At CES 2014, the Chinese headphone specialist HiFiMAN showed pre-production prototypes of a promising new planar magnetic headphone model to be called the HE-560. In conversations with HiFiMAN founder Dr. Fang Bian, Hi-Fi+ learned that the then-upcoming HE-560 might in all likelihood replace not one but two critically acclaimed HiFiMAN models: namely, the HE-500 and the HE-6. For obvious reasons, then, we and a great many other headphone enthusiasts have been eagerly awaiting the HE-560's release.
Then, in late April, HiFiMAN issued a pre-roll-out press release for the HE-560 (presented in its entirety below), and ishortly thereafter Hi-Fi+ received review samples of the HE-560. However, those samples were in our hands for less than 24 hours before HiFiMAN sent a message that it had made a decision to implement a handful of small engineering changes to the HE-560 and therefore requested immediate return of the review samples. While such decisions can be frustrating in the short term, our belief is that it is far better to get a new model right before releasing it to production, rather than attempting to implement changes "on the fly" and after the fact. Stay tuned for more HiFiMAN HE-560 updates and, in the meantime, enjoy the HiFiMAN press release below, which will give readers a basic overview of the new model.
HiFiMAN Introduces Innovative Planar Headphone: HE-560
Leading High-End Brand Redefines What is Possible in Performance, Style and Comfort
HiFiMAN, a leading designer/manufacturer of high performance headphones and portable audio products, announced their newest full-size planar magnetic headphone, the HE-560, intended for reference use in the home or studio. Replacing the company’s highly popular HE-500, the new HiFiMAN model will retail for $899 MSRP and is available to order now with delivery in May.
The HiFiMAN HE-560 is 30% lighter than comparable headphones allowing the listener to comfortably enjoy music for hours on end with minimal listener fatigue. A newly-designed headband adds to the increased comfort while beveled ear pads provide both comfort as and improved sound quality. To achieve a rich classic look as well as durability, the ear cups are made of premium Teak wood.
On the technical front, the HE-560 challenges the status quo with newly-designed single-ended drivers in open-back design that delivers the lifelike soundstage and spatial imaging that HiFiMAN is known for. Efficiency is increased to 90dB, which allows the HE-560 to be properly driven with a modest size amplifier. To capture every bit of detail, a premium cable comprised of Crystalline copper and Crystalline silver is included as standard.
According to HiFiMAN Founder and President, Dr. Fang Bian, “HiFiMAN headphones have enjoyed a loyal following among audiophiles and discerning music lovers for the last several years. While people liked the sound they kept asking us if we could
make them lighter and more comfortable? The HE-560 is our answer. Our goals for this model as well as ones to follow were to make it as light as a dynamic headphone and not difficult to drive while maximizing its sound quality. The HE-560 represents three years of serious design and engineering work and I believe customers will find our efforts very worthwhile.”
Dr. Bian went on to add, “In addition to improving the ergonomics and comfort through lighter weight and improved headband, we also did years of cutting-edge research on this new single-ended driver. Though this design has had limitations in the past, our
in-depth engineering has managed to greatly improve its efficiency and sound quality in every way. In addition, one of the most overlooked performance features in any headphone is its cable. I have always used the best cables possible in my headphones and am particularly excited about the one I selected for HE-560. It is made of a blend of crystalline copper and crystalline silver made exclusively for us and it sounds wonderful.”
Key Features of the HiFiMAN HE-560:
• Newly-engineered, single-sided, planar magnetic driver provides superior soundstage and spatial imaging
• 30% lighter than other full-size planar magnetic designs for increased comfort
• Increased efficiency so it is easier to drive. Can be used with modest amplifier
• Beveled ear pads for increased comfort and improved sound
• Newly-designed cable comprised of crystalline copper and crystalline silver
Founded by Dr. Fang Bian in 2007, HiFiMAN is widely regarded as one of the leading manufacturers of high performance headphones and portable audio products in the world. HiFiMAN is especially known for its critically-acclaimed Planar-Magnetic
headphones that feature state-of-the-art driver technology. The company also designs and manufactures best-in-class dynamic in-ear phones that have also garnered awards and rave reviews.
HiFiMAN also owns and operates Head-Direct, an online webstore featuring the finest headphones and portable audio players available today, including HiFiMAN products.