Best Hifiman headphones (Ranked/List)

I wanted to start a thread where people who posses a lot of experience with Hifiman headphones can share their ranking list about the best headphones from the manufacturer.

I am thinking that it would be useful to make two lists:

  1. Ranked list where price isn’t considered, just focusing on sound performance
  2. Ranked list where value is taken into account - even this is a bit difficult since the prices of Hifiman products vary heavily (I am talking about the huge discounts that happen every now and then, it makes it more difficult to put a value on a headphone)

This would be most useful to hear from people who have tried the most headphones from Hifiman.

I hope that if anybody contributes, that this can be useful to some that are planning to purchase a Hifiman headphone.

Any suggestions are welcome - the point is to make this as useful as possible, so please share your ideas

tl;dr - make two lists based on 1) Sound performance only (without taking price into consideration) 2) value-wise

I’ll keep this thread formatted while I can:

@Jsim
Sound: Susvara > Shangri-La Jr. > HE1000se > Arya > Sundara
Value: Sundara > Arya > HE1000se > Susvara > Shangri-La Jr.

@Feilong4
Sound:

Susvara > HE-6 (with mods) > HE-1000v1 > Arya > HE-500 (with mods) > HE-6SE (stock) >= Ananda > HE-4XX > HE-400i > HE-560v2 > RE-0 > RE-400 > HE-5SE

Value (mostly factoring street used prices since some are discontinued):

HE-4XX > RE-400 > HE-400i > HE-500 > HE-6 = HE-6SE > Ananda > Arya = HE-1000v1 > HE-560v2 (would rather get something else), HE-5SE (would rather get something else) > Susvara

@bigshel99
HE560 V1 > HE4XX > HE400 … value-wise… probably the 4XX, mainly because they’re built better. the yoke on the 560 snapped just by me looking at it and, while I won’t win a beauty contest, I’m not that ugly.

@DarthPool
Based on HiFiMans I’ve heard

HE1000v2(I think)>Ananda>Sundara=>HE4xx (fight me :wink: ) lol

I’m joking no need to fight me =) I don’t fight fair anyhow :wink:

@DEXCOM7
I have to admin QC is horrible.
With that said here is my list:

Susvara > HE-6 > HE-1000 v1 -> HE-560 v1 > Edition X (EQ ONLY) > HE-560 v2 > HE-400i

No failures on my side from my cans.

@ProfFalkin
I’ve had enough experience with the HE6, HE560, Sundara, and HE1K V2 to be able to say I’ve heard them. By this i mean having them on hand in my own chain to get past mental burn in, experience the nuances, go well beyond a first impression type of experience with them.

I still think the best sound I’ve heard from a planar, or very nearly any headphone actually, was the HE6 driven by Yggy A2 > Freya S > Vidar.
Anyway, in keeping on topic, I would put the HFM headphones (ranked over all vs my other favorites) in the following manner:

Auteur
Meze Empyreans
Verite Closed
RAAL SR1A
HE6 properly driven from a good speaker amp


214. HE560
215. Sundara

  1. All other HFM products.

Sorry to stir the pot, but I thought it should be said.

@taronlissimore
My personal rankings are:

  1. Hifiman Susvara
  2. Hifiman HE1000SE
  3. Hifiman Arya
  4. Hifiman Ananda
  5. Hifiman Sundara
  6. Hifiman Jade II
  7. Hifiman RE2000
    Hifiman Shangri-LA SR (since the only song I was allowed to listen to was Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On)

@Resolve

I love HiFiMAN :slight_smile:

Without EQ, of the ones I’ve heard:

  1. Shangri-La Sr.
  2. Susvara
  3. HEK V1
  4. Arya
  5. HE6
  6. HE500
  7. Ananda
  8. Sundara
  9. HE1000se
  10. HE560
  11. HE400i
    Deva

With EQ:

  1. Shangri-La Sr.
  2. Susvara
  3. HEKse
  4. HE6
  5. HEK V1
  6. Arya
  7. HE500
  8. Ananda
  9. Sundara
  10. HE560
  11. HE400i
  12. Deva

@antdroid
my fav hifimans ive heard are:
Hifiman Arya, Hifiman HE560, Hifiman HE6, Hifiman Ananda, Hifiman HE1000, HIfiman Sundara

my least fav hifimans i’ve heard:
Hifiman Jade II, Hifiman HE350, Hifiman Bolt, Hifiman Edition S

@580vdc With EQ:
HE6 (6screw no grille) >>> HE6se = Arya > HE500 > HE400i >>>>>> DEVA
Without EQ:
HE6 >>>>> Arya > HE500 > HE400i > HE6se >>>>>> DEVA

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This sounds cool. I only have experience with the Sundara, RE-400a, and RE-600s v2. Not sure if you were taking Hifiman IEMs into account but if you are I’ll throw my two cents in.

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My idea is to keep this thread clean and dedicated to Hifiman headphones only.

But you can share your thoughts. I myself have experience with the RE-600s V2 and RE800 Silver. I still need to spend time with the RE800 Silver, but from the very little time spent with it I love it. It sound like it’s very detailed and clear, bright for some. I don’t like piercing treble, but I love sparkle. RE800 Silver definitely seem to have sparkle, and I am excited to spend some time with them.

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From the HFM’s I’ve tried:

Sound: Susvara > Shangri-La Jr. > HE1000se > Arya > Sundara
Value: Sundara > Arya > HE1000se > Susvara > Shangri-La Jr.

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Good idea, this can be useful. It might be helpful to identify which models aren’t current production, isolate sound quality only rankings ignoring build quality, and mention of which model years have typically had build quality issues.

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Thank you!

Yes, this is what I am looking for. It seems like Susvara seems to be a killer headphone, and a costy one too.
While Arya is also considered a TOTL for the money… it’s 4x cheaper than the Susvara.

I am very interested as though how each one differs from the other. How different/better is the Susvara over the Arya/HE100se, or the Arya over Sundara, etc.

I think that I am most interested to know the difference and particularly sound quality in Susvara, HE1000se, HE1000 V2, Arya, Edition X V2, Ananda, and Sundara.

Susvara is a league of its own.
Then I would put the HE1000SE and HE1000 V2 together - how is one better over the other?
Then Arya, Edition X V2, and Ananda - same question as previous
And finally Sundara, which seems to be the introduction to Hifiman to many

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HiFiMan…

:sweat_smile: :rofl:

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I absolutely understand and respect that. They do charge quite a lot, but there will always be people who purchase them.

Focal and Sennheiser being the main competition. It’s like with Mercedes and BMW, neither are the best and most performing/reliable cars on the market, yet you know they have a very loyal customer-base.

I think that it would be nice to have a place for those who have experience and listened to many Hifiman products and let them rank them according to this experience.

And headphones.com sells Hifiman products, so this should also in some way be beneficial to your company.

It’s not hard to tell that the prices of Hifiman differ vastly, a product can drop 2000 USD in price… and that itself indicated an unstable value of it. You don’t really see a huge price drop of a RAAL SR1a or Focal headphones… it is what is is.

Waiting to hear from you Hifiman folks :wink:

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From what I’ve tried (and mostly from memory):

Sound:

Susvara > HE-6 (with mods) > HE-1000v1 > Arya > HE-500 (with mods) > HE-6SE (stock) >= Ananda > HE-4XX > HE-400i > HE-560v2 > RE-0 > RE-400 > HE-5SE

Value (mostly factoring street used prices since some are discontinued):

HE-4XX > RE-400 > HE-400i > HE-500 > HE-6 = HE-6SE > Ananda > Arya = HE-1000v1 > HE-560v2 (would rather get something else), HE-5SE (would rather get something else) > Susvara

I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen an RE-0 for sale so I can’t really rank it on its value.

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Well, my personal ranking of the Hifimans I have tried so far is:

Sundara >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> pause for breath >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> TWS600 :wink:

But I received the 400i and the Deva today which I am looking forwards to trying out.

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It has been quite a while since I heard each of these, and I’m honestly not sure if I could give you an accurate/useful cross-comparison between those. I’d rather leave that to those who have more experience with HFM headphones. :slight_smile:

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I don’t know about the TWS600, but I am not quite interested in TWS products…
The RE800’s are good stuff though

The Deva is alright, not spectacular build quality, but the sound seems interesting. Needs a good source to be properly powered

I had a pair of HE400i a few years ago, when I first got into the hobby seriously, and I liked them well enough for a while as a neophyte (the wonky treble and the plasticky sound finally got to me). They were purchased new for $250, down from their original price at ca. $500. In retrospect, that initial MSRP was ridiculous. By the time mine came out there had already been a significant revision or two. They creaked a bit and felt flimsy, but they served me well for a couple of years and didn’t break. I also had a pair of the RE-00, which also remained in good condition; I only sold them because they were a bit too bass light for my tastes.

I mention all this to emphasize that I don’t have an axe to grind about HiFiMan products. But I think two things ought to be mentioned in a thread like this:

  1. buyers should beware of quality control issues with some HiFiMAN headphones and IEMs; it won’t take long browsing forums to find complaints about this. These problems may have declined in recent years. I don’t know. But reliability is an important consideration when purchasing expensive headphones. Pay attention to the warranty period if you are making a significant investment.

  2. buyers should beware of revisions to models and price fluctuations (especially when it comes to the headphones retaining their value on the used market). Below are price histories, according to camelcamelcamel for two older models, the HE 560 and the 400i, as well as the more recent Ananda.

Back to being directly on topic: I’ve not heard the Susvara but the HE 1000 v2 was wonderful; excellent resolution, lovely open and airy soundstage, and a strangely soft but appealing sound. With a lottery win, I’d get a pair as they offer a distinctive presentation among high-end headphones. I’d be interested in comparing them side-by-side with the Arya.

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Are we really comparing Hifiman with BMW/Mercerdes?

We should step out of the headphone world illusion into the real world for a bit, and then get back in. See how ridiculous you sound.

Hifiman pricing is absurd for that kind of brand and build quality. No one knows Hifiman outside of audiophools.

When I first I bought the HE1000, I was shocked to see the build quality. And it broke after a few months. When I tried the Arya and Susvara, all I could do was shake my head and leave.

Oh well…what can I expect? This is the hobby where people buy $600 USB cable where it is only worth $6.

My most favorite Hifiman is still the old ones. They were overpriced even back then. Hifiman’s always been greedy. But not as horrible as current ones.

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Pretty toxic comment.

Maybe you should step out and listen to what I actually said. I am in the real world, didn’t step out of it (yet). Don’t know about you, but it seems like you are very closed-minded and don’t have a very good understanding of the market and the industry

It is like with BMW/Mercedes. Hifiman doesn’t make the best sounding headphones with the best built quality, yet they still have a very loyal fan-base. Same with BMW and Mercedes. I don’t see the ridiculous.

Is it overpriced? Yes. Brand costs… it’s simple as that. Is Apple overpriced? :wink: Yes. But people buy it due to “simplicity” and the brand itself. Go to an Apple customer and try talking them out of buying their products, try to “open up” their eyes so they can see that the laptop doesn’t even cost 500 dollars to make. Sorry to tell you, but that’s not how it works.

I created this thread so I can hear from people who actually listened to the majority of the headphones from Hifiman, not to hear opinion from closed-minded people.

You shouldn’t be the one judging what people do with their money, worry about your own pocket. People spend 10k on speaker cables and all type of stuff… believing it improves the sound. Go and tell them not to spend 10k on cables.

The majority of the audiophile industry is just about finesse, and it works. A person with a deep pocket won’t worry about us, people who actually care about value and sound quality. It’s one of those things we say “Why would you waste money on this?”. They don’t look at it from the same perspective, and that’s something you should be aware of.
Look at it from the business side, not just your own tunnel vision.

Just let people enjoy what they want to enjoy. I just want to hear opinions from people with experience, didn’t want to start a war on whether Hifiman is worth it.

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Don’t take his banter so seriously

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I think @DEXCOM7 is too busy listening to the Hives to make time for a retort to your post. :joy:

I am looking forward to his ranking though.

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Now you’re comparing Hifiman with Apple. And you’re telling me that you’re in the real world LoL.

If you see brands like Focal, BMW, Mercedes, Apple, what do you see in common?

Wait. The OP asked for this to be a clean thread but we trashing it.

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Unfortunately for you, I do not have patience or tolerance for trolling. I maintain a professional attitude no matter what.
I know it’s not easy, but I suggest you use your brain - I am comparing the audiences of those companies, not the companies and their products themselves. They follow a similar concept. From what I see, you have no real understanding of marketing, business, and the industry & market itself, so there is no point for debate - because there is none. If you cannot see how the customer base of the companies I mentioned compare to Hifiman… well, I won’t waste any time explaining it - I did more than enough explaining for a normal person to understand the point.

I have to, I am a pretty serious guy… and I just do not tolerate trolls. By ignoring them, I am letting this type of behavior to be acceptable. And it simply isn’t. I am also not feeding him, I am just proving my point.

Oh well… knew this would happen. It’s impossible to keep a clean thread, that’s why I’ll try to add every list posted here to the OG post.

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