A New Generation of Planar Magnetic Performance
HIFIMAN, the leader in planar magnetic headphone technology, has done it again and redefined how good planar driver technology can be. The HE-560 is a premium quality, full-size planar magnetic headphone designed for reference use in the home or studio.
The HE-560 is 30% lighter than comparable headphones, allowing you to comfortably enjoy music for hours on end. In addition, a newly designed headband and beveled earpads provide remarkable comfort as well as improved sound quality.
Rethinking Planar Technology
Using single-ended drivers, the HE-560 delivers the lifelike soundstage and spatial imaging that HIFIMAN is known for. Its increased efficiency allows it to be driven with a modest size amplifier.
Although the previous model HE-4 also used a single-ended design, the HE-560's single ended design is totally different. To create the HE-560, HiFiMAN conducted extensive research into single-ended planar driver design. "Planars require magnets on both sides of the diaphragms and this makes them heavy," said Dr. Fang Bian, Founder and President of HiFiMAN. "But you need the heavy magnets or you have low efficiency, and you also need a very powerful amplifier with them."
"We conducted many experiments over three years trying different designs and drivers," Fang said. "We created 100 different prototypes over three years. We set up a lab in 2011 just for this purpose, and we did research every day in improving the drivers."
According to Fang, "We improved the driver structure and the efficiency so we can cut down the amount of magnets while maintaining the high efficiency. We achieved improved efficiency by the arrangement of the magnets and also by using the very highest quality magnets – the most powerful magnets in the world, in fact."
To capture every bit of detail, a premium cable comprised of Crystalline copper and crystalline silver comes standard.
Single-Ended Design Advantages
According to Fang, his single-ended headphone design provides better soundstage and spatial information. "This is because the design eliminates the magnet that was in between diaphragm and human ears and which tended to significantly downgrade spatial information," according to Fang.
"Normal single ended drivers have slightly more harmonic distortion, but this is not necessarily bad for sound quality," Fang said. "Even harmonic distortion can a provide warm, natural sound signature just as vacuum tubes do. The main problem of most single-ended designs is lower efficiency and 'harmful,' distorted vibrations when playing the headphones at high volume. With the HE-560, we improved the single-ended design and solved the problem – and we call the new design an advanced single-ended planar driver."
As a result of the HE-560's extremely efficient design, a quality headphone amp with a one-to-two-watt output and appropriate output current can drive the HE-560, achieving 85% to 90% of the headphone's full potential. If you want to experience the full potential, however, please use a more powerful headphone amp, such as the HiFiMAN, EF-6 which can provide 5-watts-per-channel.
The HE-560 matches its superb sound quality with luxurious comfort. It takes advantage of HiFiMAN's years of research into earpad design, accounting for both the comfort factor of the earpads and their effect on headphone sound. The new earpads of the HE-560 excel in both feel and sound.
The HE-560 is also exceptionally comfortable because it is so light for a planar design. "We did a lot of work on cutting down mass on every parts of the headband, earcup, and cable," said Fang. "We tried to eliminate as much as 0.k5g (1.1 lbs.) mass, just like making an aircraft. Our efforts paid off, and we successfully achieved our goal."
The headphone is a full 30% lighter than other full-size planar magnetic designs. Beveled earpads add to the comfort factor.
Premium Teak Earcups
Contributing to the high quality appearance and performance of the HE-560 is its premium teak wood earcup construction. In addition to its attractiveness, teak is a very tough and durable wood that is used in making boats for that very reasons. Not only are they resistant to cracking, but they also provide an extra touch of luxury to these phenomenal 'phones, providing a rich, classic look.
|Write Your Own Review|
HE-560s are a great headphone which should cost more based on what the competition audeze and sennheiser are charging. I will even go as far to say depending on the type of music you listen to, they sound even better then some of the lauded cans out there. The HE-560s are very musical. These sound extremely detailed. These cans can rock. The bass gets low. The mids are full. The treble isn't harsh, but it isn't at all mellow. It is revealing. And if you prefer a airyness to your music, you'll be in love.
|They Are Really That Good|
The HE 560 headphones are very spacious is their presentation also quite accurate. At this price you can't go wrong and I strongly recommend these hp's to anyone looking for an exceptional sound -they are really that good.
|- J. Keith M, KS|
These are truly fantastic headphones! Bought them back in November, 2016,. To get the most out of them I decided to buy a dedicated headphone amp and got the Woo WA6 and they sounded even better. You just can't go Wong with Woo. I like the open construction so I can hear the wife yell for me couldn't hear through my closed Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones. There is no comparison to the sound improvement. The ATH-M50x is OK, the HE-560 is a whole other dimension to my listening pleasure.
|- Howard Yoa, CA|
The sound quality I would easily give 5 stars as they are one of the best overall headphones you can find in this price range. They do everything well even if there are areas you wish they did better. I can listen to any genre of music and be happy. From instrumentals of various genres, to metal as well as softer rock, to classical, to various music around the world, to garage bands. The HE560s do a good job in all those genres. For some reason the piano is the one instrument that really shines on these and I love songs with great piano play now. I wish it generated more bass but the bass it generates is very tight and accurate so its hard to be mad at it. I replaced the stock headphone cable with the Cardas Cross headphone cable and believe they sound better with the $280 Cardas cable. That's why I'm knocking off one star.
|Match Made in Headphone Heaven|
Comparing with my more expensive Senn 700s and Stax these phones easily match up with them. I currently have them paired with the Woo WA7 amp which IMO is a match made in headphone heaven. The definition separation and soundstage are all excellent. The sound is accurate and balanced across the sound spectrum without getting too analytical like some headphones can. The build is also superb.
|- HP Guru, MN|
They are great headphones IMO. I still have my HE500 and will keep them. They sound different than the 560 and that's what makes them both appealing. If you have the $ to buy these, they sound good even with the stock cable, but be sure and give them a 24 hour burn-in for best results. I upgraded mine to the Cardas Cross cable and now they sound even better.
|- Warren, M.D., MD|
|Better than my HD650s? 400i? Yes|
The Sennheiser HD-650 has been a favorite of me for years. A little while ago I purchased my first Hifiman headphone, the HE-400i, and I was very impressed. Well of course I wanted to see if there was something I might try as an upgrade. When the HE-560 went on sale I could not longer resist trying something a little more upscale in the Hifiman stable. Is the HE-560 better than the 400i? Yes. Directly off my iPhone I can't tell much difference but when connected to my Oppo HA-1 headphone amp - yes, differences quickly emerge. The 560 sound more accurate and detailed - more fine-tuned. I'm keeping both headphones in my collection because I used them in different settings.
|- Chang Yu, TX|
Mind-blowing! Amazingly comfortable for such a big headphone. Sound Quality: My Congratulations Dr. Fang Bian, the HE560 is a testament to your technical and musical prowess.
|- Lin F, HI|
|Really is a treat with the right hardware|
I picked up a pair of HE 500s from Audioadvisor and I was impressed with the soundstage, base and resolution. I had read mixed reviews of the HE 560, but when I added the Cardas Clear Light cable in the same setup I am running with IFI system they really sound VERY good. The detail, attack, transients, decay and sound stage are excellent. I have to say they have bested my HE 500s which I am currently selling.
|- Kevin K, FL|
I have the HE500 and 560. They are different and I like them both. Upgraded the cord of the 560 to Black Dragon v3. Really brings out the best in them. Another reviewer didn't think they were too great but I suspect his system didn't allow the 560 to shine. They need good hardware to drive them, an amp with good power to make them work. Otherwise, one might do better with something cheaper.
|- Jay C, CA|
|Not better than HE300|
I bought Hifiman HE300, two years before, its $150. I got HE560 last week and compare my old HE300 after 150 hours break-in. I cant say that the sound with any different, it is just little comfortable than HE300.
|- John L, NY|