tracy Chapman, comes alive with a warmth and detail I've never heard before.
While the quiet guitar solos are exquisite, when the vocals and percussion hit their crescendo, the sound can be a little harsh and fatiguing.
Unlike the Grados, I do find I need to find the perfect volume to enjoy these, and that varies per song.
Overall these have become my daily listener, but with COVID, a family of 4, and a small house, I am looking for a closed headphone. I just ordered the Meze Noir and hope I will enjoy them half as much.
Would recommend to a friend.