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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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'goodbye Olsen', said nobody...ever.
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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any more of these coming down the pipe?

Hi Will
I would love to join the next drop, but I'm noticing a number of people have issues with the QC of the headphones, specifically the left channel not working. I have not had any issues with any of my purchases from Massdrop, but this one is a bit troubling. Can you give any assurance that the QC issues will be addressed by the next drop?Thanks

can some tell me is there any particular case that fit this headset.
Received my he 4xx yesterday.. just a ugly scratch near the plug of left phone ... ok thats all of the negatives I can live with..
The rest ist stunning solid, well made without further flaws
Sound.. still burning in ... a bit metallic sounding in the first hours .. hope this will be gone soon
Subbass .. weak (hope burn in will better up this aspect) the rest of the spectrum is simply wonderful
Chapeau!! Very good phones

In comparison: My Audioquest Nighhawks play imho a little better for me. My HD650 is clear beaten by the HE 4xx.
These headphones sound great. They have remarkable detail across the audio spectrum, excellent stage, very visual, airy and open. As expected, bass performance is modest. But what I've discovered is that they don't perform well out in the world. I tried them in an office situation, and the sound falls apart with any ambient noise. Worse on the street. My suggestion is get comfy, pull out your audiophile recordings [], light a fatty, and get your groove on.
True that. All open hps are meant for low ambient noise use. Getting comfy- whatever that entails for you- is the way to enjoy a quality hp lol. I use an hq DAP to drive my 4XX and I wouldn't describe them as having modest bass response. I've played bass guitar for decades and I think 4XX LF is tight, textured, realistic, w/o boomy or sub-emphasis. E and B strings sound right to me thru 4XX. And If one is used to a bass-heavy presentation (not saying you), moving to hq hps will require brain recalibration. Generalizing and again, not speaking to your setup which you didn't mention, planars require adequate, clean amplification to perform well across their frequency response so no section range will sound modest or lacking, and everything more balanced. Colorado tested, lol!
Hello everyone! Just got my headphones and I do love what I'm hearing🎧. Right now I have a Fiio E10K amp/dac. I mainly listen to Spotify and play video games, but I feel like the sound is a bit low. Even when I Max it out and windows is on 98% volume. Do you think I should get an Sound blaster AE5 to satesfie my needs to volume and "punch"? Thank you all for the help!
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Thank you so much for your prompt replay. Helped out a lot. I did pick up a sound blaster at the local store and wow... The difference is huge, the sound is not even on the same playing field. The e10k did it ok but man the difference from the AE5 is just worth it, the sound is full and the punch in the base is there. Sure I will miss the external volume control but to my ears it's worth it. Thanks a lot for your help! <3
I did, but you don't get the full spectrum of sound on the E10K if you ask me. Sure it's up to everyones ears to decide but to me the upgrade was well worth it. With the AE5 it sounds like a full blown studio recording and the e10k dident give me the same satesfaction to my ears. I could imagen all this but now I'm super happy with the headphones.

Spent quite a bit of time pad rolling and comparing the non-perforated Ori to the perforated Ori last night (both with the foam insert mod) using the same set of tracks at the same volume to see which was truly superior. In stock form with a couple of hours playtime, they sounded good, but not great pretty much across the board, which is why I got modding immediately. It's worth noting, as I outlined in a previous thread, that these 4XXs also have the grill mod using paper tray mesh and no dust screen along with having over 170 hours worth of play time. They also are using a custom silver-plated 22-gauge OFC cable from Amplifier Surgery. Equipment used in this comparison: straight from my XDP-100R playing the first few tracks from Steve Turre's Woody's Delight (mainly for balance, imaging, sibilance testing) and various tracks from Tame Impala's Currents (mainly for balance and soundstage testing).
Updated Ratings after Ori pad comparison:
4XX (non-perforated Ori + grill mod + foam pad mod): treble 0 / mids -1 / lows +1 / soundstage -1.5 / imaging -1 / detail -1 4XX (perforated Ori + grill mod + foam pad mod): treble +0.25 / mids 0 / lows 0 / soundstage -0.5 / imaging 0 / detail -0.5
I started this comparison because I started feeling as though the perforated pads introduced a touch more treble tipping it into the warning zone for near-harshness. After the comparison though I came to the realization that the recording and volume must have influenced this thinking, as switching back to the non-perforated pads (neutral-dark) they exhibited an almost indistinguishable difference in harshness (which is to say very minimal, again depending on the recording.) The highest brass notes on Woody's Delight inspired only a single wince or two and when it happened it felt appropriate for the recording's intent and intensity.
In this back and forth though I did notice that the non-perforated pads seemed a bit congested which I hadn't noticed without comparing and switching over to the perforated pads the sound opened up with more air/space and better imaging. Jazz recordings can get busy sounding and the perforated pads handled this with ease. The swirling synths on Current's showed the perforated pads to have improved the soundstage to very satisfying levels.
Since I felt that bass was too anemic without the foam pad mod (and previously the hair roller mod), but also slightly too prominent with the foam pad mod and the non-perforated Ori, I was happy to realize that the perforated pads tamed the bass ever so slightly so that a perfect Goldilocks amount of bass tightness/impact/detail/amount was achieved. The juicy distorted synth groove on the tail end of Tame Impala's Let It Happen sent a chill down my body and the upright bass on Woody's Delight had just enough heft and body to seem very real. To briefly explain, the foam (pads or rollers) was used to distance the driver farther from the ears which made a noticeable increase in all things bass and are fit in the ring pocket between the Ori's foam and mounting ring. For a frame of reference, my bass port modded Q701s (think K712 or 7XX) seem to be putting out a similar bass amount (although slightly more body not being as neutral) with the 4XX+Perforated Ori+foam pad mod pulling ahead of the Q701's low end in terms of response, detail, impact, and sub bass.
In going back and forth I also realized just how much more I prefer the modded 4XX over my previously loved Q701s. The soundstage on the AKGs by comparison now makes them seem almost unnatural and odd while the perforated pads and grill mod brought the 4XX to a natural, pleasing soundstage somewhere between the Elear and HD800. Imaging is also quite good and I can easily tell where instruments are in the space. In terms of neutrality, I feel as though the perforated pads improved even further on the non-perforated Ori and am now able to easily focus on whatever instrument I want in the mix without it getting lost or overshadowed. Superb balance indeed. It's worth mentioning that since my previous cans were the Q701, your mileage may vary in terms of treble on this series of 4XX mods although I should say that it is less strident and smoother than the AKGs while never feeling even slightly veiled or losing detail/microdetail.
If you can't tell already, I am loving the 4XXs with this combo of mods and feel as though this might be it for new cans for a while given my high level of satisfaction at this point. Even off of the DAP I was getting goosebumps at the sheer amount of pleasure and technical prowess these things were putting out. There was also a bit of disbelief given how relatively cheap these things were even with the mods ($325 total). So if you have the 4XXs, do yourself a favor and make the same changes. I'm sure you'll be quite impressed as well.
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Thanks dude. Trust me the more you spend time on forums and growing the listening hobby the more you’ll pick up on the lingo and the personal relevance.
Well done lad. Great review. We really appreciate all the work you put into your review. Please keep it up.

Just have received mine, and feel quite disappointed because one ear does not work at all. Tried different cables, tried to plug in in different gear.
Probably bad soldering work on the 2.5mm connector. You can try to fix it yourself, i believe there is a disassembly video posted below, or you can get them replaced. Try contacting MD and Hifiman support.
Had my pair shipped to UK but Yodel's delivery service is pretty bad and they just couldnt deliver it (??) so they were sent back all the way to the sender. MD did reship them and now they are stuck in Customs on the Heathrow Airport since 23rd December. No way of contacting them at all. Anyone had similar experience?
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I have paid them the first time they were shipped. Around 40 like you said. Now MD is covering the expenses as this is the 2nd time they were sent. Tried to call up the customs but noone is answering. Dhl doesnt know why is it taking so long either
... mine are also at the custums since 28.12. pretty boring ...