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They sound great out of the box, comfortable headband, slightly tight clamping force but it will be break in after use.
Highs are sparkle and bass rumbles, mids are a bit recessed. The stock pad are too shallow for my ear, I will have to change to a thicker angled leather or hybird pad, any suggestion?
Will burn in for couple days and then compare to my M1060 and TX-0.
*Paid CAD $38.08 duty and handling, not so great.
Someone told me they put the Ori Pads on and love them. Wait, burn in on planar magnetic? It's a piece of metal what is there to break in and get lose? I was thinking about burning mine in but it didn't make sense to me like a dynamic driver does.
Thanks for the suggestion on the pads.
TBH I am not a believer in burn in, to me is more like a ritual. Given every hp a burn in time so at the end of the day I can at least eliminate one factor to compare them fairly. Some actually benefits but not all.
People have measured a difference with burn in tests but I only have seen these tests with dynamic drivers. The concept doesn't make sense with planar magnetic because it is a piece of metal there is nothing to loosen up like there is with a dynamic driver. I could be wrong and I have looked for an answer but noting but like a measurable difference with a before and after.
Planar drivers have a moving sheet of plastic like Mylar, the aluminum voice could is etched onto the plastic. I would imagine they would benefit from the same burn in as dynamic drivers whatever that may be.
So I know the research says it doesn't matter, but it definitely does depending on the headphones. The HE-350s changed GREATLY after burning in. My roommate and I got ours on the same day, but he used them for 4 months and I used them for about a week. The harsh highs really calmed down in his pair. Eventually he had an issue with the headband so he swapped out my band with his while we waited for RMA because just borrowing mine was that big of a difference.
I've also tested a number of different IEM designs (non-BA) and some also have the same burn in issue. I definitely don't think it will be necessary for planars. My M1060s were amazing out of the box, I'm expecting these to be a similar level when they arrive tomorrow. But I'm on the burn-in bandwagon. I think the difference is less noticeable or apparent in planars, but if you find yourself being turned off by the highs, I'd suggest doing some more burn in before you make a final judgement.
The sound signature is very similar between the two. I personally like the M1060 more, but will see after pad rolling to give them fair comparison. The HE4XX are also harder to drive, almost 20% more power needed to get same volume compare to M1060.
That is good to know I have been looking at the M1060s.
So I just started testing mine. I've got to say I'm definitely with you fallenmig on the comparison you've experienced so far. I don't know if 20% is the difference, I have both plugged into an m9xx so they can get the same power output and they're close, I definitely think they are harder to drive, but if a source can push the M1060 I think it can safely push the HE4XX.
I'm putting it through a certain amount of pink noise right now, and will then go through some more of my standard test music. I find the clarity to be the element that I lack most on, especially in the highs. It has a general weakness in the lows in power that most planars experience but the detailed bass response makes up for it. The presence when it comes to instruments also is a bit lacking.
That being said, these cans are close to half the price of M1060s and I would say give the K7XXs a run for their money. A more than great entry level headphone.
Hopefully a lot of my issues clear up after 20-40 hours or so.
Just noticed there are couple scuff marks on the cup and some stain on the leather portion of the pads which can't be wiped. Poor QC work with manufacturer.
See that shiny spot (light reflection) close to the right cup hinge, there's no coating don't know if it got scraped after they finish coating it or these got tossed around before assembly. White marks on the left leather pad, tried to wipe with warm water but it stays.
Those ZMF Ori pads look interesting. What ones did you go for, the lambskin or the suede?
It does see weird to have to burn in planars, however the Hifiman manual say to allow at least 150 hours to "break in".
I didn't I just read 2 people said the lambskin are amazing here on MD. I heard the same he about the all the others the HE-4 family. Something about leather or preteen leather and not fabric pads are an upgrade.
This is a rare "For" burn-in report that actually has compared two "identical" headphones both of the same vintage. Thanks for sending it in djfluffkins.
I cannot understand how burn-in can improve things (even in a dynamic 'phones, never mind planar) but there is no clear, absolute test I can find anywhere (if you know of one, reply here with the URL).
A proper test must take two units bought at the same time, frequency response tested to show one is not not too different to the other) and listened to, to ensure both sound similar (never mind the FR graph). Then after many hours of use (while the other sits idle) both compared again. Why is that so hard to do?? Money, of course (you need to spend $$$$ on getting two identical headphones), and the test rig.
But many 'expert' web sites exist, yet none have actually done a test with "blind" listeners (mark one with a Red, the other a Blue sticker and ask which they prefer). So placebo testing too - mark a 3rd unused one Green and ask for a 'preference' (see, 3 headphones needed to do this properly!)
I was "Against" burn in, but recent experiences have led me to believe it is probably doing something. Why? A "shrill" headphones is appearing to sound less shrill. Burn in? Or just getting used to its quirky nature??
Honestly, I was in your same boat until I actually tried it for myself. I bought into the entire "science" behind the fact that there was no difference.
I honestly couldn't stand the HE-350s at first which is why I stopped using them, but my roommate had less options hence him toughing it our for a few months.
I'm not sure why no one has done the blind test you're talking about. I think it's hard to not bias it either, but the reality is, people who know how to listen for differences in headphones (because they read and try for themselves) are the best group to test things with. I'm sure there are plenty of average people who couldn't tell the difference between cans or DACs or amps, but I also think there are people who can.
There are vendors who come to CES with new demo units but encourage their reps to have their own pair with so if people really want to hear the difference after burning it in for a while they can. For some it's a world of difference.
I was just watching a video review of all these headphones in comparison in the 400 series and HiFiMan themselves recommends a 300 hour burn in on the 400i and 400s. The concept of a burning makes sense to me on a dynamic driver but not a planar magnetic but hifiman themselves recommends the burning in their own manual. I'm close to a hundred hours on my burn in so we will see if it makes a difference.