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Hifiman HE400SE Review (Headphone)

Rate this headphone:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 2 0.8%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 10 3.8%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 86 32.8%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 164 62.6%

  • Total voters
    262

pk500

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Was the V1 Version without Stealth magnets and V2 revision is with Stealth magnets?

Also is there a way to see which revision you have (seems V2 Stealth got 2 different cables?)
I believe V1 without Stealth magnets was the initial version only released in China. The international version (V2?) has Stealth magnets.
 

_theLaughingman

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Funny thing I have two pairs of the stealth magnets' edition of HE400se with one set having stealth magnets printed on the gimbals whilst the other pair came with a box labeled as “stealth magnet”. Two iterations of the same edition.
 

nyxnyxnyx

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always wanted to ask this but I always forgot:
can anyone tell me how/why is impedance so flat with planar headphones, and not with dynamic headphones?
years ago I always presumed a 300ohm dynamic headphones would be 300ohm all the way, until I know better.
 

solderdude

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It really only matters when you have a source with a high(ish) output resistance.
Fortunately a low output resistance is rather standard so unless the output TRS socket on power amps is used there will not be a problem.

The reason is mechanical damping and distance from the membrane to magnets is high.
Due to the needed tension the mechanical damping at lower frequencies is rather high where with dynamics the membrane near its edges has to be very flexible to get great bass extension and low distortion.
The voicecoil is very close to a very concentrated magnetic field because we want efficiency and/or large dynamic range. This makes them an effective microphone as well (back EMF).
For planars much more and powerful magnets are needed (heavy) and they have to be at a minimal distance to allow the amplitude swing needed.
Thicker (higher current capable) windings are needed as well. So the drivers are better (and above all differently) damped and the microphone effect (back EMF) is much less because of the airgap difference.
You can see a change in impedance with planars (depending on the design and efficiency) b.t.w. but have to zoom in a lot. In practice this is a not audible issue though even when driven from a Bakoon current drive amp or high output R amplifier as the variances are too small to modify the response. Exceptions are the Audeze sine (because of the passive filter in it) and the Meze Liric. These will modify their tonal balance and not in a good way at higher output R.
 

mechdroid

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I always thought it had to do with the moving coils impedance changing with the position in the magnetic field. A planar "coil" stays much more in the sweet spot.
 

solderdude

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That would only be logical when the impedance would vary depending on amplitude.
The impedance peak (fed voltage - back EMF current) is the same when this is measured at very low levels and higher levels.
 

Adaboy4z

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Great review! I just received my pair yesterday and I'm really enjoying them. It's my first pair of planar magnetic headphones. The price is what pulled me in. I'm fairly new to Hifi products as I bought $20 headphones at Wal-Mart before purchasing Sennheiser HD560s and these. I returned the HD560s because the 400se sound just fit my needs.
 

ninetylol

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Great review! I just received my pair yesterday and I'm really enjoying them. It's my first pair of planar magnetic headphones. The price is what pulled me in. I'm fairly new to Hifi products as I bought $20 headphones at Wal-Mart before purchasing Sennheiser HD560s and these. I returned the HD560s because the 400se sound just fit my needs.
Yeh its just great! Happy listening!
 

Pdxwayne

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I have the k371. I just returned hd560s. I wonder if it is worth it to try this one next....
 

MayaTlab

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I have the k371. I just returned hd560s. I wonder if it is worth it to try this one next....

I have all three. They all sound quite different to me. I think that only you can answer that question :D.
 

Pdxwayne

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I didnt really like the 560s and love the 400se.
I have all three. They all sound quite different to me. I think that only you can answer that question :D.
Thanks! Just ordered from Amazon. It seems interesting that the estimated delivery is about 12 days from now. Typically Amazon prime delivery is 2 to 3 days.
 

pk500

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I have the k371. I just returned hd560s. I wonder if it is worth it to try this one next....
What didn't you like about the 560s? That will help me to maybe identify if you'll like the HE-400se.

I have owned both. Kept the HE-400se, sold the HD 560s. I'm about to sell my HE-400se, though, as I just bought Edition XS, which are magnificent.
 

pk500

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I didnt really like the 560s and love the 400se.
Same. The 560s are VERY nice headphones for the price. But the treble spike got me at just the wrong spot, and the sound lacked a certain "energy" due to its relatively flat signature. I don't like much color added to sound, but the 560s didn't sound nearly as alive and a lot more clinical than the HE-400se.
 

Pdxwayne

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Same. The 560s are VERY nice headphones for the price. But the treble spike got me at just the wrong spot, and the sound lacked a certain "energy" due to its relatively flat signature. I don't like much color added to sound, but the 560s didn't sound nearly as alive and a lot more clinical than the HE-400se.
What didn't you like about the 560s? That will help me to maybe identify if you'll like the HE-400se.

I have owned both. Kept the HE-400se, sold the HD 560s. I'm about to sell my HE-400se, though, as I just bought Edition XS, which are magnificent.
As you described, 560s seemed not as "alive". Also, worry about the ability to eq the sub bass due to high distortions.
 

pk500

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As you described, 560s seemed not as "alive". Also, worry about the ability to eq the sub bass due to high distortions.
I think you'll dig the HE-400se. Hope so. Let us know your first impressions!
 

ninetylol

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Btw mine only came with the newer black cable but not the white one. Even never revision or whats up?
 

solderdude

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Also, worry about the ability to eq the sub bass due to high distortions.

There is no high distortion in the bass and HD560S does not need any lift in the bass either. Of course when one plays really loud and is a (sub)basshead the HE400SE will deliver in spades.
 

Pdxwayne

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There is no high distortion in the bass and HD560S does not need any lift in the bass either. Of course when one plays really loud and is a (sub)basshead the HE400SE will deliver in spades.
I am sure you have the distortions measurements of 371 vs hd560s vs he400se at 30hz, right?

Try listen to songs with strong 30hz tones using 371 and then 560s, without eq, then tell me again if 560s don't need a lift....
 
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solderdude

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Yep. That's why you don't have to worry about it when you don't play so loud you have to worry about your hearing.
 
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