The HiFiMan HE-400i are great reference headphones specifically designed for critical listening. They have an excellent sound, on par with the Edition X but slightly sharper and with a bit less bass. They're comfortable and durable. However, they're not causal headphones so they won't be versatile enough to use outdoors.
- Great sound quality.
- Sturdy, durable build.
- Sensitive to ambient noise.
- Big and bulky.
- High leakage, cannot be used in public.
The HE-400i are well-built reference headphones. They have a lightweight, metallic frame that feels sturdy and durable. They're comfortable to wear for long periods of time and the ear cup hinges are also a bit better built than the Edition X. However, these are big, bulky critical listening headphones, and they're not intended to be used outdoors or while doing any kind of physical activity.
The large and open ear cups of the HE-400i have a metallic finish and a slight blue tint that's eye-catching. That coupled with the soft suede padding and the old school leather headband give them a retro, yet premium appeal that will work for some. They're a bit too bulky to wear out in public, but they're not designed for outdoors so it shouldn't be too much of an issue.
The HE-400i are comfortable, well-padded headphones. They're not too tight on the head, and the suede-like material used for the padding is soft and pleasant on the skin. The ear cups are not as large as the Edition X, and the padding touches the tips of some listeners'ears. However, this smaller format might be more comfortable for some, than the oversized ear cups of the more premium model.
These are not sports headphones. The large over-ear cups, will sway and quickly slip off your ears if used during exercise or while running. They're a bit more stable than the Edition X and will maintain their position during casual or critical listening sessions.
The HE-400i are big and not portable. They're bit too cumbersome to comfortably carry on your person and do not fold into a more compact format. The ear cups lay flat but are bigger than average over-ear models, which doesn't save much space. On the upside, they are a little smaller than the Edition X but you will still need a backpack or a large bag to transport these headphones. Also they don't come with a protective case or pouch.
The HE-400i have a good build quality. They make use of premium materials, which results in a sturdy design that can handle a fair amount of physical stress. The ear cups are not as well-built as the Edition X's ear cups. However, the plastic joints connecting the frame to the ear cups is thicker and sturdier, which makes these headphones slightly more durable.
The Hifiman HE-400i are a very good sounding pair of open-back over-ear headphones. They have a consistent and good Bass, an excellent Mid Range and a very good Treble. However, their Bass lacks a bit of sub-bass, and their Treble could be slightly sharp and sibilant. Additionally, due to their open and planar design, they have an open and spacious Soundstage.
The open-back design of HE-400i is purposely meant to leak and poorly isolate listeners. This improves the sound quality by creating a wide and immersive soundstage but this also means, the headphones cannot be used outside effectively. They will most likely distract anyone around you with their leakage level and they will be practically unusable in loud environments.
Poor isolation. The architecture of these headphones is completely open, and block very little. They provide no isolation in Bass and Mid ranges, and provide only 7dB of isolation in the Treble, which is negligible.
Poor leakage. These are the one of the loudest and leakiest headphones we have measured so far. Not only the level of the leakage is extremely high, the profile is extremely broad too. Most headphones either level off at higher frequencies, or roll-off, but similar to the Edition X, the HE-400i keeps getting louder as the frequency rises.
No active features.
No compatible app.
In the box
- HiFiMan HE-400i Headphones
- 1/8" to 1/4" adapter
- Audio cable