HiFiMAN ships the HE-6s in a big beefy travelling case with a lot of padding inside.
The box works well for storage and protects well against unforeseen events when being shipped.
Along with the HE-6 headphones you get a lot of nifty stuff. You get a four pin balanced to single ended adapter and a spare set of connectors that lets you create your own DIY cable. Like we saw with Ultrasone headphones you also get a spare ear pad which is nice.
The latest version of the high end copper cable from HiFiMAN is incredibly well built. It is made from OCC copper which is basically single strand 9N pure copper. It is thin and quite soft which means that it handles microphonic noise quite well.
Because of the headphone's low sensitivity a powerful amplifier is required and preferably a balanced one. Head-Direct have created a small speaker tap adapter that allows you to power the HE-6s from a speaker amplifier. The speaker adapter is an optional accessory that will sell for $99 which is totally reasonable considering the unit's potential.
Unlike the Head-Direct HiFiMAN HE-5LEs which we reviewed here
a while ago the new HE-6s feature sleek glossy black ear cups. These are more sensitive to scratches and will catch fingerprints midair from half a mile away, but they do look awfully pretty.
The headband on the HiFiMAN HE-6s is quite nice and uncomplicated. The headband is well padded and even though the headphones weigh in just north of 500 grams they are comfortable to wear for long periods. Clamping force is pleasant on my medium sized 58 head.
Just like we saw on the HE-5LEs the adjustment mechanism has plenty of extension.
The ear pads are made from velour which is soft and lets the tissue breath.
One of the things that impressed me with the HE-6s was how well the stock cable is constructed. The standard termination is four pin balanced XLR with AKG type pin layout. Head-Direct includes a balanced to single ended 1/4" adapter of a similar high quality.
The cable is user replaceable and uses a smart coaxial type connector. New for the HE-6s is the over molded cable ends which improve durability considerably, especially with thin wires like the ones the stock cable is made of.
There is a reason why hifi-headphones are expensive, the Head-Direct HiFiMAN HE-6s use a planar magnetic driver where the tracings on the diaphragm are made from pure gold. Gold is a good choice for such an application mechanically speaking since it is very ductile material and highly conductive. An added benefit is its impeccable corrosion resistance.
HE Speaker Adapter
The adapter is pretty small and it looks quite unobtrusive. On the front you have a four pin balanced exit.
The back of the adapter features two sets of speaker taps.
The taps accept both banana type plugs, regular cable, and of course spades.
The four pin balanced XLR of the HE-6s fits well, but does not always actuate the "Push" release button.