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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: 88 32.5%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 170 62.7%

  • Total voters
    271

_theLaughingman

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Hey all,

I took the liberty to create an owner's thread for the Hifiman HE400se so that we can keep the conversation on point for review and provide another thread for owner's and members to discuss subtleties regarding the headphones in that thread.

Owner's Thread
 

pk500

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Which is interesting as to me, stock, it sounds boomy. But agree re comfort.
Been awhile since I had them. Maybe I remembered wrong. But I do remember thinking, "No effing way the sound of these cans was worth $350 new."

It's The Bose Tax at work. People are forced to pay extra because Bose is a master at marketing. So many non-audiophiles think Bose is the pinnacle of global sound quality, so Bose capitalizes on that by overcharging for all of its products.

Not much different than Apple, although Apple products are a hell of a lot closer to the peak in their respective categories than Bose.
 

Brianc

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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.
This helped. Thanks. Still not the most comfortable for my somewhat large head but tolerable.
 

Brianc

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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.
The Sennheiser 555 cans probably were the most comfortable cans I've used when weight is factored in. Could forget I was wearing them. No way could I forget I'm wearing the 400se.
 

pk500

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The Sennheiser 555 cans probably were the most comfortable cans I've used when weight is factored in. Could forget I was wearing them. No way could I forget I'm wearing the 400se.
That's the case with almost every planar compared to dynamic drivers. Magnets weigh significantly more than polymer cones.
 

Stilgar

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Hi All,
I am new these site, but already read that too many articles for many months. I ve use many Sennheiser , akg, philips , focal and fostex headphones and i ve decided to dive in planar world first time.
My question about He400se (v2 or stealth vrsion ) and sundara's

I bougth he400se last week and liked too much, but I wonder is the sundara's warmer than he400se or colder than? Personally i don't like brighter & treble boosted headphones, i ve got very treble sensitivity ears. if the sundara's more warmer&smooth&recessed treble or easy listening than he400se, i ve got the chance return to he400se and get sundara's in one months. ( thanks amazon :) )

My current amp/dac is xduoo xd-05 plus with burson v5i-d , source is Ipad Pro and Iphone with Apple Music. I don't have Pc & EQ & Roon or something special software. Is there anybody try to these two headphones , kindly request the opinions.

Thanks, John
 

staticV3

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is the sundara's warmer than he400se or colder than?
Screenshot_20220323-142932_Chrome.jpg
Red: HE400se
Blue: Sundara 2020
The biggest difference is that the Sundara doesn't have a deep pit between 1 and 3KHz. That should make it sound more clear and more forward. Not sure if I'd call it colder.


Personally i don't like brighter & treble boosted headphones
Neither of them has especially boosted treble.
 

Stilgar

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Thanks for the measurements, maybe i used a wrong word " colder " for the situation. Maybe I just say which one is the more laid back ? i think , i'dont want to spent more if they are like the same sound signature :)
 

staticV3

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@Stilgar If you could borrow a Windows machine somehow, then I could send you an EQ preset to simulate what the Sundara would sound like using your HE400se. That way you could kind of demo it and decide for yourself whether you like it.
 

staticV3

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I found four cases of an HE400se and Sundara 2020 being measured on the same GRAS rig:
  • ASR
  • Crinacle
  • Resolve
  • oratory1990 (KEMAR)
Here are the deltas (0dB=HE400se):
HE400se to Sundara 2020 EQ 1.pngHE400se to Sundara 2020 EQ 2.png


Do the differences we're seeing make the whole premise of demoing a Sundara using measurements useless?
If not, whose measurements should we use? (I'm leaning towards oratory or Resolve)
 

_theLaughingman

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I found four cases of an HE400se and Sundara 2020 being measured on the same GRAS rig:
  • ASR
  • Crinacle
  • Resolve
  • oratory1990 (KEMAR)
Here are the deltas (0dB=HE400se):
View attachment 194747View attachment 194749


Do the differences we're seeing make the whole premise of demoing a Sundara using measurements useless?
If not, whose measurements should we use? (I'm leaning towards oratory or Resolve)
Oratory's IMHO have been more accurate and precise compared to other measurements. I use Oratory's EQ for my HE400se and HD560s.
 

staticV3

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Here's the GEQ to simulate a Sundara 2020 using an HE400se.
Please use it with Equalizer Apo along with a -5.3dB Preamp. It should look like this:
Screenshot 2022-03-24 002742.jpg
 

Attachments

  • HE400se to Sundara 2020 oratory grapher.zip
    2.9 KB · Views: 48

Stilgar

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@Stilgar If you could borrow a Windows machine somehow, then I could send you an EQ preset to simulate what the Sundara would sound like using your HE400se. That way you could kind of demo it and decide for yourself whether you like it.
Thank you for your support , i ll try find a windows machine around me. Otherway i'll buy the sundara's too and compare the he400se and decide too which one is returned :)
 

Stilgar

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Short Update : Last week I ordered Sundara too and compare side by side with He400SE. I decided to continue with he400se for 3 reasons

1 - The headband of the sundara is not comfortable and too sloopy ; i like the he400se tough band. And the he400se looks like classical desing than sundara

2- The sound of the Sundara more lively , more forwarding and more trebleish than he400se not bad but not my taste. He400se more warmish and dark sound. I compared Senn hd650 and Hd565 too, I liked he400se too much than senn's

3- Most important thing is the money ; Sundara 3x pricier than he400se; I sent back to sundara and refund for keeping money in my pocket :)
 

xcutionr13

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The review verdict says recommended, but this does not show up on headphone review and measurements index
 

Jimbob54

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The review verdict says recommended, but this does not show up on headphone review and measurements index
The review index gets manually updated and I think its been a while since it got some love
 

fricccolodics

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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 170553

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/
I wonder what all the excitement is about, FR is uneven from 150Hz to 1kHz, there is a nasty spike at ~9kHZ, and a big dip at ~2kHz.
@amirm corrected the dip with a heavy boost (+4,5dB), which seems like a bad idea distortionwise, because distortion is drastically high at around 1750Hz.
Measurements suggest this is just a nice so-so headphone at a low price
 

Harrycol501

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Been going back and fwd for a few days now trying to decide on a sub £150 amp for the 400se. I had it down to JDS Atom +, Sabaj A10h or the Topping L30. Then I read some good things about the FIIO K5 Pro ESS and thought it would give me an all in one solution as it has a DAC and gets good reviews and would offer me an alternative DAC to my SMSL Sanskrit with AK4493. The fact it has an Optical input is also a bonus.

I have read mostly good things about the k5 Pro, apart from one Columbian guy on here who said they weren't powerful enough for the 400se... Tho he maybe hadn't been using the high gain switch by sounds of it?

I'm wondering if any of you have paired the 400se with one or more of these options and can weigh in on what to get? Thanks
 

_theLaughingman

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Been going back and fwd for a few days now trying to decide on a sub £150 amp for the 400se. I had it down to JDS Atom +, Sabaj A10h or the Topping L30. Then I read some good things about the FIIO K5 Pro ESS and thought it would give me an all in one solution as it has a DAC and gets good reviews and would offer me an alternative DAC to my SMSL Sanskrit with AK4493. The fact it has an Optical input is also a bonus.

I have read mostly good things about the k5 Pro, apart from one Columbian guy on here who said they weren't powerful enough for the 400se... Tho he maybe hadn't been using the high gain switch by sounds of it?

I'm wondering if any of you have paired the 400se with one or more of these options and can weigh in on what to get? Thanks
I have tried all three of the amps that you have mentioned above. They all have the ability to drive the HE400se without an issue, being that they are planar they tend to be inefficient which means they do require more current to drive them. None of the choices you mentioned above will fall short, they're all equal in their capabilities.
 
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