This isn’t a typical hifiman review, but I wrote a review on an integrated amplifier used exclusively with the HE6SE and Susvara
Nice write up.
It’s interested how speaker amps really work well with inefficient HifiMan.
What’s going to be released today?
(got this from the erji forums).
Also, zoom in on the tree in the pic and you’ll see HE-R9 and a Edition XS.
I bet the Edition XS is just the Edition X with stealth magnets. Just like they did with HEKse, 400se, and Arya stealth edition.
So recently I sold most of my headphone gear to fund a stereo set up in my living room.
I went from a ZMF Pendant > ZMF Eikon, now to the Hifiman 400se.
I went this route because I previously owned a Ananda and really loved it. It opened my eyes to what headphones can deliver and really sent me down the rabbit hole, landing in ZMF paradise.
Anyways, for $150 these 400SE cans really provide a pleasurable listening experience. A little harsher and less detailed than the Ananda, mids are a little recessed in comparison, but it holds me over in a pinch i would say. Bass is well extended, and the highs are pretty smooth!
Sure, I lust for more expensive cans, but having experienced cans 10x more expensive than these, I’m happy with what these provide.
They also are some of the lightest headphones i’ve worn. My old K7XX were really lightweight as well, but these have better tuning.
HE-R9 (image shows the DEVA Pro though):
I don’t understand much of that (especially the weird pricing? ￥2499.00 is $22), but taken in absolute terms we can gather that this new Edition XS (￥2499.00) will be about 1/4 the price of Arya (￥9999.00), so we’re looking at a Sundara competitor.
Watch out for currency symbol confusion, as I think only three are widely used.
China and Japan for ￥
US and many for $
Ah, quite right - thanks. Still, the absolute terms comparison holds. Edition XS is a Sundara level offering @ ~$400.
Finally got a pair of the HiFiMan Edition XS, which I have lusted after since they debuted as a China-only product last year.
First impressions: The Edition XS fulfill the hype – and then some. I’m beyond delighted with these after the first two hours of listening.
I’m happy to compare these to a few headphones outside of the HiFiMan line – I’ve owned/own HD 560s, HD 6XX, Elegia, Meze 99 Classics, ATH-M40x, ATH-M50x – I think it’s probably best and most accurate to compare to the HiFiMan headphone that I own, the HE-400se.
I know the Sundara is the step just below the XS in the HiFiMan, but I’ve never owned or tried it. Decided to jump straight from HE-400se to XS after my recent purchase of the Elegia showed me how mid-fi can be a considerable jump over entry-fi.
The Edition XS basically take what’s good in the HE-400se and elevate it about five times. And it takes the flaws of the 400se and fixes them.
All of these impressions are without EQ. I’m not a huge EQ guy, as I like the varying sound signatures of the cans in my collection (HE-400se, Elegia, HD 6XX).
First, the Edition XS bass. It’s more controlled, punchy and present than in the HE-400se, which already has good, entry-level planar bass. There’s no grain, spike or congestion in the treble so far, which can be a problem in some complex passages with the HE-400se. But the biggest difference in the basic sound signature between the HE-400se and the Edition XS are the mids – they’re far more defined and present in the Edition XS than in the HE-400se.
Other thoughts about the XS compared to the HE-400se … Clarity? Better. Imaging? MUCH better. Soundstage? Considerably wider. Comfort. The same – both are very comfortable, but the XS has even less clamping force. Good for my fat, bald dome.
I’m not an audiophile with decades of experience and a fat checkbook. I’ve been active in this wonderful hobby and with its cool people for about five years, and my finances finally have allowed me to graduate from entry-fi to mid-fi. But the Edition XS are the highest-quality all-arounders I’ve heard. The only headphone I’ve heard that’s better is the Focal Stellia, and that’s a $3,000 can.
There’s just nothing in the XS’ sound signature that offends my ears and brain in the slightest, which is rare since I’m very treble-sensitive and suffer from raging tinnitus. And there’s a HELL of a lot in the sound signature that matches my idea of audio nirvana.
Time to compare the Edition XS to the other mid-fi can in my collection, the Elegia. Yes, the detail and some of the treble in the Elegia match or possibly exceed that in the XS. But the Elegia don’t do bass or soundstage nearly as well as the XS. The Elegia are great for strings, classical, vocals, acoustic, piano jazz, bluegrass – music that lives in the mids. But they’re not so great for rock, alternative rock or metal.
So far, the Edition XS have been great with every genre, just like my HE-400se, which are THE definitive entry-level can, in my opinion. But the Edition XS are just significantly better at everything than the HE-400se.
Finally, I don’t get the fuss about power requirements for the Edition XS. I’m driving them to ample volume on low gain of my JDS Atom+ stack. The dial is at about noon or 1 p.m. I’m sure more powerful amps would elicit even more fidelity, but I’m already in rapture at what I’m hearing.
The Edition XS may stop my headphone churn for a while. They’re THAT good. I feel like I would need to pierce the four-figure spend range to get anything much better.
I’m so damn impressed – and happy!
Feel free to toss any questions my way.
I will upgrade to these from my 400se, after I enjoy my new cans for a while.
Nice one. Hope you try and find used high current speaker amps released 4 5years back (naim, hegel, parasound etc) costing less than 2k usd and discuss the value proposition compared to headamps for insensitive hifimans. I always wonder about that but havent seen much content on that
The HE-400se are among the very best values in audiophilia. Enjoy them – they’re a magic entry-level planar, especially for the price.
I’m still not sure if I will sell mine even after getting the XS. I enjoy my HE-400se that much. Probably will sell to raise funds to cover the purchase of the XS, but the idea that I’m clinging to a $150 headphone as a pillar of my collection should indicate just how good the HE-400se are for the price.
I didnt go digging too deep into the speaker amp well. I ended up buying a Bakoon AMP-13R speaker amp/headphone amp that was designed around susvara and been pretty happy with it so far. This model is no longer in production, as they’ve rebranded to Enleum and released a new AMP-23R a couple months ago.
If anyone is looking for a V1 HEK for a good price I’ll be putting mine for sale soon. Thanks!
congrats on the purchase hope you have a great time
yeah… I have 0 reference maybe thats why I’m eager to try higher end stuff. I wont buy anything till 2023 thats for sure. hoping to get something like asgard as upgrade from hip dac. but not sure if I should. Anyway thats in the future and I am loving my present.
PK I’m glad your enjoying your Edition XS. I know i would love it too. I’ve had the Ananda and HE400se. 400 was a little hazy and grainy for me, but it did have a pleasing sound. Reminded me enough of the Ananda to hold me over for a while.
Thanks. No letdown over time with the XS, either. Still delighting me as much as the first day I tried them.