Hifiman HE-500

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by UndefinedMemory, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. UndefinedMemory

    UndefinedMemory Dynamic Driver

    Jan 16, 2012

    I've ordered through you guys before and have been really impressed with the customer service and knowledgability. I've now started looking at the blog and the forum and again am really impressed!

    I recently picked up a Just Audio uHA-120 through your site, and when talking to someone there he said that he has the AHA-120 running his Beyerdynamic T1's (much like the review on the blog ;). He said it's an excellent pairing and I completely believe that. I have already decided on the Hifiman HE-500 as the next purchase, and I have a few questions related to this.

    First off, the price in the US has dropped dramatically to $699 which (obviously not including shipping and tax) comes out at around £450. Even accounting for these things I can't understand how the headphones can be £800. Are you intending to drop the price accordingly? Otherwise unfortunately it will simply be much cheaper to arrange to get them from a US source.

    I really like the uHA-120 (paired with Beyer's DT1350s for portable use) but it doesn't have a DAC and I doubt that it would be enough to power the HE-500s. So I am looking to purchase something else to drive those, preferably something with a DAC. I currently have a FiiO E7, but this is also really underpowered - running from my PC to the FiiO E7 into the uHA-120 isn't loud enough with my Sennheiser HD580s, so I'm currently running a ridiculous setup from the FiiO E7 (PC only has onboard sound) to a stereo amp and then running from the headphone out on the amp to the uHA-120 to get enough power and the better soundstage that the uHA-120 provides! I'm looking to replace this with an E9 soon, which I'm sure will have enough power, but I don't see its quality being anywhere close to what the HE500 can deliver (Edit: found some more comments saying that although the E9 has power it can't drive them properly and clips so I've put a hold on that purchase for the time being).

    What desktop amp can you recommend that would be able to drive the HE-500? Do you have a pair of HE-500s available to test with any of the equipment you sell, i.e. the AHA-120? If it does a good job of driving the headphones then I can always look into another DAC solution. Also, in the blog review of the AHA-120 there's a mention of a DAC coming soon from Justin. I've also had an email saying the same thing, but the review is from March '11 so... any update on this? Any idea when he might be releasing a new product? I love the uHA-120 and expect that a DAC/amp from him would be even better, and hopefully be enough to drive the HE-500s, and being able to support a small, local business like this would be great. I've looked into the Schiit Asgard for similar reasons, but it seems to be hard to get in the UK and most people recommend the Lyr instead of the Asgard for the HE-500s, which imported to the UK I expect would be higher than my budget right now.

    Sorry for such a long post! I've been reading incessantly on Head-Fi but I really wanted to get some more information from someone in the UK who knows what they're talking about to get a better idea of what's available.

    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
  2. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

    Apr 28, 2010
    Hi Undefined memory,

    The HE-500 are coming down in price to £695 (there is not a lot we can do about the VAT:mad:), please contact me via email for a deal on this and an amp.

    You really have to look at the HiFiMAN Lyr - this combination is excellent but there are few amps which will do the HE-500 justice.

    Schiit Lyr Dynamically Adaptive Hybrid Headphone Amplifier


    All the ones I know are more expensive than the Lyr, the other Schiit amps will power these but they are a better fit to the Lyr.

    There is also this -

    Icon Audio HP8 MKII Pure Valve High End Headphone Amplifier

    Which I liked a lot as a combination. Feel free to give us a call:)

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