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Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017)
Hifiman HE-400i (2014)
See Top Ranked Over-Ear Headphones

Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) vs HiFiMan HE-400i (2014)

Analysis:

The Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) is a great Over-Ear Headphone for its $279 asking price.

The Hifiman HE-400i (2014), however, while a reasonable product for $179, doesn't stack up against its competitors quite as well. If you're considering Over-Ear Headphones in the $170 range, you might want to check out some better options.

The Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) has managed to impress reviewers from some of the most highly trusted sources on the internet, including SoundGuys and Tom's Guide. It performed great in their in-depth hands-on roundups - it was awarded the "Best All-around" title by SoundGuys and "The best headphones" by Techradar in their respective Over-Ear Headphone roundups. That's high praise, especially when coming from such high-quality sources.

Returning to the Hifiman HE-400i (2014), it managed to impress reviewers from two sources that are considered to be some of the most highly trusted on the internet, thanks to their in-depth hands-on testing - Wirecutter and SoundGuys. It performed great in their respective Over-Ear Headphone roundups - it was named "Top Pick" by Wirecutter and "Bang for your Buck" by SoundGuys. That's quite an endorsement, especially coming from such high-quality sources.

When we thoroughly analyzed their review scores, we learned that all of the sources that tested both Over-Ear Headphones, including Head-fi, CNET, and Rtings, preferred the Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) over the Hifiman HE-400i (2014).

We also took a look at which sources they managed to impress the most. The Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) was liked best by Pocket-lint, which gave it a score of 10, while the Hifiman HE-400i (2014) got its highest, 8.9, score from Head-fi.

Lastly, we averaged out all of their review ratings and observed that the Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017), with its 8.9 average, performed considerably better than most Over-Ear Headphones - the mean score for the product category being 7.5 out of 10 - while the Hifiman HE-400i (2014) managed an average of 7.4.

There's one caveat here - it might not be entirely justifiable to do a direct Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017) vs. Hifiman HE-400i (2014) review average comparison since they aren't priced the same and more expensive products tend to get higher review scores from some sources.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
SoundGuys
Tom's Guide
HomeTheaterReview.com
Rtings
PCmag
Wirecutter
Techradar
CNET
TrustedReviews
The Verge
Tech. Specs Comparison
Sony WH-1000XM2 (2017)
$279
Hifiman HE-400i (2014)
$179
Has average expert review score
7.6
Overall Avg. for Over-Ear Headphones
7.4
Avg. Review Score
Score
Highly recommended by trusted experts
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best headphones at Target: Trust the red polo shirts” 
Last updated: 17 Oct 2018
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Great noise cancellation meets even greater sound
in “Best Sony headphones 2020: Top wireless and wired Picks” 
Last updated: 21 Aug 2019
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best headphones
in “Headphones, speakers, and soundbars: the best audio tech we heard at IFA 2019” 
Last updated: 7 Sep 2019
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best audio gifts for grads 2018” 
Last updated: 5 May 2018
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #3 out of 10
in “The best Sony headphones 2020: 10 models to appeal to your inner audiophile ” 
Last updated: 27 Jan 2020
Good Housekeeping
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Wireless Headphones for Quality Sound” 
Last updated: 22 Aug 2018
Highly recommended by trusted experts
Wirecutter
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best Everyday Audiophile Headphones” 
Last updated: 12 Mar 2020
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best headphones under $1,000 in 2020” 
Last updated: 12 days ago
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