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HIFIMAN Arya - Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by XERO1, Oct 5, 2018.
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  1. MaxPowerZ
    While I'm just as excited as a lot of people here to figure out how HifiMan differentiates their product line, we should try to remember that the driver is just one part of that. Take the Focal Elear and Clear as an example, a tweaked driver and different pads made the Clear significantly better than it's predecessor. Admittedly, HifiMan brought this on themselves thanks to their advertising, constantly shifting product line and that comment about the Susvara costing 6K because it sounds good. To be fair, I speculate that HifiMan makes a new product whenever they make significant improvements in manufacturing or come up with a tweak they want to implement. Audeze does this every few years, but don't change model names and Mr. Speakers makes upgrades available for older models. Keeping up with the market and keeping existing costumers happy is very difficult.

    I'm interested in the Arya because I really liked what the HE1000 was capable of in terms of low end extension, imaging and resolution, but the treble was too elevated. The measurements of the Sundara, Susvara and Ananda seems to indicate that they're targeting something akin to the Harmon target response curve these days, which would be perfect for my preference.
  2. thecrow
    The Ananda (to me in sound) was more a of a decent size tweak (than a rebadge) of what the x2 offered
  3. Skycyclepilot
    Well, Frans listed the magnet structures as being different sizes. Not sure if that was an error, change in how he measured, or if the drivers truly are different between the two.
  4. Inspek2orgadget
    I do prefer these to the HD 800's. Much better bass extension by comparison. Soundstage isn't quite as expansive, but what is compared to the HD 800's? Resolution on both is among the best I've heard.
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  5. kid vic
    I often see people selling HEKv1s with v2 pads and I'm pretty sure there is/was a thread where someone compared the v1s with v2 pads vs a v2 and found the sound was identical. With that being said, can you put v1 pads on an Arya and get that more visceral bassy sound and the (some people have indicated potentially) more aggressive treble of the Arya? To me that could be interesting.
  6. hemtmaker
    Did you find out if the scratches are normal? Looks like part of the grill is also scratched..
  7. Skycyclepilot
    Mark at HiFiMan says that that is just how the magnets look after manufacturing, that it is normal, and that it has no effect on the sound. Keep in mind that this picture is an extreme closeup under strong light. What you are seeing on the grill is just dust. It isn't even visible to the naked eye. The scratches are just barely visible to the naked eye when viewed under strong light.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
    MaxPowerZ likes this.
  8. hemtmaker
    I see. Good to hear :)
  9. carlosgab
    First Arya video review I have found so far.

  10. Napilopez
    Since I haven't seen any measurements for the Arya yet, here are some I made earlier today. Please note this is with the MiniDSP EARS, which is not an industry standard tool, so it's only really useful for comparison purposes. Compared vs the Focal Clear as it's something else popular in its price range. This is using the MiniDSP EARS' HEQ Calibration. 1/12 Octave smoothing, and note I measured from 10 hz to 22k:

    Arya Clear.jpg

    Looks very similar to the measurements I've seen for the HE1000, and it's a highly appealing calibration overall.

    And here it is vs the Meze 99 Neo for another popular point of reference.
    Neo Arya.jpg

    And here's the RAW - but note that the Ears has a spike around 4.5k on almost every headphone. The HEQ calibration is closer to what I hear.
    Arya RAW v clear.jpg
  11. kid vic
    I guess this is confirmation that the Arya uses the HEK drivers
    carlosgab likes this.
  12. CoFire
    Thanks for posting the review. So any information is good information, but I feel a little confused.

    HEX V2 (I own) - good low end, subbass, laid back but not lacking detail, high end hardly ever if not ever strident, very musical, very easy to drive, scalability with amping questionable, some say maybe too smooth.

    Ananda (not owned or heard, just impression from reading) - compared to HEX V2, a little less mid bass, a little more treble where in some cases, treble is a tad brighter, soundstage slightly smaller, still musical, harder to drive, same detail and dynamics.

    HE1K V2 - (from reading lots of impressions) fairly hard to drive, compared to HEX V2, a little more extension on both ends, more detail, less mid bass, treble can be a bit bright, soundstage larger.

    So I gather the HEX V2 is the laid back one, say 95% of the HEK V2, the Ananda closer to the HEK V2 at 97.5% (% only there to illustrate these are all close) and now we have the HEKSE and Arya which from what I've read, the Arya is more of a HEX V3 than the Ananda was touted to be as was also alluded to in the video.

    So if the Arya and HEKSE are nearly identical in sound (awesome for perspective Arya owners), does that mean the newer Hifiman sound is trending darker like the HEX V2?

    A good review but unfortunately most of the sound comparison focused on the Arya vs HD800S rather than the Arya and the other Hifiman siblings, probably because that's an easier comparison.

    As an HEX V2, I'd rather hear a comparison to the siblings to see where it falls. Really interested if the Arya falls more in line with the HEX V2 or is brighter with less bass as most other cans in line seem to be.
  13. Skycyclepilot
    Thanks for this. I have the Arya, and I really like how they sound.
  14. Hifiearspeakers
    Would you post some of your impressions of them?
  15. Skycyclepilot
    Okay, but I'm rather new to the headphones side of the audiophile world, and don't have a lot of experience with many of the popular headphones out there. I've had a pair of He400i headphones for a couple of years, and have owned a pair of Oppo PM3s, and briefly owned a pair of Anandas. I love the planar sound.

    The Arya sounds similar in frequency response to the He400i, but with much, much better bass, and a far more open sound stage. They are basically neutral from extremely low to extremely high frequencies, with no one area of the frequency response standing out. They are the first planars I've heard that actually have satisfying bass.

    The midrange is smooth and neutral. I found the mids on the Ananda too forward. Instruments such as saxophones and female vocals were quite forward, and sounded great, due to an emphasis in the upper mids and lower treble, but that emphasis carried over to classic rock recordings, making them sound piercing - frankly, the Ananda just didn't work on classic rock for me. Those same instruments and vocals are more recessed on the Arya - more balanced. I imagine some might not like that.

    I'm 57, and can't hear beyond about 10 KHz, but the treble I can hear is smooth and again, balanced. There are no sharp peaks, tizziness, or jagged sibilance.

    For me, these are end-game headphones, especially for the classical I listen to most. They have a pleasant, accurate, smooth, balanced sound that is easy to enjoy with any type of music. I'm picky, and I have no real complaints. They are big, and I don't see them fitting anyone with a smaller head. I'm over six feet tall, and have the band adjusted to the second notch from the smallest setting. I love the headband design. It's really comfortable.

    Mark at HiFiMan confirmed that the drivers in the Arya "owe a lot" to the drivers in the HE1000 and HE1000-V2. The drivers in all three of those headphones are the same size, as are the magnet structures - 65 X 100 mm. That's larger than the drivers in the Ananda, Sundara, and Edition X, and I think that explains the better bass and balance. The magnets themselves may be slightly redesigned, supposedly for the better. Rumor has it that the Arya was originally going to be called the HE1000X, which would make them basically the third version of the HE1000 - and for $1,600, that is a huge statement. I'd love to hear an honest comparison to the He1000-V2.

    Mark also told me that, if I ever decided to upgrade, I would be wasting my money unless I moved up to at least the HE1000se...
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
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