Firstly 5 out of 5 star rating in all departments to Hifinage team for their support and service.
The review for Hifiman HE400S is as below.
**** Needs 100 Hours of Burn-in, Played my regular playlist for four days at 50% volume from my Zishan DSD pro player****
Not Exaggerated Bass or treble, All frequencies are clear and more a neutral signature. Bass is present and details as well in the Treble department. Vocals for male and female are clear and non-sibilent.
Resolution and layering is great
Throw any format of music, it can handle and play
No Need for additional amping, but no harm if it uses amp.
Soundstage is wonderful. lightest open headphones in the market. compact as well. for 9999 rupees you cannot get anything better than this. Better than any DD driver there is. Planar without amp is a end game for portability. UAPP app installed helps with output, costs about Rs 350 on android Google play store.
Thank you for posting a review on these. :)
My review is based on my experience after burn-in and using it with focus pads.
First of all, I'll give these 5 stars for the sound. Cause it is perfect for me.
The highs are not sharp, but they are clear, stock, they do roll off after a bit, but a subtle eq fixes that, even if you don't they are fine, definitely not dark.
The mids, they are warm, soulful, relaxing and I think is the best part of this headphone. You won't have to tweak anything about them. Crystal clears, great separation and its just something to experience.
The lows or the bass, it is there. But, you'll kind of have to look for it. It's not rumbling, it does not thump. So, if thats your thing these are not the best option. But, again, a bit of eq and you can bring some of that in. And, thats one of the cleanest bass I have heard. But, its not all bad. I have noticed that songs with good mastering and properly defined bass line do sound really nice, it comes in nicely, and has that clarity and character to it, its a bit different from the usual dynamic driver bass. But, this one is visible in few songs, and has a much better character to it.
Soundstage, it is wide. Not the widest out there, but it is good. As soon as you switch from a normal headphone to this one, the instruments, vocals everything is spaced out much more and you can feel instruments slowly coming in and out from various directions. It's very good. But, I won't say that this headphone has deep soundstage, because you can listen to things which are spread out in x-axis, and not really much in the y-axis. So, if someone expects these to give them the Atmos effect, they won't.
The imaging, again, great. But, just like soundstage instruments are present in the x-axis, and hardly any sound coming from the y-axis.
But, all of this was with focus pads, how do the stock pads make these sound? Well, stock pads make them sound brighter. Mids are much brighter, treble much sharper, bass even more rolled off. But, they widen the soundstage even more. The focus pads, well they kind of focus the sound, so soundstage is not as wide, but bass is much more evident, mids and treble sound warmer. So, Its a trade off between, soundstage and bass, kind of.
Also, these are the kind of headphones which will make bad songs sound worse, and good songs sound better. And, so far almost all bollywood and punjabi songs sound bad, because you'll be able to pick up the flaws and it will just turn you off, cause you'll be like I want to listen to something good.
Sound leak, it leaks a loooot. My google pixel can pick up what song I am listening to from far away.
Next, lets talk about how to drive them
Theretically they can be easily driven off a phone or any laptop or PC. And, thats true. But, that doesn't even bring you close to what these headphones have to offer. Volume is way too low, and they sound too congested for the price, and I'd say don't get these if you don't have a dedicated dac/amp to drive them. As soon as they get their own dedicated power they start to sound worth what you paid for. Some would say even better, but we'll come to the cost part a bit later.
Next, lets talk comfort
Warm weather and headphones, they don't go well with each other. Stock pads are all velour, and I think very poor quality one at that. They kind of irritate you as they get warm. And they do get warm as the time passes. Focus pads are pleather, and velour hybrid. I still hate the velour, but pleather is okayish. But, not worth ~2500. I think investing in something of much better quality would be better. And, the foam used is also a cheap one. Which doesn't work in their case.
So yeah, they are light for a planar magnetic, but are still kind of heavy, and with most of the weight resting on your ears, they tend to move around a bit, and get warm, and pads, neither stock nor focus ones are worth cost. I find focus pads more comfortable, but still not something I'd say oh yes to. And, yeah don't think of them as portable. They are not. They are very very far away from being portable. The cable is very stiff. and they are huuuge to carry around. And, add to that the sound leak, and they are definitely not the one you walk around with.
Next, is build
This is another area where I feel that these are not worth 10k. First, its all plastic. Its good quality plastic, but some of it is cheap one. The grill surround. The band. The pads. So, you can say that they spent most of thier budget on the driver part. I don't know how it will hold up with time, but I have a pretty good feeling that these will lose the silver pain over time, and same goes for the black paint as well. But, wires seem good quality. They are thick and have a cloth like material on top of them. Which I don't think will last long looking like this. I have a feeling that the cloth will have strands of fabric coming out of it after a while. I'd say these are kinda built like a headphone for 5k, 6-7k at the most.
If your music invo...
Thank you for taking time in writing such a long and detailed review. We appreciate it really.
This one of the best headphones under $300. Very detailed and clear sound.
Only thing lacks in headphone is bass.
To improve the sound quality grilling mod ( Google it) and hifiman focus pads are recommended. It improves the bass, trouble and soundstage.
The grilling mod improves the openness of the sound and unveils the upper reaches of the treble to allow a lot of air and upper register nuance to come through.
The focus pads increase the bass.
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