in

HiFiman Ananda: Lightweight headphones with exceptional sound

HiFiman Ananda Review
HiFiman Ananda Review

HiFiMAN Electronics was founded in late 2005. Known for their Chinese planar technology, they have garnered a large following due to their high-quality standards. Today, we will be reviewing the popular model, the HiFiman Ananda.

Packaging and assembly

There is no remarkable design or unconventional presentation. If you desire a more impressive design, I recommend considering Focal or Meze products. In those cases, the focus is primarily on the headphones themselves, and the packaging serves a purely logistical purpose of transporting the product from the factory to the user. It is worth mentioning that other versions may include additional cables and offer a superior box.

Complete set:

  • HiFiman Ananda
  • Cable
  • Stand
  • Extension cord 6.3 mm

By the way, a few words about the stand. Foam with embossed manufacturer’s name and plastic base on the bottom. Simple, convenient, brilliant.

Design

The HiFiman Ananda’s structure is constructed from metal, although regrettably, the cup housings are not. The headband’s range of motion is somewhat limited, but the fit can be adjusted using the brackets. While the materials used may not be extraordinary, the way they are combined is commendable. The overall appearance is captivating to the casual listener, with a futuristic, unusual, and original design. The bowls are incredibly thin, to the point where you can actually see through them – and this is not just a figure of speech. Simply bring your ears close to something bright, and you will witness them illuminate. This is all made possible by the open design and driver type utilized.

The cups are not perfectly round, but slightly elongated, which may cause discomfort for some users. The ear pads are well-constructed, albeit hard and thin. Personally, I find them comfortable enough, but don’t expect the same level of softness as Audeze headphones. The fact that the ear pads are removable and replaceable is a definite plus. The headband is designed separately from the frame, so it doesn’t exert pressure. It’s a bit disappointing that there are no hinges for swiveling the ear cups. However, other aspects of the headphones do not raise any concerns. Many users have complained about the cable in forums and reviews. While it may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, it serves its purpose in the basic setup. The cable is modular and can be easily replaced. I recommend considering a copper cable, as silver will enhance the high frequencies and planar sound even further. If budget allows, gold is also an option, as the material of the cable can impact the overall sound quality.

Technologies

(the item contains general information from the manufacturer)

  • Ultra-thin aperture for lightning-fast response, incredible detail and ultra-low distortion.
  • The design of the lattice of the window curtain. Ananda features HiFiMan’s signature window curtain grill design that significantly reduces sound reflections for a clear sound.
  • Asymmetric ear cushions. The Ananda features HiFiMan’s signature ovoid cup shape that mimics the natural tone of the human ear.
  • Diaphragm NEO “Supernano” (NsD). “Hear what you’ve been missing.” At 1-2 microns thick, the new NsD is 80% thinner than previous designs, delivering faster and more detailed response while maintaining lush musicality. HiFiMan has perfected its manufacturing processes to create a brand new planar magnetic driver at unheard of prices.
  • HiFiman Ananda¬†headphones¬†¬†feature upgraded 3.5mm headphone jacks, offering users HifiMan’s most reliable headphone jack with increased durability.
  • Ananda features a specially designed planar magnetic driver that is both lightweight and ultra-thin.

 

Sound

It is important to mention that whatever you hear through these headphones will also be heard by those around you, albeit slightly quieter. This is a characteristic of the open design, which cannot be altered. Additionally, it is crucial to ensure that this impressive device has a substantial power source, so make sure to select an appropriate one beforehand. Lastly, I will provide some helpful suggestions for using planar headphones (at least consider them before purchasing your first pair) to avoid any dissatisfaction with the “unusual” sound when connected to a phone or laptop.

  • Planar headphones require more power than regular headphones, so choose an appropriate amplifier or DAC.
  • It is not recommended to use them with portable devices that do not have enough power.
  • Pay attention not only to the impedance, but also to the sensitivity of the headphones.
  • Planar headphones can be very loud, so listening to music at maximum volume is not recommended.
  • Do not turn on the headphones until you put them on your head (when the headphones play on their own, the membrane may stretch).

Now let’s talk about the sound quality of the HiFiman Ananda. The bass is soothing and not overly emphasized. It is clear and relatively deep. The mid and high frequencies are playful, lacking a bit of body but still detailed. The instrument separation is well-defined. The highs, reminiscent of beyerdynamic’s best traditions, are abundant. The soundstage is incredibly wide, although not the absolute best, it is certainly top-tier considering the price range. Overall, these headphones are highly technical in terms of sound quality, design, and more. They not only look great but also deliver an exceptional performance.

Conclusion

HiFiman Ananda serves as the foundation of the planar headphones family. They are often considered the go-to reference for many enthusiasts. Personally, I was so impressed that I would have purchased this pair myself. While additional costs are incurred for the cable and source, the investment is truly worthwhile.

HiFiman Ananda Review
HiFiman Ananda
9
DAART Asura

DAART Asura: Headphone amplifier, streamer and DAC combined

Copland CSA-150

Copland CSA-150: A must-have for building a solid home system