HE-400i

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Gravity, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. Gravity

    Gravity Friend

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    Hi everyone,

    HE-400i will be on sale for $299 soon so I'm wondering if I should give it a go. What is your thoughts about the headphone? I'm currently using HD650 and I love it. Even after the release of HD800S I'm still optimisticly hoping to see a HD850 in the near future because I think that would be my true endgame headphone. From what I gathered HD800S is HD800 made right so to speak. What the original HD800 was suposed to be like and an upgrade to HD600 so I'm not really that interested in it. I'm using the Audio-gd DAC 19 and have pre-ordered the Cavalli Liquid Carbon so that's gonna be my setup. I'm a little worried about the treble on the HE-400i though, not sure if I will find it sibilant. For reference I thought T1/T1.2, HD800 and HE-560 were sibilant. I'm also looking at the Ether, but I'm not sure if it's worth it's pricetag. Probably not. How does the Ether compare to the HE-400i? Which of the two has smoothest treble you recon?
     
  2. LeSpookySkelington

    LeSpookySkelington Rando

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    You should definitely try them. One of the best sub 1000$ headphones and excellent value, especially for 299$. Nice flat frequency response with good bass extension and low distortion, sounds very natural to my ears. Treble will be more pronounced in direct comparison to the Senns but sibilance can be fixed with some EQ. In my optinion Ethers are overpriced and donĀ“t offer much more in terms of sound quality.
     
  3. Priidik

    Priidik MOT: Estelon

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    The HE400i is one of my fav orthos. Through a good system it is a sidegrade at best.
    It's treble is rougher and perhaps more sibilant than HD800, to my ears so are LCD-3's and HE-6's more sibilant and rough.
    Maybe our meaning of sibilance differs as well. HD800 has glare, sibilance to me means piercing 'ss' and 'sh' vocals.
    Actually depending on setup I find HD650 more sibilant than HD800 on some crappy amps and sources, though through a quality chain I couldn't imagine smoother and less offensive top end than HD650 while being resolving as hell.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
  4. Tuco1965

    Tuco1965 Suffring from early onset Alzheimer's - Friend

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    I have these and the HD600s. I enjoy both. The 400i are brighter sounding to me but not in a way that is hard on my ears. I'm 50 so take my experience with a grain of salt.
     
  5. SpaceLaser

    SpaceLaser Friend

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    I quite like my pair. They're a bit more energetic and have a tad bit more subbass than my HD600, and their bass response is appropriately ortho.
     
  6. Yaroslav

    Yaroslav Rando

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    Using them as my primary for several months. The Changstar thread on them is very spot-on: www.changstar.com/index.php?topic=1755.0

    Pros:

    Better detail compared to HD6x0, at least with reasonably cheap amplification.
    Great bass and sub-bass
    Good comfort and great design, both new for HiFiMan
    Relatively easy to drive
    Packaging
    Transportability

    Cons:

    Overall sound signature is a bit off when moving from HD6x0 to these. It just does not feel right.

    No soundstage. It is common to say they sound like a closed headphone and this is true. There are people who say the soundstage is OK, I tend to disagree. HD650 and HD600 are soundstage kings compared to this. My Momentums have a bigger soundstage! It really kills the enjoyment for classical and ambient music.

    Yeah, there is a mod that "opens up" the sound by replacing the grills, but it also makes it a bright headphone, and I mean really bright, could not stand it.

    Can be a bit bright even in stock form (look at that link). A bit annoying.

    First version (guess it's the one going on sale) still has lame HiFiMan connectors.

    Their finish is a fingerprint magnet.

    Chinese quality. I've had connector problems. When I've opened my phones, one of the drivers was covered with glued (!) fingerprints, no chance to get them off.

    Overall:

    I've sold my HD650 to get these. Initially I thought it was a great choice. However, right now I hate the sound signature and I hate the fact there is no soundstage.

    If you're mostly listening to rock or stupid subgenres of electronic music, it should be okay. Should you make it a primary one? Probably not.

    Is $300 a steal for those? For sure. If you need them. It's no fricking endgame, it's just a sidegrade.
     
  7. Yaroslav

    Yaroslav Rando

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  8. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    I really enjoyed the 400i while I had it and really didn't mind the soundstage that others seem to find offensive.

    I parted with them due to how they handle vocals. They really push the vocals out front, which I liked at first. Eventually, though, it began to sound artificial to me especially when compared to headphones like the HD650 or HE-500.
     
  9. SpaceLaser

    SpaceLaser Friend

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    They do sound a bit artificial in the vocal range compared to the HD600, but I like the way that the 400i renders bass and treble for genres like metal to keep them in my rotation.
     
  10. Gravity

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    Thanks guys, I've decided to keep the HD650 and wait for something better.
     
  11. Chris F

    Chris F Boyz 4 Now Fanatic - Friend

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    I listened to a pair at a meet yesterday for about 15 minutes.

    In short:
    Seemed pretty comfy with the suspension strap (of course it's hard to get an opinion in 15 mins)
    Excellent bass: clean, punchy, flat and with no distortion. The highlight of the headphone.
    Waaaay too aggressive presence region (~3-6K); it was actually painful with certain genres like Latin for example
    Slightly tipped up treble
    Slightly off timbre/texture that I find with almost all orthos I have heard so far

    If you are a big EDM fan these things would probably be great. They sounded really good playing stuff from Daft Punk - RAM, for example. For most other stuff you are gonna be reaching for the EQ.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2015
  12. Gravity

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    Thank you Chris, you confirm my decision. I'm sure I'd love the bass, especially the sub bass, but the smaller soundstage and offensive treble is what threw me off.
     
  13. mtoc

    mtoc SBAF's Resident Shit-Stirrer

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    second handed he500 are the best choice.
     
  14. Robert777

    Robert777 Acquaintance

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    Thanks for this. I was considering adding one of these two pairs to my collection. I think it will have to be one of these new Sennheiser's everyone is raving about.

    Cheers.
     
  15. IndySpeed

    IndySpeed Friend

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    I recently got the HE-400i because they were on sale for $299. I figured why not? Well, I have probably 40 hours of listening on them now, and I'm still not sure I like them entirely. The biggest problem with the HE-400i for me is their sibilance. It can be annoying on some songs. I don't know if that will change over time. If not, I don't see me using them that much going forward. Nonetheless, they are a lot more comfortable than my HE-500... In fact, they are probably the most comfortable headphones I have other than some Audio Technicas that I have. But the HE-500 sounds so much better to me...
     
  16. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    Yup. Yup. Nope. Probably Not. Yup. Probably. Depends, but I agree.
     
  17. IndySpeed

    IndySpeed Friend

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    Well, are there any mods that can be done to reduce the treble spike causing the sibilance?
     
  18. Gravity

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    I hear people say Focus-A pads reduce the treble peak but I haven't tried myself.
     
  19. IndySpeed

    IndySpeed Friend

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    Does anyone know if that mod or any other mod would work? Currently, I'm experimenting with some EQ. That does appear to be helping if I EQ down the frequency range of 3.5kHz to about 10kHz. It's a shame... There is a lot to like about this headphone. Certainly, it has great comfort. The bass is tight and pretty good, and the vocals are really good. But boy the headphone is bright, and there is a lot of sibilance stock... I have never needed to consider EQ even for my audio technica headphones which I believe most would consider bright. But this headphone is piercing bright...
     
  20. IndySpeed

    IndySpeed Friend

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    As a side note, I was able to EQ the HE-400i to make them sound pretty good. My settings are -2dB @ 3.5kHz, -4dB @ 5kHz, -4dB @ 7kHz, and -2dB @ 10kHz. I wanted to add as little EQ as I could get away with. In fact, they are still just a little sibilant, but they are now usable. This is the first time I have used EQ in years... I have been reluctant to use digital EQ for possible artifacts that might be introduced, but it actually works pretty good. My audio player I believe uses a version of Super EQ.
     

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