Head-Direct's venture into orthodynamic headphone drivers has proven to stir things up in the audiophile scene. Shortly after the initial launch of the wooden HE-5 headphones, Head-Direct announced that they would make an LE version with plastic cups and slightly altered drivers. The change to plastic cups was due to the fact that the wooden cups had a tendency to crack after being exposed to changes in humidity and temperature. Luckily the sound should not be much affected by this due to the fact that it is an open back design.
The HE-5LEs are based around a tweaked version of the driver first featured in the HE-5s. This new driver should be a little more efficient, at least theoretically, and have a more linear frequency response. As always Head-Direct markets these headphones towards the audiophile crowd, and these headphones even come terminated with a 4-pin balanced connector (just like the old AKG K1000s, same termination and pin out). The HE-5LEs are extremely power hungry headphones, like all orthodynamic headphones they require lots of current to sound well.
Now this could be a major turnoff for some, but given the fact that these high-end headphones only cost $699 you still have a hell of a lot of cash left over to spend on source and amplifier before you have spent as much cash as a single set of Sennheiser HD800s cost you. So in that sense these headphones are a bargain, if they provide similar performance.
- Planar Magnetic driver (orthodynamic)
- Sensitivity: 87.5 db / mW
- Impedance: 38
- Weight: 402 g, without cable