HiFiMan Susvara Over-Ear Planar Headphone - Official Thread

Hey Guys,

I went to my local headphone shop this morning and gave the Hifiman Susvara a try. I thought I would share some impressions of my Audition as they are a pretty interesting headphone.

Lets get this out of the way first. These headphones cost $6000USD, or here in Canada, $8000CAD. Its insane. I’m never going to own these headphones, but I thought I would give them a listen anyhow.

Gear Used: DAC: Aune S6 Amp: iFi Pro iCAN (in SS mode) Hifiman Susvara, AB-1266 Phi

First thing I took a look at was the build quality, as this is something to take note of given the Susvara is a Hifiman product. The build quality is good, but not great. It is better than the HE1000V1, and about on par with the HE1000V2, maybe a tiny bit better. The gimbals are tight and the cups don’t flap around like they did with the HE1000V1. Its like they are missing that last 5% of build quality and materials that would really make them an $8000 headphone. Its a shame, as they could really be elevated to that “next level” which is something I would expect at the asking price. The cables suck, and I would definitely replace them if I bought a pair of Susvara. They are just kind of, cheap and nasty feeling?

The weight is totally ok, and they are a VERY comfortable headphone. Definitely one of the more comfortable flagship headphones available currently. It beats out my LCD-4 and Abyss Phi handily. I think they look great, though maybe a bit uninventive as it is basically just a rounder HE1000.

Lets talk about how they sound. In a word. Great! $8000CAD great? No, but still my second favourite headphone I have heard. I prefer the Abyss Phi.

The best way I can describe these is that they are like an HE1000 on steroids with a bit more punch and a more forward nature. This might not make sense, but think of it like If the HE1000 is slumped over in a chair, the Susvara is sitting up straight.

The bass isn’t as hard hitting as the Abyss Phi, but it is very present and detailed. Maybe a tiny bit more bass than the HE1000, but less than the Abyss Phi. Listening to fast complicated bass passages in electronica came across very well and didn’t get all muddled up. It has good clarity, no complaints here.

The mids are less warm than say an Audeze LCD-3, and about on par with the LCD-4. Not overly warm, but the Susvara don’t sound cold and clinical. I didn’t really notice any super hard core spikes or dips that bothered me.

The treble was a bit more laid back than the Abyss Phi. I found the Phi to have better clarity and definition in this area. The Susvara was better than the LCD-4 in terms of treble according to my preferences, but I think it would really depend on the type of sound you enjoy. You can definitely pick out all the little details and there are no hardcore spikes drilling into your ears.

Soundstage and imaging are very, very good. Is the soundstage as big as the HD800 and Abyss Phi? No, but it is open sounding, and very deep. It is bigger sounding than the LCD-4. Very precise sounding in terms of where instruments are.

All in all, these are kick ass headphones that could be a little bit better in the materials and build quality department, and a WHOLE lot less in the price department.

An Update: I bought the Susvara. They are awesome.

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What’s your local headphone shop? Just out of curiosity

www.headphonebar.com :slight_smile:

Its a great shop and the owner Travis is very helpful!

haha I KNEW it! Travis is the man. I’ve purchased most of my gear from him, and he’s been super helpful whenever there were issues with the equipment (had the right driver on my AFO partially die).

Where abouts are you located? I’m living out near Joyce at the moment. Would you be into a meet sometime?

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Glad to see the balanced commentary. It’s not like you’re out STUMPING for the Husqvarn… I mean Susvara.

One of these days I will get a chance to audition some of the higher-end headphones. I don’t think I’ve listened to anything over about $2000 or so.

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Well … you’re only one review away from having access to the “Community Preview Program” … :wink:

The Audeze LCD-4 and Focal Utopia are both well worth hearing!

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After a month and a half away from my Susvara, I’m happily sitting here listening to my tunes with them. They really are great headphones. At the prices I have been seeing them go for lately, I highly recommend picking them up over some other offerings in the $3500USD and under arena. The question for me is, how does the HE1000se stack up? I haven’t been able to hear them yet, so I’m not sure.

I think if you are paying retail for the HE1000se, and don’t mind the cons of the Susvara that are righted with the 1000SE (sensitivity, 2.5mm connectors etc…) it is worth while to try and give the Susvara a listen as a potential purchase, as they would cost about the same.

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Just owning those is an accomplishment. Congrats on living the dream. I have a good collection but those are on the “if i win the lottery” list.

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What is the ideal amp for the Susvara? Have been running my He6se off my XPA 7 Emotiva amp but not sure if it sings SQ. I do have GS-X mini would that be enough to get low end out of them?

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Hello and welcome @BondDaBoom.

First, welcome. Second, I was not familiar with the GS-X mini, but it looks like one nice amp. I have a lot of faith in Kevin Gilmore designs. Also, I noted on the HeadAmp site, in the notes on the GS-X mini, someone speaks very highly of it’s ability to work with the Susvara.

@Torq could give a definitive answer.

Woo Audio also lists some of their recommendations here: https://wooaudio.com/headphones/susvara
in the products at the bottom of the page.

I think the question is not going to be getting low end out of them, given the high end nature of what you are listening to, it will be nuance and personal preference.

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I have Susvara headphones, Danacable Lazuli Nirvana cables, and a Woo Audio WA33 headphone amp. My choices were made based on a lot of internet research and listening to various equipment at shows. I listen primarily to Jazz, pop, R&B and classical, so my choice of music may not by typical, but I am very satisfied with the choices I made and heartily recommend each component. The Woo Audio 33 has ample oomph to power the Susvara’s.

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Hello and welcome @Rickruss. Lovely gear you have there.

So I finally got a chance to evaluate the Susvara. Here are some preliminary thoughts.


HPN compensation with stock pads

So this might be the best headphone. Fullstop.

This could change depending on pad swaps, but so far here’s how I’d score it:
Build/Comfort - 9/10 (it feels surprisingly solid)
Detail retrieval - 10/10 (first time?)
Speed & Dynamics - 9.5/10
Stage & Imaging - 9.8/10
Timbre - 9/10
Tonality - 9.5/10

So even after all the headphone reviewing I’ve done, and getting a chance to hear truly top tier headphones like the LCD4, Utopia, D8000 Pro, Verite, HEDDphone, etc., the Susvara is still able to make me go “oh - I didn’t notice that little detail before” when analyzing my music. Part of this has to do with it also having a frequency response that’s very detail forward, so I might be noticing those elements as a result of the FR related clarity as well. If I had to nitpick, the 7khz region is just right on the edge for me. I don’t think it’s sibilant for 90% of my music, but there are occasionally some tracks where it gets close. It’s helped by having such crazy performance though that it doesn’t feel harsh when that happens.

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Thanks for your impressions. I agree, the Susvara is probably the best non-Orpheus/HE1 headphone I’ve gotten to hear, but it can start to be just on the edge for me in terms of brightness on some tracks. That’s a matter of personal preference, though, and should be easily fixed by EQ. (I’ve only heard it a few times at shows, mostly amped by a Benchmark HPA-4.) As you probably know, there’s a huge discussion about amplifying the Susvara because it’s so difficult to drive. Out of curiosity, what amp are you using?

The Cayin IHA-6. This amp is specifically meant for inefficient planars like the HE6 and Susvara - and I don’t even get to 12 o’clock on the dial. Also this is a high current amp. I know people say you need a speaker amp to get the most out of it and whatnot but this thing drives it just fine.

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Ah great, another Cayin amp user. I own the Cayin HA-300, and I’d love to hear the Susvara on it. I assume it’d be able to run it just fine, right?

Here it is with my LCD-3 Fazos. I’ve upgraded tubes to Psvane ACME 300b and Psvane CV181-T II tubes.

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I had the Susvara on loan for a couple of weeks, it was an amazing headphone, along with the price. I tried it with the HA-300, THX 789, RME ADI-2, Master 9 and Crown XLS 2502.

Cayin HA-300 was good at low volumes, but had trouble getting it to its full potential. I tried it with Balanced 3.5W and Unbalanced 5W connections but not with the speaker out 8W. I think that was a missed opportunity, the 8W would have made the most difference.

THX 789 had the same problem with only 3.5W balanced. Sounded good at low volumes but lost oomph when trying to get higher volumes.

RME ADI-2 was good again at low volume but lacked when trying to reach higher levels.

The Master 9 was also good at lower volumes but with the headphones impedance it was probable in the same power class as the THX with more distortion.

The Crown XLS 2502 is a class D pro amp with tremendous power, up to 800W per channel into 4 ohm. This amplifier helped the Susvara reach levels of performance not found in any of the other amplifiers used. the sound achieved was effortless and high volumes were easily achieved.

My friend ultimately sold these headphones due to amplifier dependency and the realization that he was listening at volume levels that was not comfortable for extended listening sessions.

Oh yes, I remember seeing you on Head-fi’s HA-300 thread. So far with the HA-300 (I can’t remember if you still have it or not), which headphones do you like on it?

I have the LCD-3, but I may upgrade to the LCD-4 down the line. I have upgraded my tubes, by the way, to the Psvane ACME 300bs and Psvane CV181-T II. Excellent tubes for this amp!

Thanks for the write-up!

I’m surprised you rated the tonality very high because from what I’ve gathered with your other reviews, I thought you might find it off as did I, but hey, sometimes that’s just how it be. :slight_smile:

I also took some measurements - also measured on a MiniDSP EARS with HPN compensation.


The tonal balance here is more like the HE-1000v1 which I really liked besides the treble response. Comparison of the Susvara and the HE-1000v1 shown after the measurements below.

Hifiman Susvara Stock vs Beyerdynamic pads
Matched at 100 Hz.


Matched at 100 Hz.

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