The HiFiMAN HE-560 is a premium full-sized planar magnetic headphone that provides exceptional sound quality and it is still sanely priced. They will need a matching headphone amp to drive it to its fullest potential. This is where the additional cost of an amplifier will make it rather expensive to own a HE-560 but those who do are extremely satisfied with its performance.
We should only match headphone amps that complement the HiFiMAN HE-560 and/or suit your sonic preferences. To do so, we will need to gather enough data about the HE-560 headphones and then we will be using this information to list out the best headphone amplifiers to match with them.
Table of Contents
Sonic Characteristics of the HiFiMAN HE-560
The HiFiMAN HE-560 may look really bulky at first glance and can be a bit intimidating but on further inspection, these full-sized planar magnetic headphones look absolutely gorgeous. Most of the versions are durable and comfortable to wear except for some versions which focus more on durability than comfort. This could be due to the past mishaps of an older version and fortunately, the HiFiMAN responded rather well. If comfort level is your main concern, you might want to check out HiFiMAN HE-560 version one.
As much you want to show off these attractive planar magnetic headphones by using them in public, most people probably would get a little annoyed not by pure jealousy. This is because the HiFiMAN HE-560 uses an open-back design and this means it will leak out sounds. Sound leakage will tend to disturb people who are near you unless they really like what you are listening to. Open-back design also has subpar noise isolation capabilities thus environmental noises will disrupt your music listening experience. The size of the HiFiMAN HE-560 also makes it not really portable.
The frequency response of 15Hz-50KHz shows the HiFiMAN HE-560 has a wide range and could dig deep into the bass extension. The HE-560 headphones are able to produce the subterranean bass frequencies with prominence where we not only hear the sub-bass with clarity but also feel its rumble. What really caught us by surprise when it comes to bass performance will be how smooth it goes all the way down. The linear bass responses do lack the impact which some headphone enthusiasts crave though.
HiFiMAN HE-560’s clean and smooth bass delivery blends in seamlessly with the upper frequencies, giving the overall sound reproduction with just enough weight and depth. While the midrange reproductions of HE-560 sound quite recessed, the highs on the other hand are rather bright-sounding which do allow us to hear more details with pristine clarity. Pushing these full-sized planar magnetic headphones would make them sound overly bright to some listeners. Musical instruments and vocal reproductions sound authentic as well.
Its soundstage size has a decent width and we did expect more. The stereo imaging is good but could be a little more precise though. Partnering headphone amplifiers with certain sonic traits might improve the overall performance and overcome some of the HiFiMAN HE-560 shortcomings. We should avoid partnering the HE-560 with bright-sounding amps as they could further excite the treble. We have listed out the best matching headphone amps which you might want to pick and pair up with your HiFiMAN HE-560 planar magnetic headphones.
HiFiMAN HE-560 Specifications
- Wearing Style: Headband
- Transducer Principle: Open-Back, Planar Magnetic
- Frequency Response: 15Hz-50kHz
- Sensitivity: 90dB
- Impedance: 45 Ohms
- Weight: 375g (0.83lbs)
Best Headphone Amps for HiFiMAN HE-560
The Topping A90 is one of the best headphone amps to go with the HiFiMAN HE-560. The A90 has an incredibly neutral sonic characteristic and doesn’t color the music presentations with its own sound signature. This is great for HiFiMAN HE-560 fans where they will only hear the sonic characteristics of the headphones while being amplified by the A90 amplifier. The low-end prowess of the Topping A90 will work really well together with the bass performance of the HiFiMAN HE-560 as well.
If you are a big fan of HiFiMAN and also want a headphone tube amp then the HiFiMAN EF2A is an ideal choice for you and your HE-560 planar magnetic headphones. Compared to the headphones, the HiFiMAN EF2A is a lot more affordable and adds tube warmth into the overall sound reproduction. The added musicality also brings out the mids a little. You can also choose the tube rolling route to further tweak the sound quality to your liking and add certain sonic traits into the HiFiMAN EF2A headphone tube amplifier.
The Schiit Audio Valhalla 2 is another excellent headphone tube amplifier to pick up and match with the HiFiMAN HE-560. The Valhalla 2 amp has a polished background which allows us to focus more on the music. It also improves stereo imaging, giving the HE-560 more precision in this area. Music details and subtle nuances can be heard clearly as well without sounding highlighted. The stock tubes of the Schiit Audio Valhalla 2 will work well with the HiFiMAN HE-560.
Garage1217 Project Ember II provides versatility to its users, thanks to its hybrid design which enables the headphone amp to drive the HiFiMAN HE-560 with ease. You can also go with the tube rolling option and alter the sonic characteristics of the Project Ember II to suit your preference. The hybrid headphone amp also eases the sharp edges of the HiFiMAN HE-560, making it sound less harsh than usual. The stereo imaging and separation of the Garage1217 Project Ember II will do well with your HE-560, not to mention, the sound staging will also improve.
For listeners who require a DAC, the Chord Mojo will be one of the top headphone amplifiers to go for and pair with the HiFiMAN HE-560. The Chord Mojo has multiple accolades under its belt and has an amazing sound quality to boot, able to deliver an enthusiastic musical performance. It is capable of digging out plenty of music details and producing them out with cohesion. The Mojo headphone amp also adds more body and energy into the overall sound reproduction, giving us a fuller and richer music presentation.
If you prefer a headphone tube amp with an in-built DAC then the Schiit Audio Lyr 2 will be an excellent choice for you. The Schiit Audio Lyr 2 is powerful enough to efficiently drive the HiFiMAN HE-560 planar magnetic headphones. As a modular headphone amp, you can choose to integrate ES9028 DAC Module, or for turntable users, a Phono Preamp Module. The Lyr 2 headphone amp provides a tighter bass control and gives it more impact. It also enables the HiFiMAN HE-560 to sound more authentic.
To Sum It Up
The headphone amps listed here are modestly priced and some of them are really affordable. You should choose the headphone amplifiers which fit your requirements and arrange an audition with them so as to find out if you will like what you are hearing. For listeners who are unable to bring along their HiFiMAN HE-560, you can use the one in the store but they need to be break-in or else it may sound different. It is always recommended to use your own headphones for amp auditions.