Post by solderdude on Jan 28, 2016 21:01:21 GMT
The HiFiMan HE-400i is an entry level orthodynamic headphone.
\There is a lot to like about it.
Comfort is excellent, the clamping force is somewhat on the high side but because of the large pads the pressure is well distributed and ensures a good seal.
The weight of this planar headphone is low compared to ‘similar’ headphone types.This is largely due to the way the drivers are built.
The headphone cable is a bit short and stiff but can be replaced. I find the SMC connectors a bit less suited for this task but at least they aren’t unobtainium and of good quality.
The finish is quite nice. High gloss very dark blue-purple-ish. The pads are soft and pleasant to the touch. Pleather (vinyl based fake leather) on the outside, velours on the contact area with the skin and performated pleather on the inside. They angle the drivers ever so slightly. A very nice carying case comes with it.
Ofcourse it is all about the sound. This headphone doesn’t disappoint there. It is one of those headphones that don’t need modifications and can be used without EQ. That doesn’t need it can’t improve with EQ nor that this is the perfect headphone.
I see this headphone a bit like an HD600 with more subbass. It is a bit brighter but not clearer sounding and the treble is soft but sometimes has an ‘edge’ to it. Not ‘sharp’ sounding just ever so slightly ‘not exactly right’.
The bass and subbass is there. I find the bass nice and ‘tight’ and ‘dry’. Subbass could be a few dB more present though.
The mids are ‘fine’ but not exactly ‘flat’. The mids are forward and present yet not ‘ super clear’.
Very hard to explain but will give it a try. Drums, guitars and singers etc are a bit more ‘present’ than on a perfectly flat headphone. Smaller ‘toms’ are a bit too emphasized for instance.
Yet it doesn’t have the ‘edge’ headphones like the HD600 has. In this regard it is more like the HD800 but the HD800 is warmer and has slightly less subbass.
Then there is the treble part. The treble is ‘soft’ in general. good ‘air’ and detail. It doesn’t sound rolled off nor accentuated nor exaggerated BUT there is a slight ‘rough edge’ to it.
This not always obvious but sometimes it just takes something away from the rest of the experience.
Most of it is explained by the Frequency Response graph which is a good thing because this means EQ can address the minor niggles IF you should desire so. Left, Right.
The channel balance is excellent, above 50Hz within 1 dB which is exceptional.
As can be seen the subbass is there down to 50Hz but a few dB lower than the mids.
Towards 1kHz the FR is tilted slightly upwards which gives the sound a ‘more present/clearer character as opposed to a ‘warmish’ mids as the HD650.
The 10dB dip at 2kHz lowers some sense of the ‘clarity’ and ‘edge/attack’ of certain instruments. It also prevents instruments to become ‘shouty’. The HD800 also shares this trait somewhat. A dip isn’t nearly as objectional as a peak so a dip here is no problem and doesn’t need to be compensated by EQ.
The 8kHz peak is very narrow (pointing to a resonance) and peaks 5dB above the rest.
Because it is very narrow and up high it doesn’t manifest itself as sibilance BUT it sometimes (when overtones are present in that narrow band) it gives the sound an unnatural ‘edge’ that, when removed’ will make the treble perfectly smooth and pleasant.
When you only listen to music at softer levels than the 8kHz peak isn't objectionable but in tha case a bit more bass presence couldn't hurt.
More detailed measurement results and descriptions can be found HERE