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
Upgrading the HE1000 Headphones
The HiFiMan HE1000 V2 headphones are the 2nd version of HiFiMan's first planar magnetic headphone developed using nanometer grade material. It includes an advanced asymmetrical magnetic circuit which included over 7 years of research and design into the ground-breaking design that approaches perfect sound quality. Fasten your seat belts for a reference headphone with a huge soundstage, lifelike details, and ultra transparency including the most luxurious product ever offered by Fang Bian of HeadDirect.
World’s First Diaphragm in Nanometer Thickness
The HE1000 V2 uses planar magnetic technology to create sound. Unlike conventional dynamic drivers, HiFiMan planar headphones utilize a very thin film in proximity to a magnet to create sound that is detailed and lifelike with outstanding clarity. Generally, the thinner the film means lower mass, yielding faster response and lower distortion which in turn are key elements that create natural sound reproduction. In the HE1000 V2, the film used is so thin, it is a diaphragm in nanometer thickness which is a breakthrough core technology developed by HiFiMan and first of its kind in headphone application. To give you an idea how thin the film is, if you were to view it from the side, it would be invisible to the naked eye. Working with this advanced material is extremely challenging yet the successful incorporation of this film as the HE1000 V2’s planar driver is the cornerstone of its remarkable sound.
Patented “Window Shade” System
Created to meet the need for driver protection, the HE1000 V2 utilizes an “Open Back” design for best possible sound. The patented “Window Shade” is precisely structured to gain greater openness in the headphone design. It keeps the sound waves from a second refraction to avoid unwanted vibration and distortion, resulting in a wider soundstage, outstanding imaging, and remarkable clarity. Aesthetically, the “Window Shade” also provides a unique, high-tech look to HE1000 V2.
Advanced Asymmetrical Magnetic Circuit
Seven years of painstaking research on this groundbreaking design has produced a near-perfect reproduction of live music. It took the HiFiMan team that long to obtain the optimum balance between high driver efficiency and high sound quality. The innovative design of the double-sided, asymmetrical magnetic circuit is the perfect marriage of the Diaphragm in Nanometer thickness and its magnetic partner. The result is Planar Magic.
Ergonomic and comfortable, the headband designed for greater reliability and durability. The original HE1000 V2 headband is the result of clever industrial design. The HE1000 V2 has an improved headband that will accommodate a wider range of head sizes while applying correct pressure evenly. The metal headband structure is created via CNC milling and hand polishing. To adjust the headband, simply move each ear cup up or down until the top of the headband rests comfortably on your head and the ear cups surround your ears.
The Cables and Channel Orientation
HE1000 V2 is supplied with a newly upgraded cable made of a further refined conductor (higher grade crystalline copper and crystalline silver) with improved stronger structure. The new cable delivers better sound quality with wider frequency range and lower signal loss. The cables are user-replaceable and have channel orientation for left and right. An “L” and “R” are indicated inside the headband. Once the cable is installed with correct channel orientation, an easy way to tell left and right is the cable is connected toward the front of the ear cup. The cable will drape on the user’s chest for greater comfort.
The HE1000 V2 package includes three different types of plugs: mini 6.35mm (¼”), 3.5mm and 4-pin XLR connector so it can be used with a wide array of equipment. The plugs are easy to switch and quickly connected to different cables and amplifiers.
The Ear Pads
The newly updated HE1000 V2 ear pads have been specially re-designed to become thicker with an asymmetrical shape that follows the form of the ear cups. The pads are beveled so that they contour the shape of your head for superb comfort and extended listening. The premium ear pads also have a new surface that makes contact with the head. This material had been changed from Velour to Polyester to increase sound transparency. The surrounding pleather material has not been altered.
The Ear Cups
The updated ear cups are trimmed down in size, reducing weight and increasing comfort. The HE1000 V2’s ear cup measures 11mm in thickness and the original version is 14mm. The new look is slimmer and sleeker.
Meticulously crafted and quality-checked by hand, each HE1000 V2 is assured to be perfect. Each one of HiFiMan’s HE1000 V2 headphones is assembled and repeatedly quality-checked by hand throughout the entire manufacturing process. To meet the critical standard set out by HiFiMan, the surface finishing is handled and refined by meticulous craftsmen. With its unique design, exceptional function and exquisite craftsmanship, the HE1000 V2 is an ultimate luxury item that will redefine the audio landscape.
The weight of the HE1000 V2 has been reduced to 14.8oz (420g), 12.5% less of the original HE1000’s 16.9oz (480g).
Traditional grill with restrictive openings tends to reflect sound waves, causing audible distortion.
Blinds grill reduces sound reflection to gain wider sound stage. Amazing reproduction with an excellent sound resolution provides greater analytical and detailed sound signature like no other.
- 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.