Will Sundara's be a step up for me?

Hi All - my first post here I think. I have a question on whether or not to purchase a pair of HiFiMan Sundara’s.

The headphones I currently own include, in order of most recently purchased, are Sivga S021 Robin, AKG K702, 1More Triple Driver (Red) and Fidelio X1.
Each successive purchase has been what I consider a step sideways rather than a step up in sound quality - maybe I’d say the Sivga’s are one small step up for sound and one giant leap for comfort :grinning:

The reasons I purchased these particular headphones are partly due to reviews but mostly because I could buy them for a very good price at the time.

I’m in that position again and can get hold of a pair of HiFiMan Sundara’s at a very nice price - unfortunately I can’t listen to them before hand to decide if they will be yet another sideways step or an actual step up in sound quality.

I run the headphones though a FX-Audio DAC X6 which copes easily, it’s at 2’o’clock on the dial when at the max volume I like with the K702’s - does it have enough oomph to run the Sundaras properly?

I listen to ALL types of music, my preferred genre is Everything. In your opinion are the Sundara’s a BIG step up in sound quality compared to my current headphones or will they just be small step up or worse, another sideways step :yawning_face: ?

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What would you like to ‘change’ about your sound?
What do you like/dislike about the current brigade?
It would inarguably be a ‘different’ sound for you, and it will definitely do certain things better than your current options.

I think that a dac/amp upgrade is in order, but you’ll probably get volume from it and an idea of their potential performance.

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generally for music enjoyment I preferred my K702 over the Sundara especially with the sub bass mod, if you’re fine with less bass than the unmodded K702 then it might be fine, the only real “upgrade” the Sundara has over the others is the higher frequencies.
and as you seem to prefer the Robin over the K702 it certainly seems like you prefer headphones with more low end, unless you’re looking to own something different

That’s a difficult question - until I hear the difference I can’t really say if I want to change anything. Currently I’m very pleased with the sound I get from the headphones I listed but I’m sure there are headphones out there which will make me go WOW! - just trying to find them on a very limited budget.

Point taken re dac/amp upgrade.

Interesting. You’re implying I’ll find the Sundara’s to be a sideways step. I do like the detail of the K702’s and the Sivga’s give me nearly all the detail with better bass - I’ll have to look into the K702 bass mod if it’s not too difficult.

Because you say your price is quite good and the headphones are rather different than the current arsenal - I would say go for it. Easily resold if you don’t enjoy.
I think Sundara in this price range is inarguably ‘detailed’, high-resolving particularly in the treble range. They’re open-back planars that you may be not giving full juice to - so the bass performance is going to be different. They’re very OPEN, but they’re also fairly mid-forward and analytical in nature. You liking the Sivga’s significant V-shaped tuning would give me pause — and why it might be an overall sidegrade for you. Better for some things, worse for others. Having some sidegrades to have a variety of headphones for different genres/applications makes much some sense. You have upgrade potential through your source gear as well.

Most cases are not simply “better sound - good”, there’s pros/cons to all sound signatures and applications. The more feedback you give, the better recommendation you get.

all you do is pop the side covers off and remove a sticker took me like 3 minutes after I watched the youtube video tbh for the $130ish you can get them for new the K702’s are a killer deal

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You’re right so I’ll get them but I hope they are more of an upgrade than a sidegrade as I’m hopeless at selling things I like - my gf says I’m a hoarder :thinking:

Yeah, I’m now on the look out for a good inexpensive amp :moneybag:

welcome to HFG, Eyespy! :smiley:

the short answer to your question is: maybe with a leaning towards the yes side. it would be your first planar and the Sundara is a solid performer as a beginner model.

the long answer involves all sorts of considerations, some of which are being discussed already…but some of the things that need to be considered is your sound chain that will drive it, your preferred music genres and then budget. if you don’t want to drop $350 then you could look at the HE-400se that goes for about $150.00.

Thanks - nice to be here. :smiley:

Well I’ve pulled the trigger so no going back now.

First full size planar - I’ve got Tin HiFi P1+'s which I like a lot. Fingers X’d I’ll like the Sundaras too.

Currently I only have an FX-Audio X6 dac/amp for indoor use. I also have a FiiO BTR3k which works brilliantly outdoors with the Sivga Robins. No idea if either of these will be sufficient to properly power the Sundaras.

Prefered genres? Anything from Rob Zombie to Mozart. Budget is low that’s why I was hesitating but at about $201 (£175) I think I’ve had a good deal on the Sundaras.


Sundara is a gateway drug into planar… If you have never tried a planar headphone before I would recommend it. It maybe is not better in every way, but definitely different…

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Opinion from a Sundara fanboy

Yes. Obviously I would say that but even as subjective as I can be yes. They’re honestly amazing for the price. The soundstage, the open-ness (not all open-backs have the same degree of open-ness), the detail (best for the price, IEM’s not included)… Honestly the tuning is the ‘weak’ spot but even that is pretty good (and very EQ-able).


Buy from a place with good return policy. While mine has been flawless and recent examples seem to be better… It is still hifiman.

Get a powerful amp. You can get volume out of a weaker amp but you can’t get volume out of it. wtf did I say? You can get ‘loudness’ out of a weaker amp but it won’t have the tight-planar base, the wide soundstage and the impact. It simply feels like it isn’t moving the same ‘volume’ of air.

while I get your point, at $110 the HE400se is probably the real planar gateway drug

You ain’t wrong haha

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