Review: Hifiman HE6SE – Iconic

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:

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:

The HE6SE’s shop page is over here:


FR: 8Hz-65kHz

Impedance: 50Ohm

Sensitivity: 83.5dB

Weight: 470g

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.

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4.5/5 - (213 votes)

Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.


  • Reply October 24, 2020


    Hello Lieven,

    I have HE6se and after owning for years several headphones and IEM, HE6se is my true house sound and a TOTL that I will certainly never sell.

    I’m considering HD800s as a complement of HE6se (for acoustic songs, well recorded live songs, some Diana Krall songs, etc) because of the acclaimed HD800s soundstage. However I never fell that HE6se soundstage is missing and it can sound big if necessary.

    So for you, is HD800s a good option for me regarding its soundstage? I guess that in other sound aspects, HE6se will be a winner.

  • Reply October 24, 2020


    In other words, does HD800s soundstage provide a unique listening experience compared to HE6se or the difference is not that big?

  • Reply October 26, 2020


    Well the HD800 is extremely wide and spacious. So yes. But wouldn’t you rather get a completely different complementary headphone?

  • Reply October 26, 2020


    For me 800s is already very different from He6se 🙂
    Also I’m finding that I tend to be a balanced / clear headphone guy

  • Reply October 26, 2020


    What would be your suggestion ? I want to keep my budget and 800s used can be find easily

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