Head-Direct HE-400 Planar Magnetic Headphones 0

Head-Direct HE-400 Planar Magnetic Headphones Review

Performance »

Closer Examination

The sample we secured was without box. The retail version of the headphones will feature a cardboard box with a plastic insert that holds the headphones. The HE-400s ship with a less extensive bundle compared to the HE-500s which is to be expected considering the price difference between the two. Worth noticing is that the new HE-400s ship with the HiFiMAN pleather ear pads per default which gives a better bass response and a slightly better rendering of the midrange.

Cable wise the HE-400s are quite well equipped for at home listening. The Canare cable used is of very good quality and the termination is really good as well, albeit using a standard no-name jack. Bundled with the headphone is also a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter.

HiFiMAN seems to be employing the time tested motto of "if it works don't change it". The HE-400s share the basic design from all of the HE-series headphones from Head-Direct HiFiMAN line of products.

The headband has been left untouched for the HE-400s. If you have a normal sized head the clamping force will be fine (your reviewer's head is 58 cm circumference). Fortunately the headband is a basic design with a steel core that can be bent into shape if you are careful not to overdo it. Padding wise it is a bit on the lean side, but it does not pose an issue due to the headphone's relatively low weight.

The HiFiMAN HE-400s employ a brand new version of their planar magnetic driver. This new driver setup is more sophisticated than that featured on the other HE-series headphones which enables HiFiMAN to mass produce and sell them at the more sober price of $400. The driver area is similar to that of the HE-500s, but the magnetic array is much smaller and a less complex design.

Compared to the HE-500 driver the ones featured in the HE-400s looks simple and crude. A few looks around inside the ear cup do reveal that a lot of thought has gone into optimizing the layout for mass production.

Pad wise the HE-400s are good, gone is the much hated tab system of the first generation pads from Head-Direct. The new pads are much more durable and much easier to install.
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