Massdrop x HIFIMAN HE4XX Measurements and Impressions

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

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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  2. Outerspace Wasabi

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

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    I think I'm gonna have to pass on these because my 650s are telling me "nah."

    But I do hope someone gets me these for Christmas...
     
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  3. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Any way to get before/after measurements on the same rig?

    Thanks for all this btw, I know we all appreciate it

    Edit: oops, asked and answered. My bad.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
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  4. jayeshrc

    jayeshrc Resident Crash Test Dummy

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    You didnt see the tattoo in my entry?
     
  5. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    Ha, you added that later. Now you're losing points. Moist should go on the front door, not the back.
     
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  6. The Alchemist

    The Alchemist MOT: Schiit - Here to help!

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    @Bill-P - what pads do you recommend for the HE4XX? Dekoni Beyer pads?
     
  7. brencho

    brencho Loves pumping iron (Moderator)

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    Good move. The 650 is the headphone that keeps on giving and scales so well with future upgrades. Something to look forward to. But these could make for a nice Code-X lite for the office or something one day. Sounds like it's already there according to @Bill-P

    You're welcome to stop by tomorrow when @Bill-P gets here and check them out if you can. i know times are busy now though.
     
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  8. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    Yeah, if you don't want to go through a bunch of things, just swap Focus Pads A on them and be done. Focus Pads A are a bit darker than Focus Pads.

    Bass extension is decent. I'm not noticing much loss in movie trailers. Actually, it sounds quite nice with movie trailers. This:



    ...was sharp and sibilant as eff at stock. It's mildly sharp with my 580, even... unless I'm on Crack. HE-4XX doesn't have much issue with it playing out of a MacBook. It's somewhat more efficient/sensitive than T50RP. But I feel like MacBook is accentuating the peak. My AK120 doesn't do that but the AK120 sounds... mushier in comparison.

    Well, ask and thou shalt receive, I guess. I had coffee so I'm feeling a bit less lazy now. Might as well post some. :)

    -----------------------------

    MEASUREMENTS of the mentioned mods, but please do note:

    1. My measurement rig has my own "compensations"... meaning the "flat line" curve is tailored to my own tastes. In general, it tends to accentuate >4KHz compared to other measurements in some special cases. (read: >4KHz on my rig is +3dB or more compared to other rigs)

    2. My measurement is not an exact science and might well be non-sensical so please just think of it as non-sensical. This is not an objective measurement.

    3. I'm only posting this as a visual representation of my own impressions, not as a yard stick.

    4. Everything is relative, there is no "correct" or "precise" or "accurate." Even if something looks ruler flat on my rig, it could sound horrible.

    5. Bass below 120Hz is highly suspect because I have troubles getting seal right so... just outright ignore <120Hz please.

    With that said...

    Bone stock:
    [​IMG]

    Stock with Focus Pads A:
    [​IMG]

    With all of the changes I mentioned (new pads, take out filter cloth in the rear, shelf-liner in front)
    [​IMG]

    W/ Dekoni mod vs bone stock:
    [​IMG]

    Brief subjective impressions:
    Stock: good-ish tonal balance. Slightly sharp sounding. Actually tonally good except for the occasional sibilant/splashy sound that annoys me.
    W/ Focus Pads A: much less sharp sounding. Basically neutral. Still sibilant but much less so than stock.
    Dekoni: not as warm, somewhat less bass punch but overall more relaxed sounding, much less sibilant, almost non-existent (can still occur if the track itself is sibilant). Just a bit more laid-back than my reference, but is otherwise quite nice. Closer to my 580 than it is to 650.

    So my conclusion is that pads change a lot. There are other nicer pads too but I only have these complete pairs (meaning I have only one of each of the other pads... or maybe I need to dig into boxes this weekend to find the other one's of the pairs...), so I only listened to and measured these.

    I prefer Dekoni the most just because it's the easiest one to listen to. Focus Pads A is nice as well, and I suspect will actually have much less sibilance as well with shelf-liner applied but seriously... I'm just too lazy to try more combinations now.

    :bow:

    And there, I'm done with my shilling session. Make yo choice, guys. As for me, since I just realized the drop won't be shipped until December, and I won't be home to pick it up by then, I'll just wait 'til the next drop.
     
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  9. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    Bastardos tossing around "Code-X" after listening to @Bill-P Code-X at the SBAF meet making my mouse hover over the buy button.
     
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  10. brencho

    brencho Loves pumping iron (Moderator)

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    @Bill-P wow that looks great man, awesome job and super simple mods which is great! it looks slightly less downward sloping than my Code-X (although yours is a bit more neutral than mine, plus i dunno how that 8-10k htz spot sounds like on the HE4XX vs. your or my code-x)
     
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  11. brencho

    brencho Loves pumping iron (Moderator)

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    do it and you'll save a good bit of money on it vs. the Code-X :p keep the change you filthy animal.
     
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  12. The Alchemist

    The Alchemist MOT: Schiit - Here to help!

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  13. Solduios

    Solduios Rando

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    I owned a pair of Hifiman 400i and one the best pads I found for that is the Shure 1540 pads. After the pad swap more detail much less dark more neutral sounding.

    https://www.amazon.com/Shure-HPAEC1540-Replacement-Alcantara-Headphones/dp/B00HXAV0UY

    Give it a shot!!!
     
  14. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    Note: still not as nice as Code-X because us owners want to be in an exclusive club like that! :p

    Haha, it "looks great" but how it sounds is another matter entirely, right? ;)

    Honestly, I think this is awesome for total around $200 (Dekoni pads are like $39 IIRC). But it's still mid-fi IMO. Not gonna match Code-X, HE-6, etc... hell, I think it's barely there versus HE-500 but... you can get this to sound nice with only 3 steps worth of mod so there's that. The other ones require a ton more work!

    I have these:
    https://www.amazon.com/Dekoni-Audio-Memory-Replacement-Beyerdynamic/dp/B019QXEZHK/

    They have sheepskin?? Damn, that looks luxurious. But $59 tho... I'm a cheap arse! I still use Koss Porta Pro. :D

    Oh cool. Thanks! Let's see if Prime can get them to my doors fast enough.
     
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  15. brencho

    brencho Loves pumping iron (Moderator)

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    Yeah I mean, there are so many tonally fucked headphones in the world it's good that a low price but tonally pleasing headphone exists. But to echo others a 650 for cheap and then slowly upgrading amps will be a great upgrade path.

    This here feels more like a super value office phone off a cheap schiit stack or a primary phone for someone not wanting to go uh balls deep etc etc
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
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  16. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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  17. The Alchemist

    The Alchemist MOT: Schiit - Here to help!

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    @gixxerwimp is correct the Massdrop does state "Comfort is king for the HE4XX, which features HIFIMAN’s Focus-A hybrid ear pads"
     
  18. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    I think maybe it's a mixup. The Focus Pads A don't really "look" that different from regular Focus Pads unless you stare really closely at the seams to see the perforations (I have just developed a habit of doing that, also note camera angle and distance in my photos). So maybe someone at HiFiMAN while packaging these mistook the two pads. It's possible.

    That's also why I provided Focus Pads A measurements and impressions. The A pads will "fix" the other issues of the regular Focus Pads, and then you can either choose to mod or not. Either way, the headphone already sounds good/great at stock even with Focus Pads. Just a bit sharp-ish, but not as raspy/grating as HE-560 going from my memory. I just prefer for there to be a bit less sibilance.

    Basically, whichever pads come with them, they're already good enough. It's just a matter of tastes/preferences past that. Even my mod is a preference thing.
     
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  19. The Alchemist

    The Alchemist MOT: Schiit - Here to help!

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    Well there should be plenty of time to do measurements and mods for the HE4xx since they aren't being shipped until mid-December
     
  20. DrForBin

    DrForBin Friend

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    hello,

    so...entry level planar, this or HE400S?
     

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