The HiFiMAN HE400 is a breakthrough in planar magnetic headphone affordability and also in precision acoustic performance. Sure, we could throw a bunch of superlatives around like ebullient sound, effusive detail and consumate balance but the truth is Dr.Fang Bian's HE400 headphone provides the best entry point for listeners seeking pure 'Orthodynamic' linearity. Subtle dark indigo color stands apart from the pack. CEDIA 2012 award winner!
- Great sound and stunning price for planar magnetic design
- Large-well, comfortable circumaural earcups with deep padding
- Breakthrough clarity and naturalness of tone without headphone amp required
- Detachable replaceable/upgradeable headphone cord design
- Smooth dark indigo color
What's In The Box:
- Leather earpad [replacement]
- Detachable OFC copper headphone cable - 10ft length
- 1/4" stereo plug adapter
- HiFiMAN owner's manual
Planar magnetic headphones have become the toast of audiophile-dom in the past few years and are experiencing a huge resurgence unprecedented since their heyday in the 1970s when known as 'Orthodynamic' designs. Today's planar magnetic headphones actually have little in common with original Orthodynamics other than their polar 'push-pull' driver engineering and mix of dynamic and electrostatic acoustic performance. But in terms of sound quality, fugged'bout it! -- modern planars will easily best any 1970's Ortho by a jillion light-years. Case in point, the HiFiMAN HE400, the most affordable planar magnetic 'audiophile-level' headphone in existence today bringing that heavily sought-after musical linearity and acoustic precision at a decent price. Touted as the most efficient planar circumaural headphone ever released, the HE400 does have decent volume direct from iPad and iPod. Nevertheless, we hear distinctly improved simplicity of tone, deeper soundstaging, and more spacious clarity under the control of a good headphone amp. Frankly, that's not surprising given the low sensitivity (92.4dB) and fairly heavy driver mass required of planar driver transducers. The overall musical presentation is perhaps not quite as creamy or lusciously warm-toned as in the top-tier -- and significantly more expensive -- planar headphones, but the HE400 maintains a smooth, pristine sense of detail resolution with weighty instrumental body and a forceful vocal focus that manages to avoid timbral glare or edge. A full, round bass response stays tasty with more low-end impact versus most anything else found at this price. It's a an engagingly accurate overall sound and definitely a great 'starter' headphone for the audiophile wanting to get a taste of the Orthodynamic audio cake without spending an inheritance.
The HiFiMAN HE400 headphone has a full-size 'around-the-ear' (circumaural) construction with completely open-back earcups, so zero isolation or listening privacy is possible. The large earcups are extremely well-padded with soft leather cushions that will completely encircle the outer earlobes on most wearers. Our fashion-averse HeadRoom review crew thinks the HE-400's unique dark blue indigo color scheme is pretty dang neat and coolly stands out from the typical dreary pack of black or grey headphones -- without being overly showy. Detachable / replaceable headphone cord connects in a Y-cable to both earcups via tidy 'min-screw'-type plugs; check out the Cardas cord upgrades for serious audiophiles seeking to hot-rod their HiFiMAN HE400 to the very furthest extremes of high-end sonic performance. Your HeadRoom HE400 purchase includes a free 1 year manufacturer's premium warranty serviced at no charge by HiFiMAN in New York USA.
- Weight: 440 grams
- Isolation: 0
- Impedance @ 1kHz: 35 Ohms
- Detachable Cable: Yes
- Cord Length: 9.5ft
- Cord Type: Straight Y
- Coupler Size: Large
- Ear Coupler Type: Full-Size
- Driver Type: Planar Magnetic
- Acoustic Seal: Open
- Connector Type: 1/8
- Headphone Type: Full Size
- Manufacturer Warranty: 1 Year
- Sensitivity: 92.5 dB
- Product Reviews
- Right Between Your Ears, Headphone Sessions
Posted by Chris M. from Waukegan, IL on 2014-02-26
Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Fantastic sound! Great value!
Cons: A bit heavy, but tolerable. Leaks back in into room, needs a quiet listening environment .
One of the bad rap about planars is they are a bitch to drive. I have my Micro Amp set at the medium input and I can't go any higher than halfway on the volume knob. One of the caveat of planar or electrostatic drivers is they are dipoles meaning they tend to radiate sound to the rear as much as the do forward. So even though they are advertised as being able to be driven by portable devices like iPads and iPods, you will disturb people around you. They leak back into your room and will disturb others even more than typical open back dynamic cans. Everyone in the room will know what you're listening to. Besides headphones of this quality need a dedicated headphone amp.
These are these are fantastic headphones. If you have $300 burning a hole in your pocket, I don't see how you could go wrong. Being planars they tend to be on the heavier than most dynamic headphones, but you get used to it in no time. If you decide to get a pair, the velour pads are a must. They're only $10 and not only are they more comfortable, there is a audible improvement over the overall sound especially in the midrange. The stock cable is good for a $300 pair of headphones, but I did a cable upgrade for $150 (CablePro) and there was a definite improvement in the overall sound.
That being said, I can't give these headphones a higher recommendation
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Posted by skinnygamer12 from Orange, CA on 2013-01-06
Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Amazing sound in almost every aspect
Cons: Weight, comfort
I should note, they do get enough volume out of portable devices but the quality disappears. Definitely want a decent amp to get the most out of them.
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Posted by mrfcpa from Denver on 2012-08-29
Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Really Good Value
Cons: May Need More Power than Advertised
Plugged in straight to the iPhone and the iPad with no DAC or additional amp, these things blow away their competition. They sound a lot like Monster Pros, except better and much, much cleaner. ( Of course, it's an unfair comparison because the Pros really aren't for sitting around listening unless you have a steady diet of Cee Lo Green, Eminem and 50-Cent.. The Pros for DJ'ing, however, are hard to beat. And, by that I mean playing fast, heavy beat industrial "music", which I do at several large clubs. So, when I say like the Pros, I mean on the bass side - there is no other side when you are in a club playing dance music. Think Danger Mouse, Deadmau5 and so on here.)
I can hardly wait to put on the Cardas Cables tonight and run these straight through Amarra on the MacBook and then run them through the Amps and the DACs. I suspect they are going to be much better.
I like this product a lot - plus, it's sort of midnight blue to boot!
Got home - amped up with a medium gain. Wow! Nice bass - tight - great range - really nice.
If $400 is your limit, you have got to get these (and maybe a baby Hifiman amp). Well worth the money.
I want to add that I now have listened to the same 2,450 songs, several times apiece, comparing the HE-500 / Schiit Lyr / Bifrost against the HE-400 / Headroom Micro Amp DAC combination. Personally, as a professional with some 10,000 albums / CD's in his collection, the HE-400 combo for a combined cash outlay of about $1,100 is absolutely incredible. Obviously, I still prefer the HE-500's with the Lyr - but I only use that for 192kHz 24Bit digitals off original master tapes.
Buy these if you have a medium-size budget..
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