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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: 10 3.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 89 33.1%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 168 62.5%

  • Total voters
    269

cheapmessiah

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Jun 10, 2021
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Like the sound of these, especially for acoustic music, but the headband is uncomfortable after half an hour. Any ideas on fixing it? TY
I wear my 400i resting the headband tilted towards the crown of my head, the skin there is less sensitive to heat build, i recomend it a lot for people who shave their heads like i do.
 

mechdroid

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Jan 3, 2022
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New England
I tightly wrapped a Velcro cable tie around the center of the headband and left it like that for about a week. It seems pretty comfy now.
 

audioholic63

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Jun 29, 2019
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I tightly wrapped a Velcro cable tie around the center of the headband and left it like that for about a week. It seems pretty comfy now.
Not clear, Did you remove the cable tie? Did it make the headband more like a Senn HD650?
 

mechdroid

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I removed it after a week. I thought of leaving it on because it did then resemble a Sennheiser headband. Some folks work the headband like kneading dough. I softens up the foam rubber. The Velcro was about 1/4" wide.
 

Phoney

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Nov 1, 2021
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If these are too short for me without mod (big head), will that be the case for HE6SE aswell then?
 

mechdroid

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Location
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Unclear, never tried that style headband. My 400SE's are set so you can see 2.5 dimples (detents) on the inside of the headband. Small head.
 

pk500

Active Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2020
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Like the sound of these, especially for acoustic music, but the headband is uncomfortable after half an hour. Any ideas on fixing it? TY
Knead the hotspots gently with your thumbs. Seriously. That technique, plus usage time, helped to mold the headband to my head and eliminate the discomfort in less than a week.
 

audioholic63

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Jun 29, 2019
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Knead the hotspots gently with your thumbs. Seriously. That technique, plus usage time, helped to mold the headband to my head and eliminate the discomfort in less than a week.
I don't really have an issue with that aspect of the headband. The weight is the problem. Been tempted to try more of a hammock suspension style, lot of $35 options on ebay/aliexpress but feedback suggests the cloth strip used is a bit skimpy on length. Looking at the specs on oem headbands (for considerably more $$$) I cannot really determine the weight. Is the bulk of the weight on these really in the earcup/drivers?
 

mechdroid

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Location
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I don't really have an issue with that aspect of the headband. The weight is the problem. Been tempted to try more of a hammock suspension style, lot of $35 options on ebay/aliexpress but feedback suggests the cloth strip used is a bit skimpy on length. Looking at the specs on oem headbands (for considerably more $$$) I cannot really determine the weight. Is the bulk of the weight on these really in the earcup/drivers?
Yes, it's mostly the magnets. You know the "stealth" magnets. I don't find the weight objectionable.
 

audioholic63

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Jun 29, 2019
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Yes, it's mostly the magnets. You know the "stealth" magnets. I don't find the weight objectionable.
It's not unbearable but right now my gold standard for circumaural comfort are Audio-Technica ATH-AD500x. But they weigh a lot less.
 

Adaboy4z

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Joined
Jan 6, 2022
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Little update. I'm using the iFi Go Blu with the 400se and it's a go. I like the implementation of Xbass as it delivers that sub bass I desire.. When the Go Blu is in Dac mode connected to the laptop it sounds much fuller and more powerful for such a small device. I tried the Zen can signature HFM, but the implemented EQ just didn't deliver the bass and the highs where to much. It was plenty powerful just lacked the bass. I own the Loxjie P20 as well and it just doesn't sound good with the 400se.
 

Timbo2

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2018
Messages
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Location
USA
I removed it after a week. I thought of leaving it on because it did then resemble a Sennheiser headband. Some folks work the headband like kneading dough. I softens up the foam rubber. The Velcro was about 1/4" wide.

Did the same and was surprised how much more comfortable it made the headband. It's not especially noticeable so the plan right now is to just leave it on the headphones.

Thanks for the suggestion!
 

Timbo2

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2018
Messages
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Location
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I'll also put in a plug for replacement ear pads. I wanted to try something that wasn't the synthetic leather that comes stock to see if I could get some more comfort. However, I wanted something that didn't significantly change the distances from the stock pads.

I wound up buying the 105mm millimeter version from here - https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000279980956.html?spm=a2g0o.9042311.0.0.5aad4c4dymwmM8

And printed this 104mm adapter - https://www.prusaprinters.org/prints/71034-hifiman-sleeved-ear-pad-adapter/files

Firstly, for me much better comfort compared to the synthetic leather. Bonus - the foam conforms better for me so I get a better seal and noticed the increased bass.

Second, the adapter ring completely eliminated the rattles that seem to plague my pair of headphones using the stock aluminum retaining rings that they replace.

If you don't have the ability to print the rings you can destructively remove the existing plastic rings in your current pads or you can find them on Amazon, eBay and AliExpress . Problem is they all seem to run about $10USD which I think is ridiculous.

 

luxonator

Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2022
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I've only owned Sennheiser 500-series cans and I really like the fit and comfort.
I've been eying on getting some Hifiman cans and the HE400se being the cheapest option, it got my interest. But I'm a little bit worried if the pads are big enough. I feel the size of the pads on the Sennheisers is just right for my ears. The cup's inner size are reported to be ~70mm x 41mm

Sennheiser cup = 70mm x 41mm
Hifiman cup = 58mm x 58mm (although some sources say this is 62mm x 62mm?)


Anyone who has used both of these, what is your opinion?
I also feel that the oval shape on the Sennheisers is really nice so how does that translate to the round ones on the Hifimans? I don't want the pad to press against my earflap etc.
 
Last edited:

pk500

Active Member
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Jan 9, 2020
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I've only owned Sennheiser 500-series cans and I really like the fit and comfort.
I've been eying on getting some Hifiman cans and the HE400se being the cheapest option, it got my interest. But I'm a little bit worried if the pads are big enough. I feel the size of the pads on the Sennheisers is just right for my ears. The cup's inner size are reported to be ~70mm x 41mm

Sennheiser cup = 70mm x 41mm
Hifiman cup = 58mm x 58mm (although some sources say this is 62mm x 62mm?)


Anyone who has used both of these, what is your opinion?
I also feel that the oval shape on the Sennheisers is really nice so how does that translate to the round ones on the Hifimans? I don't want the pad to press against my earflap etc.
I have owned both a 500 series Sennheiser headphone and the HiFiMan HE-400se. The HE-400se has some of the roomiest cups of any headphone I've used, and I have a big head and fairly big ears.
 

Jimbob54

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I have owned both a 500 series Sennheiser headphone and the HiFiMan HE-400se. The HE-400se has some of the roomiest cups of any headphone I've used, and I have a big head and fairly big ears.

I will second that- the round Hifiman pads have plenty of room- I struggle with the Senn oval shape- not enough room front to back so the back edge of the oval presses the back edge of my ears.

I could see people struggling with the depth of the HFM more- some of their pads dont offer much head to driver distance so those with ears that are quite proud of their head might struggle.
 

MayaTlab

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Aug 15, 2020
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Anyone who has used both of these, what is your opinion?

I have both the HD560S and HE400SE.

I find it difficult to comment on this as someone else's may have a different experience from me because of a different anatomy.

But I would avoid merely looking at the width and height of the opening as a way to determine how you will experience a pair of headphones.

As already mentioned depth is important as well, but it's probably in fact the entire design that matters. On the 500 series for example, you have a bump at the rear of the cavity to lodge the rather thick yoke of that series, right where some people's ear lobes are going to bump into. Apparently that isn't a problem for you, but it's a moderate one for me.

If I may, even though they have by far the smaller earcup size, I personally find the Bose QC's series roomier for my ear lobes than either the Sennheiser 5... series or the HE400SE (because they've been really intelligently designed).

So if possible I'd encourage you to form an opinion yourself after trying them :D.
 

pk500

Active Member
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Jan 9, 2020
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I have both the HD560S and HE400SE.

I find it difficult to comment on this as someone else's may have a different experience from me because of a different anatomy.

But I would avoid merely looking at the width and height of the opening as a way to determine how you will experience a pair of headphones.

As already mentioned depth is important as well, but it's probably in fact the entire design that matters. On the 500 series for example, you have a bump at the rear of the cavity to lodge the rather thick yoke of that series, right where some people's ear lobes are going to bump into. Apparently that isn't a problem for you, but it's a moderate one for me.

If I may, even though they have by far the smaller earcup size, I personally find the Bose QC's series roomier for my ear lobes than either the Sennheiser 5... series or the HE400SE (because they've been really intelligently designed).

So if possible I'd encourage you to form an opinion yourself after trying them :D.
The Bose QC 35 II is the most comfortable headphone I've ever tried, wireless or wired. Too bad the sound is so damn sterile, thin and boring, even for the lower standards of TWS cans.
 

Jimbob54

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The Bose QC 35 II is the most comfortable headphone I've ever tried, wireless or wired. Too bad the sound is so damn sterile, thin and boring, even for the lower standards of TWS cans.
Which is interesting as to me, stock, it sounds boomy. But agree re comfort.
 
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