HIFIMAN Arya (& 2021 Stealth Magnet version) - Impressions Thread
Nov 12, 2021 at 4:57 PM Post #5,881 of 7,534

phthora

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I have a technical question. If I buy a desktop dac and I connect my Hiby dap (music library/source) with the dac and from there into an amp is it still possible to EQ the music using the Hiby? Is the music although EQed still digital?

There is always variation from DAP to DAP, so you may want to ask on the Hiby thread. That said, when using a computer as a transport, you can still apply EQ in the digital domain before sending it off to the DAC. So, it is possible to do with some DAPs (like mine, I believe) and may be a very common feature.

The stealth version of the Arya is pretty easy to drive from a dap. Even SE. I still ask myself if it makes sense to invest into a Hugo2 (no USB C in 2021???) or Gustard x26/h16 combo or an RME ADI? I understand the benefit of an DAC/Amp if you have an 300ohm headphone....

Amps tend to list wattage in their specs because that's a product of current and voltage, but that overall power rating is not the whole story. Some headphones require proportionately more voltage than current (such as high impedance dynamics), while some headphones require proportionately more current than voltage (such as most planars). Some amps do significantly better with one over the other. In the end, the actual amount of wattage needed by the headphones is usually fairly small, just several mW. Much more important is HOW the power is delivered. Not just whether it tends towards delivering more current or voltage proportionately, but also how cleanly it can deliver that power, with how much distortion and what kinds of distortion, how effectively in handles abrupt changes in output, how well it is grounded and isolated from mains hum, and so on. Desktop rigs have a huge advantage in achieving good results in those areas simply because they do not have to deal with certain engineering issues, like miniaturization and power efficiency, that DAPs must deal with. Often they can also entirely omit features that people see as critical in a DAP (like screens or wi-fi connectivity). Because of that, your money goes further with desktop gear. At least when it comes to pure sound quality.

Of course, how much of a priority that is to you is something you'll need to decide. Personally, I found it worthwhile to spend a silly amount of money on a DAC and amp, even though I don't recommend that approach to everyone. It simply isn't necessary to spend that kind of money for excellent sound. Instead, my recommendation is: get your ears on something reasonable and start there. Whether you own it or just demo it, that should settle the question of whether it's worth it to have an amp once and for all. And, it should give you a sense of what you want to get out of an amp.
 
Nov 12, 2021 at 5:13 PM Post #5,882 of 7,534

tommykrebs

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Thank you for your time, phthora. This was very helpfull. So, I can start maybe with an ADI-2 and send it back to Thomann if there is no improvement over the Hiby? In the end there is no risk. I know, the hugo 2 has a good reputation but I think it's a bit outdated. Any other recommendation between 1000-3000€? The market is so huge.
 
Nov 12, 2021 at 5:23 PM Post #5,883 of 7,534

phthora

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Thank you for your time, phthora. This was very helpfull. So, I can start maybe with an ADI-2 and send it back to Thomann if there is no improvement over the Hiby? In the end there is no risk. I know, the hugo 2 has a good reputation but I think it's a bit outdated. Any other recommendation between 1000-3000€? The market is so huge.

For the amp, it depends on what you want out of the Arya. If you want to accentuate its detail, resolution, and clarity, you might want to look at a THX amp or the Topping A90. If you want to give the sound some more heft and impact, you may want to look into a class-A amp, maybe something like an Audio-gd or Flux. If you want to accentuate soundstage, imaging, and mids, a tube amp can be a good way to go. I've heard great results out of a Liquid Platinum and a WA22. Of course, the specific tubes used also matter. The range of options is fortunately/unfortunately huge. Lots of people have gone into specifics about these options on this thread, so read around a bit. My own amp experience is more limited than many, and I seem to be in the minority in preferring a THX amp with the Arya. Seems like most people like a class-A pairing best. So, best to seek a second opinion, or several, anyway.
 
Nov 12, 2021 at 10:20 PM Post #5,884 of 7,534

ezduzit2500

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The stealth version of the Arya is pretty easy to drive from a dap. Even SE. I still ask myself if it makes sense to invest into a Hugo2 (no USB C in 2021???) or Gustard x26/h16 combo or an RME ADI? I understand the benefit of an DAC/Amp if you have an 300ohm headphone....
I vote Gustard from my experience with the H20. The Arya does like class A amps that aren't overly or annoyingly bright and sterile, IMO. The X16/H16 stack looks pretty sweet and won't bust your budget (especially for your first desktop setup). The H16 has a preamp and a remote too. Schiit has some good offerings also, IMO.
 
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Nov 12, 2021 at 11:02 PM Post #5,885 of 7,534

Thetaburn

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I think my Hiby R6 pro has enough power to drive the (Stealth) Arya's and therefore there is no need for further amplification. I will send the xDuoo back. I will instead buy an balanced cable for the Arya's and my Hiby. Any (maybe AE or Amazon) recommendations for an 4.4 after market bal cable?

Is this OK?
I have returned a thin silver plated cable before, and did not like it. The sound was thin and the treble was slightly raised.
I personally use a 16 core, OCC copper cable to 4.4mm balanced from Ebay. Cost about 50 Cad. Not the best but it is better than the thin silver plated ones.
 
Nov 13, 2021 at 9:11 AM Post #5,886 of 7,534

BenSherman

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Still after 100s hours of listening, I am blown away. When you get an Arya, get the A90, the Arya responds extremely well to quality amplification. The soundstage has so much depth, width and height: instruments fly 3D around and in front of my head. Not many headphones can stage/image like the Arya
What DAC do you use in your setup please?
 
Nov 13, 2021 at 11:30 AM Post #5,887 of 7,534

Dobrescu George

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The stealth version of the Arya is pretty easy to drive from a dap. Even SE. I still ask myself if it makes sense to invest into a Hugo2 (no USB C in 2021???) or Gustard x26/h16 combo or an RME ADI? I understand the benefit of an DAC/Amp if you have an 300ohm headphone....

You can benefit from a DAC/AMp if your DAP is lower level regardless of the impedance. If you have something like DX300 / Lotoo Paw 6K / SE180, you probably don't need a DAC/AMP, or rather it won't improve your experience that much.

I would not get Hugo 2 with no TypeC in 2021, they are making a Mojo 2 with TypeC to be released at the beginning of next year, and around that price there are some great other options too :)

I personally have been using the Cyrus One Cast ridiculously much lately, I like how it sounds and works as the main DAC/AMP for my PC .
 
Nov 13, 2021 at 12:43 PM Post #5,888 of 7,534

tommykrebs

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You can benefit from a DAC/AMp if your DAP is lower level regardless of the impedance. If you have something like DX300 / Lotoo Paw 6K / SE180, you probably don't need a DAC/AMP, or rather it won't improve your experience that much.

I would not get Hugo 2 with no TypeC in 2021, they are making a Mojo 2 with TypeC to be released at the beginning of next year, and around that price there are some great other options too :)

I personally have been using the Cyrus One Cast ridiculously much lately, I like how it sounds and works as the main DAC/AMP for my PC .
Today is the second day with the Aray's and I'm still blown away how good they sound. (I come from the UM Mest and I don't miss a huge sound stage) I ordered a balanced cable and im interested if the 750mW balanced output from my Hiby R6 pro will change something audible. And someone here tried the stealth version with the RS6 and I'm wondering if this could be a good pairing because the RS6 supposed to be smoother.
 
Nov 13, 2021 at 5:03 PM Post #5,890 of 7,534

haasaaroni

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The Arya sound amazing. Unfortunately I realise that most of my library are bad recordings. haha :)
That’s a thing the Arya will make you realize lol

Also a big reason why I have an Aeolus. You need your good recordings ‘phones and bad recordings ‘phones.
 
Nov 13, 2021 at 6:30 PM Post #5,892 of 7,534

cactus_farmer

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Has anyone heard compared the 2021 LCD-X to the Stealth Magnet Arya?

It used to be the case that if you wanted warm, intense and dynamic you went with the LCD-X, and if you wanted bright, airy and holographic you went for the Arya.

However, now the latest version of the LCD-X seems to be brighter in the upper mids and slightly less dynamic whereas the latest version of the Arya seems to have gained in dynamics, become warmer, and lost depth and width to the soundstage.

In other words; the two headphones seem to be morphing into each other - which is a bit of a shame. Are the two of them now even different enough sounding to warrant owning both?
 
Nov 13, 2021 at 6:45 PM Post #5,893 of 7,534

Reputator

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Has anyone heard compared the 2021 LCD-X to the Stealth Magnet Arya?

It used to be the case that if you wanted warm, intense and dynamic you went with the LCD-X, and if you wanted bright, airy and holographic you went for the Arya.

However, now the latest version of the LCD-X seems to be brighter in the upper mids and slightly less dynamic whereas the latest version of the Arya seems to have gained in dynamics, become warmer, and lost depth and width to the soundstage.

In other words; the two headphones seem to be morphing into each other - which is a bit of a shame. Are the two of them now even different enough sounding to warrant owning both?

Not sure if it helps but this impressions video does a comparison (I timestamped it):

 
Nov 13, 2021 at 7:36 PM Post #5,895 of 7,534

haasaaroni

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Also, is the Stealth Arya's soundstage even any wider/deeper than the Ananda's soundstage now?
To be honest, I don’t hear any difference in width or depth from the previous version of the Arya. It should definitely still have a significant advantage over the Ananda.
 

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