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HiFiMAN HE-400

Planar magnetic headphones

10 Reviews

Item # 818HE400

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Our take on the HiFiMAN HE-400

The headphone industry has many newcomers, but few have distinguished themselves as much as HiFiMAN. They have wowed listeners with their planar magnetic driver design, which produces warm, dynamic sound across a wide soundstage. The HE-400 is their entry-level planar headphone, letting you experience the planar advantage at an affordable price.

Discover the planar advantage with HiFiMAN

HiFiMAN HE-400 planar magnetic headphones

The headphone industry has many newcomers, but few have distinguished themselves as much as HiFiMAN. They have wowed listeners with their planar magnetic driver design, which produces warm, dynamic sound across a wide soundstage. The HE-400 is their entry-level planar headphone, letting you experience the planar advantage at an affordable price.

Unlike dynamic drivers used in most headphones and speakers, planar drivers use thin flexible diaphragms with voice coils etched onto their surface rather than a voice coil attached to a cone. This exceptionally lightweight structure uses a large driver surface area to reproduce your music with openness and detail that are difficult to achieve with conventional designs. Relatively efficient for planar driver headphones, the HE-400 can be driven by a portable music player. But you'll want to pair them with a good headphone amp to make them sound their best.

Soft earpads and a cushioned headband allow you to enjoy the HE-400's tight bass and smooth treble for hours at a time. The high-quality cable — another hallmark of HiFiMAN's dedication to great sound — attaches to each earcup, making it easy to swap it out for a custom or aftermarket cord.

Looking for a great-sounding portable music player? Check out the HiFiMAN Express HM-601 Slim.

Product Highlights:

  • planar magnetic drivers for low distortion and warm, detailed sound
  • open-back design for spacious soundstage
  • soft, cushioned earpads and leather headband
  • 10-foot detachable oxygen-free copper cable connects to both earcups
  • includes 1/4-inch adapter and carry pouch
  • frequency response: 20-35,000 Hz
  • sensitivity: 92.5 dB
  • impedance: 35 ohms
  • weight: 20.4 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Cobalt blue over-ear headphones
  • 10' Cable with left and right proprietary screw-on terminals on one end and a straight 3.5mm plug on the other end)
  • 3.5mm-to-1/4" Adapter (installed on cable)
  • Cloth pouch

Amazing sound quality and the sound quality enhances every time I put on my iem

Jibs, Cupertino,CA


HiFiMAN HE-400 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(10 Reviews)

Best headphone ever heard

Jibs from Cupertino,CA on 3/10/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Amazing sound quality and the sound quality enhances every time I put on my iem



The Best

Clayton from Chicago, IL on 1/17/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

If you are looking for the best sound in this price range, look no further. I love these things!

Pros: Superb sound that does tend to improve with time.

Cons: Somewhat heavy but no so much that it bothers me when I am wearing them. Open air so you need to listen in a quiet room if possible, although you can hear the music ok if there is some noise.

Great Sound that Continues to Improve

JRMNorth from Petoskey, Mi on 1/7/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The sound is smooth yet detailed without being harsh. While large and heavy (this is expected since they are around the ear), they are comfortable and fit my head (medium size) very well. They look very high end and expensive, befitting the sound they produce. While they sound OK playing through a receiver, they sound a lot better through either my Sony ES CD player or my headphone amp. They have a well balanced sound without any significant frequency abberations.

Pros: Smooth and detailed sound without harshness. Comfortable to wear (even though they are large and heavy).

Cons: Large and heavy (although to get isolation as well as good sound with decent bass, this is expected).

Great All Around Cans

Beer Budget Audiophile from Riverside, CA on 11/18/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These cans provide a great overall sound for all genres. The highs are prominent without sibilance (harsh "s" sound) and the bass is impactful without sounding bloated. Also these 'phones are highly detailed and you can pick out each instrument and vocal harmonies are awesome. The soundstage is not as "fun" as my Grado 225s where you feel you're right up on stage or in the studio, but you can pick up crazy details (e.g. Singers breathing, cymbals fading, the outros of songs going on forever). Although they say these headphones can be run straight from your iPod, they shine when they're amped up my solid state amp makes the highs more crystal while my tube amp makes the vocals smooth like butter.

Pros: Great sound and value. Solid build

Cons: Open back, so you can't commute with them. Too bad, I love to listen to these whenever I can.

Very good sound

Tim from South Windsor, Ct. on 6/8/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is a great headphone! I'm still breaking it in so I guess time and use will tell wether or not it further improves. If not, no big deal because its great as is. I use this with a Schitt Bifrost über and a Asgard2 headphone amp being fed signal via optical cable from my computer. Strangely though this headphone sounds better through my Marantz receiver headphone output. What is different to me about this headphone vs. others I have (akg 701, sennhieser hd598, various high end IEM's ) is that the sound feels very heavy, rich, and dense. I don't mean that in a bad way either and it's not to be confused with sounding dark either because the treble extends nicely and balances well with mids to balance out the deep and potent bass these headphones have. In fact these have the best bass/mid sound I've heard, completely controlled, never bloats or anything and is just super tight and precise. I'm used to very sparkly and stunningly clear sound that can be fatiguing after awhile and can really make it hard to pair with anything that wasn't recorded well. These are more forgiving in that regard, sure you'll hear flaws in the music but with these cans it's not as objectionable . I will say that with some phones I own I hear more space and there is more of a euphoric type of sound character to them. With these the sound is much more dense and sounds more like your sitting in the middle of the recording with less spacial cues.

Pros: Bass Mid bass Richness of sound Removable cables

Cons: Weight

Outstanding Cans

JonathanG from New York on 3/2/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Wow. I recently started purchasing a number of headphones, most in the $300 range -- to the chagrin of my retirement account. Too many to list, but each has its benefits and I enjoy them all for different reasons. I decided to splurge just a bit more and these are my favorite for pure sound quality. Not sure if it is the technology or the size or a combination but the sound truly is outstanding,

Pros: Sound amazing. (I listen to spotty extreme with a digital audio converter). The blue color is very nice.

Cons: Comfortable but heavy. Too big to wear outside. Recommend these for indoor use only.

great sound but heavy

JimE from sioux falls, sd on 1/24/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Matches the sound quality of my wharfedale opus 2.2 speakers with arcam avr 600 to a spooky degree. The timbre is a near perfect match. It is a little more lush in the midrange and a little less depth and solidity in the bass. It will work with ipod but not well. It really needs a headphone amp to open up. They are quite heavy although the weight is distributed fairly well.

Pros: fantastic sound quality

Cons: heavy, needs a headphone amp for portable cd players, ipod etc.

Best Mid/High-Fi at Price Point.

Steve D from Brooklyn, NY on 12/20/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Upgrading from my Pro 900's this is an absolutely amazing pair of headphones. After doing a massive amount of research I can tell anyone reading this that nothing out right now can even come close to this at this price. Not only is the technology used in this expensive (And only found on $600+ Headphones) but the only reason why it costs so low is because the company found a way to mass produce it, thus cutting out the cost of labor. Quality was not sacrificed and these headphones with the proper AMPS/DAC's will even match (at certain times) higher end $1,000 + Gear. These have a "Fun" signature and will please any non-audiophile as well as the most die-hard ones.

Pros: Sound Quality Good for all genre's Quality Build/Feel Tough and long wire Easier to drive at this price point then most

Cons: Leaks 99% of the sound. Doesn't come with Velour Pads (Much better comfort + sound quality). Can be heavy.

Simply Amazing

JJ from boise, ID on 10/4/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I am not a stranger to HiFI, my main stereo system is comprised of audio research tube pre, belles solid state hot rod, vandersteen 2ce sig II, audioquest cables and interconnects, rega dac so on so forth! I am writing this review while listening to the HE-400's for about 20 minutes now. Vocals are crisp clean and sound as if you are in the room with the artist, imaging is phenomenal and should get better with break in period. I listen to everything and everything sounds great. Plenty of bass during deamau5 Closer, guitars sound great jazz fantastic. I am powering the headphones with the hifiman EF2A and I did change the tubes out with NOS amperex PQ's halo getters; this system is going to get better and better. I cannot stress how life like, warm and detailed these phones are!



Stunning detail and clarity - unmatched performance

Kurt B from Palm Bay, Florida on 8/23/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

You are in for a SHOCK when you listen for the first time. Planar magnetic headphones are a next-level experience. I was skeptical of the hype - can they be this good? YES! You will not be disappointed.

Pros: Leaves all my other headphones (on which I spent too much money) in the dust.

Cons: Not suitable for jogging, commuting, outdoor vigorous activity. MP3 files will now show their weaknesses.


Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Fit Style Over-the-ear
Earcup Type Open
Earcup Width x Height 4.082" x 4.082"
Noise-canceling No
Bluetooth No
Mic For Taking Calls No
iPhone Control ---
Lightning Connector No
Android Control ---
Frequency Response 20-35k Hz
Sensitivity 92.5 dB
Impedance 35 Ohms
Weight 20.4 ounces
Cord Length 120"
1/4-inch Adapter Included Yes
Volume Control No
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research


Overview: The HiFiMAN HE-400 over-ear headphones feature high-performance planar magnetic drivers that provide a warm, pleasant sound signature. The HE-400s come with a detachable 10' Oxygen-free copper cable with a straight 3.5mm plug, and a 1/4" adapter. The headphones store in the supplied black velour pouch.

OFC Cable: The supplied 10' cable is made of Oxygen-free Copper. It has a screw terminal for each ear cup to ensure a secure connection. The cable terminates into a straight 3.5mm plug for use with most portable devices. It comes with a snap-on 1/4" adapter for when you want to listen to your home audio components.


  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 35k Hz
  • Impedance: 35 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 92.5dB

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.