Showing 1 of 1205 conversations about:
View Full Discussion
A ton of value for the dollar here. Handles all genres I throw at it but sparkles so, so well with string instruments - catches every part of a strum - shit's addicting, especially when listening to live tracks; the guitars will make you come to realize listening to music is a hobby. If you're curious and want to know what audiophiles ramble about, this is a great way to make you go, "Oh".
Solid build that puts everything cheaper to absolute shame. The included cable is mediocre however.
Do be careful, as HIFIMAN is known for QA issues, see the discussion for woes. Mine came intact though. I sincerely wish these receive more attention as I prefer them over my HD6xx.
got an update on how these have held up in terms of build? I've seen a lot of folks saying the screw holding one or the others headphone unscrews and causes the headphone to fall off of the band.
I really want to get these as a foray into planar magnetics and cans over $100 but THAT would be a deal breaker after having tried Hifiman's HE-350.
Delivered back on Nov 30, 2017:
Mine are still intact, with a couple of drops off a table (onto carpet though) and me sitting on them probably twice (but I weigh next to nothing so YMMV). I don't really adjust the earcups all too much so the experience has almost always been an "on my head, off my head" while retaining the headphone shape so it hasn't really been abused. I still stand by my positive opinion of the construction as the QC is a separate factor. Compared to the supposed older brother HE560 v2 that I also own, I'm very happy with the 4xx but indeed anything HIFIMAN makes need to expect a ball to drop somewhere.
I can't speak for the HE-350, but sad to hear about the dynamics being disappointing, but then again I don't really recall much about HIFIMAN outside of their planars. It does look similar housing-wise to the HE-400i.
In terms of planars, the two entry-tiers are the Monolith M560 and the HE-4xx and owning both I'd give it to the 4xx for the sound foray as you can't beat the price for either one going into your budget. If you do want some degree of build assurance, the M560 has it beat, although M560 didn't sparkle as much as the HE-4xx did for me.
How would you compare the HE4xx to HE560's? Would you recommend the HE560's at $300?
The only headphones I own are the HD600 and HD650.
I own the HE-560 v2, if you are referring to the ones on Adorama, those are the v3, where they adopted a SUNDARA-esque construction to address the breaking yokes/shitty construction of the v2. I'd take my opinion with a grain of salt as many on headphone boards are saying that the sound changed along with the construction on the v3.
Using an SMSL-SU8 DAC+ CTH Amp:
To me, The HE-560 is more clear, at the cost of having a much more prominent sibilance.
My favorite sibilant check is Light Up by Thousand Foot Krutch:
Listening to the song on the HE-560 right now it's pretty torture:
I saw an angel fly today
Just like a movie
I couldn't speak
I couldn't walk away...
The bold words are where the sibilance happens; so sharp it's painful. It can probably be EQ'd out if you're into that.
By comparison, the HE-4XX has noticeable sibilance on saw and speak but not as piercing. However, percussion (the slap on a drum in a hard rock song making those *pops*) reaches piercing territory, but can be addicting to some.
Low end side, if you're bass-centric, the HE-4XX is the better phone, although it's a bit exaggerated. If you're an orchestral or epic guy, the 560 will suit you better.
Comparing the 2, the 560 you're in the center of the rows of the audience chamber, whereas the 4XX you are 1 or 2 rows closer to the band.
If comparing to your current Sennheisers, if you love the HD600 more, get the HE-560. If you love the HD650 more, get the HE-4XX. If you're really not sure how my AB comparisons are, the HE-4XX is the safe bet; at $300 the HE-560 is awesome considering they even include a balanced cable (usually valued at maybe $50), but the 560 to me isn't really an upgrade. The HE-560 ,
to me, is really tailored towards people that absolutely know what they're looking for (or only listen to instrumentals).
Thank you for the excellent response!
Great in depth post!
I think I might just wait on the purchase. I've owned the 2 Senn's for a long time and would probably be looking for something that is more of an upgrade; not a direct upgrade mind you, just one that is an upgrade on some aspect - whether that be the low or high end, build quality, imaging, soundstage, impact, or whatever.
From the looks of it, spending $300 or under would might not give me enough that's new or different to justify spending on side grades. Saving up and getting something like the DT1990 or a heavily used LCD2C would at least net me a premium headphone that gives a different experience from what I own, even if its sound signature might not suit most of the music I listen to.
Do you have any recommendations in the $300-$600 range?
None whatsoever. I could only parrot what others would recommend since I do not have any other headphones fitting the budget besides the OPPO-PM3 (discontinued, and a bit too tame for me) and the Fostex TH-X00 PurpleHearts (I reach for once in awhile for that closed-back EDM slap). My area is small, so the HVAC can get really loud while I'm using open-backs, so having some closed-backs are really nice.
Also, a different experience doesn't necessarily have to be an upgrade. Planars are a different technology and has its own flavors, I feel you'll find the experience very much enjoyable if you're looking to escape the Sennheiser "veil". I'd still say pony up for the 560 V3 if you want a taste, but if your budget is stretching that much AND you're good on DAC/AMP, I'd look for testimonies surrounding the HIFIMAN Sundara. Just another $100 is near the Aeon Flow Open/Closed. And by extension, just by going to closed-backs could give you a whole 'nother experience entirely (a la 1more Triple Over-ear). But that's not to say the 4XX doesn't fit the bill...
Also outside of your range, my first big-boy buy is the MD Focal Elex ($700) and can recommend that if you're the guy that refuses to compromise on bass (they claim they tuned the bass lower vs the Elear, not seeing that at all unless the Elear is complete mud). It's not that different from what the 650 is trying to accomplish, but does have a hell of a flavor.
Christ. This is a great example song to test the uppers. Just tried it with all my cans and IEMs, holy jeebus that's painful in all of them w/o any EQ.
I also have HD600s and HD650 ( and HD598s) and I'd recommend the Ebony Fostex TH-X00s as, if not an upgrade, a great complementary pair to your Sennheisers. They're gloriously fun and work with almost any music. Amazing extension on both ends with a lively and dynamic sound unlike anything else I've heard. They make the Sennheisers sound boring in comparison. I absolutely love mine. I also have the TH-X00 Mahogany and I consider it more of a genre specific headphone while the Ebony is more neutral and mid forward so it works just fine with vocals.
I just got Monoprice M1060s delivered a few hours ago and so far I'm loving them out of the box but I don't have enough head time with them to recommend them yet. Amazon has them for $237 right now and at that price I decided to take the chance.
Thanks for the recommendations! Tempted to pick up the M1060s. Thoughts on the He 400i and how it compares with the M1060s and He4xx?
I don't have any HiFiman headphones yet. I'm sure they're great but with all the reports of them breaking I just can't bring myself to buy anything from them. If I did get one it would likely be the HE560 v3 that Adorama runs at $300 every few weeks. They put a Sundara headband on it to fix the terrible old one. I saw some reports that the sound changed though. I wish they'd just up the price a little and put it towards build quality.
The M1060 is pretty good. I don't hear any 5k ringing that some people report. I haven't been home to use them on my desktop setup but my Fiio Q1 drives them easily on low gain. The bass boot button on the Q1 does wonderful things. The width and imaging are also really nice. Good enough that my HD 598s might be getting replaced by these for gaming.
I'll give them a month before I decide to try any mods.
Since my above post just got an upvote I feel like I should update it. I sent the M1060s back. They just had a strange metallic thing going on that I couldn't unhear once I noticed it. Ended up buying a Focal Elear. The Focals aren't going back!
I may be wrong but that metallic sound is the planar driver not burned in yet. It should disappear after some time of using them.
I know your comments are weeks old, but I have both the M1060s and HE4XX.
Sound wise, they are very close, but I prefer the M106, very slightly clearer, very slightly tighter bass, resulting in a slightly better sound stage.
On fit, the HE4XX are substantially better. They are slimmer and feel lighter. The M106 are bulky, much thicker ear pieces. I feel like I have Micky Mouse ears on when I use the M106s.
Because of this, I find myself using the HE4XX 80% of the time. I only get out the M106s if I am doing some critical listening late and night and don't want to bother the family blasting my monitors.
on 4xx I changed the pads to dekoni hybrids, much improved sound and now I use the 4xx most of the time. it is a great headphone. currently driving it with d10 dac and x7s with xlr.
Did you swap in the Dekoni Angled Hybrid or the Elite Hybrid pads? Looking to upgrade my pads myself and stumbled across your post.