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Sony WH-1000XM4 (2020)
HifiMan HE-400s (2015)
See Top Ranked Open-Back Headphones

Sony WH-1000XM4 (2020) vs HifiMan HE-400s (2015)

Analysis:

The HifiMan HE-400s (2015) hasn't managed to earn a top spot in any roundups from sources that conduct trustworthy hands-on testing. Nevertheless, reviewers from sites, such as Head-fi, Headphone Review, Headfonics, and Audioholics all gave it a spot on their list.

As for the Sony WH-1000XM4 (2020) - it impressed reviewers from a large number of sources that perform high-quality in-depth testing, including TechGearLab, Wirecutter (NYTimes), PCmag, Tom's Guide, CNET, SoundGuys, Laptop Mag, and Rtings. It did great in their Open-Back Headphone roundups - it got named "Top Pick" by TechGearLab, "Top Pick" by Wirecutter (NYTimes), and "Best Noise Cancellation for Audiophiles" by PCmag. That alone points toward it being an excellent product.

We conducted an analysis of all of the review data that we could find on these two products. First, we focused on sources that tested and rated both of them, like Headphone Review, and learned that they all showed a preference for the Sony WH-1000XM4 (2020).

Then we took a look at the highest review scores that these two Open-Back Headphones received. We found that the HifiMan HE-400s (2015) managed to earn a rating of 8.8 from Head-fi, whereas the Sony WH-1000XM4 (2020) got its highest, 10, score from reviewers at TrustedReviews.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Open-Back Headphones on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Open-Back Headphones being 7.8 out of 10, whereas the HifiMan HE-400s (2015) and Sony WH-1000XM4 (2020) managed averages of 8.4 and 9.3 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct HifiMan HE-400s (2015) vs. Sony WH-1000XM4 (2020) comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
SoundGuys
CNET
Rtings
Tom's Guide
PCmag
TechGearLab
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Laptop Mag
Techradar
Android Central
Tech. Specs Comparison
Sony WH-1000XM4 (2020)
$348
HifiMan HE-400s (2015)
Wireless
-
No
Higher than average expert review score
7.9
Overall Avg. for Open-Back Headphones
8.4
Avg. Review Score
Score
Highly recommended by trusted experts
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The 8 Best Headphones - Fall 2021” 
Last updated: 8 days ago
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best wireless headphones in 2021” 
Last updated: 10 days ago
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best noise cancelling headphones” 
Last updated: 10 days ago
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best travel tech gifts” 
Last updated: a month ago
TechGearLab
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Over Ear Headphones of 2021” 
Last updated: 29 Jul 2021
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best Tech and Apps for Your Home Office” 
Last updated: 15 Jul 2021
Laptop Mag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best wireless headphones in 2021” 
Last updated: 23 days ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Noise Cancellation for Audiophiles
in “The Best Headphones for 2021” 
Last updated: 7 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best wireless over-ear headphones” 
Last updated: 6 days ago
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best noise-cancelling headphones 2021: ANC headphones to suit every budget” 
Last updated: 14 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best headphones with Amazon Alexa support 2021” 
Last updated: 15 days ago
techadvisor.com
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best noise-cancelling headphones 2021” 
Last updated: 21 Sep 2021
creativebloq.com
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best noise-cancelling headphones in 2021” 
Last updated: 2 Aug 2021
Android Authority
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Google Assistant headphones” 
Last updated: 14 Jul 2021
reviewgeek.com
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best AirPods Max Alternatives” 
Last updated: 17 Feb 2021
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Headphones
in “The Best Home Office Setup Products of 2021” 
Last updated: 9 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The 7 Best Office Headphones - Fall 2021” 
Last updated: 9 days ago
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best headphones in 2021” 
Last updated: 10 days ago
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Google Assistant headphones” 
Last updated: 26 Sep 2021
TechGearLab
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Wireless Headphones of 2021” 
Last updated: 29 Jun 2021
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best headphones for graduation 2021” 
Last updated: 24 May 2021
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best Over-Ear Headphones” 
Last updated: 4 Feb 2021
Laptop Mag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best noise-cancelling headphones in 2021” 
Last updated: a month ago
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Noise Cancellation for Audiophiles
in “The Best Wireless Headphones for 2021” 
Last updated: 7 days ago
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Bluetooth headphones 2021: Superb-sounding wireless headphones for every budget” 
Last updated: 21 days ago
What Hi-Fi?
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best headphones of 2021” 
Last updated: 24 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Sony headphones 2021” 
Last updated: a month ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best Sony headphones 2021: incredible cans to appeal to your inner audiophile” 
Last updated: 23 Sep 2021
techadvisor.com
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best headphones 2021” 
Last updated: 20 Aug 2021
creativebloq.com
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best headset for working at home in 2021” 
Last updated: 29 Jul 2021
Android Authority
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best Sony headphones you can buy” 
Last updated: 14 Jul 2021
Gear Patrol
Trusted Source
-
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The 10 Best Audio Products of 2020” 
Last updated: 2 Jan 2021
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Wireless Headphones
in “The Best Tech Products for Back-to-School of 2021” 
Last updated: 26 Aug 2021
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The 8 Best Over-Ear Headphones - Fall 2021” 
Last updated: 9 days ago
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best noise-cancelling headphones in 2021 — ANC earbuds and over-ears tested” 
Last updated: 21 days ago
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best Bluetooth headphones under $400” 
Last updated: 25 Aug 2021
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Mother's Day gifts in 2021” 
Last updated: 2 May 2021
TechGearLab
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Noise Cancelling Headphones of 2021” 
Last updated: 13 Apr 2021
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Noise Cancellation for Audiophiles
in “The Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones for 2021” 
Last updated: 7 days ago
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Also great
in “The Best Bluetooth Wireless Headphones” 
Last updated: 26 Aug 2021
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best wireless headphones 2021” 
Last updated: 15 Sep 2021
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best noise-cancelling headphones of 2021: our top ANC headphones for every budget” 
Last updated: 8 Sep 2021
Android Authority
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best Alexa headphones you can buy (June 2021)” 
Last updated: 7 Jun 2021
iMore
Trusted Source
-
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best Headphones for Zoom 2021” 
Last updated: 25 Mar 2021
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best headphones for noise cancellation
in “Best headphones 2021: The top wired and wireless headphones to buy” 
Last updated: 20 days ago
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Headphones
in “Welcome to our 2020 Best of Year awards!” 
Last updated: 13 Nov 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The 7 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones - Fall 2021” 
Last updated: 10 days ago
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best over-ear headphones in 2021” 
Last updated: 26 Sep 2021
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best AirPods Max alternatives” 
Last updated: 6 Aug 2021
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best headphones and wireless earbuds for iPhone 12” 
Last updated: 8 Feb 2021
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Noise Cancellation for Audiophiles
in “The Best On-Ear/Over-Ear Headphones for 2021” 
Last updated: 23 Sep 2021
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best headphones for students: our top picks for back to school cans” 
Last updated: 17 Aug 2021
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best AirPods Max alternatives 2021” 
Last updated: 31 Jul 2021
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The 5 Best Sony Headphones of 2021” 
Last updated: 15 days ago
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best AirPods Max alternatives in 2021” 
Last updated: 5 Aug 2021
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Bluetooth headphones for conference calls” 
Last updated: 22 Jul 2021
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best headphone gifts for 2021” 
Last updated: 6 Jan 2021
PCmag
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 9.0 out of 10
in “The Best Tech Products of 2020 - Audio” 
Last updated: 24 Nov 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best noise-canceling headphones 2021” 
Last updated: 29 Jul 2021
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best iPhone headphones: the top earbuds and headphones for your Apple device” 
Last updated: 1 Jul 2021
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The 6 Best Bass Headphones - Fall 2021” 
Last updated: 16 days ago
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best Bluetooth LDAC Headphones of 2021” 
Last updated: 2 Jul 2021
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The best Sony headphones in 2021” 
Last updated: 26 May 2021
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best over-ear headphones for 2021” 
Last updated: 13 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best headset for conference calls 2021: best headphones with a mic for working from home and more” 
Last updated: 1 Mar 2021
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best TV Headphones 2020” 
Last updated: 16 Oct 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The 8 Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones - Fall 2021” 
Last updated: 21 days ago
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best alternatives to Beats” 
Last updated: 1 Jul 2021
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best wireless headphones for 2021” 
Last updated: 18 days ago
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best Sony headphones for voice and video calls
in “The best headphones with a mic for voice and video calls in 2021” 
Last updated: 10 days ago
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Top Christmas gifts for music lovers: from turntables to great headphones” 
Last updated: 9 Dec 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best headphones for Zoom, Skype, Google Meet 2021” 
Last updated: 20 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The 7 Best Travel Headphones - Fall 2021” 
Last updated: 27 Sep 2021
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best over-ear headphones” 
Last updated: 24 Jun 2021
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “All the best headphones for working at home in 2021” 
Last updated: 21 days ago
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best Alexa headphones for feature fanatics
in “The best Alexa headphones and earbuds in 2021” 
Last updated: 10 Aug 2021
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best over-ear headphones 2021: the top cans from Sony, Sennheiser, and more” 
Last updated: 23 Sep 2021
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best noise-canceling assistant
in “Best headphones with Google Assistant support 2021” 
Last updated: 16 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The 5 Best Closed-Back Headphones - Fall 2021” 
Last updated: 1 Sep 2021
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best headphones at Target” 
Last updated: 1 Jun 2021
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best noise-canceling headphones for 2021” 
Last updated: 24 Sep 2021
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Wireless Headphones
in “Android Central's Best of 2020 Awards” 
Last updated: 30 Dec 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best wireless noise cancelling headphones around right now
in “10 best iPad accessories and cases: what to buy to pair with your Apple tablet” 
Last updated: 24 Dec 2020
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The 7 Best Headphones For Music - Fall 2021” 
Last updated: 31 Aug 2021
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best headphones of 2021” 
Last updated: 11 May 2021
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The best graduation gifts to buy for 2021” 
Last updated: 8 Jun 2021
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Working from home warrants the best headphones you can get
in “Top Christmas gifts for working from home” 
Last updated: 18 Dec 2020
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Bluetooth headphones for commuting” 
Last updated: 21 Apr 2021
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best noise-canceling pick
in “Best wireless earbuds and headphones for Samsung phones” 
Last updated: 5 Jul 2021
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best all-round business headphones
in “Hardware essentials for working from home” 
Last updated: 1 Dec 2020
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Active Noise Cancelling
in “Best wireless headphones” 
Last updated: 12 Aug 2021
iMore
Trusted Source
-
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best MacBook Pro accessories 2021” 
Last updated: 10 days ago
Android Authority
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The best holiday gifts you can get in 2020” 
Last updated: 2 Dec 2020
iMore
Trusted Source
-
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Headphones for Mac mini 2021” 
Last updated: 25 Feb 2021
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best wireless earbuds and Bluetooth headphones for making calls” 
Last updated: 24 days ago
CNET
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best headphones for 2021” 
Last updated: a month ago
Recommendations
No Data

Find the best product and price, effortlessly.

Discover deals on products actually worth buyingthe best products

We do the research. You save the money.