HiFiMan's new Ananda in stock and LOANER program!

Discussion in 'Sponsor Announcements and Deals' started by Todd, Jun 26, 2018.
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  1. Todd Contributor
    Hi All,

    hifimanananda1.png

    We received our shipment of the new HiFiMan Ananda today! Order yours now and get a Meridian Explorer2 free!

    We are also doing a loaner program with the new Ananda. You can sign up now. The headphones will ship out next week after we have our fun playing with them! Please follow the loaner program rules. And of course we would like people who are interested in a possible purchase from us of the Ananda to sign up!

    Loaner Program Rules:



    Send your name and address as well as a telephone number and your Head-Fi user name to me at todd@ttvjaudio.com. Do NOT PM me as you will not be included in the program without an email.

    You will get the loaner for 1 week to use in your home with your system. After your one week is up, you must send it to the next loaner participant. Email me (todd@ttvjaudio.com) the tracking info so I can pass it on to the recipient.

    You MUST write a review and post it in this loaner thread. It must be posted in the same thread as this announcement for the loaner program. Please post the review here first and feel free to post it somewhere else if you like!

    Once you have received the loaner, email me to let me know you have it and I will send the address for the next person.

    Our loaner programs are USA only. We are restricted from shipping/selling outside the USA on most products.

    hifimanananda2.png

    We look forward to hearing from you!

    Todd
     
    TTVJ Stay updated on TTVJ at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    http://www.ttvjaudio.com/
  2. Todd Contributor
    Here is the list for the loaner program. I will add a few more if anyone is interested...

    Ananda Loaner Program:

    Hifiearspeakers

    shenanbay

    elira

    roscoeiii

    caenlenfromocn

    Phantaminum

    drbluenewmexico

    Lovetolisten
     
    TTVJ Stay updated on TTVJ at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    http://www.ttvjaudio.com/
  3. Todd Contributor
    Hi All,

    the Ananda headphones shipped out to Shenanbay yesterday so the program has begun!

    There are few people who signed up after the list was made and they will be included but as of right now th eprogram is not accepting any more participants.

    We have this headphone in stock and ready to ship and are including a free meridian Explorer2 with each purchase!

    I am looking forward to the reviews of this fine new headphone. I spent a considerable amut of time with it and really liked it a lot!

    Todd
     
    TTVJ Stay updated on TTVJ at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    http://www.ttvjaudio.com/
  4. shenanbay
    Just received the headphones today. For now all I can is that it's CRISP! . My impressions will be up in a few days
     
    kid vic, Hifiearspeakers and elira like this.
  5. caenlenfromOCN
    @Todd Anyway you can contact Hifiman to see if they would be willing to sell me one of their new 6sn7 tubes for my schiit lyr 3 amp to review the Ananda with? I don't know how to contact them. I know they make their own 6sn7 tubes, and I just would like to get one of them for my Lyr 3 amp. if you know how to contact them let me know, hopefully I could get it all sorted and done before the loaner gets to me, cheers!
     
  6. shenanbay
    First of all I would like to thank Todd from TTVJ for letting me in on this tour.


    Prequel

    I had only heard one other hifiman Headphone. It was the HE560, it did not blow me away. All my listening was done through Topping D50 -> Massdrop x Cavalli Liquid Carbon (SE)


    Hifiman Ananda Specifications

    The Ananda is a Planar Magnetic headphone specifically designed for use with any gear including portable. It is easy to drive and delivers refined sound - the sound you would expect from a HiFiMan headphone.The Ananda's high sensitivity allows it to be driven easily from a smart phone or any portable device. Its ultra thin diaphragm allows for lightning fast response, amazing detail and ultra low distortion.

    The Ananda is super lightweight for use on the go or at home. The window shade grills reduce sonic reflections for a clean, clear sound. The Ear cups on the Ananda are designed to fit the contour of the human ear and wear with comfort. The cable connects to the headphone via 3.5mm connectors for a reliable connection.

    Specifications:

    Frequency Response: 8Hz - 50KHz
    Impedance: 25 Ohms
    Sensitivity: 103dB
    Weight: 399g

    Build


    The Ananda is well built headphone. Most of the construction is done by plastic from what I can say. The headband has some steel or aluminum and a leather strap. While it is a big headphone, it manages to stay fairly light cause of the plastic construction. The cups felt kind of too flimsy for my liking.

    The two cables included in the box looks pretty, but lacks quality when you feel it. I did not notice any microphonics. The ¼’’ inch plugs and the 3.5mm plugs felt sturdy

    Test Tracks

    Murder One – Metallica

    The first track I listened to was Murder One and it blew me away. All I can say is wow! Everything was spot on. The cymbals, Heavy riffs, ear piercing solo. They were all there with extra energy. The highs were not uncomfortable though, they were crisp and clear. The same can be said about the Bass and mid range. I could hear James’ voice like he was right by me. Imaging was also good, not stellar. This might have to do with tracks multiple layers rather than the headphones capability. Soundstage was nothing mesmerizing. It was tall and kind of narrow

    Full Moon in Paris – Amber Rubarth

    This song revealed one flaw of the Ananda. To my ears the Ananda could not deliver female voices perfectly. It sounded a bit distant. No difference in clarity, just not upfront. I’m not a fan of this. Some people may enjoy it. What it lacked in female vocals it made up in the highs, lower mids and lows. The Cajun and voila sounded exactly how it should sound. The soundstage seemed a bit cramped again. This time I knew that it didn’t have to do with the track, because this track has amazing soundstage. Imaging was very good here. I could separate all the instruments separately. The only thing that took some of the enjoyment out was the lack of soundstage

    Comparison

    Ananda vs HD6xx – The Ananda outshines the HD6xx in almost everyway, except for females vocals. The presence of females vocals are much lower on the Ananda. They sound distant while the 6xx just gives it to you perfectly to my ears.

    Ananda vs Aeon Flow Open – these two sound some what similar. With both of them having a balanced tone throughout the range except for the higher mid area. The Ananda lacks presence in that region. While the Ananda has bass,the AFO definitely has more umph in the bass. Ananda trumps in soundstage and imaging when compared to the AFO. The afo has a much smaller stage.

    Ananda vs JH 10x3 – while this is not a headphone I still wanted to share my thoughts on the differences. Surprisingly they sound some what similar. The 10x3 has a more balanced tone than the Ananda because the Ananda lacks female vocal presence. Surprisingly both have around the same level of imaging. The 10x3 slightly takes the win in that department. Where the 10x3 takes a hit is with soundstage, the Ananda has a much bigger soundstage compared to the 10x3. That is understandable because it’s being compared to a full size headphone

    Conclusion


    For the price of $999, the Ananda seems to be a really good for value. It has ticks almost all the boxes for me. The highs, low mids, bass and imaging are pretty much spot on. The only things that this headphone lack are high mids and soundstage. On some songs the soundstage seemed a bit cramped. I was also able to power the Ananda well with the Questyle QP2R so that was nice to know. It was not hard drive. One thing I would have liked to see is a balanced cable included in the box. A balanced connection could have opened up the narrow stage, but I’m not certain about this, Other than that it feels like Hifiman has come back with a good price to performance balance.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
  7. caenlenfromOCN
    @Todd any updates on where the Ananda is? estimate of when it will arrive to each of us? Just trying to see if it will be here before August 16th or so, if not I will need to back out, because I have decided to go on a trip to Seattle August 20th for two weeks.
     
  8. elira
    Right now I’ve it. I should be shipping it to the next person next week, probably on Tuesday.
     
  9. caenlenfromOCN
    @Roscoeiii Would you be up for switching spots with me so I get it next? I can promise a 3 day turn around, as in, as soon as I receive it in the mail, I will only listen to it for 2-3 days, and mail it out to you. I would like to hear it for a few hours. If not, totally cool. @Todd you will need to remove from the mailing list unless rosco is cool with this. I don't want to risk not getting it in time before I leave for seattle, as I will be gone 2 weeks.
     
  10. Roscoeiii
    Fine by me if it is cool with the tour organizer.
     
    caenlenfromOCN likes this.
  11. caenlenfromOCN
    Todd hasn't even been online since July 23rd. Eeeek!
     
  12. Roscoeiii
    Give him a ring.
     
    caenlenfromOCN likes this.
  13. Todd Contributor
    Hi Guys,

    I will get the info out tomorrow for the shipping... I took a 2 week vacation - something I have not done in the 16 years of TTVJAudio.
     
    TTVJ Stay updated on TTVJ at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    http://www.ttvjaudio.com/
    caenlenfromOCN likes this.
  14. caenlenfromOCN
    No worries at all! That is great man glad to hear it.
     
  15. elira
    Thanks TTVJ for the tour.

    For this review I tried to compare the sound to something similar like the LCD-2C that are also planar and with a similar price tag. I used a tube amp, because “why not?”, it’s also my work set up so that allowed me to have prolonged listening sessions. If you want to know a little about my headphone preferences I love my GS2000e and I hate the Sennheiser HD650, of course there’re way worse headphones than the 650 but that one is famous and a lot of people love it and I don’t get it.

    Equipment

    I tested these mainly with my Audio GD R2R11 as a DAC, and a Woo Audio WA6-SE second gen as amp (Which is my work set up).

    Build quality

    Overall the build quality is good. The headband is made of metal with a suspension strap made of some kind of pleather. The ear cups and grilles seem to be made of painted plastic, there are some rough edges in the grilles. The ear pads are made of some kind of pleather on the sides and cloth in the part that touches the face, with a perforated interior. In my opinion the ear cups are enormous.

    IMG_1137.jpeg IMG_1135.jpeg

    Comfort

    I usually use headphones with the headband extended about 1/3 of the total extension, but these headphones are huge and I didn't have to extend it, that means for small heads it may be a little too big. The clamp force is good enough, and doesn't crush your head, overall I didn't feel any excessive force nor did they fall off my head. I used them for hours and they were very comfortable.

    Cables

    These cables are funny, it's like a bunch of wires inside a semi transparent tube. You can see the individual wires, probably enameled wires two silver probably for ground, one red for the left channel and one copper for the right channel. It comes with two cables one with a straight 1/4 inch neutrik connector, and the other a 1/8 inch right angled connector. There's no balanced cable but probably you can modify it because you have 4 individual wires.

    Overall Sound

    If I had to explain this in easy terms that I would understand these are something between my LCD-2C and my GS2000e. I would consider the sound signature to be in general flat.

    Openness

    These are open back headphones, but between different open back headphones there are different degrees of how open they really are for example Grados are extremely open and when you put them on you still hear external sounds without any noticeable disturbance, it’s like wearing nothing. There are other headphones like the LCD-2C that because of the filters they have on both sides when you put them on your head they muffle external sounds. In this case the Ananda are more like the Grados, it’s almost like wearing nothing but there’s a slightly muffling.

    Bass

    The Ananda don’t have a pronounced bass like the LCD-2C. It’s clear and full but not exaggerated.

    Mids

    Overall the mids are clear. The LCD-2C feel ‘veiled’ when compared to the Ananda.

    Highs

    The highs are clear and smooth. The Grados are a little harsh in this regard, and the Ananda are very defined but without that harshness, a little forgiving for bad recordings but not so much to have a significant loose of detail.

    Volume

    These headphones are amazing for listening at lower volumes. At higher volumes you start needing a powerful amp, otherwise the sound gets lost. And by lost I mean you start losing the low end or start to have some kind of distortion.

    Pairings

    Tested the headphones with multiple amps, all of them single ended because the Ananda don’t include a balanced cable. I’ll describe what was most relevant of each pairing:

    • WA6-SE: Amazing at lower volumes, if you increase the volume you start losing the low end and the headphones become harsh (13EM7 tubes).
    • PS AUDIO GCHA: Also very good at lower volumes, when you reach around 12 in the volume knob it starts to distort at all frequencies, I guess this amp doesn't have enough power to drive these headphones at higher volumes.
    • Audio GD NFB1-AMP: At lower volumes it feels lifeless, but if you increase the volume the overall sound improves. If you like to listen at higher volume this is a good pairing. This is in fact the best amp I tested to listen the Ananda at higher volumes, the others start to distort.
    • Schiit Jotunheim: High gain is a no go. Low gain it sounds good, it starts to get harsh as you increase the volume.
    • Bluewave audio Get: Sounds ok for a portable device, low and medium volumes are fine, as you increase the volume it starts to fall apart.
    • Geshelli Archel Pro: Very neutral over all, high or low volume sounds good.
    • iFi micro BL: Mids get recessed, sounds ok but I wouldn't recommend it.
    • Hidizs DH1000: Sounds good, very balanced and supports higher volumes than the bluewave. This would be my recommendation for a portable setup. Notice that I tested this single ended, balanced it has more power so it should sound better.

    Conclusion

    For a thousand dollars open back planar headphone I think they are a nice option. Between these and the LCD-2C I would pay a little more for these. Very clear sound, kind of flat sound signature, very open and very comfortable. If I didn't have the GS2000e I would seriously consider buying these.
     
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