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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

DanTheMan

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Oct 19, 2020
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I think mine have more bass now than the first day--I bet the pads are sealing better now. Still, they're better with EQ, but still good w/o it.
 

HammerSandwich

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This matches my early impression; I added a big tilt the first day or two, even with ASR or Oratory EQ. No idea if the 400s warmed up or my brain adjusted. If a recording sounds bright, I EQ it. And have done so for years.

Other comments since I'm here...
* They're comfortable, but I wish they were lighter.
* The ferrule where the black cable Ys occasionally catches on the lip of my desk. Less lip, please.
* The bails don't match, so the phones sit askew. Pic below. OCD buyers take note.
None of these are serious at all, and I consider the 400s a strong value at $129.

BentHE400.png
 

solderdude

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Does it need breaking in?

I measured the HE400SE fresh out of the box and after many hours and tinkering with it. No difference.
The pads are not entirely flat so took some slight additional pressure to get a good seal.
Pads may well be somewhat softer and better sealing after a while.
 

_theLaughingman

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This matches my early impression; I added a big tilt the first day or two, even with ASR or Oratory EQ. No idea if the 400s warmed up or my brain adjusted. If a recording sounds bright, I EQ it. And have done so for years.

Other comments since I'm here...
* They're comfortable, but I wish they were lighter.
* The ferrule where the black cable Ys occasionally catches on the lip of my desk. Less lip, please.
* The bails don't match, so the phones sit askew. Pic below. OCD buyers take note.
None of these are serious at all, and I consider the 400s a strong value at $129.

View attachment 179702
The slight off angle on the gimbals is due to the retaining screw on the cups. They'll loosen a bit overtime and reduce that skew.
 

Pdxwayne

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Sep 15, 2020
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I measured the HE400SE fresh out of the box and after many hours and tinkering with it. No difference.
The pads are not entirely flat so took some slight additional pressure to get a good seal.
Pads may well be somewhat softer and better sealing after a while.
Curious, when you compared measurements, do you just compare graphs visually? If so, you used what kind of smoothing? If not using smoothing, can you tell anything significant between measurements?

Thanks!
 

solderdude

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I can overlay plots.
No smoothing.
Not in the lows.
There will always be measured differences because of different seatings.
 

Pdxwayne

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I can overlay plots.
No smoothing.
Not in the lows.
There will always be measured differences because of different seatings.
So highs no significant difference.

You said "not in the lows", it means you think low freq below certain Hz can't be accurately measured, thus you don't compare?

Thx!
 

amper42

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This matches my early impression; I added a big tilt the first day or two, even with ASR or Oratory EQ. No idea if the 400s warmed up or my brain adjusted. If a recording sounds bright, I EQ it. And have done so for years.

Other comments since I'm here...
* They're comfortable, but I wish they were lighter.
* The ferrule where the black cable Ys occasionally catches on the lip of my desk. Less lip, please.
* The bails don't match, so the phones sit askew. Pic below. OCD buyers take note.
None of these are serious at all, and I consider the 400s a strong value at $129.

View attachment 179702

I bought the HE400SE last week. They are an amazing value. They sound crisp and clean and the cups go around my ears instead of pressing the ears against the head like my Beats Studio3 (came free with my MacBook Pro). I also like the open air feeling on the sides. My Beats Studio3 will be pretty lonely from now on. :D
 

solderdude

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So highs no significant difference.

You said "not in the lows", it means you think low freq below certain Hz can't be accurately measured, thus you don't compare?

Thx!

You can put any headphone many times on a test fixture (even mine which is much less position sensitive) and get slightly different results each time.
The only way to really tell is by placing it on the fixture. Measure. Blast music through it (high power lots of bass) for a few days, let it cool off a little and re-measure.
Did this 2 times (other headphones) but as it takes a lot of time and occupation of a test fixture and music source/amp I do not do this unless someone specifically requests this and sends in a brand new headphone to test this way.
 
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Pdxwayne

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You can put any headphone many times on a test fixture (even mine which is much less position sensitive) and get slightly different results each time.
The only way to really tell is by placing it on the fixture. Measure. Blast music through it (high power lots of bass) for a few days, let it cool off a little and re-measure.
Did this 2 times (other headphones) but as it takes a lot of time and occupation of a test fixture and music source/amp I do not do this unless someone specifically requests this and sends in a brand new headphone to test this way.
I see.

When listened from brand new yesterday, vocals sibilance (at least vocals from YouTube videos) was especially noticeable with this headphones. Not exactly sure what freq range would that be, but have you seen that freq region changed after break in (in general for any headphones you tested)?

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

RHO

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The ferrule where the black cable Ys occasionally catches on the lip of my desk. Less lip, please.
I have that with almost all my headphone-cables. So annoying!
I made a DIY cable for my DCA Aeon RT, just to avoid this.
Planning on doing the same for my Sundara. I just move the Y-splitter up 10cm.
 

HD65

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Jan 18, 2022
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Although I know they are Planer headphones how do these compare to a Senneiser 600 headphone? Are they worth checking out for the different sound signature?
 

_theLaughingman

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Although I know they are Planer headphones how do these compare to a Senneiser 600 headphone? Are they worth checking out for the different sound signature?
HD600 are definitely going to sound different due to them being a dynamic driver. The sound signature for HD600 is mid and treble focused and bass is lacking, whereas the HE400' have the planar bass but lack some mid frequency energy.
Harman 2018-Sennheiser HD600-Hifiman HE400se.png
 

pk500

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Jan 9, 2020
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I have a pair of HE-400se in great condition -- bought new last March by me -- for sale. Also selling iFi hip-dac and Audiophile Ninja balanced cable for the HE-400se. Good individual or package prices.

PM me if interested, as I know these nice cans are getting plenty of attention here!
 

Pdxwayne

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Interesting observation about burn in....

I don't think I notice any major change of my K371 after using it for a while. Since nothing strange really stands out, my first impresion of it brand new vs well-used do not really change.

Same for hd560s. My first impression of it, vs about a month later, did not change.

But this one, at least when listening for the first few songs from brand new, have something really strange that stood out.

This is either second or third song I listened from brand new:

When brand new, the cymbals sounded really strange, very artificial, like unnatural high pitch noises only.

After a few hours using it, today is the forth day, the cymbals sounded more like what I used to get from my k371. So, burn in appears to happen to mine.....

Anyway, mine only comes with the black cable. No other cable came with it.
 

Bleib

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May 13, 2021
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Got mine today, too curious about this technology which I've never owned before.
First impressions are good, but then later on the soundstage doesn't seem quite normal. Now late at night when everything is really quiet I notice that like 560s it has some extra treble which adds some fake detail into the sound. Unsure at this point if I'll keep 'em.

AKG 271 Pro (not mk2) and 371 are both more neutral alhough the latter has some extra deep bas
 
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