There are lots of people who have expressed their concern over HiFiMAN build quality and for good reason: the company has had many issues with their products in the recent past. Review written by Andrew Park (@Resolve) Introduction. The HiFiMAN Sundara are in fact beautiful headphones, though more importantly they sound good. The Sanskrit word “sundara” means “beautiful”. While the Sundara aims for a somewhat analytic, clarity-focused, high resolution sound that I absolutely love for most of my music (jazz, classical and acoustic genres), it's also good as an all-rounder for modern genres now that the bass elevates to the consumer preference curve and extends all the way down to 30hz. They do some things better than the wireless HiFiMan Deva that we reviewed last month; which should be expected considering the difference in price. Don't worry, we hate spam as much as you do. It looks like Drop x HiFiMan has taken many of those criticisms to heart and massively improved on them. The main change is however the fact that you now have to extend the headband. Control is such that bass never gets in the way and never covers the mids, instead offering a solid foundation for those to lay upon. In some ways, however, it's also understandable that alternative tunings exist, when something like the Sundara - a mid-level headphone, does such an incredible job. The headphones rest in a pre-cut place which holds them tightly and securely. A word from HiFiMAN:"There is no official version 2 of the HiFiMAN Sundara. HiFiMAN manages to create very comfortable headphones thanks to a suspended headband design that uses a soft headband with some padding. In my opinion, the Sundara should be thought of as the new value benchmark, much like the HD6XX used to be, as it competes with headphones that come in at much higher price tags. Once again, at this price, I haven't heard anything that's been able to deliver tonal balance as appropriately as the HiFiMAN Sundara - and in fact the Sundara does better than many headphones that cost thousands of dollars. This bit of emphasis makes some details pop up more than others: the vibrations of guitar strings, the air moving inside trumpets and flutes, or the small fluctuations of the harmonica (e.g. Hifiman Sundara Review – Outstanding is the New Standard 0. The primary (and potentially only) revision has to do with the pads. Tonality is approaching neutrality with a touch of brightness, which many find ideal. Suffice it to say that manufacturers need to look at what HiFiMAN have been able to do with the Sundara, and then achieve something at least this good. Nor is the fact that this mechanism is stiff because the metal parts press hard against each other, causing scuff marks to appear over time as one adjusts the headphones multiple times. Imaging is good in terms of positioning the instruments on the stage, as each has its own clear spot, but it fails in creating the impression that the sound comes from outside the head – most tracks sound as if the sound came from between the ears. This review is posted here in partnership with The Headphone List.It was originally written and published by Ryan Soo of The Headphone List on May 1, 2019. Among them an iFi nano iDSD Black Label, a Topping DX7 driving a Drop THX AAA 789, a HiBy R5 and a Lindemann Limetree Network. Soundstage is one area where the Sundara doesn't beat the competition as handily. The cable has 3.5 mm jacks at both ends: a single right-angled jack on the end which goes in the amplifier and two jacks that go inside the earcups. Bass is more extended and a bit more present, but it stays out of the way in the same way. It also appears pretty beat up and prone to kinks, so a better cable is probably warranted. In many cases, these revisions occur due to changes in the manufacturing process - maybe there's a way to produce the headphone more cost effectively, or maybe to improve reliability long-term. However, like most open-back headphones, they're not designed for other use cases but critical listening. It's still larger than something like the Sennheiser HD660s, and larger than the Audeze LCD-1, so it's not exactly a weakness for the Sundara, it's just also not its strength. The Sundaras are heavier, but the top leather piece does a nice job distributing the weight. Frequency Response : 6Hz-75kHz Impedance : 37Ω Sensitivity : 94dB Weight : 372g So as we can see, whatever was changed for the 'stealth revision', it has yielded positive results for the tonality. There's good lateral definition, but as the image pans across the front, the transition from left to right is a bit more immediate than something like the Focal Elegia, which I find has a more even distribution across the front. I strongly recommend the HiFiMAN Sundara. The Sundara is roughly the same form factor, but a lot has happened on the design front. And it's just a click away! I’m confident enough they can be long-lasting, if not abused. This is a product review of the HIFIMAN Sundara, which is available for sale now on Apos.. HIFIMAN SUNDARA brings the beautiful music to … Feel free to leave a comment. I would describe the general tuning as moderately bright. Best earphones, headphones, DACs, amplifiers, DAPs. I've only auditioned the Sundara once, and I came away fairly impressed. All comments are moderated before being published. Isolation is, obviously, non-existent: the HiFiMAN Sundara are open-back headphones, so they’re not meant to provide any isolation. For detail retrieval, at the $350 mark, I struggle to think of any headphone that outperforms the Sundara. The Hifiman Sundara are great-sounding and comfortable critical listening headphones. After the initial run, there were some changes to the driver to improve reliability, but the only other difference is that the pad structure has been changed (also to improve reliability) as well as a cosmetic change to the dust cover.The pads are noticeably thinner at the front part of the angle - so where the pad is closest to the cheek. The important takeaway from this is that since it's been over a year, those who are looking to purchase a Sundara and want to ensure it's the same as what I've reviewed here can confidently do so from any reliable dealer. The Hifiman Sundara costs $499 and it comes in a pretty nice box where the headphone is nicely presented in. While the Sundara doesn't perform on the same level as flagship 'kilo-buck' headphones when it comes to structural definition for images or textural nuances, it's categorically superior for image clarity and distinction that anything else within its price range. Midrange is more balanced, though it still is slightly bright; it’s a bit more detailed. The imaging is clear and just right for each type of sound and instrument placed accurately around the wide soundstage. The build quality remains mostly the same, however the side pieces for where you adjust the headband feels quite a bit more sturdy. Not only is the Sundara more comfortable, it also has an even better frequency response as a result (if it is just the pads that were changed). When I first reviewed the HiFiMAN Sundara mid 2019, I was thoroughly impressed with its performance for the price, and in fact its higher priced siblings the Ananda and Arya were also quite impressive. Please note that you should write in English, and comments in other languages will be deleted. Everything else, including the yokes and gimbals, are metal, so the Sundara should be quite durable. In many cases, these revisions occur due to c… The Sundara features a new headband, new cup, and new pads, which are more in line with their higher-end offerings. I also found the Verum 1 to take a bit more power to drive. Join the family and discover if those headphones you want are a "yay" or a "nay"! Buy the HiFiMAN Sundara at headphones.com at the best price, and its the best return-policy available. The Sundara is, at less than $400, all but a giant-killer. Buy HIFIMAN SUNDARA Over-ear Full-size Planar Magnetic Headphones with High Fidelity Design Easy to Drive by iPhone /Android Comfortable Headband Open-Back Design Easy Cable Swapping Black: Over-Ear Headphones - Amazon.com FREE DELIVERY possible on eligible purchases Compatibility issues aside, the Sundara’s cable is relatively thick and covered in rubbery plastic. There’s some emphasis on treble which is mostly concentrated between the lower area and the middle one; this, together with the good extension, gives treble a primary role in the scene. Quality control will rightfully concern some potential owners, but for those willing to take the risk, the Sundara provides an addictive and highly technically proficient sound. Here are some comparisons with other headphones: The HiFiMAN Sundara don’t redefine their price bracket, but they offer more than their predecessors, the HE-400 (in their numerous variations). The name literally means “Beautiful” in Sanskrit. The inside has in fact a lot of padding with some satin-like fabric covering the moulded foam. Last year, HiFiMAN ended up sending me two units for evaluation and this piece was a bit loose on both of them, but for this new unit I'm pleased that it doesn't feel as rickety. Over the past several weeks, however, I've heard rumours of the HiFiMAN lineup introducing a number of 'stealth revisions'. It's still appropriate, and doesn't feel like an "in your head" experience, but it's also not as spacious or speaker-like as something like the Beyerdynamic DT-1990 Pro (or the original DT-880 if memory serves correctly). Using the THX AAA 789, I can use them at a fairly high volume by using the lowest gain with the knob at 8 o’clock. Hifiman Susvara Review The Hifiman Susvara is the company’s top of the line open-back planar magnetic headphone priced at $6000. HiFiMan SUNDARA Review. The Sundara belong to the new course of HiFiMAN design: whereas the previous models were equipped with a fixed metallic frame with a moving headband, the new headphones use a fixed headband with the frame that extends. They were able to introduce some swivel for the Ananda-BT, so I see no reason why this couldn't be achieved for the Sundara as well (we'll see if the wired Ananda got it as well). So naturally I had to find out what these changes were, especially since these three products (Sundara, Ananda and Arya) are some of my most recommended headphones at their respective price ranges. The Sundara's technical performance remains the same as I remembered, and that's a very good thing. Review written by Andrew Park (@Resolve) Review unit provided on loan for evaluation by headphones.com. And we think the Sundaras are best suited, musically, to listeners who again seek a comfortable experience and would happily forgo the last degree of tonal refinement and dramatic presence. PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE: We will match any lower price you find during the Holidays from an Authorized Dealer, Review unit provided for evaluation by headphones.com. The build and design remain almost identical to what I had previously reviewed. Regards, The only changes have been a cosmetic improvement to the dust cover, as well as improvements to the pad structure to ensure reliability and longevity. Over the past several weeks, however, I've heard rumors of the HiFiMAN lineup introducing a number of 'stealth revisions'. in Max De Aloe Quartet’s L’aria in mezzo). The level of detail is rather good and one can even hear some micro-details, though those are an exception more than the norm. The Sundara offer great clarity that goes hand-in-hand with the good amount of detail that the driver offers. I was sceptical at first – I found the previous design to be as good as it gets – but after trying the Sundara I had to make up my mind. HiFiMAN’s latest models are all named after some Sanskrit word, but this one appears to be spot on. Comfortable even in longer listening sessions, Treble might be more abundant than some would like. Neither the drivers nor the cups have had any changes or silent revisions to them in the past calendar year. Living in Glasgow, Scotland but born and raised near Milan, Italy, I got the the passion for music listening as a legacy from my father and my grandfather. It’s a bit faster and more detailed, but it has less physical impact. I have had a pair of HE-560 for quite a while now and I’ve always felt like it was one of the most comfortable headphones I’ve ever tried. The HiFiMAN Sundara retails for $349. If you love headphones, you'll love our emails. In general, the HE-560 are more detailed and more neutral than the Sundara. Violins, trumpets and female voices shine, but not to the detriment of other, “warmer” instruments which sound as good as them. There have not been any changes to the pad material.". But the improvements to comfort, different feel, and changes to frequency response make me suspect that this pad was specifically revised in order to better suit the Sundara, and it's one way of getting around the lack of swivel problem for this headphone. Sign-up to be the first to get notified about upcoming products, deals as well as our giveaways. Headphones.com, started by Andrew and Taron Lissimore, was founded in 2016 with a strict focus on delivering the best customer service possible. And this might not sound like a good thing, given that they feel less sturdy in the front, but I promise that it is. Still, they’re headphones that few would not like: with a current street price around $350, their value is really high. Disclaimer: The Hifiman Sundara sent to us for the purposes of this review is a sample and does not have to be returned. HifiMAN has been making waves in the planar magnetic headphone space for nearly a decade now, with earlier models like the H400i becoming major hits internationally.With the release of the Deva, it feels like HifiMAN taking the beloved Sundara and adding Bluetooth functionality. They can be powered with practically anything, unless you really want to blow your eardrums. These measurements were taken with the MiniDSP EARS rig, using both the HEQ and HPN compensations. It sounds as if the instruments were close to the listener but played in a large room. I have to agree, I think the Sundara is a lovely headphone aesthetically, but then again, I am a sucker for minimalism. Review: Hifiman Sundara – Trickled! The Sundara feels more dynamical, it slams harder. You're right about its bass - it has powerful slam, good articulation, and decent extension. HiFiMAN Sundara vs HiFiMAN HE-560: the HE-560 are a more balanced version of the Sundara. Alas there is no case, which is a missed opportunity. This new revision for the Sundara also does better for rock and heavy metal (or anything with electric guitars) than the previous tonality because the new one doesn't suffer the upper midrange shout that could cause guitars to sound a bit shrill. I much preferred the leather pads over the suede ones, which I find cause a bit of treble compression around 5khz. While not on the same level as capable dynamic driver headphones like the Focal Clear or Elegia (or some ZMFs), once again at the $350 price tag the Sundara's impact and sense of authority is impressive. The instruments are very well separated from each other, even in more crowded tracks. Ok, for the review/comparison. The following shows how the Sundara measures relative to the HEQ compensation, which is based on the Harman consumer preference curve, and incorporates a bass emphasis around 100hz: The following measurement uses the HPN compensation, which is more accurate, but doesn't include the bass shelf: I consider this tonality to be extremely close to my ideal frequency response. Remember that this measurement rig has a coupler artifact at around 4.5khz, and this explains the slight bump there on both graphs. The Sundara sits closer to the bottom than the top of the HiFiMan pyramid, which makes their performance all that more impressive. The HiFiMAN Sundara comes in a simple box which looks unassuming on the outside, but is rather rich on the inside. That’s alas not ideal. It’s … It’s a mix of the usual headband design, with the cups that extend out of it, and the suspended headband design. There’s a small space cut out of the foam for the cable, plus a few leaflets including a manual. My HiFiMan Sundara review is based on my own audio preferences, still I find it a great device for any music genres. Hifiman Sundara is one of the best headphones for critical listening no matter the price and the king of neutrality while still sounding engaging and enveloping. The Sundara seem to be quite good, though: the unit I got had apparently been used by lots of people and was a bit worn out due to this, but it still was in good overall shape and I had no doubt as to their build quality. We, like other companies, continually research and implement updates to all of our currently available products, often making minor but relevant improvements to structural and cosmetic elements. Both or neither? I had the opportunity to evaluate the HiFiMAN Ananda and Arya last year, but there are two reasons why I'm revisiting the HiFiMAN lineup in 2020. The main pain points of previous models, such as the gimbals cracking, were eliminated by the new design and the new materials. Additional information is available on HiFIMAN’s website. There also is the necessary plastic to prevent the headphone, band and cups from getting damaged during transport. The reason why the HE-560 are more comfortable is that they have a bit more padding and a larger headband, so the weight is better distributed. Priced at $499. Secure payments with Credit Card, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Cryptocurrency. I don’t know if that’s a result of this unit having been used by so many people during the tour, but it just tends to curl up which is not exactly ideal, especially if you use it while at a desk. This is still true now. As one would expect out of a planar driver, the HiFiMAN Sundara offer deep, physical bass. Getting your product to you as fast as possible is important to us! And it's free! This review examines what's changed with the Sundara from the units I had previously reviewed during the summer of 2019. Some people may find it even better. They have a strong bass that still leaves space and clarity for trebles and highs. The original units I reviewed had a bit of bass roll-off around 50hz, and a bit of an upper midrange shout as shown on the following graph:While I still found the original unit to be pleasant, it wasn't perfect (although treble was still exceptional). reviews from Soundphile Review. Disclaimer: The Hifiman Sundara sent to us for the purposes of this review is a sample and does not have to be returned. Learn how your comment data is processed. I listened to the HiFiMAN Sundara using a variety of gear. A somewhat easier, softer mechanism would be greatly appreciated. Unfortunately technical performance simply isn't on the same level as the Sundara's, particularly when it comes to instrument separation, stage, and slam qualities. The LCD-1's default tonality is not as agreeable as the Sundara's, sounding somewhat congested around 3khz, and lacking bass energy below 80hz. The Sundara have a moderately wide soundstage, with more lateral extension than depth. The Sundara was released late 2017 and is one of the newest headphones from HIFIMAN. Do you consider audio signal break in to be beneficial to mechanical components, and cables. It’s definitely not neutral as some would try to tell you; it has an underlying warmth that gives it a liquid smoothness plus a crisp, extended treble that also adds non-abrasive energy. This … Disclaimer: I got this unit on loan from HiFiMAN as part of a review tour. The HiFiMAN Sundara are made of metal (aluminium, it seems) with just the two ends of the headband being made of plastic. With that mindset, our 365-Day return policy was born and followed up with free, same-day shipping while curating the store to have the best selection possible for our customers. Does not apply to special-order, open-box or sale items. But with the Reveal+ EQ plugin, the LCD-1 is able to compete. This emphasis is however devoid of peaks, so it is not fatiguing or harsh. I have an average/smaller size head and I find both to fit quite well. These are small tweaks or changes to the headphone after release that don't warrant any public changes to the product line, such as a 'version 2.0'. They also offer a similarly wide soundstage, with some added depth, plus more accurate imaging and slightly better instrument separation. While the Sundara doesn't perform on the same level as flagship 'kilo-buck' headphones when it comes to structural definition for images or textural nuances, it's categorically superior for image clarity and distinction that anything else within its price range. They're better-built and more durable than HE-400i and deliver a sound quality that's closer to the Edition X but with slightly less bass. Hifiman vs Hifiman Hifiman Ananda vs Hifiman Sundara Amplifier: Audio-gd Master 9 (unbalanced) Azzaharat – Eple Trio: The Ananda is smoother and more detailed, whilst the Sundara feels harder and coarser in direct comparison. They also tend to press on the ears more with the earcups, so a bit of weight is lifted off the top of the head. Hey there! Von Schweikert VR4 jr / AKG K-1000 / Grado HP-2 / Hifiman Sundara FiiO M9 - - ADI-2 DAC - Ifi Audio iDSD BL- AKG KSE1200 /JHA Roxanne / Etymotic ER4S Share This Post There are probably more lows than when an ideally neutral signature would have, but not by a large margin. They’re a keeper. and how does it compare to LCD-2C? Edit: Since publishing this review, I was able to speak with Dr. Fang Bian from HiFiMAN, and he reassured me that there haven't been any revisions or changes to the driver or cup design in the past calendar year. We think of it as the sweet spot in the Hifiman catalogue and a classic planar magnetic headphone that … I also find that the Sundara simply has better detail retrieval across the board, although for the upper treble above 10khz, the LCD-1 may actually perform ever so slightly better. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Not only is the design lighter and more appealing, but it’s also as functional and comfortable as before. Design . The SUNDARA has a very big orthodynamic driver of about 9-10cm diameter, it’s take the full space of headphones cups and have a square shape. The Sundara are not as comfortable, but they’re really close. These are small tweaks or changes to the headphone after release that don't warrant any public changes to the product line, such as a 'version 2.0'. Sorry, this is the Sundara review. I was very excited to try the Hifiman Sundara next as it is widely considered the best headphone under $500 and like my first audiophile headphones uses planar magnetic drivers. I had originally called the Sundara a performance benchmark as far as its technical ability for detail retrieval, speed, and dynamics are concerned. Coming in at a similar price, the Verum 1 has a more spacious and distant presentation, performing quite well throughout most of its frequency response. Thank you for your sane and practical reviews. 365-Day Returns on all new orders. When it gets to the treble, unfortunately, it becomes clear that the both the Sundara and the LCD-1 have better tonal balance for percussive instruments like cymbals and snare drums. While it's quite a bit larger than the Sundara, I do find the Verum 1 to be a bit more comfortable. Thank you to … If you are shopping for a full-size over-ear headphone between the $350-$400 price point, the Hifiman Sundara sits a good position for someone that wants a solidly built quality pair headphone with balanced and rich tones. Over the past several weeks, however, I've heard rumors of the HiFiMAN lineup introducing a number of 'stealth revisions'. For me, my ears fit in the Sundara's large earcups without touching the sides or the drivers. The HiFiMAN Sundara is the name of the wildly successful HE-400i which set the bar in terms of sound quality for entry-level planar magnetic headphones. The new unit, however, measures considerably better on both compensations. HiFiMAN also went from metal, plastic and wood builds to almost entirely metal builds, with just details being made of plastic. Spoiler alert: this is endgame territory, even for gamers. ... At $400 USD, the Sundara maintains Hifiman’s legendary value while appending common complaints from past models to produce one of … The Hifiman Sundara is a fantastic headphone that delivers big on sound with a mature but musical tuning that suits my preferences to a tee. Changes to the pads not only make it more comfortable, it also sounds considerably better than the previous unit I evaluated, which I had already considered to be an excellent sounding headphone. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Midrange is the real star of the Sundara and it is presented with a slight accent on the upper region which gives it added clarity and sparkle. So, the Sundara are pretty comfortable, so much so that even with my scalp being hyper-irritated (a situation which alas happens more often than I’d like) they do not cause any discomfort for more than half an hour, which is quite remarkable. thanks! Boasting the NEO Supernano Diaphragm, HIFIMAN SUNDARA is the best Hi-Fi planar magnetic headphone at its price with enhanced durability. If I had to characterize the Sundara I listened to the Sundara ( @ Resolve ) review unit on... Clarity that goes hand-in-hand with the good amount of detail is rather good and one can even some. Of this review is a product review of the HiFiMAN lineup introducing a number of 'stealth '. Headband, new cup, and I find both to fit quite well signal break in to be on. ( Coming Soon ) Series other measurements that are aided by good driver matching without any channel imbalance part. Sale items you love headphones, so it ’ s also as functional and comfortable as before comfortable but. To try these on for a comfortable fit before parting with your.! Please note that you now have to be returned '' or a `` yay '' or a `` ''! Design Student ( Coming Soon ) Series an 'alternative ' tuning ) of padding with some added,. 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Design and the new reviews and posts published on Soundphile review planar diaphragm ever with. But it has powerful slam, good articulation, and I came away fairly impressed and Cryptocurrency design almost! To take pictures of the line open-back planar magnetic headphone at its price with enhanced durability does a nice distributing. Sundara vs HiFiMAN HE-560: the HiFiMAN lineup introducing a number of 'stealth revisions ' next! The tonality those headphones you want are a more balanced version of the HiFiMAN Sundara using a of! Efficient headphones, reviews some would like and discover if those headphones you are... 2 micron of thickness audio signal break in to be a bit more to. Around the wide soundstage, the Sundara customer service possible here again by Ryan Soo May... Articulation, and cables Sundara on `` the headphone Community '' forum side pieces for where you adjust the.... Matching without any channel imbalance ll immediately notice that there ’ s while also a! 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A similarly wide soundstage, with some added depth, plus more accurate and... With only 1 to be the first to get notified about upcoming products, deals well. Some emphasis on upper midrange and treble more than the norm the design lighter and more appealing but. Even better than some thousand dollar planars boasting the NEO Supernano diaphragm, HiFiMAN Sundara are relatively headphones... Does n't beat the competition as handily you should write in English, and I away. Return-Policy available ’ ll immediately notice that there ’ s a bit more.... For gamers criticisms to heart and massively improved on them listening sessions, treble might be more abundant some... Fit quite well more sturdy functional and comfortable as before which are more in line with previous HiFiMAN headphones you... You really want to blow your eardrums could not use the 2.5 cables... Small space cut out of the HiFiMAN Sundara review – Outstanding is the best customer service possible the! 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