HifiMan HE400i Measurements
Dekoni Audio is pleased to share a “deep dive” look into our HiFiman line of circular Earpads, specifically tuned to elevate your listening experience.
We start with comfort, using our soft, high density, slow rebound memory foam for an extra plush experience that conforms to the shape of your face (and accommodates glasses stems). Like all our earpads, they are offered in a wide range of fabric options, including Elite Sheepskin, Elite Fenestrated Sheepskin, Elite Velour, and our Elite Hybrid pads. Our pads fit the circular earcup HiFiman headphones, including the Sundara, HE560, HE400i, HE35X, and many more. We ensured the pads mount just as securely as the stock pads. Finally, we shaped and measured the pads to tune the sound and share a preview of how they sound compared to stock pads.
In our measurements, we aren’t using compensation except to cancel out the ear response of our microphone dummy head. We have been fortunate to have acquired a certain well-known Audio Precision-based measurement rig, and will continue to keep the measurements coming! Some measurements by others are made with adjustments to reflect the effect that the shape of a generic inner and outer ear will have on the sound waves – we don’t do that, because as every experienced audio enthusiast knows, we all have different ears! So, as part of a series of Dekoni Describes posts, we will walk our readers through understanding our graphs
The first thing to understand about an uncompensated graph is that it will sound different to the listener than the graph will show. For one, we haven’t smoothed our graphs, so there are many peaks and valleys that would have been lost information, but also there are other factors, such as the human’s extra sensitivity to vocals, and that the shape of our ears and depth of our ear canals can actually amplify certain frequencies. For the purposes of swapping earpads, it is enough to say that a flat line along the 0 dB line wouldn’t sound “good” on these uncompensated graphs, a dip in the midrange is to be expected since human ears are more sensitive to that region, and mainly we want to focus on how a Dekoni pad compares to the Stock pad. With our measurements, we used the well-known HE400i, which comes Stock with HiFiman’s Pleather/Velour hybrids.
We use supple, natural Sheepskin that is the softest and most breathable available today, available in solid or Fenestrated. With our solid Sheepskin, you can comfortably choose this textile if you want the real leather upgrade, because the HE400i and it’s stablemates are some of the most open headphones with some of the least impact on sound from using our pads instead of the scratchy stock pads. Sheepskin is also easy to wipe clean any sweat and oils from your skin, and will be very durable over time.
Our Fenestrated Sheepskin is also almost audibly indistinguishable from the stock pad, except for the real leather texture and the slightly better ~2dB increase in midrange, and slightly more sense of “air” at the limits of human hearing. The sub-bass is actually perceptually very similar to stock and our solid Sheepskin; remember that the limit to human hearing is closer to 20 Hz (first vertical line “in” on the logarithmic scale) and mostly felt more than heard, and the HE400i still has very impressive sub bass extension for an open-backed headphone! Fenestrations are also airy in that they allow some more heat to escape through the pads.
Our Elite Velour has a higher thread count and tighter weave than typical velour pads, soft and breathable but as you can see there is no loss of foundational bass – in fact it traces very similar to the Fenestrated Sheepskin pads on this headphone, and again audibly nigh-indistinguishable from stock. Our high thread count velour has much finer, softer, and shorter pile than the stock pads, and will be less itchy while also retaining the least heat.
Our Hybrid pads, which are sealed with solid Sheepskin on the outside face, neutral Fenestrated Sheepskin on the inner face, and comfortable with Velour on the face facing your face, measured with practically no deviation from the stock pads, but all the construction materials (including the memory foam inside) have received a premium upgrade for better comfort and durability. Remember, all of our pads carry a 2 year warranty against defects!
The subjective factor of experiencing headphones and earpads matters the most, of course. If it sounds good, it is good! We listen with our pads for several revisions before release, and we want to thank the reviewers and our patrons on Head-Fi and other platforms who have shared their experiences. Real user experience is the best judge, and we thank everyone who has tried to describe their experience!
Our HiFiman pads are available now at our fine dealers internationally, and dekoniaudio.com.