Hifiman and its durability. How much truth is there?

There is a lot of subjective information about how one headphone or the other sounds. There is even more information about hoaxes, rumours and questions like the one I am asking.
I have seen comments (it seems to be pure speculation) claiming that the egg-type hifiman models (Ananda, Edition Xs, Arya) have a very low durability.

Can anyone clarify this?

  • Yes. It’s true
  • No. It’s false

0 voters

if it breaks, you’re going to hear about it…if it doesn’t, it’s unlikely.

the offended party are always the most vocal, and that skews the truth.

as with every product, there are lemons, bad batches and in some cases a known weakness, but again, you only hear the when that happens…not for all the successes, which will outweigh the bad easily.

edit - one thought, though…HiFiMan, Focal and other cans often have a regular type of failure (ie headband), and from that a brand will establish a reputation for particular types of faults. but again, only some experience that and while reputations for bad things can stain / tarnish a brand, it’s still the exception, not the rule. yes, it’s terribly frustrating that a company doesn’t seem to address these discovered weaknesses, but if anything, it gives you insight into the things to watch / look for when you get a pair of said headphones.


So, if you should take a decision. Do you trust more in a Ananda/Edition Xs or a Sundara. (in durability)
(Or Neither)

Sundara felt more solid than the XS imo


I know that 3 of the 4 IRL people I know, that have purchased the Drop HE4xx broke. I think the headband is way more comfortable than the HE400se, but not well made. The parts to fix it are almost as much as the headphones, which is dumb.

I don’t own either, but have tried them on a number of times, and the Sundara feels well made, and is very comfortable. The headbands on the XS are tricky, like the HE400se ( which I do own ), they either fit your head or don’t, and if they don’t, they are not very comfortable. The Sundara suspension strap works well for everyone.

1 Like

So, for you Edition Xs is better than Sundara in sound but the headband is worst? I think I have a mid-big head. (and glasses)

1 Like

Sadly, I am so distracted by how uncomfortable the headband is on the XS, that I don’t actually know how it sounds. I want to say the XS sounds like a better quality neutral sound profile, and the imaging seemed a bit better, but distracted by discomfort isn’t a good way to listen to music.

I am also toward the big end with glasses. For me the problem is that the new band has one shape, and the curve doesn’t match my head, so all the weight sits on one spot at the top of my head. I have added a pad to my HE400se to solve for this, but can’t really do that with a store demo set.

I own HiFiMan Edition XS and HE-400se and use both with no durability problems.

Yes, there are driver failures with HiFiMan products, but probably less than the Focal Elex, which is beloved by many for its sound but notorious for driver failures.

Otherwise, if you treat your gear with care, it should serve you well. Hang from stands. Don’t toss onto a desk. Don’t stuff in bags without cases. Watch for weird bends and crimps in wires. Turn off amps before plugging and unplugging.

Basic blocking and tackling goes a long way to preserving your audio babies.


Thanks. It’s difficult if a Edition Xs will improve something of the Dt1990…

I am not sure if this will help you much, but my experience with HiFiman is:

  1. HE4XX’s. I thought they sucked, sound wise, but were perfectly fine mechanically.

  2. Drop Edition XX’s underwhelmed me, bought used. Good soundstage and bass, but meh soundwise. The wrapping came away from the foam in one earpad and I had to replace the set of earpads.

  3. Sundara’s. Nice headphone. Not bad, not great. No problems at all.

  4. HiFiman HE6se V2’s. Very amp dependent and I have to use Dekoni Nuggets. I LOVE these headphones!!!

  5. HE-R9’s. A ton of fun and fine quality, but still pretty new.

I have NO complaints about HiFiman quality.

1 Like

I do have THREE Hifimans with me now - (He4xx, He400i, XS). I’m a modder too, so I keep tinkering with them - disassembling them and modifying them. I haven’t had any issues personally, despite going MacGyver on them quite a few times.

However, I have to respect the general sentiment - and that is that people DO have issues with QC.

I know it’s often a BET going with a Hifiman product, but I still take that bet. That’s just a personal thing, so each, to their own.

There always is a possibility of having issues - DOA on one side, crackling sounds, a sense of fragility, other dud problems… but you see, if you don’t get any of these issues with your product (the chances of which are decent, that you’re product is just fine), you hit the nail with a product many times lower than the competitor’s offerings.

Now remember, always take a plunge with Hifimans (at least the economically priced offerings) with some level or risk in mind. As they say, higher the risks, higher the returns. For more peace of mind, see if you can have warranties on what you’re buying. That’s the best insurance you can get. And after that - remember, Hifimans are not tanks. So take care of your gear (like I do) and it should last you a pretty while.

So, you get what you pay for - that’s the real bottom line.
You want much greater surety? You wanna play it safe? Well there’s always Audeze or DanClark Audio, or a couple of others yet in the planar headphones industry.

But are you still ready to take the risk, to save on some greens? Well, fair enough.

1 Like

But the problems will be with older models, won’t they? At least the greatest likelihood will be with older products. At least I want to believe that.
Anyway Hifiman must already know that there are problems, I don’t think it will pass and forget. He will have at least tried to correct something.

Yes it’s true as we move forward, the problems have become less and less.
But still, people do end up getting faulty pairs, which they then return for a replacement or just return and get something else.

Again - this is an inconclusive issue. Since you wanted to know whether it’s a YES or a NO - it’s a YES, not a complete NO.

I still do recommend Hifiman products as they offer absurd value for money considering ALLLL the other alternatives out there. I think it’s worth taking the risk - long as you’re covered to a certain degree… AS IN some worst case scenarios, the returns and replacements increase total cost of ownership for a few people.

This also depends and varies from product to product, mind you. At this point, an He400SE Stealth, Sundara, XS hopefully won’t have any issues. I often make a risky purchase. That’s why I’ve ordered from distant places with my mind made up that if there’s something wrong, or if it falls apart after a while, there’s nothing I can do. That also makes me buy some stuff with my eyes closed.

I just don’t recommend being so blind - not after all the complaints that I’ve heard thus far from so many people on various platforms.

did you type amp when you meant headphone?

I’ve had no issues with my 4xx and they’re og, so like…5 or 6 years old now. I’m sorta worried about the 400se headband though so I’m trying to remember to change my habit of taking them off single-handedly but so far they’ve given me no reason to complain.

Yes I did. Thank you. :+1:

1 Like

I have both the Drop HE-4XX (circa 2018) and the HE-X4 (circa 2021). Both cans have solid construction and I have had no issues with the solid physical structure parts of the headphones. My HE-4XX was bought amidst bitter complaints on the Massdrop site about the construction quality of the cans…a lot of them regarding headband to cup connection hardware parts popping out of the cups and no way to get it properly screwed/glued back together. My set was of the first wave of dual 3.5mm (vs 2.5mm) and I always thought that they had done also some QC on the overall construction as mine were really solid and this has been proven by multiple take aparts/pad installs.

The pads of the 4XX’s started falling apart after around a year and I replaced them at first with OEM pads, but later with Brainwavz ovals as the OEM’s pretty much fell apart upon installation (dry glue). Also with my 4XX’s, the right driver started buzzing on low frequency after about a year. I took it all the way apart a few times and did a few minor adjustments to try to fix it but it would always come back. When the HE-X4’s were brought out some time in 2021 I bought a set as a replacement.

HE-X4: Like the 4XX’s, solid construction all around and have been a good, cheap replacement for the 4XX’s with basically the same sound signature which is fairly flat with good bass and decent soundstage. I moved my Brainwavz ovals over to it, added an HD650 headband pad and for not much outlay, had a poor man’s planar. I did notice that the magnetic bars (which are dual as opposed to one side on the 4XX) are of a more brittle ferrite vs. the 4XX’s neodymium.

NB–I recently took my 4XX’s out of storage and gave them a listen and they sounded good. They have a bit more of a musical signature than the HE-X4 and as long as I don’t drive them too hard the low frequency buzzing doesn’t happen.

Bottom line is that, in my limited experience, HiFiMan does pay attention to the word on the street and seems to quietly address and tweak production in response, eventually anyway (XS headband improved clamping seems to be another one I have noticed). It’s probably best, at least with the less expensive sets, to consider taking a pass on the initial production, wait out the issues (if any) and buy a later (1 year +) set after they smooth things out.


Just throwing in my two cents. I’ve had both the the HE-4XX and Sundaras.

Only issue i’ve had with the 4XX is that one ear swivel can come loose after a while. Its a pretty minor complaint, and you can easily tighten it with a flat head screwdriver. Other than that, solid pair of headphones.

The Sundara were also solid, but after about a year my right driver decided it didn’t want to work anymore. It was just out of Hifiman’s warranty, but I bought them through Apos and it was still within their warranty period. RMA was fairly painless, took about a week for me to get the cans back. Had this pair of Sundies since about April, no issues so far. Honestly still recommend them even after the first pair died on me.

I have the Sundaras and the EDXS, a can I swore I would never buy because of the build quality. But that opinion was based off of things I was reading. Once I decided to roll the dice and get a pair, I find that there is no real issue with the build of these phones. It’s not great, and a lot of plastic is being used, but they are fine. I got the headband pad from Geekria (I think that is the name, got it from Amazon) and that fixed the headband issue. I’m rockin’ them right now and they are great. The Sundara is just a solid headphone, period.

So no, I have had no durability issues with them, but this is my journey.

1 Like

I owned the Sundaras for a bit. They didn’t seem that bad in terms of build and durability. Obviously not something you’d feel fine to drop or throw across the room, but didn’t seem like they’d be worn down easily. BUT, and a large butt here, their cable was absolute dog shit. I don’t think I’ve seen such an awful cable despite the frickin $350 price of the headphones. Honestly my $20 IEMs and earbuds have a superior cable, stuff like the cheaper HD 6XX cable dunks on the Sundara cable.

The right side of my pair would occasionally just blip out and stop working after like a week of use. You’d have to move around the cable and mess with the connection part for both sides to work. After just 2 weeks of use the right side completely stopped working. I liked the Sundaras with how crisp and clean they sounded, but I returned them due to that genuinely awful cable. Even if the cable worked, it fought to stay a shape and was very thin, so it sucked in every aspect.

Sundara is one of the more duarble pair since its mostly meta - even higher end models (like the Xs for example) have a fair amount of plastic in them.
Though i gotta say dude if a cable is that bad just replace the cable not the whole headphone. Also Sundara’s use a standard dual 3.5mm you can find a nice balanced one on aliexpress for 15$ (even less if you go unbalanced