Hifiman Ananda
Jan 9, 2021 at 6:45 PM Post #3,001 of 4,312

Vercingetirex

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Yes, exactly. The GL2000's come with the option of either single-sided or double-sided arrays. The rave reviews have all been about the double-sided designs, so that's what I ordered. I know Audeze still uses double-sided arrays for most of their LCD line, which definitely increases the weight, but also maybe increase their "slam factor." I'm just hoping these won't be as heavy. And I think a lot of Hifiman headphones (like the Ananda) still use double-sided mangets, but they're using assymetrical magnets (larger magnets on one side compared than the other) to reduce weight. Am I wrong on that?

And also yes! Drop does have a good discount, but their orders ship beginning in late April (!!!), so I just ordered from Linsuol directly.

They are 535grams, LCD 2F's and 2Cs are about 580grams, for comparison. So they will still be pretty heavy.
 
Jan 10, 2021 at 12:20 AM Post #3,002 of 4,312

Brahmsian

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All headphones are a series of tradeoffs. With Ananda, the FR is slightly v-shaped, tilting toward the bright side of neutral. Not a headphone for people who want a dark or warm sound. The treble is very smooth, though.

The soundstage is big and tall but a little narrow. It's fine for listening to songs but orchestral music sounds a little squeezed in from the sides. My He560 has a wider soundstage. But the Ananda produces a bigger sound overall.

There isn't much depth to the picture. Everything sounds like it's on the same plane and up close. It's the closest thing I've heard to a wall of sound. So, yes, it's a little two dimensional, but the excellent imaging largely makes up for it.

Vocals depend on how they were recorded. Sometimes they sound a little recessed, at other times strikingly present.

In general, rock sounds smooth without feeling lifeless. I listened to Sonic Youth's Dirty and the Pixie's Surfer Rosa. The sonics are so vivid and energetic (without being peaky) that I don't mind the lack of depth to the soundstage. Iggy Pop's China Girl is a song that can sound horrible on certain headphones. Not here. Iggy's voice is present and detailed, with that gravelly heft.

Clamp force is strong, but after wearing them for hours I did not develop the pressure point in the jaw that some people complain about. I wore them for hours with no problem.

HifiMan is selling them on their website for $599. The pair I got at that price is open box but indistinguishable from brand new. It even has that brand new smell. Not a single blemish. I would not be able to tell the difference between new and open box. Delivery was super fast. Great experience.

The positive reviews these headphones get are deserved. But like I said all headphones are a series of tradeoffs, and this one has the drawbacks I mentioned.
 
Jan 10, 2021 at 1:21 AM Post #3,003 of 4,312

HTSkywalker

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In fact something like the Ananda, Arya or HD800S along with an LCD X would make a nice combination as you mentioned since no single can would excel in all genres.
 
Jan 10, 2021 at 1:32 AM Post #3,004 of 4,312

HTSkywalker

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But again the music chain prior to the cans would make all the difference in the world:

Recorded music-DAC-cable to Amp-Amp-cans cable and within this chain DSD/FLAC etc, balanced/unbalanced connection DAC to Amp & Amp to cans, SS vs Tubes etc.
One reason why concept Cans come complete with the full chain.
Bottom line is that a can may sound as good as its source chain.
 
Jan 10, 2021 at 1:51 AM Post #3,005 of 4,312

tinyman392

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All headphones are a series of tradeoffs. With Ananda, the FR is slightly v-shaped, tilting toward the bright side of neutral. Not a headphone for people who want a dark or warm sound. The treble is very smooth, though.

The soundstage is big and tall but a little narrow. It's fine for listening to songs but orchestral music sounds a little squeezed in from the sides. My He560 has a wider soundstage. But the Ananda produces a bigger sound overall.

There isn't much depth to the picture. Everything sounds like it's on the same plane and up close. It's the closest thing I've heard to a wall of sound. So, yes, it's a little two dimensional, but the excellent imaging largely makes up for it.

Vocals depend on how they were recorded. Sometimes they sound a little recessed, at other times strikingly present.

In general, rock sounds smooth without feeling lifeless. I listened to Sonic Youth's Dirty and the Pixie's Surfer Rosa. The sonics are so vivid and energetic (without being peaky) that I don't mind the lack of depth to the soundstage. Iggy Pop's China Girl is a song that can sound horrible on certain headphones. Not here. Iggy's voice is present and detailed, with that gravelly heft.

Clamp force is strong, but after wearing them for hours I did not develop the pressure point in the jaw that some people complain about. I wore them for hours with no problem.

HifiMan is selling them on their website for $599. The pair I got at that price is open box but indistinguishable from brand new. It even has that brand new smell. Not a single blemish. I would not be able to tell the difference between new and open box. Delivery was super fast. Great experience.

The positive reviews these headphones get are deserved. But like I said all headphones are a series of tradeoffs, and this one has the drawbacks I mentioned.

I got the Ananda BT, and compared to the HE-560 I have they basically sound a bit warmer with a bigger bass body. HE-560 still sounds more linear to my ears though the BT is more convenient for me. I don’t get the pressure by the jaw line either, actually, the pads don’t seal the strongest around my jaw due to my small head (took a while to get fitment right). To be perfectly honest, the HE-560 are the more comfortable headphone for me despite the smaller ear cups. The headband is softer and meshes with my head a lot better and the clamping force they provide makes them feel more secure on my head. I actually bought mine open box too (but from Headamp, 3 months, 0% financing was hard to pass up). Same deal, they feel new.
 
Jan 10, 2021 at 2:37 AM Post #3,006 of 4,312

HTSkywalker

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Jan 10, 2021 at 2:40 AM Post #3,007 of 4,312

tinyman392

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An interesting benchmark below
https://crinacle.com/rankings/headphones/
You can sort by ranking/tonality etc

Yeah, Crinacle rates them very highly, though if I’m not mistaken he has a tendency to rate stuff that is closer to DF neutral higher in both aspects (tonal and technical). I do understand why they get a higher score, but I do feel like preference does play a huge role in how he’ll rate certain headphones.
 
Jan 10, 2021 at 3:15 AM Post #3,008 of 4,312

HTSkywalker

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Yeah, Crinacle rates them very highly, though if I’m not mistaken he has a tendency to rate stuff that is closer to DF neutral higher in both aspects (tonal and technical). I do understand why they get a higher score, but I do feel like preference does play a huge role in how he’ll rate certain headphones.
Agree especially with the Audezes ranking soo low meaning a tendency to the brighter side but i won’t say biased ad ranking is somehow logical depending on tonal preference.
 
Jan 10, 2021 at 4:06 AM Post #3,009 of 4,312

ahmonge

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All headphones are a series of tradeoffs. With Ananda, the FR is slightly v-shaped, tilting toward the bright side of neutral.

True. Past a certain level of quality, you get different interpretations of sound, not necesarily a better or worse sound quality. Agree with your Ananda’s FR description.

There isn't much depth to the picture. Everything sounds like it's on the same plane and up close. It's the closest thing I've heard to a wall of sound.

Probably one of the most striking characteristics. Big bidimensional soundstage but a bit lack of depth.

I would also add a small lack of body in male vocals, prone to sibilance at the slightest hint of it in the recording plus lots of clarity and air, which make them excellent for orchestral music. I also find bass level spot on.
 
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Jan 10, 2021 at 12:57 PM Post #3,010 of 4,312

haasaaroni

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But again the music chain prior to the cans would make all the difference in the world:

Recorded music-DAC-cable to Amp-Amp-cans cable and within this chain DSD/FLAC etc, balanced/unbalanced connection DAC to Amp & Amp to cans, SS vs Tubes etc.
One reason why concept Cans come complete with the full chain.
Bottom line is that a can may sound as good as its source chain.
Yeah I totally agree. I'm running them through a Bifrost 2 to Gilmore Lite mk2 most of the time these days, both of which really excel at layering, and I don't find the Ananda to sound flat at all. I can easily hear the depth of the stage and layers of individual instruments. The width is the only thing missing to me.

Back when I only had a Topping E30 and Atom amp, I heard that 2-dimensional wall of sound. I feel like the Ananda scales quite well for such a low-impedance, sensitive pair of cans. It's one of its best attributes.
 
Jan 10, 2021 at 2:08 PM Post #3,011 of 4,312

Brahmsian

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I got the Ananda BT, and compared to the HE-560 I have they basically sound a bit warmer with a bigger bass body. HE-560 still sounds more linear to my ears though the BT is more convenient for me. I don’t get the pressure by the jaw line either, actually, the pads don’t seal the strongest around my jaw due to my small head (took a while to get fitment right). To be perfectly honest, the HE-560 are the more comfortable headphone for me despite the smaller ear cups. The headband is softer and meshes with my head a lot better and the clamping force they provide makes them feel more secure on my head. I actually bought mine open box too (but from Headamp, 3 months, 0% financing was hard to pass up). Same deal, they feel new.
560 (v2) is a little warmer to my ears, to the point that it sounds dull in comparison. But I am using lambskin voce pads and removed the film from the grills, which I think corrected the treble a little. Even though I hear more treble on the Ananda, it’s so smooth that I feel no desire to tame it. Before I modded it, the treble on the 560 sounded a little artificial to me.
An interesting benchmark below
https://crinacle.com/rankings/headphones/
You can sort by ranking/tonality etc
Interesting that he ranks the HE-560 v1 on par with the Ananda. To me, the Ananda is a clear step up to my 560 v2.
plus lots of clarity and air, which make them excellent for orchestral music. I also find bass level spot on.
Very impressed by the Ananda’s clarity and air. It just seems to go right up into the heavens.
Yeah I totally agree. I'm running them through a Bifrost 2 to Gilmore Lite mk2 most of the time these days, both of which really excel at layering, and I don't find the Ananda to sound flat at all. I can easily hear the depth of the stage and layers of individual instruments. The width is the only thing missing to me.

Back when I only had a Topping E30 and Atom amp, I heard that 2-dimensional wall of sound. I feel like the Ananda scales quite well for such a low-impedance, sensitive pair of cans. It's one of its best attributes.
I’m only sporting a THX 789 with a Grace SDACB. If you got better depth and layering, I would definitely like to hear that.
 
Jan 10, 2021 at 2:21 PM Post #3,012 of 4,312

tinyman392

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560 (v2) is a little warmer to my ears, to the point that it sounds dull in comparison. But I am using lambskin voce pads and removed the film from the grills, which I think corrected the treble a little. Even though I hear more treble on the Ananda, it’s so smooth that I feel no desire to tame it. Before I modded it, the treble on the 560 sounded a little artificial to me.

Interesting that he ranks the HE-560 v1 on par with the Ananda. To me, the Ananda is a clear step up to my 560 v2.

Very impressed by the Ananda’s clarity and air. It just seems to go right up into the heavens.

I’m only sporting a THX 789 with a Grace SDACB. If you got better depth and layering, I would definitely like to hear that.

I’m not sure what the “V1” actually is to be honest. HiFiMan did have a set of HE-560 that utilized full wooden cups that was actually very warm and utilized different pads as well. It was considered pre-production, but were sent to a few Head-Fi’ers and reviewers. Everyone who had received one was required to send it back as they decided against the wooden ear cups instead opting for plastic ear cups with wooden veneer and a new ear pad design. My HE-560 are unmodified and old enough to still utilize the mini-coaxial connectors HiFiMan used to use. I’m been sort of out of it for a while, did HiFiMan ever revoice the HE-560 and rerelease it? I know they did change connectors to the 2.5mm auxiliary jacks at one point, but I don’t think that actually changed sound.

I’m currently running the Ananda BT (not regular Ananda) which some have stated sound warmer than the normal in the other Ananda BT thread and tour/review threads.

Edit: I will admit that I remember preferring the sound of the preproduction HE-560 over the production model. But it’s been so long now that I couldn’t tell you what the major differences were.
 
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Jan 10, 2021 at 2:22 PM Post #3,013 of 4,312

HTSkywalker

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Interesting that he ranks the HE-560 v1 on par with the Ananda. To me, the Ananda is a clear step up to my 560 v2.

[/QUOTE]
Agree
 
Jan 10, 2021 at 3:36 PM Post #3,014 of 4,312

haasaaroni

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I’m only sporting a THX 789 with a Grace SDACB. If you got better depth and layering, I would definitely like to hear that.
I think your setup would explain the sibilance you're hearing too. The THX stuff can be a little aggressively bright and flat-sounding from what I've read (never heard any of them myself). It would make sense to me that you hear that wall of sound.

For me, comparing to the Ananda on my JDS Atom (which people say sounds a lot like the 789) to my GLite mk2 was like going from watching a movie on a screen to seeing a live production. Obviously the difference was more subtle than that. The GLite smoothed the highs just a tad, added some bass mojo, and gave a real sense of depth to the picture.

I'd recommend it if you can get your hands on one...they are going on sale like crazy on Head-fi these days, even with the new companion power supply. I feel like they have great synergy with the Ananda.
 
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Jan 11, 2021 at 9:42 PM Post #3,015 of 4,312

Brahmsian

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I’m not sure what the “V1” actually is to be honest. HiFiMan did have a set of HE-560 that utilized full wooden cups that was actually very warm and utilized different pads as well. It was considered pre-production, but were sent to a few Head-Fi’ers and reviewers. Everyone who had received one was required to send it back as they decided against the wooden ear cups instead opting for plastic ear cups with wooden veneer and a new ear pad design. My HE-560 are unmodified and old enough to still utilize the mini-coaxial connectors HiFiMan used to use. I’m been sort of out of it for a while, did HiFiMan ever revoice the HE-560 and rerelease it? I know they did change connectors to the 2.5mm auxiliary jacks at one point, but I don’t think that actually changed sound.

I’m currently running the Ananda BT (not regular Ananda) which some have stated sound warmer than the normal in the other Ananda BT thread and tour/review threads.

Edit: I will admit that I remember preferring the sound of the preproduction HE-560 over the production model. But it’s been so long now that I couldn’t tell you what the major differences were.
I have the 2.5 jacks. If it doesn’t refer to the one with the wood cups, v1 must refer to the one with the old connecters. Unless the 2.5 are still considered v1. DavidA did tell me that the old ones were different. This is what he wrote me some time ago: “Does your HE560 have the back plate? My HE560 and HE400i are the older SMC / back plate versions and there is a noticeable difference in the sound stage with the grill mod on both of them but the HE560 benefits more from the more open grills.” DavidA was nice enough to make a cable for my 560 after the stock one started having problems.
I think your setup would explain the sibilance you're hearing too. The THX stuff can be a little aggressively bright and flat-sounding from what I've read (never heard any of them myself). It would make sense to me that you hear that wall of sound.

For me, comparing to the Ananda on my JDS Atom (which people say sounds a lot like the 789) to my GLite mk2 was like going from watching a movie on a screen to seeing a live production. Obviously the difference was more subtle than that. The GLite smoothed the highs just a tad, added some bass mojo, and gave a real sense of depth to the picture.

I'd recommend it if you can get your hands on one...they are going on sale like crazy on Head-fi these days, even with the new companion power supply. I feel like they have great synergy with the Ananda.
I haven’t heard any sibilance with the Ananda, although you have to really like your treble to like these headphones. What saves them is that the treble is so silky.

I‘ll take a look at the GLite. Smoothing these already smooth highs and adding depth would be great. I considered getting the Arya precisely because they are said to have more layering and depth, but I also read that the treble on them was peaky.
 

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