Hifiman Sundara (HE400i upgraded, around $500)
Jul 12, 2020 at 9:07 AM Post #2,611 of 3,822

malazz123

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went to the shop --> blind purchase --> it's time to retire my old 400i
definitely an upgrade from it , works well with my ifi imicro bl although to my ears a little bit bright at certain songs ( @ ifi setting 3D ON ) once 3D off and the Xbass takes over and WOW.... i just can;t put into words ...

i can;t imagine if i got the ananda or arya ...

thanks headfi
 
Jul 13, 2020 at 2:35 PM Post #2,612 of 3,822

Mozbach

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The Meze 2.5mm balanced cable is a good pairing? Not a huge fan of the plastic cable ergonomics

Edit: Nevermind these are more than likely going to have to be returned, the right ear connector cable appears to have a short. Would love to be able to review them but I am not going down the road with shotty build quality

Hi

The Sundara headphones (i bought) have the 3.5mm 'TRS' connects for each side driver (L&R). The meze jacks are 3.5mm 'TS' jacks. Maybe that might be causing the problem? Im trying to fig. out a 2.5mm balanced cable for myself as well!
 
Jul 13, 2020 at 4:36 PM Post #2,613 of 3,822

JamminVMI

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Hi

The Sundara headphones (i bought) have the 3.5mm 'TRS' connects for each side driver (L&R). The meze jacks are 3.5mm 'TS' jacks. Maybe that might be causing the problem? Im trying to fig. out a 2.5mm balanced cable for myself as well!
Shouldn’t be an issue. If you think about it, you only need two conductors per driver, so TS is all you need - and I think HiFiMan must‘ve gotten one hell of a deal on TRS male connectors if they bought half a million or so. My cables from Periapt are TS and work great.
 
Jul 13, 2020 at 4:39 PM Post #2,614 of 3,822

Mozbach

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Shouldn’t be an issue. If you think about it, you only need two conductors per driver, so TS is all you need - and I think HiFiMan must‘ve gotten one hell of a deal on TRS male connectors if they bought half a million or so. My cables from Periapt are TS and work great.
Yes even the trs Jack's only use the top and sleeve sections..
 
Jul 20, 2020 at 4:54 AM Post #2,616 of 3,822
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Hey guys, sorry if stupid question but if I order these from ebay (hifimanofficial as seller) does it come with any warranty?
Hi there,

Please be assured that the seller named hifimanofficial is our official store on eBay, if you purchase headphones there, the products will be covered by our warranty. :)

April
 
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Jul 20, 2020 at 6:36 PM Post #2,617 of 3,822

designbykai

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Hi guys,

Has anyone specifically owned/compared Focal Elex vs Hifiman Sundara? Pretty big price difference (almost 2x).. I prefer the build and looks of Elex and they sound like a perfect open monitoring/reference headphone.. But Sundara also seem to have similar tuning/purpose and probably that Planar magnetic oomph/weight? (Last pair I owned was HE400 many years ago..very uncomfortable though). I'm specifically interested in the bass quality/quantity between the two...also I have a feeling that the Elex will have a wider soundstage?

I'm wondering which would be better for critical listening, producing/mixing music etc.
 
Jul 20, 2020 at 8:58 PM Post #2,618 of 3,822

descloud

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Hi guys,

Has anyone specifically owned/compared Focal Elex vs Hifiman Sundara? Pretty big price difference (almost 2x).. I prefer the build and looks of Elex and they sound like a perfect open monitoring/reference headphone.. But Sundara also seem to have similar tuning/purpose and probably that Planar magnetic oomph/weight? (Last pair I owned was HE400 many years ago..very uncomfortable though). I'm specifically interested in the bass quality/quantity between the two...also I have a feeling that the Elex will have a wider soundstage?

I'm wondering which would be better for critical listening, producing/mixing music etc.
Assuming the Focal Elex is similar in tonal balance with the Focal Clear and just a step down in technicalities, you could read this audio engineer's comparison review. Based on this OP's comparison, the Clear appears to be more accurate for producing/mixing music, which I would assume translates to the Elex with a step-down in technicalities. But IMO, the Sundara would be a good alternative for critical listening as well given. (Apologies as I can't give my impressions as I have tried neither, but trying to help by giving references).
 
Jul 20, 2020 at 9:54 PM Post #2,619 of 3,822

bagwell359

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Assuming the Focal Elex is similar in tonal balance with the Focal Clear and just a step down in technicalities, you could read this audio engineer's comparison review. Based on this OP's comparison, the Clear appears to be more accurate for producing/mixing music, which I would assume translates to the Elex with a step-down in technicalities. But IMO, the Sundara would be a good alternative for critical listening as well given. (Apologies as I can't give my impressions as I have tried neither, but trying to help by giving references).

Focal Clear is IMO far and away the best can they make - yes including the crazy expensive stuff.

Elex is about 88% of the Clears. If you can swing a used Clear that would be the best value, then a new Elex.
 
Jul 23, 2020 at 12:41 AM Post #2,620 of 3,822

Chu

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Just got a new set of Sundara's back from Hifiman after having to return one set due to a QA issue with the headband. Plugged into the amp they were dead quiet. Spent about half an hour auditioning various tracks at a volume that honestly is louder than I should be.

Then I turned the music off, but left them plug into my amp. And now the left driver is "crackling". It's like there is a little elf in there with a piece of parchment paper going to town on it, even after 10 minutes. Adjusting the volume on my amp does not change the volume of the crackling.

Is this normal? What causes it? I vaguely recall hearing issues like this from others with new sets of Planars but this is my first set so I have no frame of reference. Certainly didn't happen with the pair I returned for QA issues with the headband.

This is straight out of the headphone-out of an RME ADI-2 DAC so the noise floor should be dead silent.
 
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Jul 23, 2020 at 1:13 AM Post #2,621 of 3,822

Chodi

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Just got a new set of Sundara's back from Hifiman after having to return one set due to a QA issue with the headband. Plugged into the amp they were dead quiet. Spent about half an hour auditioning various tracks at a volume that honestly is louder than I should be.

Then I turned the music off, but left them plug into my amp. And now the left driver is "crackling". It's like there is a little elf in there with a piece of parchment paper going to town on it, even after 10 minutes. Adjusting the volume on my amp does not change the volume of the crackling.

Is this normal? What causes it? I vaguely recall hearing issues like this from others with new sets of Planars but this is my first set so I have no frame of reference. Certainly didn't happen with the pair I returned for QA issues with the headband.

This is straight out of the headphone-out of an RME ADI-2 DAC so the noise floor should be dead silent.
It is not normal. Remove the earpad from the offending side and inspect the driver for any foreign matter (human hair, dust, etc). You may need to use a magnifier to inspect carefully, You can also look for a crease in the driver surface but that is something you probably cannot repair yourself. Sorry to hear you are having such a bad time.
 
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Jul 23, 2020 at 1:32 AM Post #2,622 of 3,822

Chu

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It is not normal. Remove the earpad from the offending side and inspect the driver for any for matter (human hair, dust, etc). You may need to use a magnifier to inspect carefully, You can also look for a crease in the driver surface but that is something you probably cannot repair yourself. Sorry to hear you are having such a bad time.

Thanks for the reply, will have to really consider if it's worth doing this and potentially not being able to return them if I damage them or not.

After some more experimentation, the duration of the cracking is proportional to how long I listen to music. I have some test tracks that have dead silence in passages, and oh man is it especially annoying during those.

I still love the sound of these though, the details they pull out of the music are incredible. When I was reading up on Hifiman I thought people were exaggerating about the QA issue but this is frustrating. Will have to consider if I end up going for a third set if I cannot figure out this issue, or if I just give up on them.
 
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Jul 23, 2020 at 1:57 AM Post #2,623 of 3,822

Chodi

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Thanks for the reply, will have to really consider if it's worth doing this and potentially not being able to return them if I damage them or not.

After some more experimentation, the duration of the cracking is proportional to how long I listen to music. I have some test tracks that have dead silence in passages, and oh man is it especially annoying during those.

I still love the sound of these though, the details they pull out of the music are incredible. When I was reading up on Hifiman I thought people were exaggerating about the QA issue but this is frustrating. Will have to consider if I end up going for a third set if I cannot figure out this issue, or if I just give up on them. Definitely makes it hard to recommend them to others.
Removing the earpad will not void the warranty. You cannot use any utensil to poke at the driver. The driver is thinner than a human hair. All you can do is blow on it to remove the foreign particle. Then replace the earpad. It is sometimes the back of the earpad itself that has some dust or even a stray thread from manufacturing that causes your problem. Good luck. I've had several sets of Hifiman and no problems but perhaps I'm just lucky.
 
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Jul 23, 2020 at 4:43 AM Post #2,624 of 3,822
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Just got a new set of Sundara's back from Hifiman after having to return one set due to a QA issue with the headband. Plugged into the amp they were dead quiet. Spent about half an hour auditioning various tracks at a volume that honestly is louder than I should be.

Then I turned the music off, but left them plug into my amp. And now the left driver is "crackling". It's like there is a little elf in there with a piece of parchment paper going to town on it, even after 10 minutes. Adjusting the volume on my amp does not change the volume of the crackling.

Is this normal? What causes it? I vaguely recall hearing issues like this from others with new sets of Planars but this is my first set so I have no frame of reference. Certainly didn't happen with the pair I returned for QA issues with the headband.

This is straight out of the headphone-out of an RME ADI-2 DAC so the noise floor should be dead silent.
Hi, sorry to hear that, we also suggest to take off the earpads gently to check if there is anything on the driver, meanwhile, please email us at customerservice@hifiman.com so we can help solve the issue. Thank you!

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