Hifiman, along with Audeze are what I would classify as pioneers of boutique high-end headphones. They came out of nowhere and started small, but were really aggressive in pushing the envelope out of this hobby. Both are obviously much bigger now than they were 10 years ago and fast forward to today, they’ve managed to create a lot of headphones that the audiophile community really rave about.
The Arya appears to be one of many from Hifiman and everyone seems to be really raving about these headphones. I’ve gotten my hands on a pair, spent some time with it, and thought I’d do a quick impressions article about my initial experience with this headphone.
‘Unboxing’ & Quick Impressions
This article is not a full review but rather a quick impressions type after spending about a week with this headphone. Here is also the video in case you prefer watching it to reading.
The Arya is in the middle of Hifiman’s line of high-end headphones. Above the Ananda, and below the HE1000se and V2, and of course the Susvara. It retails for $1,600 which is 63,000 php locally. Quick shoutout to Egghead for this unit.
This is also the V2 model with the upgraded cloth mesh placed at the back part of the cups instead of the earpads.
Gears used with the Arya – DAC: Schiit Modius, Amplifier: Monoprice THX 887.
Hifiman recommends a 150-hour burn-in for the Arya. While I personally don’t believe in burn-in, I do feel it’s still important to follow before making my full evaluation. So consider my notes below as quick sound impressions.
The Arya to me has a neutral bright signature that is quite expansive. Despite that, it doesn’t have the characters that are usually associated with a ‘neutral’ tuning such as sounding thin and lacking body, as well as having harsh upper frequencies. The soundstage is quite wide but also tall thanks to the elongated earcups and I feel it has a cohesive and pleasing sound signature with really good extension on both ends of the spectrum.
The not-so-good things? I would say I’m hearing some slight roughness low treble area that is quite track-dependent but seems present in a good number of tracks that I’m listening to. A lot of the tracks from Daft Punk’s Random Access Memory exhibit this problem and while not a deal-breaker, it’s hard to un-noticed after some period of time as well when switching to other headphones.
The dynamic capabilities are also not as good as say the Clear or LCD-2 but I wouldn’t say it’s that big of a deal unless you’ve heard and preferred headphones that sound super punchy and excursive. The soft sound presentation, while not for everyone, is actually rather pleasing to my ears with the exception again of the treble issues that I mentioned.
Those are my sound impressions of the Hifiman Arya. I’m eager to make it my daily driver after I surpass the required amount of burn-in, compare it with other open headphones I have access with, and make my full evaluation video. I’m well aware most of the feedback of this headphone from the community is fairly positive but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this if you own one or have heard it before.
Catch you on the next one!