Hifiman HE6Se V2

The graphs for the 400i they publish are not applicable to the HE6SE V2. They use completely different driver and magnet arrays and they have different stock earpads as the base reference point.

I think looking at the Susvara Dekoni pads and graphs are probably more useful albeit still flawed (similar driver and magnet array, similar pad design and materials but slightly different shape).

One major reason it’s not applicable is if the pad seal is poor for the 400i, the bass disappears, which may be part of the reason the Dekoni graph shows that rolloff. The HE6/SE/V2 bass gets even louder when the seal is poor.

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This is exactly why I preferred the he6se to the arya. It was just better when well powered.

I also felt the arya’s crazy soundstage hurt some of my music. Incoherent is the word I like to use. The he6se just brought more joy to music than the arya could for me.

Good headphones. I still think beginners should avoid them.


I agree that they’re not a great headphone for beginners, but I wonder why you feel that way? is it the power requirements? the need for EQ? or perhaps that it’s an acquired taste and a more “challenging” listen? Or that you can’t fully appreciate what these things can do until you’ve experienced a variety of other headphones and amp pairings?

This is a super interesting concept, the supposition that there may not be an objective way to assess these things, even when considered within the limits of our own auditory experience. That what sounds good as a “beginner” audiophile can change as we experience and develop our skills as critical listeners. Psychoacoustics is a real trip!

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It’s a bit of everything. It’s not the power requirement itself. It’s being able to plug it in, and know it’s behaving as a well powered headphone at its peak. The Sundara was the first headphone I heard that really seemed to work better with more power. But even before I heard it with said power, it sounded great to me. I didn’t know it wasn’t at its best. Now, I don’t claim those changes are huge, but some of them increased enjoyment. The he6se needs the same care and feeding. And, to this day, I am not sure I heard it at its best, despite half a dozen “powerful enough” amps.

But, more than that, if I were a guy that loved the Arya (gorgeous but not my preference), or possible the lcd-x (which I actively don’t like), I would not like the he6se. It’s basically all wrong for those people. But people rave about it like it’s the best thing ever. I have found sound that, to me, trounces the he6se without any of the shenanigans required to get it. And, so, the he6se lost its luster.

To me, the he6se is worth chasing if you determine that what it provides is your primary sound preference. When I was chasing it, I had much less of an idea of what I liked than I do now. And, still, with another 8 months and many headphones later, I would be hesitant to take up the he6se again.

If you are looking for a secondary sound signature and already have the amps to power it, these are an easy recommendation. Otherwise? Ananda.

FYI: I don’t EQ, and I found the he6se to be great as someone who doesn’t EQ. It was also one of the few headphones that didn’t completely piss me off when using EQ. I still haven’t determined why.


Hmm I need the speaker inputs for my speakers! Might go with the Sundara, doesn’t seem like it will pose that problem, right?

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Thank you it was quite interesting. The ones resolve posted in he6 forums was at least helpful confirming that dekoni hybrids pads don’t change the FR too much, a little dip in the upper treble. Too bad he didn’t try the fenestrated dekoni pads, but he did show the dekoni solid leather pads which don’t seem to do the FR any justice. HiFiMAN HE6 Official Thread

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That’s the problem with some of these “hard to drive” planars. Something like Sus or HE6 require more power than most headphone amps can provide and also a good source. With the HE6/se in particular, it’s been documented that modding the headphone will greatly benefit the headphone so it takes some work to get it sounding “optimal”. With the Sus, you basically pay to have a good headphone without modding it.

I don’t think I disagree that Ananda is a safer choice if you decide not to invest in modding or your setup but I rarely find people who have heard the HE6 to pick Ananda over it. I think even hifiman haters will admit that it is a good headphone if done correctly.


Completely agree. But the ananda sound great off nearly anything. To get a “decent” he6se even at the $650 price point required a bare minimum of another $700+ for amping. And that wasn’t for he6se at thriving. That’s “decent”. (That was specifically the xduoo ta-30 for me. Which worked surprisingly well with the he6se, but not as well as more power. It just sounded good. The arya worked well on this amp as well). I did not try things like the jot or magnius modius which might change this equation for me.

Can you get better than the ananda out of he6se? Yes, I think so. Is it worth the hassle and money? For a beginner, my advice is no. For everyone else, buy and try for yourself.


For your preferences :point_up:, I think the Ananada sound great with specific genres as well as better off tube or tube hybrid amps for my preferences, where as to @driftingbunnies point once you get the He6SeV2 paired with the right amp, they fit for most all genres better at least for my preferences.


What was one of those right amps for you?


I like HiFiMan’s sound and technical potential just fine. I’m a hater of their QC, materials choices, and history of limited durability. For me the negatives outweigh the positives, as there are plenty of other brands with competitive performance.


I think if you don’t plan on buying a better dac or amp anytime soon then don’t get a HE-6. You will be better off with an Ananda or LCD-X. The sound you can get out of the HE-6seV2 is on par with stuff in the 2k range. That’s why it’s so special if properly powered.

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For not a lot of money (compared to the higher end tube amps) the Lyr3 with a warmer sounding more holographic tube was pretty good, or for a bit more, the iFi Pro iCAN were both very enjoyable for my preferences with the Ananda. Especially the Pro iCAN with its XBASS correction system and two tube modes. Again this is all preference.


Anandas lasted a whole 3 days in my house. I kept an unmodded HE6se for a couple of weeks. Definitely more potential and enjoyment out of the HE6se but I didn’t want to mod it at the time. Sure, Ananda would be decent for a beginner but I would only recommend it for those who know what they want…which generally isn’t a beginner :joy:


I thought the ananda was absolutely safe. That was my biggest issue with it: it simply didn’t amaze me in any way, nor did it disappoint. To me, that’s perfect for a beginner in this price range. It’s a very good middle ground to spring from. I don’t think it requires any specific preferences at all. But can let the user think “oh I would love more X”

It’s a no hassle great headphone that lets someone learn. Blessing 2 dusk is the same way for iems. Just generically good.

What preferences do you think the ananda requires?

Someone who wants a cleanish, boring, almost sterile sound. I found comfort to be average to below average due to the lack of swivel. Generally a beginner will start with some type of schiit stack or unrefined SS stack which makes me a shudder a little.

That’s exactly the point. If you pick something more colored in a direction that happens not to mesh well with a beginners preferences, it’s not a good thing.

And yes, a beginner is likely to have a “value” stack from schiit, topping, SMSL or similar. Is there another headphone that will sound as good as the ananda on any of those stacks?

What would your beginner recommendation be?

I’m so far removed from looking at those budgets that I honestly can’t give you a great answer. I have no idea what I would consider “good enough” as a beginner. At the beginning of my audio journey, plenty of things were “good enough” so I’m sure Ananda would be fine. However, with my current knowledge, Ananda would miss the mark for me.


haha. nice flex. but in all seriousness, when I’m asked by friends for some advice on “beginner” gear I’m kind of stumped, because I simply just wouldn’t want to listen to anything in the entry-level price bracket anymore. HD600? I guess? and an Atom? There’s certainly nothing wrong with a basic setup like that, but you can’t unhear the higher-level tiered gear, amirite?

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I think the best beginner and probably best value headphone at the moment is the Drop He-X4. It’s really hard to beat the sound quality at only $130 USD. The Ananda is just fine but probably should be cheaper at this point. Also, you may like the LCD X more, if you you are willing to go up to 1K.