With the addition of the Edition X to HiFiMan’s lineup, the obvious question is this: How does it compare to other models like the HE1000 and the HE560? While we’re eager to point out that any of these three headphones will probably leave you stunned by their sounds, there are some differences between them. And knowing those differences can only help you zero in on the one that is best for you.
The Edition X is a slimmer, lighter, lower-impedance model that offers a dynamic listening experience. It’s more about enjoyment than accurate sound, but that being said the sound is still fairly accurate.
It offers depth in the low end, with tons of detail while not drowning out the mids. The highs might be a little piercing, but only at the extremely high end of the frequency range. In all, it seems remarkably similar to the HE400s in philosophy, offering a rich, detailed sound that makes most listeners demand a step back and enough breath to utter “whoa”.
In comparison to the HE1000, it might not seem so detailed, and while the Edition X is definitely “airy” feeling, the HE1000 seems even airier. There’s less of a dynamic feel to the higher-priced model, too, with an almost subdued sound that still comes across as impeccably accurate.
There’s also a certainly more substantial feel to HE1000, due in no small part to the parts used – including a steel headband with real leather padding. The weight is significant, but still not uncomfortable for longer listening sessions.
Meanwhile, for those who wish for a cheaper alternative, the HE560 seems to offer a similar experience to the HE1000 – with a bass that is not as rich or as full as the Edition X but also with a more relaxed high end. It may be more accurate or even-sounding than the Edition X, but still can’t compete with the more coherent HE1000.
All three have excellent clarity and separation, and there’s no real amount of muffling or distortion among the three. The biggest, most glaring differences would be the amount of bass readily present in the Edition X, as well as a lack of any substantial weight. The HE1000 and the HE560 have impedances of about 35 ohms and 45 ohms, respectively, while the Edition X boasts a 25 ohm impedance. This may not seem like such a great difference on paper, but during my testing I noticed that both the HE560 and HE1000 benefited from some serious amping.
Which one should you opt for? If you’re after a rich, full, and dynamic sound that is bass-heavy without ruining the experience (the sound most people will associate with HiFiMan products to begin with), at least consider the Edition X. The fact that it is lighter and works better with low-output devices is just icing on the headphone. But, if you’re more inclined toward an even, accurate sound without as much “oomph” in your bass, either the HE560 or the HE1000 will do wonders for you.
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