HiFiMAN HE400S Review – Best Sub $300 Open-Back Headphone?
Price and Availability
The HiFiMAN HE400S is now available and can be purchased at HiFiMAN’s official store for only $299 USD. The company is offering a 1 year limited warranty for their headphones, except for the HE1000. The HE400S is also available at the following online stores.
For US, B&H Photo here and Adorama here.
For UK, it’s available at Amazon UK here.
HiFiMAN HE400S Headphone Review: Conclusion
HiFiMAN has really done it with the HE400S. After spending more than a month with this headphone, I could say that it’s definitely the best (if not one of the best) sub $300 headphone on the market to date. Why so? In terms of sound quality and its sound signature, it’s definitely there on top, in its price range. In fact, when it comes to sound quality alone, it may be even better with some more expensive headphones in the market, at least that’s what my ears are telling me.
So what’s the trade-off with the HE400S? When the HE400S was first released on the market, there were some who said that it didn’t sound great, it has a poor build quality and it feels cheap-ish. At that time, I didn’t have firsthand experience with the headphone. But now that I was able to spend a good amount of time with the HE400S, I feel that they evaluated the HE400S from a point of view of someone who is coming from an HE560, Senn’s HD800 or Audeze’s planar headphones. Remember, this is a budget friendly planar headphone. It may not sound as great as its big brothers but it certainly sound fantastic in its price range. However, to my ears it somehow sounds like a dynamic headphone and I could be missing that “planar magic” that I was looking for on a HiFiMAN headphone.
True that some headphones are built with a much sturdier material (metal or aluminum), but the HE400S definitely surpasses them in terms of sound quality, not to mention its light and very comfortable to wear. Speaking of sound quality, the HE400S is overall a well-balanced, relaxing with a good amount of soundstage and imaging, musical and is a bit warm open back headphone. I really enjoyed listening with this headphone; it’s another “eargasmic” experience for me, and I’m going to place this on my regular day to day driver. Heck, I even play PC games with this!
Finally, for those who are just starting their audiophile journey, the HiFiMAN HE400S is definitely a good place to start.