Click to view our Accessibility Statement or contact us with accessibility-related questions
shopping_cart
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
3.4k Sold
·
Ready to Ship
·
Free Returns in USA
Members who purchase earn
567
Drop Rewards
Frequently bought together:
add
ADV. Headphone Hanger
add
Drop + THX AAA™ ONE Linear Amplifier
Review Highlights:
expand_less
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
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.
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
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 287 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 35 questions

search
close
zep483
664
May 23, 2022
MonetsChemist
63
Apr 27, 2022
Mine just arrived today, 27 April 2022. Shipping seemed quicker than normal (as usual in my experience handled by DHL for stuff coming to Canada). I believe it was brought to the house by Canada Post but I didn't check that. Boxing and stuffing was sufficient, no damage to anything as far as I can tell. The packaging itself is pretty basic, cardboard with a plastic insert that holds the headphones tightly and a foam pad overtop. First impressions out of the box: · lightweight! didn't measure but feels much lighter than my 4xx · the adjusters slide easily unlike my 4xx which takes some real grunt to change, and there is some play I guess to allow some tilt · headband generally looks the same as the 4xx · clamping force on my large head isn't huge - if I wiggle my head back and forth the phones move - but very comfortable · feels decently sturdy overall · pads are leather (pleather?) outside and in with fabric against the face; fabric has an open pattern kind of like fenestrated sheepskin · pads fit nicely around my large ears with no pinching; I don't think the seal is perfect as the clamping force is pretty light · cable seems decent Plugged in and playing music: · linux music server running mpd · USB to Bifrost 1 4490 USB 2 · Modi 3 To my 66 year old ears, they sound good so far. What's THAT mean, you ask? Well only the very earliest impressions, but: · bass notes are... bass notes, not part of the drum kit nor just undifferentiated low frequency stuff (Lenine / Jack Soul Brasiliero) · drums are... DRUMS (Santana / Migra) · instruments are positioned right across the sound stage, though the middle of the sound stage remains in my head (Les Negresses Vertes / Leila) · the guitar, the instrument with which I'm most familiar, sounds basically right to my ears (Zsófia Boros / Te vas milonga; Stevie Ray Vaughn / Little Wing) Listening to a few albums that are right up against the harsh end of things (Led Zeppelin I, Vieux Farka Touré / Fondo, Red Hot Chili Peppers / basically anything) I don't feel the urge to turn the music down, switch the album or rip the headphones off my head and throw them across the room. But I don't think they muffle things either; in music with lots of interesting dynamic events, like the plucked guitar strings and percussion in Lenine / A Mancha those events stand clear of the rest. The other thing I found right away is I was being distracted by the music. Which is I guess the whole point! We'll see how things go as I have more time to listen. I'm interested to compare them to my HD6xx, which I think I slightly but mostly prefer to my HiFiMan 4xx.
Mr_Bill
1
Nov 3, 2022
MonetsChemistI've had those as well, try the HE5xx Autoeq profile and you'll be amazed. I have them on the Sabaj A20H / A20D stack in low gain mode and the Autoeq profile made all the difference. I just put it in Foobar2000 so gaming isn't affected. I think stock they do great in FPS games, soundstage gives lots of reaction time when someone is coming. Without the EQ settings I was on the fence for music, but now they are definetly a keeper. Very easy to drive also. You won't melt down a credit card to power these like the HE6SE. There's a LOT of $400 headphones that aren't as good as these.
(Edited)
MonetsChemist
63
Nov 6, 2022
Mr_BillThanks @Mr_Bill. I have yet to try any EQ (ok maybe once years ago on a Samsung MP3 player I had for awhile). These are great headphones, for sure.
creimes77
25
Jan 29, 2022
Dekoni now has pads up on their site for the HE5XX, the Hybrid is on my list but yikes $80 but I can't live without them on my Senn HD58X, but in Canadian it's more like $120 to my door ugghhh https://dekoniaudio.com/product-category/brands/drop/he5xx/
creimes77
25
Mar 10, 2022
Yes I've had them a few weeks now, they are nice and seem to make a slight difference, not as much as I was hoping for but they are nice fit to the headphones and comfort level has increased slightly.
raansire7
1459
Mar 10, 2022
creimes77🤓👍
William62lbs
0
Jan 4, 2022
Are these HE5XX's the same as the Sundara or is there a drop version of the Sundara?
allsmilesb
112
Jan 4, 2022
William62lbsNo it's not the drop version of Sundara they have there own audio signatures just like the 4xx. The 4xx, 5xx and Sundara were all designed specifically to customers variety of sound signatures. These three headphone offer one thing over the other interns of sound. Neither headphone is successor of each other they all fit particular need for the right consumer. The 5xx is a wide sound stage with very clean and neutral low range and as emphasis on treble but very neutral. The Sundara neutral and very detail headphone that can sound intimate interms vocal but also give space with decent sound stage presence. https://youtu.be/icTR1Yt8NNk
(Edited)
marts_sum
313
Sep 4, 2021
Please make a wireless HE5XX. I know there's the deva, but I find that hideously ugly and I like this headband.
Acalladem
36
Sep 24, 2021
marts_sumFYI, they have a Deva Pro coming out eventually that has a better look to it and some updates. HeadFi CanJam 21 preview: https://youtu.be/hb9a0XF7AIs?t=552
marts_sum
313
Sep 25, 2021
AcallademInteresting, thanks!
marts_sum
313
Aug 19, 2021
People said the Elex were like 'speakers' on the head, I think these are WAY more like speakers. Very addictive pair of headphones for me, so comfy as well. What a deal.
(Edited)
piekielko
72
Jul 31, 2021
My HE400i sound very bright and in many cases I have the impression that they have too little bass. What's the difference in sound compared to the HE400i?
(Edited)
Selfish_Android
214
Nov 10, 2021
piekielkoI think the the 5XX are brighter but also more detailed, on the bass department they are superior to the 400i, if you don't like the forward bright and aggressive presentation i would stray away from them. Also the soundstage is also noticeably improved on the 5XX compared to the 400i, overall I think the 5XX are an upgrade in every department at least for my taste (I prefer brighter sound signatures with detailed high end and big soundstage) i have both of them btw.
PositiveJohn
8
May 22, 2021
So you guys lied...? this is just a reskinned Deva :(
Joe405
351
Jul 24, 2021
I recently had a chance to try them side by side. While they sound more similar than different, I'm reasonably confident they're not the exact same model. The Deva's pads are also worse. But yeah the 5XX should have been called Devaxxx instead.
Joe405I mean it is the same model. That's confirmed by this point. They are acoustically indentical.
thdetdestro
3
May 20, 2021
I have a old set of HE-4XX right now that is falling apart (headset padding and cable (I bought a 2.5mm balanced cable for my Fiio Q1 MK2 (portable DAC amp combo))) would this headset be a good replacement or would I also need a 2.5mm cable for this too? if so where can I get one as it took forever to find one last time for my current one, I live in Canada so it's not as easy to get for some reason or would I be better off replacing the whole setup, I am on a budget though so I'd prefer not to. I'm also looking at the HE-X4
PotatoRawr
186
May 22, 2021
thdetdestroFrom what I read online, 5XX uses 3.5mm connectors whereas 4XX uses 2.5mm connectors. Therefore your current cable will not work on the 5XX. This is also an issue for the X4. The only brand I know that still uses 2.5mm connectors on their headphones is Audio Technica so you may consider checking them out. Otherwise, do keep a lookout for any local audio community in your area and find someone that DIY cables. Likewise, you can pick up cable making as a side hobby as it may be useful when you venture deeper into audio.
(Edited)
Marcus22687
269
Apr 30, 2021
Headfonics review of the HE5XX https://headfonics.com/drop-hifiman-he5xx-review/ "The HE5XX is a steal at $220. No, it does not feel like the older original HE500, but it feels like a natural sibling to the newer models from Hifiman and if you like them, you will like this one too."
Showing 29 of 253
keyboard_arrow_up
Newest
253 OF 253 POSTS
keyboard_arrow_down
Oldest
Recent Activity
Placed an order
Placed an order
Placed an order