It means the same diaphragm; probably the same whatever nanometer thickness film is incorporated.
Note here however, course the He1000 with it’s classic shitty cable does seem overpriced, I am an owner of 3 Hifimans and I don’t dislike Hifiman.
The different offerings may in part be of some material changes, maybe magnet influxes as well, layout etc.
But a company DOES this kind of stuff. They have to maintain the flagship and premium versions separately. It’s nothing new to any industry or manufacturer at this level. Put the same something that’s in aluminum, in TITANIUM or CARBON FIBER and call it " La Version Premium"…
Let’s not forget, Hifiman’s the one company that gave the MASSES planar headpones, and they have something for everyone in every price range. Monoprice followed suit, but even their cheapest is not as cheap as the cheapest Hifiman. Audeze could never did anything remotely close.
Anyhow, despite how I may complain on them using same shitty cables or same headbands on $100 and $1000 headphones lol, I don’t think this is as misleading as we’re assuming here.
Perhaps. I have reread the sentence a few times now and I think that I may not have fully understood what it is they are trying to say here. It’s very poorly written. I have 2 HiFIMAN sets myself; The Sundara, which has served me well and is a very decent headphone, and the Edition XS, which sounds very nice but is built like crap. I baby mine to death, but they continue to get more loose, more fragile and will eventually break I’m sure, or so it would appear.
My stance at this point is… I Have done the Chi-Fi thing. Some of it was good, much of it was crap, and I am at a point where I want to try something else. All that said, The Arya and HEK V2 appear to be fine products. But I’ll most likely pass.
Yes they do sound decent, or even great, the Hifimans.
But yes, the way they’re made, one definitely would need to baby them. I have the Edition XS myself, besides the 4xx and the 400is. And although I’ve been a bit rough on all of them (disassemblying them, pad swapping, headband swapping), I can respect the concern about durability that anyone else may have. Not everyone can tamper them with so much and get away with it.
Most definitely Chi-Fi has reliability issues. They sure are the opposite end of the likes of Sennheiser or Beyerdynamic. So I respect the sentiment.
I guess it is a wager with Chinese products. I do value the lower barrier for entry they provide people like myself. But yeah, at a grand or prices near, at or above, there’s surely more assuring and reliable options out there, and competition is tough. And yeah, for reliability alone, Hifiman fails quite easily at those price tiers.
One would never need to baby a similar price range Audeze, surely indeed.
A $90 Hifiman is probably a no brainer, for most who want to just get there. But as and when you move higher, the reliability factor hardly continues to coincide.
I’d pass on $500+ Hifman products too. Seems too much to invest in the values offered. I remember how I passed on oval hifimans for years until something less than $500 (the XS) came along and I finally gave up my money.
Personally wouldn’t throw all chinese companies under the “chifi term” since I think it’s really more a term that’s worth using for a specific type of chinese company vs all chinese companies. While I personally wouldn’t consider hifiman chifi I’m sure some do, but when I think of chifi I think of companies that come up from nowhere, throw stuff at a wall until they have things people like, and just pander toward a specific audience/subset to keep themselves afloat. Basically, companies that don’t have much staying power, don’t improve overtime, and don’t develop into really fully established companies.
While hifiman qc can be iffy especially in their lower end, they still have actual warranty and service, an actual dealer network for the higher end stuff, have been around a long time, and I’d say generally well respected enough to really not fall under the chifi umbrella for me personally. They’re very different from lets say companies that push 100-200 buck iem slop that gets shoveled to people as the best thing ever then are forgotten/irrelevant within a year, and there’s not much to the company that exists outside their iems, imo that’s really more chifi than anything else. I think companies can start as chifi and then escape the term later on once they actually establish themselves and bring something actually consistently worthwhile/different to the table and grow as a company to back up those products.
Anyways though agree with @ATK that just because they’re using the same material as the diaphragm doesn’t really determine it’s specs or potential performance, and rather depends on all the other factors of the driver design.
Pretty much that lol
Getting tired of that, also same thing with wood for another example, releasing a load of limited editions instead of actually working to improve the model to a meaningful degree. Totally fine with new models that actually deliver on improved or at least fairly different sound vs the older, but personally not partial to limited editions that exist for only cosmetics or just to be limited
I’d say hifiman has consistently been the go to choice for budget and midrange planar for value in the game for a long time (since the early 2010s imo), only really in the higher end or more lower end boutique options do you find other stuff, and not really that many other options. (since mentioned) Audeze really couldn’t ever get anything under that 1k point that had staying power and could sonically compete imo (lcd 2 classic, lcd 1, some of the sine or el8)
With their flagships they at least give you the wet gross noodle cable instead of the stiff black one lol, but yeah not the best feeling or ergo there. I do think their higher end cable actually sounds decent for a stock cable but I still don’t really want to use it with how it feels lol
I don’t fully understand their entire higher end lineup at this point, it’s almost like their goal is to create the most confusing lineup possible for what things are, where they’re positioned, what they’re replacing, and what’s still produced vs not
Honestly with things in that price point from hifiman imo it really isn’t that bad, especially vs their lower end stuff. Warranty on their stuff is solid and comparable to others in the range, and while build is cheaper feeling than some others in the range, I don’t really personally have much concern over it breaking or failing. But if you’re looking for the best feeling/most solidly built stuff yeah I’d look elsewhere lol. I’d say they also tend to have better value than other options in comparison in sound, so for me having a tradeoff of cheaper feeling build and better sq vs better build and not as good sq for the money is something I’d personally make (but others might not)
FWIW, I have not had any major issues with the HiFiMan QC. I agree their build quality is below average for their pieces below about $500. From there on up though, they may not be the most aesthetically striking, but they’re decently well made and have held up ok. At this point I’ve spent meaningful time with every headphone they offer save HE1000v1 and a couple of the early flavors of HE6. My QC complaints are:
the 3.5mm jacks on some newer versions, Susvara and the HE1000se & v2se being prime examples, are a bit loose. A friend lent me a Danacables Lazuli Reference and the cable is so damn heavy and the jacks in those HiFiMans so loose that there is static and signal dropouts when I turn my head. Using a lanyard to support most of the weight of the cable helps a lot, but it’s irritating to have to go that extra step because the jacks are so loose. According to Danacables, this is a new thing. The older 2.5mm jacks HiFiMan used to use were much tighter and didn’t have any such problems. This isn’t a defect, just an irritant.
HiFiMans stock cables have long sucked. And I mean ssssuuuuuucccckkkkkkeeeeeedddddd. In the high end those medical tubing coated cables - I call them catheter cables - sound pretty good but are just plain gross feeling. They’ve introduced a new rubber coated cable with the HE1000v2se and Audivina that is more ergonomically friendly but doesn’t sound as good - fine, but not as good sounding as the catheter cables. The Arya se had some very very stiff nylon covered cable at one point. Those are all again not really problems, just irritants. Their stock cables on the their cheaper stuff tho, Ananda se on down, sound awful though. They inject a wicked treble peak and make everything very sharp and sibilant. I know I know…someone is going to read this and say cables don’t matter and I couldn’t hear this in a blind test. You can absolutely hear this one. Go get a cheap HiFiMan with that cable and then get yourself a Hart or an Audiophile Ninja cable to compare. Seriously. I dare you. I’ll be here to accept your apology. Point is…this isn’t a problem insofar as something being made poorly. This is a problem because they cheaped out too much on the cable. Not really a QC issue. Guaranteed they just put the cheapest cabling they could get in there.
But as far as actual flaws or failures with HiFiMan products? I’ve literally had 0. I’ve counted up that I’ve owned/reviewed 20 models from them and have had 2 sets of at least 4 of those models come through. I’ve not had a single failure. Do they make irritating design decisions? Yes. That newer single bar headband sucks. Their accessories can suck. But I haven’t experienced an actual failure, ever.
Probably just jinxed myself.
Anyway, thanks to all who made it this far in my ramblings.
I’ve had some issues in the past with their older or cheaper cans either with things like headbands snapping or a driver dying, although both of those were pretty easy to get handled with a few emails for warranty. Never have had issues myself with their higher end cans, although it does happen occasionally from what I’ve seen (although doesn’t really seem bad enough to worry about it too much)
Had that issue with a lazuli nirvana when I tried it, although being fair that’s a massive cable lol. It’s slightly there on my susvara with a dhc prion4 but nothing to where it feels abnormal or problematic unless I was being extremely rough with it. It’s absolutely not as secure as some of the locking connectors like mini xlr or lemo (but I wouldn’t expect it to be), but didn’t really have an issue with most normal cables and with the beefer stuff it wasn’t that big of a deal for me to be all that concerned about it
I talked with the Danacable folks because I thought something was wrong with the cable at first. It’s not. This cable is heavy enough that the loose jacks become an issue. But a lanyard and a twist tie help A LOT:
I basically have to try to make it go static-y when I have that lanyard on and the twist tie in at the right height (took some trial and error to get it there). But, it is irritating that $3k+ headphones and a $1k cable require this kind of playing to get along together. That could have all been avoided by HiFiMan not using loose 3.5mm jacks. I blame HiFiMan more than Danacables here because the laws of physics being what they are do say that electrical behavior is cleaner and easier to control as conductors get bigger and bigger in cross sectional area…thus big fat heavy cables.
Generally with heavier cables I just try and make sure I give them some slack on a desk and so far that’s been fine for me lol. I don’t have the issue of noise when I move much with mine, although they do feel a bit looser, although now that I think about it, I’ve had it happen a few times and thought nothing of it and just figured there was some dust or debris in the connector lol
Honestly while I haven’t had issues with mine, if it’s widespread enough I would count that as a qc issue and just a general poor design choice, wouldn’t just dismiss it, feels like it should count as a defect almost
I’m laughing my ass off right now. If you have to wear a lanyard to support a headphone cable? I don’t care how good that cable may sound… No thank you! That’s just not for me, whether I can afford them or not. I don’t see how that can be enjoyable.
I put in requests for both the new Ananda and Arya. I don’t know exactly when they’ll get here but I imagine I’ll get them some time this summer. My rep is at the Munich show right now but I’ll stay on it.
I do agree, cables do affect the sound. It’s not about how expensive a cable is, no, that’s where people go bonkers and snakeoily.
Thing is, a good cable, maybe even just $15, can sound better provided the conductors are good.
I also did witness the sound going out etc. You see, the 2.5mm female jacks are the screwed in type. On my XS, the 3.5mm jacks are just sitting in the holes, being only forced to stay there by the driver sandwich pressure and no space to move around. But they’re not held down in any real way. When I took the drivers out, they’re completely free, hanging around like loose tree branches. So there’s nothing to properly hold them down. You bend the plugged in 3.5mm jack far enough (and no it won’t damage it), the sound will go out. Thing is, the space in there is so tight, they didn’t bother to finish holding the female jack down in there.
Same as you, it’s not a huge complaint, but it is irritating like you said, as you realize there’s some play in there and you have to be careful to not have it bent too far. Yet we also, in contrast, can appreciate the use of universal 3.5mm jack that has many other practical benefits. So it’s a give and take.
Anyhow, Hifiman does have so much else going on for them that we tend to spare these little issues. Hopefully, with time, they can improve on these things. And if they don’t change prices too much, I can see Hifiman to be a go-to brand for a lot of folks. They only stand to gain from improving themselves further.
This is hilarious! AND it was the very image that popped into my head!
I can just hear it now (see what I did there?!?) “Yeah, that cable was really somethin. It took out my C2 vertebrae and I’ll never be the same, but DAMN that thing sounded good.” There are a lot of things I do that risk my health every day (my work, motorcycling, etc.) Audio should not be one of them. This hobby is what takes me away from all of that.
Yes. To be clear my cable comments were not directed at you but to those who hold the attitude that cables don’t matter. Also agreed that it’s not always about cable expense driving better sound. Some expensive cables will do things to the sound that many will find less desirable than what lesser cost cables do. That said, it costs a lot of money to find the combinations of materials, geometries, weaves, etc. that produce different sound changes. So while there are definitely some bad apples out there, by-in-large the more expensive cables do sound better given that a lot of what’s being paid for is higher quality materials, R & D, and more careful construction.
That’s disappointing. I haven’t opened up my HiFiMans. For one, I have gear coming in here for review rapid fire so I basically have to listen for awhile and move on to the next thing. I’d like to believe the jacks are more securely mounted on the more expensive models, but given the looseness I feel with their top-shelf units it wouldn’t surprise me.
For sure! The fact that the jacks are flush-mounted under the cups should not be ignored either. There are many examples out there of putting the jacks in a recess that’s either very small (the Rosson RAD-0 I just reviewed is one such example) or of proprietary shape (Abyss Diana series). HiFiMan’s more universal compatibility here (outside of the weight issue discussed above) is a big positive, IMO.
Agreed. I go back and forth on this. On the one hand, the latest editions (short of Ananda Nano and Arya Organic which I haven’t heard yet) of their entire egg-shaped line are ALL the benchmarks at their various pricepoints, in my humble-yet-likely-correct opinion*. Susvara (not egg shaped) is still the all-around king. The HE6 series is legendary. The HE400se, HE-4XX, and Deva Pro are also very good to excellent as well. That’s clearly earned HiFiMan some well deserved clout. On the other hand, the more we accept shoddy build quality or workmanship the more they (or anyone) is are going to get shoddier and shoddier to keep costs down, etc. That’s not a slippery slope fallacy claim, that’s just human nature, particularly when there is profit involved. What’s the balance there? I wrestle with that question both for my own buying decisions and how to fairly and accurately frame my thoughts on those things as a reviewer. HiFiMan should also not be singled out here. Another offender is Schiit. Schiit builds their schiit well but makes some design decisions that make the end-user experience more difficult than it should be…yes, I’m talking about power switches on the back. On much of their gear the power switch on the back is a non-issue, and in the case of their multibit DACs can be beneficial. What burns me (almost literally) is their tube gear (Vali, Valhalla, Saga, Lyr series) where they say in their owners’ manuals that it’s best practice to power the unit down when not in use to preserve tube life. How do you do that? You reach around to the back around a hot tube. When Schiit is asked about these kinds of things, they laugh it off and imply the asker is some sort of rube who should keep their mouth shut. Should we be accepting that? Again, a question I wrestle with. And these are just 2 companies. There are many, many more.
*No one out there should take this statement to mean that they have to like HiFiMan the best. This hobby is very preference based and there are multitudes out there who have preferences for sounds other than what HiFiMan offers. I get that. I fully support that. The above claim was made on grounds that I’ve spent significant time with A LOT of headphones now and when weighing the all-around performance on all of the aspects that determine sound quality - tuning, resolution/detail retrieval, timbre, soundstage, imaging & separation, dynamics, timing/pacing (things like attacks and decays) - HiFiMan consistently puts out the most resolving, most spatially and chronologically accurate cans out there with very strong timbre through the whole 20Hz-20KHz hearing range and a well tonally balanced tuning. They are not class leading in dynamics, but they are also far from poor and a couple of their later models have shown they’re trending towards increased physicality as well. Other models from other makers can do individual things better than HiFiMans (although I haven’t heard anyone outstage or out-resolve them at the various price points), but I can’t readily name any competitors that all-around outperform them at their various price points. Since this is the Arya thread, take the Arya se as an example. You can find $1200-1800 cans that slam/punch/hit harder (both Clears, TH900 series, LCD-X series). You can find cans that arguably have a more natural mid-range timbre (Auteur/Eikon, HD800 S…maybe). But right now Arya se is at the top of its class in basically everything else, still hits reasonably well, and still has very strong timbre throught the WHOLE frequency range where those others fall off somewhere. This pattern has been consistent to my ears too, where Sundara, Edition XS, Ananda se, HE1000v2(se), HE1000se, and Susvara all do likewise with their competitors.
Yes I know the cable thing wasn’t directed at me. I just wanted to relay what you said.
Before people dismiss the notion entirely, they should try out. I’m all up for better cables, just not for ones that are the same price or even more than the headphones or amps themselves lol. Definitely not for ones the price of a car