The HiFiman HE-400 planar magnetic headphones, also known as orthodynamic, are an alternative to the usual dynamic drivers which the audio industry has mainly chosen all these years.The reason for its small popularity is due to their high cost and technical difficulties involved. Thanks to its extensive experience with this type of transducer, HifiMAN has succeeded in manufacturing headphones that make the best out of this technology (speed, clarity, powerful sound …) at a fair price, focusing them into general use especially where pop, rock, techno and powerful music stand out.
The HiFiman HE-400 is a headset that fits into the group of “dynamic”, “fun” or “rock”, therefore it is not a headset that neither provides a flat curve response nor is focused on monitoring recordings, but slightly enhances the bass and offers a response that the brand believes is engaging. By no means are designed as a headset in V or leave behind the medium frequencies, yet they keep, for example, good voices and excellent guitars. Treble is high enough to provide good clarity but not too high, thus you should not be worried about roughness. HifiMAN wanted a headphone which differ clearly from its well-known headphones models HiFiman HE-500 or HiFiman HE-6. These are much more balanced, accurate and audiophiles. With the HiFiman HE-400 HifiMAN have sought for a headphone suitable for all ages, easy-listening, that those high-end models.
In a way, the HiFiman HE-400 planar magnetic headphones have some reminiscences to Grado sound but without being so focused on rock. The sound is pretty strong, the bass have punch, medium frequencies have a warm touch and treble is relatively sweet without being considered cut out.
On the amplification side, it is not a headphone difficult to drive, however it is not easy to drive from an iPod as indicated in the brochure. With the high-ens audio players mp3 iBasso DX80 or FiiO X3 II is fully enjoyable and provides good sound and volume, but certainly still has room for more power if you feed him better. From a headphones amplifier such as JDSLabs O2 sounds faster and with more body.
Comfort is also quite good, we personally prefer the velour pads, although the leather pads, which come by default, are not excessively hot. They are not light, same as any other orthodinamic (another reason why this technology is less widespread), but get straight into your head and are not very heavy. The overall construction is quite good, being extremely solid and with a high perceived quality. The only downside might be the cable, which despite being a good quality Canare is somehow stiff and the minijack is not the best we have seen. In any case this is easy and fairly inexpensive to fix on the after-market.
In summary, with its HiFiman HE-400, HifiMAN vision gets away from HIFI/balanced/purist and enters into a growing market well exploided by headphones such as Fidelio X1. A funny sound for most genres, with good punch and very spectacular, but also with a plus of accuracy and detail for those seeking fun listening without compromising sound quality.