Fast forward to today and Massdrop has once again established another market first, with the HE 4XX being Massdrop's first planar magnetic headphone, while they pair'd with Hifiman previous to release the HE 350 a dynamic, the HE 4XX is a depart into uncharted waters! An I can certainly say the maiden voyage for the first community tuned Planar has been a huge win for everyone! Priced at $170, the HE 4XX is by far on of the most pleasurable headphones I've heard in a long time. Combined with it's aggressive pricing and exceptional build quality, they've certainly set a new standard for the market!
Starting with the build quality, I have to say I'm impressed and a little jealous honestly. I own a Hifiman HE 4 one of their legacy planars, and the stock build of the HE 4XX is a real step up from what I remember of my HE 4. Long since modded, I stripped away what felt like cheap plastic from my HE 4 years ago and went with mango wood cups and accents instead. Had my HE 4's original manufacturing felt as good as the HE 4XX, I might have kept it stock.
Plush and well manufactured, the headband is what impresses me most. A little more padded than the original and much more comfortable. The Massdrop team made sure to fix this pain point from the original legacy design.
It both sits comfortable atop of my head and balances the weight of the cups well. The headphones overall gave me little to no neck strain or fatigue. They were light weight and easy to manage over long listening periods!