Headphones and Earphones

HiFiMan HE-500 Over-the-Ear Planar Magnetic Headphones and EF-5 Headphone Amplifier






HiFiMan is a relative newcomer (2006) to the audio product scene. Their specialty is headphones (including over-the-ear and earbuds) and headphone amplifiers. We have reviewed several of their headphones, with positive and enthusiastic findings. The HE-500, reviewed here, are over-the-ear headphones, meaning that they completely enclose the ears. This model also uses planar magnetic drivers, which unlike cone drivers, are flat, very thin plastic membranes, on which is attached a thin conductor. The membrane is near permanent magnets, and when the signal flows through the conductor, the opposing electromagnetic field on the conductive membrane is pushed away from or attracted to the permanent magnets, producing the sound.

The company's line-up of headphone amplifiers includes the EF-2A, EF-5, and EF-6, with the first two models having tubes in the circuit, while the EF-6 is totally solid state. They also market sound cards and DACs.


  • HE-500 Over-the-Ear Headphones
  • Driver: Planar Magnetic
  • Sensitivity: 87 dB
  • MFR: 15 Hz - 50 kHz
  • Nominal Impedance: 38 Ohms
  • Leather Earpads
  • Cable: 10 Feet, Silver Conductors
  • Connector (to Amplifier): 1/4" Phone Plug
  • Dimensions: 3.8" Diameter x 1.8" Deep
  • Weight: 1 Pound
  • MSRP: $699 USD (Purchase On-Line)
  • EF-5 Headphone Amplifier
  • Output Power: 15 Volts Maximum
  • Tube: 12AU7 Dual Triode
  • Output Devices: OPA275 Op-Amps
  • MFR: 20 Hz - 30 kHz
  • THD+N: 0.2%
  • Input Impedance: 50 kOhms
  • S/N: 95 dB
  • Dimensions: 2" H x 4.3" W x 10.6" D (Each Chassis)
  • Weight: 4 Pounds
  • MSRP: $499 USD (Purchase On-Line)
  • HiFiMan
  • SECRETS Tags: HiFiMan, Tubes, Headphones, Headphone Amplifiers