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Audiophile Moderator
Nov 29, 2017
Copying over my impressions that I posted a couple months back on SBAF so I'm a little late to the party. I haven't had a huge amount of free time to listen to the headphones just yet (the unit I have was provided by Massdrop so that I could provide some feedback) but I have had extensive time with most of Hifiman's newer lower to mid tier headphones (400S, 400i, 560s, etc). For starters the bass is absolutely their better feature whilst the highs are slightly lacklustre to my preference. I'm fairly treble sensitive and have had no real issue with fatigue however (which I did have with the 400i years ago) so that's great but they're still a little tizzy and thus not the most pleasantly smooth experience for those of us that are used to darker sounding headphones (650s, Audeze, et al). The mids are what you'd expect from a pair of Hifiman headphones, no complaints from me there, they do a great job. They are much more alike the 400S than the 400i to my ears which is definitely a good thing - they also seem to scale fairly well which I enjoy, the 400S were very geared toward portable/non-amplified which is not something I personally need. The fit is comfortable, the finish is beautiful, the cable is malleable and never gets in the way like the HORRIBLE (now discontinued, I believe?) stock cable the 400S/i used to come with did. Mine have regular Focus pads and not the A version so I cannot comment there but I tend to dislike thin/drier sounding headphones (eg. HD800, HE-560s, etc) and I like them with the Focus so there's that. I've also tried Brainwavz Hybrids, Kennerton (white) leather pads and ZMF sheep skins on them - the latter two make them sound bassier for obvious reasons, what you'd expect from full leather pads; the Hybrids are my favourites as they are something in between, they're also more comfortable than the Focus pads in my opinion. Bottom line, I don't think full leather pads are very suitable for the 4XX and perforations definitely help.
If you receive yours and find them to be overly bright with your chain, I know plenty of people (as well as many others on SBAF/HF with measurements that back their claims/experiences) that have gone from actively disliking them to loving them by just buying leather pads so definitely something to take into consideration.
PS: I've used them with most my gear which includes but is not limited to - Schiit Modi Multibit + Schiit Jotunheim (solid state); Schiit Gungnir Multibit + Schiit Freya + Schiit Mjolnir 2/Pathos Aurium (hybrids); LG V30; etc. They do just fine off of the phone, I don't own a regular smart phone to be able to state they perform well without the dedicated audio components of the LG but I'd wager they would. I prefer them with tubes rather than solid state (added spaciousness and liquidity which I feel they benefit from as well as smoother up top).
Edit: couple pictures
Nov 29, 2017
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