HIFIMAN DEVA - Reviews
Pros: - Great tonality and sound quality
- Exceptional soundstage
- Super value for the money
- Bluetooth version with the BlueMini
- BlueMini performance
- Analogue connection
Cons: - No case included
- Only one very long cable
- BlueMini microphone is passable
- Dynamically shy
Hifiman Deva BT

A lot more than a bluetooth headphone.


Introduction

It was a few months ago since we have reviewed the Hifiman Ananda Bluetooth of which we thought that it is an excellent sounding bluetooth headphone with only a few shortcomings and namely the lack of analogue connection.
The full review can be found here
https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/hifiman-ananda-bt.24092/review/23246/
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In the meantime and after the release of the Ananda BT , Hifiman kept very busy and they have developed a new open back bluetooth headphone this time designing it from the scratch instead of adding bluetooth capability to an already existing model.
Let's not forget that owner and lead designer Dr. Fang Bian believes that wireless headphones are the future so a great part of the company's R&D is dedicated to their development.
The Deva are now offered even without the BlueMini for 219$ and we can add it for an extra 80$.

Technology

The Deva is an open back planar magnetic headphone with the added ability to go wireless on demand.
The Deva is featuring Hifiman's Neo supernano diaphragm which is 80% thinner than previous designs resulting in fast response and detailed image with lush , full range sonics as Hifiman claims.
The impedance is 18Ω with a sensitivity of 93.5db so the need for an external dac/amp or a dap is mandatory in order to get the full potential of the headphone.

Build quality

Hifiman's Achilles heel is build quality but it is a fact that they are trying very hard to improve on it.
The Deva build quality is a step up to the right direction and very acceptable for the price.
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The cups and headband joints are made from good quality plastic with a mat silver finish that looks very nice but only time will tell if it will fade away or not.
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The grills and the swiveling yokes are made from solid aluminum and the adjusting system is better than the Ananda working easily and without cracking noises.
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The headband is internally reinforced with two metal layers and it is heavily padded with foam and faux leather at the exterior.
The perforated ear pads are removable and user replaceable featuring memory foam and faux leather.
The color is not very much to our liking but we think that there is a black edition at the works.

Comfort

The Deva are very comfortable due to the low weight at 360gr and the roomy ear pads that breath very well.
Clamping force is medium without annoying pressure but the headband positioning to the head is a little awkward and might irritate some users.
Anyway we have successfully enjoyed a full opera session without removing them from our head.
There is no need to say that the Deva due to their full open back nature are suited only for indoor use.
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Wired or wireless?

This time Hifiman - known for listening to user feedback and addressing the negative user comments regarding the lack of analogue connection in the Ananda BT and not having to compromise sales of an already existing model , they have opted for a different design solution.
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The Deva is a regular headphone with an analogue 3.5mm trrs connection found at the bottom of the left ear cup and in order for us to add bluetooth connection we have to plug the bluetooth dongle called BlueMini.

Accessories

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The supplied 3.5mm cable is of good quality but a little stiff in the handling.
As stated above the connection at the headphone side is 3.5mm trrs so we have the ability to go fully balanced by building or buying a 3.5mm trrs to 2.5mm / 4.4mm balanced cable and that's great but the extra cable should have been provided for the asking price.
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Except from the analogue cable we are offered an extra USB type A to type C cable and a 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter.
Sadly no carrying case is included not even a pouch.
Other manufactures at this price point offer good quality travel cases so Hifiman might reconsider their policy and offer at least a carrying pouch.

BlueMini

The BlueMini is a newly developed wireless adapter specifically designed to plug directly into the left ear cup of the Deva and stay there secure.
It is very compact and it doesn't affect comfort or cause any annoyance.
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It is a bluetooth receiver supporting all the known codecs even the high resolution ones so we get LDAC , aptX HD , aptX , AAC , SBC but no aptX LL.
It also supports USB dac connection up to 24/192 with phones , tablets and PC's through the USB type C connection which is also used for charging.
We tested it successfully with Android and Windows OS without the need of drivers.
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Playing time is on the low side with about 5 - 6 hours of real usage but the good news is that it fully charges in about 30 minutes.
Expect from the power / multifunction button there is also an extra one which disables the charging feature so we can use the BlueMini without draining the phone battery.
Pairing is very easy as it enters pairing mode upon power on and it supports auto power off after a few minutes of inactivity.
There is also a small build in microphone but calling quality is mediocre at the best.
Internally we find separate amp and buffer circuits adding greater power output and better dynamics with low THD.
The BlueMini is rated at 200mW for the Devas specific load with 95dB SNR and 0.1%THD pretty spectacular for this tiny device.
The use of the BlueMini is not limited to the Deva and can be easily used with other headphones too very simply by adding a 3.5mm female to 3.5mm male cable.
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Sound impressions with the cable

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The major portion of the cabled listening tests was conducted with FiiO M11pro and EarMen TR amp known for their linear sound profile.
The TR amp was more than capable of driving the Deva at ear deafening levels but the M11pro from its single ended out was stretched enough.
Unfortunately we didn't have a balanced cable to our disposal.
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The Deva are among the best tuned headphones we have ever tested at any price point with a great natural (not neutral) tonality with a very lifelike presentation and exceptional timbre very close to the real thing.
Bass extends well with an audiophile tuning without bleeding into the midbass.
It is more than enough for all the genres of music rendering extremely well all the lower register acoustic instruments.
Heavy bass friends and EDM / electronic music lovers may find it lacking a few db but the Deva responded very well to EQ.
From a technical point of view it is more than acceptable with good layering , resolution , impact and weight.
Sure it could be more tight and precise or even a little bit faster and layered but still it is very satisfying.
The mids sounded just a tad little forward enough to make them very evolving and give voices a tiny prominence at the mix.
Voices that are crystal clear , round , full bodied and very engaging with life like presentation.
Rising higher we hear clarity , good energy and fine articulation with very natural decay of all percussion instruments.
This are high frequencies at their best , Hifiman have done an exemplary job tuning them by retaining a great balance between vividness and lack of brightness
so we can listen for hours long without any fatigue.
Detail retrieval is more than adequate but it cannot reach the performance found at higher priced rivals or brighter tuned headphones that favor analysis over musical enjoyment.

The Deva can project an incredibly open and spacious soundstage with pinpoint accuracy and precision not usually found in this category.
We get excellent width and depth with 3D layering truly remarkable for a mid tier headphone and one of the most airy presentations on the market.
Dynamics are good but they could be a lot better as we missed some slamming and hard hitting.
The headphone is very transparent and responds very well to amplification and gear upgrades so it will never be a bottleneck.

Sound impressions with the BlueMini

Judging from its size we wouldn't expect much but we were proven wrong as the BlueMini is a truly remarkable performer.
The sound presentation is quite linear highlighting the Devas virtues without adding or subtracting nothing.
We hear the same great sound signature with a few shortcomings compared to a good analogue connection.
Think this as an entry level dac/amp lacking in dynamics , bass slam and extension as also in detail retrieval and separation compared to the better upstream gear.
Other than that it is pretty good and it gets very loud so it can be easily suggested as an all in one solution without the fuss of hanging cables.
Bluetooth signal is strong and stable.
Of course as it is to be expected the USB dac connection yields much better results compared to the wireless one.
There is a let down regarding the microphone call quality which is passable and - as with the Ananda BT - the volume adjustment when listening to music is not linear as it should be but it is done with certain irregular jumps.

Vs the Ananda BT (Bluetooth only)

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From the technical point of view the three times more expensive Ananda BT is a lot better sounding headphone from the Deva.
We get better bass extension and quality with better layering , speed and precision.
The Ananda BT are a lot more dynamic and hard hitting and of course very detailed but surprisingly they cannot match the Devas excellent soundstage which is more open and spacious but loosing in separation and accuracy.
Tonality wise they are more or less in the same ballpark with an excellent natural presentation and we might even consider the Ananda a little bit more fatiguing.
Other than that the Deva are more lighter and a bit more comfortable and of course they offer the analogue cable connection not found in the Ananda BT.
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So our take between Ananda BT and Deva BT is that if budget is not of a problem and we want the best open wireless headphone available at the market right now then the Ananda BT is the obvious choice.
But if we are of limited budget or we want to make use of the analogue connection from time to time then the Deva offer a lot more sound than the asking price.

Vs the Sennheiser HD660s (cable only)

The Sennheiser HD660s is one of the best mid tier headphones of the market with great virtues retailing at about 500$ so it is double the price of the Deva.
At the European market the gap is more narrow as the HD660s is better priced while the Devs is a little more expensive than the US market.
First of all and regarding tonality they are both of same overall tuning with great natural tonality without any annoying peaks and excellent timbre with a lush midrange.
Both headphones extend more or less the same at the lower register but the HD660s is more precise and layered with better texture and above all greater dynamics.
The HD660s is a little more clear sounding throughout all the registers and can resolve better being able to portray all the fine nuances without sounding bright or sharp.
Soundstage is were the Deva takes the leading edge with it's huge presentation vs the intimate nature of the HD660s.
The HD660s can boast a laser like precision but so can the Deva adding to this more width and depth with double the air around the instruments and great layering.
Regarding comfort the Deva is the more comfortable around the ears and more cool but the HD660s headband is of a better fit and positioning.
So there is no clear winner here and despite the HD660s being double the price it isn't double the better.
Both headphones have their unique virtues and only taste or budget will be the decision factor.
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At the end

The Deva is an exceptional headphone, the outsider that can - under certain circumstances - win the mid price race.
With an astounding sound quality and more than enough technical ability it is a steal for the asking price and we need to spend a lot more to get something substantially better.
Regarding the soundstage it has literally no rivals in it's category and that is a truly remarkable achievement.
Add to this the great comfort and the extra ability to go wireless on a snap by adding the optional BlueMini dongle and we have in our hands a clear winner.
This is one of best headphones Hifiman ever made and the only thing we miss is a black edition.
A truly achievement and a bargain for it's asking price with or without the BlueMini.

Copyright 2020 - Laskis Petros
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Pros: + Many options to connect and use it
+ Price / Performance Ratio
+ Great BT Performance with Bluemini
+ Natural Sound
+ Great Imaging
+ Excellent comfort, works for long-listening really well
+ Great Revealing Abilities
Cons: - Not the most generalist in terms of aesthetics, the color scheme may not work for everyone
- Doesn't have the absolute last few Hz in the bass, but it is better than the previous one, Sundara
- Not for you if you like a smooth or a thick sound
- Clamping force is medium to weak, great for comfort, not great if you have a small head or do a lot of sport with them
- Build is indeed mostly plastic, downgrade from Sundara which was all metal
- Open-Back design is not ideal for such a portable headphone for someone who wants to use them in public
- No passive noise isolation
NEW DAY, NEW BUDGET WONDER - HIFIMAN DEVA PLANAR HEADPHONES REVIEW
by George Dobrescu - July 09, 2020

HIFIMAN Deva is a Planar Magnetic Headphone that comes with a Bluetooth DAC / Amplifier and which is able to punch some real volume, priced at 300 USD. This makes it a very fair competitor to the likes of HIFIMAN's own Sundara, which can be found at 250 USD, Brainwavz Alara which was launched at 500 USD, but can be found at 350 USD or even 280 USD, Verum One, which is priced at 300 USD, and even MAS X5h, and Meze 99 Classics. The comparison list is long, but the pairing list will be shorter, with iBasso DX160, FiiO M11, and Shanling M2X, and Bluemini being the main drivers for Deva.



Introduction

HIFIMAN is truly a nice company when it comes to Audio, and they invest everything they can in making your experience the best possible, especially investing in giving you the best sound possible, sacrificing the package, and sometimes also sacrificing certain extras that aren't quite that necessary. This being said, they sacrificed nothing with Deva, and as we'll explore in this review, the headphones come with everything they could require, and they are one of the best headphones they launched to date. I reviewed quite a few HIFIMAN products, like their Ananda Bluetooth, HE6SE, Arya, Sundara, RE2000 Silver, RE800 Silver, and many others, which you can explore by clicking on the names above.

That being said, it should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with HIFIMAN, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. I'd like to thank HIFIMAN for providing the sample for this review, with me being responsible for paying the custom taxes. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in HIFIMAN Deva find their next music companion.



About me

https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/p/about.html



Packaging


First things first, let's get the packaging out of the way:







A lot of people have complained about how HIFIMAN sacrifices the package first, and about how their package is not exactly up to the value of the product in question sometimes, but with Deva that simply isn't the case anymore. This is a high-end headphone, presented as one, with a truly beautiful design and ergonomic, with a ton of extras, including an analog cable, for using Deva with a normal source, or a DAP, or even your smartphone connected to an external DAC/AMP.

There's the Bluetooth DAC/AMP, and as far as I understand, you can find deva for sale, directly from HIFIMAN, even without the BT DAC/AMP, so you don't have to pay for it if you don't need it, or if you don't want it, although, I am sure you will want it, given the sonic performance and the convenience it has.

Then, there's the manuals, and everything else that I mention in my full video review about them.



What to look in when purchasing a Flagship Headphone

https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/p/what-to-lookl.html



Technical Specifications





Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit/Comfort

Deva is not your average headphone from HIFIMAN, and that can be seen from the start, as where Sundara was very industrial and minimalistic-looking, Deva goes for absolute fashion. I suspected this would make them uncomfortable, but it is quite the other way around, HIFIMAN managed to not make just a beautiful headphone, but a darn comfy one, and Deva is indeed one of the most comfortable headphones I have tested to date.


Although there is just a hint of microphonic noise from the cable, there is no driver flex, and the cups are just huge, enough for my ears to fit in and have spare space. The headphones will work great for any head shape and size, and the adjusting mechanism is way better than what we've seen with Sundara and other HIFIMAN models, Deva finally feels like a proper 2020 Headphone in every way possible.

They use a pretty typical cable, although the cable is on only one cup, which is the left cup. The cable has a 4-Pin connector at the cup site, so it may be possible to create a custom cable that is Balanced. HIFIMAN confirmed that their Bluetooth DAC/AMP actually runs in Balanced mode, and it is one of the best DAC/AMP sources you can have for Deva. The fact that the sound coming out of it is almost as good as the sound coming out of a high-end DAP like even FiiO's M11, or iBasso's DX160 simply blows me away.


The earpads are soft, covered in fabric on the surface that touches the ear, and they are made of a leathery material otherwise. The cups are silver in color, and both the pads, and the headband are brown in color. There are modern accents combined with a very casual design that makes Deva an outstanding headphone that would work with virtually any style or fashion choice. The comfort is 10/10, there is no hotspot for the weight, they are very light, and HIFIMAN improved on the design of Sundara, as Deva is considerably larger, or at least feels as such on my head, being at the same comfort level as Arya, or HD800S from Senny.

They are somewhat hard to drive though, and I do not recommend using an entry-level DAP like FiiO M6, HIDIZS AP80, or Shanling M0, because it may not have enough power for them. Instead, I would recommend always using the tiny Bluetooth module if you want to be cost-effective, it has way more than enough power for Deva, it is tiny, portable, has a microphone, and the quality is better than most entry-level sources.


There is almost no passive noise isolation, only a few DB, Deva is an open-back planar magnetic headphone, they leak happily and they won't isolate you from the outside noise, unless you're listening so loud that you're covering all of the noise outside. This also means that everyone is going to hear your music, but I don't really mind sharing some of the goodies I enjoy sometimes. On the other hand, if you don't want your music leaking, Deva is a no go for a library, office or any place you need to keep silent.


All in all, Deva is not just well made, it comes with everything you may need to enjoy them, they improved the pads, adjusting mechanism, comfort, everything shows that HIFIMAN is going to be and stay a top dog in the audio industry for the years to come.



Sound Quality

Of course, the sound didn't stay the same as Sundara either, and Deva is it's own thing now. In fact, Deva's sound can mostly be described as sweet, musical, mostly natural, slightly warm, with excellent bass reach, and treble too, but with a natural overall presentation.


The bass is delightfully deep, has a natural decay and compliments jazz and acoustic music beautifully. Switching to some rock, metal or EDM, I noticed an excellent impact and rocking to some Dance Gavin Dance - Prisoner shows a really good depth and revealing ability to the bass of Deva. It is a bit slower than Sundara, but also has better body, and reach in the low end. In fact, the upper body is not quite so characteristic of HIFIMAN, and Deva is considerably closer to Ananda Bluetooth than any other HIFIMAN Headphone, which usually have a somewhat thinner body, combined with a slightly more bright tonality. Deva is romantic, well-rounded, has a beautiful depth and a deep bass, even better than the direct competitors like Alara.


The midrage keeps to the tradition of Deva, is also sweet, has excellent body, and a very natural presentation. Male voices are slightly favored by the presentation, although female voices are generally sweet too. This makes happy and natural music sound a bit better, and sad pianos, or depressing music in general isn't complimented as much as happy and uplifting music is. The midrange has a huge soundstage, although the width is slightly better than the depth of the stage. It is considerably larger than Sundara, and at similar levels with Arya, although the Detail is above Sundara, but not quite where Ananda Bluetooth is. This being said, they are revealing enough to show a juicy amount of details in songs like Pierce The Veil - King For A Day. I would go as far as saying that for 350 USD, I haven't heard this much detail yet, so Deva gets the crown for being one of the most detailed headphones I heard.


If the midrange and the bass are the strong points, you'd expect Deva to sound pretty boring in the treble, but they keep playing strong all the way to the top end. The treble has an excellent extension, it is less splashy and more natural than Sundara, and there's a good amount of detail too. This is where the high-end HIFIMAN sounds considerably different, HIFIMAN emphasizes treble detail and revealing abilities on their high-end models, while Deva's treble doesn't get as much of a front stage. This isn't necessarily bad, the sound is not bright this time around, but natural, the treble is good enough for a metalhead to enjoy every single drum and cymbal crash, while the bass compliments the sound, leading to a truly enjoyable presentation with pretty much any music style. From Jazz to Blues, from EDM to Rock, from Metal to Grindcore, Deva is what I would call a great all-rounder. You're compelled to do the Crab Dance if you listen to Attack Attack - Stick Stickly with Deva, they simply make you want to rock out all night, and party every day.

The dynamics and the soundstage also are excellent, they are where most 700 USD headphones on the market are now, and I have Deva and Focal Elear side by side, and I pick Deva over 90 percent of the time. The treble of Elear in particular is better, also the dynamics, but I prefer the comfort, ergonomics, bass, soundstage, tonality, midrange and details of Deva so it says a bit about their sound and overall value.



Portable / Desktop Usage

Deva is the perfect portable headphone, they have a great ergonomic even while walking, the cable goes on just one side, and is high quality, they have a nice sonic quality, and they also are easy to drive with their own bluetooth accessory.


In fact, they are so easy to drive, that Master & Dynamic MW65 doesn't come close, despite being considerably more made for portability.

The area where Deva isn't exactly perfect for being out is the case, because there is none. The headphones are not exactly fingerprint or scratch magnets, but for the best experience you should consider getting a case, and HIFIMAN sells the case for Ananda / Ananda Bluetooth, which fits Deva. In fact, Deva is so light, and the clamping force / shape makes me wear them around my neck while not using them. They fit better for DJ-ing than Ultrasone Signature DXP, or other DJ Headphones, but they are open-back, so using deva in an actual love performance is out of the question.

Of course, we're talking about a fully open design here, so it is hard to say that it is quite as portable as a closed back headset, and if you need low leakage and isolation, I would recommend the likes of Soundmagic HP1000, MAS X5h, or Ultrasone Signature Studio. Even Beyerdynamic Amiron has a bit more passive noise isolation than Deva, and the actual driver being huge for Deva, you get an extremely loud leak compared to headphones that are open back but which have a smaller driver.


All in all, the elephant in the room is the fact that they are open back, but I've been using Deva portably quite a bit. This is because I do not care quite so much whether I annoy those around me, if they can't appreciate a bit of good music, then that's their problem, and I also take paths that are mostly empty, I visit parks a lot, every scenario that makes Deva portably good, I've done it. I'm also looking at replacing my Dacia Logan with a VW Jetta sometime in the very near future, so you can imagine I am not using public transportation much, so most of the places where Deva would not be great, I simply don't go. Around the house, I don't really bother anyone, but if you need to keep quiet, IEMs like FiiO FH7, CTM Clear Tune Monitors Da Vinci X, or Beyerdynamic Xelento are all great options. Just don't go for Final E5000, that one somehow leaks almost as much as Deva.



Youtube Video Review


Comparisons


We're talking about the budget range, so I will be comparing Deva to Alara, Sundara, Verum One, MAS Audio Science X5h and Meze 99C. All of those are pretty much at almost the same price point, and Deva should be able to outdo all of them, to make sense as a purchase in 2020. Shockingly, I see it as an upgrade if you own any of those, except for the differences in design, because two of those comparison points are closed back, and although Deva sounds better, it is open back.


HIFIMAN Deva vs HIFIMAN Sundara (300 USD vs 250 USD) - I always feel like me doing pairings is such a friendly thing, while me doing comparisons is me doing strategic battles. Well, Sundara has a better overall durability, because it is all metal, but Deva is much much more cool, and I pick Deva more often since I got it, I just like their aesthetic and comfort more. Deva has a slightly looser fit, which translates to less wearing fatigue, Deva has cable on just one cup, which is also more comfy, and the cables of Deva are much much better than those of Sundara. The sound is more splashy, with more treble energy, less body, and a somewhat smaller stage for Sundara. Deva has a warmer, more natural tonality, a larger soundstage, more detail, but lacks that splashy character many enjoy with rock and metal. Sundara still has its place in the audio world for sure, but Deva is slowly catching up, and while it isn't exactly a direct upgrade, it is what I could call a very awesome new sound and comfort from HIFIMAN.

HIFIMAN Deva vs Meze 99 Classics (300 USD vs 300 USD) - 99C is closed back, so the isolation is much better than Deva, but the comfort is worse, Deva is far more comfy, with better cable, and no cable with Bluemini. The overall fit of 99C is almost on-ear, compared to the real estate my ears have inside the cups of Deva. The sound, although the two have similar price points, is much more detailed on Deva, with considerably better dynamics, more soundstage width and depth, although slightly lower impact. 99C has a much thicker, more muted sound with less exciting treble, and with more overall raw impact, especially in the bass. I really recommend using EQ for 99C, a situation in which they become a bit harsh, but come close in details to Deva.

HIFIMAN Deva vs Verum One (300 USD vs 300 USD) - Verum One is what I would call a great alternative, but they are considerably more heavy than Deva, also you can totally tell you're wearing planars with Verum, while with Deva, it is almost as if you're wearing a really portable headphone. Both open, both leak and do not isolate, but both have nice cables. The sound of Verum One is considerably thicker, with more body, a smoother treble, with less excitement up top, less neutrality, and a bit more impact. Deva is more natural, has a much wider soundstage, more space in music, larger earpads, more overall dynamics, and less impact on the bass. Deva is much easier to pair, Verum one is theoretically easy to drive, but the extremely low impedance makes most sources go to current clipping at loud volumes, so while Deva needs far more power, you never run into those issues with them.

HIFIMAN Deva vs MAS Audio Science X5h (300 USD vs 300 USD) - X5h is a more recent headphone I reviewed that is closed-back, but which deserves all your love and attention, they are a high-quality headphone that is on-ear, so considerably less comfy than Deva, but they have a considerably more impactful sound, with more low end extension and depth. On the other hand, Deva has a far more fun sound, with more midrange, clarity, treble extension, and a wider soundstage.

HIFIMAN Deva vs Brainwavz Alara (300 USD vs 350 USD) - Alara sometimes drops below 280 USD, so the comparison would be fair even if they weren't 350 USD, but they are hard to find, more of a rarity nowadays. They have a heavier build, but with a good earpad quality. They do have some driver flex which was not present with Deva. The disadvantage of Alara is that you need to wake up at exactly 6 AM USA time, on a magical Wednesday and be very hopeful to find a pair still in stock. This being said, they had a thicker, more meaty sound than deva, with more body, but also a slightly darker tonality and a smoother treble. Deva sounds more open, more natural, has a wider stage, and more dynamics. Alara is easier to drive, but doesn't come with a Bluemini to make it bluetooth too.



Recommended Pairings

Deva scales really nicely, but they paired best with midrange-ish sources, especially DAPs since I used them as portables a lot. The best pairings have been with FiiO M11, iBasso DX160, Shanling M2X, and with their own Bluetooth receiver, which HIFIMAN names the Bluemini. The Bluemini can be purchased separately, but it only really fits Deva, so it is not that great of a deal if you go for a separate unit, and don't have a Deva already. This being said, Deva can be found for about 220 USD without Bluemini, and 300 USD with Bluemini.


HIFIMAN Deva + iBasso DX160 (300 USD + 400 USD) - DX160 is the DAP to use, because it has an excellent performance on Single Ended, and even it has a better performance on Balanced, so it would make sense to either look for a BAL cable for Deva, or use the Bluemini, but DX160 surely beats the Bluemini in terms of overall clarity, detail, stage, and impact. All in all, this pairing is going to give you what I would consider the default, most vanilla sound of Deva, a wide stage, deep bass, and a nice amount of dynamics, impact and clarity, for a balanced price / performance ratio.

HIFIMAN Deva + FiiO M11 (300 USD + 420 USD) - M11 is what I would consider the standard for using Deva, although you should know that you're blocked with using the inferior, 3.5mm output of M11. The fact that M11 sounds considerably better on the balanced output is no big news, but M11 has a slightly bright tuning on the 3.5mm output, which makes Deva a bit brighter, and if you loved Sundara, it makes Devca sound a bit more similar to the older sibling which received a lot of love.

HIFIMAN Deva + Shanling M2X (300 USD + 220 USD) - M2X is a great option, if you don't like the Bluemini, the sound is colorful, has a tasty midrange, with a good amount of detail and sparkle. The bas is generally a bit flatter than when using most other sources, but this works alright, makes Deva a slightly more splashy and bright headphone, bringing it closer to a Sundara, but with a larger overall soundstage.

HIFIMAN Deva + HIFIMAN Bluemini (220 USD + 80 USD) - The Bluemini is the best way to use Deva, if you're on a budget. It is less expensive than Shanling M2X, but you have access to a balanced amplifier, and that is a big thing, because the bluemini has enough driving power to make you go WOW when first hearing Deva. Not only that, but it can be used as a USB DAC, situation in which it sounds even better than when using it in Bluetooth mode, and because Deva doesn't come with a Balanced cable, this combination ends up having slightly better dynamics, punch and detail than most DAPs driving it, and absolutely no DAP below 400 USD can compare to just using the Bluemini on USB cable. Even on LDAC and BT, there are times when the Bluemini sounds better than most DAPs, HIFIMAN somehow having managed to get around the pesky BT algorithms that usually erase a ton of details from your music.



Value and Conclusion

The price of Deva is just excellent, and considering you can have their sonic quality for 220 USD, if you opt for the non-bluemini version, and 300 USD for the complete version, you're literally one step away from having a dream setup, all without investing in a source. Not only that, but for 300 USD for the whole setup, I'm yet to see a reason not to get Deva. In fact, it is so great of a deal, that I'm not so sure Ananda Bluetooth has so much market, the performance difference is considerably smaller than the price difference, so Deva makes a great purchase as a more affordable variant of Ananda Bluetooth.


The big thing is, if you're rocking most headphones below the 500 USD price point, Deva may feel like an upgrade in terms of comfort, especially with their large earpads, high-quality construction, and with the fact that they do not have any inherent issues like driver flex. Not only that, but with a Bluetooth receiver that is detachable and which you can purchase separately, you pretty much don't have to worry about it dying, or, if you're going away for a long time, and if you need a ton of battery life, you could get two blueminis and have an extra for the time being.


Then, there's the sound, which is natural, warm, deep, has excellent treble reach and sparkle, and which has a huge stage. Jazz, Pop and even EDM lovers will be delighted to hear Deva, and even those who sometimes enjoy a more upbeat style, rock, metal or especially atmospheric music like prog, will love Deva.


In fact, I'm going to say this now, but Deva deserves a place in Audiophile-Heaven's Hall Of Fame, and I'm going to add it there right now.


At the end of this review, if you're looking for a high-quality headphone that's really well priced, is comfortable, and has a natural sound with a deep bass, large soundstage and exceptional dynamics for the price point, Deva will be happy to deliver.

Shop Link: https://store.hifiman.com/index.php/deva.html

Full Playlist used for this review


While we listened to considerably more songs than those named in this playlist, those are excellent for identifying certain aspects of the sound, like PRaT, Texturization, Detail, Resolution, Dynamics, Impact, and overall tonality. We recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you're searching for new most, most of them being rather catchy.

Youtube Playlist


Tidal Playlist

https://listen.tidal.com/playlist/64555551-ec3c-4279-ae44-248fdfcf6c4b

Song List

Bats - Gamma Ray Burst: Second Date
Eskimo Callboy - Frances
Incubus - Summer Romance
Electric Six - Dager! High Voltage
Kishida Cult - High School Of The Dead
Dimmu Borgir - Dimmu Borgir
Breaking Benjamin - I Will Not Bow
Thousand Foot Krutch - The Flame In All Of Us
Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
Infected Mushroom - Song Pong
Attack Attack - Kissed A Girl
Doctor P - Bulletproof
Maximum The Hormone - Rock n Roll Chainsaw
Rob Zombie - Werewolf, Baby!
Escape The Fate - Gorgeous Nightmare
SOAD - Chop Suey
Ken Ashcorp - Absolute Territory
Machinae Supremacy - Need For Steve
Ozzy Osbourne - I Don't Wanna Stop
Crow'sclaw - Loudness War
Eminem - Rap God
Stromae - Humain À L'eau
Sonata Arctica - My Selene
Justin Timberlake - Sexy Back
Metallica - Fuel
Veil Of Maya - Unbreakable
Masa Works - Golden Japang
REOL - Luvoratorrrrry
Dope - Addiction
Korn - Word Up!
Papa Roach - ... To be Loved
Fever The Ghost - Source
Fall Out Boy - Immortals
Green Day - Know The Enemy
Mindless Self Indulgence - London Bridge
A static Lullaby - Toxic
Royal Republic - Addictive
Astronautalis - The River, The Woods
We Came As Romans - My Love
Skillet - What I Believe
Man With A Mission - Smells Like Teen Spirit
Yasuda Rei - Mirror
Mojo Juju - Must Be Desire
Falling Up - Falling In Love
Manafest - Retro Love
Rodrigo Y Grabriela - Paris
Zomboy - Lights Out
Muse - Resistance
T.A.T.U & Rammstein - Mosaku
Grey Daze - Anything, Anything
Katy Perry - Who Am I Living For
Maroon 5 - Lucky Strike
Machinae Supremacy - Killer Instinct
Pendulum - Propane Nightmares
Sirenia - Lithium And A Lover
Saving Abel - Addicted
Hollywood Undead - Levitate
The Offspring - Special Delivery
Escape The Fate - Smooth
Samsara Blues Experiment - One With The Universe
Dope - Rebel Yell
Crazy Town - Butterfly
Silverstein - My Heroine
Memphis May Fire - Not Over Yet

I hope my review is helpful to you!

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Pros: Low end performance – Bluemini module performs amazingly well – Light and comfortable
Cons: Midrange clarity could be better (through either Bluemini or wired) – Colour scheme will be a turn off for some
Greetings!

Today we're checking out a new planar magnetic headphone from a brand that specializes in the technology, the Hifiman DEVA.

While Hifiman has released plenty of relatively inexpensive planar headphones over the years, the DEVA represents Hifiman's recent shift towards affordably addressing the wireless market. Previous models to address this audience were the full-sized Ananda BT, and their true wireless in ear monitors, the TWS-600. While the DEVA shares driver tech with the Ananda BT, it veers off and does things slightly differently with its wireless function being provided through the Bluemini module. This device acts as a wireless receiver/amp/DAC all-in-one unit that simply plugs into the balanced 3.5mm port on the bottom of the left ear cup. If you don't want to use it and prefer to listen to the DEVA the traditional way, them plug in a regular 3.5mm cable instead. You've got that flexibility with the DEVA.

Personally I find this headphone a very interesting product. Open-backed planars with next to no isolation aren't your typical candidate for wireless treatment. For a variety of reasons, this isn't something you're going to want to take with you out into the world. For me the DEVA represents a shift in the way audio fans will listen to music in their own home, and I am very much on board.

Let us take a deeper dive into the DEVA, shall we?

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What I Hear The DEVA sounds a little more “mainstream” compared to other planar magnetic headphones I've got on hand. Treble is well extended with moderate emphasis in the upper treble. This means you get a little bit of sparkle and shine on cymbals and chimes, just not a ton. It gives the DEVA enough air between notes to avoid congestion, but is not lifted enough to cause fatigue. Notes are well-weighted and thanks to the uber thin, light drivers remain very quick and nimble. You can launch a barrage of smashing cymbals at the DEVA and it will somehow maintain composure, such as those found on the live renditions of King Crimson's “Night Watch” and “Cat Food”. Thrash metal fans might appreciate this quality, though I'd still recommend the Sundara over the DEVA for that genre.

The midrange is full and lush with a welcome warmth to it that carries up from the midbass region. This really benefits female vocalists which sound intimate and organic. Male vocals also sound fantastic though sometimes they can sit a little further too far back in the mix to share a bit more space than is ideal with the midbass region. This is generally only an issue on modern pop and rap tracks. Detail and clarity are good, but compared with something a little more aggressively voiced can sound somewhat overly smooth. I'd hesitate to say veiled, though if listening to something like a stream burbling away, fine details are glossed over. Timbre is outstanding through the DEVA with acoustic guitars mirroring their real life counterparts nigh flawlessly. The slow decay and snappy attack of each strum sounds just right. The same can be said for the bombastic brass tones and other instruments found through the wonderfully recorded official soundtrack for The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.

Bass is personally where I think the DEVA sets itself apart, especially from other planars I've heard. It is deep and full yet still extremely quick and articulate. Midbass is politely boosted to the point where it slightly overshadows lower bass and has a very punchy, meaty feel to it. Texturing is impressive but grungy bass notes like those utilized by artists like Tobacco and The Prodigy have been more grimy through other products. Scroobius Pip's “Feel It” and Massive Attack's “Teardrop” highlight the DEVA's bass reach with extended, deep notes providing plenty of physical feedback. Speed is as expected as quick as ever for a Hifiman. You can't trip up the DEVA with the rapid double bass common to heavy metal, regardless of how quick it gets. As long as the recording is at least halfway decent, every press of the pedals comes through.

The DEVA's soundstage is fairly average for this style of product, falling somewhere between it's close relative, the Sundara, and a competing planar like the Brainwavz Alara. Width is somewhat moderate with music emanating from just beside the head. The DEVA can toss effects off into the distance, but for the most part the presentation is reasonably intimate for a large, open-back set of headphones. Imaging is very accurate when placed in a moderate sized stage and when used for gaming, can provide a pretty impressive experience. Sounds move cleanly and accurately from channel-to-channel and when you bring multiple instruments and effects into the mix, remain well separated. The DEVA also does a satisfying job of layering track elements ensuring you never experience a wall-of-sound effect on dence instrumentals or orchestral pieces.

Overall I am very impressed with the quality of sound Hifiman pulled out of such an inexpensive, full-sized plan headphone. Clarity in the mids could be improved upon and the sound stage is slightly underwhelming for the format, but neither of things take away or significantly subtract from with is otherwise a gorgeous presentation.

Compared To A Peer

Hifiman Sundara (500 USD): The Sundara is my benchmark headphone at 500 USD so it was surprising to hear the 300 USD DEVA go punch for punch so effectively. Upper treble out of the Sundara is more prominent and sparkly giving it a lighter more airy presentation than the DEVA. This also gives it an advantage in terms of raw detail and clarity since lower treble is so similar. The midrange of the DEVA is slightly thicker and warmer with a hint less clarity. Timbre out of either is fantastically accurate so I have no complaints there. Bass is in the DEVA's camp to my ears. Extension is similar but the DEVA has more midbass presence giving it a mildly warmer sound, though it's no less quick and punchy. Texture is basically on par too. The Sundara's sound stage is wider and deeper and outside of the treble presentation is the area where the two most drastically differ. The DEVA sounds decidedly closer and more intimate, though I'd in no way say it sounds small even when compared to the Sundara. These are both full-sized planars after all. While they both image similarly well, the Sundara has a small edge when it comes to track layering and instrument separation.

When it comes to build I find the Sundara the more appealing product. It is quite a bit smaller and features a cleaner more mature design with a more liberal use of metal. I also prefer the floating headband style design which offers improved stability. That said, the DEVA is quite a bit more comfortable for me. A big part of that comes down to the earcups which can pivot in all directions, unlike the Sundara's which can only pivot to match the vertical orientation of your head. It is also lighter, though neither is particularly weighty, especially not for a planar. The DEVA's included cables are also much, much nicer. I'm not at all a fan of the Sundara's stiff, awkward cable and while I don't usually like cables with a nylon sheath, they're better than what the Sundara is saddled with.

Overall I prefer the DEVA. The Sundara is more technically impressive and has a more decidely “hifi” signature, but every time I switch to it from the DEVA I long for the extra bass and softer treble response of the more affordable planar. Add to that improved comfort and the added flexibility of the Bluemini and I don't really see much reason to get the Sundara, even if they're within spitting distance in terms of pricing right now. At the time of writing the Sundara was on sale for 349.00 USD through Hifiman directly.

ADV Alpha (500 USD): The Alpha is the brighter, leaner sounding headphone of the two with more upper treble and a much more airy, crisp sounding presentation. Detail and clarity are improved over the DEVA, especially in the midrange where the DEVA has a thicker sound; almost veiled but not quite. The detail is there, it's just not a prominent as it is through the Alpha. The DEVA has a more realistic, natural timbre though. The Alpha's brightness carries down into the mids and takes away from the realism of the presentation. Vocals are also set back further compared to the DEVA letting the treble take centre stage. While not necessarily ideal, this does have benefits in one other area in particular where the Alpha has a massive advantage. We'll get back to that in a second. Bass is clearly in the DEVA's camp. The Alpha's low end is slightly boosted over neutral and has good reach and impact with more texture, but it can't provide the same physical feedback as the DEVA which extends further, and has a faster, tighter, punchier presentation. Sound stage is where the Alpha trounces the DEVA. It is significantly wider and deeper, besting even the Sundara, and provides your music a fair bit of extra space to play within. Flipping back and forth between the two makes this quite apparent. That said, imaging is tighter and more accurate on the DEVA, though they layer tracks and separate instruments and effects about as well.

When it comes to build the Alpha feels a notable step ahead. It uses a lot more metal and while the ear cups are also mostly plastic, it has a more sturdy, dense feel to it. When gripping each headphone to place them on your head, the difference in how they feel is significant. The Alpha feels more solidly put together and while the DEVA not poorly built at all in my opinion, it exudes a feeling of value that isn't present on the Alpha. That said, with this lighter, cheaper build comes comfort. At first I found the Alpha to be the most pleasing to wear thanks to it's super deep, plush pads and elesticized floating headband, but past qualms raised their ugly heads after a couple minutes. The headband doesn't offer enough resistance lending to it sagging. Pressure that was previously well dispersed ends up below the ear against the neck so constant readjustments are necessary. With the DEVA you place it on your head and...well, that's pretty much the end of it.

Given I prefer the Sundara over the Alpha, I was surprised to find myself enjoying the Alpha more than the DEVA. I was really digging the extra midrange clarity and detail top to bottom and missed it when swapping back to the DEVA. That said, I'd still recommend the DEVA. It's lighter and more comfortable, sounds almost as appealing, costs a heck of a lot less and is easier to buy (Alpha has been discontinued in most countries), and again, the Bluemini. It's the DEVA's ace in the hole in my opinion.

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Bluemini The Bluemini is the wireless module Hifiman includes with the DEVA, and in my opinion is a damn good little device.

Testing for battery life was done at 30% volume connected to my LG Q70 with the preference set for quality over connection stability. I originally planned to test at 50% volume. It was so loud we could hear the headphone playing from anywhere in our apartment and I was worried it might damage the drivers over prolonged play, so down to 30% it goes and that is already way louder than I'm comfortable listening at.

At 7 hours battery life was still at 70%. At 8 hours it was still showing 60%. At 9 hours it finally dropped to 50%. At 10 hours the Bluemini had run dry. Turning it back on and reconnecting showed 10% battery life remaining but it would only go a couple minutes before automatically shutting down again. The Bluemini can achieve the 10 hours max rating, just don't expect the battery readout to be a accurate indicator of the remaining capacity during this time. How long does it take to charge? I forgot to measure that, sorry. Can't be any longer than the 1.5-2 hour industry average though, which in my opinion is perfectly acceptable. Battery life over USB DAC (cannot use while charging unfortunately) is rated for up to four hours. Didn't get the chance to officially confirm this but given how spot on the wireless rating is I would expect 4 hours to be achievable.

Connection quality over wireless is for the most part quite good. I could not locate any official specs for which version of Bluetooth is supported, or the range, so I won't speculate on this. I will however state that it performed no better or worse than most modern Bluetooth devices I've used recently. It can be used anywhere in my apartment with the source in the furthest location. Drops are easy to force simply by blocking the Bluemini when at extreme distances. Otherwise, the Bluemini provides a very stable connection with no stutters or weird behaviours.

Sound quality over wireless is similar to using the DEVA wired, though a loss in raw detail, clarity, and texture is apparent. The Bluemini adds additional midbass which warms up the sound slightly. While the DEVA sounds less crisp overall through the Bluemini, I felt that the midrange was hit the hardest with everything feeling slightly looser and less well defined. Some upper treble and subbass emphasis was also lost, although it still felt like the extension was there. Lastly, the DEVA's already average sound stage is pulled in a bit closer. The overall experience is still well beyond acceptable and probably the best Bluetooth experience I've had, but it is a step down from using the DEVA wired.

Moving into USB DAC territory and comparing to using it wired with another DAC, like the Earstudio HUD100, you hear a similar shift in signature as heard when using the Bluemini over Bluetooth. Midbass is boosted giving the DEVA a warmer sound, and some emphasis at either end is lost. Compared to wireless the sound stage lost returns, as does most of the detail and general texturing and resolution. While I still prefer the sound of the DEVA wired, I wouldn't hesitate to use the Bluemini as a DAC since it sounds good and can easily power the DEVA to more than comfortable listening volumes while at the same time saving your devices' battery from the strain of also having to power a headphone.

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Around The Ear The DEVA is a headphone with presence, much of which is likely down to its large size combined with a somewhat unconventional silver and tan colour scheme. The last time I saw something similar was on the retro-designed Polk Audio Buckle which could be had in brown and gold or black and silver. While not my first choice, I think the DEVA pulls of this old-school colour combination quite well, though I can't say I would be disappointed if they released a matte black version with gunmetal accents. Not only would that look completely bad@$$, but it would satisfy those who prefer a more subtle and traditional high end audio look.

The DEVA is a well-built headphone crafted from a mix of metal, plastic, and faux leather. Both the ear cups and surrounds where the headband and yolks connect are solid feeling plastics, while the yolks and grills are metal. The headband is wrapped in faux-leather with reasonably thick foam inside. If you press hard enough, you can feel the band within. It does not feel like a solid strip of material thanks to spaced bracing that can be felt across with width of the band. I cannot tell if the inner band is metal or plastic and I'm not willing to risk the DEVA's structural integrity finding out.

I really appreciate that the plastic surrounds that house the base of the headband and pivoting system for the yolks are one solid piece of plastic. Most headphones that use plastic here sandwich two individual pieces together and either glue or screw them in place resulting in a clear weak point. I don't think we'll be seeing the same issues with the DEVA. I read somewhere that the grills were plastic. I'm in Canada and for whatever reason winter refuses to go away (at the time of editing we've been hit with a polar vortex bringing record snow and cold temperatures for the month of May). This means that it is still relatively cold and as such any metal on the DEVA has a distinctly cool feel to it when touched, the grills included. Also, if you press firmly on them there is almost no give or flex. While I wouldn't want to drop the DEVA for fear of the plastic cups being damaged and cracking, I have no doubt the metal yolks and grills could take some punishment if tested. All that said, if you pick up the headphone from the band and give it a shake, you do hear a fair bit of rattle and clatter since the pivoting yolks are not padded inside. It makes the DEVA sound cheaper than it is.

If I were to levy any durability concerns at the DEVA, they would be directed to the fine wires that feed through the base of each yolk and into the ear cups. The wires are quite thin and while Hifiman did leave slack to allow the cups to pivot freely without tugging at them, repeated, excessive movement will eventually wear them out. I just hope that this doesn't happen anytime soon since otherwise, the DEVA feels like the type of headphone that could survive multiple generations within a family, plastic bits and all.

When it comes to comfort the DEVA is probably the nicest planars I've worn. The hybrid pads are thick and plush out of the box and have only softened further during the month and tens of hours of testing I've put into the DEVA. The headband's padding is thick and fairly soft, though width is minimal. This combined with a fairly reserved clamping force meant that when tilting my head forward or backward the DEVA had a tendency to slide out of place. Thankfully the DEVA is quite light, else it would absolutely fall off with little resistance. While mighty comfortable, it's not the most stable headphone in the world.

When it comes to isolation, the DEVA offers basically none, and music bleeds out into the world around you at pretty much any volume. So much sound leaks out that you can press your ear to the grills and listen to the DEVA's awesome drivers from the wrong side without losing much in the way of quality. Pretty cool actually. However, going back to my earlier statement about this type of headphone being an odd candidate for wireless treatment, this section is why. The DEVA is a terrible choice for using on the go since everyone around you will hear what you are listening to, and you'll have to crank the volume to drown them out further compounding the leaking issue. Maybe less of an issue in our present Covid-19 ravaged world, but when things go back to whatever normal will become, the DEVA still won't be ideal as a travel headphone.

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In The Box Packaging for the DEVA certainly lacks the usual Hifiman flair on the outside. It comes in a very unassuming black cardboard box with a simple wire frame image of the DEVA on the front, along with the usual branding and model information. Flipping to the back you find specifications for both the DEVA and Bluemini, a contents list, contact information for Hifiman, and a ton of codec logos. Note that battery life for the Bluemini is listed at 4 hours back there which is very much incorrect. Lift the front flap of the box to reveal the contents within and you then find the Hifiman experience lacking on the outside.

You are immediately greeted by a warranty card and 23 page Owner's Guide that in usual Hifiman fashion is made from thick card stock. Inside this manual you are presented with a message from Dr. Fang Bian, Hifiman's founder, and a wealth of information about the driver tech, specifications for both the DEVA and Bluemini, product use and maintenance, and more, supported with high quality images. This is the sort of manual I'd leave sitting on my coffee table for visitors to flip through when left alone momentarily.

After removing the manual and warranty card and similar to how the Sundara and Susvara are presented, you find the DEVA and most accessories snugly and safely tucked into a foam insert covered with flowing black fabric. I say most accessories because while the 3.5mm aux cable and Bluemini are contained in their own slots, the lengthily type-A to type-C USB cable and 1/4” adapter are tucked into a plastic bag and left loose, held in place by the documentation and thick foam glued to the base of the lid. This oddly seems to be a pretty common practice for the brand; design the packaging around the main device and a couple accessories, then toss in a few extras somewhat haphazardly. I'm not complaining because extras are always welcome and Hifiman always does a great job with that, it's just somewhat amusing in the way these bonus inclusions are handled sometimes. In all you get:
  • Hifiman Deva
  • Bluemini module
  • 3.5mm-3.5mm balanced nylon-sheathed cable
  • Type-C USB nylon-sheathed cable
  • 1/4” adapter
At around 6.5 ft long, it seems to me that Hifiman is not so subtly hinting at the expectation that the Bluemini will be used commonly via its USB DAC function. It would have been nice if they included a shorter cable intended solely for charging purposes, but at this point Type-C cables are ubiquitous enough that most people will have a shorter one readily available if needed. Overall a good unboxing experience that is somewhat mixed in tone; decidedly budget on the outside, reasonably premium on the inside.

Final Thoughts Last years' Sundara was a very impressive headphone at 500 USD. I was not expecting Hifiman to do the same thing again this year, at a lower price, and certainly not with a planar headphone intended to be used wirelessly much of the time.

The DEVA's build is solid and it is comfortable to wear for long periods, though a little unstable if moving the head around. The Bluemini is a killer wireless module with a reliable connection and excellent battery life, plus it can be used as a USB DAC. It's not small though and adds to the DEVAs already considerable (but lightweight) bulk. While the DEVA doesn't achieve the same technical prowess as the Sundara, it's not that far off. The slightly bassier, warmer signature, and less fatiguing treble region is perfect for a portable headphone. That said, there is no folding capability and being open back, noise is free to bleed in and out at will so you'll probably want to stay inside and use it exclusively around the house.

Overall a great headphone. At 299 USD it is a pretty ridiculous value given the performance on hand, further supported by the addition of the Bluemini wireless module that allows you to go wireless without the DEVAs excellent sound quality taking a massive hit. Awesome work Hifiman. This completely makes up for the interesting but divisive TWS 600.

Thanks for reading!

- B9

**If you enjoyed this review, there are tons more to be found over on The Contraptionist.**

Disclaimer Thanks to Mark with Hifiman for arranging a sample of the DEVA for the purposes of review. The thoughts within this review are my own subjective impressions based on a steady month of use and general testing. They do not represent Hifiman or any other entity. At the time of writing the DEVA was retailing for 299.00 USD: https://store.hifiman.com/index.php/deva.html

DEVA Specifications
  • Frequency Response: 20-20,000Hz
  • Impedance: 18ohms
  • Sensitivity: 93.5dB
  • Weight: 360g
  • Socket: TTRS 3.5mm
Bluemini Specifications
  • Frequency Response: 20-20,000Hz
  • Codecs: aptX, aptX HD, LDAC, HWA (LDHC), AAC, SBC
  • Battery Life: 7-10 hours
  • Amp Output: 230mW
  • THD: <0.1% @ 1W/1KHz
  • Weight: 25g
Devices Used For Testing LG Q70, Earstudio HUD100, Earmen TR-Amp, FiiO BTR3K, Asus FX53V, TEAC HA-501

Some Test Tunes

Supertramp – Crime of the Century
Slipknot – Vol 3 (The Subliminal Verses)
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid
King Crimson – Lark's Tongues in Aspic
King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black
Infected Mushroom – Legend of the Black Shawarma
The Prodigy – The Day is My Enemy
Steely Dan – The Royal Scam
Porcupine Tree – Stupid Dreams
Last edited:
P
Prabin
Deva are on sale without Bluetooth module for 220. How much power does it need. I'm a complete beginner in audiophile journey. I only have kph30i that I play off LG g7. And I always keep dreaming what real high end audio feels like. I believe the headphone is a bargain for 220. The question I wanted to ask was how much power does it need. I'm trying to decide between ifi hip dac and fiio k5 pro for deva. One is praised for its dac quality and another for its power. If it scales with power I'll buy the k5 pro and make it my first legit setup. Else hip dac and deva for the win. Thanks in advance.
B9Scrambler
B9Scrambler
Not a ton of power needed, for a planar. Hip Dac would be plenty.
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P
Prabin
Thank you. And since the size is smaller it'd be easier for my friend in USA to bring it.. 😂
Pros: Diversify connectivities (USB, Bluetooth, balanced and unbalanced), Great Bluetooth sound quality and even better when cabled, Reference tuned sound, Revealing imaging, Good technicalities, Clean sound, Effortless accuracy, Powerful DAC-AMP module, Comfortable for long listening, Generous accessories, Good value
Cons: Lack a bit of clamping force for a secure fit, Construction mostly plastic, Open back design limit the use in public or workspace, bass lack a bit of natural extension, treble lack a bit of sparkle, the soundstage is just average, slightly dry tonality
HIFIMAN DEVA REVIEW

P1050704


SOUND: (Bluetooth) 8.5/10 (cabled) 9/10
BLUEMINI Overall Rating: 8.5/10
PRACTICALITY: 9/10
CONSTRUCTION&DESIGN: 8/10
PACKAGING&ACCESSORIES: 9/10
VALUE: 9/10


HIFIMAN is quite busy with Bluetooth audio projects lately. It begins with the TWS600, a promising wireless free earphones using high-end topology drivers similar to those used in RE800 and RE2000 flagship IEM. The sound it delivers was clear, mid centric, and very detailed, but very bass light too, as well, it wasn’t compatible with higher Bluetooth codec like APTX and Ldac. Reception for the TWS600 was mitigated, especially because of it’s peculiar sound signature. After this attempt, they go big and launch their first Bluetooth Planar headphones, a flagship model call ANANDA-BT.


Amazon.com: HIFIMAN Ananda-BT High-Resolution Bluetooth Over-Ear ...



The ANANDA-BT is priced 1000$, it uses a very big NSD Planar driver and has high-end DAC-AMP integrated into its immense ear cups. Simply put, Dr. Fang Bian want to create the best sound Bluetooth headphones with the ANANDA-BT and probably succeed, but some consumers were disappointed with the fact you can’t use this high-end Planar with another audio source than integrated DAC-AMP, that while is good for portability can’t match high-end DAC-AMP.

After this first bold attempt in Bluetooth headphones world, Hifiman take notes of all the critics and perfected a more budget-oriented Bluetooth Headphones call the DEVA. The DEVA can be driven at full potential with any audio source you want and for this, they come with a genius idea which is to use a 3.5mm balanced input with a detachable Bluetooth dongle designed to fit perfectly the earcups.


P1050666


Priced 300$, the HIFIMAN DEVA is a full size open back Planar headphones using similar NSD drivers that are found in both the SUNDARA and ANANDA. It can be used as Bluetooth or cabled headphones, but the Bluetooth DAC-AMP can be directly plugged into a phone or laptop to be used as USB DAC-AMP too. This DAC-AMP is extremely powerful for its size and can push up to 1000mW, play APTX and Ldac codec, and have a battery life of 4H and a fast charging time of only 30 minutes.

Let’s see in this review if the DEVA deliver high sound quality both Bluetooth and cabled way.

The DEVA can be bought directly from Hifiman official site HERE.

SPECS:


HIFIMAN DEVA - Advanced Active Headphones with Bluemini



PACKAGING&ACCESSORIES

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The DEVA presentation evokes a high-end headphone product. It comes in a big box that unlike the SUNDARA isn’t particularly beautiful to look at, but when you open it, the Headphones are presented nicely on a fancy drape. I like this type of presentation for 2 reasons: it’s very elegant and it protects the headphones from any damage that can occur in the shipping process. In terms of accessories, we never have headphones protective case with Hifiman, so I’m not surprised the DEVA is no exception. On the other hand, we have plenty of accessories, beginning with the nice BLUEMINI DAC-AMP. We have a very nice quality long USB to USB-C cable, it’s that long because it can be used to connect the BLUEMINI as USB-C DAC to your laptop. It looks like Hifiman love nylon cable as both USB and 3.5mm cable is made of this flexible material. For the USB cable, it’s quite nice, but for the headphones cable I find it a little rigid and lacking in smooth flexibility, this cable tends to keep it’s bent sometimes. Construction of 3.5mm cable is really nice, especially the metal jacks, but after the first day of use I know I will feel the urge to find a better one. You have as well a 3.5mm to 6.5mm adapter, a nice user manual, and the warranty card.

CONSTRUCTION&DESIGN

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These are 300$ headphones, and they look like 300$ headphones, but in hands they don’t exactly feel like 300$ headphones. I’m pretty sure the construction of cheaper H400i or H4XX is as good or even better. Why? Because their a lot of plastic material used, only metal part being ear cups holder. Unlike HE4XX, the back grill is made of (cheap) plastic. The type of plastic used is the one that worries me if I drop the DEVA on the ground. As well, I’m pretty sure the inner headband is made of plastic too, which can be problematic for durability as this part receive lot of flexing stress. I think the DEVA would have been incredibly beautiful using light alloy for the earcups, as well, plastic grill can perhaps cause unwanted distortion rattling at high volume with bass, this do happen with Grado SR60 using a similar plastic grill but Planar driver is less prompt about this issue. The earpads are of good quality, and after some hours of use, they even become smoother and more comfortable. Some were afraid about earcups inner cable that is embedded in gimbals, I’m mostly worried about the part that go into the earcups (check pics), and would suggest you not flipping the ear cups as perhaps it would break the little cable. All in all, construction isn’t bad by any means, just too plastic for my taste.


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As said, the design is very sleek and beautiful, I like this type of hipsterish look. Some do not like brown color, but personally, I like the color of autumn leave or latte coffee. The DEVA are very light for a Planar, well, especially compared to heavy SUNDARA. Clamping force is quite light too, which is both good and bad, because though it is really comfy I have a big head and cannot shake it too much because the headphones move easily, so the fit isn’t the most secure. As well, at the beginning ear pads do not mold to the form of my head so the seal wasn’t perfect, it smoothens with time and now the seal improved a lot. Ear cups size is the same as SUNDARA and HE400 serie and can fit any ears size. Design improves the earcups comfort by adding swivalable gimbals mechanism so it can rotate and fit better any shape of the head. This is a very welcome idea as the SUNDARA would have benefit from this type of design too.


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The BLUEMINI module is designed to fit perfectly the DEVA, which it do. Overall esthetic is negatively affected by this pairing, but I don’t think it’s thought to be wear in public due to fully open back design that acts like portable speakers in terms of sound leakage. So, your not sexy Bluetooth way, who cares? Just don’t wear this when you wanna cuddle with your girlfriend or boyfriend. Not sexy. Anyway, I love this Bluetooth DAC-AMp and will talk more about it. Construction is rather cheap plastic and If you drop it on the hard floor I’m pretty sure it will break in 2 pieces. The button is feeling a little fragile due to this thin plastic use, but everything works flawlessly and it holds still on the cup once connected. A little detail that annoy me is the quite intense green light that pops every 5 seconds once connected, it’s quite bright and surely a led or something, and perhaps it can distract TV watcher or will attract a lot of mosquitos in summer nights….


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But now that you are wireless free Bluetooth and finally launch in the real world with a Planar on your head, what are you going to do? The choice of a fully open back design makes the DEVA inappropriate for outside use unless the streets are empty….like right now everywhere in the world due to pandemic! No problem then that it’s both enormous, slightly loose on your head, and as sound leaker as a boombox at low volume can be. The DEVA are a perfect portable companion for apocalypse time when you wanna enjoy audio bliss selfishly in wide-open urban space, walking with your survival kit, still able to hear potential dangers that can come up from any crumbled city corner…
Or if you prefer better stay still in quarantine, no life way, listening to Planar music everywhere, eating your cereals, watching tv, spying your neighbors, making bioengineer experience, growing a self-sufficient garden…you can now do it fully freely. At home, you can do everything but a shower with the DEVA, I test them in my bath and it was way cozier than having to care about the cable going into my hot water.


BLUEMINI

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So, Hifiman state that this little DAC-AMP dongle can output as much a 500mW of power, which I think it’s for a 16ohm load. We do not have a lot of info about what type of DAC chip or amps chip it uses, but having tested a lot of Bluetooth DAC-AMP I can say it’s a very capable one. Total harmonic distortion is perhaps average at THD <0.1% @1W/1KHZ (official spec) but it isn’t bad either and do not translate into hearable distortion even at high volume. Signal to noise ratio is decent at 95db (official spec), but perhaps it’s where it affects the most DEVA, as it has a low sensitivity, this will translate in smaller soundstage and instrument separation space as well as less snappy sound (this is very subtle!).

The sound is neutral and slightly cold. Dynamic is forwards and lively. Tonality is slightly bright, with good clarity but not the blackest noise floor (THD). IMAGING is good. It’s not as rich sounding as the FIIO BTR5 or even the EARSTUDIO ES100 but it is as powerful, so while you do not have as much resolution and clarity and transparency as these DAC-AMP you do have good dynamic and open sound.

INTERFACE is minimalist, you can only PLAY-PAUSE music with the module, no volume, or tracks control which is quite a bummer. Anyway, once you have connected it to your phone, it gets recognize automatically when you start the Bluemini. I find it really fun to just take the DEVA and press play button and listen to music without even touching my phone. This DAC-AMP is powerful as said and will be able to play loud without creating distortion. The fact that you use your phone for volume control can be a little bothersome if like my LG G6 it only has 8 volume steps.

CONNECTIVITY is very impressive. It uses the same Class 1 Bluetooth reception technology than the Hifiman TWS600 which has an incredible long-range signal (up to 150meter) as well as extremely low latency. In an open environment, it means you can have incredible freedom of movement with the DEVA. Perfect garden BlueTooth headphones? Yes, perfect for a 150 meters walk in the forest too. In my apartment full of walls, this translates to complete freedom without sound cutting and apart from these Headphones and the TWS600, no other Bluetooth headphones, item, or DAC-amp can perform as well. Can you play games with Bluetooth Headphones? Well, even if we talk about the lowest latency (milliseconds) I’m not certain it’s appropriate for the extremely fast first-person shooter but I read some people being happy about gaming with the DEVA, as it’s the best in its class. Anyway, as stated about the flashing led light when connected, perhaps you’ll be better putting black tape on it so you can concentrate perfectly on your game.

PS: you can replace the TWS600 by the DEVA in this video.

BATTERY life is stated to be 5 to 7H, and indeed I have about 6H even using the Bluemini at high volume with LDAC. This is very respectable autonomy and another nice thing is the fact it charges pretty fast, less than an hour to be fully charged.


PAIRING

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With the BLUEMINI

I wasn’t expecting this Bluetooth DAC-AMP dongle to sound that good and especially being able to drive properly the DEVA. Due to its powerful balanced output, the BLUEMINI sound near as good as both my FIIO BTR5 and RADSONE ES100, this is due to the fact both this amp tends to cramp the dynamic of DEVA while it sounds fully open and energic with the BLUEMINI. I would say it drive the DEVA at 95% of it’s potential, the bass is a little tamed and imaging slightly more distant and less spacious than with a higher-end amp. Sound is slightly brighter and grainier too. Still, we have a very deep soundstage, a vivid sound with an edgy attack and the level of details is mesmerizing. It must be noted that when used as USB DAC-AMP Bluemine can play higher rate music quality up to 192khz and it translates in clearer and more vivid sound.

With JDS LABS ATOM (+Xduoo X20 single ES9018 DAC)

Now the DEVA sound even more open and overall tonality is smoother and more natural. It gain in transparency too. The bass can offer thigh rumble and authoritative oomph when needed, extension is still cut at the bottom but fuller than with BLUEMINI. The soundstage is wider and taller. Instrument separation gains more space and air. Highs are clearer, more brilliant, and have more natural resonance. The whole sound became more nuanced and refined as if suddenly we listen to hi-res music instead of MP3, some cannot hear the difference, but it’s about grain, resolution, dynamic, and overall clarity that improve.

With Xduoo XD-05plus (+Xduoo X20 single ES9018 DAC)

This is a nice pairing, slightly warmer than the ATOM but vaster in the soundstage, making the sound even more open and muscular. I really enjoy adding bass warmth with the ”bass gain” switch too. the DEVA has excellent EQ potential and can take extra bass with ease. It thicken the vocal and makes the sound lusher and more open. I think the minimal amping need for the DEVA is 500mW @ 16ohm for the best result. The XD-05plus deliver more than that and the sound is very lively, thick, with excellent instrument definition and macro-resolution. Bass is better with this amp than both Bluemini and ATOM but the treble is slightly more laid back, which in the end makes overall sound more balanced and natural. This might be the best amping pairing.

With SANSUI AU-D5 (+Ibasso DX90 DUAL ES9018 DAC)

I don’t know exactly how much watts this amp can deliver, but it’s at least 5 full watts as it’s way more powerful than my Xduoo TA-10 that delivers 2W @ 32ohm. This amp is the best for driving the SUNDARA, which sounds fuller and more open. The DEVA does not improve as much as the SUNDARA and sounds very similar than driven with JDS LABS. The SOUNDSTAGE perhaps earns a hint of wideness but no extra deepness. Tonality became a little warmer and more organic. BASS is thickened a bit too, which offer more slam but stole some speed in attack too. The mid-range does sound wider and gain in presence. TREBLE is more balanced and less grainy. The overall sound is lusher, fuller, more laid back.

SOUND

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For the sound review, I use the DEVA plugged into either the Xduoo XD-05plus or JDS LAB ATOM, using my Xduoo X20 as line out DAC. The ES9018 sabre DAC of X20 deliver reference sound with extreme clarity while the ATOM is neutral sounding and very transparent, the XD-05plus is slightly bassy and warm as well as more heavy in dynamic weight. I listen to an overwhelming amount of different music styles from modern jazz, to fusion, to chamber classical and symphony to soul and R&B to electronic like downbeat and IDM to folk and indie etc. All in at least CD quality (44khz-48khz flac). The DEVA do benefit from high-quality recording, as well as higher bit rate, 48khz or 96khz/24bit really open spatial deepness due to extra clarity.

The overall sound of the DEVA can be described as neutral to mid-centric with crisp tonality and near analytical sound. Level of clarity is extremely high. The bass isn’t as shy as what we can expect with a Planar, even if the extension isn’t as natural as dynamic it does have sub-bass oomph. To me, good planar sound like a wall of infinite balanced armature drivers surrounding you from everywhere, tonality is rarely warm or lush, slightly cold in fact, but amping tend to improve that as the DEVA sound colder when used with Bluemini. If you are used to dynamic driver headphones sound, the DEVA will sure be bewildering at first as the sound isn’t projected same way, this can be wrongly interpreted as shouty because like electrostatic drivers the sound is shot at you fastly due to flat diaphragm film used while dynamic has a conic diaphragm that can vibrates slower, which is good for lower frequencies but can interfere with high frequencies speed. This explains why bass is the Achille talon of Planar driver, but bigger is the driver, better are the chance it can produce natural bass extension and do not have problematic roll-off often find with Planar earphones like Tinhifi P1. Vivid, slightly bright with smooth timbre, holographic sound, and highly accurate and precise imaging, the DEVA is a master in terms of technicalities as well as balanced in tonal musicality.


SOUNDSTAGE is taller than wider and deeper, it has an ethereal feel to it as it surrounds you from every side. It’s not very deep but similar to being in a small room with a surround sound system. Let’s call this a cinematic soundstage.

IMAGING is very good and offers good horizontal and vertical instrument separation with intimate sound layering. You can easily pinpoint the instrument from left, right and middle but it’s slightly harder when they are in the background as the sound layers are near each other.

BASS is tighter than thigh, has good slam, restricted extension, fast attack, and slightly dry timbre. It sure sound like Planar bass, but sub-line can be very chunky when needed, and what blows my mind is the separation between lower and mid-bass. In the ”Birdsong” track from ROSIE LOWE, the kick is weighty and softened a little in post-impact so vocal is kept ultra-clean and with good space in separation, the sub-bass line has some distance too from the kick and is render ultra clearly with just enough thickness. The level of resolution is just too good and whole presentation has a good synergy that offers as much liveliness to lows than mids and treble. It must be noted (again) that the bass is notably more present when connected to an amp, and in fact, it can be boosted either with analog or digital EQ to became thicker and more impactful. A guilty pleasure of mine is to put bass gain on my Xduoo XD-05plus and the result with the DEVA is extremely addictive, it do warm lower mids but bass slam is still fast and so more weighty, with IDM like ”Workaround” album from BEATRICE DILLION, the experience is basshead HD holographic sound with a crazy fast attack from low to mids and superbly black background, again: tighter than thigh bass. Without bass boost, the DEVA is still far from bass less or even bass light, but still, here it’s more about bass technicalities and fast snappy accuracy than bass quantity and long resonant rumble. With the DEVA, the cello does sound like full-bodied cello that can even deliver grunt, but sub-bass is slightly boxy and acoustic bass slightly shouty. Rock, Classical, some jazz, R&B, Soul, Pop and even electronic sound great, less so sub-heavy trap rap or Drum&Bass (but this is still unpredictable to some extent as I enjoy IAMDDB and Jlin with the DEVA), the only instrument that fully need this 60-20hz boost will sound thin, boxy or shouty.

MID RANGE is a leaner part of DEVA, it’s full and vivid but at the same time intimate and centered. You have lesser sense of proximity with the vocal but as they are slightly bright in presence due to treble part emphasis, they sound very clear and present. Even if tonality is slightly cold, I still find timbre rather smooth and less edgy than treble part. The resolution, though a hint dry, is highly resolved, coherent with a high sense of realism. Realist mids mean (in my mind) that they are bright and lifelike with nuanced texture but not the higher sens of emotionality or widen airy presence. In a track like ”Future/past” from THUS OWL, the singer is centered, here voice super clear and well-shaped in middle of very clear instrumentation, to fast toms do not make the voice more recessed, staying at a good distance and keep high resolution intact, the whole presentation is very lively and immersive….as if in a live show that we are at one row of the scene. We aren’t in the middle of the audio scene with the DEVA, but surrounded by its very informative acoustic. Again, the definition has a good edge, infinite numbers of instruments of the same range can play in the mid-range without it congested or mix together, highly articulate even if not as transparent sounding as the SUNDARA. In a different track where the voice is more forwarded in the mix and wider in presence like ”Delphine” by KADHJA BONET, the voice takes the first seat and is very wide and transparent, with IEM, the whole presentation feels congested and saturated, not at all with the DEVA, it’s wide, open and perfectly layered, bass kick, bassline, intricate synth line, all are rendered with high precision and clearly define even if distanced from the voice. I do not hear a hint of sibilance when the DEVA is cabled to a minimally powerful amp (1W is the minimum), but with Bluetooth module, tonality is brighter and less balanced which inflict on vocal harshness too.

TREBLE with the DEVA is perhaps even fuller and more forwards than more W shape SUNDARA that have smoother mid-treble. This does not mean it’s better quality, but you do have a higher amount of micro-details, but less natural extension up to the top, so no sparkle and brilliance like the SUNDARA, more crunch and snap. I don’t find the SUNDARA trebly neither the DEVA overly harsh or bright. It does have slightly grainy highs, but no splashiness. In a track like ”Kamelsnurr” from GEIR SUNDSTOL experimental folk musician, the guitar is sharply resolved with full timbre as well as good bite, it is rich in texture and nuance and very lively as it tends to jump at you with more presence than rest of instrument, you can see the sound layers that never mix together, so the accuracy is excellent too. This track tends to sound overly metallic in highs with a lot of headphones or earphones but not at all with the DEVA. Yes, the DEVA dig a lot of micro-details but it does not push it forward aggressively which offers a well-balanced realist presentation. It’s not the more airy highs and as said you have a minimal amount of sparkle, but this avoids to be trebly so overall treble is rather smooth even if tonally bright.


COMPARISONS

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VS HIFIMAN SUNDARA (350-500$)

Saying I love my SUNDARA is an understatement, I adore them like an idol, I venerate them like a god. I really think this is among the best sub-500$ headphones money can buy, especially for a smooth reference sound with ultimate transparency and speedy attack that permit unreal imaging technicalities. But these are way harder to drive than the DEVA, which will sound near as technically capable with an amp like the JDS LABS ATOM, but for this comparison I decide to compare them with the same ultra-powerful amp Sansui AU-D5 amplifier that tends to improve dynamic, soundstage and add a hint of warmth to tonality.
CONSTRUCTION of the DEVA is clearly inferior in term of material, the SUNDARA being all-metal construction with harder clamping force so you can share your head without caring the headphones might fall. The DEVA is at least 2 times lighter, but I would not say they are more comfortable as the ears cups are little smaller and ear pads do not really seal as smoothly as the SUNDARA.
SOUNDSTAGE is notably wider and taller than the DEVA, but not as deep, making the sound slightly less immersive and more distant. IMAGING is more intimate and horizontal in its presentation, it lacks the excellent transparent layering of the SUNDARA but still is excellent and better than most headphones in its price range. BASS feels strangely faster in attack than the SUNDARA, perhaps more controlled too, but thinner and dryer as well, subline sound little compressed compared to the weightier and more rumbly sub of SUNDARA which offer quite a slam for a planar. The fact bass move more air mean it will warm the mid-range more too, but in this case, it add naturalness and thicken vocal timbre, the DEVA has brighter and more forwards mids but in a more centered and intimate way, it’s not as natural and airy in presence than the SUNDARA. TREBLE is the most similar part, even if the SUNDARA have a hint less linear response in this area with more emphasis in lower and upper mids. Highs are again fuller and more sparkly, micro-details are pushed more forwards with the SUNDARA, making them a little more sharp, here I think the DEVA has better balance and perhaps even faster transient response.

All in all, in terms of plain technicality, the DEVA is in the same league than the SUNDARA, and in fact, it even sounds clearer, better balanced, and more controlled in bass response. Even if I still prefer the warmer and more immersive sound of SUNDARA, I can imagine some people finding the DEVA superior in every aspect but soundstage.

VS MEZE 99 NEO (200$)

Unfortunately, my headphones collection isn’t as big as my IEM or Earbuds collection, and as my Grado SR325i is broken, this is the only other ”mid-tier” headphones I have. So, how does an average 40mm dynamic transducer compete against a big planar driver? Well, it’s like taking off a subwoofer and a big blanket from overall NEO sound….or more like comparing a master painting to some unknow Pop Art painting….or comparing trap rap to classical. It’s just so different man, and so immature sounding comparing to the DEVA that you feel ashame listening to those basshead boomy headphones after having enjoyed a high level of refinement. SOUNDSTAGE is wider, taller, and deeper with the DEVA, and IMAGING is incredibly more resolving as you will have to give way more effort to even try spotting the placement of one instrument with the NEO while you can pinpoint 10 instruments at the same time with the DEVA. BASS is extremely more boosted with the NEO and cruelly lack control, it’s way more weighty in slam but you can’t separate sub and mid-bass like with the DEVA, resolution is warm and it bleeds a lot on mid-range, not in a good way, in a bass veil way. MID RANGE is notably more recessed, as with most typical V shape headphones, it’s thinner too and darker, DEVA delivers clarity from another league as well as accuracy and separation. Tonality is more realist with the DEVA too. TREBLE is fuller and dig more audio information, making the DEVA sound analytical, the NEO highs can go from splashy to shouty at high volume, lacking fast snap of DEVA.

All in all, the DEVA put NEO to shame in every aspect but construction, which is of similar quality (plastic+metal). It’s just from another league in terms of balance and technicalities. Audiophile headphones vs immature headphones that can be fun for very simple music like rap and some electronics.

CONCLUSION

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HIFIMAN really creates something unique that stands apart in the headphones world, not only the DEVA deliver true high-resolution audiophile sound that can be enjoy wireless way with excellent Bluetooth quality, but it can scale up in technicalities when you want to plug it to higher quality audio source and amps. Unlike other Bluetooth headphones that will not pass the test of time either because of the battery it uses or the quality of Bluetooth technology that will become obsolete one day or another, the DEVA will always be capable as a cabled full-size Planar headphone even when it’s Bluemini DAC-AMP will become less impressive in some years from now. The Bluemini does sound great right now and sure deliver the highest sound quality you can expect from Bluetooth Headphone’s perspective, the dynamic is really lively and properly amped and most of all the volume can go loud enough, which is rare in Bluetooth Headphones world.

If you were waiting for the ultimate do-it-all Audiophile Wireless Planar Magnetic headphones, you find it with the DEVA which must likely surpass anything on the Bluetooth Headphones market right now, both in term of sound quality and versatility of use. The DEVA is a technical beast that delivers highly detailed and accurate sound with a very immersive holographic musicality.
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MalinYamato
MalinYamato
Which one do you prefer when only considering pure SQ wrt jazz and classics?
MalinYamato
MalinYamato
Your conclusion -- I can imagine some people finding the DEVA superior in every aspect but soundstage -- makes me very confused as in the main text you regard Sundara in many aspects as little bit better or equal to Deva, not only soundstage. What on Earth!? Many, including I, are having hard time choosing between Sundara and the newcomer Deva. It would be nice to know based on preferred genres which one to choose.
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