So comfortable that you forget the time! The charm of the HIFIMAN headphone amplifier “EF400” that is irresistible for music lovers

Audio products can be broadly divided into two directions, or product concepts. One is the monitor, the other is the listening. The two are mainly different in terms of usability, but of course, the sound creation is also different.

This time, I was able to come across a headphone amplifier that is very attractive as a product for listening, and that gives you a sound that is so comfortable to listen to that you want to say it is excellent. That is the HIFIMAN EF400 .

In fact, the amount of time I spend listening to music has increased significantly since I got this product. Due to the nature of my work, I think I spend about 3-4 hours a day listening to sounds, which is a relatively large amount of time, but that’s just listening time to check the product. And that adds up to a few extra hours of “enjoying the music”. Of course, it is necessary to limit the listening time to give my ears a rest, but I can’t resist the urge to fully enjoy music with my favorite headphones, and I just listen to music for hours with the “EF400”. . For me, it’s like a devil’s temptation.

Such “EF400”, but the appearance is very ordinary. The smart body of 228 (width) x 246.5 (depth) x 61 (height) mm has only two digital inputs, USB Type-C and USB Type-B. In addition to XLR 4-pin, 4.4mm balanced, 6.3mm & 3.5mm headphone outputs, it can also be used as a standalone DAC by having XLR and RCA line outputs, which is rather a simple system configuration. ing.
However, inside it is equipped with HIFIMAN’s original R2R DAC “Himalaya DAC” module, which has been well received for its Bluetooth module, etc., and a high-output headphone amplifier circuit, ensuring a fully balanced output. In addition, noise is greatly reduced by adopting an OFC wound toroidal transformer. Contrary to the smart appearance, it is a collection of high-quality sound technology that can be said to be the royal road for audio products.
In addition, it is extremely simple in terms of functionality, and the only operations are gain switching and volume adjustment. This may also be intended to avoid the sound quality deterioration that may occur by providing various switches.

Nonetheless, gain switching is not only high/low, but also OS (oversampling) and NOS (non-oversampling) can be switched, which is unique to R2R DACs. With headphone output and USB Type-C input, smartphones and portable DAPs can be directly connected, and products are being made that take into consideration user needs in terms of both hobby and usability. It is also quite convenient that it can be used as a USB DAC by using the line output.

The greatest appeal of the EF400 is that it can play various headphones with a well-balanced and comfortable sound. So, this time, I would like to listen to various headphones again and introduce what kind of sound you can hear. By the way, as a player, I tried Astell & Kern “A & ultima SP2000T”, mainly Windows 11 notebook PC (“LG gram”).
which is well-balanced in terms of price range . When connected with an unbalanced 3.5 mm, the combination of powerful low range and clear mid-high range, the characteristic of “Edition XS” which has an impressive sound is kept as it is, and the low range unique to the flat drive diaphragm is preserved. In addition to being able to feel the goodness of the focus, the accompaniment feels even better. Mid-to-high range is surprised by the large number of sounds and the size of the sound field. The localization is also solid and unshakable.

It was the same brand, and it was a good match in terms of price range, so it was an excellent match. It goes particularly well with classical music, and provides a lively, grand-scale performance. It is also a good impression that each musical instrument sounds realistic. On the other hand, J-pop isn’t the best match, but the highly realistic performance draws you in, so it’s fun in its own way. Above all, the mid- and high-range listening comfort is excellent. It’s a very fun sound to listen to that fits perfectly into the listening category.
I also tried the lower grade ” SUNDARA “. This is also a headphone with an open housing, like the “Edition XS”. The timbre tendency is different from “Edition XS”, and it feels like a balance that emphasizes the midrange. The presence of vocals becomes stronger, and the tone of the voice sounds calmer. For those who often listen to female vocals, this is also a good combination.
By the way, when I tried connecting the ” DEVA Pro ” , which uses a Bluetooth module, to the “EF400” via a wired connection, I was able to enjoy a more calm and moist sound that was similar to the “SUNDARA”. Perhaps because the Bluetooth module uses the same R2R DAC, it is interesting that there is little difference in timbre from wireless listening. It seems to be a good idea to use it wirelessly for normal use, and enjoy a wired connection with the EF400 when you want to listen carefully.

Next , try the Audio Technica ” ATH-ADX5000 ” with a 4.4mm balanced connection. This will give you the most comfortable sound ever. The vocals have a richly expressive sound that clearly conveys the characteristics of each voice, and Rena Ueda leaves her unique sweetness while giving a lively singing voice. Aimer and MYTH & ROID are also very moving because you can listen to mature singing voices from a close distance. Aimer, in particular, shows a moving sense of unity with the overlapping of her voice and the cello, and enhances the impression of her singing voice one step or two. It is a combination that shows outstanding compatibility beyond the combination of the same brand.

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