General Information

Using the latest in Bluetooth technology, Ananda BT captures the digital signal as it arrives for a level of audio quality never before heard in any Bluetooth headset. The signal is then processed through a 196/24 DAC over 900kbps allowing 96/24 over the Bluetooth band.

The Ananda BT also has a USB connection for charging and to be able to run a digital signal up to 196/24 into the Ananda. The best of both worlds. The Ananda BT comes with its own carrying case and charging cable.

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New Head-Fier
The Strange and Wonderful Tool I Never Knew I Needed
Pros: Pros:
- Soundstage
- Good fit and form factor for large ears and long hours
- A great bridge to Planar Magnetics for someone who requires the flexibility of wireless.
- Welcome Air in the sound, especially coming from the early music/gut strings perspective
Cons: - Strange charging system and short battery life
- Non-user replaceable battery
- Boom microphone - Really?
- Super bright LED light
- Lack of controls on the headphone - standard on BT HP's, and part of the experience
A review from the perspective of a recording musician and traveling video editor.

(This is my first review on Head-Fi. I have a relatively small experience in headphone comparison, but 20 years of experience in listening to, performing, and recording classical music. This review is directed towards those who might be coming here from outside HeadFi, or looking for a layman's perspective.)

I’ve recently been given a copy of these HiFiMan BT-ANANDA headphones to review - they're not paying for the review, or seeing it before it is published.

Through this difficult and new landscape we’re all traversing in the pandemic, one of the objects I’ve used more often than ever before is headphones. Countless hours learning new skills, editing projects, communicating, staying current, or getting lost in a story. That’s a lot of hours to be using the same set of tools, not unlike an instrument, or bow. With the ever increasing demands on our minds and bodies to adapt to new skills, equipment can, sometimes, make the difference between a sustainably ergonomic and productive environment, or a draining one. My relationship with headphones these past few years, as a traveler, a New Yorker, a cellist, and a budding recording engineer, has been more like a child’s with their bicycle, or a farmer’s with a pickup.

They’re quite large, more of a portable office appliance than a sleek pair of noise cancelling Bose or Sony cans one might wear on an airplane. They also perform the opposite of what you might expect from everyone’s favorite over-ear commuter set - the only thing in between your ear and the outside world is a thin piece of mesh, and a large speaker hanging just inside. They're not designed in any way to block out the sound around you, or isolate you from your environment, they're for listening/working in a quiet room.

I’ll abstain from going into detail about the Lows, Mids, and Highs - the sound profile is available in many other reviews from more analytical ears on this forum. But for most - if you’re used to consumer grade closed-back headphones or in-ear buds which generally come with a more exciting V-shaped EQ, these will be unfamiliar in that their response is quite flat and even across the board. At the same time, they’re not clinical, harsh, or fatiguing. The bass is realistic, does not interfere with vocals, the highs are silky, airy, and not sibilant at all.

If you’ve never tried a set of planar magnetic headphones before, even more so if you’ve never tried open back headphones at all before, it can be a strange feeling. We’re all at different places in our relationships with our tools, but if you’re a musician, or any other person who has this intimate of a relationship with sound, you owe it to yourself to hear your favorite things this respectfully and flatteringly portrayed. The better your source material, the better your experience. The sound is incredibly open, with a calm and impartial realism - close your eyes, and you’re not just imagining watching an IMAX movie of what you’re hearing, you just forget you’re not there in person and listen deeper.
Though these are bluetooth headphones, they are by no means designed for a commute or folding into a tiny case. The bluetooth function, though in HiFiMan's first iteration a fairly spartan design, is welcome. By building this function into a set of planar magnetics, you gain an option of convenience and comfort not previously available at this level of audio quality. While at first glance it might seem like a preposterous choice to add bluetooth to a set of expensive audiophile studio headphones, it isn’t mandatory to use, and comes with a fantastic feature for those not invested in a dedicated headphone amplifier: the DAC and amplifier required for these planar magnetic diaphragms are integrated into the headphones! When using the included high quality USBC cable to attach directly to a device, you unlock their true potential, providing a direct digital connection to your lossless audio files or editor, without having to purchase a dedicated headphone amplifier, and bypassing your device's internal amplifier.

When combining the bluetooth function and their comfortable, albeit huge, design, you get a great headphone for a recording artist/engineer working long hours, without having to be physically attached to the audio source. Review countless takes, take phone calls, have conversations with people in the room, all without removing them, and when you get down to mixing, plug in the headphones directly to the source for full fidelity. If having wired headphones is a dealbreaker, then this is the closest thing you can get to having the flexibility to spend on only one device, while providing both an audiophile experience and the option to go portable. They come with a zip-up hard case, long woven USBC cables for charging and listening, and a boom microphone for calls.

There is definitely room for improvement - I can’t wait to see what HiFiMan comes up with next going down this road. I acknowledge it is a niche market, but as many of us are going on the road and spending long hours working from, ergonomics matter more than ever. This first implementation of Bluetooth could have benefited from an integrated microphone, rather than an attachable one, even though the call quality is improved by having a microphone on a boom, I hope HiFiMan realizes no-one is going to use it, from an ergonomic perspective and industry standards. The USBC charging method is clunky, though this has been well covered in other reviews. It works, but could be simpler. Multi-point pairing is standard at this point, and on a set of headphones at this price point, a user-replaceable battery would make sense - I plan on using these headphones for years after when I expect the battery will likely degrade. HiFiMan is also releasing products like this in the near future at a lower price point, and with a modular, second generation bluetooth solution - really looking forward to it.
I have actually tried connecting Deva pro's new R2R bluetooth dongle to a non-BT Ananda, and we all liked it a lot. Looking forward to what they come up with next.
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Am I understanding this correctly, that the audio quality is better when the headphones are actually connected via an usb cable?


100+ Head-Fier
Ananda BT - It's easy to forget that it's bluetooth
Pros: Detail
Low and mid ranges
Cons: Harshness and sibilant at times
Charging activation
This review was originally posted, along with all my reviews in English and Spanish, on AchoReviews.com , it is also available in Spanish on YouTube: Ep.36 - Hifiman Ananda BT

My apologies for the terrible photo quality in this review!


Let me start out by saying that Hifiman have very kindly sent me both the Ananda BT and the regular Ananda for me to test and review. They have not requested anything in return for these reviews, nor have I received anything for them.


As I just said, Hifiman have been very kind, sending me both of these headphones to test. To be honest, I have been wanting to try the Ananda for quite some time now but had never really thought about trying the Bluetooth version. I have read about it but more as a coincidence when reading about the regular version.

As I received both at the same time, I decided that I wanted to put the Ananda BT through its paces before I even tested out the wired version, I want to review it on its own merits rather than comparing it straight away. Therefore, in this review, I will not be making comparisons with the wired Ananda as I have not heard it. If I feel I need to make comparisons, I will do so at a later date.


The Hifiman Ananda BT is an over-ear planar magnetic headphone that comes in around 999€. I am not going to go deep into the specs as I hope that someone that is interested in spending 1k on such a niche product will do their research before pressing “buy”.

The reason I say that it is such a niche product is because I have spent days trying to figure out exactly at who, or at what situation, this headphone is aimed. I am not saying this to be detrimental, I am actually curious.

First I will say that I am a person who favours wires over wireless, not just on headphones, which may mean that I am already looking at it from the wrong point of view, but… When I think of using Bluetooth headphones, I am looking at them as a solution to a problem, be it of convenience or of a noise-cancelling nature.

About a year ago, I spent some time going through all of the BT ANC headphones I could lay my hands on, the reason being that I fly a lot for my job (or I did until things changed last year) and I needed something noise cancelling. I tried the usual offerings from Sony, Bose, JBL, Sennheiser etc. along with some lower priced stuff such as MPOW and Taotronics. After trying all of them, the ones that sounded the best to my ears were the Sony WH-1000XM3 but they still didn’t sound good enough to convince me to spend the >300€ they cost at the time.

Obviously the Ananda BT are not aimed at competing with those as they are completely open-back, so there isn’t even any noise reduction, never mind cancellation.

I also own various sets of TWS IEMs, none of them with ANC, which I use for convenience when working on things that are not desk related. In this case, I am not really focusing on the music, I am focusing on whatever I am doing at the time. I have worn the Ananda BT a few times for this over the past weeks and I enjoyed the quality of music over the IEM alternatives while soldering a few cables. However, most of the time, I am doing something that includes physical movement, meaning that the Ananda BT are a little cumbersome. I am also someone who sweats quite a bit, so, even though the Ananda are very breathable, they do add a little extra heat that IEMs don’t.

So, that leaves me with the times that I am sitting at my desk, either at home or in the office. Luckily I don’t share an office so open-back is not an issue, however, I can see it being an issue for a lot of people. Also, when I am at my desk, either at home or in the office, I have no issues using a wired set up, so Bluetooth doesn’t really give me any benefit (personally).

That brings me back around to the beginning, I feel that the situations at which these headphones are aimed, at least in my case, are minimal.

Anyway, enough rambling about what people may or may not use them for, anyone who is going to spend this much on a set of bluetooth headphones will already know why they want them!

On to the product…



The Hifiman Ananda BT arrives in a box that is very similar to the Deva, except for the fact that the Ananda BT are packed inside a transport case in the box rather than a fabric covered cutout.

The transport case is actually very nice, being rigid and taking the shape of the headphones, it also contains a small drawstring back, affixed by velcro, which holds the 2 usb cables that are included, along with a microphone that can be plugged into the cup, turning them into a headset for calling (or maybe gaming also?).

Also included in the box is a user manual that is more than the usual brief booklet. Along with the usual brief instructions (which you need to read if you know nothing about these headphones), it also includes some nice information about the headphones and the company.

There is not much else to say about the presentation, so let’s move on to the important bits…

Build and aesthetics…

Starting with the build quality, I personally don’t see any issues, at least during the brief time I have been using these headphones. A combination of metal, plastic and imitation leather are used to create this headphone that is easily identified as Hifiman. I don’t think that this headphone is something that could be abused as much as other BT alternatives, such as the Sony options, but again, I don’t think that is the aim of this headphone. It is not built to be thrown in a bag every day and tossed around while travelling, but the hard case does protect the headphones pretty well.

As far as aesthetics, as I said, it is easily identified as Hifiman. Everyone has their own tastes as far as looks, in my case, I am a fan of this style of Hifiman headphones and find it to look like something that fits in its price bracket.

I will say that the headphones are large, again, especially in comparison to the great majority of BT headphones that are aimed at portability. I have received a few comments on how large they are while wearing them over the past weeks but I will also say that the size of the cups is something that adds to the comfort in my case. For people with smaller heads, it may prove to be a little on the large size, especially the length of the cups towards the jaw bone, however, as always, comfort and aesthetics are something that each person needs to decide for themselves.



The Ananda BT are a set of headphones that I find both simple and complex at the same time. While there is hardly any functionality through the two buttons that are on the left cup, I still found myself confused at times.

Of the two buttons that these headphones have, one is used to turn on and off, enter pairing mode and also play/pause the track. The second button is used to activate charging mode.

Although the headphones connected pretty quickly when only connected to my phone, automatically defaulting to LDAC, I had issues when switching between devices or even when using multiple BT headphones. I honestly couldn’t say what these issues were as I found that when they did connect, I hadn’t done anything differently to when they didn’t. I also found that sometimes the headphones would turn on with just a 2 second press of the button, other times it would take holding it for 5 or 6 seconds.

When I first received the Ananda BT, I plugged it in to charge. After connecting, I found it only had 60% battery. Once I had run down the battery, I plugged them in to charge again, only to find they didn’t charge. Finally I opened the user manual (which is something I should have done first) and found that for the headphones to charge, you need to press the charge button. This seems to be so that you can use the headphones via USB without them draining the battery of the device they are connected to (i.e: cell phone, DAP etc.).

Being able to use them via USB is a good idea, however, there is no analog input, meaning that the headphones are always dependent upon their internal DAC and Amplifier.

None of this is deal breaking for me but seeing that, to me personally, wireless is all about convenience, I would have liked next/last track and volume control on the headphones themselves, saving me from having to use my phone or DAP to control them. For example, on the Hifiman TWS800, there is volume control on the IEMs that is totally independent from the device volume, allowing much better control of volume levels than the normal Android volume control.



Straight away, I can quite confidently say, without a doubt, that these are the best sounding bluetooth headphones I have ever heard.

Are they perfect? No.

They do have a few issues for my personal taste, but these are issues that I will mention only because I am reviewing this item and want to cover the good and the bad (if these details can even be called “bad” rather than just “not excellent”). It is also impossible not to focus on small things when we are speaking about a 1000€ set of Bluetooth headphones.

Please remember that I started off by saying that my favourite Bluettoth headphones until now have been the Sony WH-1000XM3, which were not perfect by a long shot but were my preference after trying out 15 or 20 different models, all of which were sub 400€. However, it is functionality that plays a large part with the Sony’s.

As far as sound, in comparison to the Ananda BT, the Sony’s sound like there is a blanket over the drivers. I guess this is not a fair comparison, as the Sony’s now cost 20% of the Ananda BT and are aimed at a completely different audience/scenario, but it was still amazing to switch back and forth between them, there literally is no comparison.

But anyway, enough about other models, let’s break down the Ananda BT and treat it as what it is, unique.

The sub-bass extension of the Ananda BT is fairly well extended, however, there is a roll off once reaching under 60Hz which means that lovers of a lot of rumble may find it lacking down there. For my tastes, the Ananda BT don’t inspire me to listen to dubstep and other sub-bass centered EDM.

However, the extension is there and, although reduced, it is very well controlled and defined, as are the rest of the bass frequencies. In fact, the rest of the bass frequencies are very good, both in quantity and quality. The tuning of the lower mids and higher bass regions is great and added to the amazing detail, speed and instrument separation of these planar-magnetic Bluetooth headphones, I find them to be almost perfect for my tastes.

There is just enough in the lows as they meet the mids to give acoustic guitars and basses a beautiful warmth without losing detail, but they do just as well on electric guitars and basses.

I could list endless songs that I have enjoyed this part of the spectrum on, from Paul Simon to AC/DC, with everything between. Only when moving over to electronic music did I not enjoy them as much, preferring instruments over digitally produced sounds.

Throughout the mids, these remain flat and present lush vocals with plenty of detail and without anything blending together. I can honestly say that from around 60Hz all the way to 1kHz, these headphones are nothing short of great.

Moving up to the top of the midrange, heading towards the treble is where things are not quite perfect. There is enough of a peak around 3kHz to keep the presence of the voices intact, and the same great detail is there, however, this presence either extends a little too far or there is another peak close to it. This results in sibilance being a little too present, along with a slight harshness that is created by this peak along with another peak a little higher (around 10 to 12kHz), making certain notes come across as piercing. This especially affects cymbals and some of the higher pitched wind instruments.

Now, while these are noticeable, these are not horrendous, the sound of these headphones is still miles above anything Bluetooth I have listened to, but they are 1000€ which means you focus on all kinds of nuances.

I also think that, due to these headphones being so detailed and revealing, they actually highlight their own issues, making them stand out more than they would on a less capable headphone with the same tuning.

Because there is no doubt, at least in my mind, that the detail, definition and speed that these headphones are capable of is amazing. No matter what kind of music I have thrown at the Ananda BT, it has not seemed to suffer in the slightest. Even on some of the most complex slap bass lines, not once did I feel that I missed anything, it is even capable of presenting nuances of playing while the notes being played are almost too fast to follow.

As far as soundstage, there is plenty, almost too much at times. These certainly give the sensation of having speakers placed way off to the sides, they are not intimate in any way.



I will say once more that these are the best bluetooth headphones I have ever heard, by a long way, and I want a set, I just can’t think of a reason to own them.

If I could get this sound quality, or even just relatively close, in a set of Bluetooth headphones with ANC, I would be 100% sold. Even just in a closed back BT without ANC. However, the completely open design really limits the places where I could enjoy these headphones and in each of those places I have the possibility of using wired headphones.

Another thing is the price. I am not saying these are overpriced but the price is something that makes me think more about the investment and the use I will give it. At the price of 1000€, there are a lot of wired options to choose from.

I have mentioned a couple of things that don’t quite sound right to me and others have commented on the differences between the Bluetooth and regular version of the Ananda (which I have not yet heard and am excited to do so once I complete this review). I think that is something worth noting also, these headphones are of a quality that makes it easy to forget they are Bluetooth. The majority of comparisons of these headphones are against wired alternatives because there just isn’t anything that really competes with the Ananda BT, it is quite a unique product.

I can really say that I have enjoyed the time I have spent with the Hifiman Ananda BT, it is a great headphone that has some quirks but has totally changed my expectations of Bluetooth headphones and what they really could do.




100+ Head-Fier
Has it's ups and downs
Pros: - Overall sense of air
- Detail
- Soundstage
- LDAC support
- Good fit
- Overall still the best sounding BT headphone available in 2020
Cons: - Very poor battery life including a weird charging system
- Pairing issues
- Lackluster lower end, it's fast and tight but lacks weight
- Can sound tiresome, not suitable for higher volume levels, the mids and highs will start to get shouty
- Severely underpowered, runs out of steam at about 50-60% volume, too much gain?
- No analog input
- (Nitpicking) very bright status LED
- No controls on the HP itself!
- Fragile, QC issues
The perfect headphone for vocals, jazz and lighter classical music. Amazing clarity, soundstage and sense of realism.

Not suitable for rock / electronic due to light lower end, shifting the overall sound signature to mid/treble as well due to a serious lack of amp power. Hard rock and metal tracks tend to turn into a mess.
If listen mostly to the before mentioned genres, the cheaper Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless with custom earpads shall provide you with a more powerful and engaging sound.

For me the Ananda BT exactly resembles a pair of Magnepan loudspeakers, with exactly the same pros and cons

Who at Hifiman thought it's a good idea to have to press a separate button each time to enable charging? The HP then also loses it's BT connection, making it useless for the time of charging. Why?

The Ananda BT really needs a V2 revision with bigger battery, more powerful amplifier and most important - better controls and ergonomics.
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Hi, to press a separate button each time to enable charging is very good when you listen with USB connected to mobile phone and don't want to discharge phone battery. For me it is welcome feature.
Good point Migo, haven't thought of that. My Amiron Wireless have a separate 3.5mm jack input for that, the built in amplifier is then skipped.
Yes I know, I've booth Ananda BT and Amiron Wireless too :) But Amiron also works fine with usb connection as a digital headphones so it has all connection options :) analog, BT and usb audio, this is rare.
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