PLANAR MAGNETICS LIKE YOU’VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE: Many headphone companies have tried their hand at planar magnetic drivers, but none have done it quite like HIFIMAN. The result of founder Dr. Fang’s PhD research at Columbia University, its driver technology has landed the company in TIME, Forbes, and CNET’s “The Audiophiliac, ” and won it the CES Editors’ Choice Award. Now, that tech is available at an unheard-of price in the Mass drop x HIFIMAN HE4XX: a pair of high-efficiency, open-back planar magnetics that don’t need a fancy amp to sound amazing. Listen to them directly from your smartphone, laptop, or desktop computer, or add a headphone amp to take them to the next level. The sound is smooth, engaging, and even across the frequency range, with airy, sparkly highs and the planar bass slam that HIFIMAN is known for. PREMIUM AESTHETIC, COMFORTABLE FEEL: Comfort is king for the HE4XX, which features HIFIMAN’s Focus-A hybrid ear pads: the best-feeling, best-sounding pads the company has to offer. The foam has extra cushioning and is specially angled for acoustics, and the part of the pad touching the ear is made of soft, luxurious velour. A revival of the original HIFIMAN style with some structural improvements, the headband is made of spring steel—so it can bend without losing its shape—and hand-stitched with breathable protein leather. Done in an exclusive midnight-blue colorway, the matte finish is soft to the touch and resistant to fingerprints. The attention to detail is evident throughout, down to the robust steel gimbals with a black oxide finish and matching Allen screws. HIFIMAN: FOR AUDIOPHILES, BY AUDIOPHILES: Born in New York City in 2007, HIFIMAN has had a big influence on the audiophile world in the 10 years since its founding. Dr. Fang has always had close ties with the community. He started out on Head-Fi and attended local meetups while pursuing his doctorate at Columbia. When he realized his PhD research could be relevant to his passion—the music-listening experience and the audiophile products that improve it—he started talking with forum members and meetup attendees about what they’d like to see in the next generation of headphones. HIFIMAN is a natural partner for Mass drop because our goals are so aligned. At its core, it represents a member of the audiophile community building a company that serves the rest of the community.
10.2 x 8.27 x 5.63 inches
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These headphones sound great and are very affordable, but just know what you are getting. If you're looking for some great sounding headphones to listen to around your house using a headphone amp, these would be a great buy. But if you're looking for something to take to the gym, or use at work you'll probably want to look elsewhere.
Excellent sound quality. Really nice and balanced sound.
Comfortable. The headphones themselves are rather large, but they are still pretty comfortable.
Affordable for audiophile headphones. They have a list price of $199, but you can sometimes find them on sale for $130 or less.
They need a lot to power them. I tried listening on my Sony STRDN1080 receiver and I had to crank the volume way up to get them to a decent volume.
Open back means they leak a lot of sound, so you probably won't be wearing these out and about.
They come with a rather short cord. I'm sure you can buy an extension, but the one that's included is pretty short.
I liked these better than the Aeon Flow Closed backs. $149 pair > $800 pair. I would say 3 1/2-4 stars.
I'm still searching for a pair of headphones that can knock my favorites off their top spot. I haven't found them yet.
• Light weight
• Good punchy Bass
• Price Amazing
• Build Quality
For me the treble is a little bright compared to what I like
ATH-A900x closed-back my #1
M50x Like these above all others for late night listening.
Massdrop x HIFIMAN HE4XX "In a noise free area these are nice"
Aeon Flow Closed "I call these the red pill, hear details I didn't want to hear"
M1060c Needs amp or sounds tinny
DT770 treble fatigue
ATH-A900x closed-back my #1
Massdrop x HIFIMAN HE4XX "Fun"
Sennheiser 280pro "ear fatigue with the highs"
Aeon Flow closed back Little bright, although causes ninjas to sound like they run on broken glass could fatigue.
M1960c could fatigue higher treble
Philips SHP9500 Decent but still miss intimate cues
Ad700x fatigue treble not enjoyable
Astros.. Just not enjoyable
DT770 Just no...
Dekoni Audio Elite Sheepskin
I may try these pads, https://www.amazon.com/Dekoni-Audio-Sheepskin-Earpads-Headphones/dp/B07H7VPXZ4/ref=pd_ybh_a_12?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=55X2SGBNWGGTXM821NFK
Not so much a con but for gaming I missed too many sound cues compared to my closed backs to consider this as an all in one replacement for competitive. EQ'd out the bass and it still lacked. It's not just this headphone but every open back I have tried it's a hit or miss with intimate cues. "Maybe" switching out the pads might help I don't know, I may try but these feel perfect as is for music. I found this to be the same sound cue issue with ad700's and Philips SHP9500 but these are much brighter compared to the HIFIMAN HE4XX.
These cans are very comfortable and light on your head, no strain or discomfort and I can leave them on my head a long time. The metal frame makes them sturdy, definitely will last a long time.
Since these cans cover your ears, the soundstage feels like it covers from all sides left, center and right; except the back. I'm not an audiophile but I think the sound is exceptional with detail and very clear sound. Highs, mids, and lows blend well without overpowering one another.
I use a couple of dacs too, to help drive these cans power out. Just experimenting between the black Drafonfly, ifi idsd, and the ES100. Of course whatever dac you use will cause you to have your own opinion in terms of your preference of music. I'm not experienced enough to tell you in detail but know that any music that comes out of these cans is amazing. I like these alot and satisfied with this product. I don't understand the price drop in these headphones all of sudden but they sound expensive to me, and they are better sounding then any headphone that I own. For a decline in price I think that's a mistake.