Friday, May 16, 2014

HE 4 Revist [Now with MODS]

To start with, I've owned my Hifiman HE 4 for a few months now, and I've just recently heavily modified mine! The positives is all these mods don't do anything for the sound, but rather improve the looks comfort and usability of the headphone. 

That said though, many of you may remember the Frequency response graphs I posted a few months back,

That Top Green line is the basic frequency response, or objective measurement of how the HE 4 sounds! 

Well seeing as the HE 4 is my new standard, I won't be doing any comparisons here, rather simply commenting on what I enjoy about it! Let's put some words to describe what the data shows! 

Amplification Needed and Recommended Sadly, the HE 4 is not an easy headphone to drive at an impedance of 38 ohms and an efficiency of 86DB. It responds well to a powerful amp. I drive them with about 5wpc at home and about 2wpc on the go. 

For me the HE 4 is the best of both my dynaW1000x and my LA D2k and it cost about 3/4 as both... even better all of this from a completely STOCK headphone! 

So for those of you looking for a very balanced headphone, the Hifiman HE 4 takes the cake. I suggest it to users with a semi powerful amp. At least 2wpc leaves you some nice head room, Additionally, the leaner dry sound of the HE 4 would pair wonderfully with those of you who enjoy tubes. Lastly, for the newer audiophiles this is certainly a headphone to get while you can, as the headphone sounds good with lower powered sources, but it really scales well with higher end gear! 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Battle of the Modded Wood Backs [Plus a Look at how I write Reviews]

Featured here is my desktop as I write my reviews, on the right is FooBar 2000, with the 7 songs I use to test each song. I don't use eq during any testing which is why as you may noticed the eq tick box is unchecked, in addition it's nice to have the spectral graphs running to help me identify the particulars of each song and headphone,  aside from that is just the folder layout for fooBar 2000. I like the editor that's in Blooger, but I do make copies from these articles to word documents I keep offline as well. 

So in conclusion with a total score of 4 in favor of the dynaW1000x, I'm going to keep them both

The LA D2k-  Has an overall balanced sound, slightly withdrawn but full bodied central and lower mids, with a very powerful and taught Sub and Mid bass, with a smooth top end and slightly aggressive upper mids. The overall tone is very clean, but with a touch of warmth due the some what forward bass and full bodied nature of the mids. The sound stage has great width and average depth and instrument separation.

Where as the dynaW1000x- also has a balanced sound, with much more forward and intimate mids, but an overall drier sound. Bass has good attack, but a little light bodied. The mids tones are more organic or sweet sounding, but also more aggressive with a lot less decay. The sound stage is a touch narrow, but is vastly deep and very well separated.