HiFiMan Susvara Over-Ear Planar Headphone - Official Thread

Sheldon, your post sums up an “Audiophile” perfectly. :heart:


I try not to analyse when listening to the Susvarna because all it does is remind me that I don’t have the proper amp(s) for them. The fact that they sound better at the receiving end of a desktop>Micromega USB DAC>vinatage receiver (Pioneer SX-650) than they do when driven by the Naim DAC-V1 (in any configuration) is a pretty good pointer to that effect. Sure the receiver delivers plenty wattage (hail the ol’ swing) but the Susvarna doesn’t like power floods like, say, the HE6se does. Contrary to what I had initially assumed, this has nothing to do with efficiency and everything to do with the obvious: the Susvara is one heck of a finicky headphone. Because of that I’ve decided to wait until the price drops a little on the modest EF6 which is said to work good on that phone as long as volume requirements remain just as modest. I don’t listen to that phone often enough to justify the purchase of an amp that works good on only one headphone model.

1 Like

hahahah. I still don’t regret it either!


As you shouldn’t! :heart:

1 Like

Yeah, the alternative pads are mine. The ones in @Resolve’s video review are the stock pads but with perforations along the sides (the ones set on the desk). I was reminded of the “Jerg mod” for Hifiman’s stock pleather pads which brings up the ~ 2 kHz while bringing down the ~1 kHz peak in Hifiman headphones (or at least in the HE-6 that I tested with).

Measured on a MiniDSP EARS. HPN compensation. Matched at 200 Hz.
Actually in hindsight, it seems just the 1 kHz peak is brought down with the HE-6 (with a bit more treble energy). On the Susvara, the ~2kHz region is brought up as shown in my previous post. The bass does bump up a tiny bit but then rolls off - the roll-off in the bass happens because the front air volume (or the pressure created within the earcups when put on the side of the head) is no longer fully sealed as air can escape through the perforations. The bump in the bass, I think, is due to the diaphragms being not fully damped in the front side due to the air being able to escape through the perforations - this allows the diaphragms to “flop” around more.

I did also have some old Beyerdynamic(?) pads on them and those measure a bit differently than the modded stock pads in the video review:

Measured on a MiniDSP EARS. HPN compensation. Matched at 200 Hz. I typically like the ~2-5 region to be a bit laid back, so my preference goes to the old Beyerdynamic pads. That and also, the bass extension is kept up to level.

A note on the old Beyerdynamic pads: I’m not actually sure they’re Beyerdynamic pads. I got them a while back on a vintage headphone (maybe it was a vintage DT990) and they’re very different from modern Beyerdynamic pads (though I’m not saying, “Old, good; new bad”). For one, there’s no perforations underneath the pads and the other main thing being that the foam density is different - modern Beyerdynamic pads use a sort of quick-recovery foam; the old Beyerdynamic(?) pads I have on them seems to be a sort of memory foam though not quite as dense ones like on Dekoni or ZMF pads. In my limited experience, dense memory foam pads tend to bloat the bass and “close-in” the sound. Thicker pads tend to be more susceptible to reflections within the earpad and typically yield a peaky or sharp treble response. There are some pads that don’t always follow these results (that I found true at least to myself) such as the Audeze vegan pads, but it’s been a general thing that I’ve kept in mind before buying earpads.


Yeah this seems right. I think that’s also why there are efforts to do the perforated style or hybrid styles to get the best of both worlds for that. I was talk to Zach from ZMF at CanJam about this stuff and he mentioned that the Suede pads for his headphones also smooth out some of the treble peaks, so I can see that being the absence of reflective properties that would otherwise amplify certain resonances - probably not unlike ear-based gain factors.


This is awesome @Feilong4 :grin:

Both options look super interesting, thanks for the thorough reply.

I just picked up a Susvara, and will definately be looking into these kinds of options.

  • That being said… sound “pretty” good stock as well.

Whats the easiest way to make the pads come off of these cans btw?

  • Scurred of messing them up.
1 Like

This is awesome @Feilong4 :grin:
Both options look super interesting, thanks for the thorough reply.

No problem, and thanks!

I think most people won’t mind the stock frequency response, and some may find it preferable as @Resolve did. There’s just a particular response that I’ve been chasing, and the Susvara with the old Beyerdynamic pads comes the closest to that without any EQ’ing - I just add a bit of boost in the sub-bass (~3 db).

The pads pull off and clip on like the pads on other Hifiman headphones. One thing to note though: the tabs that clip onto the earcups are very fragile. Much more so than the earpad adapters on Hifiman’s other headphones - actually, I’m not sure about the durability of earpad adapters on the HE-1000 and its siblings, and the newer Sundara. I’ve broken 4 tabs on 2 sets of Susvara earpad adapters just by putting them on and taking them off. Comparatively to when I had the HE-6, I’ve swapped way more pads on those and have broken 0 tabs.


Thanks for the heads-up.

How did you fix it though, does Hifiman send out replacements?

…so 4 tabs per ring?

  • 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’ clock?

Yeah, I have an old HE-500 that i can basically just rip off and slap on infinately too.

Many of you guys have already seen the video but I’ll just post it here along with the full written review:


I’m curious to hear what Zach has to say on foam density/type and thickness, and his experience with that, or if he plans to venture into making his own planar magnetic headphones :slight_smile:


My recommendation would be to also talk to Ryan from Modhouse Audio. He had some really good insight on that stuff during the HEADPHONE Show live stream we did.


Yeah, if you contact Hifiman’s support, they can send you out replacements. I did buy earpad adapters from Hifiman since my hadn’t broken at that time. A set of 2 costed me 30 USD + shipping IIRC.

Also, yes, 4 tabs per ring and I was able to attach the old rings onto the Susvara FWIW. The earpads just doesn’t look as nice so I opted to buy the Susvara rings. If you don’t care about how the earpads look on the Susvara, I would just use the older rings since the tabs on Susvara’s attachement rings break so easily.

@Resolve Thanks, I’ll check out the livestream! I still need to catch up with the other ones as well. :slight_smile:

Sorry, I’m fairly new to headphones.com and have no idea how to multi-quote if that’s a possibility here.


Me neither @Feilong4

Interesting, so it’s possible to padroll a whole lot with the “round” OG rings… :thinking:
I do want it to look nice though.

Btw, you running speaker amp on this one? …or head-amp?

I will get absolutely flamed for this, but I’ve been using it off my THX AAA 789 amp. I guess it’s not enough if you have some really quiet recordings, and I mean really quiet recordings. I am thinking of getting a Yamaha WXA-50 speaker amp just to see what the fuss about more power is about. Desk space is a big concern for me, and it seems like that amp seems to be just what I’d like.

Edit: If anyone has amp recommendations though, I’d like to hear them. I don’t get the opportunity to try out different amps so I’m not sure what’s good out there. Honestly, I’m thinking of just getting the Topping A90 when that comes out and then call it a day.


No flame from me, waiting for my speaker adapter though.
789 has some pretty good power.

WXA looks like it could be a really nice desk option for it, that’s a great suggestion right there. :+1:

Was thinking about trying a lower tier Hegel as an alternative…will see what i can get out of my taps around the house first though. Curious as well of how much of a difference it makes on it.

  • I tried a bit on the HE-6 back when, and i thought it was really nice on taps. Not as world breaking as some of the others seem to think though… so i’m holding a level/moderate expectation for it.

Once again, you hit the home run with another review. Thank you! The only thing I was expecting to read or hear was how do you compare the performance of the amps used driving the Susvara because of its hard to drive nature and low sensitivity. I’m particularly interested in knowing how does the Phonitor X perform with such hard to drive cans as I’m considering a pair for myself. A few words on that will be highly appreciated.


On the 789, If you are going out the XLR output, it is about 4.5 Watts at 60 ohms, it will be between 100 -110 dB, that getting to concert loud or playing with chainsaw wide open. I think you are good. ; )


Well dang, I think you just saved me like 500 bucks :wink:

You can run your DAC in off XLR as well, remember This is another amp that does better with XLR full path aka in and out. You do not need expensive XLR patch cables, I picked this 4 Pack or 2-foot XLR’s for 19.99 dollars on Reverb. https://reverb.com/item/970544-4-pack-of-xlr-patch-cables-2-foot-extension-cords-jumper-blue-and-orange I like they are color-coded.

1 Like