HiFiMan HE1000 V2 headphones
The HiFiMan HE1000 V2 headphones are the 2nd version of HiFiMan's first planar magnetic headphone developed using nanometer grade material.
"The HE1000 has been one of my top reference headphones since its introduction in the Fall of 2015,"— Drew Baird, P.E., President of Moon Audio
- Style: Open Back
- Driver type: Planar Magnetic
- Impedance:35+/-3 Ohms
- Sensitivity: 90 dB
- Frequency response: 8Hz-65KHz
- Weight: 420g
Otherwise, perfect sound, like the Sennheiser hd800. Again, you get what you pay for.
So I returned it and bought basically the opposite: the HD-800. Sennheiser's reference (Orpheus notwithstanding) headphones fit very comfortably and can be worn for hours. The treble and mid-range production is stellar, but it cannot capture anything close to real, live pulsing bass. I'm talking Jaco, Phil Lesh, Bootsy Collins permeating-every-fiber-of-your-being electric bass.
Which leads me to the HE-1000. It's pretty damn spectacular and checks every box without ceding any negative ground to gain positive yards elsewhere. It undoubtedly has the most vibrant and life-like soundstage I've ever heard. I'm a Deadhead born in the wrong generation and I've realized that these cans will be the closest thing I'll ever have to a portal circa 1977. The bass is, needless to say, superior to the HD800, yet never over-pronounced or indulgent. It's controlled and perfectly amalgamated in the mix. I do not recommend these cans to bassheads of the electric sort, because as full and animated as the production can be, it's not the visceral type that permeates and caresses the flesh (such as the type one would find in the LCD series). But please don't misunderstand. I wasn't looking for bass-driven headphones - I was seeking an ethereal mixture of all frequencies to create a beautiful and dynamic sound and that's what I got with the HE-1000.
As aforementioned, the soundstage for these cans is outstanding. Listen to any studio recording and the sonic verisimilitude is such that you feel like you're sitting in the middle of the band as they record. Acoustic guitar, double-bass, mandolin, snare drum, and cymbals are especially life-like.
But the big test for headphones this advanced is the reproduction of live music. I started listening to Verdi's Requiem and felt like I was on stage sitting next to Georg Solti while he conducted the Vienna Philharmonic. The detail was so sublime, I started getting shivers down my back. I'm a huge funk and jazz fusion fan and have started to re-devour live offerings from P-Funk to The Motet, Mahavishnu Orchestra to Miles Davis. I'm almost giddy with how robust each instrument is in the mix. And for all the jamband fans out there (like myself), you will have a field day with GD, Phish, Cheese, Panic, and any other live show that was well-recorded and, of course, offered in lossless format (save any and all mp3s for lesser vessels).
Right now, I'm using the HE-1000 with a Ragnarok (amp) and Gungnir (DAC), so I could not tell you how well it pairs with a tube amp. But I'm looking forward to finding the best tube amp to maximize the sonic pulchritude and dynamic engineering that makes these cans an investment that has already paid, and will continue to pay, dividends far surpassing the initial price tag. Three grand is a lot of money, but aural bliss is priceless.
With the speed and clarity of electrostatics but the gentler treble and deep bass of planar magnetics, the HE-1000s are a relative bargain.