Last week, I briefly mentioned the Hifiman HE400se headphones and promised to write about them in more depth in the future. That future is now.
The Hifiman HE400se headphones are old-school, high-fidelity, over-the-ear headphones for dedicated music listening. They use planar magnetic drivers known for their agreeable, effortless sound, and feature an open-back design so the drivers can radiate freely to optimize performance.
Open-back headphones do not isolate you from the outside environment, allowing you to hear what is going on around you. This makes them less than ideal for use in crowded environments or on airplanes, because not only do they not shut out environmental noise, but they leak more sound than closed-back headphones.
The big earcups with mesh backing and soft, adjustable headband make them comfortable and add to the old-school, high-end feel. There are no microphones, Bluetooth or other distractions — just plug them in and listen to the sound. They are on sale for $109 (reduced from $149) at headphones.com, a wonderful value.
I usually refer directly to the manufacturer when I write about a product, and it is very rare that I recommend a specific retailer. However the more I have learned about headphones.com, the more I realized what a good option it is for anyone shopping for headphones, especially anyone who is not an audiophile but wants good sound and good equipment.
Headphones.com offers a very wide selection of quality brands, curated by audiophiles who enjoy spreading their love of audio. The site has a plethora of educational information and forums to help visitors learn about audio equipment. Providing so much guidance and information upfront helps customers land on the right headphones the first time and minimizes returns.
This is especially relevant with headphones because they are a very personal purchase not only in terms of sound quality, but in terms of fit, as well. The best-sounding headphones in the world are of no use if they are uncomfortable, and it's hard to tell what is actually going to be comfortable until you put them on. With good pricing, excellent support and an industry-leading 365-day return period, it is worth checking out headphones.com whenever you are headphone shopping.
Q: How can I add Bluetooth broadcasting to my present audio system's receiver? Is there any way to convert current wired speakers to receive those of any wireless audio signals?
A: If your stereo receiver has a tape loop connect, you can connect a Bluetooth transmitter (available for $25 or less) to the tape loop output. Anything playing on the receiver also will be sent out as a Bluetooth signal.
There are no plug-in modules that take a wired speaker and make it wireless. It's best to just get a new wireless speaker, especially with so many good ones available. If you want bookshelf-style speakers, the $269.99 Kanto YU2 is excellent, and the Edifier R1280T is a great budget buy at $119.99.
Send questions to Don Lindich at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get recommendations and read past columns at soundadvicenews.com.