Well, I obtained the unit from a purchase by Mr Adre, thanks for letting me try this unit. HE-400 is a Planar Magnetic driver headphone with a high efficiency, as stated in their site ( google: Planar Magnetic, site: http://hifiman.com/).
What can i say.. nothing special actually that is really worth mentioning. It's all the basic essentials, which is a cloth pouch and a 3.5-6.5 adapter.
The HiFiMan HE-400 is built very solid and I can expect it to take a beating and survive well. Still, the shiny surfaces might get scratches, if cosmetic outlook is what concerns. The cable is using canare L-4E5AT, which I have no idea on technicality, but I only know canare cables are not bad, and is durable without much drag weight. Something that concerns me is the screw on type of plug to both side of the headphone driver.
|Screw on type input jacks|
What I worry is down the years, the screw on might get loose due to frequent friction, but still it locks on better than other 3.5mm input without lock mechanisms.
Driving the HE-400
Actually, it might sound scary when it comes ot planar magnetic, as people might think it need a super amp to drive it. Well, good news, even the simplistic Objective 2 amp can drive it nicely without any much fuss, and leave more power to go with. If you have some headphone amp that drives 250 ohm, you are good to go.
I really like how the treble is clean and is very solid. Cymbals can be heard clearly and not missing any beats. Crystality is how i can describe it. No doubt that the treble overall is mixing in "near perfection".
Mid / Vocals
Vocals wise is quite forward, it places the singer quite near to us (in feeling). The mid range separation is also doing real good in a sense that it separates the background singers and the main singer into 2 positions.
Bass is quite short and accurate. I can hear the tonality of the bass guitar and still not fill / overpower other instruments. This is definitely not a bass heavy headphone, instead is for those who appreciate quality over volume, cause this headphone has quite some quality bass without over mass.
One word, wide. It is very entertaining to listen to the HE-400 when the music involves positioning of four ways, front-back-left-right. Echoes can travel quite some distance before it gets killed. It is rather relaxing to listen to slow paced music or some country music with it. Hard rock / Metal... well, not so much. Live musics is very entertaining to listen with and recommended to use with.
SpeedSpeed and attack is where the HE-400 is not good in. In speedy songs, it couldn't catch up on some of the pace, bass gets slow slightly and you can somehow hear it delay that so slightly at times but still obvious.
If you have a bag of cash, but not that fully loaded, the mid range HE-400 can be a good option, depending on your music taste. This is more for the slow pacers instead of hard beats or speed monsters.Either way, this is my first recommended gear to go with, and as always, test everything. leave nothing behind.