Hifiman HE6Se V2

Hi everyone,

I jumped on the bandwagon and bought the HE-6SE from Adorama.

My question is about amps, specifically headphone amps that will do it justice. I do NOT want a speaker amp, just to drive this one headphone.

I have been looking at the new Violetric HPA V550 (6.4W at 50 ohm). Will this be good enough?

Are there any more powerful options out there to consider? I’m aware of the Flux Labs FA-10, but I think it’s still too big to fit on my desk, same with the Schiit Ragnarok 2 and similar.

Thanks.

2 Likes

Burson Soloist is another option.

4 Likes

My BHA-1 using the bal jacks drives mine fine.

2 Likes

And, by the numbers that Violectric should be fine.

some of the group that advocates speaker amps think that is has more to do with a robust power supply and current available than wattage.

5 Likes

This is why I bought the signature the first time. It can’t do it. Distortion in the bass when moderately loud.

Disappointing because the signature continues to be the best sounding dac/amp I have heard.

Never tried the diablo.

Hey I just dropped this in the other advice thread for another member. A couple of my favorite options for the HE6SEV2 from both a power/current standpoint as well as a sound signature that synergize well with them.

Favorite under $3k

Favorite under $2k

The Burson has the power and current requirements but I don’t think it’s a good match from a synergy standpoint to my ears. I think the Burson pairs better with warmer tuned headphones.

@Username69 James

7 Likes

I’ve also heard really great things about the Schiit Jotunheim 2 being able to power them pretty well. Maybe you won’t get 100% of what they’re capable of, but it should deliver plenty of power for them and give you some great sound.

2 Likes

I tested them with the Jotunheim 2 for a recent review and while it has the minimum amount of power and current imo I didn’t find them to be a good match from a synergy standpoint for my preferences. I really think the HE6SEV2 need an even warmer amp, as well as tube harmonics. @Mintshows

7 Likes

Thanks to everyone for your help so far. At this point, I think I’m leaning towards a Violetric V281. The way people describe its sound appeals to me and many people have reported that it’s a good match for the HE-6SE. I’m not 100% sold, but that’s where I’m leaning.

1 Like

I got the HE6SE V2 today. I will admit, at first listen I was underwhelmed. I thought they were slightly better than the Sundara, but def not worth the investment into a new amp, double the cost etc.

After applying some EQ and listening for about 3 hours, I can say, wow. They are def a major leap over the Sundara. They didn’t need much for EQ, but it turned them into a whole new headphone. All I did was add 3 DB at 1800 hz with a Q of 1.8 and a 5 DB Bass shelf at 150 hz then dropped the softwares pre-amp to avoid clipping.

I don’t listen at loud volumes, so the Topping A30 Pro seems to have no problem powering them at the moment on high gain at about the 2 o’clock position.

Soundstage is about on par with the Sundara, but imaging is on another level. The Bass is extremely clean, fast, great impact. The Toppin A30 Pro puts out about 2 watts with a 2v input so if I get a balanced DAC it will bring that up to about 3.8 watts and I have a feeling this will be great amp for this headphone.

My biggest complaint at the moment is the headband. After a couple hours with the weight of these, there is def a sore spot on the top of my head. This is not ideal for all day use and may be a deal breaker.

I’m going to give it some more time before deciding and if I decide to keep them, I will def get a balanced DAC to get the full power of the amp as I’m sure the bass will improve even further with more headroom.

I realize I have far less experience with high end headphones as others on here, but for what I am looking for, these are pretty good.

My only question is, How do these compare from a sound standpoint against the Focal Clear?

4 Likes

I hope to answer that, at least for myself. Mine are supposed to arrive in less than an hour. I’ll post some quick impressions here in a few days.

3 Likes

I found a headband strap helps with the hot/sore spots I was experiencing. Then there’s also the leather strap mod that @antdroid has done.

I basically have three that I use as “Daily Drivers.” I use the HE6Se V2, The Clears, and ZMF’s Aeolus. I have many different amps and amp/dacs but I was quickly able to cull the herd/heard when the synergies with these 'phones became really apparent.

Mostly, I listen to the HE’s out of the balanced output of the Flux FA 10(16W of class A) and I use the Hagerman Tuba high impedance output for the ZMF’s and the low impedance output for the Clears. I absolutely LOVE all of these parings. Each one sound great. For the first time in years I have almost zero desire, I did write “almost,” to buy a new headphone DAC or amp.

Now I do not posses golden ears and my ability to describe what I am hearing tends to run more like “OOOO, I really like that!” or “That doesn’t sound as good.” So let me offer it in a different context that is seen often in these forums. If I am sitting down with good single-malt I want my Clears - they’re insightful and interestingly tasty. If I pouring a nice Pinot, Malbec, Cab, or Rioja I will be grabbing the ZMF’s because they are smooth and sweet and chill. If my son or friends bring over a bottle of Tequila, it’s HE6 time - which means we are having fun!!.

One final addition that I have mentioned in a comment well up the list. I pretty much enjoyed the HE6 SeV2 with several other amps: a 6W THX and a 4.5W ifi; not so much out of an Atom and a couple 1-1.5W DAC/Amps. But, when plugged into the Flux it was almost stunning to me how much it improved; this thing loves its power and current and rewards you for feeding it such.

A quick edit… I use a Burson Conductor 3xp as my dac. it also has a very nice amp that using the balance output drives the HE’s very nicely, not quite to the level of the Flux, but awfully close.

7 Likes

Run 'em for a couple of days unattended. They get better with use.

Effective. I get what you’re pouring down.

2 Likes

That’s a great collection you have! From all the research I’ve done, those 3 are pretty much the most recommended for each brand with the exception of the Susvara, but the HE6SE V2 being the “Baby Susvara”.

I’ll try my HE 6SE V2 off speaker taps later today and see what they sound like with ample power but I’m probably goign to stick with the A30 Pro, once I give it a balanced input, 3.4 watts into 50 ohms should be good enough for my listening levels.

Love the comparisons! Do you EQ at all? I really liked how the HE6SE Changed with a small amount of EQ, the mids sounded much more balanced to me and the extra bass level brought it to that “WOW” level for me, Although maybe a more powerful amp would do that without the need of EQ.

4 Likes

I would like to add that although they may be the “most recommended” this is certainly for the price ranges. You will get the benefit from upgrading down the line with higher source components to a Verite/Utopia. If you have the means I would avoid getting stuck in this price point as there are benefits to going to their upper models still.

7 Likes

So I hooked them up to my 100w AV Receiver through speaker taps and tested some songs, I will test a bit again later, but I didn’t notice a massive improvement over the A30 Pro for most songs. The bass sounded about equal to the EQ’d A30 Pro. I do think the A30 Pro with a balanced DAC input will be a great amp for these headphones unless you’re listening at very loud levels.

With that said, I plugged my JBL Stage A130 Speakers back into the receiver and was shocked with how loud they were at the volume level I had the HE 6SE V2 at. These seem to be more difficult to drive than those speakers are :open_mouth:

2 Likes

you still need to hear them with the FA-10 :slight_smile:

6 Likes

I don’t find this to be true.

This approach is atypical (employing a balanced input with more power in order to achieve sonic objectives), but maybe you’ll traverse new ground.

Consider the impact of voltage swings and power supplies. More watts may not drive certain results, but a high powered amp may possess other characteristics that do.

8 Likes