Hifiman HE400s vs HE400i
Which one should you get?
Planar magnetics!! That’s a phrase I will use once or twice throughout this review. So be sure to look it up, so you know what I’m talking about at the time. So you’re an audiophile, or you’re looking to get your pal who is a birthday present?
Let’s say that by the time you finish reading this, you’ll be well aware of everything that these music lovers will be saying. Until you understand what headphones can do for you. You’ll never understand the hype that’s out there for a single headset.
In truth, we both know that people are always looking for the next best thing. So when it comes to headphones you know that people are looking to but the best set that is available at the time. Not because they want to look cool or anything, but listening to good music goes a long way.
Physically speaking, both the Hifiman HE400i and Hifiman HE400S have almost similar looks. The only differences you’ll notice are if you actually carry them. Then you’ll notice a slight difference in weight and maybe the look.
Then most importantly, both of them are open planar headphones with magnetic drives. This improved sound quality. Also the open back which might be weird but actually keeps a but of air circulating and getting to your ears. Keeping them rather cool.
Sound quality and performance
As I already stated before both pairs are open-back headphones. This feature has a slight effect on sound quality. This just means all the outside sounds would be quite audible to you even when you are listening to something and likewise the people around you will be able to listen to what you’ll be playing.
The Hifiman HE400i has pretty good and decent bass to its sound. It might not have the necessary rumble that people who love heavy bass may want. Mostly because the bass guitars and kick drums aren’t as pronounced as you’d want them to be.
The same doesn’t go for the Hifiman HE400S. For this set, the kick drums sound refined and the bass guitars don’t sound as subtle nor as muddy at all. However, for this set, when in midrange the sound changes and that’s when it starts to sound really good.
When we look at the treble performance for both sets. The treble performance of the Hifiman HE400i is overemphasized a little but that is not noticeable. What might actually be of concern is the high shrill vocals or cymbals. It makes them seem as if they are louder than they actually should be.
However, when you are working with the Hifiman He400s you will realise that the presence is truly well defined and well detailed. The shrill audios cut through the mix well and don’t dominate the overall sound at all. Making the song sound great and well balanced.
Earpads and comfort
Another difference that you may want to note is in the earpads and the comfort that each pair provides. Though both pairs have somewhat relatable comfort, the HIFiman he400i earpads are made of soft and plush pleather while the He400s has a velour material that can be quite a nuisance if it attracts lint.
What could be better
At this point, the question of what could be better certainly makes things a whole lot different. I would go with the he400s. The sound quality is obviously better that means my reason for getting headphones is clearly satisfied.
At the same time the he400i are more comfortable because they are lighter and the ear padding is rather comforting and supportive. That means longer hours of some good music without any issues or problems. Most headsets start to make the ears ache.
In short, I’m just going to say that I would highly recommend the he400s. Good music always brings a good vibe. You won’t feel much of a disappointment. However, if you hate the ache that occurs after a while then the he400i would make the better option. Just make sure you understand what you are letting go of.