Trade-offs between technical flow

  HIFIMAN is best at their flat-diaphragm headsets. No matter how picky the players, regardless of their preferences, they all admit this objective fact. Because of this, the HE1000 series is HIFIMAN’s masterpiece, and each generation represents the highest level of its flat diaphragm earphones. It can even be said that Dr. Bian Fang’s obsession with technology has even reached the point of “ignoring market strategy”. He is often used to using the best technology of the corresponding period on new models, completely ignoring “will it hurt himself.” Market layout of same-line products”. However, as a flagship product, the previous generations of the HE1000 series (including those derived from the technology tree) are too expensive. Indeed, it is not the product’s fault that the product is too expensive. The fault is that we are poor (laughs), but can we not pursue it if we are poor? Hahahaha. HIFIMAN’s answer is: HE400 series models. If you start the book from scratch, the history of HIFIMAN’s affordable HE400 series models will start from a few years ago, and that would be a long story. In fact, from the feedback of players in the circle in recent years, whether it is the original HE400, or the HE400i and the slightly lower-positioned HE400s, although the listening styles are different, they all have their own fans, and the overall reputation is good. It can even be said that the HE400 series has made a huge contribution to the overall market of HIFIMAN. But even so, today this HE400se, which is priced at five to six hundred yuan, still makes us quite happy, and even a little worried. The reason for the anxiety lies in the fact that in order to maintain the blood and soul of the HE400 series and provide such a low entry threshold, is HIFIMAN’s move a good move or a risky move?
  Burden is artisan spirit choice
  with respect to the prior HE400i HE400s or double head support beam structure (metal head beam with the first beam pad cortex), HE400se the first beam using a pull-beam single new design, the main purpose is three One: weight loss, reduce wearing pressure, strengthen ventilation. In fact, for a flat-diaphragm headset of less than 400g, the necessity of dual supporting head beams is not great. A single beam is sufficient to cope with it, and it can achieve a more natural wearing beauty in the outdoor “sweeping” state. Too conspicuous.
  Of course, in fact, the weight of HE400i and HE400s is not much different from HE400se, but their dual support head beams are very compressive. HIFIMAN also realizes that this choice is good if it is used to fix HE1000 series models or derivatives. , But for the HE400 series, it is a bit of a slasher.
  In the shell design of the earphone unit, the new coating process provides a better color and texture, and the durability of the mechanical joints has also been better strengthened. In terms of ear cups, the classic mesh design must naturally be continued. Under this premise, the ear cups and ear cup brackets are in silver color, with the black bracket interface (plastic material) to prevent the metal surface and edges from appearing Too sharp and dazzling, so that “low-key is beautiful” can be achieved. The earmuffs with leather velvet stitching return to the style of HE400i, which is different from the full leather earmuffs of HE400s and is more comfortable. On the whole, HIFIMAN handles the subtleties of the HE400se more delicately, and does not feel that this is a model less than one thousand yuan. Obviously, for this relatively mature design, every adjustment and improvement is very difficult, few but effective, and much more difficult than random “addition”.
  Like the previous HE400 series models, the HE400se also adopts the left and right channel two-wire rewirable solution, which increases the playability and durability, and we very much agree. The standard 3.5mm jack is located at the bottom of the ear cup. We can also choose a headphone cable with a balanced plug to experience the advantages of a fully balanced structure drive. However, because the price is there, the original wiring material of the HE400se is average, and it cannot be compared with the HE400i and HE400s.
  In short, in the overall appearance and style, HE400se has a clear distinction between generations and inheritance, but it has completed many adjustments in details. These adjustments are full of craftsmanship, and they require maximum practicality and aesthetics under the premise of reasonable cost control.
  Core competitiveness cannot be
  HIFIMAN’s flat-diaphragm earphones generally have the same appearance design style. The reason why they have been widely recognized and appreciated in these years, its nano-diaphragm technology is a very key factor. Although the price is very affordable, the use of NEO ultra-nano diaphragm allows HE400se to get the essence of blood inheritance from the “soul”.
  We have talked about the flat diaphragm for countless times, so I won’t spend much time here, just pick a few important points. First of all, based on cost and positioning considerations, the flat-panel drive unit of HE400se certainly cannot be compared with the high-end models of HIFIMAN, but the texture elements are still retained. Secondly, the frequency response width is covered from 20Hz to 20kHz, and the tolerance is well balanced. After all, this is an all-round headset that focuses on “daily commuting”. It needs to cater for a wider range of use needs, and does not emphasize the “monitoring level”. Demanding.” Finally, easy to drive is an important thing, after all, the front end of the audio source used by its users most of the time is a mobile phone.
  The resistance of 25Ω and the sensitivity of 91dB/mW are objectively speaking, this is a very easy indicator. Moreover, the price of HE400se is not designed to make people burn too much equipment kits. From the actual experience, the mainstream mobile phones on the market (more than one thousand models are enough) can provide the HE400se with a strong enough playback volume under the 70% to 80% volume setting. If we match certain models equipped with independent audio decoding chips, such as vivo X50 Pro, then the potential of HE400se can be further tapped. In other words, a separate amp is not necessary. HE400se is a music weapon prepared by HIFIMAN for most mobile phone users, and the texture style of this full-size flat-panel headset is completely different from earplugs. Of course, if you want to use it with a standalone amp, there is nothing wrong.
  Must still talk about sound quality
  Now is the time to talk about sound quality. This is what we are most interested in for a model less than one thousand yuan like the HE400se. In the past, we always said that for player-level models, if your front-end equipment is of average quality, just a mobile phone or a low-end player, the word ease of promotion is very important. If the pushability is not good and there is no good front-end preparation, the sound presented by the headset is very wasteful. Obviously, the effect that HIFIMAN wants to create for HE400se is “use whatever you want, you can push anything”.
  For the front end of the audio source, we chose an Android flagship phone that was just released, but did not specifically emphasize what additional audio decoder chip it is equipped with. As a comparison, we continue to use the “Ancient Artifact” HM-901S as the front end, which is also a reference. The audition repertoire includes popular male voices, female voices, rock music, small string music, and large-scale symphony. It basically covers most of the daily music types. You can test headphones and players for high frequency (high part of the sound) and low frequency (low part of the sound) Such as drums), human voice, analysis (the ability to restore sound, equivalent to the resolution of the image), sound field (spatial sense of sound) and positioning, separation (different sound mixing degree, the higher the separation, the better the performance level , Otherwise, the worse) and other main properties.

  On Android phones, the sound of HE400se is slightly warmer, with average transparency, and the overall sound is relatively stable, but it feels darker (it is the softer but not letting go). In the mobile phone, we play the APP (QQ music) low frequency a little bit more, the atmosphere is not bad, but the overall is still soft, the density is low, the texture, dive and rebound speed still have room for further release . The vocal distance is a little behind, the sound is less grainy, and the smoothness is good. The male voice performs better than the female voice, and both are a bit thicker. The sound field is not bad in the horizontal direction and not obvious in the vertical direction. At this price, the sound field and separation performance are good, but as a full-size earphone, we can have higher requirements.
  With the promotion of HM-901S, the sound continues to maintain the advantage of warm sound, the degree of transparency is slightly improved, and the overall density is much higher. In other words, although HE400se is very easy to push, but with the support of extra gain, the sound is obviously opened up a lot. The amount of low frequency is similar to that of using a mobile phone, the texture and dive are better, and the overall is firmer, but it doesn’t have the soft feeling before (too much, and slightly greasy). The vocal distance is still relatively behind, the density is higher, the image is clearer, and the feeling of looseness before is improved a lot. The male voice should be younger than before, and the female voice should be more beautiful. The resolution and separation of the sound field have been improved as usual, and the analytical performance is average, and the performance of the sound field and separation can be scored high. The most important thing is that the high frequency is thicker, and the brightness intensity extension has been slightly improved.
  Let’s talk about the playback of classical music separately here. This is where many people discuss the HE400 model the most. I don’t know how the HE400se performs. We all know that for classical music, the tricky way is to try to make a string group of a few hundred hertz to two or three kilohertz, and the sound will be slightly thicker when it is popular. Many brands (such as Sennheiser) practice higher impedance so that the voice coil is heavier and thicker when playing mid and low frequencies, but requires high amp matching. And HIFIMAN’s approach to the HE400 series is to increase the sensitivity, the sensitivity is improved, the high and low frequency space is more, and the sound performance will be better.
  Previously, HE400i needed to be driven by more than 100mw (headphone amplifier or walkman) under 32Ω, and HE400s only needed 20mw (mobile phone). Now HE400se also emphasizes this feature (but the resistance of se is still slightly greater than s). Relatively speaking, Sennheiser’s HD600 or HD650 has much higher demand for amps than HE400s and today’s protagonist HE400se.
  Therefore, HE400se is a machine with good playability and ease of use, and everything is its job. You know, its target group is ordinary music lovers. Although it is not too small to have earphones less than one thousand yuan, it is worth trying something with a “leapfrog core”. Low-key but rich in connotation, except for not compromising to general application scenarios, basically no shortcomings (note, price, price).