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HIFIMAN Arya - Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by XERO1, Oct 5, 2018.
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  1. bagwell359
    Did you buy the HEX v2 new or used? If used you shouldn't take much of a beating. I don't believe there are any new ones around these days.

    HFM always discounts their cans - usually within 9-12 months of retiring them (some like the 560, 400*, seem to be on permanent sale.

    For the record, I don't like the Anada, finding the added "detail" to have to do with a bright treble, and finding them short of the harmonic richness and cohesion the HEX possesses in spades. Twenty years ago I would have said: bad digital vs good analog. HEX isn't perfect - like many planar speakers it is dynamically constricted, treble tails off a bit, details not pinpoint (Impressionism vs Kodachrome). I want to turn the HEX up, and turn the Anada down.

    The Arya is the best of the 3, but it is brighter than the recordings it plays.

    I've been a HFM guy for the past few years, but, the house sound is getting a little stale (HE6SE and HEKSE) both exceptions. HEX v1 and v2 are probably the outliers in terms of HFM "sound" - but only used or perhaps the Drop xx where you have to go for that.

    Waiting on the AMT headphones and a long weekend with the E2.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
  2. bagwell359
    Yes. I use nuggets to get the drivers pointing right in to my ears. I got silver cable for the extra def/shimmer. I'm probably going to tear out the protective fabric from the cups (did wonders for the HD-650) - but at some point it is what it is. One of 3 cans under $700 used I have found I can listen too over time.
  3. Toby Joe
    Thanks for the info on HFM lowering their pricing at about 9-12 months out from release as I am waiting to see what they re-price the Arya at. I’m actually new to the HFM cans this year and last week I purchased the HEX V2 (used) as well as the Ananda (new from HFM).

    I agree with you on the “harmonic richness and cohesion” of the HEX V2, and I consider it euphoric and relaxing, like sitting back in a nice comfy chair and saying, “Oh, that’s really nice.” The Ananda is not like this at all, the exact opposite really, as sound is literally flying all over the place and is exciting.

    Both my HEX V2 and Ananda are really accurate as I can point exactly where the placement is: 40 degrees right, 30 degrees behind left, 90 degrees behind right shoulder, directly above, directly in front, etc. Both headphones have that 3d sound like being in a sound bubble, where the room is the bubble. I swear I hear speakers in my ceiling, floor, and all four walls with both headphones; and I also swear I can hear reflections as well.

    I do know planar is a game changer for me as my first planar, the M1060, was my “OMG, what’s happening?” headphone and I just moved on to HFM as I enjoy them more. I researched the Drop XX, but I chose a used HEX V2 instead as I feel it better suited my likes more. I don’t own an HE6se, but I do own the HE5se, but I like the new voicing of headphones like the Sundara and 560 better. I thought I would like the “W” sound of the HE5se as it sounded like it would be a fun headphone, but I just can not get into it and I always choose one of the newer voicing headphones over the HE5se. I think HFM is moving away from the old HE5 sound, as well as the HEK (V1 and V2) sound as their line seems to be: Sundara, Ananda, Arya, and HEKse. I also listen to the Ananda and the HEX V2 at a lower volume than the Sundara or the 560 and I think is has to do with there being just so much more going on that the extra volume is not needed.

    Is your “impressionism vs. Kodachrome” statement a “real painting vs a picture” reference? Kind of like “Is it live, or is it Memorex?” If so, man I am totally diggin’ your reference as I’ve been thinking of the Ananda as a Jackson Pollack as stuff is everywhere. I would also say the HEX V2 is like a Wyland / Deshazo collaboration as it’s 50 /50 (warm / detail). Would you classify the HEKse and Arya as classical or impressionism?
    kid vic and sennfan83261 like this.
  4. bagwell359
    Can't criticize the Ananda on sound stage. Both it and the HEX are very tall, but not quite wide enough to remind me of an acoustic performance in a great Hall. The HE-500 does wide better, and the front is lower, so I like that a bit better.

    Not a fan of the HE5SE, 560 has too much brightness in the treble. I respect the Sundara, but won't buy one. IMO the Senn HD-600 is better.

    I have a HE5LE (built in '10), and finally heard an HE-4, but IMO the HE5SE has little to do with them technically.

    Those two are better than the 560 or Sundara no doubt.

    I was thinking of the close detail in impressionism - its just not there, it's a multi colored smudge. In a picture you get the detail. The thing that brought me to buying my first planar at the age of 22 is because of the soundstage, size of images, and the cohesion. There were piston speakers (or piston/ribbon) available at the same time with much more pin point detail, but missing staging, image size, and usually had unnatural bass - although getting lower was typical.

    Arya is good for jazz and classical, and well recorded rock/pop. HE6SE can do everything, but stock it's not nearly as pure as it needs for classical.
  5. arijitroy2
    I have the DX220 with the AMP8, bought a cheap 4.4mm balanced cable from Amazon to test the Aryas and I had to put them in High gain and volume upto 140 to get nice dynamics.

    But i wasn't quite satisfied with the pairing so went back to using RME with the Aryas that drives it really well! I don't think a DAP can properly push the Aryas.
    doboo57 likes this.
  6. VictorRad
    Thank you arijitroy2. Probably the mighty ibasso dx220 max will be enough when it releases.
  7. knopi
    Did you try some seperate amp with RME? When I had Mytek Brooklyn I tested some headphones and almost all did not sound good, only easier ones was acceptable like LCDX, Clear etc..
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
  8. doboo57
    I agree. After several testing, my DX220-Amp1 mk2 drive the Arya quite decently, but definitely not at their full potential (even balanced). Probably combining a DAP with a powerful portable external Amp could do a better job to drive them near their full potential…

    The only setup that I actually own which is sounding really great with the Arya is the Woo WA8, but it’s rather a desktop/transportable setup (not a very portable solution IMO and only have about 3-4 hours of battery life). I’ve heard good things about the Woo Topaz too (which can go balanced)… Both of them could be a great alternative to a high-end DAP if you can live with a shorter battery life and a stack…

    Other than that, I’m not sure that a single DAP without an external Amp can do 100% justice to the Arya the same way than great desktop gear. From what I’ve heard from many DAPs, you can have some pretty decent results, but don’t expect the very best from the Arya.

    Hope it can help.
    arijitroy2 likes this.
  9. arijitroy2
    I didn't have the need to be really honest. I have looked around at getting amp like the spl phonitor x, but i dont think it's really needed.

    RME has a lot of juice and plays every headphones really well.
    knopi likes this.
  10. sennfan83261
    I have to agree that the HE-500 sounds wider than the Ananda. To me, the Ananda (loaner unit) seems to push a lot of detail forward such that, for some recordings, it seems that the instruments, although layered, sounds like they occupy, or are close to, the same plane. It is like the soundstage of the Ananda lacks depth when driven on THX AAA 789 and the Magni 3 (both SE), maybe a by-product of its "tallness". I have some spare 3.5mm connectors and I'm thinking about making a balanced cable to see if running the Ananda balanced would improve matters.
  11. bagwell359
    Good idea. Check the amp specs for SE vs XLR - that might tell you something.
  12. goaud27

    I am currently driving Arya from SE 3.5 mm of HM R2R2k Red. After listening to the same song and switching between Low and High Gain I can notice little changes besides the volume level: sound is somehow more engaging on High Gain, it has more shape into it, and the sound is overall mightier and more interesting. Not sure which technical aspects are responsible for the change, since I can easily make Arya loud enough even at Low Gain.

    Is it that the amplifier can only provide e.g. 90mW at 20 Hz, while easily reaches 100 mW at 1 kHz? Then going to High Gain makes it let's say 95 mW at 20 Hz, 100 mW at 1kHz? And a desktop amplifier finally reaches 100 mW at 20 Hz, and all other frequencies, and that's what full potential is, technically?

    In any case, looking forward to receiving the balanced cable and checking if there is even further improvement
  13. Toby Joe
    That’s awesome that you’re switching from a standard plug to an XLR and will post about the changes, which I really looking forward to hearing your results.

    For me, I have the THX AAA 788, and the sound literally exploded when I switch from quarter plug to XLR, and I don’t just mean a volume increase, I mean the sound EXPLODED. The depth, dimension, clarity, separation, sound stage, realism, and everything else just became HUGE and I had never experienced anything like this from a simple cable swap; so I think the amp internals are designed to be used XLR (look at the amp spec’s) and the quarter plug is just for headphones that can not be used with an XLR.

    As I said, I’m really interested in hearing your results and I wonder if you’re going to have the “eye opening experience” just like I did. With you using the 789, I bet it’s the same results as my 788, but we’ll wait and see what you say in your conclusions. Btw, because of all of the differences, I only use XLR.
  14. Dexon
    That has nothing to do with a cable, you went from 1360mw to 3120mw and thats it.
  15. SilverEars
    That is my impression as well. Spatially tall, but the older ones like HE-500 and HE-6 do sound stage wide. I really like those old drivers.

    HD800 is spatially with some wideness, but spatially feels oval vagina shape. Lol. Does feel spacious though. I think the subdued sound in the space comparatively to standout treble contributes to this space.

    HE-6 wide space feels more layered with more precise decay disappearance. These planars tend to have a more bell like clarity with the decay. On the HD800 mids sounds don't seem to attack as hard for such clarity although airy sounds in the treble have high clarity if the amp drive the treble to be tight.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019
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