Now at True Audiophile
Like you, we are insanely picky on every product we carry. After listening to all the headphones at all the audio shows we narrowed down the best of the best. Time and time again, HiFiMan rose to the top. All the rave reviews. Amazing claims that some are the best in the world convinced us to provide our customers with these headphones and headphone amps.
- Sweetly Voiced,Harmonious Sound
- Acoustically Invisible Stealth Magnets
- Nanometer Grade
- Sonic Serenity
- A special ergonomic design offering superb comfort for extended listening.
HiFiMAN Susvara Review - Endgame Flagship Planar
My evaluation of the HiFiMAN Susvara has been an attempt to determine if this is that elusive flagship planar that I've been looking for.
The Susvara is surprisingly well built. ... the Susvara, but from a look and feel perspective, it's excellent - far better than what's found on the lower end models.
For detail retrieval, the Susvara is quite possibly the best headphone I've ever heard. It's certainly the best of any headphone I've reviewed extensively. Textural nuance, structural definition and clarity for the images is incredible with this headphone - so much so that it makes me discover new things in recordings that I've been listening to and reviewing headphones with for years. I often chase these new experiences, but their frequency becomes increasingly rare the more high performance equipment I end up evaluating. The Susvara is one of those experiences that really makes me go "oh, I had no idea that was there".
With high end planar magnetic headphones, you can expect them to be fast, tight, well controlled - especially for bass frequencies. There's often a trade-off here where you lose out a bit on the excursive quality, or that 'slam' and 'punch' feeling that many dynamic driver headphones give you (Focal and ZMF headphones are some of the best in this regard). The Susvara manages to be both tight, well controlled, and hit with authority - much better than almost every other headphone in the HiFiMAN lineup, apart from the old HE-6 (not the new 'SE' model). So while the Susvara is a highly analytic and critical headphone, it's also fun and lively when it needs to be.
Stage & Imaging
The Susvara's stage is quite large, even if not the largest I've heard. But it's imaging is also incredibly precise. Importantly, its instrument separation, layering and sense of depth is unmatched. When you listen to a recording with busy passages or elements that are overshadowing background tones, you hear everything with the Susvara - meaning you don't ever lose the background information. Instead, it's perfectly placed, just at a different distance from the foreground material. Lateral definition is excellent, but I find the Susvara's stage to be more in front of me rather than the super laterally defined HEDDphone or ZMF Verite. Both are just fine but it's just something to notice.
There's nothing particularly remarkable about the Susvara's timbre - which is usually a good thing. It's a planar, and it sounds like one. There's an interesting argument to be made that high end flagship planar magnetic headphones like this one have technical performance that outshines reality - and that the more natural sounding headphones like the ZMF Verite or Auteur are closer to a realistic presentation. To a certain extent I can understand the claim, but at the same time I don't think I'd want to give up the technical performance of a high end planar for the benefits to 'natural' and 'realistic' if these are indeed mutually exclusive traits.
At the beginning of this review I had set out to determine if the HiFiMAN Susvara is indeed that elusive planar flagship that doesn't have any of the trade-offs that I've been confronted with so far, and I can confidently say that it is. Granted, it costs a fortune, but if I had that fortune, this is the headphone that I would buy. It's comfortable with a modest weight, extremely detailed and technically proficient, and has an agreeable frequency response and tonal balance that doesn't throw anything off. At the moment, this is my favorite headphone, period.
Perhaps one of the finest planar headphones I have ever listened to...The Hifiman Susvara is a headphone that has been with me longer than any product before I decided to write the review. And for good reason.
The Hifiman Susvara is an absolute joy to listen to almost anything with. It is one of the most immersive and technically capable planars that I have heard to date and fully justifies its summit-fi status in terms of sonic capability. The speed, imagining and control is more electrostatic in nature than planar at times and there is never a moment where I start feeling weighed down by fatigue. They bring a delightfully involving dimension to most every source track I throw at it.
Impedance: 60 Ohm
Frequency Response: 6Hz-75kHz
Weight: 15.9 oz 450G
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