Hifiman Sundara Open-Back Planar Magnetic Headphones - Official Thread

Both the headphones you mentioned are an upgrade from Sundara for sound quality.
Of the two the Elex cost you less and give you 95% of the performance that Clears can give you.
Check online discounts for the Clears OG since MG have been released and get the headphone that costs you less and matches your taste aesthetically.
As a complementary headphone to use with Sundara I’d take a look to Sennheiser HD6XX or HD660s.
They give you exactly what Sundara doesn’t and make a very good couple with them.


Awesome, thank you! I wouldn’t mind saving the money, but if you had to choose between the HD6XX & HD660s, would you have a preference or is it a coin flip?


Actually two different headphones. I’m enjoying a lot my HD660s but your choice depends on your system synergy, on the music you listen to and on your tastes. Since we’re talking in general I believe that the 6XX are a better value for the money.


You guys asked for it and PM @Resolve on the daily about it so he went ahead and measured one of the new April 2021 Sundaras. Let your questions be answered.


Can he measure it again just to be sure?


Needs more cowbell. :laughing:


Any word on whether this is another pad change or something internal?

Check the date on that measurement :wink:


Damnit, I’ve been pwned. :eyes:


HiFiMan announces the Sundayra for 2021. It’s both a set of headphones and an ice cream sundae bowl.

1 Like

Today I was tempted to write on the HE6 thread, “Hey so now that Loveless is streaming, my normal HE6 amp can’t drive them to the levels I need to listen to Loveless any recommendations” but I don’t own an HE6 and I like this joke better.

1 Like

I ended up returning the Sundara’s. Ultimately, they just eeked out over the SHP 9500’s “to my ears”, but they weren’t nearly as comfortable and the earcups didn’t fit quite right over my ears. If they came out with a larger earpad for them and a little less clamp force, I would have kept them. Unfortunately, they didn’t sound $280 better than the $70 SHP 9500’s that I started with.

I LOVE the sound profile of both the Sundara and SHP9500. I also have the KPH30i with add-on Grado earpads, as well as the SHP9600. The 9600’s sound so “hollow” to me compared to the Sundara/9500. I really like the KPH30i for the price too.


I have a question, why the 2021 measurement of the revision Sundara looks so smoothed and different from the other ones including the 2020 and the new April 2021 measurements?

The treble is very smooth, all of them share that characteristic 9.5Khz dip and sudden gain afterwards except for that one. By the way is it only Left or channel combined?

The oratory1990 measurement of the revised version is actually your 2020 measurement, as claimed in the footpage of PDF. We still need him to measure it for confirmation (of FR).

Read Oratory’s FAQ on why the 9khz dip should be there. That’s essentially concha interaction, and according to his FAQ, every good headphone will show some dip in that region.

For smoothing and averaging, these measurements are generally smoothed to 1/12th (fairly normal) and averaged from a number of seatings. If you’re looking at the most recent comparison, that one unit is from 2018 with the old pads - so it measures differently. It has the same 1/12th applied.

This issue has been put to rest given that there are now numerous examples of the new ones measuring differently. Even Sean Olive has measured it, showing the same results (roughly) as what I got, and within unit variation tolerances. There should be no more confusion on this subject - at least until they make another revision…


I just got my Sundara and I have no sound!.I unplug / replug and sometimes I get sound from right earcup, though I can’t see what I’m, doing differently. This is with 3 different sources: phone, PC, receiver. I verified that sources are outputting sound with another pair of headphones. It doesn’t have the power requirements the Sundara has, but surely my old Pioneer receiver is putting out plenty? Volume is up

So, I figure, bad cable? I don’t have another 3.5mm to dual 3.5mm or another pair of headphones that uses the same connection, so I tried connecting a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable to one earcup at a time. Same thing happens: sometimes I get sound from right cup, again no idea what I’m doing differently, never sound from left cup.

The connections seem good, they click in firmly and don’t seem loose. The sound when I do get some does not cut in and out.

Any ideas what’s wrong? Thanks in advance.

PS: are the earpads supposed to ber lopsided? They’re thicker on top and squished at the bottom.

PPS: I ordered mine on 4/.22/21. Do I have the latest revision?

1 Like

Welcome to the community - I’m sorry you’re having this problem. Given your explanation, it seems as though there’s something wrong with the left headphone.

I can think of two potential problems, which isn’t to say there aren’t others: 1) with the wiring in the headphone, or 2) with the driver itself.

Unfortunately, you wouldn’t be the first to suffer from a defective or broken HiFiMan. In fact, it won’t take you long to find many examples of people experiencing dead drivers.

I wouldn’t expend any effort trying to diagnose the problem; just get a replacement or a refund, if you can.

Good luck


Does anyone know if the HE400i 2020 headband would work on the Sundara? Am interested to change the headband to improve comfort.

Hello all!

Quick question: I have the 2020 Sundara and am I’m looking to purchase a balanced DAC. I’m particularly drawn to either the Topping D70s or the Schiit Bifrost 2, but I wasn’t sure if that would be grossly overkill for the headphone itself. Is there a ceiling for the type of DAC that would really make the Sundara sound great? As if, should I get a more “budget” balanced DAC like a Schiit Modius or Soncoz LA-QXD1 to get the most out of the Sundara? Hopefully my question makes sense…


My suggestion is get the DAC that is higher performing so that down the line, if you upgrade your headphones, you should be set…

If you don’t plan on upgrading in the future, then you should be fine with the budget DACs imo.

Hope that helps!


My, very personal, surprise candidate, the Hifiman Sundara, connected to the Rebellamp, in high gain mode, the volume-control pulled up until it starts to hum, then turn back about an hour (about 1:30 p.m.), the volume is then controlled on the DAC, WOW , the Sundara performs, so set, well above its price range.