Disclaimer: Hifiman sent us the Hifiman HE6SE free of charge in exchange for this review.
Hifiman over the last years has quickly become a personal audio brand everyone knows and talks about. They offer a whole range of products for every budget and they strive to continuously extend, improve and update their product line-up.
Hifiman is on full speed and they recently have released a series of new models such as the HE-1000SE, HE6SE, the R2R2000 DAP/streamer, the Arya, the Ananda and even the JADE II electrostat setup. Hifiman is also strongly focusing on the future with wireless connectivity and while I was skeptic about it, the wireless Ananda really impressed my at the High End show in Munich where Mr. Bian let me listen to it.
I have to admit I’m a fan of Hifiman’s headphones and they have produced several fantastic sounding ones over the years such as the HE-500, HE-6, HE-1000, HE-560, HE-400i, Edition X, etc etc etc. I couldn’t possible choose only one favourite Hifiman but the ones I tend to use most are the Ananda, HE-1000SE, Jade II and the HE6SE. And the latter one is the headphone we’re looking at today.
The planar magnetic Hifiman HE6 was one of the most reference headphones in the world back when it came out in 2010. It was probably one of the first high end orthodynamic headphones with such a high level tuning and for Hifiman it was a huge success. Back then however we weren’t used to paying thousands for a high end headphone as we are nowadays. Mike back then immediately loved it though, and that isn’t really a surprise as the HE6 was a real eyeopener to many people in the headphone world. The HE6 quickly became an icon in the headphone world.
You can check out his first impressions here: https://www.headfonia.com/hifiman-he-6-first-impression/
Today the market is different. A $1800USD headphone doesn’t shock us anymore and it’s become easier and cheaper to get a good amplifier which can drive the HE6(SE). It probably also is why Hifiman is launching their new HE6SE again at this time. The HE6SE still isn’t easy to drive and you will still need a good powerful amplifier supplying the headphone with at least 2W/channel, but the HE6SE has been improved in terms of design and comfort. Hifiman and the HE6SE still maintain the original model’s exceptional sonic characteristics, in particular, it’s wide and natural sound stage which – according to the brand – puts the listener in the best seat in the house. Its imaging and depth, they say, are neutral, staying true to the artist’s and producer’s intended sound.
You can find the HE6SE’s dedicated product page right here: http://hifiman.com/products/detail/294
The HE6SE’s shop page is over here: http://store.hifiman.com/index.php/he6se-579.html
Box, Accessories, Price
The HE6SE comes in a beautiful box, the kind of box the HE-1000 models have been coming in, only this time the colours are different: black and grey. This unboxing video from Moon Audio shows you perfectly what to expect:
The HE6SE comes with a crystalline copper and silver 4-pin XLR Balanced cable for optimal signal transmission with near-zero signal loss. It also comes with an adapter to 6.3mm/1/4” and you even get the famous HE-Adapter for driving the HE6se with a full-size power amplifier straight from the speaker outputs. Personally I don’t like the way the new cable is finished. Sure it sounds good, but it doesn’t really look or feel high end in my opinion. The wire used is also very thin, but again, sonically it performs rather well.
The new HE6SE sells for $1800USD directly from Hifiman. Its long time direct competitor, the Sennheiser HD800, is still selling for $1400USD.
The article continues on the next page after the CLICK HERE, or by using the jumps below.