CES 2012: HiFiMAN

Just before leaving for CES, I received a big cardboard box from China. I couldn't tell who it was from, so I opened it. Inside was another cardboard box ... I opened it. Inside was a wood box, so I got my power drill and took out the screws to open it. Inside was another cardboard box! I opened it, and found something wrapped in about 5 layers of bubble wrap. When I finally got to the last layer, I found myself looking at the massive HiFiMAN EF-6 headphone amp. Aha! I knew what this was for. Fang Bien, President of HiFiMAN has been talking about how the top-of-the-line HE-6 planar magnetic headphone needs a headphone amp with lots of oomph, and here was his solution. I didn't have time to hook it up for a listen, but I wasn't surprised to see two of these behemoths in his booth.

I enjoyed my time listening to the HE-6/EF-6 combo in the HiFiMAN display, and I'll definitely review the combo in more depth at a later time, but the big reason I wanted see him at CES was his new low-cost ($399) HE-400 planar magnetic headphone. Apparently his success and experience with the other HiFiMAN models has allowed him to develop a planar magnetic driver that is less expensive to produce. HiFiMAN is pressing hard on planar magnetic driver technologies, and has been a driving force in this arena. I'll let Fang tell you about his new cans.


donunus's picture

So How was the he400? Did you like them?

Tyll Hertsens's picture
Too soon to tell. Gotta listen in quite conditions.
Mkubota1's picture

"I couldn't tell who it was from, so I opened it."


Tyll Hertsens's picture
You wouldn't believe the amount of stuff that just shows up on my doorstep.
nordicsound's picture

Need help? I´ll give you my address anytime! :-)

Brod's picture

Do planar magnetic headphones need to be open back? If not, what are the chances that we'll see companies start to make some nice closed versions?

donunus's picture

I get the feeling this will be harder to accomplish since planars seem to like lots of space behind the drivers to work properly. I tried putting a magnepan mmg right beside the back wall for instance and it was sort of like covering the rear of an electric fan with a piece of paper LOL

nordicsound's picture

They just arrived! Quality impression is :CHINA…CHEAP
The dont fit well, NO Sennheiser feeling Sound: They are brand new so it´s to soon to say anything, but NOT impressed!
What was the HYPE about?

thune's picture

The potential for a good $400 planar-magnetic was enough to get many to risk a blind buy. And considering HiFiMan's forward progress and great HE500, people rightly think that Fang *could* make a good $400 planar. However, word that the HE400 is tuned for an American sound (a la JBL speakers) has me a bit worried.

Not having heard these cans, I appreciate your early take.

nordicsound's picture

Yep that was that…Two hours and now one side is out! Don´t work anymore! Have read in AvForums that i´m not alone either..So, it´s just send them back…This was NOT how i belived it should be..

We have a saying here in Norway, -It´s a reason why something is cheap..