Hifiman HE4XX Planars or ESS 422h?

So I’m finally getting rid of my ath-m50x’s (lol) and I have these two options. They are both the same price ~£130, regarding the ESS’s yes that includes the Shure pads. I know they are also both very different types of headphones but was wondering what everyone would choose if they had the choice. For reference I do like bass, but I’m open to try new things as I’m not familiar with planars, or AMT’s for that matter.

Edit: I listen to hip-hop, electronic music, and a lil bit of rock

Not sure if the HE4XX give you the bass you’re looking for.
Bass quality on HE4XX is pretty good afaik, but the quantity might disappoint you.
Especially coming from the M50X.

Do you use a headphone amp?

I do not use an amp. I’ve heard some people tweak the HE4XX with an EQ to get more bass out of them, I did this with my M50x’s too, but wonder if it will even be effective without an amp.

Planar headphones that are not specifically designed for portable use (like maybe the Audeze LCD-1), require some amping to achieve the sound they’re capable of.
Can’t speak about EQ, I tend to just embrace the soundsignature of the headphone lol.
If you already EQed the M50X to have more bass, not sure if the HE4XX are for you.

I see, that’s understandable tbh. Thanks for your advice :))

What do you own to power headphones currently?

I just plug them straight into my PC

I have a pair of ESS 422h booked, and I encourage you to come along on the voyage for my own “power of numbers”. However, from a rated impedance/sensitivity perspective - the ESS look comparatively easy to power. Though I always think specialized headphone source beyond PC board output is desirable — I wouldn’t even TRY to run 4xx on on-board.

That’s good to know, and I’m definitely leaning towards the ESS’s because of that niche factor too, it just feels like I’m taking a risk since there’s barely any info on them compared to other headphones. It’s possible I’m simply attracted the 4xx’s because they’re planar, and I’ve never experienced one of them before, but from everything I’ve researched, it seems like I’ll prefer the ESS’s in terms of sound.

Also very unsure about the level of bass output you’re looking for related to these cans.
I haven’t heard that the ESS are bass-monsters, and I’ve found my preferences don’t demand a ton.
I find the 4xx “thicker” than the 5xx, but neither come across as bass-shy for my needs. I’ve heard others disagree.

the he 4xx or planars ion general pretty much need at least one of the $100 amps to drive them. for a 130 pounds I quite like fidelio x2 hr’s for the music you listen to

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Honestly i’m not that fussed if they aren’t bass monsters, I think i’m ready to depart from that whole thing lol. As long as the bass is there and it sounds good then I think i’ll be fine honestly. I think i’m gonna go for the ESS’s.
if I got either I think I’d be happy, but for the 4xx I’d need an amp especially to bring out the low end so there’s that.

IMO HE4XX from what I heared therye pretty good