Summary: The HE500 brings one word to my mind: Immersion. I've never felt closer to the music. Period.
It's the most organic, musical headphone I've heard to date. This implies a preference over the D2k, D5k, RS1i, GS1k, HE400i, ZMF Master, T90, HD600 and HD650.
Summary: My HE-500 review
Source: Audiolab M-DAC (USB output). First impressions based on Asus Essence STX.
Headphone Amp: Lehmann Audio Black Cube Linear
On first listening to the HE-500 I found a lot that reminded me of the Sennheiser HD580 which I still regard as my reference in terms of what a neutral...
Pros: Neutral, bass response and impact, smooth and detailed midrange, value for money
Cons: Heavy, Flimsy velour pads and cable, amp requirements.
Summary: Mini-review: HiFiMan HE-500 Planar-Magnetic Headphones
Fang from Head-Direct was kind enough to loan me a pair of HE-500 for review. The HE-500 are billed as a more efficient version of the HE-6, although there are some other differences, both in design and in sonics.
Summary: I'll be frank here, the HE-500s are just about the best deal in the headphone world. They're not perfect, they're not the best, but there's no other offering which comes close to the value that the HE-500s provide.
Pros: Value; Excellently balanced and agreeable sound; Transparency; Imaging; Mods
Cons: Weight; Require further investment to match the build quality and comfort to the sound quality
Summary: These cans are quite impressive. They have a very detailed and textured sound signature that is fun to listen to any kind of music with them. You can listen to just about anything them with them and enjoy it! Now this is with the cardas cable and velour pads.
Pros: Good Bass, good mid range, Clean detail NON sibilant highs. TEXTURED sound
Summary: I made the trip to CES and T.H.E. last year, and had the chance to review these against the HiFiMan HE-5 and HE-6, Sennheiser HD 650 and HD 800, and the Audeze LCD-2 and LCD-3. I was looking to select a single set of dedicated system headphones, and settled on the HE-500.
Pros: Great midrange, musical, warm yet detailed, won out in an audition process
It’s been an eventful week for me in which I’ve received three pairs of headphones in four days: a new Audio Technica ATH-M50s, a loaner Audez’e LCD-2, and a loaner HiFiMAN HE-500. I got quite intimate with music via the LCD-2 and was rather wowed by it (see here for more on that).
Pros: Neutral frequency balance, plenty of frequency extension
Cons: Possibly the price and the weight, some may prefer a darker sound signature.
Summary: The recent success of HiFiMAN is definitely deserved. Not only are they pushing the upper limits for the level of sound quality achievable with a set of headphones, they are also largely responsible for the revival of the old yet obviously interesting planar magnetic technology.