Sound. Does the Ananda need a lot of amplification though? My main aim is to take a reference headphone – my HD800S – and then compare the Ananda on the same rig and under the same conditions and show the differences. From my testing (volume matched and compared subjectively to the iDSD) using the track “The Bad In Each Other” from Feist’s album “Metals”: 60-65% volume on the iPhone produced ~70-75 dB. Their support and feedback are invaluable. In terms of soundstage, the Ananda has a much larger overall stage. With quick swapping the Ananda is quite a bit more comfortable (in terms of weight distribution), although I can use both for extended periods. There is definite projection outside my perceived headspace (violin), and this would be one of the more spacious planars I’ve heard. What this means is that virtually all my higher end DAPs are easily able to drive the Ananda to very listen-able levels without distortion or clipping, and without needing extra amping. Sub-bass – very good extension, with practically no roll off into the sub-bass. Both headphones share similar build materials – a mix of plastic and metal. When considering detail retrieval, I like to borrow the 'image clarity' analogy expressed by a friend of mine. That's often the trade off we have to endure in order to get the excellent performance planars often come with, but HiFiMAN seem to have solved the weight issues reasonably well. What I use is a head width simulator coupled with a latex soft face (for the headphones) with a hole so the veritas can sit flush. So while both the Ananda and the Sundara have a somewhat 'neutral' tonality, the Ananda is the perfect blend of neutral and fun with slight bass and treble emphasis. The bigger brother, the HiFiMAN Arya, also has a similar frequency response, however I find it's not quite as smooth as the Ananda at around 6khz and 9khz. The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT have a neutral, well-balanced audio reproduction. HifiMan Audio was founded in late 2005 by Dr Fang Bian when he was resident in New York. Tracks used were across a variety of genres – and can be viewed in this list https://www.head-fi.org/f/articles/brookos-test-tracks.17556/. The Ananda has such good detail retrieval that it's quite smooth sounding in that range, which I think on lesser headphones could cause issues with sibilant sounds coming across a bit too aggressively. I often have concerns about planar magnetic headphones losing a bit of the center image where it collapses towards you, or when sounds pan from left to right, the switch over is so immediate that there almost is no center image, but with the Ananda that's thankfully not the case. Efficient Planar Performance. This also redounds to improved representation of textural nuances and image structure in the music. The Ananda has far better overall bass extension and impact, more body to the lower mid-range (male vocals sound significantly better) and is more balanced in end-to-end frequency response. COMPARISON TO THE HEX V2: TL;DR. My test track for this is Pearl Jam’s EWBTCIAST, and the cymbals have a nicely shimmering decay. The Alara is a great price for a Planar – but here, the additional you pay for the Ananda is absolutely justified. The Ananda is heavier, but it isn’t uncomfortable. Some Options. During an interview with HiFiMAN CEO Dr. Fang Bian at the recent CanJam NYC 2020, he explained to me that while there are no official revisions for any of them, there may have been some efforts made to improve reliability and aesthetics - small tweaks to the dust cover look, and removal of paint on magnets and so forth. Clamp is moderate – enough to stay in place, but not enough to cause undue pressure. This helps both seal / fit and will benefit the impression of a wider sound stage (simulating HD800/S and Beyer T1/2’s angled driver set-up). Ultra-thin planar magnetic drivers make every note in your music come alive. To give more alternatives, I also used my Brainwavz Alara planar. The cups are large – 130 x 100 mm – and are housed in black plastic (to keep the weight down). I did try to experiment with added sub-bass just to see what the Ananda would do (and knowing this is one area some like to enhance). The first is that some of them have seen price drops along the way, namely the Sundara is now priced consistently at $350 and the Ananda's current sale price of $700 puts it in a much more aggressive price bracket than its previous pricing did at around $1000. Isolation with the Ananda is (as expected for an open headphone) very light – i.e. Unparalleled Portable Audio Performance ANANDA is the perfect companion for the SuperMini, a sonic match made in heaven allowing you to experience sonic bliss wherever you may be. In the time I have spent with the Ananda, I have noticed no change to the overall sonic presentation (break-in). At the bottom of each cup is a single 3.5mm socket for the replaceable cable. Availability: In stock. This is one of the reasons why it looks so linear on the HEQ compensation, which assumes this kind of bass elevation is normal. Their frequency response provides an excellent sound quality, 8Hz-55KHz vs 6Hz-75KHz. I had the opportunity to evaluate the HiFiMAN Ananda and Arya last year, but there are two reasons why I'm revisiting the HiFiMAN lineup in 2020. The graphs show comparative measurements on the same rig – and without an ear simulator. Both are comfortable and quite ergonomic – with good head bands and circumaural pads. Ships with two detachable cables. As a matter of fact, I can’t think of any others. I found most of these short facts from a couple of interviews with Dr Bian posted online, and among the interviews were a couple of direct quotes which I found fascinating and illuminating: I started listening to a lot of music when I was in high school. It's very easy to isolate and focus on individual instrument lines or specific parts of harmonies coming through. The Yokes attach to the earpieces using two serrated small bolts per side. I did initially think the dip on my measurement rig at 1-2kHz might be an issue with looking at. Vocals have more sweetness and air. The Ananda was able to push sub-bass to head pounding levels if you also give it enough power to avoid clipping. This of course indicates that the Ananda is (as stated by HifiMan) a relatively benign load, and most portable devices should have no real issues driving. Lower treble – very good extension without dropping off, even after 10 kHz. Like the Sony, the N700 has excellent range and superior to the Ananda BT. The HiFiMan Ananda are great critical listening headphones and a good redesign of the Edition X. The box measures 225 x 265 x 140mm. The Ananda handles it well, the sense of instruments being around you is very good. Not only is the stage large and spacious, the Ananda presents everything very evenly in front of me - something I don't normally associate with planar magnetic headphones. They also have the headband design and metal yokes of the Sundara, so they have a lower profile, and should be a bit more durable. The other great thing with the Ananda is that it is fantastic for casual gaming (great soundstage and imaging). My biggest complaint for comfort is that there's no swivel to the cups. Both are great sounding headphones with quite similar overall tonality. But for me I do miss a bit of that slam quality for music that doesn't token the sub-bass frequencies as much. At $700 the Ananda is one of the best at doing this. HiFiMan ANANDA-BT Wireless: The HifiMan ANANDA-BT are essentially a wireless version of the Hifiman Ananda. But at the same time it's not as natural sounding as some dynamic driver headphones.