Massdrop x HIFIMAN HE4XX Planar Magnetic Headphonessearch
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Massdrop x HIFIMAN HE4XX Planar Magnetic Headphones

Massdrop x HIFIMAN HE4XX Planar Magnetic Headphones

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Stickied
Hello friends, welcome to our latest Massdrop collaboration announcement! From our first conversation with Fang, we wanted to work on an accessible priced, open back, planar driver headphone, based on the HE-400 line (HE-4, HE-400, HE-400i, HE-400S, etc). Initially, the conversation wasn’t going anywhere, but following the success of the HE-350 and RE-00, we started to make progress. In the year since those launches, we’ve worked closely with the team at HIFIMAN to develop the 4XX, based on the related Massdrop community activity. Here are some of the parts I’m most excited about:
HIFIMAN Planar Drivers - This is the tech that put HIFIMAN on the map. When reviewing planar magnetic headphones, most people talk about the speed of the driver and the low frequency “slam”. Speed (as a subjective term) generally creates a greater sense of realism; after you reach the point of diminishing returns on resolution, speed is (imo) going to have a huge impact on your experience. Through our collaboration, this technology is available at an all time low cost of $169.99. Focus-A Earpads - Earpads have a massive impact on the sound, and an even bigger impact on the comfort of the headphone. Unfortunately, we often have to compromise here, choosing a less comfortable earpad because it results in better acoustic performance. Focus-A pads are universally regarded as incredibly comfortable. Soft velour is the only material that contacts your skin, and the foam inside is soft to match.
New Headband + Colorway - Where HiFiMAN’s original headband design had some structural challenges (heavy materials, small contact points), they had a stylistic elegance few would debate (unless you’re a Float fan, then you get to complain). In working on this collaboration, we were able to bring back the original headband structure, while solving the construction problems cited in Massdrop discussions. The colorway is new as well, featuring midnight blue earcups with black accents throughout. Thanks for your interest and feel free to respond here with questions. That said, if the answer to your question is clearly stated in the description, I will apply a 10 day shipping delay to your next Massdrop order (jk but please read, our team spends tons of time making the descriptions as useful as possible).
This has been a great project and we’re excited to finally make the announcement : )
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Brilliant. I too recently took delivery of a questionably pricy gravel bike that, right now, is getting way more use than the cans. So the xx will have to wait.
jaffe
See massdrop.. make that bike community already! It's hard to ride with any of these cans under my helmet.
Stickied
Hey Everyone, Thank you all for making the HE-4XX a huge success! It’s been great to see comments and reviews of the headphones start to come in as people receive them. The remainder of 4XX orders are on the way to all purchasers. And the reviews have been great so far! A few select quotes from members in the discussion below: “Probably the best product I’ve bought on Massdrop. These headphones are absolute heaven. “ @Sense
“The highs are high the lows are low, the sound is sparkling and crisp. Well rounded notes like a fine wine. For the money, you can't get any better!” @fisherman58
“Wow.... Just got mine a moment ago, plugged it into my Note 8, and they literally blew me away.” @Zaren Knowing that all of the original drop headphones have been delivered or are on their way, we have another exciting update for anyone who missed out on the previous round. We’re pleased to announce the 4XX is dropping again starting today! These units are from a different production batch, but HiFiMAN was able to deliver them ahead of schedule. After shipping out our units to members in the original drop, our team was able to finish QC of the new batch and is ready for them to be added to our ‘Massdrop Made’ collection as an in-stock drop with 1,900 units available. Thank you all for being a part of this drop. We’re excited to be able to have even more members get their hands on a HE-4XX.
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S.M.S.L. Sanskrit 6 into a Schiit Vali 2
take it with a grain of salt though as I literally opened the box 30 min ago, and its just a first impression.
slappomatt
stand by this. great headphones.
Stickied
This update is for members who joined the drop in March (3/2 - 3/3):
Updated 5/21: The Massdrop x HIFIMAN HE4XX Planar Magnetic Headphones have arrived at the warehouse and the team is wrapping up quality control checks. The headphones are starting to ship and we expect all units to ship by tomorrow (May 22).
We apologize for the slight delay, and we’re looking forward to you receiving the Massdrop x HIFIMAN HE4XX Planar Magnetic Headphones!
Updated 5/10: Hi everyone, We have an update on the Massdrop x HIFIMAN HE4XX Planar Magnetic Headphones. There was a slight delay in production, and we now estimate that the headphones will ship at the end of the month (by May 31). The headphones are currently wrapping up production and they’re expected to arrive at our warehouse in about a week. Once they arrive they will go through the receiving and quality control check process. We’ll provide an update at this time with the latest information. We apologize for this delay and can you assure the team is doing the best they can to get the headphones prepared for shipment in a timely manner. If you don’t want to wait the additional time, you can cancel your order via the transactions page: https://www.massdrop.com/transactions
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Makes it even harder when zeos just released a review of these 2 days ago. Got me that much more hyped up for next week
AveryC
Well I've waited this long, things happen and QC is important, do it right! Thanks for the update, anticipation grows...
Hey guys (& gals).... What's a really good Portable headphone amp for these headphones in the $100-$300 range ?
Shadow77
JDS Labs Atom! Best amp for 99$
hifiman.com currently has the HE400i on sale for $179.99. Not much of an appreciable price difference compared to the HE4xx, which makes deciding between the HE4xx and HE400i that much more difficult. Might have to avoid making that decision, and just go with the HD6xx.
Folks, I am selling my HE4XX that I purchased on Nov. 23, 2018. It has been barely used since it got here a little less than 2 weeks ago (around 30 hours burn-in and 2 hours of listening). No part is missing, and the headphones work perfectly. There is no defect. I am selling them just because I don't particularly like the sound signature plus I have a pair of Elex now. Asking for $140 shipped (continental US only). PM me if you are interested. Thanks!
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Hi. I can't seem to make a review here. Received my pair a while ago (under 1 month, 26.11.) and there's some noise (rattling) from the right cup when I turn my head and the grill seems to be loose.
(Edited)
Hi there ! is there any kind of box for storing or traveling included in the deal ? thanks !
I know it’s not out yet, but spec wise, is the new jds atom amp capabile of driving planars like the he4xx properly? or maybe it is out already, but I haven’t found too many reviews
Seems like the general consensus on these headphones is that you really need to use an amp due to the sensitivity. Sure the ohm rating is low but they are not efficient according to the reviewers. What say you?
AudioJet
Not exactly apples to apples comparison but both my HE500 and Audeze Sine sound their best on my Cayin iHA-6. The Audeze gets 1 watt of power and the HE-500 gets around 5 watts. My phone puts out between .03 and .11 watts and does not do justice to either. I've also used a Gustard H10, Lyr gen 1, MD O2, and a FiiO E12A with them. Both sound their best with the higher wattage amps (Lyr, iHA-6, H10). Treble can be shrill, mids hollow and bass lacking impact as well as extension if my planars are "under-powered". My .02 after living with the HE-500 for almost 6 years.
I have to say that i've got some troubles with my headphones a mounth ago, i contact the support for any help and actualy i didn't expect them to be that good. They take my hand until i was fully satisfied. So if you have any trouble, just ask theim.
For you he4xx'rs out there, which replacement pads did you go with? Are they easy to replace? Doesn't look like there's anything to attach new pads to on my set from what I can see where they're starting to fall off. Seems like I might need an adapter ring of some kind. Any suggestions? Thanks
A Feedback from a very happy HE-4XX owner for now a good year already: Honestly after having listen to more pricy Hifiman models in a shop, this headphone is a real bargain. My impression is that the signature is very similar to those of the newest models 400-i, Sundara. The more pricy models give a little more bass extension Edition X series, Arya but no real game changer. Very noticeable differences start only with the 1000 series or above. The HE-6se is something completely different (more punchy) but was not to my taste. So actually for that ridiculous price you get an insane good headphone. Listening during hours is not a problem and create no listening fatigue. The headband is maybe not the most beautiful but it is very comfortable and does not have all the issues of newest generations. I would recommend an upgrade of the ear pad nevertheless. I took the DEKONI premium ear pads on massdrop with leather non-perforated and the bass is somewhat more present now and the comfort is much much better. Really with these headphones you can't do anything wrong. Happy listening.
I've got a brand new pair for $155 shipped within CONUS if anyone is interested. Got them shipped to my office some time ago, but we switched to an open office and these have been sitting in the box since then.
Is this based on HE400i or HE400S ?
I have been enjoying my 4xx for about 6 months but I wouldn't say they were my favorite. That honor fell to my 6xx especially when used with my DarkVoice amp. I have been primarily driving the 4xx with my Aune X7S amp via the single ended (SE) output. I have balanced cables for the 6xx and it makes a noticeable difference in performance over the SE output. I was hesitant to get balanced cables for the 4xx because I figured the SE output (1000mW @ 32ohm) seemed more than sufficient for the 35ohm 4xx. That was a mistake. A mistake that was rectified this week when I received my balanced XLR cable from Periapt Cables. This my second set of balanced cables from Periapt and I am very pleased. Superb build quality and performance. The 4xx driven by the balanced out (1700 mW @ 32ohm) on the X7S is sweet. Similar to what I experienced with my 6xx in balanced mode the soundstage widens, bass is more substantive and snares and kick drums hit hard. Overall clarity and detail is improved. The differences between the SE and XLR out on the X7S are not "night and day", but they are noticeable, significant and enjoyable. I bought the X7S for the balanced output and it could be that the SE out on the X7S isn't as good and that 4xx would sound as good via a dedicated SE amp. IDK. I guess the morale of the story here is if you have an X7S and the 4xx invest in balanced cables. For now I'll say 6xx is still king for me, but the 4xx are now in serious contention for the lead.
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I have PX and EarStudio 100 as well. Not my favorite as I feel it’s lacking in bass. I have do some EQ magic to get them sounding good. If you like the PX sound I would steer you toward the 4xx as I think it’s sound signature closer to the 4xx than 6XX. The 4xx are strong with vocals and have good mids and highs with good controlled bass. While I haven’t heard them, my understanding is that the HD600 might also be to your liking if you like the detailed sound of the PX. To me the 6XX, when properly amped, have a warm sound signature with great mids and is excellent with vocals. It pairs extremely well with my DarkVoice amp. I love it for listening to jazz, vocal, acoustic based music and classic rock. With regards to the 4xx, IMO, good amplification is also important. The ES100 in single ended mode doesn’t have enough power to get the job done. I don’t have a balanced cable for my 4xx or 6XX that’ll fit the ES100 so I can’t speak to how that performs. Last thing about the 6XX and 4xx. Many say they don’t need amps to sound good. I disagree. They are both OK without of mobile devices, but neither satisfies me unless I’m giving them power. If you don’t have a powerful solid state amp, I would recommend getting one of you decide to pick up the 6XX or 4xx. Something like the JDS Labs Atom might work really well with the ES100 as a DAC. (I think my wallet is going to be $99 lighter very soon).
mindhead1
thank you. I was very tempted to take the hifiman... but the hoor story about the build quality scared me... so last month I went to a specialized store in a not so near city, just to clarify my doubt. There was a hd 650, a fidelio x2, the complete offer by Beyerdynamic and the hd 598. After a marathon of 2 hours, and the complete hate of the clerk, who left me there, i discover something i didn't imagine. I really need that articulation in the highs, and the extension up top, so sennheiser hd6xx was excluded, also 'cause the mids were too forward in my opinion. Being in search for a reference i also want a neutral but solid bass, so the wonderful hd598 with that airy bass was also in the "no" list. I can say that x2 was almost perfect, but that bass was really too much for my tastes, to the level that the voices was too immerse in the stage. Dt770, non existent mids. Dt990 bombs and blades. Dt880: perfection! I found my reference. I have it from 10 days, and that wonderful stage is alwayvrevealing of something new. The bass is tactile, the mid section is just present and tonally correct, the highs can resolve the most complicate festival of cymbals. I can easily recommend this hidden classic
Screws are the weakest link in this build... They unscrew themselves even with very light use. Kind of annoying. Might have to glue those in place. Massdrop, find a solution...
I am torn between these right here and Beyerdynamic dt880 or dt990's in 250 or 600 ohm. Been looking around at forums and it seems like they are all great options with the 880's being more neutral and the HE4xx and 990's having a more V sound. My understanding is that the HE4XX can be run without an amp but will sound much better with. I am looking into the Schitt Moda 3 and Bottlehead Crack with Speedball as a possible setup. What has been your experience with this setup and these headphones?
scottymcmelon
I'm driving my HE4XX cans with a Schiit Modi Multibit and Magni 3 stack. Great combination! Whatever source you're using, I can recommend the Magni for these phones.
Yep I'm getting the bass rattle distortion too. After owning these for a month it reared its rattle. I get mine on the right side. On deep bass notes. Tested my other headphones like HD600 and even my low end favorite Superlux HD681 Evo and those do not have that issue. yes I also own the Fostex T50 mark 3 and those have the same type of bass rattle like others have mentioned.
What connector does it comes with for the recent ones? is it dual 2.5mm or 3.5mm?
ivandatu
It's should be dual 3.5mm
I would recommend them highly with tube amp, they are fantastic. With solid state i felt like they don't have dynamic and the bass is present but without kick and body.
Does anyone understand the warranty. My pair distorts really bad at 75% volume. I tried multiple amps no help...
Waynekid
Let's start with how you have them connected? Also, what device is set at 75%? You sound like you are overdriving your amps input or you have a source that can't handle outputing a clean signal at "75%"
When I pair the he4xx up with my cavali liquid platinum amp my wife cant tell the difference between the he4xx and focal elex plugged in the same amp. It just shows how good these planars are for the money can almost sound as good as a focal elex when paired up or powered with a decent amp. I love he4xx a lot more than my monoprice m1060s.
Well, I'm stunned at the HE4XX. No more dynamic driver headphones for me (HD6XX, HD58X, etc.) Total planer convert here. These sound better than my T5p.2 did and those cost close to a grand! $169 Bucks. YOU. CAN. NOT. GO. WRONG. Stop y'all belly aching.
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The thing is that the sensativity of the he4xx is pretty low meaning they need more power to get a full sound. It is easier to get more power to the 32 Ohm he4xx than the 300 ohm hd6xx but, depending on the amp, the he4xx might still need higher volume.
Yes, you have to consider efficiency and impedance in the equation. You only figured impedance.
SUPER frustrated at Massdrop and DHL. Joined drop and Massdrop says shipped that NOV 2. DHL last update that day saying package on route to distribution centre. 11 days later still no update scans from DHL. When I call DHL they say Massdrop needs to contact them. Massdrop keeps telling to wait that shipping takes a couple weeks but refuses to understanding that DHL doesnt have package and requires massdrop to contact them!.
JTULL
UPDATE: after 20 days of no updates on DHL tracking number became dead and it now yeilds "no results". DHL says that is because it never received the package from the vendor and voided the #. Now its 27 days since order was done by massdrop. I do not mmind waiting weeks for a shipment but pretty concerned when the shipping company says it never got the package from Massdrop. Is anyone else having these troubles with DHL and Massdrop?
Just got these in the mail. Plugged them in and in about 10 minutes, I've decided to sell my Massdrop Jubilee 58X. These do nothing wrong. The sound stage is better. The vocals are cleaner and everything is just more engaging in general. The HE4XX is sort of addicting too. Bravo!
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My Plan: I'm going to buy the HiFiman Sundara now off Music Direct. You can try them for 60days and return them no charge! I'm going to compare them to the HE4XX when I get them. I'm going to put them on my credit card with zero interest. Then I'm going to also order the HEXX simultaneously because that will be here in 7 months and I'll want to compare those with the winner of the current HE4XX and Sundara shootout. I'll keep the value winner. When the HEXX arrives, I'll compare them with the Sundara sound/value quotient and sell the loser along with the HE4XX assuming the Sundara wins too. I'll sell the HEXX if I still like the value of the Sundara more. This will then set the stage for a shoot out with HiFiman Ananda with the winner of the previous shootout. I should be able to sell the losers for at least 80% of original value as I step up the line.
ShawnP.Watson
Ha! That will be an awesome shootout! Make sure you post about it! Even though listening for myself is king, i still love to hear what others think about different headphones.
Hello, Does anyone know if a Fiio K1 can drive these headphones? Fiio's spec sheet says that the K1 can drive up to 100 ohm impedance heaphones and these are rated at 35 ohms, but I'm somewhat suspect of that given how small the K1 is. If the K1 is too weak, do you guys have any recommendations for an affordable amp/dac combo to power the HE4XXs?
How do the HE 400i or HE 400S compare with the HE 4XX?
To all 4XX owners and prospective owners: After experimentation with pad-swapping and EQ, I discovered that the 4XX has loads potential. Consider performing the following to your 4XX: Exchange the stock pads with Brainwavz XL Earpads (Hybrid, Suede, Pleather or Perforated Pleather models; sound affects of each coming soon) which, compared to the stock pads, will increase the ear-space area for significantly improved comfort and sound-stage. Switching the 4XX's pads to Brainwavz XL Earpads (particularly the Pleather model) does improve the bass quantity, extension, and 'tightness'. Using the original 4XX frequency response did provide a basis for my original EQ profile... which I've amended to only 'boost' the sub-bass by lowering the other frequencies. Those who prefer not to use EQ - or don't own an amplifier powerful enough - can simply avoid EQ altogether. The Brainwavz XL Earpads (with large ear openings) also significantly improves the 4XX's soundstage since more sound reaches your ear directly. Using the original 4XX frequency response did provide a basis for my original EQ profile... which I've amended to only 'boost' the sub-bass by lowering the other frequencies. Those who prefer not to use EQ - or don't own an amplifier powerful enough - can simply avoid EQ altogether.
  1. The stock pads are a major detriment to the headphones' overall sound - especially regarding clarity and soundstage. Switching the 4XX's pads to Brainwavz XL Earpads (particularly the Pleather model) does improve the bass quantity, extension, and 'tightness'. To use these aftermarket pads, you will need to acquire the official HIFIMan Velour pads and use their removable pad-attachment rings (https://www.ebay.com/itm/HIFIMAN-Velour-Earpads-Headphone-replacement-Ear-pads-for-HIFIMAN-HE-Series/253238435364)
  2. Purchase a good DAC and powerful headphone amplifier. Compared to using the 4XX with your phone or computer, you will hear a substantial difference... and can be used with all of your headphones. (For those on a budget, I recommend the portable FiiO Q1 mkII DAC/amp combo. For a bit more, the soon-to-be-released Monoprice Monolith THX AAA DAC/amp is featured-packed and looks extremely promising.)
  3. Using a balanced connection provides the headphones more power, increased channel separation, and lower crosstalk. The result is a higher maximum volume and better overall clarity. To run the headphones balanced (for increased power and channel separation), you will have to purchase a amplifier with a balanced-out, as well as a compatible balanced cable. Make sure the cable has the right connectors: the first run of 4XX units had 2.5mm earcup connectors... the latest units have 3.5mm connectors.
  4. And finally, load an EQ profile using a program called Equalizer APO. EQ-ing is not necessary, but do you like sub-bass?


Brainwavz XL Earpads

Pleather: Most bass impact/tightness, very clean and bright (best for modern pop) Perforated Pleather: Slightly less bass, more air/soundstage (best for orchestral/instrumental) Hybrid: More warmth, slightly less treble; (best for classic rock) Suede: Deadened sound (with reduced air and soundstage); neutral (best for general listening... and most pleasing to the touch) EQUALIZATION Using the Brainwavz XL Earpads and a system-wide* sound modification program called Equalizer APO, I configured an EQ profile for the HE-4XX that subtracts everything but sub-bass... that extends flat to 46 Hz. (More profiles will be added.) Once installed, click on the green "+" and select 'Graphic Equalizer with variable bands'. Then copy-paste the following into the (pencil and paper) 'Edit text' bar: GraphicEQ: 46 0; 48 -1; 50 -1.85; 52 -2.57; 54 -3.2; 56 -3.77; 58 -4.25; 60 -4.65; 62 -5; 64 -5.28; 66 -5.5; 68 -5.7; 70 -5.85; 72 -5.95; 74 -6 Using the columns on the right side of the window (or within 'Edit text'), the frequencies/levels can be adjusted to taste. To deactivate the profile, click on the white 'profile active' button, and it will turn black. * When a profile is activated, all sounds that are played on your PC will be altered. In summary, the 4XX has potential that can easily be unlocked. With a powerful amp, high quality DAC, and Brainwavz XL earpads, new life can be brought to these superb headphones. Prepare to be impressed.