HiFiMAN HE 6
The HiFiMAN HE-6 is a top-of-the-line 'Orthodynamic' planar-magnetic headphone marrying the very best of dynamic and electrostatic driver design into one can offering unparalleled clarity and a truly beautiful sound. Although EXTREMELY demanding of your audio sources and also ridiculously power-hungry to boot, audiophiles employing high-end headphone amps will fawn over the HE-6's simple, uncluttered acoustic textures, precise timbral accuracy and vast, open-sounding depth of musical field. Pair with HeadRoom Balanced BUDA amp and balanced/XLR headphone cable for musical gorgeousness inside your head you must experience to believe.
- Advanced Orthodynamic engineering offers best sound quality between dynamic/electrostatic technologies
- Full-size 'around-the-ear' circumaural construction
- Powerful reference headphone amp REQUIRED to power HE-6
- Incredible soundstage depth and spatiality tops in category
- Includes 1-year HiFiMAN manufacturer's warranty
What's In The Box:
- 1 OCC (single crystal copper) 4-pin XLR cable (2 m / 6 ft)
- 1 OCC XLR to 1/4" headphone plug adapter (1m / 3 ft)
- 2 Headphone cable connector adaptors
- 1 pair velour earpads [replacements]
- Hard-sided leather storage box
Click here to see more graphs.
When we first heard the HiFiMAN HE6 at the 2010 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, we knew we had a serious contender for the mystical title of 'Best Headphones'. Not only do the HiFiMAN HE6 go about the business of playing music with simple accuracy and complete tonal precision, they also present amongst the widest and deepest soundstage imaging of any audiophile cans on the market. Along with this naturally open-toned spaciousness, the HE6's planar-magnetic drivers' detail resolution power and ability to retrieve low-level, nuanced subtleties is revelatory; its incisive midrange and upper highs focus will especially shine on well-produced vocal, jazz and rock recordings. The HE6 bass response is also nothing to snort at and presents the low-end octaves accurately and with full-toned textural revelance. Classical and chamber music fans will equally marvel at the HE6's immersive sense of room space, detailed instrumental authority and clarity of spatial dimension when listening to favorite symphonic or orchestral recordings. Rockers seeking sonic punch and immediacy will love all the new details and tones coming from your old cherished warhorses you thought you knew like the back of your hand. Perhaps a tad direct or bright right out of the box, we recommend allowing about 300~500 hrs of play-time (aka "burn in") for these 'Othodynamic' magnaplanar-type headphones to perform at their very best. Also keep in mind the extremely low sensitivity ratings of the HiFiMAN HE6 make it one of the most power-hungry headphones on the market and it demands the best dedicated headphone amplification for maximized sound quality, quickened dynamic range extension and a fully engaged timbral smoothness.
The HiFiMAN HE6 are a large full-size, circumaural, completely open-back construction designed for listening room use with your best headphone amp and superb uncompressed audio sources. Unforgiving and ruthlessly revealing of either under-powering or of limited / lossy audio sources, we suggest our employing our top single-ended HeadRoom Ultra Desktop amp for these astonishingly zingy but seriously power-eating headphones. Featuring detachable cords for ease of cable upgrade or replacement, the HE6 packaging includes two different headphone cords lengths and one (1) extra earpad in case you need it down the road.
- Weight: 502 grams
- Impedance @ 1kHz: 50 Ohms
- Detachable Cable: Yes
- Cord Length: 9ft
- Cord Type: Straight Y
- Coupler Size: Large
- Ear Coupler Type: Full-Size
- Driver Type: Planar Magnetic
- Acoustic Seal: Open
- Headphone Type: Full Size
- Manufacturer Warranty: 1 Year
- Sensitivity: 83.5 dB
Click here to learn more about headphone graphs. Click on any graph below to compare product data.
Posted by Figaro from Philadelphia, PA on 2012-09-27
Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: beautiful sound, deep bass, transparent mids, glorious highs
Cons: very difficult to drive
None that I have heard has a more pristine treble, none a more transparent midrange; and if the bass does not go quite as deep as the LCD-2's, to my ears, its bass is more controlled than that of its more popular counterpart (which I own). The HE-6 separates from the pack playing complex musical passages and chords. Using the ALO rig, if you play music as challenging as, say, the first movement of Mahler's Symphony No. 3, you will experience the HE-6's speed, musical tone, and sonic decay, blending sound in space to a degree I have not heard matched by the AKG 701, Beyerdynamic T1, Grado PS 1000, LCD-2, or Ultrasone Ed 8. Sounds better than my HD 800 with the ALO rig (cleaner, richer sound, with clearer highs and deeper bass), but can't say it would necessarily do so with other equipment. Haven't heard the LCD-3 or any Stax. So, why should you consider the HE-6? Because if you hear it mated with an appropriate amp, the bliss you experience may lead you to feel you have reached headphone nirvana and that this may be the last headphone you will ever want or need.
16 out of 20 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Posted by Braces from NYC on 2012-07-14
Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Voices will give you chills
Cons: Needs a lot of power
HE-6 reminds me of my old favorite Stax lamdas that cost several thousands 20 years ago
Doesn't have a bite. Smooth as Silk. I forget I am using them a get involved in the music.
Use a good tube amp and get blown away!!
I have not heard anything better.
Caution: If you use them you won't like anything else.
14 out of 17 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Posted by Chicago OTL from Chicago on 2011-01-31
Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Great resolution, deep & tuneful bass, great mids & highs, too!
Cons: Costly! Heavy, not the best comfort level. Needs POWER.
Electrostatic headphones also offer very good diaphragm control, but generally speaking you can't produce as much bass from an electrostatic phone because you have to limit diaphragm excursion to prevent arcing. There's no danger of arcing in a planar-magnetic headphone like the HE-6 so you can have all the bass extension and dynamics you like.
I own Sennheiser HD800's as well as other high end dynamic 'phones, and to my ears the HE-6 sound more detailed and revealing. They do emphasize the highs a bit, but not as much as the HD800's. The HE-6 is just as 'detailed" as the HD-800's but tends NOT to add sibilance to female vocalists, while you can get some extra sibilance with the HD800's.
These need an amplifier capable of comfortably delivering ~2 watts into 50 ohms to sound their best, especially if you like to listen at realistic levels. You can connect them directly to the output of a "speaker" amp without danger, as long as the amp is rated at 40~50 watts or less. I've done this and certain tube amps and some class A solid state amps sound pretty great through the HE-6. Hifiman sells an adapter cable for this purpose- one end connects to the HE-6 cable and the other end can be connected to the output terminals of your favorite amp.
Comfort level is moderate; if you bend the headband out to suit your head size, they feel pretty good for quite a while, but they are heavy and as time passes you may find them less comfortable. Also, the earcup wires have some stiff heatshrink at the connector, and these stick out straight down from the earcups- in my case they can poke my shoulders / chest as I turn my head.
The earcups are velour, which I prefer because even though leather feels nice and lasts a long time, my ears build up heat under leather, something that does not happen with velour.
Build quality is good, with nice finishes and materials. However, you can see this is from a smaller manufacturer- the design does not exhibit the well-executed diecast alloy fittings that something like the Sennheiser HD800's have, or the exotic materials and workmanship shown in the Sony MDR-SA5000 with their beautiful magnesium castings and pretty carbon fiber.
74 out of 75 people found this review helpful. Did you?