1,256-word post, approx. 7 min. read
- 2/23/20. Added Video Shootout and updates to the 400 series as a whole.
Hey there friend, and Welcome aboard!!
Small Disclaimer before we get into things: HiFiMan has been having ongoing quality control issues for quite some time now, mostly with the cable connection. My video shootout goes into much depth about my overall impressions of the big 4, including Drop’s HE-4XX, the original 400i, the 400S, and the Sundara. It should also be noted that Audio Advice (a store I frequent to demo these models) has stopped carrying HiFiMan products due to said issues. Your mileage may vary. More in the video below!
Also, all of my final impressions of the big 4 can be found here in the HiFiMan 400 Series Shootout!
Hello there friend and Welcome aboard!!
Before we get into the HIFIMAN HE400i Review, grab a snack, sit back and relax because…
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this review
- Video Review
- Amp/DAC requirements
- Who these headphones benefit?
- Final Word
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!
- Type: Planar Magnetic.
- Fit: Circumaural.
- Impedance: 35 Ohm. What is Headphone Impedance?
- Sensitivity: 93dB.
- Sound Output: Stereo.
- Frequency Response: 20Hz-35kHz.
- Material: ABS Plastic, Polymer.
- Weight: 370g.
- Inputs Supported: 3.5mm, 1/4″.
- Cable Length: 1.5m.
- Additional Features: Detachable Cable.
The HIFIMAN HE400i’s are quite a strange animal. Comfort-wise, they’re excellent, although the pads will flatten out over time. Build quality is also very rugged and sturdy, and I love the rotating ear cups. The design of the headband is similar to that of the AKG line. It’s a sort of hammock for your head homie! It really works well. The ear-pads are also just a tad small, I agree with Z reviews; I wish they were a little bigger and more oval-shaped. It’s kind of nitpicking though.
Sound-wise is where it gets interesting for me. I love the crisp attention to detail that these cans provide, and unlike the Audeze LCD-3, I don’t feel like it’s laborious or exhausting. There’s enough clarity to really make you stop and analyze the music in a pleasant way.
What really stood out to me was the Timbre of the instruments. What is Timbre? It’s like I discovered this newfound appreciation for how an instrument or a band is truly supposed to sound. Here’s the best way I can describe what I experienced:
- Crisp detail, clarity. Extremely accurate sound representation.
- Great mid-range. Extremely intimate and realistic.
- Phenomenal instrument separation and precision.
- Great Timbre.
- Articulate bass, but not overdone like your mom’s meatloaf.
- Good Soundstage. It’s not going to blow you away though. Like the HD 600’s, you will occasionally pause the song to make sure no one’s in your house. Lol. What is Soundstage?
- Nice packaging.
- Smooth, well-extended treble with a bit of sparkle.
- They can get a tad sibilant at times. What does Sibilant mean?
Here I compiled all of my impressions of the big 4 since 2017!
Click to see the 400i!
Technically these will sound pretty good out of a phone given the low impedance and the fact that they don’t need a lot of power to perform optimally. However, their Sensitivity is also a bit low, meaning you’re limited on how loud they can get without an amp. What is Headphone Impedance?
I would plan to invest in an amp to get these to sound their best. I’m using the Oppo HA-2 at the moment, but I’ve also tested these with the Schiit Magni 2 as well. How to Choose A Headphone Amp!
Who these headphones benefit?
These headphones will sound good with almost any genre. I find them to be fantastic with Rock predominantly.
- New Age
- Rock (Classic & Modern)
Intimate and warm, while still somehow retaining a sense of articulation, detail, and clarity. Crystal clear sounding mid-range that can be very revealing at times. Comfortable and durable. Nice bass extension and a treble that sparkles. Can be sibilant at times.
I really love the HE400i’s as a warmer alternative to an HD 600. If you’d rather kick back and relax with your tunes, the 400i is the way to go.
If you’re into a snappier, livelier sound more conducive to mixing/mastering, the 600 is the solution.
Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this HIFIMAN HE400i review.
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!
Are you likely to purchase the 400i? What about the HD600? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…
All the best and God bless,