Click to view our Accessibility Statement or contact us with accessibility-related questions
Drop + HIFIMAN HE5XX Planar Magnetic Headphones
$189
$229

Drop + HIFIMAN HE5XX Planar Magnetic Headphones

bookmark_border
$189
$229
check_box_outline_blank
Add Drop 3-year Warranty with Accidental Coverage (US Only) +$35.00
4k Sold
·
Ready to Ship
·
Free Returns in USA
Members who purchase earn
567
Drop Rewards
Frequently bought together:
add
Barrett Creative Lamina V2 Stand - Drop Exclusive
Review Highlights:
expand_less
Great Planar sound at an Unbelievable Price
Review of Hifiman 5XX Since these are so new, I wanted to get out as soon as possible impressions of the new Drop + Hifman 5XX. It is the latest joint project between Drop (formerly Massdrop) and Hifiman who produce (mostly) magnetic planar headphones across all price ranges from $125 to $6000 (even much higher for the TOTL Shangri La and Shangri La Jr. electrostatic phones and special amps known as energizers). I bought these myself the first day they hit the drop so I got no remuneration for this review. It’s also important to know the gear used in a review. I listened to the HE5XX through a SMSL 300MKII Dac, a  McIntosh MHA 100 amp, and used Hart Audio cables (though I’m not a cable makes a phone sound different kind of guy.) First lets confront the naming controversy. Is this a reissue of the renowned HE500? I used to own the HE500 and it was a wonderful headphone that could be improved greatly by making DIY mods to the original phones. Personally, I don’t see any relationship between the HE5XX and the 500. I think it’s best to treat them as 2 different headphones. If you want a pair of HE500’s they often come up used. Occasionally, Hifiman has a few pair of them lying around they will sell open box to you (you have to call the store to get information on these and the HE6 they may have.) Some people also say it’s a redesigned Deva. I don’t own the Deva so I can’t answer that. If it’s true then Deva owners have a great sounding phone, because the HE5XX sound better than any sub $300 planar headphone should. Being a new product, the passage of time benefits the HE5XX. Much like the reworked HE4XX (2020), the 5XX benefit from changes in the implementation of magnet structure and a much thinner diaphragm that have trickled down from the Susvara and HEK series. These allow the newer drivers to catch much better nuance in recordings. The HE5XX have some great things they bring to the table. You get the lower distortion of the planar design which like electostats can give you an uncanny “you are there” esperience. Further, the 5XX have a great sense of dynamics that remind me of the dynamics in the Focal Elex or Clear. The HE5XX are tuned mostly neutral with a smidge of extra bass. This tuning is one that Hifiman uses on a lot of their phones even their most expensive. There is good separation, instrument location and a decent stereo image. Where the more expensive Hifiman phones and the Focal Clears exceed the 5XX is in detail retrieval. The 5XX aren’t the detail monsters that the HE1000SE and Susvara (or even the Arya) are. But since these other phones run from $1599 to $6000 MSRP it’s not a fair comparison. What you get in the 5XX is a solid musical image which is coherent and keeps, nay demands your attention. Frequency Response: Bass: The bass is present and there and is proportional to the song you’re listening to. A listen to “Better Things” by Massive Attack has bass and excellent female vocals, even if these aren’t phones that give you the extra heavy bass EDM, and Triphop users crave. (Usually to achieve the preferred sound for listening to these types of music the bass is boosted either through headphone choice of EQ.) That’s not to say the bass is lacking. A listen to Patricia Barber’s cover of the iconic Doors song “Light My Fire” has excellent bass and the natural sound of the acoustic bass and the warm alto of Ms. Barber’s voice come through clearly. It’s like being in a smoky jazz club, and there is no shortage of the required bass to bring this warm performance to life. Midrange: Midrange sounds distinctive and there is no bleedthrough from the bass. The Grateful Dead’s “Uncle John’s Band” is a great test of vocals and the 5XX display it wonderfully. Treble: Treble is fully present mostly without sibilance. There are a couple of “torture tracks” I play to see how the top end sounds. One is Thomas Dolby’s “Hyperactive”. There is lots of treble in this song which is excellently recorded and the 5XX come through sibilance and sharpness free. The second track is the Yes song, “Roundabout”. (It’s important you listen to the right version of this song. The remix from 2008 has too much top energy to the detriment of other parts of the song.) Listening to the much superior 2003 Remix of Yes’ album Fragile shows a full frequency response where the top end holds its own with only a very small amount of top end sharpness. Final thoughts: The HE5XX are surprisingly addictive to wear with a great overall tuning that makes you want to continue to listen to them. They are very musical sounding headphones. As I listen to them while writing this they are giving me much aural pleasure. Talking Heads “Psychokiller” and the Stone’s “Sympathy for the Devil” sound wonderful on the 5XX. The 5XX are priced well for what you get. Personally, I prefer this phone to the Drop+Sennheiser 6XX, although the 6XX is a very competent reference level phone, it’s just not as lively as the 5XX. If you are a basshead I have to recommend the Drop/Meze Classic Noir, which are exceptional in an unapologetically bassy and warm sound signature. I think the Meze Classic is a great phone to pair with the more neutral 5XX. Overall, I think the HE5XX is a great buy, especially if you judge it only on what it brings to the table. It’s not an HE500, but it is exceptional in its own way.
check
Would recommend to a friend.
5/5 stars for value. 4/5 stars for sound. Great alternative to the HD58X or HD6XX dynamics
Holy f**k $220? I'm so glad Drop is back to its old self where the deal is so fricking good that I have to give them my money. TBH, I thought this was going to be priced at $399 - "as a deal" - the old HE-500s were what? $699. The OG HE-500 was known in Head-Fi circles as having a speaker-like presentation. Voluminous but not overdone bass, a dip in the upper mids (the opposite of the Sennheiser HD800), with a return in the mid-treble. The HE5XX isn't exactly the same, but it carries out this tradition with a host of improvements. The headband takes after the OG look, but is in fact way more comfortable with better quality padding. The gimbal mechanism is more refined with wider bands of metal and a built in mechanism for swivel. The cups and clamping force feel much much lighter. I wasn't a big fan of the Sundara's ergonomics, but it looks like Drop x HFM has taken many of those criticisms to heart and massively improved on them. I think a lot of people are going to be happy that HFM has brought these back from the dead. There's been a segment of hobbyists have been itching to get that of that old school sound (HE-6, HE-5, HE-500) and HFM, while initially saying that bringing them back was out of the question, has been steadily releasing remasters of them in the past few years. Looks like Drop went all in with HFM on the HE5XX, and that's a good thing because all of sudden, its super affordable. In terms of sound, let's compare to the OG HE-500. The HE5XX is very similar to it, but arguably better in terms of FR because it doesn't have the OG HE-500's dip in the upper mids. There's still a depression, but it's not so obvious. In terms of the highs, if we isolate them, seem a bit overall brighter on the 5XX, but not excessively so. However, it should be noted that OG HE-500 also had a peak - a tizzy point in the mid-treble. The most immediate difference is that the HE5XX is clearer. The OG HE-500 always had a veil and congested bass, alleviated somewhat by a big power amp. This what I used to call "HFM bass", which was always there with the HE500 which could not be fully be powered through like with HE-5 and HE-6. In terms of transient response, the HE5XX sound faster and lighter on its feet. As a result, there is some loss of heft in the lows that the OG HE-500 was well known for. The HEXX isn't as hefty and powerful in the lows as the Audezes, but in return it's not as sluggish. We're talking about tradeoffs. The use of a low gain speaker power amp can give us back some of that heft if you are so inclined. I will provide FR measurements for now: Drop x HiFiMan HE5XX (bone stock) Frequency Response miniDSP EARS (SBAF perceptive neutral compensation) NOTE: additional comments on timbre, headband, impedance, and FR comparisons below in self-reply. MORE DISCUSSION HERE: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/drop-hifiman-he5xx-review-and-measurements.10082 NOVEMBER 5, 2020 UPDATE: An even more bass extended and smoother frequency response can be obtained that looks like this. The materials needed can be found in your kitchen drawer. For details here: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/drop-hifiman-he5xx-review-and-measurements.10082/page-8#post-324536 Drop x HiFiMan HE5XX (Tape mod) Frequency Response miniDSP EARS (SBAF perceptive neutral compensation)
check
Would recommend to a friend.
See all 328 reviews
Q&A Highlights:
expand_less
What is a planar magnetic headphone? What are the benefits of this type of headphone?
A planar magnetic driver (PMD) uses a very thin membrane with a conductor bonded to it. There are magnets on one or both sides of this membrane and current is passed through the conductor in alternating directions, creating an electromagnetic field that interacts with the stationary magnets to create movement of the membrane. This is instead of a cone and coil arrangement people are typically familiar with in a dynamic driver. The primary advantage is substantially lower moving mass and thus better frequency response throughout the audible range. This results in a headphone that is typically better balanced and sounds flatter than a dynamic driver. PMDs also typically sound clearer and are better at separating the sounds of multiple instruments than dynamic drivers. The drawback is that the range of motion of the driver in a PMD is typically less than that of a dynamic driver and the flat membrane itself is not as rigid as a cone shape result in a less impactful bass presence. PMDs are typically characterized by very tightly controlled and accurate bass, but if you are a bass head these are not for you. They also usually exhibit higher impedance than dynamic drivers in a similar class meaning you're more likely to need an amp (though many are perfectly happy running right at acceptable volumes off your phone). A third, similar, driver type that is found in over ear headphones is the electrostatic driver (E-stats). These are similar in principle to the PMDs, however instead of a conductor bonded to the membrane, they are coated in an ultra thin conductive film, and instead of magnets on either side, a metal mesh is present on both sides. Each mesh screen is then energized in an alternating fashion with a very high voltage (relative to traditional drivers) creating an electrostatic field that moves the membrane. As a result of the required voltage, a special amp is required. These take the idea of planar magnetics a bit further because there is even less moving mass and give a very bright, analytical sound signature. E-Stats are best for listening to classical, acoustic, Jazz, and similar, but are unsuited to heavier rock, electronic, rap, hip hop, etc. E-stats are also known for having an eerie "lifelikeness" to their sound that isn't seen with any other driver types and can be polarizing as a result. Dynamic drivers deliver the thumping bass usually desired for electronic rap, hip hop, and also sound great with rock. Finally, PMDs are very versatile and can sound great with most music, but shine best with rock, classical, jazz etc. Ultimately one is not objectively better than another becaus each does different things well, and it is up to you to decide which you like the most.
Do these need to be used with an AMP?
These headphones are capable of being driven to "acceptable" levels directly from most cell phones or laptops etc.. However if you're someone who typically desires more volume I'd recommend an amp with an output of 1.5 volts rms or greater output at 10 ohms impedance.
See all 37 questions

Customer Reviews

4.4
(328 reviews)
5star
(200)
4star
(87)
3star
(20)
2star
(15)
1star
(6)
91% would recommend to a friend
By Feature
Build Quality
3.5(23)
Sound
4.7(23)
Comfort
4.5(23)
Music GenresPopular among reviewers
ActivitiesPopular among reviewers
search
close
IAmTheSpeedoMann
0
Feb 20, 2024
Activities:Casual Listening, Critical Listening, Gaming
checkVerified Buyer
Good overall
they sound great, but something about them leaves room for improvement, I'm not too sure what it is but they feel like they're lacking something.
Recommends this product? Yes
Psyr
1
Feb 17, 2024
Activities:Casual Listening, Critical Listening, Gaming, Movies & TV
Music Genres:Electronic, Jazz, Metal
checkVerified Buyer
Super comfortable, clear sound
Headphones are super comfortable to wear all day. They also sound great, and fit well. I like the huge ear cups, no rubbing or discomfort at all. I did replace the stock pads with some aftermarket, and that seems to have deformed the plastic mount just enough that the pads don't firmly click into place anymore.. I'd guess that was my bad, but I do wish the mount was a bit stronger. Still love them.
Recommends this product? Yes
Grimmarzt
0
Feb 13, 2024
Activities:Casual Listening, Gaming
Music Genres:Electronic, Metal, Rock
checkVerified Buyer
Great headset
I used this headset for both gaming and music. I felt that the sound quality was alright and the comfort level was pretty high but the build quality could be a little better. The headphones don't feel like they will fall apart or anything but the headband doesn't inspire a ton of confidence. The advantage to the headband being kinda weak feeling is that the product is super lighweight. With regards to the sound quality, I felt that while gaming directional audio got a little questionable but for music specifically it was great.
Recommends this product? Yes
phoneheads
1
Feb 4, 2024
Activities:Casual Listening, Critical Listening, Movies & TV
Music Genres:Classical, Hip-hop, Jazz, Metal, Pop, R&B, Rock, World
checkVerified Buyer
Great "+1" for HD 6xx
Have listened > 40 hrs. So far so good. As many reviews posted around the net, all I can say, in short, is it is a great alternative to HD 6xx. They sound different, but both headphones are great for ~200 USD headphones. Also, the build quality is good. The one I got did not have probl
search
ems mentioned in some reviews. Regarding the sound, Bass is about right to me (don't like too much/heavy bass). Mid-range is undoubted well, and treble is also nice. Happy to own it so far.
Recommends this product? Yes
JamieWilliams
23
Jan 3, 2024
Activities:Casual Listening
Music Genres:Country, Hip-hop, Jazz, Metal, R&B, Rock
checkVerified Buyer
Outstanding Planar Value For Money!
I got myself the HE5XX headphones for a specific reason - to enjoy playing electric guitar through app simulators or attenuated tube amps. The HD 6XX has sat on my desk for three years as my daily driver, with the ZEN DAC and CAN Signature Stack. While my use cases of the two headphones are entirely different, many of the things you hear from reviewers are accurate. DMS called them “kinda like a 6XX planar but more aggressive”, which I can confirm. The 6XX is more mid-focused and intimate, while the HE5XX is incredibly open and expansive. I was thoroughly impressed when I tried them out with music. I went for a set of Dekoni Audio Elite Fenestrated Sheepskin pads, and I must say that I highly recommend this upgrade. If you want to get a set, I suggest you check out the drop page and hit that request button. Just a hint, a nudge, Drop... Now I have them set up at the output of an amp connected to an analog mixer fed by my guitar rig and a DAC, and they're perfect for kicking back and playing along with any other digital content while not waking the wife.
Recommends this product? Yes
mist3rf0ur
19
Dec 17, 2023
Activities:Casual Listening, Gaming, Movies & TV
Music Genres:Electronic, Hip-hop, Metal, R&B, Rock
checkVerified Buyer
Great Sound, Bad Build Quality, Almost No Earpad Options Aftermarket
The Bad:
  • Build quality is a joke. I've had sub $50 headphones that felt more durable. The outer plastic rings will crack where the headband connects to the cups (mine did within 2 months). See attached pic. Both sides cracked (L & R). The plastic is cheap and it just feels like it could break if you look at them too hard.
  • Replacement pads aren't easily available. This is very important and people need to understand this. Good headphones can last forever but pads need to be replaced. You can get expensive ones direct from Hifiman or Dekoni (also expensive). I don't think the Hifiman ones are worth the asking price. I find Dekoni overpriced and hyped too much. Do they sound good? Yeah! Their build quality doesn't match the price, though. I've purchased 2 pairs from them in the past. For models with attachment rings (like these HE5xx) they're attached with cheap glue. The glue will come undone. I had some on a pair of X2HR fall apart in under a week. They replaced them, same issue within the month.
The Good:
  • Sound stage is huge. For music or gaming, you will feel like you are sitting in a room with speakers (almost).
  • Details are great and you can EQ in more bass, if you're into that. They take to it well. The sound signature is slightly v-shaped.
  • Gaming. They're great for gaming. I don't miss on details and I can ear the exact spot where sound cues are coming from and their distance.
  • Comfort. They're super light. I can wear these all day and they don't get hot or heavy. When you can wear a headphone with no audio and forget you are wearing them, you know they hit that comfy spot just right.
Note on ear pads: You'll need replacement pads eventually. What makes sense the most is to buy some large pads (110mm x 110mm) in the materials you want. Safely remove the old pads from the plastic mounting ring (they're just attached with some cheap glue). Trim excess fabric/leather from new pads so that you can fit new pads and affix them with some two-sided tape. Just take care of the mounting rings and don't be hard on them.
search

Recommends this product? Yes
RzEmmanuel
2
Dec 14, 2023
Activities:Casual Listening
Music Genres:Classical, Electronic, Jazz, Metal, Pop, R&B, Rock, World
checkVerified Buyer
CRAZY VALUE PROPOSITION!
EXCITED to have just received the Hifiman-Drop HE5XX. It was launched in November 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many including myself had our pockets pinched during that period and were unable to splurge on hobby items, nonetheless, things are a little better this year and I'm able to get back into the hobby. Initial impressions: UNBOXING  Simple, functional, non-inspiring. ALTHOUGH, the headphones itself is super SLEEK and GORGEOUS in all its stealthy, matte black finish. Cables are the same as the Sundara CB.  COMFORT It's weightless on the head despite the size of the ear cups. Ear cups are huge, and due to its oval design it's better able to seal around the head and ears. Headband is comfortable without any pressure on the top of the head. Clamp force is gentle but not loose.  SOUND How open are these as a open back headphones? Once on, you still hear your entire environment around you. Unlike the Sennheiser hd58x where there is some occlusion of the background, the HE5xx are nothing but a thin veil. It pairs well and driven easily with the Fiio Q3 without high gain nor bass boost. I love how it's such an excellently musical and entertaining pair of headphones straight of the bat. Mids I do detect a little of the thin mids but that's only because I was using the Sundara CB heavily last night and the HD58x on the previous night. Vocal presentation is pleasantly forward without being blaring. Bass It's tastefully tuned. It drives the melody and rhythm without being overwhelming nor is it lacking. Trebles They're crisp with excellent shimmer. No signs of sibilance.  Imaging Very precise on Bird on a Wire Remastered - Jennifer Warnes. Every single piece of instrument, including lead vocal, background vocals all are carried within their own space. Super incredible performance on Canon in D - Denon Essentials. It can be analytical but not fatiguing. I enjoy what Hifiman did here on the tuning. Soundstage Not holographic but laterally wide and spacious. Lots of room to breathe. Comparing between the Audio Technica AD900x and R70x, the HE5xx has the precision of the R70x with a width that's between the very wide and almost diffused soundstage of the AD900x and the studio like space of the R70x. Overall value: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ At $214 including shipping direct from Drop, the HE5xx is $45 more than the HE400i 2020 (retails at $169), if you can just pinch your pockets a little more, the HE5xx is a big upgrade. It is also not difficult to drive for good sound. Just a Fiio Q3 or a similarly spec'd portable dac-amp will suffice. I'm certain it will scale up with better amplification and that's one of the reasons I got it. The HE5xx is also an all-round performer. You can freely switch genres and just enjoy the music.  *Headphones I have used as reference to my impressions: Hifiman Sundara closed back, currently in use Hifiman HE400i 2020 AKG K612 Pro Audio Technica R70x Audio Technica AD900x Audio Technica M40x Sennheiser HD598 Sennheiser HD58x, currently in use Koss KPH30i, currently in use ISK HF2010, currently in use ISK HD9999 HyperX Cloud 2, currently in use
search
search
search
search
search
search
search

Recommends this product? Yes
Spearthrower_Owl
13
Feb 20, 2024
RzEmmanuelQuality review
cmichalo
5
Oct 27, 2023
Activities:Casual Listening, Critical Listening
Music Genres:Classical, Metal, Rock
checkVerified Buyer
I like them
I like the way they sound and they are comfortable.
Recommends this product? Yes
omgzorro
7
Oct 27, 2023
Activities:Casual Listening, Critical Listening, Gaming, Movies & TV
Music Genres:Electronic, Metal, Rock
checkVerified Buyer
Extreme durability issues
I treat my products fairly gently. These have never left my computer station, never been traveled with, never dropped, never thrown, only ever hung around on the headphone strap or laid down on my desk. Even so, through simple extended use, the plastic on these headphones cracked astonishingly quickly where the earcup meets the screw that attaches it to the headband, at all 4 locations. I noticed the first crack within a couple of months, and the others followed soon after. It seems if you hold these headphones by their earcups, as is natural for putting them on your head, then all the weight of the headband is laying on the plastic around the screws and that plastic is simply too cheap to take the stress over the long term. For awhile I was holding with tape, now I've had to go for superglue but a couple smaller bits of plastic have disappeared around one of the cups and now I'm just waiting for them to fall apart. It's unfortunate because they sound great, and while they aren't as comfortable as AKG's or something they are still comfy enough for all-day wear. But I haven't even had these things for a full year yet, it's just really not acceptable for the build quality to be this shoddy at $230.
Recommends this product? No
Jaimaralin
7
Oct 17, 2023
Activities:Casual Listening, Gaming
Music Genres:Electronic, Hip-hop, Jazz, Metal, Pop, R&B, Rock
checkVerified Buyer
Great soundstage and really good imaging but the casing itself is relatively fragile
When it comes to sound and clarity, I really enjoy these as my set of planar magnetic headphones. Unfortunately, after a year of on and off use as well as being my daily driver for the past couple of months, the housing started to crack around the area where the earcups meets the pivot part of the headband which corresponds with what other people have experienced with the headphones.
Recommends this product? No
Showing 11 of 507
keyboard_arrow_up
Newest
507 OF 507 POSTS
keyboard_arrow_down
Oldest