What's the Best HIFIMAN Headphone for Me?

HIFIMAN is one of the biggest names in Hi-Fi personal audio, with some of the most popular headphones across multiple price points. Of course, with a couple exceptions, the product names don’t reveal a lot about the characteristics of their products. Like, what’s the difference between a Sundara and a Susvara  – an Arya and an Ananda? In this guide, we answer all those questions, and hopefully help you find the right HIFIMAN headphones for you.

HIFIMAN’s main headphone line are their open back, reference tuned headphones all named with Hindi or Sanskrit words meaning things like “beautiful” or “noble.” This line includes Sundara, Ananda, Arya, and Susvara, with the HE1000SE and HE1000V2 also being included despite not having cool names. They also recently released the HE-R10P and HE-R10D, which are closed-back headphones that share quite a bit of design DNA. Finally there’s the Deva, an open-back headphone designed to be used wirelessly, but that can also be plugged in.

HIFIMAN Headphones

To get a good idea of what might be right for you, we’ll go through all of our HIFIMAN offerings by price, starting with the least expensive.

Deva - $299

HIFIMAN Deva

Deva is HIFIMAN’s most mainstream headphone. The brown and silver design gives it a luxurious look and the tuning is more accessible than most of HIFIMAN’s other headphones. Of course, being open-back means that it isn’t great for travel or commuting. Deva can be used in wired mode, or wireless with the included BlueMini wireless adapter. The adapter can also be used on a couple of HIFMAN’s higher end headphones.

The tuning is v-shaped with some extra bass emphasis. and with the wireless capabilities, it checks all the boxes that your average headphone buyer is looking for. While the sound is accessible, it doesn’t have quite the same level of resolution as many of HIFIMAN’s other offerings. Of course, you’re still getting HIFIMAN’s years of planar magnetic experience and a level of detail and full spectrum dynamics that you’re not going to get from your average headphones.

Sundara - $349

HIFIMAN Sundara

Sundara is the go-to first step into high end headphones. It gives you many of the characteristics of HIFIMAN’s more expensive headphones with an affordable price tag. The design is all black, with a good amount of metal, avoiding the plasticy feel of some more budget conscious headphones.

The sound is transparent with a neutral tuning, and a level of detail and resolution that blows away most popular brands. Both the bass and treble are a little rolled off, providing a ton of detail in the mids, but without a lot of low-end rumble. Either way, the Sundara is the perfect gateway into the audiophile headphone life.

Ananda - $699, Ananda BT - $999

HIFIMAN Ananda

Ananda takes the basics established in the Sundara – neutral tuning, excellent detail and transparency – and takes them up to the next level. The Ananda is the next step up in HIFIMAN’s lineup, adding larger drivers and being the lowest priced of HIFIMAN’s “teardrop” shaped oversized planar magnetic drivers.

Ananda adds better bass extension and a clearer high-end to create a more revealing, detailed sound with an incredible level of resolution. The brighter treble means you trade a little bit of Sundara’s smoother sound for more robust, detailed top-end. The Ananda is also available in a wireless bluetooth version, which takes the same sound and adds wireless convenience.

HE-R10D - $1299

HIFIMAN HE-R10D

HIFIMAN’s entry point into their closed-back headphones, the HE-R10D has a more punchy sound than the rest of HIFIMAN’s lineup thus far. There’s a bit of a mid-bass bump that gives you a bit of tight physical bass that you might have been missing from HIFIMAN’s headphones thus far. It’s use of a dynamic driver also makes it unique in HIFIMAN’s cadre of over-ear headphones as the only one with a dynamic driver.

The design of the earcups help achieve this sound, but they might not be the most stylish. The HE-R10D (and it’s big brother the HE-R10P) features an earcup design with extra space to enhance its acoustic properties. This creates a better soundstage and opens things up a bit for stronger bass response. The HE-R10D also supports HIFIMAN’s BlueMini so it can be converted into wireless headphones.

Arya -  $1599

HIFIMAN Arya

Arya continues the evolution of sound from Sundara and Ananda. It also represents an upgrade to the build quality providing the most comfortable, and possibly best looking headphone in HIFMAN’s lineup up to his price point. The suspension system provides a better distribution of weight, and the sleek, all-black look is definitely a favorite of its many fans.

Arya provides an absolutely legendary level of detail and clarity, that creates a flagship level experience at well under $2000.  With an incredible sense of space, and natural, lifelike delivery you can see why – despite being more than $4000 cheaper than HIFIMAN’s top-of-the-line Susvara – many people consider Arya to be top-of-the-line quality.

HE1000v2 - $2999

HIFIMAN HE1000v2

The HE1000v2 is an update to the original flagship HE1000 to provide some refinements to the tuning, and improvements to its ergonomics and comfortability. While some might prefer the sleek, all-black look of the Arya, the HE1000v2 has more upscale look with brown leather and wood grain.

If you’ve heard the Arya, you might not be able to imagine that you could improve on it’s already impressive sound and technical performance, but the HE1000v2 manages to do just that. It expands the soundstage, and provides holographic 3D imaging to create an immersive listening experience.

HE1000SE - $3499

HIFIMAN HE1000SE

The basic tuning and design of the HE1000SE is similar to the HE1000v2, but the HE1000SE takes the next step in technology, offering HIFIMAN’s “stealth magnets” – originally designed for the Susvara. The stealth magnets improve the transient response of the drivers by eliminating ways in which the multiple magnetic fields within each driver can interfere with each other and impact the driver’s performance. The HE1000SE’s design is also one step closer to the Susvara, with a darker brown wood grain. 

HE-R10P - $5499

HIFIMAN HE-R10P

The HE-R10P is HIFIMAN’s flagship closed-back headphone. Using specially designed earcups and planar magnetic drivers, the HE-R10P represents the pinnacle of closed-back headphone technology. The oversized earcups and acoustic design provide a greater feeling of space and also allows the bass to “breathe” a bit more and create a more natural sounding low-end.

The physical design is a bit contentious, lacking the level of refinement and comfort of the Susvara or HE1000, but the technical performance and sound quality is top notch. While not the most stylish you’ll ever see, you’ll be hard pressed to find closed-back headphones with performance that can match the HE-R10P.

Susvara - $5999

HIFIMAN Susvara

Susvara is the king, with absolutely incredible technical performance, coupled with a transparent, musical delivery, that’s both revealing and easy to listen to. In terms of the build and design, the Susvara stands head and shoulders above the rest of HIFIMAN’s lineup with a sleek design featuring aluminum, leather, and wood veneer. They’re also quite comfortable with more moderately sized earcups than the HE1000 series.

In terms of sound, Susvara utilizes HIFIMAN’s years of research into planar magnetic drive performance. It provides all the detail and transparency of the Arya or HE1000, but adds even greater technical performance, and one of HIFIMAN’s most balanced engaging tunings on top of that.

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re new to the world of audiophile headphones, or you’re looking for something to take your music to the next level, HIFIMAN has a broad range of offerings with options that can work for almost anyone.


Price

Construction

Driver Type

Wireless Options

Highlights

Deva

$299

Open-Back

Planar Magnetic

Wireless BlueMini Included

HIFIMAN planar sound, plus wireless at a low price

Sundara

$349

Open-Back

Planar Magnetic

N/A

One of the most popular entry points into Hi-Fi personal audio

Ananda

$699/$899

Open-Back

Planar Magnetic

Ananda BT

Incredible detail and clarity for its price class

HE-R10D

$1299

Closed-Back

Dynamic

Wireless BlueMini Sold Separately

Unconventional design provides excellent closed-back performance

Arya

$1599

Open-Back

Planar Magnetic

N/A

Possibly the closest you can get to flagship planar performance for the price

HE1000V2 

$2999

Open-Back

Planar Magnetic

N/A

A step up from the Arya with even more resolution

HE1000SE

$3499

Open-Back

Planar Magnetic

N/A

Adds some of the Susvara’s technology to the HE1000’s sound.

HE-R10P

$5499

Closed-Back

Planar Magnetic

Wireless BlueMini Sold Separately

The pinnacle of closed-back performance and technology

Susvara

$5999

Open-Back

Planar Magnetic

N/A

Possibly the best all-around headphone performance in the world