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A Full-size Planar Magnetic Headphone Intended for High Performance Listening in the Home or Studio

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HIFIMAN HE400i Over Ear Planar Magnetic Headphone

Customer Reviews

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Excellent headphones at a fair price point for this quality level Review by Timothy F. Halloran
These are extraordinary headphones and are at a price point where I feel they are worthy of the investment if you are looking in the $200-$500 range. I have a few favorite tracks to evaluate sound in combination with my Aune T1 tube amp/dac, and in most cases these easily provided the best all around listening experience I have had when compared to my other headphones. I have several sets including Beyerdynamics DT770Pro, Sennheisers (HD598) and several mid level IEM's.

The two most evident strengths to me were in vocal clarity/intimacy and instrument separation. Regarding vocals, on Norah Jones "Don't Know Why" there is a warmth and liquidity that envelops the listener to the point that it is difficult to remember you are trying to listen critically. There was a more deliberate softness to her tone that I hadn't noticed to that degree before. On the "One" cover by Aimee Mann from the Magnolia soundtrack, her vocals and the soundstage came through so naturally that it felt that I was in the room a few feet away as she recorded the track.

Regarding instrument separation and clarity, I found that no matter how layered a track was, each instrument track could easily be heard independently and across a wide soundstage. It is like sitting a few rows away from a band where the trumpet player is 6 feet to the left, the cellist is 3 feet to the left, drummer slightly left of center, vocalist is center stage, etc. Tracks I listened to for soundstage and separation included Opeth "Hessian Peel", Bobby Gentry "Fancy", Stevie Wonder "Sir Duke" and Yello "La Habanera".

One criticism I had read that concerned me was limited bass, especially in comparison to the retired HE-400. I have not listened to the HE-400 but I can say resolutely that I love the bass in that it is well presented and deep without bleeding into or coloring the rest of the song. On Porcupine Tree's "Blackest Eyes" the bass kicks in strong without excluding other instrumentation. Even on tracks with extreme bass like Flaming Lips "Yoshimi" or "Bombtrack" by Rage it doesn't impact the soundstage or bleed into the vocals or mid range guitar.

Regarding comfort, I did find the fit a bit tight and warm, but have only used for a few days.I suspect it will get more comfortable as the padding is good and the velour edges are nice when you first put them on. The seal is excellent, and placement on the ear is not a major factor in the sound.

One final note, as these are magnetic headphones, they do not require a powerful headphone amp. My Aune T1 is a great match and I can barely push it above 25-30% without it getting into Metallica concert territory.

In summary, a great investment. (Posted on 3/25/15)
Truly a step up for planar magnetics. Review by Master C
First off, I am a big fan of planar magnetic headphones in general for their incredible detail separation and quickness. I have tried older Hifiman headphones like the HE-500 and HE-400 which are awesome cans but they are just too heavy and uncomfortable for long listening sessions. These new lighter HE-400i cans are a monumental leap in terms of comfort. Once I put them on, I felt their physical presence vanishing and the music just became front and center. Like other reviewers mentioned, its sound signature is mid-centric leaning slightly toward the warm side. This is a big departure from the older HE-400 which emphasizes the low and top end of the frequency spectrum. The HE-400i emphasizes the middle frequencies more which means vocals sound closer and more detailed. I especially dig the way it handles female voices...crisp, lusicous, no sibilance whatsoever. The bass is punchy and tight...if you are looking for slam, this headphone is not for you. The bass feels natural, not "boosted". Soundstage leaves a little bit to be desired but that is in no way a detriment to your listening pleasure. This is only obvious when listening to orchestral music and live concert recordings. I believe there is a mod for this (removing/replacing the grill) that will give you more "air"...just search audiophile forums for it. I highly recommend these cans if you want a planar magnetic headphones that are light, comfortable and handle all genres of music fantastically well. Oh, another thing...the chrome black/purple paint job is gorgeous. (Posted on 3/25/15)
They are so good I was delighted to hear a variety of instruments ... Review by Sam Yaksich
I agree with every positive review on these headphones. They are so good I was delighted to hear a variety of instruments that I never heard as crisply on my $170 Audio-Technica headphones. Listening to the late 60's album "Day of Future Passed" was a revelation. On my Audio-Technica headphones, the combination of symphony and rock came across as muddied and dense. But the sound opened up with a very pleasing crispness with the Hifiman HE-400i's, and the bass was very pleasing to me as it was very pronounced but not overbearing. Bottom line? These phones are well built, great sounding, comfortable, and nicely packaged in a luxurious padded storage box. (Posted on 3/25/15)

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