Hifiman HE-560

You are worse at impulsive shopping than I am. You need to stay away from outlet malls.

You live near one dont cha? :slight_smile:

EDIT: I am also waiting for the re-drop of the XX (not the band)


Yes, but going there is…not my favorite of things…the online shopping world is much easier to throw my play money at.


Your as bad if not worse for impulse buying than me. The internet has a lot to answer to. Totally not my fault or weak character.:grin:.

If I had a pound for every time I ordered something and then cancelled it 10 minutes later I’d be a rich man.

You like Hifiman products don’t you? I haven’t heard any personally is the HE560 your favourite and what do you like about it? I’m just curious. Is it a lot better than the HE4xx?


Honestly my only experience with them is the HE-V1 tried in a store, along with Sundara. I’ve only owned the HE-4XX which I think is a good deal, and they sound great for the price point.

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I’ve had my HE-560 for a year and a half. It was my go-to before the Mjolnir-revised STAX tube amp rescued my old STAX from a basement burial. (I used to have an office in the basement…). While I like the Sennheiser HD-580 and 6xx, the HiFiman beats them both out. I do think the STAX are faster, and they are certainly lighter on my head. I have not heard the HE-4XX, but saw only one bad review and many good ones. And it’s always possible that the bad one was from a defective unit, as it seemed quite out of character.


Thanks to you and @DarthPoolfor answering my queries. I am not looking to get anymore headphones I was merely curious. Despite the QC and build issues that Hifiman seem to have they do have a loyal customer base. They must be doing something correctly.

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Delicate—verily diaphanous driver technology is the apparent difference.


Thanks for the info. I know people often complain about build quality but obviously sound quality and the overall listening experience must be very good for a lot of people.

People have a similar complaint about STAX Lambda style headphones. They think the plastic is lightweight and junky. Hey, it isn’t heavy, like Grado, it rarely breaks despite its looks, and the sound is divine.

Received mine a couple days ago (v3).

I’m sorry to say I can’t stand them… they feel “wrong” to me:

  • Unnatural bass. feels “fake”, unconsistent, hollow. Bass, upright bass, etc, sound like digital systems in the 90’s, absolutely fake and unnatural. (unless the songs has vocals and bass only). Timbre is off, “body” reachs only to about 50%.

  • Most offensive mids I’ve found, short of golden masters of music without “too much going on”, I find the mids plainly unbearable. Suddenly 95% of my library became unlistenable.

  • Highs: ok.

  • Imaging: odd, unnatural, confusing, not cohesive at all, all “in your face”. Thought HD6XX had “little” imaging, but I definitely find it much greater than these.

  • Overall tonal balance: a mess. Wooly bass, offensive, harsh, forward mids that end up messing bass and highs. Unrealistic and artificial timbre all-around.

  • Detail: some things are thrown at your face, some are hidden and some are smeared in-between, lost, or appear way off in imaging.

Checked the balanced cable just in case typical Hifiman QC had acted (wouldn’t be the first miswired), but cable wiring is fine.

I cannot hear driver rattles or ringings. But to me sound remembers that of clogged IEMs, or IEMs not sealing well.

I know getting used to new headphones takes a little, an analogy I find is something similar to photography/video white balance, which our brain compensates for. Same goes for headphones, to a lesser degree. Your brain “recalibrates”.

But… I doubt mine will with these, couldn’t bear them more than 10-15 minutes in a row.

Could they be defective? (they’re second hand and look in top-notch condition).

Wondering if selling them, or modding them (mod thread in head-fi seems to catter with the unbearable mids, incoherent imaging and getting the bass right).

Any ideas of what to check?

Rig: balanced DAC to Balanced Loxjie P20 to balanced HE-560v3.

That’s how mine sound when run from an underpowered amp. Really awful indeed.

P20 should be okay…? Using balanced out?


Try a different amp. As generic mentioned the He560 takes a lot to drive well and sounds like utter garbage when under-powered. I have mine paired to the Burson Fun which gets probably 90-95% of what the 560 is capable of out of them. Going to a big power tube amp is the next step up.

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@generic yes, Loxjie P20, I just unplugged balanced HD6XX and plugged balanced HE-560v3.

Included XLR pins looks kind of thin though… will try making a cable.

@AudioFool thanks, will try it on the NuHybrid and DarkVoice.

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Just tried a ESS9023 dac + NuHybrid and HE560 in SE.

Now we’re talking. Definitely, these cans are horribly unneficient, so not great expectations with a tube OTL.

Things got better, perceived sound is still “phoney” vs the HD6XX, but those horrible piercing mids are gone and imaging got better.

A tad fast and bright for my liking though, but that’s ESS9023 signature (and me used to SRC2496 / HD6XX), gonna try the DDDAC and a AKM4490 based ones as sources.

Gonna solder a new cable for them with a new XLR connector to test the Loxjie again, I suspect the pins are so thin they’re not making good contact in the Loxjie XLR socket.

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Also, have these headphones been broken in? They do change over time.

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Mine took at least 50 hours of break in to start sounding right. Buying used, you shouldn’t have that issue. As @generic mentioned, these is hungry headphones. Pretty much unlistenable with an underpowered amp.

Feed them some juice, and it’s a different story. I find that the iFi xDSD is about the minimum to get good sound. My Headroom Standard (2016 edition) makes em sound pretty.

I have heard others say that they do not pair well with OTL tube amps.


Confirmed, sound out of an OTL was absolute crap as expected.

I hacked a new balanced cable out of a minijack-minijack cable I had, using the XLR4 connectors I know fits the Loxjie fine, and lo and behold… sound changed dramatically for the better.

I used a caliper to measure the pins diameter, and I was wrong, both the hifiman cable and the conector I use are 1,6mm. But Hifiman cable sounds like hell… connector seems to be thermo-formed or encapsulated so cannot inspect it without tearing it apart.

Apparently they’re not broken in. Original owner got them as replacement for v2’s and didn’t use them but for a couple tests.


My factory HE-560 cables are as stiff as a corpse. They took days of gentle bending to uncurl—magically rigid insulation and cover. I wonder if this leads to internal cracks in the wires.

Happy that you diagnosed the problem.



I wonder if this leads to internal cracks in the wires.

Could be… sound was horrible, something wrong with the balanced cable for sure.

I hate stiff cables anyway… will do a braided cable set with soft CAT5e.

At what volume do you find yourself using the Loxjie P20 with the HE-560? (0dB from DAC)

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Oh, interesting question and a quick research project!

Setup: FiiO Q5 DAC line out to Loxjie P20 (balanced)
Test track: Sleigh Bells A/B Machines (ultra compressed song = consistent volume)
Measurement method: iPhone db meter software with a target of 75db (average) / phone inserted into ear cup for the first 45 seconds of the song

Required Loxjie volume setting by headphone:

  • Focal Elex = -40

  • Sennheiser HD-600 = -38

  • HiFiMan HE-560 = -32

  • MrSpeakers AEON Flow Closed = -32

  • AQ NightHawk Carbon = -40

  • Audeze LCD-2C = -42