Disclaimer: Hifiman selected us to receive one of the first samples of the brand new HE-560. Hifiman isn’t a site advertiser.
CHECK OUT THE EDITS BELOW!
EDIT August 28/ Full review of the production sample is now online. This First Impression has NO MORE MEANING. Go HERE: https://headfonia.com/hifiman-he-560-xl-ortho/
The Hifiman HE-560 is one of the headphones everyone has been waiting for and therefor I’m posting this short unboxing write-up and first impression. I will post a full HE-560 review soon with all the specs etc, right now it’s just the basics.
I received the HE-560 yesterday late and I haven’t had a lot of time to play with the successor of my beloved HE-500. Will it be as good? Maybe even better? Will it be more comfortable? Will it be easy to drive? … So many questions and a lot of them got answered last night!
The first thing you notice taking the HE-560 out of its very lovely box, is how light these headphones are compared to the Audez’e LCD-2 and the HE-500. I love the design of this new headphone. The headband might seem a bit weird but oh boy it is comfortable! I myself never had any issues with the weight of the planars like the LCD-2/3 and Hifiman HE-400/500, one of the perks of being used to wearing a helmet I suppose. The new headphone is smaller and a lot of people with a smaller head will certainly appreciate this. Even I have to extend it to get a good fit, not like the HE400/500 where I have to put it on the smallest setting to make it stay on my head. The ear pad opening is also smaller it seems. My ears aren’t the biggest but you can feel the pads against them, this wasn’t the case on the HE-500 and I know a lot of people are “allergic” to feeling the pads.
The build quality does not seem stellar to me and I’m waiting for feedback from Hifiman on this so I prefer not to go into detail as this might be related to this being an early review sample.
Those of you who were hoping to find the sound signature of the HE-500 in the new HE-560 will be disappointed, this to me is a brand new headphone. Several keywords come to mind: – Neutral – Clarity – Detail – Speed – Linearity – Sound stage. The planar technology provides a very black background with beautiful clarity. This new HE-560 is also a lot faster than the HE-500 (speed & attack) and it is very linear. Bass, mids and highs make one complete sound and nothing really stands out delivering a lovely neutral but not boring and detailed sound with a wide sound stage.
Bass: goes deep and has a good impact but my first impressions tell me it is less than the HE-500 (and the Audez’e’s) for sure. Not for bass heads but quality bass
Mids: lovely detail and clarity, logic and perfect extension of the lows
Treble: quite extended to me and a good level of detail. Those who like rolled of treble better stay away it seems
The warm smooth sound and the deep soft bass of the HE-500 on tubes are gone but you get a lot of other things in return.
I’ll try to publish a full review next week. Do take into account that these are very early impressions with under one hour of listening straight out of the box with just one amp. So keep checking Facebook for updates and the site for the reviews!
EDIT: Hifiman requested us to send back the HE-560 and it has been returned in the mean time. I hope to receive a new version soon. We’ll keep you posted
EDIT May 22: HFM confirmed a change in design (cosmetically). They are ready to start the production again and they will be presenting in at Newport next week. They told me personally shipping is expected near mid June!
EDIT May 24: HFM has released pictures of the new unit. Veneer wood instead of full wooden cups, extra damping material
EDIT August 28/ Full review of the production sample is now online: https://headfonia.com/hifiman-he-560-xl-ortho/