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Hifiman HE-560 V4 Review (Planar Magnetic Headphone)

Rate this headphone:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 7 6.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 40 36.0%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 48 43.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 16 14.4%

  • Total voters
    111

sweetchaos

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YSC

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Hifiman HE560 V4. It is on kind loan from a member. I think it is exclusive to Adorama (?) and costs US $899 but goes on sale for $260 or something like it.

The look is similar to other Hifiman headphones:
View attachment 171965

Comfort was good with about average weight:
View attachment 171966

Cups are symmetrical and round with diameter of 61mm and depth of 23mm.

The included cable is short and rather stiff, terminated with 3.5mm plugs so easy to replace.

Note: The measurements you are about to see are made using a standardized Gras 45C. Headphone measurements by definition are approximate and variable so don't be surprised if other measurements even if performed with the same fixtures as mine, differ in end results. Protocols vary such as headband pressure and averaging (which I don't do). As you will see, I confirm the approximate accuracy of the measurements using Equalization and listening tests. Ultimately headphone measurements are less exact than speakers mostly in bass and above a few kilohertz so keep that in mind as you read these tests. If you think you have an exact idea of a headphone performance, you are likely wrong!

The large cups made an easy job of mounting them on my fixture and getting good measurements on first try.

Hifiman HE-56 V4 Measurements
Let's start with our usual frequency response measurements:
View attachment 171967

This is fairly typical Hifiman response with flat bass and droop above 1 kHz. The latter though is more than some others I have tested and is dissipating to see. It will not only impact tonality but also spatial effects. But overall not too bad.

Relative frequency response graph useful for development of EQ is:

View attachment 171968

Developing EQ should be simple given the shape of shortfalls.

Distortion is very low which is nice:
View attachment 171969


View attachment 171970

Group delay is messy as is usually the case with these headphones:
View attachment 171971

Impedance as usual is flat and low:

View attachment 171972

It does require fair bit of juice to get loud:

View attachment 171973

You definitely need a good headphone amplifier to drive it.

Hifiman HE560 V4 Listening Tests and Equalization
Without equalization the sound is not bad. It sounds light on its feet due to lack of bass energy. I turned on my HE400i EQ and it instantly elevated the performance a few notches. I refined it more for the 560 response and landed with this:
View attachment 171974

Once there, spatial qualities were excellent and overall tonality very good.

Conclusions
I honestly can't keep track of why there are so many models in the hifiman lineup. What is here seems to have been tweaked just a bit in the wrong direction. Fortunately with low distortion, equalization can compensate. Once there though, I did not want to listen without it. So this means you need to have EQ with you in all of your uses which can be inconvenient if you use a platform that doesn't support.

Overall, I can't recommend the HE560 V4 at its retail price. Fully discounted it is not bad but there are better choices from the company at even lower costs (HE400SE). Still equalization does it a lot of good and with it, I can recommend it.

-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
It’s nicely performing actually, but regards to the crazy number of versions issue I feel it’s a way to salvage spare parts in their stock.. since the HE-6 era this trend happens, mostly using the same driver in the different versions but use the old hand and style, the ear cups of yester-year or hand bands from drop versions
 

acbarn

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I hate that Adomara does this....:mad:

Here's the regular advertised price:
View attachment 171977

Here's the actual price (just add ?emailprice=t to the end of the normal URL):
View attachment 171976

Oh look at that, savings of 75%...magic!
Most of you should know this by now, but for a few that don't...;)
Wow. Imagine if you paid $900 and later found out you overpaid by almost $700. That would be the last time I bought anything from either Adorama or Hifiman.
 

Maiky76

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Hifiman HE560 V4. It is on kind loan from a member. I think it is exclusive to Adorama (?) and costs US $899 but goes on sale for $260 or something like it.

The look is similar to other Hifiman headphones:
View attachment 171965

Comfort was good with about average weight:
View attachment 171966

Cups are symmetrical and round with diameter of 61mm and depth of 23mm.

The included cable is short and rather stiff, terminated with 3.5mm plugs so easy to replace.

Note: The measurements you are about to see are made using a standardized Gras 45C. Headphone measurements by definition are approximate and variable so don't be surprised if other measurements even if performed with the same fixtures as mine, differ in end results. Protocols vary such as headband pressure and averaging (which I don't do). As you will see, I confirm the approximate accuracy of the measurements using Equalization and listening tests. Ultimately headphone measurements are less exact than speakers mostly in bass and above a few kilohertz so keep that in mind as you read these tests. If you think you have an exact idea of a headphone performance, you are likely wrong!

The large cups made an easy job of mounting them on my fixture and getting good measurements on first try.

Hifiman HE-56 V4 Measurements
Let's start with our usual frequency response measurements:
View attachment 171967

This is fairly typical Hifiman response with flat bass and droop above 1 kHz. The latter though is more than some others I have tested and is dissipating to see. It will not only impact tonality but also spatial effects. But overall not too bad.

Relative frequency response graph useful for development of EQ is:

View attachment 171968

Developing EQ should be simple given the shape of shortfalls.

Distortion is very low which is nice:
View attachment 171969


View attachment 171970

Group delay is messy as is usually the case with these headphones:
View attachment 171971

Impedance as usual is flat and low:

View attachment 171972

It does require fair bit of juice to get loud:

View attachment 171973

You definitely need a good headphone amplifier to drive it.

Hifiman HE560 V4 Listening Tests and Equalization
Without equalization the sound is not bad. It sounds light on its feet due to lack of bass energy. I turned on my HE400i EQ and it instantly elevated the performance a few notches. I refined it more for the 560 response and landed with this:
View attachment 171974

Once there, spatial qualities were excellent and overall tonality very good.

Conclusions
I honestly can't keep track of why there are so many models in the hifiman lineup. What is here seems to have been tweaked just a bit in the wrong direction. Fortunately with low distortion, equalization can compensate. Once there though, I did not want to listen without it. So this means you need to have EQ with you in all of your uses which can be inconvenient if you use a platform that doesn't support.

Overall, I can't recommend the HE560 V4 at its retail price. Fully discounted it is not bad but there are better choices from the company at even lower costs (HE400SE). Still equalization does it a lot of good and with it, I can recommend it.

-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/

Here are some thoughts about the EQ.

Notes about the EQ design:
  • The average L/R is used to calculate the score.
  • The resolution is 12 points per octave interpolated from the raw data (provided by @amirm)
  • A Genetic Algorithm is used to optimize the EQ.
  • The EQ Score is designed to MAXIMIZE the Score WHILE fitting the Harman target curve (and other constrains) with a fixed complexity.
    This will avoid weird results if one only optimizes for the Score.
    It will probably flatten the Error regression doing so, the tonal balance should be therefore more neutral.
  • The EQs are starting point and may require tuning (certainly at LF and maybe at HF).
  • The range around and above 10kHz is usually not EQed unless smooth enough to do so.
  • I am using PEQ (PK) as from my experience the definition is more consistent across different DSP/platform implementations than shelves.
  • With some HP/amp combo, the boosts and preamp gain (loss of Dynamic range) need to be carefully considered to avoid issues with, amongst other things, too low a Max SPL or damaging your device. You have beed warned.
  • Not all units of the same product are made equal. The EQ is based on the measurements of a single unit.
  • YMMV with regards to the very unit you are trying this EQ on.
  • I sometimes use variations of the Harman curve for some reasons. See rational here: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...pro-review-headphone.28244/page-5#post-989169 NOTE: the score then calculated is not comparable to the scores derived from the default Harman target curve if not otherwise noted.

Amazing L/R match.

I have generated one EQ, the APO config file is attached.

Score no EQ: 80.5
Score Armirm: 88.8
Score with EQ: 95.8

Code:
Hifiman HE560 V4 APO EQ [email protected] 96000Hz
December132021-114142

Preamp: -3.8 dB

Filter 1: ON PK Fc 25.45 Hz Gain 2.34 dB Q 0.43
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 198.38 Hz Gain -4.29 dB Q 0.86
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 501.90 Hz Gain -2.51 dB Q 1.63
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 944.39 Hz Gain -3.31 dB Q 1.50
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 2040.56 Hz Gain 4.84 dB Q 1.92
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 3315.73 Hz Gain -2.17 dB Q 5.26
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 3970.36 Hz Gain -4.77 dB Q 2.62
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 6037.18 Hz Gain -4.63 dB Q 3.64
Filter 9: ON PK Fc 12091.16 Hz Gain -11.72 dB Q 5.70

Hifiman HE560 V4 APO EQ Flat@HF 96000Hz.png
 

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Last edited:

zepplock

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Now I'm confused about which version I have. Mine hasve black, non-wood cups and 2 piece headband: thin metal and wide leather strap.
 

Jimbob54

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Now I'm confused about which version I have. Mine hasve black, non-wood cups and 2 piece headband: thin metal and wide leather strap.
If I recall things got a bit messy between v1 and v2 with there being some degree of part swaps and hybrids. I think yours sound like v3.
 

zepplock

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If I recall things got a bit messy between v1 and v2 with there being some degree of part swaps and hybrids. I think yours sound like v3.
Could be, I know the ones I have are newer, I got them a couple of years ago from Adorama and they have 3.5mm connectors.
 

solderdude

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Now I'm confused about which version I have. Mine has black, non-wood cups and 2 piece headband: thin metal and wide leather strap.

V3 most likely.

V3.jpg
 

solderdude

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Amir only measured V4, I measured V1 and V2.
 

Jimbob54

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Could be, I know the ones I have are newer, I got them a couple of years ago from Adorama and they have 3.5mm connectors.
Ah ha. The bible!

Ps I was talking about the hifiman wood v2, not the adorama v2. So confusing!


And if you don't like clicking random internet links, it's this
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot_20211213_175308_com.google.android.apps.docs.editors.sheets.jpg
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frogmeat69

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I got my pair from Adorama, wood cups with 2.5mm connectors, came with 1/4" and XLR cables, but in a cheap cloth lined box compared to what my old HE 400i cans came in. Purchased May of 2018 for $319.00.
WTF version is mine???!!! o_O
 

Jimbob54

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I got my pair from Adorama, wood cups with 2.5mm connectors, came with 1/4" and XLR cables, but in a cheap cloth lined box compared to what my old HE 400i cans came in. Purchased May of 2018 for $319.00.
WTF version is mine???!!! o_O
2.47
 

Bugworm

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Is it just me, or it's a HE6SE (v2) with higher sensitivity? If so, would it be go-to (for $225) instead of HE6SE v2?
 

pkane

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Is it just me, or it's a HE6SE (v2) with higher sensitivity? If so, would it be go-to (for $225) instead of HE6SE v2?

I have HE560v1 and HE6SEv2. HE6SE is better-sounding after EQ, but not worth 2x the price, IMHO.

HE560 without EQ is way too bright for my taste and I couldn't live with them without EQ. HE6SE sounds much better to me without EQ, but does require serious amplification.
 
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