Some great April deals over at HiFiMan.
The HiFiMAN Jade II is an over-ear electrostatic headphone with a list price of $1399. HiFiMAN’s energizer can be purchased separately for $1599 or with the headphones for a total price of $2499. I had the opportunity to listen to the Jade II in the context of a Head-Fi loaner tour.
The HiFiMAN Jade II is a bright-sounding headphone with a forward upper midrange. I do not recommend the HiFiMAN Jade II, especially at their list price. They need extensive EQ to sound acceptable and I can’t imagine spending $2500 on a pair of headphones that sound as tonally wrong as these do out of the box.
My full review can be viewed on my blog: HiFiMan Jade II Review
Reviews of the Jade continue to reinforce my belief that HiFiMan caters more to the “I bought it as a status symbol” crowd than they do to the audiophile crowd.
I think there are two different realms for Hifiman. The Sundara, Ananda and Arya are all reasonably priced headphones that perform very well for their price bracket (if you like a bit of a brighter tuning). By all accounts from @Resolve, the Susvara is magical. Probably not $6k magical but his impressions have been glowing.
I do think things like the Jade put a bad taste in people’s mouths along with QC issues from the past.
Apparently Shangri-la Jr. is decent too, and decent build quality. It certainly looked like it from the brief experience I had at canjam.
Is the Ananda considered bright? To me it doesn’t sound very bright but other headphones I have heard do. To me the Ananda is probably my favorite all around Planar for the money hands down! Build quality leaves a bit to be desired but the sound is honestly very good to my ears. I would love to check out the Arya one day too but I am afraid it might be too bright for my liking.
Not the Shangri-la I heard at RMAF. I don’t really care for Stax, but despite this, I’ll just say Stax has nothing to worry about on the HFM front. It was the most average sounding hyper-expensive anything I’ve ever heard.
I would not say bright, maybe if you are used to warmer headphones and try the Ananda for a short time.
I found the Ananda perfect for my taste, though 6x is still not bright enough for me, after a month of usage. Just to name a “reference point” most know.
Was it the Jr or Sr you tried? Or both?
I think I prefer the Susvara over both so far, but maybe that’s just because of the planar low end. The only estat I’ve heard so far that’s got decent ‘grunt’ to it was the sr-007 2.9.
Yeah that’s true it’s definitely brighter the the 6XX, the 6XX is really amp Picky. The Elegia to me were brighter sounding than the Ananda’s. Have you ever heard the Arya’s @MartinTransporter ?
Yes I did, though not at the best conditions and not for as long … so not really
I’m not a fan of Hifiman, too expensive for what you get (materials used, and quality of certain parts etc)… plus the owner can be polarizing with his views…all said, I do my best to leave bias on the table… I’ll have to get some Hifiman headphones in at some point to run through to form a proper opinion…
I like hifiman tuning for the most part. The Jade II was not very good and not worth the cost at regular price – if you can get it for a dirt cheap deal, it’s not bad then.
But as for the others I’ve tried, I really liked the HE560, Sundara, Arya, Ananda (though I only listened to it for a short time), HE400i/400s, HE6, etc.
I think the build quality is but I would take the Ananda’s over any Focal headphone I have heard yet. Granted I haven’t heard the high end ones such as utopia and Stellia. I definitely think the $699 tag of the Ananda’s new on sale is worth it, compared to a clear at $900-$1500.
Friendship off!!! I’m joking of course
Have you heard the Clears? I think they are pretty outstanding headphones! But were outclassed In sounds enjoyment by my ZMFs
Hahah I still You!! Yes I actually did recently a buddy of mine has them who was visiting. I think this could just be a me thing and I have an aversion to Focal headphones and the way their drivers sound for listening sessions longer than an hour. I’m not sure what it is.
Everyone is different! I find most planars fatiguing after a while which plays into my preference of dynamics…I still can appreciate planars and a bunch have not been fatiguing overly for me so there is that lol
I love the Focal sound, but I do agree Focal’s audiophile tier headphones can be fatiguing.
It was the Sr.
For something that I think sounds worse than a Utopia + Magni 3+.
I’m not exaggerating. In fact, I’m trying to be nice.
I’d say try the Jr if you get a chance. It’s tough to really get a sense of that stuff because it’s so unattainable. I wish I could spend a week with one to just see how it stacks up to the competition in terms of technical ability - even from their own nano scale planars.