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Dr. Fang Bian’s HiFiMAN headphone company has become one of the leading lights of the audiophile industry and the updated HE 1000 V2 flagship headphone perfectly encapsulates their intense dedication to creating world-beating sound quality performance. It also shows they take careful note of customer feedback - the ‘new and improved’ HE 1000 sounds fairly identical to the original but with all-around improved build quality, ergonomics and construction design addressing largely cosmetic, but pesky, manufacturing flaws noted in previous editionsIndeed, the first thing you’ll likely notice with the HiFiMAN HE 1000 V2 is the more solid and lighter stainless steel frame which contributes nicely to the even weight distribution and extended product life of the headphone. The newly slimmed-down V2 earcups shave some bulk off the cans and a new beveled earpad material made of soft polyester better conforms to the ears while also providing improved audio transparency. Most notably, the HE 1000 V2 driver arrays employ Dr. Bian’s signature double-sided magnet circuit featuring the HiFiMAN-patented ‘nanometer’ planar magnetic diaphragm that first put the HE 1000 on the high-end audiophile map back in 2015.
The HiFiMAN HE 1000 V2 earcup cosmetics remain pretty similar as before with an asymmetrical ‘teardrop’ style previously developed for the much less expensive HiFiMAN HE560 and HE400 headphones. The basic idea is that an asymmetrical shape effectively reduces the amount of magnet and grill material placed between the planar magnetic diaphragm and the earlobes, which in turn helps reduce the potential for resonances or colorations impacting the sound. The uniquely louvered grill structure also serves to effectively attenuate second-wave acoustic reflections from muddying critical frequencies.
Overall, the V2 sound seems to be pretty close to the original HiFIMAN HE 1000 headphones - which is not at all a bad thing in our book. There are few headphones that can effectively manage to be both velvety smooth and delightfully airy; it’s a lovely sonic combination we have not heard very many headphones execute so competently. In our headphone.com experience, it's really difficult to find fast dynamic speed and musical warmth so well-meshed with this sort of natural tone and accuracy to the source.
The HiFiMAN HE 1000 V2 audiophile headphone comes standard with three newly updated high-end headphone cables. All the new HE 1000 V2 headphone cords now feature a proprietary crystalline copper/silver conductor array with a slick opaque outer sheathing and superior Neutrik plug terminations. The cables vary in length from about 9ft for the ¼” stereo and balanced 4-pin cords to around 4.5ft for the mini-plug 3.5mm portable-oriented cable. The V2 HE 1000 comes in the same plushy padded hard-sided HiFiMAN storage box as previous models with a hinged lid and a clip-lock mechanism.
HiFiMAN provides a free 3-year ‘repair or replace’ manufacturer’s warranty for the HE 1000 V2 headphone only when proof-purchased through true authorized dealers like us right here at headphone.com. We’ve proudly carried HiFIMAN headphone products since 2006!
HiFiMAN HE 1000 V2 Versus HiFiMAN HE-6
Taking it up a full sound quality notch over their previous bellwether HE-6 model, the HiFiMAN HE1000 V2 offers much easier-to-drive sensitivity and impedance specs along with improved tonal correctness at all frequencies. There is zero hype, bloat or coloration in the HE 1000 V2's enchanting timbral presentation and the top-to-bottom balance is significantly more cohesive against the notoriously hard-to-power HE-6. The HE1000 V2's precise and smooth sound manages to be engaging and effortless while not skimping an iota on intelligent insight into the music. For audiophiles seeking articulate comprehension and a profound understanding of any recording, the HE1000 V2 delivers vivid definition and a perceptive clarity like few other headphones we've heard.
The HiFiMAN HE1000 V2 bass response is well-textured with a satisfying, full sound and good extension at the lowest octave, if not the enormous heft or drive we hear in the planar Audeze LCD-4 headphone, for example (priced well above the HiFIMAN HE 1000 V2.) The HiFiMAN’s sleek bass weight is carefully corralled to better present a steadfast tonal balance heard throughout the entire frequency scale. The HE1000 V2 bass underpinning remains completely correct and proper relative to the rest of the presentation and it’s by no means a ‘bass-shy’ headphone. In fact, just the opposite; we think the HE1000’s seamless unity of warmth with honest detail is among the biggest assets of its engaging signature sound.
Even with slightly turgid recordings, the music always sounds tightly rooted with full control and absolutely no trace of flab. In the electrifying Miles Davis 1975 LP “Agharta”, the complex bottom-end of distorted Fender bass amid runaway Afro-Cuban/Brazilian percussion and Marshall-amplified wah-wah trumpet is presented by the HiFiMAN HE 1000 V2 with an ardent yet fully intelligible layout. Compare that to the careening berserker frenzy heard with the powerhouse Audeze LCD-4’s bone-rattling (literally!) low-end gravity and you’ll hear two distinctly different stage viewpoints, both deeply insightful and exciting in their own right.
To our ears, the literal sweet spot of the HiFiMAN HE 1000 V2 remains the midrange section where Dr. Bian’s proprietary 'nano-diaphragm' science expertly captures vocal timbre and nuance with a sense of hair-raising immediacy that truly gets at the deep chesty tones of well-recorded human voices, not just the mere sound of a mouth singing words. On David Crosby’s beautifully somnambulant 1971 solo LP, ‘If I Could Only Remember My Name,’ the many gauzy layers of desultory multi-tracked voices are warm, tubey and rich in nuance instead sounding like singers lacking diaphragms as when reproduced with lower caliber headphones. The HiFiMAN HE 1000 V2 possesses a majestic, spacious quality that communicates music straight from the inside with a sweetly lilting sense of pacing and exposition.
Along with the solid full-bodied vocal presence, the HiFiMAN HE 1000 V2 has a lightning-trigger transient attack that is somehow never dry, edgy or analytically cold unlike other planars or some top-of-the-line dynamic driver cans. Instead, its a surprisingly warm-toned and superbly unified sound where each part of the frequency range rolls out in a classically organic way. Again, no excess or leading edges anywhere make for a pleasing roundness that always stays faithfully transparent and accurate to the recording. The HE1000 V2 quick dynamics, while not as explosive as with the rapid-fire Sennheiser HD800S for example, still remain passionately rendered with a firm grasp of the high-flying loud/soft extremes within the music. Its an astute, artful headphone that basically defines the term 'non-fatiguing' to our ears.
When compared to the Sennheiser HD800S much ballyhooed imaging ability, the HiFiMAN HE1000 V2 presents an almost equally ‘out-of-the-head,’ widescreen perspective that well-complements recordings with excellent room sound or spatial soundstage cues. Music lovers into classical, orchestral or classic jazz recordings will hear a palpably physical sense of instrumental placement with each element of the production poised in perfect weight and counterpoint against the rest of the ensemble.
Again, it’s a dynamically softer approach that trades sheer impact for tight upfront brilliance and extreme resolution. The fact that the HE1000 V2 is so dead-accurate without glare makes it a clear reference winner and its free-roaming access into the hidden nooks and crannies of recordings is just about unmatched. Not to mention it also delivers a whole hell of a lot of listening fun too, re-discovering all the obscured details in songs you’ve played a million times. Unearthing this kind of unfettered musical joy what we’re 100% all about here at headphone.com!
Like we said, the HiFiMAN HE1000 V2 is definitely a big headphone but the lightly secure clamping force makes it suitable for heads of most sizes. The HE1000 come in a nice but unspectacular pleather/leather square box emblazoned with a nifty metal HiFiMAN insignia which works fine for long-term storage but not for transit. A hard travel case will be needed if you're planning on toting these lovelies between home and office.
Which brings up a final salient point. Given that these are totally open-back headphones, they are not suitable for most portable uses or listening situations where folks next to you will hear your music loudly leaking out of the cans. So although the HE1000 (and also the HiFiMAN Edition X) are designed to be efficient enough for mobile listening applications with portable devices, their construction really shows them to be superb in-home or audio room cans, or for listening in those places where audio leakage from the open-back construction will not be a problem.
We know its not easy deciding among all our ridiculously great headphones, so feel free to shoot our expert headphone.com team an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be glad to attempt to break it down even further. And keep in mind our easy 30-day return policy ensures you’ll love what your ears hear - or your money back!