This is the place to discuss everything to do with the HiFiMAN HE400se. I figured this needed its own thread because, well… this headphone is surprisingly excellent for the price. I say surprisingly because I wasn’t expecting all that much given the Deva/HE5xx fiasco, however the HE400se seems to have iterated on that design and ended up with a much better frequency response, and seemingly better technical performance as well.
HE400se Frequency Response (SPL calibrated):
I’m going to call this the ‘Baby Sundara’. It’s not as detailed and there are moments where you hear a hint of bluntedness and ‘sluggishness’ by comparison. But it also doesn’t have the smearing/haze of the HE5XX/Deva, and honestly I find it quite competitive for the price of only $150. The added benefit of planar instrument separation and space makes it even that much better compared to its competition.
In fact, I have no problem saying that this is the best sounding headphone I’ve heard at this price. Is it perfect? no, it still has a bit of a dip around 1.5khz - worth filling in with a bit of EQ, and the sub-bass has a similar slow dropoff that we’ve seen before from these types of HiFiMAN headphones. But for the rest of it, the tuning is really quite solid. Thumbs up from me.
On-head bass level check (not SPL calibrated):
Here you can see the on-head bass drop mostly agrees with the on-rig result, so at the very least it’s representative of an actual human in this case.
Air Gap Behavior:
Fairly standard air gap resonance behavior. Why is this important? Effectively it shows driver resonance behavior when the seal is compromised in some way. It’s maybe not quite as low as I’d like - not as low as what you get on the higher end HiFiMANs - but about on par with many other open-back planar magnetic headphones.
Overall, this is an easy recommendation for anyone eyeing this price point.