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Hifiman HE400SE Review (Headphone)

Rate this headphone:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 2 0.7%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 11 4.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 89 32.8%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 169 62.4%

  • Total voters
    271

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Hifiman HE400SE open back planar magnetic headphone. It was sent to me by online seller, Linsoul and costs US $149.

The HE400Se doesn't look fancy:
Hifiman HE400SE Review open back planar magnetic headphone.jpg

It is however quite comfortable given its thick and large pads. Weight is a bit on the high side of average:
lighest open back headphone review.png


Cups are round and symmetrical. Diameter is 61mm and depth is 21 mm.

The included cord is this thin, horribly coiled wire. I suggest replacing it with something seeing how it uses standard 3.5mm connectors at both ends.

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 HE400SE Measurements
Let's start with our usual frequency response measurements:
Hifiman HE400SE measurements Frequency Response open back planar magnetic headphone.png


Other than bass and slight shoftall around 1.5 to 3 kHz, response complies with our target well. This means it should be usable without equalization. Developing filters should be easy given the deficiencies we need to fill:

Hifiman HE400SE measurements Relative Frequency Response open back planar magnetic headphone.png


Distortion at all but the highest test level is quite low:

Hifiman HE400SE measurements Distortion Percentage open back planar magnetic headphone.png


Hifiman HE400SE measurements Distortion THD open back planar magnetic headphone.png


Group delay shows messiness:
Hifiman HE400SE measurements Group Delay Response open back planar magnetic headphone.png


Impedance is flat as is the case with planar magnetic headphones:
Hifiman HE400SE measurements impedance open back planar magnetic headphone.png


Sensitivity is below average but not too bad:

Most efficient headphone reviewed.png


Hifiman HE400SE Listening Tests and Equalization
Measurements 100% predict the performance this headphone: it sounds very good out of the box and is definitely usable as is. Correction of the bass response does provide a warmer and more satisfying performance:

Hifiman HE400SE Equalization EQ open back planar magnetic headphone.png


And filling that dip centered around 2 kHz gave it excellent spatial qualities. Dial these in and you can sit back and enjoy your music as I did.

Conclusions
Headphone testing doesn't get simpler than this when the device itself is not too far off the mark as is the case with HE400SE. Add a bit of salt and pepper in the form of bass boost and lower treble energy and you are in business with a very high fidelity headphone. That it comes at such a low cost is a huge bonus, making the HE400SE one of my best picks for a bargain headphone.

I am happy to recommend the Hifiman HE400SE.

P.S. Linsoul listing says "V2." I am not sure if there is a V2 and if there is, that is what I have. I received this headphone back in July of this year.

-----------
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/
 

Attachments

  • Hifiman HE400SE Frequency Response ASR.zip
    24 KB · Views: 363
Last edited:

sweetchaos

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To import this PEQ profile into 'Equalizer APO', use:
Preamp: -6.7 dB
Filter 1: ON PK Fc 20 Hz Gain 6.0 dB Q 1.0
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 37 Hz Gain 1.8 dB Q 1.0
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 1950 Hz Gain 4.5 dB Q 3.0
Otherwise, see my PEQ guide.
..................................................................................................................
For those who don't have PEQ-capable app, and want to use GEQs instead:
See my GEQ guide for 10-band, 31-band, and 127-band GEQ profiles.
 
Last edited:

AdamG247

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Finally a recommendation, been a bit of a dry spell. Good price to boot!
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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@amirm: Would you rate this over the AKG K371?
I would from usability point of view (large cups) and spatial qualities. It has been a long time since I listened to K371 though....
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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What is going on at 10kHz?
Some kind of cancellation likely due to reflection from the driver to the cups out of phase. It is way too narrow to be audible and such dips are common in measurements.
 

nagster

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Hifiman HE400SE open back planar magnetic headphone. It was sent to me by online seller, Linsoul and costs US $149.

The HE400Se doesn't look fancy:
View attachment 170519
It is however quite comfortable given its thick and large pads. Weight is a bit on the high side of average:
View attachment 170521

Cups are round and symmetrical. Diameter is 61mm and depth is 21 mm.

The included cord is this thin, horribly coiled wire. I suggest replacing it with something seeing how it uses standard 3.5mm connectors at both ends.

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 HE400SE Measurements
Let's start with our usual frequency response measurements:
View attachment 170523

Other than bass and slight shoftall around 1.5 to 3 kHz, response complies with our target well. This means it should be usable without equalization. Developing filters should be easy given the deficiencies we need to fill:

View attachment 170524

Distortion at all but the highest test level is quite low:

View attachment 170525

View attachment 170526

Group delay shows messiness:
View attachment 170527

Impedance is flat as is the case with planar magnetic headphones:
View attachment 170528

Sensitivity is below average but not too bad:

View attachment 170529

Hifiman HE400SE Listening Tests and Equalization
Measurements 100% predict the performance this headphone: it sounds very good out of the box and is definitely usable as is. Correction of the bass response does provide a warmer and more satisfying performance:

View attachment 170530

And filling that dip centered around 2 kHz gave it excellent spatial qualities. Dial these in and you can sit back and enjoy your music as I did.

Conclusions
Headphone testing doesn't get simpler than this when the device itself is not too far off the mark as is the case with HE400SE. Add a bit of salt and pepper in the form of bass boost and lower treble energy and you are in business with a very high fidelity headphone. That it comes at such a low cost is a huge bonus, making the HE400SE one of my best picks for a bargain headphone.

I am happy to recommend the Hifiman HE400SE.

P.S. Linsoul listing says "V2." I am not sure if there is a V2 and if there is, that is what I have. I received this headphone back in July of this year.

-----------
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/
thank you.

Small mistake: The sensitivity chart is the weight chart.
 

usern

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It's great time for music enthusiast - you can get low cost headphones like AKG K371, Hifiman HE400Se and possibly Sennheiser HD 560S and have very good listening experience for below 200$.
 

peniku8

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Dont do it. Its like crack. Soon, you will be like me and on to the much harder stuff ... susvara.
You have been warned
Not as long as Amir hasn't tested them yet :)
 

mr.at

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I think Hifiman is doing well with their stealth magnets. So far, this one does seem to hit most, if not all, the notes right.

A couple of us grabbed the Edition XS recently - almost all of us are very happy and raving about it on a few platforms (no, none of us work for Hifiman if anyone is wondering). (Could land you anywhere between $390 to $420).

I think this, and the Edition XS may be the two obvious choices as of now (below $200 and below $500). I can confidently say the XS for me compliments my Focal Elex - and I find it comparable.

I hope @amirm gets a chance to review and measure it, but really is a nice reminiscent of the Edition X sound for a lot less money. My personal endgame, tied with the Focal Elex.

I guess if anyone is in the market for planars, and goods ones at that, may wanna consider this, and if you can go higher, consider the XS as a good economical substitute for the Arya/Ananda. But it is, as of the moment, a China only variant so maybe some will have trouble getting it elsewhere, but let's see.

I look forward to more light being thrown at that one on this here forum.
 

_theLaughingman

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yah, i hope he doesnt as it will really ruin the high if they dont test well. He can be a real buzzkill sometimes.
Well lets be honest, the intent behind ASR is to test for good quality and conformity of headphones to a set target. The merit of the design and the quality will speak for itself.
 

phoenixsong

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Hifiman HE400SE open back planar magnetic headphone. It was sent to me by online seller, Linsoul and costs US $149.

The HE400Se doesn't look fancy:
View attachment 170519
It is however quite comfortable given its thick and large pads. Weight is a bit on the high side of average:
View attachment 170521

Cups are round and symmetrical. Diameter is 61mm and depth is 21 mm.

The included cord is this thin, horribly coiled wire. I suggest replacing it with something seeing how it uses standard 3.5mm connectors at both ends.

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 HE400SE Measurements
Let's start with our usual frequency response measurements:
View attachment 170523

Other than bass and slight shoftall around 1.5 to 3 kHz, response complies with our target well. This means it should be usable without equalization. Developing filters should be easy given the deficiencies we need to fill:

View attachment 170524

Distortion at all but the highest test level is quite low:

View attachment 170525

View attachment 170526

Group delay shows messiness:
View attachment 170527

Impedance is flat as is the case with planar magnetic headphones:
View attachment 170528

Sensitivity is below average but not too bad:

View attachment 170529

Hifiman HE400SE Listening Tests and Equalization
Measurements 100% predict the performance this headphone: it sounds very good out of the box and is definitely usable as is. Correction of the bass response does provide a warmer and more satisfying performance:

View attachment 170530

And filling that dip centered around 2 kHz gave it excellent spatial qualities. Dial these in and you can sit back and enjoy your music as I did.

Conclusions
Headphone testing doesn't get simpler than this when the device itself is not too far off the mark as is the case with HE400SE. Add a bit of salt and pepper in the form of bass boost and lower treble energy and you are in business with a very high fidelity headphone. That it comes at such a low cost is a huge bonus, making the HE400SE one of my best picks for a bargain headphone.

I am happy to recommend the Hifiman HE400SE.

P.S. Linsoul listing says "V2." I am not sure if there is a V2 and if there is, that is what I have. I received this headphone back in July of this year.

-----------
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/
Hi Amir, is there an impulse response measurement for this? Curious to see if it has the ringing displayed by the HE400i
 

Multicore

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Do you think I would notice an improvement over my Drop HD58x? I notice the sensitivity is lower HE400SE. I use MOTU M4 and with the HD58x the headphone knob is typically set to about1 o'clock.
 
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