The sound of the Hifiman HE1000SE is ruthlessly visceral, displaying detail in your face front and center uniquely and aggressively. The clarity observed during the review was exceptional, while the vast soundstage was also at the top of the things we liked.
Exceptionally crisp and clear with a balanced decay-free from distortion. Set in the right environment for listening and paired with a capable source, the top notes float in that headphone’s expansive headspace.
Even those who don’t consider themselves treble heads will be in awe of this performance, and you can see that the way the top notes perform adds a whole different dimension to the music. The headphones seem practically designed to display jazz and classical in the absolute best light—a match made in heaven.
Natural, balanced, and very very detail-orientated. The midrange surprised me as I expected it to be very cold and overly analytical, but there is natural tonality, and it blends well when mixing with the lows and highs.
It’s not a forward presentation, just right in line, and the space and air of the headphone as a whole again give room for these frequencies to shine. Detail levels reach insane levels, especially on stringed instrumentation, and even more so when things get complicated in large ensemble or orchestra music.
They have the speed to keep up with the madness resulting in you isolating individual instruments and placing them accurately.
The low end is fast, detailed, and textured.
The mid-bass is sublime, and the way it blends into the midrange without overbearing or bleeding was impressive. There is plenty of layer and texture that reveals more than just an impact on a low-end presentation.
The sub-bass response was adequate, but for some tracks, it lacks the right visceral rumble, and if you listen to a lot of bass-heavy music, I would advise leaning towards the Focal Utopia. Still, this is another very impressive area, and I think Hifiman was right in not trying to push the sub-bass too far at the expense of possibly overwhelming other regions of the sound.
Is the Hifiman HE1000SE worth it?
As mentioned, the RRP of the Hifiman HE1000SE is $3500, which is a heck of a lot of money for a headphone. However, it is up at the top of the line before diving into the silly money stuff like the compani’s own Shangri-La headphones system.
Whether it is worth spending this much money, it’s completely subjective. I have a 10,000-dollar carbon race bike (pedal-powered) that I don’t race. It costs more than any of my motorbikes, which have luxuries like engines and suspension.
Some may call that a waste, but it gives me tonnes of enjoyment, so it’s worth it. If you have the money to spend, like the features, and are looking for one of the best-sounding headphones on the market, consider these.
Final Verdict: Hifiman HE1000SE Review Conclusion
The HE1000SE is a fantastic set of headphones with proprietary technology that delivers when it comes to sound. The build quality and material choices are precisely what I would expect at this price point, and every step of the way, they look, feel, and sound like true audiophile headphones.
I can recommend them and be aware that other options in the sub $5000 price range are equally good. Read reviews, make a choice, and ultimately enjoy the music.
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