Editor choice

Hifiman Headphones: A 2017 Comprehensive Review

Hifiman a brand that leads the headphone industry

Hifiman was founded in the United States, in New York, back in 2007, by Dr. Fang. Today, this is one of the largest companies for making headphones, portable music players and equipment for audiophiles. They have dealers across the world, in 28 countries, to be precise and all of their products have been highly rated in many reviews.

If you have come across a product, made by Hifiman, you are a potential audiophile. There is no point in mentioning that an audiophile is a person who seeks for the ultimate sound quality. Hifiman products (all of them, since the beginning) are focused especially for aforementioned people, therefore they usually feature a high-quality, advanced features and the ultimate sound quality. An interesting fact is that Hifiman makes and offers some of the original and different products. They have a design that is simply different than all other brands have to offer.

Despite the fact, Hifiman is a relatively new company, the products they make are highly rated and they have been chosen as the best headphones, the most advanced music player and etc. In a matter of fact, there are hundreds of examples where Hifiman products managed to achieve the highest scores and ratings.

Hifiman HE1000: Experts Choice

Hifiman HE1000

“I really love Hifiman Headphones this made my life more easier especially when I am in my work office I tend to do more when listening to music with my favorite HE1000”

PROS:
  • World’s First Diaphragm in Nanometer Thickness
  • Advanced Asymmetrical Magnetic Circuit offering perfect reproduction of live music
  • Ergonomic and comfortable design fit for most people, with greater reliability and durability
  • Patented “Window Shade” System reduces sound reflection to gain wider sound stage

 

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According to cepro‘s Interview: 

Dr. Fang Bian, founder of HiFiMAN

Dr. Fang Bian, founder of HiFiMAN, says the company will be looking to expand its business operations to include brick-and-mortar sales in 2012.

HiFiMAN is known in audiophile circles but, it is just starting to get noticed by other consumer groups. Can you explain your business to installers who might not have heard of you? Head-Direct Corporation was founded in 2005 and it is a designer/manufacturer that specializes in high quality portable audio products, such as headphones, headphone amplifiers and portable music players. We are headquartered in Tianjin China and are very much a global company. Our R&D and manufacturing is located primarily in China with most of our marketing and sales in the United States, Japan and Europe.

With all of the different headphone suppliers, what makes HiFiMAN unique? Just like our trademark HiFiMAN, all of HiFiMAN employees are passionate about audio. While we design portable audio products, our standard is very much high-end. It is a state of mind. We feel HiFiMAN’s strengths are original ideas, a high-level R&D team and, of course, hard work.

What are HiFiMAN’s strengths and in what areas does the company need to improve? Most mainstream consumer electronics manufacturers don’t even think about making their products sound better. On the other hand, a lot of hi-fi audio builders are not able to take their costs down to the mainstream consumer market level. We have a strong background of adding high-end audio elements into consumer products. HiFiMAN portable music players are good examples of using high-end audio technology to make the portable music player a typical consumer electronics product.

Why did you decide to implement planar magnetic driver technology into headphones? Why has it been hard to implement in a consumer-grade product? Most people recognize that the best sounding headphones are electrostatics, however, they are expensive, hard to drive and often have limited output. Planar magnetic captures much of the life-like detail and imaging of electrostatics but are less expensive, more efficient and can play louder.

Much of HiFiMAN’s focus has been on developing this technology to push it to even higher levels. A good example of that is our new HE-400 headphone, a planar magnetic that sells for $399, yet is sensitive enough where it can be driven by an iPod.

Do you have any plans to offer your brick-and-mortar dealers any type of dealer support program that includes support in the areas of merchandising, sales programs and technical support? This past CES [Consumer Electronics Show] was amazing for HiFiMAN as we had so many dealers approach us to inquire about carrying our line. Our focus is on high-quality specialists who know how to present a high-performance line like HiFiMAN. In 2012, we will be expanding our distribution to select brick-and-mortar retailers as well as top e-tailers and the programs will be developed in concert with them.

What do you anticipate to be HiFiMAN’s greatest challenge in 2012? Keeping up with the demand [for the HiFiMAN products] and making sure that we continue to maintain the highest level of quality in our products, as well as customer support.

What trends do you see for headphones and portable audio? Obviously, headphones will continue to be a strong category along with high-res portable music players. We believe that people will realize the quality differences between common compressed music and high-res and once they hear the difference, they will never go back.

What product in your line are you most excited about? What products do have for personal use? I would have to say two products stand out: The HE-400 planar magnetic headphone and the HM-601 Slim, our new compact lightweight high-res [music] player.

As for what I use for my personal use, as you can imagine, I am always listening to many different products, but I keep coming back to our HE-6 headphones. They need a really good amplifier to get the best performance, but it’s the most accurate and natural sounding headphone HiFiMAN has ever made.

Hifiman Headphones

Pricing Table

Top 10 Hifiman Headphones of 2017

HeadphonesPriceLink
1. HIFIMAN Edition Xv2 Price: $1,298.52CHECK REVIEW
2. HIFIMAN Edition X Price: $749.00 CHECK REVIEW
3. HIFIMAN EF2C Price: $169.00 CHECK REVIEW
4. HIFIMAN ES100 Price: $39.00 CHECK REVIEW
5. HIFIMAN HE 350 Price: $90.00 CHECK REVIEW
6. HIFIMAN HE 400i Price: $349.97 CHECK REVIEW
7. HIFIMAN HE 400s Price: $299.00 CHECK REVIEW
8. HIFIMAN HE1000 Price: $2,399.00 CHECK REVIEW
9. HIFIMAN HM 901s Price: $1,499.00 CHECK REVIEW
10. HIFIMAN HM802S Price: $749.00 CHECK REVIEW

Hifiman Headphones 2017

Sample title

Comparison table of the Top 10 Hifiman Headphones

ProductShort DescriptionSpecial FeaturePrice and Review
HIFIMAN Edition X V2 1. HIFIMAN Edition X v2

The Edition X V2 Overear Planar Magnetic Headphones from Hifiman have undergone several styling and mechanical enhancements from the previous Edition X headphones. They feature an improved headband design and a newly updated yoke in metal for better stability and durability. The improved beveled earpads are thicker and have a polyester earpad surface. The headphones are appropriate for use with smartphones, MP3 players and portable devices.

  • Ultra-Thin Diaphragm

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HIFIMAN Edition X 2. HIFIMAN Edition XEdition X breaks new ground in performance, style and comfort for planar magnetic headphones.
  • Ultra Thin Diaphragm

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HIFIMAN EF2C

3. HIFIMAN EF2C

Combines the beautiful, warm sounding of the vacuum tube with the advantages of low distortion and high S/N rate from the solid-state amplifier.

  • Sublime and Organic Tone from the Vacuum Tube

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HIFIMAN ES100 4. HIFIMAN ES100

Benefiting from HIFIMAN’s advanced design techniques, ES100 delivers remarkable sound quality for its compact size and price yet is easy to drive with virtually any source.

With any headphone its sound all starts with the driver. Wide frequency response and low distortion offer you outstanding sonic performance with a huge sound stage, making you feel like you are there.

HIFIMAN’s experienced and skilled R&D team developed the sound of the ES100 to be rich, detailed and dynamic. Even when connected with a portable audio device or mobile phone, the high efficiency of ES100 provides impressive bass dynamic range and imaging.

  • Rich and Detailed Sound Quality

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HIFIMAN HE 350 specs

5. HIFIMAN HE 350

The soundstage, however, is AMAZING. Compared to my Takstars, these blow them out of the water. I dont know if it is due to the bigger drivers or the more open sides, but it is absolutely astounding.

Gaming is also great on these, directional audio in games like CS:GO is great with these cans. These take the cake in terms of sound stage.

  • Wireless is lightweight and compact
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HIFIMAN HE 400i Review 6. HIFIMAN HE 400i

The HIFIMAN HE-400i is a high quality, full-size planar magnetic headphone designed for critical listening in the home or studio.  At little more than twelve ounces, HE-400i is 30% lighter than comparable planar magnetic headphones allowing the listener to comfortably enjoy music for hours on end. In addition, a newly-designed headband and beveled hybrid ear pads provide added comfort as well as improved sound quality.

Using single-ended drivers, HE-400i delivers a lifelike soundstage and spatial imaging. Its increased efficiency of 93dB allows it to be driven with a modest size amplifier or can even be used with a portable audio player or smartphone. A premium cable is included comprised of Crystalline metal with Oxygen-free copper and silver.   HE-400i features ABS polymer ear cups in a gloss charcoal finish.

  • Delivers a balanced 93dB of sound
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HIFIMAN HE 400s7. HIFIMAN HE 400s

The HE400S Full-Size Planar Headphone from HIFIMAN delivers clarity, detail, extended bass, and wide soundstage, and is compatible with virtually any smartphone or portable audio device.

With conductive layers over almost the entire diaphragm, this planar headphone offers significantly lower distortion than a conventional dynamic headphone which uses conductors that vibrate in limited areas of the diaphragm. In addition, the headphone’s innovative headband and earpads provide hours of comfort for you to enjoy listening to music.

  • Sounds terrific
  • Superb Hi-Fi Quality
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hifiman-he1000-review

8. HIFIMAN HE1000

The Ultimate Flagship Headphone HE1000 by HIFIMAN the only World’s First Diaphragm in Nanometer Thickness The diaphragm in nanometer thickness is extremely low in mass, yielding faster response and lower distortion.

  • World’s First Diaphragm in Nanometer Thickness
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HIFIMAN HM 901s

9. HIFIMAN HM 901s

Excellent Sound, Exceptional Value. Each channel is equipped with one WM8740 DAC chip for its unique qualities. Using Line Out Output as the source for flexible multi-purpose use. Interchangeable amp cards, cables and compatibility with the HM901s dock provides for maximum convenience.

Two pairs of dual-voltage solution reduce negative effect from coupling capacitors or step-up DC converter. Potentiometer for Volume Control. Modular Amplifier Cards The HM802s features a user-replaceable slot for amplifier cards.

  • Two top-of-the-line DAC chips: ES9018
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HIFIMAN HM802S

10. HIFIMAN HM802S

Our Triple Driver In-Ears epitomize 1MORE’S mission: We’re not in this business to sell headphones. We’re in this business to deliver music. Our Triple Drivers represent every sonic detail the artist intended you to hear. In essence, they disappear so there’s nothing between you and your music.

  • Faster Power On/Off in 3 Seconds
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The Main Advantages:

The Popular Plantar Magnetic Hifiman Headphones:

You may know that despite the fact there are millions of headphones, amplifiers and similar devices on the market, it isn’t simple to get the best model! This may be difficult in general, but with Hifiman, it is simple. The company doesn’t make cheap nor poor-quality products, so it is easy to choose a device you want that can meet your expectations. All Hifiman products have some original features, compared to other brands. Now, we will mention them.

Hifiman 2017 Design

Design

Maybe sounds like a well-known thing, but the design is actually the first thing you will notice when it comes to Hifiman devices. No matter which one you look, it will be special and completely different than equivalent models, made by other brands. This especially applies to the portable music players. They have a completely different look, paired with certain features that aren’t available on other devices. Nevertheless, the design has no negative effect on the quality nor on the performances of the devices. Maybe it will require some time to get used to it, but after that, you will realize the full potential.


Sound quality of Hifiman

Sound quality

We have mentioned that a sound quality of Hifiman products it outstanding. Now, we will be slightly more focused on this advantage. The main reason, why all Hifiman products have this level of sound quality are the inner components. The company spends millions every year on a research. As the result, all components are professionally made and they come with professional capabilities. In simple words, the secret, why the sound quality is so good is about the technology the company uses.

Features:
  • Delivering better quality sound than other headphone types
  • Massive diaphragm allows high signal input and flexible bass and treble
  • Very fast response time due to the lightweight diaphragm design
  • Evenly distributed magnetic force for low distortion and reproduction of live sound


Hifiman Improvements

Improves rather replace

Almost all companies that make audio-related equipment replace their products each year (possibly more often in some cases). Although this sounds preferable, it is a high risk of making a mistake and causing an excellent product to be replaced with a worse one! We witnessed some of extremely large mistakes in the last decades, where the entire line of products had to be replaced! On the other side, we have Hifiman, a company that rather improves their products than replaces them. Some of the best music players the company makes have been upgraded several times, and the last models are better than ever. This is a recipe for success and for making some of the best products on the market.


Hifiman Technology

Advanced technology

Technology Hifiman uses is developed by the company, for the company’s products, so each one gets components that are designed especially for that particular model. As the company announced, this maximizes the sound quality and makes a product better engineered. At the same time, this advantage makes a specific product for a specific type of people. There are no two, similar ones. Other manufacturers use identical or the same components for several products. This makes them similar, obviously therefore usually the design or a segment of the market, where a product belongs determines the price. A related advantage is a technology itself. Hifiman currently hires some of the best engineers in the world, so it is simple to understand why their products are so good.


Hifiman Open back

Open back

Every single audiophile likes headphones with open back. In a simple term, these are devices that have a rear part made in a completely different way than most other manufacturers have to offer. Thanks to it, you can see the inner components and to experience a better sound. The company claims that this feature is so important that they will continue making it forever. It provides a better and more direct sound. It is also softer and dynamic. In order to understand how important this feature is, you should know that open back headphones have a completely different sound than regular devices. An interesting addition would be a better design. Thanks to the open back, you can see what is inside headphones. Some models have grills on back, so they are definitely 100% unique.


Planar magnetic drivers

Planar magnetic drivers of Hifiman

Planar magnetic drivers

This is a feature characteristic for Hifiman. All headphones have planar magnetic drivers. Now, the thing is that they are complicated to make and they are complicated to built-in into headphones. These are reasons why most manufacturers avoid implementing planar magnetic drivers into their headphones. A plus side of this feature is the sound quality. These drivers are so advanced that they can reproduce the same sound as actual speakers. Most owners and fans of the Hifiman company prefer this solution and due to the fact it is, a rare one, headphones made by this manufacturer are simply better and different.


Hifiman History

Research time

Definitely, an interesting fact is a research, more precisely, the time, Hifiman spends on the research. For example, in order to develop their latest headphones, they did a 7 year research! Compare this fact to other brands that usually spend a few months, or one year in order to complete a research. Maybe they have more devices available than Hifiman, but the quality, the features and the sound, in general, cannot be on the same level, obviously. Maybe Hifiman has fewer products available than some equivalent brands, but each product will provide the ultimate level of quality/features.


Hifiman advanced asymmetrical magnetic circuit

Advanced asymmetrical magnetic circuit

This is another feature characteristic to Hifiman. Their headphones (a high range) have the advanced asymmetrical magnetic circuit. This is important due to a specific reason. The live music is far better than headphones without this feature can provide. It feels more dynamic and has a feel that you are literally listening to music in person.


Hifiman diaphragm in nanometer thickness

First diaphragm in nanometer thickness

The latest models made by Hifiman feature the first diaphragm in nanometer thickness. This means that a diaphragm is lightweight (extremely) so it makes less distortion and has a faster response.

This feature is also reserved for the most advanced and a high-end headphones company makes. It is priceless being able to have something that is unique and different in the world.

According to Fang (The Founder of Hifiman), Hifiman Headphones uses a very high-quality Nanometer Thick Diaphragm; in which they claim to be the first among the leading headphone companies to have this greater benefit to yield faster response and low distortion for their product.

Why choose Hifiman instead of other brands

We already mentioned some of the main benefits/advantages all Hifiman products have and we said that this company makes only high-end models, developed for people who must have exceptional sound quality at all times. The first thing you should know if you consider about getting a Hifiman product is that you will be completely satisfied with the sound and features in general. However, there are a few more reasons why choosing Hifiman is a wise choice.

Hifiman a Luxury headphones

Credits to headphoneclub


Luxury headphones

Hifiman makes some of the most luxurious headphones you can get. They are beautifully made, they are crafted to be the best-looking models on the market, which brings a lot of additional advantages. You will be noticed, your friends will be impressed, but you will also get the ultimate sound quality. If you choose another brand, chances are high you will get headphones that look great, but the sound quality is compromised. The high-end models feature stainless steel, actual wood, velour and similar, luxury materials.

Hifiman's Quality check

Quality check

Each unit is checked by hand before it leaves the factory. You should know that Hifiman is one of the last companies on the planet that uses this type of checks. That’s why there are no factory defects with their products. You can be absolutely positive that every single unit will look and work perfectly, without any issue. We will have to mention that the company has tough requirements for employees that will work in these positions.


Hifiman's Remarkable comfort

Remarkable comfort

Most people have noticed that Hifiman products look different, especially the arch structure and the earpads. This isn’t a coincidence and all audiophiles will tell you why. The arch is specially designed in that way to improve the comfort. Wearing these headphones is suitable for longer usages and they are generally more comfortable than models made by other brands. If you are planning to wear them a few hours every single day, this type of arch structure is something you may need. The main thing with the earpads and their asymmetrical shape is closely related to the sound direction. The sound is better focused towards the inner ear and there are no losses. In addition, the headphones will follow the natural curve of an ear, therefore maximize the effects and make any sound better.

Window shade feature

There is no point in mentioning what the window shade feature is. It has been developed by Hifiman and it can be seen only on their products. You get this feature on most headphones and it is a masterpiece. It is designed to allow you to see the inner components, but at the same time to protect them. This is the main reason why you can get the open back design and still have durable and resistant headphones. According to the latest research, the company did, this system is 52% more efficient than any other alternative!

Low weight

One of the main reasons, why Hifiman headphones and devices, in general, are so comfortable is a low weight. They weigh 20-30% less than other brands have offered, which is extremely high if you want extremely comfortable headphones. Although there may be models made by other brands with similar weight, their quality will be compromised. Try to remember that we mentioned Hifiman feature quality check by hand, so there is no quality compromised units here! Don’t forget that this fact also makes headphones and devices in general extremely durable. Most people who owned Hifiman products will confirm this fact.

The speed

This advantage is especially important if you are looking for a portable music player made by this company. It means that it will have a quick power on/off feature. In fact, this means that you can turn off and turn on your music player in 3 seconds. There are no other models with this feature, and we all know how important time is, especially if you are in a hurry. All portable music players have this feature and it is something you may need, but you will definitely appreciate it.

Thumbwheel

Have you checked additional feature of portable music players, made by Hifiman? They have an interesting addition, called thumbwheel. It is located at the top and it is something that also makes them 100% different. There are no similar models.


TAICHI II user interface HifimanTAICHI II user interfaceTAICHI II user interface

All Hifiman products that require user interface have TAICHI. Now, it has been upgraded so it is a 2.0 version. Here were a number of upgrades, but most of them were focused on the speed, simplicity and to make it easier to use, without losing any of the features.

At the first sight, it looks like they reached the main goal. The system looks amazing and it hasn’t similarities with other systems. It is also futuristic and pleasant to use. You won’t need any time to adjust to it.

This revolutionary Ui called “Tai Chi” and now it is Version 2 which will lead to a better smooth flowing operation and with DAP that has over 802 Edge, and it is a significant portion of the company that loves to provide responsive music output

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