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That was beautiful! You sell yourself short. That helped a lot. Thanks!
Wow, thank you!
I think that we can almost confirm that the Arya is the HEKv3 and the Ananda really is HEXv3. Gotta love hifimans update cycle and name games. One of my local shops has the Ananda and I'll see if they can bring in the Arya. I really want to hear the Arya seeing as if it truly is the HEK drivers at $1,600 it's probably the king of hifimans lineup and FINALLY a great hifiman flagship purchase. Too bad we had to wait 2 generations for it though.
In the Ananda thread at least 2 people said that the Arya and Ananda sounded identical which made no sense but would kind of fit hifiman business practices.
I think the new lineup (HE400i- HE560se- Sundara- Ananda- HE6se- Arya- HE1000se- Susvara in ascending price order) finally makes sense and has almost no redundancies!
I'm guessing he's trying to avoid the complaints arose from just calling them new versions, making it sound like updates. It's possible he's tweaking the drivers on the fly, and in order to avoid the complaints from people, he's giving them names to make the headphones seem brand new, but in reality they must be just updates without calling them V3, etc... (this is just speculation) As he is coming up with new driver technology, he's probably reducing prices on the past driver tech (with exception of the the rehash of the old models, HE6SE, etc..), by giving them names and changing the look (Arya).
Or he's trying to sell more by reducing the price. It's possible the people weren't biting the prices of HEK and HEX. So, he just essentially give them names to make them seem like different headphones, but essentially the same with lower prices.
Here's proof that he's makes changes as time goes by http://www.hifiman.com/products/detail/268 Like the headband notches, yoke, and pads (size and materials).
Based on the spec (impedance and sensitivity), Arya falls in the HEK family (35 ohms, 90 dB), and Ananda is part of the HEX family (25 ohms, 103 dB).
Great post. I agree re the ananda sound/mids.
Did Mark offer anything re arya v he6se?
I don’t think the Ananda is the successor to the Edition X V2, even though they do sound similar. The HEX V2 is the smoothest headphone in the entire Hifiman lineup, but the Ananda has an upper mid/treble peak that is quite annoying. It is even brighter than the HEK to my ears. I think the Ananda is actually the improved 560, which is one of the brightest headphones ever made by Hifiman. And I think the Arya is the improved HEX V2, because it is described as very smooth but detailed. If you look at the Arya headband, it says HE1000X on it. That sounds like a combination of the Edition X and HEK. I think the lineup goes like this:
HEK V2—>HEK SE
Either way, Fang is bat sh$@ crazy but he makes good sounding headphones.
It is funny you guys are trying to make sense of this.
I haven't heard the Ananda or Arya yet but all things (thus far) seem to indicate that the Ananda is closer to the HEX; I can imagine some re-tuning occurred to make the Ananda happen but it makes so little sense for them to tune the Arya to defer from the HEK sound drastically but then indicate multiple times that its "closely related to" the HEK. I want to think Fang wouldn't clutter his own line that much more on top of where it currently is. Plus the review video above states that in direct comparison the Arya and the HE1000se sound the same (I imagine there are some fine differences though), that kind of ruins your lineage model above.
I've seen people describe the HEK as smooth and detailed plus that's precisely how I would describe it so I imagine that your preference is to avoid that kind of peak. Maybe the tuning that they did to the Ananda involved an increase in treble? Impressions from the Ananda thread confirm that but say it stays true to the overall HEX signature. I love AKG and Sony headphones which are notorious for that exact mid/treble hotness, I didn't like the HE560 though; maybe your just slightly more sensitive to that peak than I?
Unfortunately not, and I didn't think to ask.
I agree with your ordering of HiFiMan's current lineup, but I don't think the Arya is an improved HEX-V2. Its drivers are bigger - essentially a retuned HEK driver. I'm beginning to think the Arya is essentially the HEK-V3, without the fancy wood and stainless. I suspect that, if reviews are ever released, it'll be proven to sound exactly like the HEK-V1 or V2. It may just be a way for HiFiMan to sell more headphones.
Noticed that the used prices on the HEK V2 are dropping into new Arya territory. One of the comments on the Arya is that the lower mids are a bit short on detail. Wonder how these two cans stack up re each other?
Either you add the HE5se or take out the 6se - both are claimed to be limited editions. I still think there is too much of a gap between the Sundara and Ananda, maybe where the MD X and a re-release of the HE-500 fit?
Fair play, I'd the the HE6se out then. I really want an HE-5XX or something as well actually! Probably wouldnt buy it unless my HE-500 packed it in but id still love to see it
I keep trying to find another pair of HE-500's in case mine ever buy the farm. But then that will hold me back from me from getting the dough together for a pair of HFM's which could outdo the 500's - the Arya's or the HEK V2's.
A pair sold here for $295 free shipping in CONUS like 2 days ago. They pop up pretty regularly....