Hifiman HE400i

Hifiman HE400i
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All units in stock have the new for 2016 2.5mm connectors on each earcup. The Hifiman HE400i replaced the HE400 in 2014 and feature Hifiman's new lightweight design,  soft Focus earpads & comfortable headband for a great fit, long wearing comfort and a minimum of heat. These are a glossy dark grey/black finish that is very subtle and smart looking. They include a short woven cable, 1.5m, with an L shaped 3.5mm plug. Packaging is first class, in an impressive vinyl covered clamshell case (the best way for us to remove the headphones was to tip over the case and remove the headphones along with the top of the foam packing). 

These are clearly easier to power than the HE560 and sound excellent! The HE400i provide many of the strengths of Hifiman's pricier planar magnetic headphones, at a more affordable sub $1000 price - great clarity and separation of instruments and vocals, clear treble without sibilance and tight, deep, powerful bass response from the large, fast drivers. There is a clear, black background during quiet points / between instruments that good planars excel at providing. 

To connect with a DAC, check out our iFi micro iDSD. The portable Peachtree Shift also sounds excellent with the HE400i and connects with computers, android and is an IOS approved compatible apple dac.

From Hifiman: 

HIFIMAN HE-400i is a full-size planar magnetic headphone intended for high performance listening in the home or studio. The HE-400i is 30% lighter than comparable headphones allowing the listener to comfortably enjoy music for hours on end with minimal listener fatigue. 

Along with the lighter weight, a newly-designed headband with an improved pressure pattern is a key to the phone’s best-in-class comfort. The FocusPad, new beveled hybrid ear pads made of pleather and velour, provide both increased comfort and improved sound quality. The gloss ear cups are finished in a smoky gray, Mylar finish that gives the HE-400i a striking contemporary look. 


  • Frequency Response: 20Hz - 35kHz
  • Impedance: 35 Ohms
  • Sensitivity: 93dB/W
  • Weight: 370 grams
  • Includes 1.5m cable and 1/4" adaptor
  • 1 year warranty to original purchaser 



Blew my Mind!

Written by Ahmad Taychouri on 23rd Jan 2017

Was questionable about spending even more money on headphones as I have already spent quite a lot, and was quite satisfied with my Beyerdynamic DT990 @ 600ohms. I read into the HIFI MAN he400i as soon as the sales hit, and i was satisfied to read from reviewers that the he400i are a great upgrade from the DT990! I still couldn't believe it as it was just text so i ordered them! Damn... from the moment i heard the first song play on these cans i was stunned. The sound is amazing, i let them break in for 3 days, and you can definitely hear and feel the difference after the break in period. They need no warm up time what so ever, the DT990's need a good 3-5 minutes to warm up and give you a nice sound, but i found that the he400i, are good to go right when you start playing the sounds to it. Very comfortable cans, very good build quality, highly recommended for music and gamers! Been using them for both applications and find them Flawless! Only Con is the short cable that it comes with, does not allow me to stray from my desk! But its a 3.5mm plug into the cans so I can easily replace those! Thank you HiFiMan and Headphone Bar!!!!

HE400 - Top of the Mid-fi

Written by Michael on 23rd Sep 2012

Well, I've had these for roughly more than a month now, approximately +200 listening hours. So for the burn-in fanatics (I'm not one of them), they should have nothing to complain about. To start off, I tried these with the Schitt Lyr/Bifrost rig and the Asgard/Bifrost rig in store, as well as the Fiio E17 and JDSLabs C421. I was immediately struck speechless, and knew that these would be the ones to replace the previous HD580/K701 duo (The HD580s are in pretty nad shape, and the K701s have been given away now). I visited the store fairly often to try these, waiting for the velour pads to come in as well. Eventually, I couldn't take it much longer, and got them with the pleather pads anyways. The velours eventually came in, so I guess the total listening time was split 50/50 with each pair of pads. Pads DO make a noticeable change in sound. They came in a rather ordinary box, accessories were rather sparse as well, a 1/4 inch adapter, the cables, a small card, and a velvet pouch to hold them in. Not the best presentation in terms of packaging, but it's the headphones that count. The headphones themselves are standard Hifiman fare. Except the cups are more notably plasticky. Not a big deal, as the headphones feel quite substantial. They are still quite a bit better than similarly priced offerings in terms of amount of plastic used. The color is a dark Prussian?(I think that's what somebody described it as) blue, it looks a bit gaudy under bad lighting, but usually they look pretty dark and stunning. I was going to paint them red for shock effect, but quickly decided against that after I started to appreciate the understated elegance of the blue. It looks hand-made, although I know for a fact that unlike the HE500s and above, these are factory-produced. I don't really see a design weakness, proof that the HE series design should stand the test of time. Weight is distributed rather evenly, as opposed to the LCD-2s which feel lighter at first, but later on the pressure on specific parts of the ear can get annoying as the cups are angled. Not with the HE400. The HE400s embrace your head in a very sturdy, reliable way. They won't fall from head-bobbing to metal. And yet they are probably the lightest orthos that I have graced onto my rather average sized head. Those who don't get used to the fit will after time. The HD6xxs seem to clamp more, and in combination with the plush velour pads, the ears get sweaty after a while. Never the case with the HE400s. After a few weeks, I could have them on for 5+ hours sessions, and not a bead of sweat would appear. The pleather pads are very good looking, good comfort as well. They are the hotter of the two pads though, so best that they be used during cold weather. The velours are a bit more stiff, which means that it distances the cups further away from the ear. Comfort is on par with the pleathers, but one problem is that they attract lint like no tomorrow. And the worst part is that once you manage to clean them off, they get just as linty the next day. These velours aren't as good as say, Beyer velours, which are probably the best I've ever worn in terms of comfort. The pad locking system, which is basically four tabs that clip into the inside, is said to be better than the previous incarnation, but it still takes a good 5 minutes or so to get them in place. The trick is to push the first two tabs in, then bend the plastic back, so that the remaining tabs pull backwards, push them down and pull outwards until you hear a click, all while holding the first two tabs down so they don't get pulled out again. I much prefer the AKGs pad system, so I'll refrain from changing pads too often. I stuck with the velours, as they tweak the sound signature more to my liking. Once I got them home, I plugged them into my home rig, the Benchmark DAC1. I also tried them with my Fiio E10, which powers them very impressively. Sure they scale up with the DAC1, but the E10 gives them a solid enough amount of power to the point where I tend to use this pairing more, as it is much more convenient. These are pretty easy to power, not as efficient as the D2000 or Grados, but better than the HD6xxs/LCD2 and on par with the K701. I don't care for the tube sound, so no impressions on that front. Quite honestly, 100-200mW into 32ohms should be enough power for these. Let's start out with the bass. This was the first thing I noticed when listening to them for the first time. These may very well have the nicest bass of any headphone under $500. Ridiculously clean, extension goes down to the 30Hz area, maybe even lower. I want to emphasize the sheer clarity that comes with the cleanliness. These sound linear, fast-hitting with texture and detail up the wazoo. One of the most impressive feats is the impact, which actually sounds better and cleaner than my LCD2s (I'll go into comparisons later). No real emphasis in any region, which makes these some of the most leveled bass in this tier. The D2000s, which I got the chance to hear recently, while not for too long, is the only thing that might come close. It matches par to par on impact, but loses out slightly on everything else. They do sound a bit cleaner though, and I'm very impressed with that. The D5000s would probably manage to be equal with the HE400s (not in quantity, the HE400s from what I hear should have less) in terms of bass, and I hope they do, because it would be disappointing if nothing in the price range can come close to it. I have to disclose that I am not a basshead, my personal reference point for normal levels of bass has been the K701s for a while, which is laughable. But these are probably more flat and linear. Every person that I have had listen to them has been left impressed by the bass, with no exception. These are probably not for bassheads, but rather a reference point for which bass should start. These are planar dynamic headphones, which are known for their midrange, and indeed, they impress with their smoothness, not to mention their coherency, cohesiveness, and clarity (the 3 C's). But rather, I feel that they are to me, planar mids done properly. Their big brother the HE500, and distant cousin from another continent the LCD2s, seem to have more forward mids that can sound too lush, warm, and gooey. While the higher-end planars have a blacker background than the HE-400s, it almost doesn't matter, because the overly lush sound can sound congested and less clean. Not to rip on the LCD-2s, I even happen to have a pair, but this part is where I prefer the HE-400s in terms of sound signature. Moving on to the upper-midrange and lower treble, where the HE-400s get a bit peculiar. This is also where the pads begin making their impact on the sound. With the pleathers, they sound fairly dark and recessed, more so than the HD650 or the LCD-2. I had to EQ the 2k and 4.5k area up by 3-4db to make them listenable. With the velours, they become more neutral, and I only need a bump of 1-2db to boost energy and perceived clarity (really personal preference, they sound fine unEQed). There is mild sparkle while moving up into the treble, and the detail and extension is rather breath-taking. It never seems overdone, and is what make them seem dark yet bright at the same time. Sort of what I imagine the HE-6s treble would be without the peaks and a broad de-emphasis of 2-3db. Shelving them down 1-2db down can also make it more neutral, although most people seem to lack hearing in those regions, so it makes little difference. I have to stress that while I tend to EQ, it is not an indication that these require EQ, and that they have some massive faults frequency-wise. I've yet to hear a headphone sound absolutely neutral, which accounts for my use of EQ. Maybe the Stax SR-009, or some customs would come closer, and I hope to get those sometime soon. Separation is phenomenally balanced, and not overdone like the K701. The presentation as a whole is enveloping, almost speaker-like. Size isn't too large, sort of like my HD580s. Very nice presentation, and extremely inoffensive. Not much to say about this. VS LCD-2: These are my most expensive headphones as of this moment, and the HE400 manages to steal more head-time from these. Part of this is in due to the fact that I can plug these into the E10 and carry them to the sofa, on my bed, or even to the library with no problem. The other is because I find these to be leaner sounding, with dynamics more suitable for movies and medium to higher-level listening (I am an extremely quiet listener though, medium-level is around 65-75db, 80-85db is absolute maximum, anything above is when I start to get nauseous, I've even puked from after listening at this level for more than a few minutes). The LCD-2s have better texturing, detail, and extension in the bass, but the HE400 are cleaner, and have tighter impact. So on that front, they are pretty even to me (a unpopular opinion to some). The midrange on the LCD-2 is better overall, but again, the HE400s are leaner sounding, and don't really lose out on much. I would be hesitant to call the midrange $500 better. The lower treble on both is on par in terms of quantity when the HE400s have velour pads, the HE400s have more treble everywhere else. The LCD-2s treble is slightly more refined (as in flatter), but can be a bit dark. In fact, in combination with the slightly narrower but deeper soundstage,the whole presentation can be a bit suffocating with lack of power, which is why I love them with the DAC1. The transparency is boggling, and probably the cleanest LCD-2 rig I've heard (Mjolnir comes close to being my favourite with its authority and dynamics that match the DAC1). I enjoy the LCD-2 for long-term, focused and quiet listening, which can be relaxing after a long day. The HE400 have been relegated to everything else: movies, bedside listening, transportable listening. The HE400s are also more impressive when people want to demo your gear, as they tend to sound nicer with average auditioning volumes. I don't see the LCD2 as that much better than the HE400, there might be a slight technical edge in terms of midrange, but that should warranty a $200 increase, not any more. VS HE500: I happen to like the HE400s more. Technically, they are very similar, but the HE500 handily beats it in terms of treble - the HE500's treble is probably one of the most balanced and detailed. It is much more neutral than the HE400s in this area, and I wish they would transplant the treble to HE-6, that would make the perfect pair of headphones for me (A HE-600, if you will). Bass-wise though the HE500s feel rather congested and slow, and apart from texture, the HE400s beat in every way. I hear people say they are more nuanced and refined in the bass, but I just don't hear it, rather I think the HE400s are technically better. Midrange-wise, they are just a bit too forward for me, even more so than the LCD-2. They are much too lush, despite sounding beautiful and more detailed. But they do sound stunning, and I would place both as even since I prefer the leaner HE400. Overall, two different approaches, but relatively in the same family sound, perhaps more so than with any other Hifiman. I would chose either or based on preference. VS HD650/580: I heard the HD650 side by side in store, and they sound fairly similar. The HD650 can be more cohesive, but the HE400s are more dynamic, have better separation, a leaner sound with less midbass and more extension throughout. The HD650s might be more inoffensive to some (not to say the HE400s are offensive, far from it). I have had the HD580s for 4-5 years however, so I can compare the two a bit better. The HD580s have perhaps the least offensive sound I've heard thus far, with even less darkness and midbass. Both perform stunning, and you can't go wrong with either. VS K701: Had them together for a few days before I gave them to a friend. A bit too different to compare, but let's try anyways. Apart from the obvious lack of subbass, the K701s sound leaner overall. Quantity-wise, aside from much less upper-midrange and lower-treble from the HE400s, they can be somewhat simliar, although the presentation is much more lighter on the K701. Everything seems spaced out further than on the HE400. While I like that for gaming and movies, it's not that appealing for some music. The Q701s I tried in store seems much better suited for music, I might look into that as a companion to the HE400. While people like the K701 for classical, I think the HE400s have much better timbre for classical. VS sr325is: I love going to Headphone Bar to listen to these babies. Ridiculously fun sound. Sometimes I feel that the HE400 can match the aggressiveness of the Grados for certain rock songs. But that's probably the only thing similar between the two. Radically different approaches, shouldn't even bother comparing the two. The PS500s should have competed in terms of performance as well, but I sort of didn't like them as much as the sr325is. VS HD700/SRH1840: I lumped these two together because, while I didn't get too much time with them, I felt that they both had singular flaws that disappointed, especially the HD700. I felt that it was a less endearing HD800 that performed less, actually closer to the HD6xx line. But that wouldn't be too bad except for the fact that it actually had more treble than the HD800, which really hurt my ears later on. I had them on for a few minutes, took them off, and while going back to the HD650, found that my ears were still ringing from before. And did I mention it was $900? Which is too bad, since performance-wise, it plays on the level of HE400/HE500s. The bass has pretty good tightness, clarity, and impact, it can match the HE400, but with less extension, texture, and authority. The midrange has great clarity as well, on par with the HE400s. But again, the treble is too much for me. Maybe for some of the older listeners with higher-frequency hearing loss, it'd be a bit better. I also found it to have added sibliance at times. The SRH1840, I feel that I never got a proper fit with them. They are hard to adjust to your head, compared to other headphones which slide as you ever so slighty pull them down. I have all the symptoms of improper fit: anemic bass with lack of direction anywhere, and a forward yet hollowy, resonant midrange. I want to try the SRH1840s again, as they still had nice balance, and in terms of looks, I rather like them. Conclusion: The HE400s came to me at a time where I was just coming back to full-sized headphones. After messing around for a while, I feel a new intrigue for mid-fi stuff. But I feel that the HE400 will probably stay with me for the rest of the journey, along with the HD580 and LCD-2. Until I get enough funds for a future HE600 (god, I wish that'd come out already), a 4-channel Beta22, and a UM Miracle. I'll be pretty much satisfied for long, long time.

best value for under 500

Written by Sean on 31st Jul 2012

this is a dark headphone and it has a really tight bass. the bass slam is just fabulous(the bass slam is even harder than he500) it also has sweet mid range which darker headphones dont usually has at this price range. for treble its a bit harsh but you can adjust the hi eq a bit to solve the problem. the he400 can be used without an amp but to get the best from it pair a high power amp with it. (Asgard or lyr). I listen mostly to house, trance and hardstyle and he400 sounds amazing to me.

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