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So far so good...but not as good as I expected.
After reading and watching many reviews on the internet, including Massdrop reviews and conversations, I decided to join the drop for the 4xxs. The headphones are built in a very solid manner, but are a little bit too bulky to my taste. However, they are comfortable enough for long listening sessions.
As regards the sound, it is quite good, but after so many good reviews I expected something much more striking to my ears. The soundstage is OK, but not spectacular. For example, I find the much cheaper Grado SR-80e to have much more soundstage and separation of instruments.
And the worst part is that they sound a little bit muddy. I'm not an expert, but I have the impression that the bass is invading other frequencies, as specially the voices do not sound "clean". I have made a comparison of some 30 songs that I know very well changing from the Hifiman to my Audio-Technica MSR-7 and the ATs beat clearly the Hifiman when it comes to clarity. The voices and guitars sound much cleaner than in the Hifiman.
They say that the Hifiman needs 200 hours to start delivering its potential. I hope it´s the case. For the moment my verdict is...they are good, but I did not get the expected upgrade from my Grados and Audio Technica.
The 4xx also needs power. The more I push them the better they sound. I have a Balanced cable on order from Periapt. I’m curious to see how they respond to the additional power from my X7S.
Give them time. They will likely grow on you. I was underwhelmed initially too.
I got my balanced cables for my 4xx and wow. Listening to the 4xx balanced from my Aune X7S is sweet. Soundstage opens up, clarity and detail are much improved. The muddiness that you mentioned and that I would sometimes hear is gone. The low end is tight and controlled. I feel like I got a new set of headphones.
I bought an amplifier and I´m not really sure that the sound has improved a lot. I would say that it improved when I started to use the "line out" of my Fiio X1 II instead of the headphones out... :-). I don´t know whether I should go for the balanced cables, it´s almost half the price of the headphones. Anyway I´m overall happy with the sound of the Hifiman however I still don´think that they are an upgrade to my Audio Technica MSR7 or to the Grados.
I see that you also had the 6xx. I would be very grateful if you could tell me your experience with them. Do you like them more than the 4xx?.
I almost joined the drop for the 6xxs as everybody said that they are the steal of the century. But I was a little bit concerned about the famous "Sennheiser veil" and then I opted for the Hifiman as in principle I like wide soundstage and detail in high frequencies (like the ATs and the Grados deliver).
But now I´m thinking that maybe they could complement my other headphones, as they seem to have a completely different sound profile.
Many thanks in advance.
I struggled with the decision to get the balanced XLR cables for the 4xx as well,but I'm glad I did. Depending on your amp it may not make as big of a difference. With my Aune X7S the balanced out is superior to the SE out.
On the question of 4xx vs 6xx it depends on which amp I'm using. I prefer the 4xx balanced out from my X7S and the 6xx from my DarkVoice. That said, the 6xx are excellent from the X7S. The 4xx don't sound good to me via the DarkVoice.
They are however different sounding with the 4xx being more Dynamic in the higher ranges. Not Grado SR80 level treble, but noticeable more than the 6xx.
I think the 6xx and 4xx compliment each other nicely and the 6xx are definitely a nice contrast to the Grado SR80. Just keep in mind the 6xx also benefit greatly from an Amp.
Many thanks for your prompt and comprehensive reply!. Very useful!. Kind regards.
Hi mindhead1. I’m still considering to join the drop for the Sennheisers but I’m having a last minute doubt. I’m considering to take the 58x instead, for several reasons:
You now are probably thinking: this guy is freaking out 😅. But I would be really grateful if you could give me your advice on this. Would in your opinion be worth to pay 100€ more and buy the 6xx/650 instead of the 58x?.
Many thanks in advance
- While there is an equivalent for HD 6xx (the HD 650) the 58x doesn’t have one, which makes it more special to get from Massdrop.
- With transport to Europe and import taxes I will end up paying around 266€ for the 6xx, which is close to the price of the HD 650 in EU (284€). And here I could have two years guarantee.
- For 50$ difference I would still take the 6xx, but the import taxes increase the difference to almost 100$ (goods above 150€ have to pay customs duty in addition to VAT)
- It seems that the 58x have a similar sound signature (a little more bassy, which I don’t mind) and only a little bit less detailed in mids and treble). And also that you don’t need an amplifier to drive them.
I have not heard the 58X so I can't comment on how they sound. But based on what I've read they are similar enough to the 6xx that if I was in your shoes I'd save the money and get the 58X.
Also, if they are like other Sennheiser headphones a good amp will increase your enjoyment.
Best of luck and enjoy the music.
Many many thanks again for your prompt and sincere reply. You’re really kind!. I think I will go for the 58xs, and I hope that I can complete the circle and my collection of headphones as well. Kind regards!.
You know, in the last minute I quit the drop for the HD 58 and I joined for the 6xx.... I think that they can be a completely different experience than the 4xx can offer. I hope I can now have the best of two worlds...kind regards
I think you made a good choice. I’m extremely happy with my 6xx and 4xx. My only other recommendation for both headphones is good amplification and quality source material. Enjoy!
Indeed I will follow your advice, many thanks!