HIFIMAN Arya - Impressions Thread
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Newk Yuler

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What are your first impressions? You will be allowed to change them later......
My first impression is "Is this what $1600 headphones are suppose to sound like?" I have no reference. It's certainly good (probably very good) and seems to perform as well as folks have described in this thread but it doesn't put me in awe of heavenly sound quality. Beyond that I see an issue with telling you what I think when you can't really know how I'm driving them, and I think that explanation should come with the critique. FWIW my only practical experience is with a recently acquired set of HE4XX when a need for headphones came about. Then I found myself wondering a lot about how much better it could get and how much I was willing to spend on finding out. I have an issue with Arya that I think makes it worth spending another $140 to discover how silver plated conductors in the headphone cable might affect the sound for the better. I think Arya could use more sparkle and extension in the top. But that's in my system and I won't be taking the headphones elsewhere. It's an issue that others in this thread have mentioned about Arya then said higher models have superior extension. To which I say 'meh'. Also, I stopped using equalization to compensate for system inadequacies in the 1980s.

I prefer listening to my office ambient system to using headphones. I love sitting across from it and hearing the 3D spatial stuff filling the room. Saying that requires talking about the music I like and what I've done with the system to eliminate digital jitter issues which it isn't the time or place to go into detail. I'm from the decade-plus old Steve Nugent school that states your stereo image isn't optimized with crap in the digital stream between the source and DAC. I realize audiophile component companies have come a long way to resolving jitter problems in the last decade but I'll still bet there are a majority of Headfi participants who really have no idea how good or bad they have it. The subject belongs in another thread anyway, but it's relevant to Arya's performance. I'm not going to go into all that stuff for the time being. Maybe not at all.

I'll be back with a critique after I receive the Amplifier Surgery cable and let it run for some days.

Edit. I've nearly decided to get an RME ADI-2 DAC. Another very high value component that will be a straight forward source and help a lot with an accurate critique of Arya. I'm surprised the RME hasn't blown up Headfi. It looks like an excellent and respectable headphone DAC-amp for a very reasonable price.
 
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konami

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This kind of headphones is cool. I use them already for two weeks. They work fine and the sound had hiqh quality. I got this headphones when opened a surprise box here https://drakemall.com/ Next time I want to get some cool stuff too.
 
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GigaGram

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The Arya, its driver shares very much with the HE1000v1, its headband and cups are the same as the Edition X v2. The cups contribute a sonic difference, not a vast change but they do alter things. The driver itself is very close to the old 1000v1 but as time and tech progress they are not as hard to make as they once were and at a significantly reduced retail price there is a slight increase in the tolerance limits, so head to head to head with an HE1000v1 its not quite exactly as good but it gets sonically close, as listeners can attest to.

HE1000se, well the driver is not "new" as there is no driver per say. The Diaphragm is new from the v2, its thinner and its lighter by a good margin. The other key alteration is the magnets, they are similar in what they are made from as the 1000v2 but as promoted they are the same "Stealth Magnet" design as was developed for the Susvara. The se in that sense has newer tech inside it and thats why it sounds both better than the v2 and it can do it with a hugely reduced thirst for power.
Interesting reply from HiFiMan in the HE1000se thread. What do you guys think? I find it curious that they are differentiating the driver as most similar to the HE1000v1 as opposed to the HE1000v2. From my understanding the v2 made no changes to the actual drivers of the v1; only the headband, cups, pads, and cable were updated.
 
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Wifiman

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Interesting reply from HiFiMan in the HE1000se thread. What do you guys think? I find it curious that they are differentiating the driver as most similar to the HE1000v1 as opposed to the HE1000v2. From my understanding the v2 made no changes to the actual drivers of the v1; only the headband, cups, pads, and cable were updated.
IMO the drivers are all the same. All the official Chinese Hifiman reviews (Quoted by the official Hifiman account) state the drivers of the Arya are the same as the he1000v2.
 
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mixman

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Well if you read later on he says there are no "drivers" per say. I think while he uses the word driver so people can understand, he means more so components.....magnets, strength of magnets so forth.
 
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franz12

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Confusion is compounding. I guess loosely speaking in this case, driver =~ diaphragm
 
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mixman

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The Arya, its driver shares very much with the HE1000v1, its headband and cups are the same as the Edition X v2. The cups contribute a sonic difference, not a vast change but they do alter things. The driver itself is very close to the old 1000v1 but as time and tech progress they are not as hard to make as they once were and at a significantly reduced retail price there is a slight increase in the tolerance limits, so head to head to head with an HE1000v1 its not quite exactly as good but it gets sonically close, as listeners can attest to.
The part in bold is news to me. I always thought it was close to a V2, now to realize it's not even a V1, only close sonically. Do any former HEK owners have any comments about this statement?
 
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Hifiearspeakers

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The part in bold is news to me. I always thought it was close to a V2, now to realize it's not even a V1, only close sonically. Do any former HEK owners have any comments about this statement?
I said that exact thing in an earlier post. The Arya sounded very similar to the HEK V1 to me. The HEK V2 has smoother treble than both, tighter bass, and even better layering and imaging.

But I don’t know if I posted it here or in the Ananda thread.
 
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mixman

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I said that exact thing in an earlier post. The Arya sounded very similar to the HEK V1 to me. The HEK V2 has smoother treble than both, tighter bass, and even better layering and imaging.

But I don’t know if I posted it here or in the Ananda thread.
Yes you did, and I think you were the only one that pointed out that the Arya sounded closer to a V1 than a V2, but I think most here, including myself, had the general assumption that the Arya was closer to a V2.
 
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The Clear and Auteur are neutral-ish, but the Auteur has more mids, while the Clear has a thinner, brighter sound. I could see calling the Auteur neutral (or not) depending upon what one considers neutral. The Atticus, for example, is decidedly not neutral. While I think the Auteur is the obviously better headphone, the tuning of the Atticus is pretty magical and may push a lot of people to think it's technically better.

Wish I could tell you about the Aryas. Maybe in 6 months...
It seems that you changed your signature. Do you like the Clear more than the Auteur?
 
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phthora

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It seems that you changed your signature. Do you like the Clear more than the Auteur?
Nah. I just can't commit to one headphone for very long. Often not even through a whole listening session. The Clear had been getting so much head-time lately because it happens to pair very nicely with my portable/work rig (iFi Black Label). The Auteur fell off the top spot just because, in the words of Robert Plant, it's time to ramble on. I'm not sure I could ever pick between the two permanently. I could go down the list of "this one's better at this, that one's better at that," but ultimately they are both transcendent to listen to and the particular personality of each headphone stands out more distinctly when returning to them after some time away.
 
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franz12

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Nah. I just can't commit to one headphone for very long. Often not even through a whole listening session. The Clear had been getting so much head-time lately because it happens to pair very nicely with my portable/work rig (iFi Black Label). The Auteur fell off the top spot just because, in the words of Robert Plant, it's time to ramble on. I'm not sure I could ever pick between the two permanently. I could go down the list of "this one's better at this, that one's better at that," but ultimately they are both transcendent to listen to and the particular personality of each headphone stands out more distinctly when returning to them after some time away.
That's fair enough. I thought I cannot live without the Utopia, but then I sold it. After a few days, I thought my Ether C Flow is more enjoyable than the Utopia. Then my curiosity has grown, letting my gears go, and a he1000se is on the way now..as someone told me that if I liked the clear, hekse will wow me..
 
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When I compared the Arya and HEKv2 found HEkv2 more open sound.
 
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hemtmaker

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Either HiFiman has been lying about the changes in V2 compared to V1, or he has no idea what he is talking about.
 
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GigaGram

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Either HiFiman has been lying about the changes in V2 compared to V1, or he has no idea what he is talking about.
I'm with you on this one. The he1000v2 has the same diaphragm/driver as the he1000v1. If they were changing the internals of the headphone they would have renamed it and they certainly wouldn't have run an upgrade program. The he1000v2 slims the cups to reduce bulk/weight, increases the number of adjustment slots on the headband, comes with a different cable, and swaps the pads. The hexv2 has the he1000v2 headband and pads, and the same sized cups as the he1000v1. Put the he1000v1/2 diaphragm/driver in an hexv2 and you get the Arya. Tonal differences should be relatively minor.
 
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