Review: Hifiman Ananda BT

Ananda BT

Comfort

Comfort-wise the Ananda BT distributes the weight equally on the head with the new headband system which was introduced in 2018. That allows the user to listen to the headphone for long periods of time with a good comfort level.

The position of the headphone affects the overall comfort, so you can try different positions for finding the sweet spot. In my case, I position the headband a little on the front area of my head instead of the back side.

The swiveling (1 axis) asymmetrical ear cups make sure that the ear cups perfectly fit over your ears, and the pressure is just right to keep them in place. The material used for the pads are leather and velvet, and they feel soft and very comfy. My ears don’t touch the inside part of the earcups, which is also good.

Of course, not having any cables attached to the headphone provides even more comfort to the user. You can move around, walk and have a cup of coffee while your source is far away, supplying data to your headphone over the air.

Operation

Hifiman supplies a small instruction handbook for the Ananda BT. I suggest you to check it out because it’s very easy to understand and it immediately gives you a basic idea how to use this headphone.

There are only two buttons on the left ear cup, which are power and charge buttons. Opening the headphone is straightforward; push and hold the power button and you will hear an opening beep sound on the headphone. For pairing, push and hold the button for 2 seconds, and the small LED flashes with green and blue color. This means you can now pair it with your source device. After pairing, the LED will continue to flash in blue color at intervals, telling that the headphone works normally.

Hifiman Ananda BT

To charge the headphone, you need to activate the charging mode. Otherwise you can’t charge the battery just by connecting the cable to a charger. To do this, you need to push and hold the second smaller button for two seconds. You’ll see a red LED light until the charging is completed. Then it will turn green. Don’t forget to attach the charging cable before doing that.

When you connect the USB cable to your source, the device will switch to the USB playback mode which will light up the LED with white color. For charging the headphone while listening, just hold the charging button while the cable is attached.

General Usage

So as a whole, the Hifiman Ananda BT  is quite easy and simple to use. Just remember one thing: You have to activate the charging mode before starting to charge the battery. Speaking of it, the battery life is pretty good. I immediately started to use the headphone out of the box without any charging, and it lasted quite long, more than I expected. It also conveniently shuts itself down when there’s no wireless stream for some time.

The only negative point that I can mention about this headphone is the absence of volume and track skip buttons. You can’t do those without touching your source device. You only have a play/pause function through pushing the power button once in each. If you like to do phone calls with your headphone, then the button also works for incoming calls.

You also have a microphone supplied in the package. If you wanted to ask about that 3.5 mm connection on the left ear cup, there you have your answer; that’s for the mic. It’s nice to have that accessory for phone calls and gaming communication. The mic does the job with nice clarity for both purposes, but don’t expect an amazing performance.

Hifiman Ananda BT

The wireless range of the Ananda BT is very good. You can go to the other rooms in the house and you still have a flawless connection. That makes it an ideal open back audiophile headphone for hanging around in your house. When you go too far away from the source though, there is a loss in connection but that’s expected.

Also, the Ananda BT comes with a high quality premium hard case to carry, which is really tough, feels nice and it provides great level of protection.

The review continues on PAGE 3 by clicking here using the page numbers below

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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 the same. He tries to keep his photography enthusiasm at the same level with audio. Sometimes photography wins, sometimes his love for music takes him over and he puts that camera aside. Simplistic expressions of sound in his reviews is the way to go for him. He enjoys a fine single malt along with his favourite Jazz recordings.

4 Comments

  • Reply November 27, 2019

    JA

    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

      Berkhan

      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

      Berkhan

      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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