Starting a thread on this headphone. This is one of two new closed-back headphones from HiFiMAN, that have a cup design ‘inspired by’ the old Sony MDR-R10. To be honest, I have no idea why they went with that design, because that Sony was a bit odd sounding.
Anyway, here’s the price: $5500
I have the HE-R10P in right now for review, and I have to say I’m immensely disappointed in the tuning. This is one of the worst tunings I’ve ever come across, at any price. And that’s a massive departure from HiFiMAN’s typically excellent tuning track record. These guys know how to tune a headphone, and if anyone knows my preferences, there’s usually a HiFiMAN headphone I recommend at a given price point. With the HE-R10P, they either missed the boat entirely, or there were serious acoustic challenges to closing off the headphone - ones they weren’t able to overcome. My guess is it’s likely the latter, since this borrowed design from Sony feels kind of like an ad-hoc solution to a much more sophisticated problem.
Here is the HiFiMAN HE-R10P frequency response done on the GRAS 43AG-7:
One thing to note about the channel matching is that the pads are velcro, and the pad position is somewhat variant depending on how it’s re-attached - notably different from their previous locking mechanisms. The nice thing about the velcro is that it’s super convenient to do.
One other thing I’ve found is that the 2nd and 3rd harmonic distortion are uncharacteristically high around 3khz.
Channel 1 distortion:
Channel 2 distortion:
I don’t really know what to make of this yet, but that’s high enough to be audible.
Now, obviously more testing needs to be done, and I’ve already built out a preliminary EQ profile for it. It does have some interesting technical performance going on as well. There is some good detail here, and an impressive sense of space for a closed-back - probably class leading in that sense, or similar to the HD820 in that regard. For dynamics, punch and slam, it has it but only in the ultra-low end sub-bass. So for tracks that don’t token those frequencies, the R10p can sound a bit lifeless at times. Timbre is also a bit more on the dry side of things.
At the risk of speculating on things I can’t confirm… this product feels like a reluctant step towards a closed-back headphone design, one that the beating heart of HiFiMAN isn’t fully committed to. These guys make some of my absolute favorite headphones, and because of that I’m deeply saddened by the R10p. I want to see what they can do with this driver in an open-back design, and/or develop something to handle the acoustic challenges of closing off the cup from scratch - rather than relying on Sony’s rather odd, antiquated solution.