Listening to a $6K headphone and loving each second if it

First issues first, priced at $6,000 (£four,166, AU$7,499) the Hifiman Susvara is a very costly headphone. It would enchantment to the type of one who can drop $274,390 for a Lamborghini Huracan Performante sports activities automotive with out checking their financial institution steadiness. The fortunate One Percenters have the very best toys.

The Hifiman Susvara headphones.


Steve Guttenberg/CNET

What makes it so particular? Firstly, Hifiman has fitted the Susvara’s with its newest planar magnetic drivers which have advanced into the thinnest, lightest and most responsive in the marketplace. Susvara’s “Stealth” magnets in entrance of the diaphragm are mentioned to be extra acoustically clear than different headphones’ magnets and impedance is rated at 60 ohms.

Susvara does not thrill the ear by going overboard with “element” and “decision” — it sounds above all pure. There is a exceptional sense of ease, readability with out a trace of grit, grain or edge. Hifiman’s earlier flagship, the HE1000 V2 remains to be a terrific headphone, however sounds softer, much less current, and it is much less comfy than the Susvara.

Listening to Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile and Edgar Meyer’s latest “Bach Trios” album and going from the luscious sounding Audeze LCD-Three Fazor headphones to the Susvara the sound was extra clear and alive. The LCD-Three Fazor is my favourite full-size headphone from Audeze, nevertheless it was outclassed by the Susvara. That headphone’s sound was extra palpably reasonable, its treble sparkle/air trumped the LCD-Three Fazor’s, which was veiled by comparability. One upside to the LCD-Three Fazor is that it is a lot simpler to drive, so it does not require a high-end amplifier to play loud, whereas an excessive, high-end headphone just like the Susvara completely does.

I used a Rogue RH-5, which is the least costly amp I’ve discovered that works effectively with the Susvara. My Cross Labs HPA-1 is a superb headphone amp, however did not fairly have sufficient oomph to make the Abyss AB-1266 or Susvara shine. I additionally briefly tried the Hifiman EF1000 headphone amp, which as you’ll count on turned out to be an excellent match with the Susvara.

On rock music Susvara takes no prisoners: This headphone dishes out visceral kicks, raunchy energy chords and rhythm with gusto, the low bass profoundly deep. I famous many times that as a result of the Susvara’s sound is so clear I tended to play it louder than different headphones. After I realized how loud it was I turned it right down to safer ranges.

The Abyss AB-1266, left, and the Hifiman Susvara headphone, proper.


Steve Guttenberg/CNET

The Susvara’s solely competitors is the Abyss AB-1266 headphone, which sounds much more dynamically alive, and it has a wider, extra out-of-the-head sound stage. It is also slightly simpler to drive, however a lot heavier — 21.9 ounces/620 grams vs. the Susvara’s 15.9 ounces/450 grams. The AB-1266’s head match isn’t all that safe: In case you shortly flip left or proper the headphone flops round in your head.

All true, however for sound high quality the AB-1266 remains to be my reference. In comparison with that one the Susvara appears like a extra standard headphone, albeit one with superior midrange, so vocals and acoustic devices sound extra pure, and imaging focus is extra exact than what I heard from the AB-1266. The Susvara can be extra comfy than the AB-1266 or any full-size Audeze headphone.

So sure, at 6 grand it is some huge cash, and it seems to be and seems like a headphone for the wealthy. Hifiman goals excessive, but when Susvara is slightly out of attain, no worries, the corporate additionally affords a broad vary of much less expensive headphones, together with the very best sounding $300, £190, AU$419 full-size headphone on the planet, the HE400S.

Summing up, the Hifiman Susvara is a real assertion design and essential for any critical and rich headphone connoisseur.

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