Hifiman Ananda or Arya

I just bought the Anandas yesterday, new for $650. I love them. However, the place I went to also has an open box, perfect condition pair of Aryas for $1200. I know I don’t “need” them. But a part of me thinks to return the Anandas, spend the extra cash and own my endgame pair of headphones.

What do you all think?

Thanks.

The Arya is the step up model in the Hifiman egg-shaped line. Arya is a very good headphone. I’ve been listening to one lately and it does a lot right. It does need a fair amount of clean power to make it truly sing though. So what’s your current amp situation?

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I just bought an Asgard 3 and Modius combo.

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You could own both gl2000 double sided magnet version and Ananda for the same price as arya.

For $1200, You could instead also own:

dt880
6xx
Sundara
NDH20

:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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How are the gl2000s?

After feeling the comfort and sound of the Anandas I can’t go to the sundaras. But I like the thought haha.

Sounds to me like $1200 for a pair of headphones just isn’t worth it.

I would love to hear the Aryas… so no educated advice here. But at least I can say that there are people who prefer the Ananda for its (non-equalized) frequency response. I think the Ananda is a first-rate headphone.

I’m with you in price being a huge barrier for me to making a real comparison, personally. Arya is out of my price range.

Just depends on the headphone and how you value and if you have the right source gear to drive them…I’ve crossed the kilobuck threshold a few times, but have found it worthwhile for each.

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What headphone did you find value in over $1000 and why? If you don’t mind me asking.

I would say that specific use case can make the value of a headphone variable. If you use headphones every single day, or use them for work, have good mid to high end source gear, and more importantly the headphones sound good, it is well worth it. Also, if you make good money, that price isn’t hard to swallow.

Personally, I own a few headphones that are over that price point and I have no regrets so far. That being said, I do tons of research before I commit to buying and I also have a good understanding of what my preferences are. That decreases the risks involved.

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For what it’s worth, I prefer my GL2000, modded HE6se, and balanced DT990 600 ohm, better than the Arya’s I had. I also kept the anandas. The Arya’s didn’t really blow my mind like I’ve seen them do for some people.

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That’s a tough question to answer, in large part because there is no one answer. I appreciate @FiCurious and @Hazi59 sharing their thoughts and largely agree with them. I’ll add a few too:

  1. “Law of diminishing returns” is a phrase invoked a lot in audio and in IMO, is misused a lot. I’ll agree that from a technical standpoint the increase in technical quality does not increase linearly with cost. However, I think the increase in perceptive quality is also non-linear with improvments in perceived quality being larger than the price jumps paid to get them. To me the measure of sound quality will be how lifelike a system can sound. I’ll define “lifelike” as making sounds sound like they really sound IRL; voices sound like voices, trumpets sound like trumpets, guitars sound like guitars, etc. And then, can that system create a believable soundscape? To me that means being able to create sonic space that feels like it could be a real space. Chasing an artist’s vision or matching what the engineers heard in the studio is a red-herring goal IMO, because 99.99% of end users will never have the opportunity to have heard either of those things. But we hear human voices all the time and many of us can get exposure to real instruments if we want it. IME, once you get beyond the entry level the increases in price get smaller technical improvements but bigger “reality improvements” - for lack of better term. Those small technical improvements are able to pull out more of those little subtle sonic cues that our ears hear IRL and use to make sense of what we’re hearing and where it’s coming from. With each small technical improvement more and more of those subtle details come out and there’s a snowball effect of building toward realism.

  2. It took me lots of listening time at various price levels to grasp what I said in point 1, and even at that my exposure to multi-kilobuck gear is very much in its infancy. This hobby is a journey and much is learned along the way. I think there is value in not going too pricey too fast. It takes time to learn what is gained with each step up in cost. Otherwise it really may feel like returns have been diminished.

  3. At least in the US there is a robust used market for audio gear. Most audiophiles take great care of their stuff. Buying used can seriousy warp the value question in your favor.

Good choices! Those, both individually and together, are excellent price/performance pieces. FWIW as I write this I have the Arya on my head and am driving it with A3 + Modius. Arya does a good job at its price point of pulling out many of those subtle sonic cues I mentioned in point 1. I can tell A3 + Modius is holding it back in that regard, but not so much that it’s a bad experience. It’s a pretty good experience actually.

Cheers :beers:

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Well said!

I think I’ll stick with the anandas for now and get a better grasp on what my preferences are and level up later down the line. I’ve only just started getting into audio. No need to rush it!

Appreciate the in-depth answer.

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Ok, so I’ve read the other posts and -

  1. Why buy a bunch of mid-tier cans that will ultimately leave you wanting more (and later spending more) vs buying the best you can afford? I use to have a bunch of pretty-good mid-tier cans (up to $500) because I didn’t want to spend close to or above $1k on one pair of headphones. I now get much more pleasure out of owning fewer but much better gear. I really only need 2 or 3 top notch cans to make me very happy. But this is a process and I agree with the earlier post by Wave Theory.
  2. I recently, 1 or 2 months ago, sold my Ananda and bought the Arya, open-box from Hifiman’s website, for $1,300 (no tax or ship cost). It was a great trade for MY ears. The Ananda is a very good headphone, wide, very detailed and strong bass. But, I just didn’t enjoy the music as much as I wanted for $700. The Arya, after a good 50+ hour burn-in, is musical and just fabulous. Detailed, good controlled bass, very balanced across the spectrum, not as wide as the Ananda. With the Arya, I know I will be content, at least for some period of time.
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the Ananda’s are nice, but the Arya’s are superior. or at last, that is my opinion. if you ever get the chance to demo the Arya, do so. try to listen to songs you’re fond of and know well.

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Very well said and I agree100%.

What mods did u do to the he6 I’m looking to mod mine

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Grill mod is an absolute must and I put some dekoni hybrids on and everything culminated into my absolute endgame. For me personally the he6se v2 with those mods is everything I ever really wanted out of a headphone and more. It’s the closest I’ve ever been to a headphone disappearing. It’s right on the cusp of sounding like it’s just not there at all. If these things could be powered off my phone, my search would be completely over. I guess maybe a headband mod might be good for extra comfort. Seriously though the grill mod made these go from headphones I like to my favorite all around pair.

is that the honeycomb grill mod ? also I’m looking to get new pair of earpads i was thinking of the fenerated sheepskin and the audeze carbon fiber headband.

Yeah the honeycomb grill. I’m going to buy a pad adapter and use the xl velour pads I have lying around and see if that can make them really disappear. If there was a fully inner and outer fenestrated hybrid like the gl2000s I think that would be closer too.

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