AXPONA 2015 Show Highlight: HiFiMAN HE-1000 Planar Magnetic Headphones

The first hour of the show from 9AM to 10AM is reserved for VIP visits to the vendors. A little special treatment for press wanting to spend some quality listening time before the crowd noise levels start to rise. I spent my Saturday morning hour at the HiFiMAN booth...I wanted some quality listening time with the HE-1000.

The HE-1000 is a planar magnetic headphone with a double-sided, but asymmetrical magnetic structure. The size and shape of the asymetrical ovoid of the ear-pieces is indicative of the large driver surface area. What's not readily apparent is one of the defining features of these headphones: its nano-thickness diaphragm. Fang Bian, founder of HiFiMAN, has a PhD. in inorganic chemistry with a focus on nano-technology, and with the HE-1000 has developed what he believes is the thinnest diaphragm of any headphone ever. I think I've shown this video before, but it's worth another look. Here's Fang showing how light and thin the diaphragm material is.

Click here if you can't see the video.

There have been way too many times that I thought I liked something at a show only to be disappointed later when the product arrived at home—and visa versa—that I'm simply not going to comment in too much detail. I will say that it's obvious these are very good headphones indeed, and that they will have to be evaluated in an environment with lots of other uber-high-end headphones for comparison. In fact, I'm in the process of setting up a listening session this summer that will hopefully include: HiFiMAN HE-1000 and Mr. Speakers Ether, as well as more established high-end cans like the HD-800, LCD-3, and Abyss; and for amps I'll be using the new SimAudio Moon Neo 430HA, Auralic Vega DAC and Taurus Mk II amp, the Burson Conductor Virtuoso, the Woo Audio W234 Mono Blocks, and hopefully the Schiit Ragnarok and Yggdrasil. Should be some fine listening in all that!

Here's Peter Hoagland running us through the HE-1000, and here's the new HE-1000 mini-site!

Click here if you can't see the video.

COMMENTS
tony's picture

Well, there you see it.

A first for Headphone Shows.

A hot Show Babe.

and

At a Chinese Boot; Presenters that speak "local" English, I've never seen before.

Hifiman is going "up-scale", better keep an eye on em.

The 1000 device that's easy to drive, priced $2,500 below the target competitor ( the Big 009 ).

"Look-out", the highest of the high-end is now under attack.

Hmm, today the 1000, when will the 900 and 800 versions arrive?

Tony in MIchigan

Beagle's picture

After he said "$2999", I spent the rest of the time looking at the hottie in the turquoise dress.

Good luck with the headphone...at that price they'll need it.

Stillhart's picture

This is why there are so few women in our hobby. Down boys, down!

dripf's picture

Back to twitter with your misery, SJW.

And on the headphones: it has an electostat-like sound? A misleading marketing term for the driver? Just buy an electrostat.

CCS's picture

The person you're replying to has a point. Being misogynistic doesn't exactly make our hobby inviting to women.

It's not difficult to show everyone an equal amount of respect, so that is the standard we should hold ourselves to.

dripf's picture

He may well be joking. But be wary of it.

So you both want to fire booth babes and put women out of a job? Better spread the word on social media that headphone hobbyists are so lecherous we had to fire the booth babes (if indeed the women in the video are so). That will bring women into the hobby!

Stillhart's picture
dripf's picture

Glad you agree that your SJW illogic is leading you down a slippery slope, Stillhart.

SAS's picture

The time it takes for an object to fall is independent of its mass.

ultrabike's picture

Money

ab_ba's picture

Tyll, thank you for pushing for a better price! We all appreciate it. Seriously though, I don't understand the $2999 pricing. At $2299 they would probably sell twice as many, and probably clear more profit. I'm sure the folks at Audeze are breathing a huge sigh of relief - at a lower price point, the HE 1000 would have been a real threat to their business model.

Jazz Casual's picture

Look forward to that high-end headphone comparison including the HE-1000 and Ether if you can get it happening Tyll.

Seth195208's picture

..also drop a diaphragm with the traces attached for comparison. Can you say "Plummet"?