The Chinese audio manufacturer HiFiman known for its high-end planar magnetic headphones is now catering to the other end of the spectrum with the Hifiman HE400SE, which costs as little as $129. Indeed, these are cheap planar magnetic headphones, but the features and performance are superior to similar headphones meant for casual listening. If you go through any Hifiman HE 400 SE review, one aspect that should impress you most is that these are among the best entry-level planar headsets. The sound quality of the headphones is superb for the price range because you can enjoy three-dimensional sound not usually found in such headphones at the given price. However, remember that the headphones are excellent for listening at home only.
Hifiman He400se – Design
The Hifiman planar magnetic full-size headphones have an open-back design, limiting their outdoor use as it would be too large a device to carry around. Moreover, these Hifiman headphones are unable to isolate sounds. As a result, sound leaks are inevitable. The large over-the-head design of the headphones displays the modern Hifiman aesthetics because of the redesigned headband and more articulating ear cups. The ear cups have side hinges that connect the yoke on either side to facilitate 360-degree rotation. You can even incline the ear cups slightly in either direction to match your head’s contour.
The single-piece headband covered by soft, faux leather has an arching design and is more durable than the multi-piece design. The ear cups have large foam ear pads with a leather-like finish and hybrid design that are removable, which means you can replace these later. The ear cups house the driver and the magnet assembly, easily visible and covered with a thin cloth. A metallic grille on the other side of the ear cups provides a cover for the driver. The audio cable is similar to what you get in the more expensive models of Hifiman headphones. Having 3.5 mm connectors and L-shaped termination, the audio cable is thick and more durable.
The design ensures wearing the headphones is comfortable for a longer period.
The magnets of the HE400SE are different from conventional magnets of planar magnetic drives, with a set of magnets placed on either side of the diaphragm that holds it in place and moves it when electrical signals pass through it. The HE400SE uses the HiFiman Stealth Magnets with curved edges that make these acoustically transparent without impacting the sound that passes through them.
The Treble delivers lively sound that is delightfully articulate. On most tracks, it emits the sound brilliantly with the right amount of energy and sparkle, although occasionally, it might appear too sharp in specific frequencies.
The mid-range sounds are also perfect and ensure a powerful delivery for male vocals. However, in the upper ranges, you might experience some distortions due to a dip in the reference tone.
The bass response of the Hifiman HE400SE is a mixed bag, and it doesn’t offer much in the lower frequency range.