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HiFIMAN HE4XX Planar Magnetic Headphones US$135.25 (~A$184) Delivered @ Drop.com (Ships ~Dec 4th)

220

Really good price. I ordered before the price drop, cancelled and put it back in.
After looking through numerous reviews, this sounds like (pun intended) the go to entry level planar magnetic headphone.
HE400i is $20 usd more, but from what I gather people the HE4XX is favoured over it.
Lots of reviewers were "meh" with the HE5XX, but seemed to like the Sundara if we are talking about the next step up.

EDIT: expected to ship December 4th

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This is part of Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals for 2020

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  • Any sale on Sundara?

    • Yeah the hifiman site has them for 300usd open box, bought mine a few months ago and love it.

    • Could have been had for $420 through yesterday's cashback stacks on Amazon, likewise the wired Deva for $250.

      There's still 10% via ZipPay and 5% via CashRewards, stacking to a flat 15%.

      Current prices on Amazon are as follows, before cashback:

      Sundara $539
      Deva $331
      HE-400i 2020 Edition $279

      For everyone else reading this, I'd probably opt for the HE-400i 2020 over the 4XX, though that obviously would have been a better deal yesterday.

      There's also the HE-5XX to consider from Drop at USD $215 with a fresh account.

  • Worth using over 6xx?

    • You probably need both tbh

    • You'd want to be more focused on the HIFIMAN Sundara if you want more soundstage, better imaging and bass & treble extension and details at the slight expense of the mid range performance, or the AKG K371 if you want an affordable complimentary closed back.

      In fact it's probably harsh to say the 6XX lacks treble detail, but it feels definitely does have less energy up there.

      Aside from that, you might find yourself moving out of mid-fi unless you have specific sound signatures in mind.

      But if you haven't invested in a decent amp for the 6XX yet, that might be the more pressing purchase. Maybe audition the Sundara, the HE400i 2020 Edition and the the Deva before making any moves.

      • I have ae-5 as I use them on PC. It's get pretty loud it's roughly 100mW at 300ohm. I've ordered the sm200 and will see how it goes. I actually like lower trebble, I'm quite sensitive to it. I was considering closed back as there can be alot of noise in the house but open back sounds so much better.

        • For closed backs, the AKG K371 and the Audeze Penrose are probably as good as it gets this side of $1000, and the high end stuff is always going to be a timbre battle against open backs.

          Moving up into the high-end the best things to audition would probably be the HIFIMAN Ananda, the Focal Clear or Utopia, the Sennheiser HD 800S, and the HEDDPhone (which you can get a variant of far cheaper from Taobao in the form of the GoldPlanar GL850, though it's also available from other sources for 50% more than the Chinese asking price).

      • i’ve kept eyes on the K371 price since your post but it has actully gone up recently…
        Now tempting the r70x as all our faviourite cans are either no stock(hd6xx) or no discount(k371/k702) or still on the way(he400i 2020 from taobao)… But is r70x worth the $100 more than 6xx? should we even consider hd560s? Appreciated!

        • Yeah I've been waiting for them to head towards $150 because they're almost always on Amazon UK for £90ish, but someone is playing around with the numbers for Australia despite the AKG K361 always coming in at $135 when it's listed at £75.

          R70X is something you should probably get into a store and compare against a HD 650 to get an idea. The AU restock date on the HD 6XX has been bumped to April, so if you're buying for Black Friday, the HD6XX and the R70X are basically the same price, maybe $20-$30 difference once you factor in GST and freight forwarding.

          The R70X loses a tiny bit in the mids and with detail retrieval, but brings the bass back in and fixes the imaging. They're also much lighter. I would say the HD 6XX winds up scaling better but the R70X shows the most early benefits from a decent amp (though you're probably not chasing any expensive amp purchase).

          So the R70X offers a broader use case and is more gamer-friendly, and there is a back and forth argument up and down the internet about which headphone ultimately does the signature and styling better. The R70X was definitely made as both a tribute to, styling of, and competitor to the HD 650/6XX.

          HD 560S is not my cup of tea, but it is an improvement on the 500 series line up and a worth contender for gaming.

      • Any suggestions on a decent amp?
        I just managed to get some Fostex T50RP's (2 sets for $72 each) and have done some baffle work and added Shure 1540 ear pads. Currently using a Schiit Magni 3+ to power them and Sound Blaster E5 for DAC.

        Interested to see what other amps are out there that have decent power output, as the T50RP's are pretty power hungry and am pretty sure the Magni 3+ is only outputting around 1.3wrms @ 50ohm.

        • Oof… Magni 3+ would have been my suggestion! They should be plenty powerful for those, so I'd be double checking the wiring to confirm everything's holding up ok.

          DAC might need an upgrade though for clarity, but what issues are you experiencing in terms of volume or dynamics?

          • @jasswolf: Magni 3+ does power them quite well, but its always 3/4 volume or above so wasn't sure how sustainable that may be.
            Wiring seems to be fine, this is my first headphone amp away from the E5's capabilities so wasn't sure if there would be much quality increase driving the T50RP's closer to their rated 3w which is why I thought I'd look at other options too. I will definately invest in some better audio cables though.

            I was going to look at stacking with the Modi as DAC. But already have a Sound Blasterx G6 on the way from current sales as my E5 had huge battery swell. Have fixed it temporarily by removing the batterty and replacing with with a cheap powerbank li-ion battery + resistor to bypass the thermister check to get it to work.
            Would I get much more out of a different DAC than the G6? I am considering looking at other DAC/AMP options but figured I may as well try the G6 first as its already on its way.

            Everything mostly sounds great, still trying to remove a little bit of the brightness up top as the volume increases. Bass doesn't seem to be overly active at lower volume levels, only when approaching 3/4 volume. Decided to keep the second set of T50RP's standard so I can reference against them as I mod the initial set to make sure anything I do is improving sound not destroying it.

            • @AmperSand: The G6 should be fine.

              The T50RPs will always require you to dial things up a fair bit, they're notorious for that. Don't stress about dialling up an amp, it is what it is what it is, and the T50RP are built for that. As long as they're wired up ok, the issue lies in how the amp distorts at high power, if at all, and the Magni 3+ is no drama there.

              • @jasswolf: Oh nice.
                I'm used to my speaker amps and generally don't drive them that high. Magni 3+ does seem like a great starting point then.
                The T50RP's can go up louder than is comfortable on the Magni 3+ before distortion enters the equation.

                Thanks for the advice, I might just sit on what I have currently then and enjoy, probably not going to be noticably different enough to warrant upgrading amps then.

        • Topping A50 just for amp or D50 for amp + DAC combo both are give really good bang for buck

    • I prefer my 4xx (modded with a diy grille) over my 6xx but may not have the amp to run the 6xx. I have an E30/L30 stack. I EQ because neither sounds good without it and use oratory1990 settings as a starting point. 4xx sounds clearer to me, lower and harder bass, more spacious, less thick and congested, less annoying mids-top, I enjoy the 4xx more and can listen longer with them. Pretty disappointed I haven't liked the 6xx with any of my budget gear (ifi zen dac, extrempro dongle, L30- all gear that some other reviewers say will run them satisfactorily ) and will not spend any more money on headphone gear. The 6xx is like my A Love Supreme; everyone says how great it is so I whip it out every now and then for my education, say 'Yuk' and chuck it back in the box.

      • I concur - running my HE4XX from a Topping DX3Pro (same DAC as E30, probably similar-ish amp section to the L30)

        I do find the 6XX more comfortable (lighter), but the HE4XX are better for most of the music I listen to.

    • Anything is better than 6xx… just my $0.02.

  • So the shipping date on these has slipped out to 30 Dec. I think that will slip again. Might be time to chase something else.