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How good is the build quality? Looking at this picture I would think I should cancel my order right away.... Constuction looks weak and paint on the size adjusters seems to scrape of easlily.
I have a pair of the original 400 when it came out. you are correct sir. the build quality of it was utter crap. i could forgive it because they sounded incredible. but after couple dozen uses, the the round plastic knob on the top broke off and one of the speakers died. and it happen to a lot of people who had a pair of the original 400. I joined the drop due to the awesome price and giving hifiman one last chance. i just wish it was the floaty head band not the crap you see here.
It's a great deal for the quality of sound...But yea the build quality looks horrible. The 400i's go on sale regularly and aren't much more expensive for a LOT better build quality. Again, at least from the looks of it. I love my 400i's. I try to get friends into planar and suggest this for budget, I suppose if you're careful with them (they aren't exactly what I consider portable headphones anyway given their size and open back), then they could be alright.
I've seen some reviews which say the build quality of these particular headphones is pretty good. But that is from short term users. Do you know how they compare to the Sennheiser HD6XX in term of build quality?
HD6XX uses a lot more plastic in the construction. It is still fairly well built despite that but plastic does break down over time.
According to the product description a large part of what they were targeting with the build on the 4XX was improvements on the original flimsy housing design from Hifiman's earlier designs. The specified changes to the original weak point in the design which was the gimbals where the height adjusters attach to the headband. It also states that they used a better steel in the headband itself.
I think you're mostly looking at bad lighting in that picture, fwiw. You have a fair point about longevity though. Nobody knows how durable they will be long term because nobody has had them for more than a few weeks.
They're actually way sturdier in your hand than they look. I thought the same looking at them, but the quality of plastics and the rigidity of the metal band around the cups is actually really solid. Like I've said, it's not even close to the same ballpark as my Oppo PM-3's, but those are more than twice the price, and the build quality on these is significantly better than my equivalently priced AT ATH-900X's.
The Sennheisers use high quality plastics and are very durable. I still have a full working pair of HD420SL, bought in the ‘80s. They are all made of plastic. I have used them every day for long hours for 10-15 years during my teen/young adult years. They are still in top shape and fully working. The only thing that I had to change recently are the foam pads inside the external earpads because they completely desintegrated over time and the earpads became less confortable. But with a 5$ investment in foam pads (using foam pads from a more recent headphone accessory, the HD480), they are still working as new! So please don’t conclude too fast on Sennheiser using plastics.
I didn't say they aren't quality plastics. Just that they are plastics which do break down over time. That time could be anywhere from years to centuries. I don't really know what timeframe it will be, but there is more plastic in hd6xx and my statement was as simple as that. I don't really know why that requires refutation.