HiFiMan Susvara Over-Ear Planar Headphone - Official Thread

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.

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Gee, you must be used to some of those other headphone sites. Here, we fight flaming with Budweiser. Or Coors. Or Corona. Or your preference of music and drink pairings.


One thing to remember on the SPL Phonitor amps is still best to run Single Ended. Unlike Headamp GS-X mini and the current THX Monoprice and Drop amps. there is gain lift single-ended on this amp over XLR.

The spec do show a bit of the story.

Balanced Headphone Output
  • Neutrik 4-pin XLR connector
  • Impedance: 0.36 ohms
  • Noise (A-weighted): -98 dBu
  • Dynamic Range: 130.5 dB

Unbalanced Headphone Output.

  • 6.35 mm TRS connector
  • Impedance: 0.18 ohm
  • Noise (A-weighted): -103 dB
  • Dynamic Range: 135.5 dB

This is another amp that does better with XLR full path aka in and out.

I forget, why is this the case again?

On your amp, the THX 789, Balanced In & Out is where they optimized its most optimal power output when you look at your specs. Also based on headphone Impedance and Sensity of this headphone this will give the greatest voltage swing and also better match the current supply needs.

Balanced Output

  • Output power: 6000 mW, 16 ohms, <1% THD (watts per channel)
  • Output power: 6000 mW, 32 ohms, <1% THD (watts per channel)
  • Output power: 800 mW, 300 ohms, <1% THD (watts per channel)

Single-Ended Output

  • Output power: 3000 mW, 16 ohms, <1% THD (watts per channel)
  • Output power: 1800 mW, 32 ohms, <1% THD (watts per channel)
  • Output power: 200 mW, 300 ohms, <1% THD (watts per channel)
  • Output power: 100 mW, 600 ohms, <1% THD (watts per channel)

Remember 1 V rms = 95 dB

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Is it only the case when it’s both balanced in and out? I currently have it hooked up unbalanced with a Topping D50, but balanced out with the 4-pin XLR.

Yeah I’m generally not confident I properly understand the SPL phonitor X - at least not enough to make a judgment on that. It could power it, but I don’t know if it’s the best setup.

I would have to try out the Susvara on the SPL. Even discounted open box they $4400 here in the states.

But looking at the spec on Susvara On the SPL the dB should hit 104 to 105 dB since it about ~3.1 Watts @ 60 Ohm, at 1 Volt output which SPL will hit yours already at 95 dB. So technically it should be fine. Not you need to go beyond 4 o’clock on the volume dial. for these levels

Max. Output Power (at +30 dBu @ 1 kHz)

  • 2x 3.7 W at 120 Ohm impedance
  • 2x 2.9 W at 47 Ohm impedance

Does anyone know what the after-sales support/repair costs are like for the Susvara? It’s one thing playing the Hifiman lottery with a $150 HE4XX like I did, it’s a completely different thing playing it with a $6000 Susvara.


Stick the things on your head!

Helps to see how big they are, how they sit and look. Even just for a brief moment.

Edit: It’s something that needs to be on the list of each reviewer. An example is a typical Audeze, and how the band and rods actually sit on a head, wouldn’t realise unless someone put them on. Another is the HE1000 type shape, in the hand look sizeable, actually on a head though!

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I love to hear these with Susvara. Zoning out to them now on HE-1000 SE and the GS-X mini and SPL Phonitor x.

  • Crash Test Dummies “Superman’s Song”. and “Unforgiven Ones”
  • Dave Mathews “Rhyme & Reason”
  • Big Head Todd and the Monsters Live Monsters “Bittersweet”. I love the Leslie on the organ and Todd high energy solos. Another good tune of his is “Tower” But I will leave you with “Resignation of Superman”

Susvara ZMF padrolls:
Did some padrolling with mostly ZMF pads yesterday.

I used the fitting rings of the stock pads with the slight teardrop shape, most of the ZMF pads conformed and fit really snug and nice on it. Eg. below Aeolus pads and Universe Suede pads.

Results were somewhat mixed. No real breakthroughs but a couple of good options.

Universe pads
Lambskins were to peaky and bright for my taste.
Suede perforated ones were interesting, probably the most comfortable pad in the roll as well. Mimics the original pads the most with some slightly extension to 1-2k bringing midrange a bit more fwd and somewhat less warm sounding. In general most of the ZMFs had this trait on the Susvaras, but it was more pleasant on the Universe suede, Aeolus and the Auteur pads.

Auteur pads
An interesting roll, as it dipped the presence region it felt like it also shifted the soundstage (bigger). It felt more relaxed overall even though the extension in the mids measured quite substantial on these, again i am thinking it’s the dip causing it. Good profile on the highs as well.

Aeolus pads
Another interesting roll. Slightly more peaky and lively with a pleasant extension in the mids as well. A hint of the old hifiman sound perhaps (think He-500) blended in the mix. Feels lively and nice.

I acctually wanted to make a meme with these, but turns out they made a pretty decent V-shaped profile out of the Susvara. Not sure why you’d want anything like this though…

Eikon pads:
Eikon pads were horrible, that’s about it.
I stopped Eikon rolling after the first two (didn’t bother with the perforated lambskins even).

Quick and dirty on MiniDSP EARS. One to the center one each slightly L/R, averaged, right cup only.
HPN compensation on 1/12 smoothing. Red is always stock, blue is the rolled pad.


Universe suede looks pretty good. This makes me want a susvara even more - ZMF pads are so comfy.

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Super comfortable for sure, Susvaras are even very good in that regard to begin with. Definately a step up from the stock pads. First alternate pair i am going to try and run over time now. See where i land on them.

Would love to see a roll with some of the Verite Pads, I have a feeling they might work well, good profile with a sharper angle on them too looks like.

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