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A community member
Jul 3, 2017
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I would always upgrade headphone more often than the amp/dac I would only upgrade amp if I needed more power or dac if it was much better than what I have, The biggest difference will always be the headphones. Maybe look at some open headphones it depends on the music you listen to some headphones I would say do better for certain genres of music. I think a great step up for you might be something like the hifiman he400S everyone seems to like them I have the he500 and for value I personally don't think it can be beat tbh.
Jul 3, 2017
cckfc
36
Jul 3, 2017
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Thanks for the recommendation, I'll look into them. What made you recommend the he400S over the he400i? Also, would you recommend going for the 500 or the 400?
Jul 3, 2017
A community member
Jul 3, 2017
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I think you can buy the 400S new fair cheap not sure but I think the 400i is more expensive maybe look used. I personally think the HE500 are best bang for your cash that I have heard. I haven't actually tried the 400 series it just gets rave reviews everywhere but from what I gather the he500 are very highly regarded. All comes down to price really but do note the he500 need a fair bit of power output.
Jul 3, 2017
ElectronicVices
2725
Jul 5, 2017
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I agree changing your headphone will give the most "bang for the buck". Owning the 500 I am gonna say steer clear until you upgrade your amp. The 500 has double magnets (vs single sided magnets on the modern gen) and is MUCH harder to drive than the 400i or 400S. The 400i has been touted as the spiritual successor to the 500 and is based on the single sided paradigm referenced earlier in my post. It's also cheaper as I have seen the 400i around the $250 mark recently (including amazon now). I love my HE500 but use amps capable of multiple watts of power to drive them.
Jul 5, 2017
cckfc
36
Jul 6, 2017
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That helped a lot, thanks. I'm curious, are the 400i's a better all-around headphone than the 598s (would they be a replacement)? I know that they are open-back, but I'm curious what that means in terms of performance.
Jul 6, 2017
TiffanyPoodleslide
1388
Jul 6, 2017
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Open back= broader, wider sound stage. More organic, less confining. The down-side; you can hear outside noises and there will be some bleed out of what you are hearing, i.e., people near you will hear your cans too.
I personally prefer open-backed cans, because I LOVE the open and wide, 3-D quality to the sound. If you have the right cans, adequately powered, you can hear the placement of each instrument, each voice, like right in the space around you, like an out-of-head experience. That's AWESOME. As Electronic Vices said; you have to have an adequate amp for that.
Jul 6, 2017
cckfc
36
Jul 6, 2017
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Thanks for the info; you were really helpful. I ordered a pair of the 400i's and I'm sure I'll be satisfied with them :)
Jul 6, 2017
A community member
Jul 6, 2017
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Great choice let us know how you find them.
Jul 6, 2017
ElectronicVices
2725
Jul 6, 2017
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I've found planar soundstages to be just a tad smaller than their dynamic cousins but I think the clarity, speed and precise imaging more than make up for the slightly reduced soundstage. If the 400i are anything like the 500's (and their FR graphs are very similar) you will be very pleased as a replacement all-rounder. If the 500 didn't weigh just south of a metric ton it would probably be on my head far more than my other 20+ pairs.
Jul 6, 2017
cckfc
36
Jul 7, 2017
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I look forward to trying them out. Thanks for the help!
Jul 7, 2017
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