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Old 06-25-2011, 03:54 PM
pliskin pliskin is offline
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Default Hifiman HE-500LE Advice

Hello everybody! I began a search for a set of open headphones with a budget cap of around $800. Doing a great deal of searching/reading, I eventually stumbled upon a few glowing reviews for the Hifiman HE-500LE. The looked great and I figured that my decision was about made. I found myself lazily browsing DAPs this morning when I came across a review for the hifiman 801, it too was getting a glowing review from one of the same reviewers singing the praises of the HE-500LE.

My searches eventually led me here to the thread detailing how poorly the hifiman 801 measured. Now I wonder whether the HE-500's are such a great idea after all. Does hifiman produce overpriced relatively low performing gear in general or what? Anyone heard good things about the HE-500's that didn't come from someone who believes $7000 cables are necessary to really bring out a headphones "best"?

This truly is an odd hobby in that you can get so much bad advice, and sometimes its very difficult to get good information. Thankfully this forum seems to have a more level headed approach to....reality, I look forward to your replies!

Also if there is a much better solution at the $700-800 price point I'm all ears.
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Old 06-25-2011, 04:07 PM
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The DarkSide The DarkSide is offline
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I'm sorry, but anything named "hifiman" I would avoid like the plague,...especially since the DAP's are so shoddy and those who say so seem to get in trouble on another "famous" website. The people behind the company are horrid dishonest business individuals,...that should sum it up nicely.
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Old 06-25-2011, 04:31 PM
musichound musichound is offline
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What type of sound signature are you looking for? Bass heavy. the cleanest midrange possible? Without this information it would be much harder for us to recommend anything. I'm not sure if Hifiann makes over priced, over rated, under performing headphones to "complement" their inferior DAP line but I would definitely proceed with caution. I think your best bet is to visit a B&M store where you can audition phones yourself. Based on that, you'll be able to make the best decision based on your experience.
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Old 06-25-2011, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pliskin View Post
Hello everybody! I began a search for a set of open headphones with a budget cap of around $800. ... ... Also if there is a much better solution at the $700-800 price point I'm all ears.
I can't say anything about the HE-500s as I've not tried them but I have read that they are warmer and slightly less bright than the HE-6. If this is the sound quality that you're after you might want to take a serious look at the HD650s. They can be found for around half the price of the HE-500s, they're open headphones like you desire and come from a very established manufacture know for quality audio products you may have hear of, sennheiser

I can't say enough good things about them, they make me very relaxed but are still engaging. Some folks say laid back but in my opinion that can be summed up as warm sounding. They have good clarity, detail, great soundstage and separation. Their bass is deep, tight and thunderous. The midrange is warm, lush and realistic to my ears. While many say they don’t have much treble, I beg to differ - it sounds silky, smooth and does extend well. All that and being extremely comfortable to wear makes these IMHO a top contender.
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Last edited by WalkGood; 06-25-2011 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 06-25-2011, 05:59 PM
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I agree with Walkgood exactly about the HD 650's. I wouldn't avoid the HiFiMAN just because of name though, I haven't read anything but good things about the HE-500.
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Old 06-25-2011, 06:18 PM
pliskin pliskin is offline
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Thanks for the replies guys!

As far as sound/signature, I don't really know, or at least I don't know if I can properly put it into words. I currently have a set of ultrasone proline 2500's, which were my first set of head phones(and I dig em). Detail and accuracy are things I really enjoy, I like to hear all the little nuances. Tight, controlled, accurate bass is also something I find important.

I definitely have had my eyes on the senn hd650's.
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Old 06-26-2011, 02:27 PM
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I was going to suggest trying out a set of sennheiser can's, so you hit the nail on the head. Try 'em out, I really don't think you'll regret your purchase at all.
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pliskin View Post
Thanks for the replies guys!
Detail and accuracy are things I really enjoy, I like to hear all the little nuances. Tight, controlled, accurate bass is also something I find important.
The Ultrasones you have are very well regarded amongst headphone enthusiasts, if you are very happy with them, why not consider the current top Proline model, the open-back Pro 2900?

As alternatives, you can think about the previous flagships ie. Beyerdynamic DT990, AKG K701 and Sennheiser HD650. They all have different sound signatures but are all considered brilliant cans (with the AKG getting the most mixed reviews). You could also look at more esoteric brands such as Maestro.

Also, what kind of source will you be using? Some of these hi-end cans need a dedicated headphone amp.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:50 PM
pliskin pliskin is offline
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Yeah I also head my eye on the Pro 2900's but I didn't know if they would be that much better than my 2500's. My source will be a nuforce HDP, so I should be fine amp-wise. Thanks for the reply!
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