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Head-Direct HiFiMAN HE-500 Headphones

Frederik S

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#1
Headphone producer Head-Direct seems unstoppable when it comes to releasing new orthodynamic based headphones. The newest arrival is named HE-500 and slots in between the HE-5LEs and the HE-6s. New for the HE-500s is a special driver setup that allows for much higher efficiency.

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#2
Soundstage wise the orthodynamic are at a disadvantage, one of the downside of the driver design itself. I found them still better than the LCD2 in that area. The worst thing about the LCD2 is the way they sounds totally boxed in with lack of air, soundstage is small but with decent accuracy, slightly congested though. Other than soundstage and the lack of "air", overall performance of the LCD2 is impressive, I wonder if you are going to review them. If you don't mind the lack of air and slightly bassy signature, you are in for a treat. Unfortunately I am not one of them, Audio Technicas limiteds and STAX for me.

I found the EF1 with HEs and LCD is less than optimal, a high power SS amp like a B22 is far more impressive sounding than running off the EF1. However, I found the EF1 and D7000 pair pretty nice.
 

STCNE

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#3
Someone should make an ortho with angled drivers, that would be able to help on the soundstage front. Of course I'm no engineer there probably is a reason they aren't already doing that. I love the E.A.R. technology Senn uses in the 500 series, I just wish they had angled drivers on more exciting phones.
 
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#4
The LCD2's driver and (maybe, couldn't remember) the HE series is angled by the pads. Where the LCD2 for sure have pads thicker at the back and thinner at the front.
 

Frederik S

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#5
The HE-series headphones feature flat pads unlike the LCD-2s. The HE-500s do not need an insane amplifier to sound their best unlike the HE-6s which clip and sound odd out of a normal headphone amplifier.

The LCD-2s are according to others just as power hungry as the HE-6s.
 
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#6
The HE-series headphones feature flat pads unlike the LCD-2s. The HE-500s do not need an insane amplifier to sound their best unlike the HE-6s which clip and sound odd out of a normal headphone amplifier.

The LCD-2s are according to others just as power hungry as the HE-6s.
That is 100% false, LCD2 ran off portable amp and receiver headphone outs fine. Yep, portable amps. Where the HE-6 can clip many desktop amps.
 

Frederik S

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#7
That is 100% false, LCD2 ran off portable amp and receiver headphone outs fine. Yep, portable amps. Where the HE-6 can clip many desktop amps.
Just read a mixed up review at head-fi which led me to believe that it was power limited, but after reading replies it was not a power limitation, but definition which improved with bigger/better amplifiers.

From Audeze site they claim 91 dB / 1 mW which is high.