Review: Hifiman Ananda BT

Ananda BT

Today we take a detailed look at what could be a game changer in wireless audio; the Hifiman Ananda BT.


Disclaimer: The Hifiman Ananda BT is sent us from Hifiman directly. The price of this BT model is 999$.


Wireless audio is the new thing in personal audio these days. While we audiophiles look at the subject rather dubious, I personally can’t deny the overall development in this field. We now have good sounding wireless gear as a result, together with the modern Bluetooth codecs such as aptX HD and LDAC.

Although I think there’s more to come for Hi-Fi level of sound, the wireless technology has already reached to a good level in terms of general sound quality. The Hifiman Ananda BT is here to show us exactly that.

About Hifiman

If you’re into personal audio, then you probably have some knowledge about the Hifiman brand. It was founded in 2007 by Dr. Fang in New York to produce high-end personal audio products. Hifiman was the first brand to release a high-end portable audio player, the HM-801, which was like a catalyst for Reference Audio Players that we know today.

Their HE-500 and HE-6 models are still in use today. A very close friend of mine is still using the original HE-6 headphone. Of course, Hifiman didn’t stop there. They’re on full speed with new models such as the HE-1000SE, HE6-SE, the R2R2000 DAP/streamer, the Arya, Sundara and Ananda. The one we’re looking at today is the new Bluetooth version of the latter.

Hifiman also has super high-end headphones like the Susvara and Shangri-La electrostatic. The former one will be reviewed on Headfonia in the upcoming weeks as well.

We tried various Hifiman gear, including this one at CanJam London 2019 show, and the HFN team were just as impressed as 2018.

Hifiman Ananda BT

About Ananda BT

This is simply a wireless version of the open-back Ananda headphone. You can find Lieven’s full review of the wired model below:

The price of the Ananda has dropped to 849$ whilst this Ananda BT costs 999$. I was already impressed by the standard model with its overall presentation and imaging capabilities with a very controlled, yet punchy bass.

The Hifiman Ananda BT is equipped with the latest wireless technologies. It captures the data signal and processes it with over 900kpbs through its on-board DAC. This allows the listener to listen to 24/96 with the LHDC protocol. For doing that, you need to install an application though, but I will get to that very shortly.

Apart from LHDC codec, you can also utilize the widely-known aptX, aptX HD and LDAC which the headphone supports. I used LDAC directly from my phone and LHDC from the Hifiman app for this review. The headphone also supports USB wired connection for 24/192 playback. Once again, Hifiman uses its Ultra-Thin Diaphragm inside for the lowest distortion, fast response and high level of detail.

This probably is the most serious Bluetooth open back headphone until now, in terms of wireless sound in a high level of fidelity. So I don’t have much doubt that sooner or later, this headphone will have its own place in the market.

Hifiman Ananda BT

Design & Build Quality

The design of the Ananda BT is identical to the wired model. As you probably know, the Ananda is a successor of the Edition X models. The new headband system, which was also present with the standard Ananda, is retained. The grills, ear cups and ear pads are all the same. To me the headphone looks very stylish and serious at the same time.

The only difference to the wired model is the weight. The headphone weighs 460 gr., compared to the 399 gr. of the wired Ananda, and that’s because of the on-board DAC. Yet, this is a very small difference to me, which should be hard to differentiate from its sibling on the head.

The build quality is quite nice. I didn’t feel any difference from the Ananda wired, which was already built very well. The ear pads have a premium feel, the metal used on the headband and yokes feels very good, and the grills look sexy as ever. This feels like a premium headphone top to bottom.

The review continues on PAGE 2 by clicking here using the page numbers below

3.8/5 - (105 votes)

A keen audiophile and hobby photographer, Berkhan is after absolute perfection. Whether it is a full-frame camera or a custom in-ear, his standpoint persists. He tries to keep his photography enthusiasm at the same level as audio. Sometimes photography wins, sometimes his love for music takes over and he puts that camera aside. Simplistic expressions of sound in his reviews are the way to go for him. He enjoys a fine single malt along with his favourite Jazz recordings.


  • Reply November 27, 2019


    Thanks for a well written and interesting review!

    I just find myself with one question after reading it – how much worse is bluetooth headsetthan wired? You state many times things like ” …. For a Bluetooth can, this presentation is quite extraordinary.” but if you should get same quality with wire, how cheap will it get?

    I can now choose Ananda with Chord Poly for my Mojo or this. But Ananda BT seems really convenient. How much drop in quality will there be? What would be your choice?

    • Reply December 4, 2019


      Of course you will lose some quality compared to the wired Ananda, but in my experience it’s not a huge difference. That’s the actual success of this headphone indeed. You get a similar sound without a wire.

  • Reply August 31, 2020

    Josh B

    The audio quality is excellent, though others have noted there is not much bass, so look elsewhere if that’s important to you. However, there are several major flaws that make this headset unusable.

    First and most importantly, the headset mode is incompatible with all Windows devices. This is because these headphones do not recognize audio input / output in “headset” mode, and go to sleep every 10 minutes. You must use headset mode in order to use the build-in mic. Thus, these headphones cannot be used as a headset for a Windows laptop – you will constantly be disconnected from audio during your zoom, skype, and other teleconferencing activities!

    I contacted customer service about this issue. They gave me a generic response, and after A MONTH are still trying to claim that their “engineers will look into this problem.” Useless customer service. When you pay $1,000 for a set of headphones, you expect better.

    The other major flaw is that the headphones can only be charged when powered down, plugged into a USB C port, and then a button must be held down for two seconds to activate charging. This is ridiculous. If I plug in the headphones, I expect them to start charging. HiFiMan claims that this was done in order to prevent accidentally draining the battery of the device you’re plugging into, but any device with a USB C port will have a much larger battery (if it has one at all) than the one in the Ananda. Even after owning these for a couple of months, I still sometimes forget to “turn on” the charging, and start the next day with a totally drained headset.

    I’ll be returning these.

    • Reply September 11, 2020


      Thank you for sharing your experience with the headphone.

      I think that for the sound quality that it brings, it deserves lots of praise but if you’re gonna use them as daily go-to headphone for other tasks, I think it’s better to choose a mainstream headphone instead.

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