Head-Direct HiFiMAN HE-5LE 12

Head-Direct HiFiMAN HE-5LE Review

Closer Examination »


Usually boxes are about as interesting as listening to a vuvuzela concert, but the HE-5LE's box is actually very nice. Made from wood, with a velvet inner this box looks the business. Considering that it is also highly padded it will provide a safe home for your $699 headphones while not in use.

Head-Direct's massive success is due to the fact that they do not try to be anything they are not. Keeping that in mind the HE-5LE special features and design are exactly what you would expect. As a little nerd-delight, the cable is terminated into 4-pin XLR and then you get the choice of using the 4-pin to 1/4" jack adapter. And as if this is not enough choice for most listeners you get more coaxial plugs so that you can make your own cable!

Build wise the HE-5LEs are great, they have a real solid feel to them, and the cable is very well made. The only thing that feels slightly wobbly is the size adjuster housings.

The jacks used are made by Neutrik, which produce some of the best plugs in the world, if not the best. Everything about the HE-5LEs just exudes quality, I cannot put a finger on any aspect that feels cheap. As a service to customers Head-Direct offers a silver plated cable (SPC) free of charge, you only have to pay the shipping costs. This is great because it allows the user to alter the sound somewhat. The default oxygen free copper (OFC) cable sounds great, but users might want something that colors the sound to a lesser extent and this is where the SPC type cable comes into play, the performance of the cables will be discussed later on in the review's performance section.
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