Where Hifiman is concerned, most attention is placed on their mid-to-high-end options, whether it be the HE400I, the HE560, or the luxurious HE1000. Much less attention gets devoted to the cheaper HE400S. But despite the relatively inexpensive price of $299, this headphone definitely kicks some serious ass.
Hifiman HE400S Review
Built from the finest plastic China has to offer (I think), the Hifiman HE400S features a metal suspension-style headband with vinyl padding. And while that might not sound particularly pleasant, the inclusion of velour earpads lends these headphones a premium level of comfort.
Inside the box, there is also a robust nylon-sheathed headphone cable, and a 1/4” adapter.
Frequency Response : 20Hz – 35KHz
Sensitivity : 98dB
Impedance : 22 Ohms
Weight : 350g
Cable Length : 1.5 m
Plug : 3.5mm/6.35mm
From these specs, you can glean that this headphone offers a fairly standard frequency range, slightly low volume, and a low impedance that works just fine with portable devices and computers.
The Hifiman HE400S packs quite the punch in the low end, with a deep and full sense of articulation. Bass has impact and oomph, with good control leading to minimal bleeding and an overall clear and separating sound.
In the midrange, this headphone features decent detail and accuracy. There is no real distortion, and just the slightest amount of compression – most noticeably in the vocals.
Bright yet detailed, the high end of the HE400S can appear thin at times. However, the sound never becomes too piercing or uncomfortable, and the overall impression isn’t so much on of losing tons of detail as it is skimping on the nuances.
With a great sense of placement and depth, the soundstage on the HE400S is impressive. While not as intense as the open sound of the HE400I, the overall experience is still fantastic – helped along, no doubt, by the superb dynamic range of these headphones.
The Hifiman HE400S is a budget-friendly planar-magnetic open-back headphone that punches well above its weight. With a rich, dynamic sound, the mids may be a tad bit lacking, but the pros of this headphone still outweigh any cons.
Is it the ideal headphone for you? For those who listen to rock, EDM, and hip-hop, this headphone offers a near-perfect sound with stunning detail. Even for listeners with wide-ranging tastes, the HE400S can still handle some light duty playing classical or instrumental music. However, if you are specifically a classical or acoustic listener, there may be other, better models out there.