CanMania 2014: HiFiMAN showing some hot new cans


CanManiaHiFiMAN has a large catalog of personal audio products, including digital audio players, headphones, amplifiers and everything you’d need to connect them.

Where I’ve seen them, repeatedly, is on the headphone front with the sonically awesome but notoriously difficult to drive HE-6 headphones ($1,300). I know reviewers that have these headphones just to abuse headphone amplifiers as a kind of torture test! But when well-driven, as by the HiFiMAN EF-6 headphone amplifier ($1,600), with its 5 watts of output power, the HE-6 can provide one of the most musically engaging personal audio experiences currently available on the market (the set is available for $2,300). Deep bass, tonal richness and oodles of detail and air make for a very compelling package. And that’s just the start.

A pair of new entrants from HiFiMan were recently announced, the HE-400i ($499) and the HE-560i ($899). Both are planar-magnetic and are considerably easier to drive than the older HE-6. The new cans are single-ended only, unlike most of the designs in the HiFiMAN stable, and 35Ω and boast over 90dB in sensitivity. Not sure I’d pair either with an iPhone, but I suppose you could get away with it. The weight of both headphones is also relatively modest, making their use and long-term wearability rather high. In my short time with both headphones here at CanMania, they’re an easy recommendation and viable alternatives to some class-leaders in the segment. I hope to have more to say on these guys soon!

I also found here the new digital audio player, the HM-700. This device is remarkably sleek, with what looks like a hinge in the middle of the unit, like it’s some kind of flip-based phone. The bottom panel is  where all the navigation buttons are laid out, and that top half is the display. The unit carries 32G of storage but doesn’t support AIFF and is limited to 48kHz sampling, which means a target audience that doesn’t really line up with audio’s high-end. It’s cool-looking, though. Prices vary with the included ear-bud headphones: $249 with the RE-400 and the price jumps to $499 with the RE-600.





About Scot Hull 1063 Articles
Scot started all this back in 2009. He is currently the Publisher here at PTA, the Publisher at The Occasional Magazine, and the Executive Producer at The Occasional Podcast. There are way too many words about him over on the Contributors page.


  1. Are you sure the HE-560i is single ended only? It runs separate cables to each earcup and appears to use the same coax connectors as the all their other models.

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