Hifiman HE-400i Review, A Planar Magnetic Headphone

Let’s get real; scoring the best magnetic headphones isn’t a child’s play. You might think there are plenty of potential options for you out there. But, as a dedicated audiophile and music enthusiast, I can assure you that the range of worthy magnetic headphones is, sadly, very few.

Audiophiles and melophiles love to dig deeper to acquire authentic versions of podcasts, music, and more. Thus, I have sunk hours in exhaustive research to find everyone’s one true match. Luckily, my research came to an end when I stumbled across the HIFIMAN HE-400I Over-Ear Full-Size Planar Magnetic Headphones.

Hifiman HE-400i_inbox
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If you know anything about magnetic headphones, you know that the sound quality, look and appeal and comfort with this Hifiman creation are unparalleled. But, in case you don’t, stick with me to know everything about its features and unmatchable quality.

Related: Hifiman Ananda Review

HIFIMAN HE-400I Specifications:

Come, take a look at the Hifiman headphone specifications and ensure yourself why these are better than the rest.

  • Ear Placement: Over-ear
  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Cables and connections: Dual 3.5mm connections with 1.5m removable cable
  • Sensitivity: 93 dB
  • Impedance: 35 Ohm
  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 35kHz
  • Weight1: 3.1 ounces
  • Dimensions: 8 x 7 x 4.5 inches
  • Driver type: Planar magnetic

The Pros & Cons of the product:

Before we dive in further, let’s skim through the benefits and drawbacks of the Hifiman magnetic headphones. This will enhance your idea even more on how they work.

Pros of the Hifiman HE-400I Magnetic Headphones

  • The headphones are incredibly lightweight and comfortably rests on the head and ears.
  • It can provide authentic and detailed sound quality on both active and passive modes.
  • The velour-covered earpads minimize fatigue and strain and let you wear them for long hours.
  • It offers a diverse range of usability and is compatible multiple devices.

Cons of the Hifiman HE-400I Magnetic Headphones

  • Users might need a good amp to pump the volume.
  • The earpad material is too thin for some peoples’ liking.

To be fair, it depends on what kind of user is utilizing these headphones when it comes to the amps because not all genres of users will need a booming bass. In the end, the positives outweigh the negatives in these Hifiman magnetic headphones, and that’s what counts.

HIFIMAN HE-400I Details:

The benefits didn’t convince you? That’s fine because I plan to share the product details of these Hifiman headphones. Let’s see why and how they stand out.

What is the HIFIMAN HE-400I planar magnetic headphone like physically?

The headphones come in an all-black design with metal headbands over the ears. The headbands can be clicked into place for better adjustments.

Moreover, gamers love these pairs as the headbands don’t have many clamps, which can strain your ears from prolonged hours of usage. Yes, you got it right – they won’t cause fatigue even if you’re a glasses wearer.

The ear cups are made from grade-A ABS polymer with a glossy charcoal finish which gives off a contemporary look. Hifiman’s ear pads have velour and leatherette enclosures, which maximize comfort and minimize pressure patterns.

The best part is that the ear cups have enough wiggle room and pivot for each user’s stability. The headband is protected with a round of fabric and foam to deliver support and prevent them from falling off.

How is the Hifiman HE-400I used?

The best part about this pair is that it’s highly versatile. Laptops, Android phones, IOS, PCs – you name it, and the Hifiman all-rounder will be there to save the day with its ample usability. Now, don’t get me wrong, the sound frequencies on this piece are unmatchable.

Consequently, some music enthusiasts who love to feel each beat and bass prefer to opt for a good quality amp to oomph up the power a little. Any top-rated DAC, sound card, or amp will do a decent job.

Along with plugging them in your laptop or PCs, some users love them to be driven a bit, and that’s when an amp is required. The only difference with and without an amp is that the headphones will scale up and be louder than regular use.

Hifiman HE-400I Magnetic Headphones Features and rate performance

Hifiman HE-400I Rate
  • Sound quality
  • Performance
  • Ease of Use
  • Design & Built

Sound Quality

This is where the headphones were delightful and really came alive. Who doesn’t love to acquire spatial imaging and a lively sound stage? That too, when it comes to such a compact deal – it’s a win-win.

The efficient 93dB lets users face a modest amplified sound quality whether you’re using a PC or as a portable audio player. Moreover, this Planar Magnetic consistently serves superior sound quality, beating and surpassing its rivals and predecessors. The massive diaphragm design lets flexible and high signal input treble and bass, which is handy for musicians who love rock pieces.

And the accuracy of the sound quality is also a creation of the lightweight diaphragm design. What’s even better is that the magnetic force is evenly distributed to reproduce live sound, distinct clarity, airy soundstage, and eliminate distortion.


I love that these headphones are so lightweight and portable that neither connecting them to devices nor traveling with them ever seems like an issue.

Due to the comfortable and modern design, wearing it for long hours never seemed to be the issue. The removable cables and connections seem to be a part of the rave as musicians, gamers and audiophiles love to switch things up a bit to get the best, authentic quality sound.

But that’s not it. These magnetic headphones accomplish all of it while being consistent through it all – now that’s the glory of it.

Ease of Use

The usability rate on this speaks for itself. Getting to deliver differing needs of audiophiles, gamers, and music enthusiasts and high portability are praise-worthy on their own.

However, the best feature of these headphones is that you can minimize and maximize the volume and bass if you wish to. The volume and bass boost can be simply achieved by connecting an amp to the setup.

It goes without saying that the possibilities of combining these to PCs, laptops, phones, and speakers are indeed versatile for studio or home listening.

Design & Built

The ABS polymer, beveled ear pads, and glossy exterior have owned up to giving these headphones a strikingly contemporary look. The design is classy and could turn a few heads, but these are also completed with top-tier quality materials.

Therefore, the headphone is relatively rigid and sturdy yet, flexible in the crucial points. But don’t let the sleek design mislead you, as the intricate patterns, style, pure-black exterior, and glossy finish just complement how comfortable the headphones are.

Related: Planar Magnetic Headphones Reviews

Hifiman HE-400i features

Hifiman HE-400I Magnetic Headphone Alternatives

It looks like you’re still indecisive about the Hifiman Magnetic headphones. Don’t fret yet. I’ve also listed a few alternate options so you can make an unbiased decision.

Philips Audio Philips SHP9500 HiFi Precision Stereo Over-Ear Headphones

Here’s a budget-friendly alternate headphones option for you. The Philips precision over-ear headphones have breathable and cushiony headbands and ear cups, which seem to have most fans sold.

The extra comfort in wear, sound quality, and connective capacities are identical to the Philips and Hifiman headphones. Overall, you will not be disappointed with this purchase.

Besides the price point, the Philips and Hifiman headphones have vast noise cancellation differences. Whereas Hifiman does an exemplary job in it, Philip’s noise cancellation feature is underwhelming.

Sennheiser HD 599 Over-The-Ear Audiophile Headphones

These Sennheiser headphones are one of the best alternates for audiophiles. If you desire accurate and natural reference sound, you can indeed look into this model.

You will get extended low-end reaches and a crystal clear bass feature in this Sennheiser deal. But, audiophiles love that the design is tilted to fit the angles of your ears perfectly.

While the ergonomic shape, connective technology, and additional components match the Hifiman headphones, these pair are targeted explicitly for audiophiles. Thus, these lack the versatility that the Hifiman holds. Needless to say, users feel quite limited while using this pair in terms of use.

Frankly, both of these alternatives seem great and budget-friendly too.

However, the truth remains that when they’re placed and compared next to the Hifiman headphones, not all users are a fan of giving up the potential that the Hifiman holds. Noise cancellation and versatile usage are big pluses that many users need without even specifying, so it would definitely be a loss.


To boil it down, the Hifiman HE-400I Over-Ear Planar Magnetic headphones are a game-changer, especially for those users who have planted their feet in every possible genre like enjoying music leisurely or being an avid audiophile.

Believe it or not, but with this sound quality, comfort, stylish appearance, and remarkable usability, the price you pay will seem minor next to the value received. Don’t miss out on this pair if this stunner is within your budget and matches your needs.

Even though some users find that purchasing an amp to boost the volume and bass is necessary, others are pretty happy with the solo purchase. Thus, if you think an amp is required, go ahead; it will only enhance the tremendous potentials these Hifiman magnetic headphones feature.

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