Hifiman HE1000SE Review – Epic Planar Magnetic Headphones

The Hifiman HE1000se is a testament to the art of high-end headphone design, a product that has been refined over several iterations to reach its current form. These headphones are a luxurious offering from Hifiman, a brand known for its commitment to delivering top-tier audio experiences. The HE1000se is a product that appeals more to emotions than reason, especially when considering its price point. However, the allure of these headphones lies in their ability to deliver a sound experience that is both immersive and captivating, making them a worthy consideration for any audiophile.

The HE1000se is the third and latest incarnation of the HE-1000 series, following the original model and the V2. Each iteration has brought about improvements and refinements, with the HE1000se being the most user-friendly version yet. This model is designed to be easier to drive, with a higher sensitivity that allows it to work well with a wider range of amplifiers. Despite its high price tag, the HE1000se offers an audio experience that is hard to match, making it a tempting proposition for those who value sound quality above all else.

In this article, you will have a chance to learn everything about the Hifiman HE1000se headphones. I will cover them from top to bottom to help you decide whether you want to invest in these headphones.

Hifiman HE1000SE Review

Hifiman HE1000SE (2018)
Model:Hifiman HE1000SE (Wired)
Ear coupling:Over-Ear
Type:Open-Back, Planar Magnetic
Sensitivity: 96 dB
Frequency response:8Hz – 65kHz
Impedance:35 Ohms
Weight:440 g
Foldable:No
Color: Silver/Wood
Warranty:3-year warranty from the original date of purchase
Best Place to Buy: Buy on Amazon

Design & Comfort

The HE1000se is a large, over-ear headphone with a design that is as impressive as its sound. The ear cups are large and enclose the entire ear, providing a comfortable fit even during long listening sessions. The headband, made of leather, ensures that the weight of the headphones, which is 440 grams, does not feel heavy. The design is not just about comfort, though. The large ear cups house a diaphragm that covers almost the entire earpiece, contributing to the exceptional sound quality of these headphones.

However, the design is not without its flaws. Some users might find the squeaking sound produced when turning the ear cups a bit irritating. Also, the cables, while looking exclusive with their transparent socks, are not particularly coilable, which might be a minor annoyance for some users.

Build Quality

The build quality of the HE1000se is solid and impressive. The headphones are primarily made of aluminum, with details in wood and black leather cushions, giving them a premium and sturdy feel. The cables are attached to the headphones with 3.5 mm plugs, making it relatively easy to replace them if needed. However, the metal joints in the headband could use some improvement as they tend to produce a beeping sound.

Connectivity

The HE1000se comes with three cables in the box, each with different terminations: a 3.5 mm, a 6.35 mm, and a balanced 4-pin XLR. This variety of cables allows users to connect the headphones to a wide range of devices and amplifiers, enhancing their versatility.

Sound Quality & Performance

The sound quality of the HE1000se is where these headphones truly shine. They deliver a perfectly tuned bass that is extensive and provides a superb foundation for music. The soundstage is larger than most other headphones, creating an engaging soundscape that immerses the listener in the music. The headphones also excel in delivering the nuances of music, from the weakest keystrokes to the strongest projections.

However, the sound quality can be influenced by the type of cable used. With unbalanced cables, the tones from the keys might bleed a little into each other. Using a balanced 4-pin XLR cable can help to separate the tones to a greater extent and provide a blacker background for the tones to stand out.

Audio Mixing

The HE1000se excels in audio mixing, providing a clear and detailed sound that allows listeners to distinguish between different instruments and sounds. The headphones deliver a sound that is crisp, fast, and detailed, making them ideal for professional audio mixing and mastering.

Noise Isolation

As open-back headphones, the HE1000se does not provide much noise isolation. This design choice is intentional, as it allows for a more natural and spacious sound. However, it also means that these headphones are best used in quiet environments where external noise won’t interfere with the listening experience.

Tonality

The HE1000se delivers a tonality that is fast and neutral, with a sound that is detailed and clear. The headphones have a smooth frequency response, with an impressively linear bass. The gain at 6.5 kHz highlights details but needs a low distortion amplifier so as not to sound sharp.

Driver Technology

The HE1000se uses planar magnetic driver technology, which is known for its ability to deliver a detailed and accurate sound. The diaphragm on the HE1000se is only a few nanometers thick, which is key to the sound quality of the headphones. The magnets are laid out so that they are as transparent as possible, with little turbulence, and it is claimed that the interference pattern formed by ordinary plane magnets, as the sound waves pass through the magnets, is gone here.

Brand Reputation

Hifiman is a well-respected brand in the audio industry, known for its high-quality headphones and audio equipment. The brand has a reputation for pushing the boundaries of audio technology and delivering products that offer exceptional sound quality. The HE1000se is a testament to Hifiman’s commitment to excellence and innovation in audio technology.

What’s In The Box?

  • HIFIMAN HE1000se Headphones.
  • 1x Headphone cable (1.5 metres) (3.5mm Jack)
  • 1x Headphone balanced cable (1.5 metres) (4.4mm Jack)
  • 1x Adapter (3.5mm to 6.35mm)
  • 1x Pair of ear pads

Price

The HE1000se is a high-end product with a price tag to match. At around $2000 USD, these headphones are certainly not cheap. However, for those who value sound quality above all else and are willing to invest in a premium audio experience, the HE1000se offers value for money.

Hifiman HE1000SE Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Exceptional sound quality with a perfectly tuned bass
  • Comfortable design with large ear cups and a leather headband
  • Comes with three different cables for versatility
  • Uses planar magnetic driver technology for detailed and accurate sound
  • High sensitivity makes it easier to drive with a wide range of amplifiers

Cons

  • High price tag
  • Squeaking sound when turning the ear cups
  • Cables are not particularly coilable

Who Is Hifiman HE1000SE Best For?

The Hifiman HE1000se is best suited for serious audiophiles who value sound quality above all else and are willing to invest in a premium audio experience. These headphones are also ideal for professional audio mixing and mastering, thanks to their detailed and accurate sound. However, due to their open-back design, they are best used in quiet environments where external noise won’t interfere with the listening experience.

Final Verdict – Is The Hifiman HE1000SE Worth It?

The Hifiman HE1000se is a high-end headphone that delivers an exceptional audio experience. From its comfortable design to its detailed and accurate sound, these headphones are a testament to HiFiMan’s commitment to excellence in audio technology. While the high price tag might be a deterrent for some, for those who value sound quality above all else and are willing to invest in a premium audio experience, the HE1000se offers value for money.

In conclusion, the Hifiman HE1000se is a worthy investment for serious audiophiles and audio professionals. These headphones deliver a sound experience that is immersive and captivating, making them a joy to listen to. Despite some minor design flaws, the overall performance and sound quality of these headphones make them a standout choice in the high-end headphone market.

Thank you for reading my Hifiman HE1000se review. I hope it was helpful!

Model:Hifiman HE1000SE (Wired)
Ear coupling:Over-Ear
Type:Open-Back, Planar Magnetic
Sensitivity: 96 dB
Frequency response:8Hz – 65kHz
Impedance:35 Ohms
Weight:440 g
Foldable:No
Color: Silver/Wood
Warranty:3-year warranty from the original date of purchase
Best Place to Buy: Buy on Amazon

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