Massdrop x HIFIMAN HE4XX Measurements and Impressions

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by purr1n, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. geniekid

    geniekid Almost "Made"

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    One thing I've found after weeks of listening is that despite my general preference for the HD6XX tonally (in addition to more comfort and better resolution), I prefer the HE4XX tonally at low volumes. At low levels, the difference in resolution is negligible and the 4XX's increased presence in bass and treble are welcome. I guess this is no surprise for anyone familiar with loudness compensation.

    Worth considering if one needs headphones for listening primarily at low levels and don't have the access or desire to use EQ.
     
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  2. Outerspace Wasabi

    Outerspace Wasabi Wow, I made it this far without being a friend?

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    I've saved lots of money because of the HD650.. because when I'm looking to buy a new pair of headphones, I begin with the question--how much better is it than the 650?

    But the 4XX, I've discovered, really shines with amps that produce that super romantic, super syrupy sound; in most cases-- tube amps.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
  3. Assimilator702

    Assimilator702 Rando

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    Do you have a WIDE head? I have a very narrow head and the clamp on the HE4XX feels perfect.

    Fostex TH-X00 is a loose fit for me. Sheepskin Brainwavz pads remedy the fit slightly but it’s no where as secure as I’d prefer. It’s enough of a problem I haven’t used them at all since getting them in Feb.
     
  4. Assimilator702

    Assimilator702 Rando

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    The second person within one page that has a problem with the both HE4XX AND the HD650 clamp being too high.

    Both are PERFECT for my narrow head.

    Maybe you guys with super large head sizes should realize that most people have much more narrow heads and the headphones are made for the majority of head sizes and not the exceptions.
     
  5. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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    1. I literally said in my post that I have a big head. I was asking how to reduce the clamp, not stating it should be less by default.

    2. Alot of people think the HD650 are too tight when new.
     
  6. Lyer25

    Lyer25 Too sensitive for SBAF

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    @Assimilator702 are you seriously making fun of people over the size of their heads? Non-ironically, even? Dude, not cool.
     
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  7. ergopower

    ergopower Almost "Made"

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    HiFiMan 4XX impression vs Beyer DT880Pro vs live music

    Well here goes, first impression post

    I saw Guy Davis live last evening, so less than 12 hours removed from doing some listening this morning. He played 2 sets, guitar, banjo, harmonica; in a very small venue through a GuitarCenter-type PA system. I was 20' away, about 15 degrees off center. In the 1st set he made a number of requests to the sound guy to adjust EQ to his liking, and initially I thought his voice was somewhat strident and guitar somewhat bassy. By 2nd set, nothing to complain about.

    This morning I listened to one of his CDs (Kokomo Kidd) I bought last evening, including songs he played live. He is listed as producer and also one of the 2 mixers, so he is very involved in the sound that is on the CD.
    Chain is BluRay drive > powered USB hub > original Surface Pro/Windows Media Player > powered USB hub > Modi Multibit > Garage 1217 Solstice/12SN7

    I have done some informal back-to-back comparisons between the 2 headphones listening to some CDs, FLAC files and Amazon Prime music. I have always liked the DT880s, got them when I got tired of the bloat of ATH-M50s. Yes, some songs the treble can sound too hot, but overall I liked the tonality. Bass is the best I've heard on any headphone (limited experience), exactly what I want in terms of neutrality and extension. The 4XX are not quite as bright, bass and mids are very similar, and soundstage to me sounds somewhat wider, both are pretty shallow in depth.

    For this comparison, I first listened to a few songs on the 4XX, sounding good. Then, using songs from the CD that were just Guy, guitar & harmonica, I went back and forth. When jumping to the DT880s, it's immediately noticeable that the sound is airier. I wouldn't call it unpleasant, but the 4XX sounded to me much more like what I heard last evening. On the DT880 his voice is tipped up just a bit, a little darker on the 4XX and closer to the real thing. This is even more evident on harmonica, at the higher end the DT880 doesn't sound quite right, it's a little too bright.

    I'm pretty impressed with the 4XX; Guy's voice was really well presented, and though I don't know if he used the same guitars for the CD, the woodiness and string characteristics really sound close to what I heard live. Definitely leaning toward selling the DT880, so far I haven't found any music for which I can say they have an advantage over the 4XX except some old 60s pop/rock that have really rolled-off treble.

    FWIW
     
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  8. psuKinger

    psuKinger Acquaintance

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    My HE4XX's just came yesterday, and for a newbie such as myself, the best way to describe these would be that these are "oh, I get it now" headphones. These significantly outperform everything else I own... I'm *really* enjoying them. I have an AWESOME little weekend getaway planned with my wife this weekend, and now I'm wishing it wasn't scheduled until next weekend so I could spend a little more QT with these things... is that weird?

    P.S. I think I gotta escalate my amp purchase now, I'm pushing these things about as hard as my (lower-endish) current gear can push, and they sound eye-openingly-good compared to everything else I can side-by-side it with, but it's obvious they have more to offer... just trying to delay that next expense/purchase until at least August. My HD6XX's aren't supposed to ship until September. Originally I was planning to try to time that purchase up with their arrival, but this pleasant discovery may push me up on that...
     
  9. Forza AudioWorks

    Forza AudioWorks MOT: Forza AudioWorks

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    I'm seriously jealous. I wish I could have at least two days long break. Any hardware there is... it can wait, enjoy!
     
  10. Mystic

    Mystic Mystique's Spiritual Advisor

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    Yes.
     
  11. MF_Kitten

    MF_Kitten Banned per own request

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    The world needs more hifiman pad rolling measurements. I got sent measurements of Cascadia Impact pads on an HE-560 vs stock, and those really dip down the lower treble (think 1K-2K, plus eating the 3.5K-5K peak). Very interesting.

    I canceled my HE-560 V2 order and got some HE-4XX's for less than I should have on eBay. Now I'm thinking about these pads... I primarily want to smoothen things out so there are less bumps and peaks and less harshness in general, and better low end extension if applicable.

    What I saw in the Impact pads measurement, that they pointed out to mr as well, is that a bad coupling caused the low end to rise towards the sub lows starting at 30Hz... Hell yeah, I want THAT! so here I am thinking about how I can cause a controlled ventilation of the pad, breaking the seal in a controlled manner. This might get interesting.
     
  12. psuKinger

    psuKinger Acquaintance

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    It was great! Much needed. And so nice to just "move at our own pace" for 48 hours. No eating at 5. No hurrying home to start bathtime by 7. Hit up 3 wineries and 3 breweries. Did some clothes shopping and some people watching. And we saw Straight No Chaser (accapella Men's group) live, and they sounded great, and put on a fun show.

    And now I'm back home listening to some music on my 4XXs while I type this :).
     
  13. MF_Kitten

    MF_Kitten Banned per own request

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    Do Hifiman still glue those mounting rings onto their pads?
     
  14. Forza AudioWorks

    Forza AudioWorks MOT: Forza AudioWorks

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    Quite the break you had! How are your cans now?
     
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  15. psuKinger

    psuKinger Acquaintance

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    A lot of "fun". That's the best way I can put it. I am definitely motivated to carve out a little time with them every night/whenever possible, in between the myriad of other interests/responsibilities I have.

    I bought a pair of HiFiMan Edition S's (optional open/closed backs) for in the office, and while they're definitely comfortable, they come up way short of these 4XX's in so many other ways. They lack so much spaciousness (with the cups on, which I need for the office), and they have so much less "fun factor" down on the bottom end... and the highs on Edition S's can be a little fatiguing if I listen for a long time at a high volume.

    None of that is happening to me with the 4XX's... they get a little hot on my ears, and that is LITERALLY my only complaint. They also smoke my Sennheiser HD1's on sound quality (had been my "best headphones" before these came).

    I got an e-mail that my Fostex TR-X00's should be arriving on Friday... that should make for a fun weekend of A-B comparing... :)
     
  16. MF_Kitten

    MF_Kitten Banned per own request

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    @purr1n how much of the 2K-4K range in your measurements is a result of your rig, do you think? The 3-4K bump isn't that present in Tyll's measurement, but his also has a little bump there.
     
  17. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I'd say none because my flat plate rig does not have pinna or concha and I use no compensation curves. Note that Tyll's measurements are compensated - his raw measurements should show some influence from pinna, concha, canal, etc.
     
  18. MF_Kitten

    MF_Kitten Banned per own request

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    Ah, so your measurements are all raw dogging it? Wow, your rig does a great job at not being awful uncompensated!

    For my old rig, I took a Measurement of my speakers with just the mic alone in free air, and then I mounted it into the box/flat plate, pointed the flat plate towards the same point as the mic was pointing, did a measurement from the same position, and made a compensation for the difference. This was stacked with the mic compensation curve. This took care of the flat plate reflections that caused some lower treble bumps reflecting off the flat surface. Worked really well, and my measurements looked way closer to Tyll's stuff in general shape.
     
  19. Philimon

    Philimon Rando

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    So in that first graph the red line is stock 4XX with zmf lamksin ear pads? I think someone already asked this question but Im still in disbelief. Looks so good.

    Another question: I have HD58X on way. Is it worth trying expensive zmf pads for HE4XX or is it a waste of money because HD58X will still be better anyway?
     
  20. MF_Kitten

    MF_Kitten Banned per own request

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    Interesting! I have a pair of ZMF lambskins too...

    I kinda wanna try the Cascadia Impact pads on these, as I think they can make a more relaxed and "friendly" sound. Will have to see what happens. They seem to absorb the 3-4K harshness that solid pads usually add.
     

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